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Keane and Nolan Continue Comebacks as U23s Lose to Leeds
Friday, 23rd Aug 2019 15:51 by Blair Ferguson

Town’s U23s lost 1-0 to Leeds United at Playford Road earlier this afternoon as Will Keane and Jon Nolan continued their comebacks from injury, an early second-half goal from Ryan Edmondson enough to earn the visitors three points, while Kai Brown failed to convert a later spot-kick for the Blues.

Town included three trialists, ex-Thetford midfielder Quevin Castro, who has been with the club since pre-season and is understood to be in the process of being offered a professional contract, Luke Spokes and Tom Leighton.

Leighton is a 19-year-old Northern Ireland U19 international, who was released by Watford in the summer, having previously been with Motherwell.

Spokes, a central midfielder, also 19, recently joined Yate Town having previously been with Mangotsfield United. Earlier in the summer, Spokes spent time on trial with Premier League Burnley.

The Blues came under a lot of pressure at the beginning of the first half and came close to going behind, but trialist Leighton did well to slide towards his own goal and block a low cross before clearing it away from danger.

In the 11th minute, Ipswich began to show some attacking intent thorough Armando Dobra, who robbed the ball from a Leeds player before skipping past two men and dragging a shot wide of the left post.

Harry Wright was then called into action for the first of many times in the half. Whites skipper Jack Clarke closed in on goal and stabbed a shot on target, but Wright got to it well to save.

The Leeds pressure continued with Niall Huggins’s shot from the edge of the box brilliantly saved by Wright before Corrie Ndaba slid in to block Edmondson’s follow-up.

Dobra, Ipswich’s brightest attacking threat throughout the game, continued to trouble the Leeds defence and did well to get the ball to Keane’s feet in the box, but the striker couldn’t hold on to it, and the chance went.

With five minutes left of the half, Wright provided another fantastic save. A cross in from the left was headed goalwards from close range, but Wright got down quickly to push it away.

Just before the break, Wright outdid himself with another fantastic stop. A deflected effort fell to Edmondson at the back post and his shot looked to be going in the centre of the goal, but Wright managed to reach behind himself to block.

The Town keeper started the second half as he finished the first and rose quickly to push a stinging effort over the bar.

The Blues’ only collective lapse in concentration resulted in a goal. They were slow to reach after a drop ball and allowed Kun Temenuzhkov to put in a deep cross to the back post which was confidently headed in by Edmondson.

Dobra continued to be the main attacking outlet for Ipswich, and on the hour mark had another run at goal. The skilful winger made his way past three Leeds players, but once again his shot failed to hit the target.

With the Blues looking for a leveller, Wright was called into action for a fifth time to keep the deficit to one. Edmondson struck from inside the six-yard box, and the Ipswich keeper reacted quickly to get a hand behind the ball and pushed it on to the bar.

Six minutes later, Town were gifted a way back into the game when Brown was brought down in the box for a clear penalty. The foremr Grays Athletic youngster placed his effort low to the right centre of the goal, but it was met by the strong hand of Kamil Miazek who kept it out.

Ipswich didn’t properly come to life until the last 10 minutes of the game in which they had three opportunities to get a point.

Substitute Tyreece Simpson, who replaced Keane at half-time, hit a stinging shot from 20 yards that was spilt by Miazek into the path of Dobra, but the Leeds keeper was up quickly and blocked the shot.

Dobra then turned provider for another sub Dylan Crowe who he put clean through one-on-one, but the substitute hit his shot at a comfortable height for Miazek who blocked it with his left arm.

It was then Crowe’s turn to provide a chance, this time his deep freekick in the 91st minute found Nolan unmarked in front of goal, but the midfielder’s header went wide of the right post.

Despite his late miss, Nolan saw out the 90 minutes at a comfortable pace and wasn’t afraid to put himself about, including a strong tackle in the first half.

Keane, who is recovering from hamstring surgery, put in a hard-working shift in his 45 minutes on the pitch and was required to contest a lot of high balls and to chase people down. The former loanee did have the ball at his feet in the box, but it managed to get away from him, which perhaps it wouldn’t have done in another two games time.

Trialist Castro spent a little bit too much time on the ball and didn’t have much of an impact considering the time he had in possession, although he did win it on a number of occasions.

Centre-half Leighton had a steady game and made a vital sliding block and clearance in the first half, while Spokes performed steadily during his 57 minutes on the pitch.

U23s: Wright, Cotter, Clements, Spokes (Scott 57), Leighton, Ndaba, Brown, Castro (Crowe 83), Keane (Simpson 46), Nolan, Dobra. Unused: Alley, Smith.

Photo: ITFC

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Linkboy13 added 17:57 - Aug 23
Think i witnessed one of the best goalkeeping displays for a long time by Harry Wright against a very strong Leeds team it proved to be a good workout for Keane and Nolan Dobra looked dangerous at times but needs to play with his head and release the ball a bit more Castro was disappointing got caught in possession a lot and looked short of fitness for fulltime football. Town threatened more in the last quarter of the game and also missed a penalty but they were mostly second best.

Upthetown1970 added 18:32 - Aug 23
Looking at the team we put out today I was looking forward to seeing a few goals. If it wasn't for Wright in goal Leeds would have embarrassed us at home. Keane was way off and it will take him a lot of matches to get a go with the first team. Nolan another who needs to step up in these type of matches. Dobra just needs to realise there are other players in the team as he is playing too much with his head down. Over all not a great display from a team on paper that looked very strong. I'm not sure many of the players hearts were in playing for the u23 side. One real positive was the outstanding display from Wright, well done lad by far the best player on the pitch.

Josh271092 added 19:54 - Aug 23
This game wasn’t about Keane or Nolan. For me this was about Wright and Dobra. It was an outstanding performance from Harry Wright who pulled off 3 or 4 truly world class saves from point blank range. Armando Dobra is also going to be one hell of a player, only turned 18 a few months back and goes past players like they’re not there. Occasionally can make one or two poor decisions when he gets into decent positions but that will improve with age and games. I say stick him in the first team and see what he can do on the right wing.

runningout added 16:02 - Aug 24
sounding like first team. Only waking up at end of game! Onwards

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