Town start with a win
Cambridge United 0Ipswich Town 3DEAN Bowditch scored twice after Nicky Forster got the Blues on the way in a comfortable 3-0 pre-season win at Cambridge United last night.
By Derek Davis
Cambridge United 0
Ipswich Town 3
DEAN Bowditch scored twice after Nicky Forster got the Blues on the way in a comfortable 3-0 pre-season win at Cambridge United last night.
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The game was split into a sort of probables and possibles line-up for Ipswich with senior players making up the first-half side and the young guns going out for the second 45 minutes.
They showed an unhurried quality in dominating most of the opening period, although the obvious rustiness was to be expected.
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There were some sparkling moments, not least from new signing Forster from Reading, who rattled the crossbar and emphatically finished for the opening goal after 24 minutes.
The striker, sporting the No. 8 shirt, also fired into the side netting and forced former Norwich City keeper Paul Crichton into a good save.
Fellow new boy Sam Parkin put himself about but will enjoy better luck in front of goal in days to come.
The hopefuls from Cambridge started well but the Blues defence, and Fabian Wilnis in particular, were alert to the danger in the early moments.
Lewis Price pulled off a terrific double save to first deny David Bridges with a one-handed save and then block Dave Daniels' follow-up with an outstretched leg.
The second-half side was largely comprised of the young side which won the FA Youth Cup and incorporated Dean Bowditch, Dean McDonald and Jimmy Juan, with Scott Barron going on midway through the half.
The lively Blues had the makeshift Cambridge side stretched but Bowditch and Liam Trotter could not finish after a delectable couple of balls through by McDonald.
Lithuanian keeper Marios Cesas made a solid save to thwart Danny Haynes while Trotter tried an audacious chip which skimmed the top of the crossbar.
Owen Garvan and Bowditch should have had penalties but the referee was clearly still in summer holiday mode and waved them away.
Bowditch made up for it with a brace of goals and his clenched fist salute showed how much they meant for him in what promises to be a big season ahead.
His first in the 71st minute was a 20-yard drive after Haynes and McDonald had efforts just inside the box blocked.
The second was another edge-of-the-area finish when he curled home after more good work from the tricky McDonald.
Sammy Moore hit the side-netting and McDonald could have marked his performance with a goal after wriggling clear, but slid his shot wide.
It was a good showing from the young side, with goalkeeper Shane Supple given barely anything to do, and many will continue to give the Town coaches things to think about, which is what they want.
So both clubs came away with something in an entertaining, if fairly low-key, affair.
It speaks volumes for a club in administration that they dedicated a prestigious, money-making friendly to a long-serving member of the staff. Ian Darler the stadium manager (ie: groundsman and all-round Jack-of-all-trades) has given 25 years of service to Cambridge United and richly deserved the warm standing ovation and the cash.
He was even given a cameo 10 minutes towards the end, complete with No. 40 shirt, and won a header with his first touch.
Ipswich certainly added to the entertaining night and while it was a long way off what they are capable of, it is early days.
Ipswich Town starting XI: Price, Wilnis, Richards, De Vos, Horlock, Naylor, Magilton, Forster, Parkin, Currie and Westlake. Second-half team: Supple, Krause, Moore, Juan, Collins, Casement, Trotter, Garvan, Bowditch, McDonald and Haynes. Sub used: Barron.
Cambridge United Starting XI: Crichton, Chick, Robbins, Quinton, S Davies, A Davies, Daniels, Bridges, Turner, Maitland and Okay. Second half: Cesas, Eastall, Nicholls, Solomon, S Davies, Morrison, Quasie, Smith, Roach, Nadine and Fuller. Subs: Atkins, Lockett and Darler.
Referee: Darren Deadman.