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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).

Photo: TWTD

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midastouch added 16:22 - Jan 27
Good result. The U23s seems to be really picking up after a slow start. I hope Ben gets given a chance with Ipswich as he looks capable of more than just reserve-level football.

Essexnblue added 16:28 - Jan 27
This boy has potential but it is never going to happen with us this season.
I don't know where he is with his fitness, after such a serious injury, but to me he needs to
be loaned out and playing regularly, not every other week against youth team boys, after Forest Green its a backward step.
We have 17 cup finals left and I cannot see Morris making the bench, let alone the team.

Pilgrimblue added 16:30 - Jan 27
I think Morris is good enough to make the 1st team. I'm hoping that with the run of U23 games coming up he will have more chances. That goes for Dobra too with so many going out on loan.

Upthetown1970 added 16:34 - Jan 27
Great to see Morris getting back to form after such a terrible injury. Great to hear young Gibbs getting opportunities in the u23 team. There is some fantastic talent coming through our academy. Big Mr Klugg and his team.

Linkboy13 added 17:21 - Jan 27
Playing well in the u23s doesn't guarantee you a game in the first team as it's such a poor standard. Morris is definitely one for the future but not this season he needs to go out on loan to prove himself as did Downes and Wolfenden didn't do them no harm.

Terry_Nutkins added 21:26 - Jan 27
Great to see. Those calling for be given a chance this season need their heads checking though. Who are you taking out? Keane, Sears, Norwood or Jackson?! He's nowhere near and Folami is still ahead. Boys got great potential but you dont throw him in to this crucial stage when he will need time we dont have. The others are miles ahead. Morris needs to go out and learn the game. Come back and have a good pre-season and prove he's worth blooding next season when the opportunity arises.

algarvefan added 21:30 - Jan 27
I really rate Morris and have seen he play for England several times too, he is an intelligent striker, his movement off the ball fir his first goal today was superb, including tracking back slightly at the start of the move to ensure he wasn't flagged offside. I'd love to see him get a chance and maybe a game or two in the first team, but realistically that isn't going to happen. He's a cultured player and will do well in the Championship next season.

ITFCsince73 added 10:46 - Jan 28
Anyone to have seen Ben play a number of times, will know hes top draw.

rugbytomc added 12:44 - Jan 28
I'm sure I'm like every Ipswich fan - hoping Ben Morris can succeed with Ipswich and be the player that Rhodes or Marriott went on to be after leaving us. But I'm afraid I don't know enough about him to know how his career might go - I'm just hoping. Same for all the other youngsters - it looks like they can pass and move with confidence, so hopefully youth will continue to get it's chance at Ipswich, if not this season then in pre-season and next year

Linkboy13 added 16:07 - Jan 28
Spot on Terry Nutkins playing well in the u23s isn't going to get you a game in the first team as the standard is so poor and Lambert knows this that's why he's very rarely in attendance. Morris has got ability but is behind others in the pecking order and needs to go out on loan and do better than he did at Forrest Green.

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