Town Youths set up U's clash

Ipswich Town 3Aston Villa 1Ipswich Town sailed through to the sixth round of the FA Youth Cup, and a meeting with Colchester United, with a surprisingly comfortable victory over Aston Villa in the fifth round at Portman Road last night.

By Dave Vincent

Ipswich Town 3

Aston Villa 1

Ipswich Town sailed through to the sixth round of the FA Youth Cup, and a meeting with Colchester United, with a surprisingly comfortable victory over Aston Villa in the fifth round at Portman Road last night.

Villa, losing finalists last year, only really got going in the last five minutes when Town keeper Shane Supple was struggling after being poleaxed by Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor.

The Villa top scorer, who had endured a frustrating night, barged Supple to the ground as he collected a through ball .

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A first-half goal by skipper Liam Craig set Town on their way. It was a half Ipswich had dominated. Craig himself had mis-kicked in front of goal earlier on and Owen Garvan and Billy Clarke had gone close.

Great work by Cathal Lordan on the right wing, where he had sparkled all night, provided a cross, Billy Clarke was unable to get in a shot but fed the ball on to Craig on the left and he made no mistake after 35 minutes.

Villa never had a shot on target until after the Town goal, but Supple had to produce a smart save to palm over an effort by Agbonlahor.

Town were good value for their half-time lead - and they were quick out of the blocks at the start of the second half to add to their advantage.

Supple's long ball down the pitch after a couple of minutes was headed back towards his own goal by Villa skipper Magnus Troest and Craig raced away and bent a superb cross into the penalty box. Cathal Lordan was waiting on the right to finish with aplomb.

It was 3-0 after 55 minutes. Darryl Knights tackled back in the Villa half and the ball was fed on to Clarke, who kept very calm in the penalty area and picked his spot past Villa's Austrian goalkeeper Robert Olejnik.

Town continued to dominate for most of the half, with Aidan Collins and James Krause outstanding.

But there was a late scare for Town when Agbonlahor got free for once close in and, though Supple saved his effort, it ran loose to substitute Michael Tuohy to net.

After 76 minutes, Supple was rattled by Agbonlahor's stupid challenge. But despite that, and a late flurry of Villa pressure, Town held firm.

Town might have snatched another when Clarke bore down on goal and rounded the goalkeeper, who brought him down when all he had to do was stroke the ball into the empty net. Somehow the keeper escaped without a red card.

This will go down as one of Town's best youth-team performances, having dominated one of the favourites of the competition for almost the entire 90 minutes.

Town manager Joe Royle paid his tribute to the performance. “They were terrific. There wasn't a weakness from one to 11. Tonight our lads were outstanding.”

The teams

Ipswich: Supple, Moore, Ainsley, Beveridge (Trotter, 68), Collins, Krause, Lordan (Haynes, 72), Knights, Clarke, Garvan and Craig. Unused subs: Blackmore, Sheringham and Hammond.

Aston Villa: Olejnik, Paul Green, O'Halloran, Troest, Williams (Phil Green, 55), Saunders (Morgan, 62), Kabeya, Bridges, Paul, Agbonlahor, McGurk (Tuohy, 51). Unused subs: Henderson and Edkins.

Attendance: 1,360.

Referee: D Deadman.

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