Young Dean makes his mark

IT took Dean Bowditch about 30 seconds to make his mark on his debut as Ipswich took the Pride of Anglia title in no uncertain terms.The England Under-17 striker, included in the senior squad for the first time, made his debut as a 71st minute substitute for Darren Ambrose.

IT took Dean Bowditch about 30 seconds to make his mark on his debut as Ipswich took the Pride of Anglia title in no uncertain terms.

The England Under-17 striker, included in the senior squad for the first time, made his debut as a 71st minute substitute for Darren Ambrose. He immediately beat Craig Fleming before pulling the ball back to Tommy Miller, whose shot was cleared by Adam Drury but fell for Fabian Wilnis to belt in his second goal of the season.

Then with two minutes of the four added on at the end, he latched onto a Wilnis clearance to play the ball in for Darren Bent who raced from inside his own area before beating Robert Green to send the Blues supporters ecstatic.

Another from the Bishop's Stortford stable, Bowditch has been with Ipswich since he was 10-years-old.


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Manchester United tried to prise him away, claiming if he flew from Stansted he was within the hour and a half limit required for Academy youngsters.

But Ipswich fought off the approach and after making a handful of appearances in the reserves, including a goal against Derby's second string on Tuesday, Royle has promoted him.

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At 16 years and 260 days Bowditch is one of Town's youngest ever debutants but he showed no nerves and Town will not overburden the exciting youngster and he will be fed in gradually.

Royle said: "He was on the line bouncing up and down wanting the ball to go out so he could get on. I told him to go and enjoy himself. He will be back with the under 19s because he is not really strong enough yet to start. He will be fed in and out of the reserves but we are very content with him, he has a special talent.

Royle said: "Ipswich reserve watchers will know about Dean but his time will come. He is still an Under-17 player, he was one of four Academy players, and we are very excited about him.

"He had a hand in setting up both goals by playing two good balls in. He has that youthful impudence and exuberance to take players on."

Fabian Wilnis and Darren Bent sent Town supporters in delirium as Ipswich got the deserved win.

Royle said: "They were two terrific goals. Once Darren had got clear no-one was going to catch him, he is normally a calm finisher and he had missed a one-on-one in the first half."

Town should have had a penalty when keeper Green tripped the impressive Matt Richards while City claimed Thomas Gaardsoe had fouled Mark Rivers but Graham Laws denied both sides.

Royle was less than happy with a Craig Fleming high tackle which jarred Darren Ambrose's knee and left the Town teenager vomiting on the pitch.

Royle said: "I'm not going to make points about the referee but Darren Ambrose limped off after two very heavy tackles. Both teams might have had a penalty and we could have been playing against ten men because if you are booking someone for a deliberate elbow then it should be a red card offence, and believe me I don't want to be playing against 10 men. So I was not best pleased with the lack of protection."

It was another clean sheet from Andy Marshall who had to endure some vitriolic abuse from the home support. Royle added: "I'm delighted for Andy coming back (and coping with) such a hostile reception. He was outstanding and although he didn't have a lot to do, he made his presence felt which he has not always done and made at least one great save with his feet."

The win takes Town to eighth place, a point behind Norwich and on the shoulder of the top six.

Royle added: "I don't think anyone can doubt that we deserved to win.

"We missed a couple of chances and at half time my only concern was that we would get the goals we deserved.

"Big Iwan was always a threat but Tom (Gaardsoe) played him very well. I'd find it hard to have a man of the match as they were all very good but there was an outstanding full league debut from Matt Richards

"It was a big win for us and I'm delighted for our supporters."

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