U23s Beat Burnley to Extend Lead at Top of Table
Monday, 4th Mar 2019 16:56 by Blair Ferguson
First-half goals from Idris El Mizouni and Barry Cotter saw Town's U23s defeat Burnley 2-0 at Playford Road to extend their lead at the top of Professional Development League Two South table to seven points.
Ipswich had first-team experience in their side with Andre Dozzell, Josh Emmanuel and Kayden Jackson all starting at a very windy Playford Road.
The visitors came into the match on a seven-game unbeaten run in all competitions and had the chance to close the gap on Leeds at the top of the northern section.
However, after securing their place in the last 16 of the Premier League Cup on Friday night manager Steve Stone decided to make changes to his side to manage the two-day gap between games.
The Clarets started the more threatening of the two teams with Rob Harker’s header forcing Harry Wright into an early save at his near post following George Wilson’s corner.
Ipswich started to look livelier and use the pace of Jackson up front, but after holding off his man and taking a good first touch towards goal the striker was brought down by Teddy Perkins, who was promptly booked.
A series of half chances followed for Ipswich with Dozzell having a volley blocked on the edge of the area in the 10th minute before Armando Dobra drove towards the edge of the box to shoot, but his effort was also blocked.
The visitors didn’t trouble the Ipswich defence for a majority of the first half but the Blues were caught trying to play out from the back and it took good judgement from Wright to get a touch on the ball to take it away from Mitch George who otherwise would have had an open goal to aim for.
Burnley’s five-minute spell of pressure continued and a well-flighted cross from George was almost just missed by Lewis Richardson at the back post.
Shortly after that a fantastic sliding tackle from Emmanuel prevented Tinashe Chakwana from crossing from a dangerous position in the 27th minute.
Ipswich absorbed the Burnley pressure and quickly got back on track. Jackson surged down the right wing and into the box where he hit a solid low pass towards El Mizouni who calmly guided it into the goal just before the half-hour mark.
Five minutes later the lead was doubled in contentious circumstances. Dozzell’s high freekick from the right wing was caught by the wind as it travelled towards the far post. Burnley goalkeeper Aiden Stone appeared to have claimed but Cotter jumped with him, knocking it from his grasp and down onto the goal-line fand the Irishman back-heeled in.
Burnley should have pulled a goal back before the break when George’s scuffed effort fell to Richardson, but his volley from six-yards out rattled against the crossbar.
The second half offered far less goalmouth action but Wright was needed early on to stop a potential Clarets comeback. Will Harris curled a shot towards goal with his left foot that forced the Town keeper to get down low to his right to parry away. The ball went into the path of Chakwana whose efforts from yards out was saved by Wright who did very well to get up quickly and block.
Ipswich’s goal seemed to be living a charmed life at times and George’s freekick from just outside the box hit the crossbar and went over as Burnley looked for a way back into the game on the hour mark.
U23s: Wright, Emmanuel, Cotter (Clements 70), Ndaba, Webber, McGavin, Dozzell, Dobra (Brown 67), Dawkins, El Mizouni, Jackson (Hughes 75). Unused Subs: Egan, Crowe.
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