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Ipswich Town 2 v 0 Gillingham
Papa John's Trophy
Tuesday, 6th October 2020 Kick-off 19:00
Ipswich Town 2-0 Gillingham - Match Report
Tuesday, 6th Oct 2020 20:54

Second-half goals from Armando Dobra and Ben Folami saw a very young Town side to a 2-0 victory over Gillingham in their second group game in the EFL Trophy. Dobra struck home from the edge of the box on 57, then Folami turned home the second after good work from Gibbs with 15 minutes left as the Blues deservedly and in the end comfortably defeated the Gills.

Boss Paul Lambert named the expected very young side with 17-year-old central defender Elkan Baggott handed his senior debut, midfielder Gibbs and Tyreece Simpson, also both 17, their full first-team debuts and six other youngsters on the bench.

David Cornell was in goal and skippered with Janoi Donacien at right-back Corrie Ndaba on the left, and Baggott, who was recently at an Indonesian U19s training camp, and Luke Woolfenden the centre-halves.

In midfield, Brett McGavin took the deeper role behind Gibbs and Jack Lankester, who was making his first start since January 2019. Dobra was on the right and Folami on the left with Simpson the lone striker.

On the bench, the Blues included former Gill Tomas Holy, 19-year-old right-back Dylan Crowe, a former England U18 international, left-back Tommy Smith, 18, and summer signing from Bury Town Ross Crane, a winger or midfielder.

Striker Zak Brown, 17, the brother of Charlie Brown, who joined Chelsea from the Blues in 2016, was also among the subs along with forward Zanda Siziba, also 17, who was with the Tottenham academy before joining Town last summer, and French midfielder Alan Viral, 18.

Having selected only two qualifying outfield players, the Blues will be fined £5,000 for fielding an understrength side, unless two of tonight's starters other than Donacien and Woolfenden are in the XI at Blackpool on Saturday, which appears a very unlikely prospect.

Gillingham made nine changes from the 1-1 weekend draw at Shrewsbury with the team not as youthful as anticipated, while former Town loanees Jordan Graham and Dominic Samuel were on the bench.

Prior to kick-off both teams took the knee in support of Black Lives Matter with the earlier heavy rain having subsided.

Australian U23 international Folami scuffed an early effort through to Gillingham keeper Joe Walsh in the sixth minute. Moments later, Matt Willock hit a low shot from the edge of the box which Cornell claimed with confidence.

On 11 Alex MacDonald struck a curling shot from the just outside the area on the left which Cornell did well to palm away from goal.

Three minutes later, Trae Coyle seized on a loose Baggott pass just outside the box but Donacien got across to block his strike.

The half developed into a scruffy affair but with the Blues seeing most of the ball without making much headway from an attacking perspective with not much space in the centre of the field.

In the 24th minute veteran Gills striker John Akinde cut in from the right and hit a shot which was blocked.

Just after the half hour, Dobra tried an audacious effort from the halfway line after keeper Walsh had come out of his area to clear a Woolfenden ball forward but failed to find the target.

Chances had been rare throughout the half but the Blues might well have gone in front in the 44th minute. A low Lankester cross from the right eventually reached Folami beyond the far post but the Australian scraped his effort wide from a tight angle.

Neither side was able to threaten again before a half lacking in penalty area action but still engaging was brought to a close.

The young Blues had played some tidy stuff at times but without finding a way through the Gills aside from the Folami efforts at each end of the half which the striker will feel he ought to have made more from.

At the other end, Cornell was forced into the best save of the period from Gills’ skipper MacDonald’s early strike but other than that the Town defence had prevented their keeper from being overly tested.

Striker Samuel, who was with the Blues between January and May 2017 from Blackburn, took over from Willock ahead of the second half for the visitors.

Eight minutes after the restart, with neither side having threatened, Christian Maghoma was booked for a foul on Dobra, then three minutes later Akinde was joined him in the book for pulling back the Blues forward.

But in the 58th minute there was nothing legal or illegal the Gills could do to prevent the Blues’ number 36 from opening the scoring.

Simpson turned the ball into the path of Dobra while under pressure towards the left and the Albanian U21 international brought the ball to the edge of the box before smashing a powerful rising right-foot shot into the top corner of the net giving Walsh no chance.

In the 65th minute Folami was found on the left, took the ball outside his man then hit a shot across the face of goal. Three minutes later the Sydney-born striker was booked for a foul on Henry Woods.

Sub Samuel headed a rare visitors opportunity over on 72 with the Blues’ backline having prevented Cornell from having to make a save since the break.

Two minutes later, it was 2-0. Gibbs dispossessed Jack Tucker wide on the Town right, then brought the ball forward and cut in along the byline before playing a perfect pass for Folami who got ahead of his man and turned home his first senior goal.

Dobra was swapped for another debutant, Crane, in the 82nd minute moments before Coyle struck a Gills free-kick through to Cornell with little power.

Two minutes later, Baggott was booked for a foul and sub Josh Eccles smashed the free-kick deep into the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand.

