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Ipswich Town 1-1 Luton Town - Match Report
Tuesday, 25th Jul 2023 21:27

The Blues' final UK-base pre-season friendly ended in a 1-1 draw with Luton Town at Colchester United's JobServe Community Stadium. Wes Burns gave Town the lead with a cross-shot in the 14th minute for the impressive Blues but Carlton Morris netted a leveller from the penalty spot for the Hatters 15 minutes from the end.

Burns and Janoi Donacien had returned to the Blues XI, the St Lucia international having been suffering with a minor tendon problem, while the Welshman picked up a calf knock in Austria.

Christian Walton was in goal with Donacien, who was brought up in Luton and was a schoolboy with the Hatters, on the right of the back four with Leif Davis on the left and Luke Woolfenden and Cameron Burgess the centre-halves.

Skipper Sam Morsy was in central midfield with Jack Taylor, while behind striker George Hirst, Burns was on the right, Conor Chaplin was in the middle and Nathan Broadhead on the left of the three.

Harry Clarke (tendon) and Cameron Humphreys (concussion) were again absent along with Massimo Luongo, who came off with a tight groin at Cambridge.

Luton included three of their new signings, Mads Andersen, one-time Town trialist Chiedozie Ogbene and Tahith Chong.

Town created the first threat in the third minute, Chaplin threading a ball through for Hirst to chase but Luton keeper James Shea was quickly off his line to clear.

Two minutes later, there was a scare at the other end when Taylor tripped over the ball and presented it to Elijah Adebayo, whose effort was blocked by Woolfenden. Morris’s subsequent effort was also crowded out and the danger was cleared.

Play quickly moved to the other end and Broadhead saw an effort blocked just inside the box.

Town began to control the play and in the 14th minute they went ahead. Burns whipped a cross over from the right towards Broadhead and the ball appeared to find the corner of the net without the aid of the forward with the players celebrating with the former Fleetwood man.

Three minutes after the goal, Davis found Hirst with a quickly-taken throw and the former Leicester man hit a shot on the turn which Shea claimed.

After a break following a clash of heads involving Taylor, who was OK to carry on, Town broke through Hirst on the left but the striker failed to spot Burns bursting away unchecked on the right.

As the game passed the half hour, the Blues were well on top, moving the ball around slickly and winning the ball back from the Hatters quickly whenever the Premier League side had possession.

On 33, Burns was again left in acres of space down the Town right and was found by the counter-attacking Broadhead. The wideman’s cross found Davis at the far post but the full-back’s pass failed to find Hirst in the centre when he might well have had a shot himself.

A minute later, Broadhead made way for Marcus Harness having picked up a knock. The Welshman subsequently had an ice pack placed on his right thigh.

Town came within a whisker of making it 2-0 in the 39th minute, Hirst powering a header from a Davis corner from the left against the bar. The ball looped into the air and, with the striker looking to add the final touch, hit the bar for a second time and bounced behind.

The Blues continued to look the better side and on 43 Chaplin found a pocket of space, something he had been able to do increasingly frequently, and fed Burns. The Wales international’s cross found Hirst and his header dropped behind Harness, whose shot on the turn was blocked.

That was the final opportunity of a first half from which the Blues were well worth their 1-0 lead having been the better side throughout.

The goal itself may have had an element of good fortune about it but Town had been well in control for the most part and might well have added a second via Hirst’s header.

At the other end, Walton’s only action had been catching crosses with Luton’s only real opportunity from Taylor’s early slip.

Town made eight changes at the break with only Walton and Burgess remaining from the starting XI.

Dom Ball was at right-back, Greg Leigh was on the left with George Edmundson joining Burgess at the centre of the defence.

Harness moved back into central midfield alongside Lee Evans with Kayden Jackson wide on the right, Omari Hutchinson in the centre behind striker Freddie Ladapo and Kyle Edwards on the left.

Despite all the changes, the Blues started the second half as they’d ended the first, Evans’s clever ball down the right for Jackson winning a 52nd-minute corner, while Hutchinson made a couple of mazy dribbles which upped the volume from the Town support.

