Hurst Watches as U23s Draw at Lowestoft
Wednesday, 18th Jul 2018 23:50 by James Ager
First-team boss Paul Hurst watched on as the Blues' U23 side were held to a 1-1 draw in a friendly at Lowestoft Town on Wednesday evening. Aaron Drinan gave Town a half-time lead but Ben Fowkes equalised for the hosts shortly after the break.
The Blues fielded Barry Cotter at right-back with skipper Dylan Crowe in a central midfield role alongside Brett McGavin and Ben Folami on the right and Jordan Roberts on the left of midfield.
Lowestoft came close to taking an early lead when Connor Ingram dived to meet Shaun Bammant's ball in from the left, but the frontman glanced his header wide of the far post.
However Town did break the deadlock on 14 when a tricky run into the area from Jack Lankester allowed him to set the ball back to strike partner Drinan, who side-footed home from close range.
As the half hour mark approached, the Trawlerboys came within inches of levelling the scores. A good move forward saw Fowkes released through on goal but he rolled the ball inches wide of the target.
Six minutes later Lankester thought he'd added his name to the scoresheet when he converted following a fine reverse pass from Brett McGavin, but a flag had already been raised for offside.
On 51 the hosts equalised following a quick counter-attack. Fowkes again found himself bearing down on Harry Wright's goal but this time he composed himself and drilled the ball hard and low and into the net.
The young Blues responded well and Corrie Ndaba did well to keep a long-range effort down but keeper Elvis Putnins was equal to it. Lankester fired over soon after and was then withdrawn after appearing to pick up a slight knock.
With 10 minutes remaining Cotter burst forward and cut in from the right before firing a left-foot shot just wide of the near top corner and then a few minutes later Ryley Scott, who we understand is set to sign as a second-year scholar in the coming weeks, hit an effort from 25 yards that was destined for the bottom corner until Putnins got down well to gather.
Town dominated the ball for most of the game and particularly in the first half they pressed well, and high up the pitch.
Lankester picked up an assist and again impressed up front, but Roberts struggled to make any impact on the game and Cotter conceded possession on a number of occasions throughout.
Gerard Nash's U23s are in action again tomorrow evening when they travel to AFC Sudbury for another friendly (KO 7.45pm).
U23s: Wright, Cotter, Webber (Clements 56), McGavin (Scott 78), Marshall, Ndaba, Folami, Crowe (Dobra 68), Drinan, Lankester (K Brown 56) Roberts. Unused: Ware, El Mizouni. Att: 282.
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