U21s Beat Millwall
Monday, 18th Mar 2013 21:11
Town’s U21s came from behind to beat Millwall 2-1 at Portman Road this evening. The visitors went ahead in the third minute via Charlie Penny but Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and schoolboy Matthew Clarke netted a goal in either half to give the Blues a deserved victory.
Overage outfielders Emmanuel-Thomas and Michael Chopra and keeper Scott Loach were included in the Town starting line-up. Schoolboy Clarke was again amongst the starters in a very young central midfield alongside first-year scholar Amir Berkane.
Emmanuel-Thomas, up front alongside Chopra, hit the game’s first shot in the third minute, slamming a 25-yard freekick not too far wide of Millwall keeper Tom Wellham’s right post.
Moments later, the Lions went ahead with their first attack of the game when midfielder Charlie Penny was played in on the right of the area and hit a shot across Loach and into the net.
There was a scare for the Blues in the ninth minute when Reece Brown was caught on possession by Jason Twum but the winger rushed his shot and screwed it well wide. At the other end, Byron Lawrence crossed deep to Cory Galvin, who did well to reach the ball but could only turn it to the keeper.
Town gradually started to dominate and they came very close to getting on terms in the 18th minute when, after good work from Brown, Emmanuel-Thomas hit a powerful strike on the turn which Wellham did well to turn on to his left post. Chopra was quickest to the loose ball but the keeper reacted superbly to stop his point-blank rebound.
A minute later, Lawrence’s shot deflected through to Wellham, then at the other end John Marquis saw a strike blocked with the Lions looking dangerous when breaking.
The Blues levelled on 22 when Brown played a ball down the right for Chopra to chase. The striker cut it back to Emmanuel-Thomas, who slid past the keeper from a few feet.
Soon after the goal Emmanuel-Thomas sent an overhead kick high into the air from Mings’s cross from the left.
Chances were rarer after the first 25 minutes, although on 36 Emmanuel-Thomas almost played Lawrence in on goal on the edge of the box only for a defender to intercept. The visitors had come more into it after Town’s spell on top around their goal but had been unable to test Loach further.
Town should have been in front in the 41st minute when Emmanuel-Thomas escaped down the Blues’ right from a quickly taken freekick. The former Arsenal man was clearly frustrated with himself as his cutback was claimed by the keeper rather than reaching Chopra on the edge of the six-yard box.
Moments later, Chopra should have done better when presented with the ball 30 yards out. Instead of taking it in on goal, he chose to hit a looping effort from distance which flew well over the bar.
The second half started just as the first had with an Emmanuel-Thomas freekick from distance, this one hitting the Lions wall.
There was little goalmouth action at either end in the opening 10 minutes of the second period but in the 54th minute Emmanuel-Thomas cut in from the right but his cross deflected off Zak Fagen and rather fortuitously into his keeper’s arms rather than into his own net.
Town went within a whisker of taking the lead in the 65th minute when Gunnar Thorsteinsson, playing at centre-half, diverted Lawrence’s corner from the left against the woodwork.
Millwall should have gone ahead on 66 when a loose ball fell to Marquis in space on the edge of the Town box but the Lions number nine lashed well wide when he should have done better.
A minute later the Blues went in front after a fine move down the left. Berkane and Emmanuel-Thomas interchanged passes before Chopra fed Town’s earlier scorer on the left of the area, from where he cut the ball across the six-yard area to schoolboy Clarke, who slammed it into the roof of the net for his first goal at U21 level.
Loach had been largely a spectator during the second half but in the 77th minute when earlier scorer Penny headed sub Danny Newman’s right-wing cross to the Town keeper’s arms.
Lawrence shot wide from distance on the left before the referee’s whistle signalled a victory for Mark Kennedy’s young side.
Town deserved the win on the overall balance of the game, having given away the early goal before they had really settled.
Emmanuel-Thomas and Chopra were always a handful for the Millwall backline, although on occasion trying things they probably wouldn’t have attempted in the first team, while the goal capped a fine performance from the promising Clarke, who only starts as a full-time scholar this summer and already looks far from out of place at this level.
Assistant boss Terry Connor took in the game from the sidelines with academy directory Bryan Klug and some of his coaches but there was no Mick McCarthy. New joint-MD Ian Milne watched much of the game from the tunnel.
Town U21s: Loach, Hammond, Mings, Berkane, Brown, Thorsteinsson, Galvin, Clarke, Emmanuel-Thomas, Chopra, Lawrence. Unused: Crowe, Robinson, Willbye, Marriott, Sowunmi.
Millwall U21s: Wellham, Saifa, Bender, Fagen (Oriogun 72), Malone, De Havilland, Penny, Sammoutis, Twum (Newman 75), Richards, Marquis. Unused: Hunter, Callaghan.
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 220 bloggers
The Moore You Ignore Mick by Mullet
Day 14 in the TWTD madhouse and all is far from clear. Months of second-rate drama and second-rate football seem to end with a quiet ovation for Mick McCarthy and his men. With his captain coming out in the media to air publicly the wounds of he and his colleagues, another young player is welcomed and warned off it by Mick.
The Identity Crisis of Modern Football by wkj
Like so many others my age, my Grandad bought me up on Ipswich Town. A great club with family ties, involvement and commitment to the larger Suffolk community, and a privilege to support. In those days it seems a lot of clubs had similar connections to their fans.
A Belated Christmas Carol of Sorts by monty_radio
The Marley deal was dead, no doubt about it. Scrooge looked again as the knocker smiled in a kindly, fair-play sort of fashion, then slowly faded away. He turned the key and entered his very own gloomy arena. A large chunk of ceiling, disturbed by the mere turning of the key, struck him as he climbed the rickety stair to the upper section.
Positivity by bbg
None of the club’s successful managers over the years had massive resources available to them, but none have had to compete in leagues as inequitable as the current Championship.
New Year Resolutions by Brownie
There is an old saying that whatever you do on the first day of the year you will do all year round. You could argue that if you change that to the first game of the year then it applies pretty well to Ipswich Town. Sometimes you need to look back to look forward and this is one of those times.
Ipswich Town Polls
[ Vote here ]