Morris Nets Twice as U23s Win at Coventry
Monday, 27th Jan 2020 16:19 by Darren Campbell
Ben Morris netted a second-half brace as a dominant Ipswich Town U23s side ran out 3-0 winners away to Coventry City, with Liam Gibbs also on the scoresheet.
The game started quietly at the Alan Higgs Centre, the only chance of the opening 15 minutes coming for Armando Dobra who struck wide.
Five minutes later, Morris laid the ball back for Brett McGavin who fired off target from the edge of the box. At the other end, Charlie Wakefield had the ball in the net for Coventry, but was ruled offside.
Dobra’s persistence set up an opportunity for Tommy Hughes on 25 minutes but he could only fire high and wide from the edge of the box.
Barry Cotter then picked up the first yellow card of the game before Zak Brown looked to have been brought down in the area by Coventry keeper Tom Billson, but with no penalty awarded.
But Town were not to be denied for much longer and took the lead on 35 minutes, Dobra and Brown setting up Gibbs on the edge of the box who fired home.
The final ten minutes of the half then saw a flurry of chances for the Blues youngsters, Morris drawing a sharp save from Billson before Cotter headed narrowly wide from the resulting corner.
Some neat interplay between Brown and Hughes led to the latter firing straight at Billson before the Coventry keeper was again tested a minute later, McGavin forcing him into a low save from a freekick before Morris was then denied on the follow-up.
Cotter was next to test Billson, firing a shot which was parried over before Morris again drew a save from the hosts’ keeper shortly before the half-time whistle blew.
Morris had been causing the home side all sorts of trouble during the first 45 minutes and was at it again shortly after the interval, a clever flick setting him off on a run down the right before trying to square for Brown in the middle, only to put the ball slightly behind him.
With the game approaching the hour mark, Coventry began to carve out some rare chances of their own, Wakefield finding Jodi Jones in the middle who drew the first save of the day from Town keeper Adam Przybek.
Dobra was then shown a yellow card before the hosts came close to a leveller, Josh Eccles heading just wide from a freekick before Jones tried to lob Przybek only to send the ball over the crossbar.
Having fended off those threats, Town soon doubled their lead on 63 minutes. Hughes played the ball to Brown running down the right whose low pass found Morris free at the back post to tap in for 2-0.
And just three minutes later, it was 3-0. Hughes and Connor O’Reilly exchanged passes on the left of the Coventry box before passing to Morris in the middle who fired home for his second of the game.
Town were now firmly in control and could easily have extended their lead. Morris might have fancied his chances of a hat-trick on 70 minutes only to be denied by a great save from Billson, with Hughes’ effort blocked on the rebound.
A minute later, McGavin saw his freekick from 25 yards pushed over the bar by Billson before Hughes came ever so close to making it four, smashing a swerving shot from outside the area which cracked off the bar.
Coventry had offered very little threat following Town’s second goal and found themselves unable to test Przybek, Gervane Kastaneer hitting a free kick wide before Jones sent another over the bar.
As the game entered the final 10 minutes, Dobra sent a low shot off target before the Sky Blues came close to bagging what would have been a fortuitous consolation goal, Morgan Williams’s effort deflecting off Tommy Smith and forcing Przybek to parry the ball away.
Levi Andoh landed himself in the referee’s notebook following a late challenge before Coventry’s Jordan Young sent a looping shot into Przybek’s arms in what would turn out to be the last chance of the match, with the full-time whistle sounding shortly afterwards.
It was an excellent display from Gerard Nash and Chris Hogg’s young Blues, who could count themselves somewhat unlucky not to have made the scoreline even more comfortable, Morris in particular proving a real handful for the hosts.
The result, a third straight league win for Town’s U23s, lifts them to seventh in the Professional Development League Two South table with a trip to neighbours Colchester next up on Monday 3rd February.
Town U23s: Przybek, Cotter, O’Reilly, Gibbs, Smith, Andoh (Healy 83), Hughes, McGavin, Morris, Brown (Foudil 76), Dobra (Oppong 83).
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