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U18s 0-2 Southend United
U18s 0-2 Southend United
Wednesday, 2nd Aug 2006 18:42

A very young and inexperienced Ipswich Town U18 side lost 2-0 in a friendly to a much stronger Southend United team on a very windy Wednesday afternoon at Playford Road.

First team boss Jim Magilton was in attendance for the second half, with his assistant Bryan Klug and coach Steve Foley watching from the start. Chief scout Steve McCall joined first-teamers Gavin Williams, Matt Richards and Nicky Forster in watching the youngsters, whilst ex-Town midfielder Matt Bloomfield was also an interested spectator, watching his younger brother Joe in action.

With a lot of the senior academy players featuring for the reserves last night, Ian Nimmo and Russell Short were probably Town's oldest players on show. Tony Boto is on crutches with damage to his left ankle and Jordan Rhodes has a broken collar bone, so midfielder Liam Barrett was asked to play up front alongside 15-year-old Irish trialist Paul Murphy. Town included a whole host of trialists, many of them schoolboys, while Southend fielded ex-Town U16 striker Rhys Henry.

Henry almost scored in the third minute when a through ball left him one-on-one with Andrew Plummer in the Town goal, but the keeper managed to turn the ball round the post for a corner.

On 10, Southend's right-winger should have given his side the lead after being left free in the box but he blazed his shot way over the bar.

But three minutes later the number seven did give Southend the advantage when he coolly side-footed home from six yards after good work from their number nine.

On 16, a good run and cross from Town's Russell Short resulted in a header from Liam Barrett being tipped over by the visiting keeper. From Joe Bloomfield's corner, Barrett's powerful header was saved at the second attempt by the Southend keeper.

The visitors then broke and left-back Kurt Robinson had to make an excellent saving tackle with a Southend player left one-on-one with Plummer. Robinson then needed treatment for a shin injury and was replaced for seven minutes before returning.

On 52, young striker Paul Murphy turned his man before firing in a shot which the Southend keeper did well to keep out.

Southend then caught Town on the break again but this time they hit one of Town's posts before the rebound was cleared.

Five minutes later and Southend's Franck Moussa hit the same post after a long ball had caught the Town defence out.

On the hour mark, the visitors doubled their advantage. Rhys Henry latched onto another long ball and exquisitely lobbed the ball over Plummer who had come out to try and narrow the angle.

Two minutes later Town put together their best move of the match. Good, accurate passing between Ian Nimmo, Liam Barrett and Russell Short presented Murphy with a good chance which he squandered.

Soon after, Irish youngster David Cawley replaced Bloomfield with Murphy dropping back into midfield.

Cawley had a good chance to pull a goal back for Town within five minutes of coming on after a superb Nimmo pass had presented him with a clear shot on goal but he put his shot wide.

On 73, New Zealander Tommy Smith then replaced Welsh trialist John McKenna at centre-back.

The score remained at 2-0 with neither side creating many chances near the end of the match, but with two of the Town subs playing for the U14s yesterday, it just shows how short of players Town are with the U15s in Northern Ireland competing for the Milk Cup.

Ian Nimmo stood out for Town in midfield with Ed Upson making some good tackles throughout the match. Right-back Russell Short also looked comfortable, but the rest of the Town side were really too young to be up against this sort of opposition.

Town: Plummer, Short, Robinson (A Trialist 21, Robinson, 27)), Watson, McKenna (Smith 73), Nimmo (c), Upson, Murphy, Barrett, Bloomfield (Cawley 64) and A Trialist (A Trialist 46).

Report by James Ager.

Photo: Action Images

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