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U23s Win on Penalties at Bury
Saturday, 16th Jul 2022 21:50

Town's U23 side won the Martin Swallow Challenge Trophy by beating hosts Bury Town 3-1 in a penalty shootout after the match had ended in a 2-2 draw, Ash Boatswain (pictured) and Zanda Siziba having netted for the young Blues.

The home side are managed by Ben Chenery - who has been John McGreal's number two in the Town dugout for the three pre-season games that the U23s had appeared in prior to today - and presumably that played a part in Town stopper Lewis Ridd being borrowed to start in goal for Bury. The Welsh U19 international spent part of last season on loan at Ram Meadow and he was joined in the home side by former Town youngsters Ollie Fenn and Cemal Ramadan.

Town made another quick start and opened the scoring after just seven minutes. A weak backpass from Lee Watkins was capitalised on by Nico Valentine and although Ridd blocked his effort on the edge of his box, the ball fell kindly to Boatswain who slotted home.

Ryan Horne then burst forward for the hosts and hit a 25-yard effort inches wide of the target, before Watkins atoned for his earlier error by swinging in a left-sided corner which was powerfully headed home by Charlie Johnson.

Just after the half-hour mark, Horne dispossessed Ben Haddoch - a former Bury player who recently joined the Blues following a trial - in the Town half and slid the ball through to Ramadan, who confidently beat the advancing Antoni Bort to give the Isthmian League North Division side the lead.

Shortly before the break, Max Hudson was released on the left and forced Ridd into a smart save at his near post. The resultant corner led to a long clearance and although Bort (pictured below) missed the bouncing ball outside his area under pressure, the keeper and his defence recovered to prevent Ramadan scoring again.

Ramadan again came close ten minutes after the restart but shot just wide and he then fired a low free-kick straight at Bort after Cameron Stewart had been cautioned for a rather blatant foul to prevent a Bury attack.

Despite coming under plenty of pressure the Blues held tight and kept going and with six minutes remaining, sub Siziba hit a low shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box to level the scores.

Moments later, Ethan Slack made a great last-ditch block to deny Jesse Nwabueze after a fine run from Callum Page on the Town left, while at the other end Bort had to be at full stretch to push an effort from Lewis O'Malley round his post.

There was still time for Nwabueze to blaze over after good work from Valentine (below) but despite an exciting last few minutes, the game finished level so a penalty shootout was required to determine the winners of the trophy.

Siziba stepped up first and scored, with Bort then saving from Max Maughn. Nwabueze netted and Will Gardner did likewise for the hosts, before Page scored Town's third and Matt Sherlock hit the woodwork with Bury's third attempt. Boatswain saw his spot-kick saved by Ridd but a trialist for the home side blazed his effort over, which resulted in Town winning the shootout 3-1.

Skipper Stewart was presented with the trophy on the pitch by Martin Swallow - a longtime volunteer at Bury Town and the chairman of the Ipswich Town Supporters Club.

Meanwhile, the Blues' U18s drew 4-4 in a friendly at Cambridge United.

U23s: Bort, F Barbrook (Trialist A 71), H Barbrook (Steele 46), Haddoch (Valentine 71), Kabongolo, Stewart, Valentine (Nwabueze 46), Chesworth (Page 37), Boatswain, Trialist A (Siziba 46), Hudson. Unused: Trialist B.


Photo: Action Images



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Freddies_Ears added 21:56 - Jul 16
Well done, Martin S. Hope you enjoyed the day - I betcha did!!!
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