On 54, Chong broke quickly after Leigh’s shot following a Town corner had been blocked and got round the outside of Evans on the left of the box but his cross looped well behind the goal.

Luton made six changes as the game reached the hour mark, while the Blues swapped Burgess for Elkan Baggott.

Moments later, Hutchinson twisted and turned his way down the right but the on-loan Chelsea man’s cross was cleared before Ball’s return into the box was claimed by Shea.

As the game moved into the final 20 minutes, Luton started to get on top for the first time and in the 74th minute they were awarded a penalty when Edmundson slid in and felled Ogbene, although the Blues’ defender had been pulled back in the build-up.

Morris took the spot-kick and hit it low to Walton’s left as the keeper dived to his right.

Having got on terms, Luton went looking for a second goal, Ogbene standing up a cross from the left and one-time Town target Cauley Woodrow heading into the ground and into Walton’s arms.

Town had more than a couple of scruffy moments where possession was surrendered in their own half with Ogbene in particularly looking to profit, but the Blues continued to present a threat going forwards.

On 85, Edwards brought the ball forward and found Ladapo but the striker’s low shot flashed across the face and wide.

In the penultimate minute, Edmundson did well to dispossess John McAtee as the Luton sub brought the ball past a number of men and into the area.

At the other end, Town claimed a penalty when Jackson’s shot from the right of the box appeared to hit an arm but referee Gavin White wasn’t interested.

That was the final action of an entertaining pre-season friendly in which the Blues were the better side for long spells.

Town were very much on top in the first half and there seemed to be little difference after all the half-time changes with the Hatters only really having a brief period in the ascendency around their goal.

The Blues, although not always as controlled in their own half as they will have wanted, continued to present a threat in the latter stages with Hutchinson showing his new fans skills which are likely to make him very popular once the season gets under way.

Overall, on today’s evidence, as was the case with the FA Cup games against Burnley last season, there seems little between Town and teams that finished towards the top of last year’s Championship.

The Blues finish their pre-season programme when they travel to Austria for the Innsbruck Cup where they face RB Leipzig and Werder Bremen.

Town: Walton, Donacien (Ball 46), Woolfenden (Edmundson 46), Burgess (Baggott 62), Burns (Jackson 46), Morsy (c) (Evans 46), Taylor (Edwards 46), Davis (Leigh 46), Chaplin (Hutchinson 46), Broadhead (Harness 34), Hirst (Ladapo 46). Unused: Baggott, Hladky, Carr, Aluko, Slicker.

Luton: Shea (Macey 77), Adebayo (Watson 61), Andersen, Berry (Johnson 61), Chong (Campbell 61), Clark (McAtee 86), Doughty, Lockyer (Francis 61), Morris (Woodrow 77), Ogbene (Taylor 86), Potts. Unused: Nelson, Luker, Odell-Bature. Referee: Gavin Ward (Surrey).

Photo: Matchday Images

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BeattiesBackPocket added 21:31 - Jul 25
Decent workout against a newly promoted premier side only concern is the injury to Broadhead. I await blueboy and tractor boy tommys analysis

ArnieM added 21:38 - Jul 25
Well played lads . And we didn’t do too bad even after we changed 8 players at half time (a big upheaval in any team).

Things are looking good . Just have to hope these injuries are not too serious.


Davidwb20 added 21:42 - Jul 25
Good workout and result against newly promoted PL team. Cannot see the normal negative comments. So they must have done something right! COYB’s not long until the real entertainment starts!

herfie added 21:50 - Jul 25
Good stuff - we’ll done all involved. Still think we need to strengthen centre of defence.

