Town reserves on the verge of title

VICTORY at home against Leyton Orient tonight will leave Ipswich Town's Reserves needing just one more point to clinch the Pontins Holiday Combination Reserve League.

By Derek Davis

VICTORY at home against Leyton Orient tonight will leave Ipswich Town's Reserves needing just one more point to clinch the Pontins Holiday Combination Reserve League.

Only third-placed Southend United would then be able to catch the Blues, but at the moment they have a far inferior goal difference and any slip-up from their remaining four matches would put paid to their title aspirations.

While Town's first team coach Bryan Klug accepts that this reserve league has not been the most challenging he hopes the youngsters can go on to similar success as did Dale Roberts' side that won the Premier Reserve League in 2002.


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Darren Bent, Darren Ambrose, Matt Bloomfield, Lewis Price, Justin Miller, Lee Beevers and Dean Bowditch were among that group of young players who are still playing at various levels in the Football League.

He said: “It is always nice to win silverware and while it doesn't mean that much in the big scheme of things it is good for young players to get into the habit of winning.

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“Dale's side produced a wonderful array of talent and it would be good to see some of these lads progress in a similar way.”

Jordan Rhodes will lead the attack tonight.

“Jordan was in the (first-team) squad on merit after two fantastic goals last week against Orient. Another one or two like that would go down well.

“He has scored goals this season that perhaps no one else at the club could have done.”

While Billy Clarke, Scott Barron, Bowditch, Sito, Sammy Moore, Shane Supple and Liam Trotter have all had first team experience, Town fans will be able to assess the likes of Tommy Smith, Jai Reason and Ed Upson, who are also knocking on the door and could be seen in Jim Magilton's line-up before the end of the season.

Although initially named in the squad, Clarke is a doubt with a groin strain picked up in training while Ian Miller, George O'Callaghan and Danny Haynes have been left out with two games in three games over the Easter period in mind.

After recently recovering from a deep-seated groin problem, Bowditch is likely to come off the bench as he returns gradually to full-match fitness.

His future at Portman Road is still undecided but Klug last night threw a lifeline to the popular young striker.

Klug said: “We still think the world of Dean and the door has not closed on him. People forget how young he is really. He is only 20 and still has time to develop further.

“He needs games and we will see between now and the end of the season how he does.”

Bowditch enjoyed a loan spell at Brighton although the injury hampered his chances of playing more often. Even so Dean Wilkins was impressed enough to want him back and a summer move is a possibility if Town don't renew his contract.

Ipswich Town reserve squad

Supple, Plummer, Sito, Synnott, Barron, Smith, Fenn, Moore, Robinson, Upson, Reason, Trotter, Tooms, Leabon, Rhodes, Bowditch and Clarke.

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