Town start with win

Ian Westlake ensured Town's pre-season got off to winning ways at Peterborough United but manager Joe Royle was more concerned with the run-out than reading anything into the form, writes Derek Davis.

Ian Westlake ensured Town's pre-season got off to winning ways at Peterborough United but manager Joe Royle was more concerned with the run-out than reading anything into the form, writes Derek Davis.

A Steve Jenkins own goal deflected in from a Pablo Couango shot and Westlake's finish ensured the victory, but once again Ipswich conceded from a set piece - the scourge of Town's defensive woes last season.

It is safe to assume a lot of work will be done on that in Denmark this week, as well as settling in the new boys.

Royle said: "We got some fitness out of it and we won which is nice. But it is more about fitness than form at this stage.

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"The two new boys Jason De Vos and Kevin Horlock were terrific.

"Ian Westlake just picked up from where he left off while Darren Bent looked sharp second half when he moved up front."

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Canadian international defender De Vos skippered the side on his debut with Jim Magilton on the bench until half-time.

The free-signing from Wigan showed in the first minute his worth with an outstanding tackle on Calum Willock and he looked a tremendous acquisition during the 90 minutes.

He's a defender who can defend by winning headers and organising the back line.

Royle added: "De Vos was outstanding throughout. We did not lose too many headers throughout, either when Richard Naylor was on first half or when Drissa Diallo came on second half."

Unfortunately some ills take time to cure and Posh's goal came from a set piece, mainly down to poor marking from a front man not picking up his man.

Royle said: "Don't worry, the player who let their man run does know that and he won't be marking players when the season starts."

Kevin Horlock settled straight into the holding role in defence while triallist Mark Rivers showed flashes of good wing play and decent crosses, but his lack of fitness was evident.

Scott Barron made his first team debut, coming on for Matt Richards, and apart from an early shaky moment against Richard Logan did well and might have got his head on to the end of a Rivers cross if he had been a bit stronger and more confident after getting into a good position.

A thunderstorm for 40 minutes in the hour before kick-off may have prevented more than the 1,862 turning up, although 616 Town fans made it.

The downpour forced the two sets of players to scurry for cover during their warm-up and meant there was a lot of surface water on the pitch in the first half.

Ironically, that was the period with the more entertaining play.

Town went ahead after just three minutes when a neat chipped ball from Antonio Murray in midfield fell to Counago, whose shot was deflected off Jenkins and Mark Tyler struggled in the conditions to get a hold of the ricochet.

The Blues doubled their lead with a terrific move started by a good clearance from Kelvin Davis.

Bent, playing wide right, took the ball inside and laid it off for Counago, who slipped a neat ball into the path of Westlake who finished well in the 17th minute.

Westlake might have had another from a similar position in the second half but Tyler made a good save.

The Posh keeper also did well when faced with a one-on-one with Bent after Westlake had played a terrific ball in for the striker.

Barry Fry's side made a game of it by pulling one back when a Peter Kennedy free-kick was headed in by an unmarked Willock after he was allowed to steal in between the two centre-backs after losing Shefki Kuqi.

Davis made a good second-half save to deny David Farrell, while skipper Curtis Woodhouse saw his shot defected off Diallo to safety.

Former Town striker Logan had a chance to equalise in the final minute but knocked high and wide from close range as he slid in on a Farrell low cross.

It was probably a sterner test than Town normally have at this stage of pre-season and it was no true indication of what is to come, but they did gain match fitness.

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