Town second-string still bottom

Barclays Premiership Reserve League (SOUTH)Ipswich Town Res 1Arsenal Res 2 DESPITE a spirited and at times exciting display, Ipswich Town's young reserves lost out to a quality-strewn Arsenal side in a thoroughly enjoyable game to watch at Portman Road last night.

By Derek Davis

Barclays Premiership Reserve League (SOUTH)

Ipswich Town Res 1

Arsenal Res 2


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DESPITE a spirited and at times exciting display, Ipswich Town's young reserves lost out to a quality-strewn Arsenal side in a thoroughly enjoyable game to watch at Portman Road last night.

The Blues went ahead through Pablo Counago but were stung by two second-half goals, as the Gunners clawed their way back into the match.

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The young Blues played some lovely, quick football with good movement, slick passing and strong defending in an entertaining first half.

Dean McDonald, who yesterday completed his signing for Ipswich, once again impressed with his silky skills, although the whole team did well.

Frenchman Jimmy Juan, on loan from Monaco until the end of the season, was the play-maker, while Liam Manning did a fine job anchoring the midfield.

Aidan Collins looked strong at the back along with a fit-again Jerrome Sobers, who is a loan target for Boston United.

Matt Richards skippered the side from the left-back position, feeding a lively Scott Barron, playing wide in a five-man midfield before changes were made in the second half.

Counago's fifth reserve goal of the season topped a wonderful move by Town to put them ahead on 26 minutes.

Collins picked out the speedy McDonald, who sprinted past Mitchell Murphy before hitting the perfect low cross for the out-of-favour Spaniard to meet at the far post and hammer in.

Counago also hit a 20-yard shot wide as Town enjoyed a good first half.

The Gunners equalised 11 minutes after the break, when substitute Aaron Samuel had time and space before hitting a low ball into the path of Arturo Lupoli.

The Italian youngster grabbed his second six minutes later, when he took a return pass from Niklas Bendtner and beat Shane Supple with a low 10-yard shot.

The young Irish keeper made an excellent one-handed save to deny Anthony Stokes in a one-on-one challenge.

With international call-ups hitting the reserves, and the FA Youth Cup in mind, the Arsenal side were shorn of many of their fringe players, who appeared in the League Cup earlier in the season.

Liam Craig went up front alongside Counago for Town and stung the keeper's hands with a crisp shot, while fellow substitute Danny Haynes made a lively reserve team debut.

Although the Blues started to get back on top, they couldn't find their way through a second time and stay bottom of the Reserve League.

Last night's teams

Ipswich Town Res: Supple, Synott, Richards, Manning, Collins, Sobers (Krause, 79) McDonald (Haynes, 65) Juan, Counago, Barron and Garvan (Craig, 65) Subs not used: Flack and Atay.

Arsenal Res: Howard, Clohessy, Murphy (Samuel, 31) Muamba, Gilbert, Connolly, Stokes, O'Donnell, Bendtner (Webb, 86) Lupoli (Gill, 75) and Kelly. Subs not used: Jordan and Kadir.

Referee: S Beck.

Attendance: 1,535

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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