Rowe Nets Hat-Trick and Morris Two as U23s Hit Eight Against Hull
Monday, 20th Aug 2018 22:14 by James Ager
Danny Rowe hit a hat-trick as Town's U23s thrashed Hull City 8-0 in their first home league fixture of the new season at Portman Road on Monday evening. Ben Morris (pictured) netted two and Idris El Mizouni, Ben Folami and Jack Lankester also scored in front of watching first-team boss Paul Hurst.
The Blues, who were without Teddy Bishop who was withdrawn late on due to illness, lined up in a 4-1-4-1 formation with Emyr Huws filling the holding role in front of the back four. Rowe and Lankester were on the left and right side of midfield respectively and Morris was up front.
The visitors had the first attempt on goal early on but Max Sheaf missed the target with a chipped effort from the edge of the box. At the other end captain Shane McLoughlin controlled a left-sided cross from Bailey Clements before hitting a shot which was deflected over.
However on 11 McLoughlin crossed the ball in from the right and although Morris's initial header was clawed away by keeper Callum Burton, the frontman reacted quickest and bundled the loose ball over the line from close range.
It was nearly two soon after when Rowe beat his man on the left and delivered a fine low ball across the face of goal, which Tigers' left-back Matty Jacob diverted just past the far post for a corner.
Midway through the half, Chris Smith - who is on loan at Aldershot but is still able to feature for the U23s - played a fine ball into the feet of Morris who took a touch and shot across Burton, but the ball came off the foot of the far post and was cleared behind.
From the resultant corner, Huws's back-post header was deflected wide by a defender on the line.
Burton did well to collect Lankester's low left-foot shot at the first attempt soon after but he was powerless to prevent Rowe doubling Town's lead on 33 with a tap-in from close range after an inviting cross from Huws.
Less than a minute later it was three when Lankester slid the ball through to El Mizouni, and the French midfielder found the net with ease.
Two minutes before the break, the visitors had a great opportunity to pull a goal back when the ball was worked out to Billy Chadwick on the right, but he pulled his effort wide of the far post.
At half-time, Folami replaced Huws in what looked to be a pre-planned change and the Australian took just four minutes to find the net with a low shot from the edge of the area.
Five minutes later Town added a fifth when McLoughlin played a fine ball over the visitors' defence which Morris ran on to and did well to keep his first-time effort down and to beat Burton again.
Just after the hour mark Josh Emmanuel played a low cross into the box from the right and although Morris's touch facing away from goal was heavy, Lankester ran onto the ball and finished superbly with a first-time shot into the bottom corner which gave Burton no chance.
On 64 some more impressive work from Lankester out wide resulted in him delivering a fine cross into the area which found its way to Rowe at the back post, who was left with an easy tap in.
Five minutes later Town keeper Harry Wright ensured his clean sheet remained intact with a great one-handed save down low to deny Keane Lewis-Potter, before Emmanuel forced his way into the box at the other end and again teed up Rowe for a tap-in to complete the scoring.
In fairness to the young visitors, Town fielded an unusually strong side at this level but they completely dominated from start to finish and the score could easily have been into double figures.
Huws will have benefitted from some more minutes, while standout performances from the likes of Rowe, Morris and Lankester will undoubtedly have caught the eye of Hurst.
U23s: Wright, Emmanuel, Clements, Huws (Folami 46), C Smith, Ndaba, Lankester, El Mizouni (Crowe 76), Morris, Rowe (McKendry 76), McLoughlin. Unused: Ware, Marshall.
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