Four Second-Half Goals Send U18s Through in FA Youth Cup
Tuesday, 4th Dec 2018 21:26
Ipswich’s U18s eventually cruised into the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup at Portman Road tonight after a flurry of goals in the early stages of the second half saw them defeat Andover Town 4-0.
The scoreline was blank at half-time thanks to a combination of sound defending by the visitors and rather wayward finishing by the Ipswich side, who carved out but failed to convert a number of chances.
Credit must go to the Andover boys for a plucky performance against the odds and they should be proud of holding Ipswich at bay for as long as they did.
They had survived six games in the competition to earn their trip to Portman Road and although they were well beaten in the end, tiredness clearly taking its toll as the game progressed, overall they gave a good account of themselves.
Idris El Mizouni, already a Tunisian U23 international, shone for Ipswich, who netted their first goal soon after the interval through Armando Dobra (pictured), with Kai Brown (penalty), Tommy Hughes and schoolboy substitute Harley Curtis completing the rout.
The visitors were first to threaten in the fourth minute when the Blues failed to clear a corner. Luke Rae tried an ambitious overhead effort but the ball flew straight into the arms of home keeper Toby Egan.
Left-back Tommy Smith was close to giving Ipswich a 15th minute lead when he sent in a cross from the left to which Andover goalkeeper Jack Martin seemed slow to react.
But Martin just managed to scoop the ball out when it seemed it was destined to fly over his head and into the net.
Hughes was next up for the Blues as he tried a snap shot from just outside the area but it failed to trouble Martin as it slipped wide with a bit to spare.
Dobra rightly collected the game’s first yellow card in the 18th minute for an overzealous challenge on the visitors’ rangy midfielder George Farrelly, who had been showing some neat touches and awareness.
Adem Atay and Kieron Dyer’s side were dominating possession but wasteful in front of goal and when El Mizouni had an attempt from distance it lacked both pace and direction.
Andover left-back and captain Drew Augustus made an immaculately timed challenge to halt Dobra’s run into the danger area as Ipswich continued to push for the opening goal.
Then El Mizouni showed some neat footwork as he waltzed past a couple of challenges in the area, but when he pulled the trigger the shot was immediately blocked as the visitors continued to defend impressively.
Not that it was merely a rearguard action by Andover, who had several players looking comfortable on the ball and not afraid to express themselves as they broke upfield.
El Mizouni had a shot charged down before another superbly timed challenge, this time by Will Archer on Brown, prevented the striker reaching a tempting low centre from the left by team-mate Dobra.
Andover were quick to reply on the counter-attack when Rae let fly with an effort that sailed high and wide of the target and home keeper Egan was rarely in action throughout the first period.
The nearest thing to a goal before the interval came when Dobra’s shot was brilliantly beaten away at point blank range by Martin, who recovered quickly to make a second save, this time from Brown, by which time the flag was raised for offside.
Three minutes before the break El Mizouni teed up an outstanding chance for Lounes Foudil, who miscued right in front of goal and allowed Martin to save easily.
Ipswich showed plenty of attacking flair but were often guilty of over elaborating, although credit also had to go to the visitors for their excellent defending, the latest in a series of fantastic challenges seeing Christian Rowe deny El Mizouni.
Within two minutes of the restart the deadlock was finally broken when Hughes darted into the area and from his low centre Dobra turned and slammed the ball past Martin.
The Ipswich lads looked as if a weight had been lifted off their shoulders and further goals were quick to follow, first of all from the spot when Brown coolly converted after he was brought down by Augustus.
Hughes made it 3-0 with a well-taken finish and Brown looked a good bet to add a fourth when he burst through. But Rowe made a timely tackle to slow his progress and Martin was able to gather.
All three players limped out of the incident, Brown and Martin both needing treatment before the Ipswich player made way for substitute Tyreece Simpson.
Ipswich, with boss Paul Lambert joining staff members Stuart Taylor, Matt Gill and Jim Henry to watch the latter stages after the AGM, did add a fourth goal in the 77th minute when substitute Harley Curtis met a cross from the left from Hughes to head low into the net.
Andover were close to a late consolation goal but Farrelly’s dipping shot, although it beat Egan, just slipped over.
Andover: Martin, Holmes, Rowe, Archer, Augustus (Eatwell 78), Farrelly, Archer, Weeks (Russell 58), McKiernan, Nicholas (Taylor 75), Rae. Subs not used: Lowden, Jordan. Referee: Michael Robertson-Tant.
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