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Drinan Nets First for Blues and Morris Hits Two as U23s Beat QPR
Monday, 15th Jan 2018 14:53

Aaron Drinan scored his first goal for the Blues and Ben Morris two strikes from distance as Town’s U23s comfortably beat QPR 3-0 at a windy and rainy Playford Road. Drinan followed up a blocked Morris shot on 48, Morris doubled the lead in the 54th minute and then completed the scoring with the goal of the afternoon with 14 minutes remaining.

Town fielded a strong side featuring a number of first-teamers with the U18s in FA Youth Cup action against Dagenham and Redbridge at Portman Road tomorrow evening (KO 7pm).

Luke Hyam and Kevin Bru were in the centre of midfield with Freddie Sears on the left and Morris on the right of Tristan Nydam behind lone striker Drinan.

Adam McDonnell was at left-back, a position he played on occasion when on loan at Aldershot, with skipper Shane McLoughlin at right-back. Chris Smith and George Fowler were the centre-halves, while Michael Crowe was in goal.

On the Blues bench was Mohammed Sagaf, a 20-year-old trialist from Waltham Forest, who plays as attacking midfielder.

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, who looked to be carrying more than a little timber, started for QPR.

Town were first to threaten in the seventh minute when Sears escaped on the left but QPR keeper Marcin Brzozowski was out quickly to block. Drinan’s rebound hit a defender, then the Irishman hit a subsequent effort over.

The former Waterford man ought to have opened the scoring in the 17th minute when he diverted McLoughlin’s right-wing cross towards goal from six yards but too weakly to test Brzozowski. Neither side threatened again in a scruffy, wind-and-rain-affected half.

Three minutes after the restart the Blues took the lead. Morris fired in a low effort from the right of the box which was blocked and the ball fell to the unmarked Drinan, who slammed his first goal in a Town shirt into the corner of the net.

Nydam, playing wide left in the second half with Sears up front, blocked a Emmanuel-Thomas freekick on 51, but three minutes later the Blues doubled their lead.

Bru’s strike from 25 yards out was blocked and the ball fell to Morris, who looped a shot over the QPR keeper and into the top corner after taking a deflection on the way.

Emmanuel-Thomas failed to connect properly with a free header for the visitors, then on the hour the Blues had a goal ruled out for offside.

Following a well-worked freekick, Morris took the ball on before hitting a low shot which Nydam turned on into the corner of the net, but from an offside position. Morris’s strike may well have been on its way in prior to Nydam’s touch.

Two minutes later, the England U19 international was replaced by trialist Sagaf, while QPR withdrew Deshane Dalling for Ody Alfa. Moments later, Olamide Shodipo curled high and wide for the West Londoners.

Ariel Borysiuk saw a shot deflect wide in the 72nd minute, before sub Wallen similarly saw an effort diverted wide by Blues trialist Sagaf, who moments later failed to test the QPR keeper with a shot from distance.

On 76 Morris made it 3-0 with the goal of the afternoon, the former England U18 smashing a brilliant strike into the same top corner as his earlier goal from 25 yards on the right. Ben Folami immediately replaced Bru.

Morris wasn’t far away from his hat-trick a minute later but scraped across the face and wide from Drinan’s cutback from the right.

Sears, who had put in his usual all-action display but with his only chance the early first-half opportunity, was replaced by Conor McKendry, who was being watched by Northern Ireland U21 Ian Baraclough.

The sub almost added a fourth immediately but headed Drinan’s right-sided cross over.

Folami blasted a shot from distance at Brzozowski on 84 with the Blues having dominated the game once they had gone two goals in front.

Two minutes later Wallen hit a weak shot through to Crowe, who had a quiet afternoon.

On 88, Folami turned the ball wide at the near post after excellent work down the right from Drinan, who will have been pleased with his overall display.

Soon after, Australian striker Folami saw a subsequent effort deflect through to the QPR keeper.

After the scrappy first half, the Blues dominated the second period and might well have won even more comfortably in the end.

Boss Mick McCarthy watched the whole game standing alongside Aldershot manager Gary Waddock, who currently has Blues pair Fowler and James Blanchfield on loan.

New French defender Chris Goteni, who is waiting for the paperwork to be completed on his move to the Blues from Saint-Apollinaire, was also among those watching the match.

U23s: M Crowe, McLoughlin, McDonnell, Bru (Folami 76), Fowler, C Smith, Morris, Hyam, Drinan, Nydam (Sagaf 62), Sears (McKendry 78). Unused: Webber, Wright.