As the game moved into its penultimate minute, Eccles was booked for a foul on Lankester as the forward broke towards the area. McGavin curled the free-kick wide.

In injury time the Blues gave debuts to Siziba and Viral for Lankester and Gibbs but neither touched the ball before the whistle was blown seconds later.

The Town youngsters thoroughly deserved their victory, stepping up their game in the second half, much like their senior colleagues in the recent games against Bristol Rovers and Rochdale when they also won by this season's signature 2-0 scoreline.

Dobra was lively throughout and scored an excellent opener, while Gibbs did superbly to create the second for Folami, who made a clever run in front of his man to finish the chance.

There were impressive performances throughout the side with McGavin neat and tidy in midfield, Simpson a powerful presence up front and Baggott and Woolfenden solid at the centre of the defence. Ndaba, primarily a centre-half, looked far from out of place at left-back.

Town pick up £10,000 for winning the tie in 90 minutes, half of which will go towards the fine for the understrength side.

The Blues, who were beaten 2-1 at home by Arsenal’s U21s in their first group game, face Crawley away in their final tie on Wednesday 11th November. The League Two side host Arsenal’s U21s in their second group fixture next Tuesday.

Town: Cornell (c), Donacien, Baggott, Woolfenden, Ndaba, McGavin, Gibbs (Viral 90), Dobra, Lankester (Siziba 90), Folami, Simpson. Unused: Holy, Crowe, Smith, Crane, Brown.

Gillingham: Walsh, Tucker, Medley, Willock (Samuel 46), Coyle, McKenzie, Akinde, MacDonald (Eccles 71), Woods, Maghoma, Drysdale. Unused: Bonham, Jackson, Ogilvie, Graham, Oliver. Referee: Charles Breakspear (Surrey).

Photo: Matchday Images

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dangerous30 added 20:57 - Oct 6
Well done lads 😀

dirtydingusmagee added 21:04 - Oct 6
well done lads, good to see Dobra and Folami both scored

timkatieadamitfc added 21:09 - Oct 6
Don’t mind this cup as much as do many on here as long as he keeps playing teams like this.
It can only do the likes of baggott, Simpson, ndaba and folami the world of good, also players who are returning from injuries and NEED minutes or are on the fringes if 1st team and looking to force way in can only do us good.
Especially with Evans willing to just take the fine for playing young team is a win win for me.
Think people would change their minds if we made quarters and were on a good run, just to make it clear I would play teams like tonight regardless of how far we went(even if we made final) just to give them experience, good result btw.

Lovemyclub74 added 21:13 - Oct 6
Great result for the town,
I know it was a reserve side but it's important to keep the winning mentality going ,Well done boys plus I hate Steve Evans 🤣🤣

brian_a_mul added 21:15 - Oct 6
Any Town win is nice and will give fringe players like Dobra, Ndaba a real good boost. Continues the air of positivity at the club and keeps momentum going.

FromIpswichToPhoenix added 21:15 - Oct 6
So in a climate where a pandemic is ravaging the world, gate receipts are at zero, club staff are being laid off due to insufficient funds, the season is shorter by a month, but the regular amount of games are to be played, the team try to rest the first team to avoid illness or injury in a tournament that doesn't matter, then they get fined. Makes total sense...

BromleyBloo added 21:17 - Oct 6
Kids brilliant. Dominated possession, Dobra, Baggott, Gibbs starred, two good goals and Woolfy and Ndaba have great potential - so comfortable on the ball, which is not something you say about Town centre halves.............................Wot not to like!!!

Europablue added 21:48 - Oct 6
It looks like Liverpool are going to be fined for fielding an understrength side for their 7-2 loss at Aston Villa...

Northstandveteran added 21:52 - Oct 6
Excellent spelling this evening dirty.

You let yourself down a little with your punctuation by not putting a full stop at the end of your post but great effort.



Sospiri added 21:57 - Oct 6
Very good performance from such a young side. Comfortable passing the ball around from the back, Ndaba looked very tidy, and Dobra is the most exciting player we have at the club. Lets have him on the first team bench soon please.

algarvefan added 22:10 - Oct 6
I would think one or two first team players will be looking over their shoulders this evening. Firstly Cornell, when called upon he was excellent, distribution was very good too. Woolfy looked rusty which is to be expected and Baggot was superb for a 17 year old in his first game. Ndaba has a quality that should see him in the first team squad and is head and shoulders above Kenlock for me. Dobra is as frustrating as he is brilliant at times but a wonderful goal and some excellent turns and runs. Dobra should be on the bench every week for me, an impact player who can change a game.
Simpson and Folami were disappointing for me, but Gibbs was excellent an is an exciting young prospect. Would like to have seen Brown get a little run up front as he knows where the net is.
All in all an excellent performance though, well done lads.

MickMillsTash added 22:12 - Oct 6
Dobra exciting talent gets on the half turn and can accelerate
Ndaba looked comfortable
Donacien solid
Keeper was fine
Mcgavin - lovely on the ball and looked at home - like to see if he can pass the ball forward more
Wolfy- far too relaxed on the ball - the expectations are high for him but he was off form tonight. Defensively no one really tested

ArnieM added 22:35 - Oct 6
See! That’s what kids give you . Fearless, honesty, & endeavor .

