Town youngsters run Spurs close

FA Barclaycard Premier Reserve League (South)Ipswich Town Res 2 Tottenham Reserves 3A MISSED penalty cost Ipswich dear as they ran a powerful Spurs side close last night and were unfortunate not to clinch at least a draw, writes Derek Davis.

FA Barclaycard Premier Reserve League (South)

Ipswich Town Res 2 Tottenham Reserves 3

A MISSED penalty cost Ipswich dear as they ran a powerful Spurs side close last night and were unfortunate not to clinch at least a draw, writes Derek Davis.

Dean Bowditch was the culprit after Nabil Abidallah and Matt Bloomfield had netted for the Blues and Bobby Zamora bagged a brace for Spurs before Stephane Dalmat snatched the winner.

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Young Town were well organised, stuck to their task and never allowed an experienced Spurs side, sprinkled with internationals, to settle into their game.

There were a number of good displays. Scott Mitchell and Gerard Nash were especially strong at the back and Ian Westlake did a lot of good link-up play. Matt Bloomfield took charge in midfield, allowing Nabil Abidallah to get forward to good effect, while Antonio Murray was steady in the holding role and Sam Morrow showed a lot of endeavour and determination up front.

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Spurs put out a strong side with summer signings Bobby Zamora and Helder Postiga needing games after being kept out of the first-team starting XI by Robbie Keane and Freddie Kanoute.

Town went ahead when Dutchman Abidallah embarrassed Canada's No. 1 keeper after 20 minutes.

Morrow intercepted a loose clearance and played it instantly to Abidallah, whose low shot swerved slightly to deceive Lars Hirschfeld, who spilled it into his own net.

Spurs equalised five minutes later when Dean Marney's right-wing cross was easily won by Zamora, who headed down for his first of the night.

But Town went ahead again when a Westlake ball fell nicely for Bloomfield, who struck a terrific first-time finish from 10 yards.

Zamora's second was a wonderfully delicate curling shot which went in off a post to beat Andy Marshall five minutes before the break.

It was a free flowing first half with end-to-end stuff. Portuguese international Postiga hit a post, Nash had a header cleared off the line by Paul O'Donoghue, to keep the sparse crowd thoroughly entertained.

The second half started just as brightly with Westlake trying to lob the keeper and Morrow sweeping a low Bowditch cross inches wide.

Nash recovered after a miscue to clear off the line from Postiga and Marshall turned a low shot from the Portuguese striker around a post.

The Blues should have got their noses in front again after Bowditch was tripped by O'Donoghue but the penalty kick was weak and Hirschfeld made up for his earlier error by saving.

It was a costly miss as Spurs scored straight from the clearance with the outstanding midfielder Dalmat turning the ball in from eight yards.

But the youngsters can take a lot from a gritty and at times cultured performance against a very good Tottenham team.


Ipswich Town Reserves: Marshall, Mitchell, Okay, Murray, Collins, Nash, Abidallah (Atay, 80) Bloomfield, Morrow, Bowditch and Westlake. Subs not used: Hogg, Barron, Reid and Supple.

Tottenham Hotspur: Hirschfeld, Ifil (Yeates, 58) Jackson, Dalmat, Toda (Hughes, 58) O'Donoghue, Marney, Mabizela, Postiga (Barnard, 84) Zamora and Blondel. Subs not used: Henry and Burch.

Referee: N Appleby.

Attendance: 378.

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