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U18s Frustrated By County Fermanagh
Tuesday, 26th Jul 2022 23:03 by Jude Gale

Town’s U18s had to settle for a 1-1 draw in their second match of the SuperCupNI against County Fermanagh in Broughshane on Tuesday evening.

The Tractor Boys, who beat US side San Francisco Glen 2-0 on Monday, took the lead in the first half of the game played in two periods of 35 minutes thanks to their second penalty of the tournament, this time converted by Jack Manly (pictured).

However, the Northern Irish side equalised late on after a spectacular long-range strike by Kyle Deery flew into the top-right corner and left goalkeeper Woody Williamson with little chance.

Logan Dobbs was called into action within the first seven minutes to make a vital block for Town as Co Fermanagh threatened down the right side.

The resultant corner then found Jamie Edwards who headed just over the bar for the County team.

Soon after, a long ball was placed in behind the Ipswich back line, but Woody Williamson was alert and rushed out of his box to clear away the danger.

The young Town side started to control the game after the first 15 minutes with left-back Calum Logan causing numerous problems for the Fermanagh defence with his quick forward runs and crosses into the box.

The midfield three began to find lots of space in the centre of the pitch and looked increasingly dangerous when on the ball.

The Blues were quickly rewarded for their strong pressure after a fantastic move won themselves a penalty in the 17th minute.

Calum Logan fizzed an accurate ball into the feet of Revin Domi and the midfielder turned his marker before excellently chipping a pass through to Gerrard Buabo who was first to the ball ahead of the keeper, winning his second penalty of the competition. Jack Manly stepped up and calmly slotted into the bottom left corner.

Finn Steele and Nick Nkansa-Dwamena were strong in their defensive battles and carried the ball well in order to move up the pitch.

Ipswich remained solid throughout the second half and confidently dealt with any threats created by Co Fermanagh. However, they also struggled to create any of their own chances, meaning neither team accomplished a shot since the first goal and the score remained 1-0 at half-time.

Ipswich looked most likely to score next in the second half and most of the possession remained with the Blues as they looked to further their advantage.

Town twins Finley and Harry Barbrook made an instant impact off the bench, linking well with Buabo and Manly to create several chances and corners in their search for a second goal.

The Northern Irish side were unable to break down the Tractor Boys and another clean sheet looked to be heading Town’s way, until Fermanagh’s Deery picked up the ball outside the box before unleashing an unstoppable thunderbolt into the top right corner of the net.

As expected, Ipswich’s opponents were injected with energy after their equaliser. They continued to press for a winner and forced Seth O’Neill into a goal-line clearance with only a minute left of normal time.

Then, in the second minute of additional time, Town players were certain that they had won it at the death. Nico Valentine ran in behind the defence and tried to pass across goal to Boatswain, however, despite a long stretch for it, the young forward could not reach to tap the ball into an empty net.

Ipswich now look ahead to their third and final game of the group which takes place on Wednesday evening in Scroggy Road, Limavady. They will play French outfit Vendee in hope of qualifying for the Cup matches on Thursday and Friday.

U18s: Woody Williamson, Nick Nkansa-Dwamena (Seth O’Neill 46), Finn Steele, Logan Dobbs, Calum Logan (Harry Barbrook 46’), Revin Domi (Finley Barbrook 35), Paul Moodie (Ben Haddoch 35), Afi Adebayo (Nico Valentine 56), Jack Manly, Alex Graham (Ash Boatswain 56), Gerrard Buabo.

Photo: James Ager

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