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U23s Beat Charlton to Stay Top
Monday, 17th Dec 2018 15:52 by Blair Ferguson

Second-half goals from Conor McKendry and Ben Folami secured Ipswich Town’s U23s three points against their Charlton Athletic counterparts, a 2-0 victory keeping them top of the Professional Development League Two South table going into the new year.

A stunning curling strike from McKendry opened the scoring following a frantic but goalless first half of chances for both sides and Folami’s injury-time goal ensured Charlton would leave Suffolk with nothing despite dominating the closing exchanges.

The opening 45 minutes saw plenty of chances for both sides but it was Charlton who threatened early in the fourth minute. Jordan Zemura took the ball from his own half and into the Ipswich area and picked out Reeco Hackett-Fairchild, but his shot was saved by Harry Wright.

Ipswich should have been ahead in the eighth minute when McKendry found Idris El Mizouni in the middle of the box. The Tunisian U23 international’s shot from nine yards was hit straight at the goalkeeper with space open either side for what would have been an opener.

Opportunities were squandered by Australian U19 international Folami, who overran the ball into the goalkeeper’s arms, and El Mizouni who hit a speculative shot wide of the left post, but the chances kept coming for Ipswich.

Ten minutes before the break Ipswich right-back Barry Cotter came close with a 25-yard shot that dipped into the turf before bouncing into the left post and away from danger.

Zemura caused Ipswich trouble again down the left with another solo run into the box passed Ipswich defenders before firing over the bar.

Both teams lacked the composure and crisp passing they showed in the first half after the break, leading to 45 minutes of few chances.

Although McKendry and Folami scored the goals for Ipswich, it was Wright who kept his team in the game. The keeper got down very well to push Hackett-Fairchild’s shot across goal away from danger in the 62nd minute and produced an equally impressive save to deny Wilberforce Ocran.

Ipswich had struggled to create chances and it took some individual brilliance from McKendry to open the scoring in the 71st minute.

The winger picked the ball up on the right following a corner and cut inside into the box before curling the ball across goal with his left-foot where it hit the underside of the bar in the far corner before bouncing in.

The goal sparked Ipswich into life and Folami came close with a chance of his own. A great first touch to bring the ball down in the box, and a good second touch to take advantage of the space, left the right side of the goal open, but Ashley Maynard-Brewer was quick to get down and push the shot away.

McKendry, buoyed by his goal, looked to add a second in the 79th minute. The Northern Irishman took the ball from the right wing and skipped past his man before shooting across goal with Maynard-Brewer doing enough to save the low effort.

Charlton piled on the pressure in the closing ten minutes and it took a 93rd-minute goal from Folami to settle the nerves for Town, who remain unbeaten at home all season.

The striker took the ball into the area while holding off his man and eventually struck the ball into the goal as he fell backwards to seal the three points.

Wright, Cotter, Clements (Webber 88), McGavin, Marshall, Ndaba, McKendry (Hughes 92), Dobra, Folami, El Mizouni, Drinan (Brown 88). Unused: Simpson, Egan.

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Photo: ITFC

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Pilgrimblue added 16:06 - Dec 17
Good to hear that McKendry is back on scoresheet as he had a good patch last season and looked on verge of 1st team squad. Bet PL was pleased to see more success with U23s.

dirtydingusmagee added 16:17 - Dec 17
well done lads, Folami continues to impress .

slaughteredskipper added 17:33 - Dec 17
Is that Myles Kenlock in the picture but not named in the teamsheet?

marco007 added 10:16 - Dec 18
This is the only league that matters :)

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