Well played young uns, 👍

tractorboy12341234 added 22:36 - Oct 6
Getting fined £5k for fielding an 'understength' side but won 2-0?! Put Ndaba in Ward's position and put Lankester on for Hawkins.

Linkboy13 added 22:39 - Oct 6
Low key game that neither manager wanted so it's hard to evaluate players performances. Players are not going to learn much from these games and need to go out on loan to get proper competitive football.

Bert added 22:47 - Oct 6
Not the result I feared. With two more first team players out, the youngsters may well see their chances of at least getting on the subs bench in a league game. The EFL suits need to look in the mirror and ask themselves why in a pandemic this competition is going ahead. Perhaps all the clubs should vote to end it now and stick two fingers up to the EFL.

budgieplucker added 23:12 - Oct 6
Lambert is probably right but it’s difficult to refrain from picking out individuals.

I always enjoyed going to watch the under 23’s and hardly missed an evening match on a Monday at PR. The football in the main is refreshing and good, so love to see a few youngsters giving their all.

For me this was a first time watching Baggott, 6’4” and only 17, well composed footballer and I would be surprised if he didn’t end up with most touches for a town player tonight

At that age and still growing (maybe another inch or two) plus some more gym work he could end up
being A colossus of a player, don’t think I have seen a better assured defensive young debut since I saw Tom (Kevin) Beattie play at left back for Town before he moved into a more central role

Other youngsters will blow hit and cold with performances but a good team performance and Brett McGavin whilst a slow burner will get much better with experience and a loan.

Not that anyone was off colour but when Woolfy and Lankester were just other team members tonight it puts the collective performance into perspective.

Ben Folami has often frustrated me when his overall performances often do not look up to scratch then he pops up to poach or steel a goal, often a scruffy look or awkward and gangly one but not tonight’s, he had the instinct to be in the right place - a possible young Jimmy Greaves, but needs to convince a number of people that he can contribute for 90 minutes, but to be fair to the lad tonight he was asked to hug the touch line a position that is not natural to him.

Really don’t understand Lamberts decision to bring on two young lads for the final 10 seconds of time added on. Yes technically they made a first team appearance but it’s hardly going to make them feel they contributed to this result!!!

Sospiri added 00:44 - Oct 7
.and lets replace flapper Holy with the much more reliable and conformable-looking Cornell..

Zondervantheman added 04:29 - Oct 7
Correct me if I’m wrong but haven’t we only ever lost two games in this competition in the last two seasons? And both losses occurred when we played the first team?
We seem to play nice flowing entertaining football when the lads play and we win,,
Let the younguns go as far as they can this year don’t get excited by a trophy if we do progress further and be tempted to play the first team again, it’s not fair on those lads.

Upthetown1970 added 08:20 - Oct 7
What a fantastic display from our academy products. This bunch of players are hopefully our clubs future. Gibbs and Dobra were ripping through the Gillingham midfield. Baggot very assured at the heart of the defence. A very young side but a very mature performance from the whole team. Probably the best Ipswich display I've watch for a while. Long may it continue

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 10:02 - Oct 7
Very nice to watch some skillful, fluent football such that we don't often see from the first team. This was really entertaining and I was very p** off to have missed the first -a-lf because I got the timing wrong. However, this display also highlighted the key component every team needs (ideally) - a killer striker/goalscorer: be that a fox-in-the-box or a beefy centre forward. We haven't quite got that at the moment, but then nor have many other L1 teams either.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 10:03 - Oct 7
*missed the first half because

Razor added 11:19 - Oct 7
Not happy that we had to pay a £5000 which could have easily been avoided and nobody seems to care-------can we afford to be so generous!

d77sgw added 11:44 - Oct 7
Get the point that Cornell played well tonight, but it felt to me last season went wrong when we dropped Holy. Would much rather we keep a settled defence - and key to that is the keeper, and the organisation he brings. So far this season we've only conceded one goal - and for all the flaps last Saturday Holy did pull out a couple of very decent saves.

rabbit added 13:01 - Oct 7
Aiming this particularly at Bluearmy_81 primarily because he lacks the courage of his convictions by not being able to engage in rational debate.
Furthermore he spouts out and out lies in an attempt to garner some flimsy support in his hatred of all things ITFC including its genuine supporters and Suffolk people in general.
But the question is why?, when there is a genuinely good result from a predominantly academy based side, which requires a huge amount of funding of the academy, which is hopefully a marker for the future of ITFC there is no comment.
The only comments ever received in the match day Chatroom are when Town are under the cosh and in comments here, there is seldom anything but bile, insults and hatred.
We all know the errors that have been made by ME since his takeover and the fact he obviously failed in the part of due diligence of the overall atmosphere within the business itself and didn't appreciate what a fractured set up he inherited from the previous Chairman.
But hindsight is all well and good, action is what is required and hopefully some hard lessons have been learned.

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