U's undone by old boy

Ipswich Town 2 Colchester United 1THIS was an exhibition of what Ipswich are all about when they get their free-flowing football going.The precocious Pablo Counago sparkled and scored while Kevin Lisbie underlined why Jim Magilton paid £750,000 for him from Colchester and why their manager Geraint Williams was an unwilling seller.

Derek Davis

Ipswich Town 2 Colchester United 1

THIS was an exhibition of what Ipswich are all about when they get their free-flowing football going.

The precocious Pablo Counago sparkled and scored while Kevin Lisbie underlined why Jim Magilton paid £750,000 for him from Colchester and why their manager Geraint Williams was an unwilling seller.


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But still the defensive frailties are apparanet as substitute Steve Gillespie showed by grabbing a late consolation.

Even given the quality of the opposition from League One this was a marked improvement from Ipswich after the debacle against Wolves.

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The main instigator was Counago ably assisted all round, especially by the hard-working Jon Walters and the assured composure of debut-making Iván Campo.

Lisbie showed his class at finishing, while Alan Quinn came inside from the left flank to good effect and Liam Trotter gave a mature showing linking defence to attack.

The importance of the tie was underlined by both managers' line-ups with Magilton making a couple of changes but in the main kept faith with the side that lost at home to Wolves on Saturday.

Campo made his bow playing just in front of the back four with Liam Trotter tucking in close with Counago playing in the hole behind Lisbie, while Walters started up front before switching to right wing.

With Alex Bruce suspended for three games after his sending off against Wolves, Casement came back in and did very well in a defence that never had the sort problems they had to cope with against Mick McCarthy's side.

The Blues started with purpose and Counago had an early shot blocked by Matt Heath. The Spaniard was causing the U's all sorts of problems with his clever touches and movement but the goal when it came was a stunner.

Counago had acres of room in front of the U's back four and vanishing midfield so took a touch and then unleashed a wicked 27-yard shot that swerved under the despairing arm of keeper Dean Gerken.

The defiant salute to the crowd was a message to those critics who doubt his devotion to the cause or don't understand his overall contribution.

Counago signed a new three-year deal recently and would happily stay the rest of his career at Portman Road, helping them back to the Premier League as well.

If there was a question mark about Gerken for Counago's goal, there was no doubting his quality when denying Lisbie whose head down from six yards looked a certain goal until the Colchester keeper somehow got down to it and clawed it away one-handed.

For those old enough to remember or have seen video clips, it was reminiscent of Gordon banks denying Pele in the 1970 World Cup, it was that good.

There was nothing he could do about Town's second from his old team mate Lisbie.

Showing how he got 17 goals for the relegated U's last season, Lisbie beat Matt Heath on the left touchline and sprinted into the box, he turned inside skipper Chris Coyne before curling a shot in off the far post.

True to his word Lisbie did not celebrate out of respect for his old club but the joy and relief for Town was palpable.

Lisbie had earlier scorned a good chance after he had created space for himself but flicked it wide with outside of foot.

Quinn headed over bar from Walters' cross and later delivered a good free kick that Richard Naylor headed wide.

The U's offered brief resistance when Gillespie got the better of casement three minutes from time and lobbed Wright from 14 yards to set up a nervous finish.

Apart from the goal the only real scare as Town cruised into the third round for the first time in five years, came when Casement saved off the line from Gillespie.

Colchester's chances were limited with Gareth McAuley needing to block a Johnnie Jackson drive from 20-yards.

The Town skipper got lucky though when he was beaten all ends up Clive Platt who turned him before blazing high and wide.

He also lost Scott Vernon who turned an Anthony Wordsworth cross just wide.

Mark Yeates hit a decent 35 yard free kick but Richard Wright was down to parry and pounce on loose ball

For the U's it is an indication of how much work they still have to do.

Conversely, it was a good night's work for the Blues and if they can produce similar against the likes of Watford and Reading, then hope will spring eternal.

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