Young Blues defeated
THE weakness of the Ipswich Town squad was exposed last night as an extremely young, record-breaking reserve side went down 1-0 to a team from Wimbledon's crèche.
THE weakness of the Ipswich Town squad was exposed last night as an extremely young, record-breaking reserve side went down 1-0 to a team from Wimbledon's crèche, writes Derek Davis.
Joe Royle was away looking for reinforcements, leaving Steve McCall to field the young stars of the future.
McCall's minnows acquitted themselves well and will feel a little aggrieved not to hold out for a draw in a game void of any real penetration, excitement or drama.
The Blues' first team are stretched thin and Aidan Collins was suspended for one match. Chris Hogg was making his third England Under-19 appearance in a week in a tournament in Moscow so McCall had to dip deep into the EADT-sponsored Ipswich Town Academy.
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With an average of 17 years and seven months, McCall's side was believed to be the youngest ever reserve team put out for a league match.
For Town, who won this title two seasons ago, skipper Nabil Abidallah at 21, was the oldest player, and first-year scholars Michael Synott and James Krause are both 16.
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Sam Morrow led the young Blues attack, less than 24 hours after making his first-team debut at Notts County the night before. He had little in the way of openings against a well-organised defence.
The Dons were not much older and it was little wonder the steward at the gate initially thought it was a school party and almost sent the coach to another car park.
He didn't and the Milton Keynes-based club put in a mature display.
Malvin Kamara and Ben Chorley had been in Stuart Murdoch's squad on Saturday, which lost 4-1 to the big boys.
Wimbledon had the edge in the first half and created the better openings. Welsh Under-19 keeper Lewis Price spread himself well to deny Wayne Gray, who went off after 33 minutes.
Price also made a good low save to deny Scott McDonald.
Chorley hit one over the bar from 25 yards and in the main the Dons were kept at long distance. That did not stop Jason Puncheon from hammering in a first-time drive from 22 yards to give Wimbledon the winner.
Ipswich Town Reserves: Price, Synott, Krause, Okay, Mitchell, Nash, Abidallah (Flack, 75) Atay Craig, 85) Morrow, Reid (Barron, 49) aand Robinson. Subs not used: Supple, Lorden.
Wimbledon: Worgan, Kamara, Lewington (Crooks, 75) Oyedele, Herzig, Chorley, Small (Deacons, 46) Harding, McDonald, Gray (Mackie, 33) and Puncheon. Subs not used: Martin, E'Beyer.
Referee: S Rubery. Attendance: 351