Billysherlockblue added 22:00 - Jul 25
Agreed herfie. Need a strong central left side defender and another cf imho

ipswichboi added 22:17 - Jul 25
Exciting times ahead I feel!

d77sgw added 22:22 - Jul 25
Totally outplayed a ‘Premier League’ (for 1 season on that showing) team for 75 mins, and should have one. First half better, but Edwards, Hutchison and Jackson all looked sharp in the second. Got caught on the break a little in final 15 - need to learn from that - but overall a good work out and really encouraging display.

d77sgw added 22:23 - Jul 25
“should have won” - what was I thinking…
Also, great bar service and reasonable prices - can we play more friendlies there please!

Churchman added 22:26 - Jul 25
All looking good. Let’s hope these these injuries are minor/precautionary.

Help added 22:29 - Jul 25
Looked good.decent first half. A little disjointed in the second with so many subs for Luton stopping any momentum. Taylor looked a little lost at times with some short passes putting us under pressure. Good performance from both 11's. Made Luton look ordinary. Hutchinson is exciting

Skip73 added 22:37 - Jul 25
That was a promising performance. 2 good displays against some of last seasons better Championship sides.
Quiet on here theres a surprise.

Bert added 22:38 - Jul 25
We didn’t just hold our own, we were sharper, fitter and more penetrating than Luton. Our squad has the capability to score goals but we will need to sharpen up a bit in defence. On this showing, Luton are not equipped to be a Premiership side and certainly not one that will entertain. Pity because I want small clubs to succeed.

Gforce added 22:50 - Jul 25
Will be interesting to see who has the best season, our new loan signing Hutchinson or the scums new Swiss international winger from Young Boys ??
Hopefully the former !!

PimsNumber1 added 22:54 - Jul 25
We were the better team for almost all of it .Great effort and some slick moves .Hutchison looked lively but Evans ,Fridge and Ball all look too slow for the Championship

BlueNomad added 23:00 - Jul 25
There was no drop off in performance in the second half when our “back up” players were on. We have a strong squad.

WonTheCupin78 added 23:15 - Jul 25
Good performance. Well done squad.

eddiespearitt03 added 23:31 - Jul 25
A half decent squad so should be fine. Maybe one more signing in defence and we.ll be even stronger.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 00:12 - Jul 26
After slightly disappointing results against Cambridge and Stevenage, this was a real step-up in performance. Based on the level we showed tonight, we will give any Championship side a real run for their money. Very encouraging! Plenty of depth in the squad, which seems to be one of McKenna's priorities. Job well done.

Steelmonkey added 00:29 - Jul 26
The squad should be very pleased with their performance tonight rest first half and matched Luton in all departments and we had every chance to win, with all the changes we made at half time I thought Luton would have stepped up their game but from what I saw we had much the better of the first twenty five minutes of the second half.
The youngster Omari looks to have some silky skills, but needs to work on his passing, he’s going to be some entertainer and will tie a few defenders up in knots this season, what an exciting prospect.
I think Taylor will need time to settle in but looks promising. I hope Broadhead’s early departure was precautionary and is not serious.
Nice to see Wes, Evans and and Janoi back, all putting in good shifts.
I know it’s early on and I don’t want to downplay anyone but one of our centre backs looks a yard short of pace at the moment, hopefully will get better with more game time.
Great result against a premiership side, came away feeling confident for the new season ahead.

ITFC_Singapore added 00:35 - Jul 26
Agree with a number of people on here.....a proven championship quality centre back (Maybe 2) would be the final piece of the puzzle. Every other position looks well stocked.

Pessimistic added 04:11 - Jul 26
Broadhead is probably out for a few weeks - if not the whole season.

WonTheCupin78 added 04:54 - Jul 26
How do you know Broadhead could be out for the whole season Pessimistic?

JewellintheTown added 08:45 - Jul 26
WonTheCupin78 - I think Pessimistics username says how they "know".

IpswichT62OldBoy added 09:48 - Jul 26
It feels as if we are going to come out of the blocks like Hussain Bolt when the season starts.

Linkboy13 added 10:26 - Jul 26
Yes very encouraging display . Can't wait for season to start. Centre back required Burgess looks a bit shaky in possession when put under pressure. Still don't think we should be flying out Austria again with the season so close.

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