QPR: Brzozowski, Kakay, Williams, Borysiuk, Philips (Fox 68), Dalling (Alfa 62), Akinola, Tilt (Wallen 71), Shodipo, Emmanuel-Thomas, Perch. Unused: Bowman.

Photo: TWTD

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jayessess added 14:58 - Jan 15
Surely, surely, it's time to give that "last 20 minutes to see if we can get something" sub spot to one of the kids rather that Sears?

weddings added 15:00 - Jan 15
We have the players but a manager without a clue. We need a new manager with passion and drive.

Northstandveteran added 15:01 - Jan 15
Sounds like some positives.
Perhaps a few promotions to the first team?

lightingblue added 15:04 - Jan 15
Do the under 23’s get many spectators out of interest?

Soroche added 15:08 - Jan 15
Match report very accurate. Well done whoever it is.
Much better second half. Morris a good game even without the goals and Mohammed Safar's performance as sub looked promising.

1966 added 15:09 - Jan 15
JET Carrying more Than a Little Timber , I Like your Reporting. 😁😁 Congrats Drinan 🖒🖒

pegasus added 15:29 - Jan 15
Anyone know how Woolfenden is doing during his spell on loan at Bromley?

Che added 15:40 - Jan 15
If the manager hasn't got a clue then who was it who signed these young players. Was he excluded from the decision making process?

Currie10 added 15:51 - Jan 15
Enlighten us Weddings - who is this manager you speak about oh wise one?

Currie10 added 15:52 - Jan 15
Also, seems a great link with us and Aldershot at present.

Maybe when more come back, McDonnell could go back for a while and maybe Ben Morris - who seems to have made massive strides this season and could do with some first team footy out on loan this term I'd say.

maninashed added 15:54 - Jan 15
McCarthy obviously has an eye for player and several of these kids have been on the bench. However he is scared of using them other in cup games he is happy to lose. Marriott is a good example - brought on for a few minutes in a couple of games and then released because he never made any difference to the result. Sad.

Bluetone added 15:54 - Jan 15
Ben Morris Evans next nice little earner I can hear him salivating from here.

pragmatic added 16:14 - Jan 15
Sorry currie 10 should hav marked up

Lightningboy added 16:15 - Jan 15
Feel sorry for Sears..he was a decent little player in his first season or so but McCarthy’s constant mis-use of him has wrecked his confidence in front of goal.

Would prefer to see him taken out of the firing line until a decent manager comes along and gets his confidence going the meantime I think we’d all like to see Drinnan & Morris given some game time towards the end of matches (and not just as injury time subs).

Northstandveteran added 16:26 - Jan 15
Lightning boy
100% agree with your comments about Sears.
Still a long way to go until the end of the season, his time may yet come

Spanishblueblood added 16:44 - Jan 15
Sorry Currie10, marked you up by mistake!

dirtydingusmagee added 17:13 - Jan 15
Well done Arron good luck to you, don't get f####d up like Freddie.

dirtydingusmagee added 17:28 - Jan 15
Lightningboy spot on I get fed up hearing people saying Sears aint up to Championship, ffs when he came to town he was on fire,we were as we have been for f'n years in Championship, but then the wise one from the north decided to play him out of position, so then he became a scapegoat, people who want Sears out piss me off, McCarthy is good only for ruining young players and talking about how good he is , or more like thinks he is.

Gcon added 18:08 - Jan 15
Always such a cheerful view on life, Dirtymingus

weddings added 19:39 - Jan 15
The Two From Lincoln City would be brilliant young and know what they are doing.

oldegold added 20:54 - Jan 15
agree with lightningboy..Sears is a very good player but misused by our bone headed still a good player for us if used properly by a manager who understands tactics and football played on the ground. I'm with Freddy..

algarvefan added 01:25 - Jan 16
What does Ben Morris have to do to get a first team game, come on Mick.

harlingblue added 01:58 - Jan 16
A fine win for the U23s in wet and windy conditions. Aways in control of the game, even in a rather shot shy first half, the Town stamped their authority during the second period, scoring three scorching goals. Now lets all support the U18s in Tuesday nights Cup game at Portman Road, a third win for the Club in the space of 4 days would give all supporters a big lift.

massivemole added 07:32 - Jan 16
Irrelevant- if can't get on the pitch whilst 1-0 down in an FA CUP tie after being bigged up all week, then she's not good no to get a game. Best we can hope for is a couple of games once we are safe from relegation.

BlueBlood90 added 09:03 - Jan 16
How is Ben Morris never even mentioned in getting into the first team squad? He seems to bang goals in every game. We'll probably release him soon and he'll be another Jack Marriott.

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