Young duo in impressive form
Randers FC 0 Ipswich Town 0PICKING the positives out of this game was not particularly easy, writes Derek Davis.Town kept a clean sheet, youngsters Antonio Murray and Scott Barron did quite well and the cheerleaders looked good at half time.
Randers FC 0 Ipswich Town 0
PICKING the positives out of this game was not particularly easy, writes Derek Davis.
Town kept a clean sheet, youngsters Antonio Murray and Scott Barron did quite well and the cheerleaders looked good at half time.
Apart from that there was little to warm the 1,200 shivering spectators, around 200 following Ipswich, in a game which badly needed a goal.
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Richard Naylor hit a post with a stooped header from a Jim Magilton free-kick a minute from time but there was little else to talk about in a goalless draw which was a good work-out for many of the squad.
There is little doubt the team which starts at Aalborg on Friday will look a lot more like the one which will start the season, barring any unexpected new signings.
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Town got off to a lively start with Mark Rivers beating three men to get into the area, but Kim Neilsen's covering tackle cleared the danger.
The former Norwich and Crewe front-man later shot wide after Tommy Miller had an effort well saved by Christian Kemph.
Georges Santos partnered Drissa Diallo in central defence in the first half and headed wide from a left-footed free kick from Matt Richards, who was playing in midfield.
Danish Under-20 international Mikel Rask then cleared before the lively Richards could tuck away.
Town's defence was then caught flat by a ball over the top and Morgens Laursen squared for the unmarked Lars Larsen, who blazed the chance high and wide.
Nocko Jockovic headed over a clear header from Kasper Rynkerby's cross.
Substitute Rasmus Katholm caused problems when he came on at half time and only a smart save from Lewis Price prevented a goal after the former Vivild If striker raced on to Slovakian trailist Radoslav Kral's through ball, which again caught Town square at the back.
Dean Bowditch lacked his usual sharpness but was unfortunate not to put one effort away after good play by Murray and Mitchell, but substitute keeper Martin Laursen made a great one-handed save to claw away from the top corner.
The young England striker looked less impressive when an attempted chip, from a superb Kevin Horlock pass, was way too strong.
Darren Bent was his replacement but he was thwarted early on when he latched on to a good ball from Barron but his powerful shot was pushed away by Laursen.
He was unlucky to see a downward header cleared off the line after it hit his own man Richard Naylor.
Randers FC starting XI: Kemph, Rask, Rasmussen, Nielsen, Pedersen, Rynkerby, Kral, Thygesen, L Larsen, Jokovic and Laursen. Second-half substitutes: Rathmus, Holdgard, J Larsen, M Larsen, Lauritsen, Andersen,
Ipswich Town starting XI: Price, Mitchell, Barron, Diallo, Santos, Richards, Rivers, Miller, Counago, Bowditch, Murray. Second-half substitutes: Magilton 46, Kuqi 46, Naylor 46, Horlock 46. Bent, 72, Wilnis, 78.
n Seven-year-old Tommy Miller, who was also a mascot in a friendly last season, led the team out with his elder namesake as skipper.
The youngster from Haverhill was part of a group of 14 who travelled over with Gemini Travel on a journey which took 22 hours.
Sadly, the owner of Gemini, and regular on Town trips, Ed Nicholls was unable to make the journey as he was undergoing heart by-pass surgery at Addenbrookes Hospital.