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Connolly delighted as training ground winner beats Rams

PUBLISHED: 22:54 28 November 2017 | UPDATED: 23:19 28 November 2017

Callum Connolly celebrates his early goal at Derby Picture Pagepix

Callum Connolly celebrates his early goal at Derby Picture Pagepix

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Callum Connolly’s winner at Derby was cooked up at Ipswich Town’s Playford Road training base, with the young midfielder delighted to see the well-rehearsed effort come good to beat the Rams.

Callum Connolly’s winner at Derby was cooked up at Ipswich Town’s Playford Road training base, with the young midfielder delighted to see the well-rehearsed effort come good to beat the Rams.

Connolly met a superb Martyn Waghorn corner to head home just five minutes into the game at Pride Park, with video technology aiding the award of the goal with replays showing it had clearly crossed the line despite goalkeeper Scott Carson’s best efforts.

The Everton loanee was thrilled to get off the mark for the Blues with a near-post header, which ensured his side’s unbeaten run at Pride Park now extends to 10 games.

MORE: Derby County 0 Ipswich Town 1 – Connolly goal extends remarkable Pride Park run

Callum Connolly scores his early goal at Derby Picture Pagepix Callum Connolly scores his early goal at Derby Picture Pagepix

“It was a great moment because we’ve worked on that in training throughout the week,” he said.

“Luckily it’s paid off. Martyn has been spot on in the last few games and has created a lot of chances. He didn’t get his goal tonight but he’s set up the winner.

“I feel like a goal has been coming. I’ve been working on that in training – we’ve been working on set pieces – and thankfully it’s paid off.

“I’ve scored a few (headed goals) in the past and hopefully some in the future too.”

Callum Connolly celebrates his early goal at Derby Picture Pagepix Callum Connolly celebrates his early goal at Derby Picture Pagepix

MORE: Player ratings: Blues men graded as backs-to-the-wall effort secures away win at Derby

Following Connolly’s goal the visitors had to dig in to secure the victory, defending astutely in the final half hour, with the youngster insisting their gameplan worked perfectly.

“Overall it’s a great win, a well needed one,” he said.

“From start to finish I think we defended well, limited them to few chances and we got a good goal.

“The gameplan was spot on. They had a lot of possession and at the end of the day they didn’t score and didn’t create that much, apart from in the second half.”

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy believes young defender Chris Smith returned from his loan spell at Chelmsford ‘more of a bloke’ and is hopeful he has a first team future.

Ipswich Town U18 Academy boss Alan Lee is hoping his young charges can keep up the proud Blues tradition of success in youth football, with victory against Dagenham & Redbridge in the FA Youth Cup Fourth Round tonight, at Portman Road, 7pm ko.

Ipswich Town U23 3

QPR 0

Ben Morris hit a brace and Aaron Drinan opened his account in a blue shirt as an experienced Ipswich Town under 23 side eased past QPR 3-0 at Playford Road today, writes Kieren Standley.

FA Women’s Premier League

South East Division One

Ipswich Town 9

Haringey Borough 0

Ipswich Town Ladies bounced back from last Sunday’s disappointing FA Cup exit to Charlton with an emphatic 9-0 trouncing of bottom of the league Haringey Borough at the Goldstar Ground in Felixstowe, writes Kieren Standley.

Leeds United boss Thomas Christiansen is set to appeal the red card given to Eunan O’Kane following his altercation with Jonas Knudsen.

Episode Six: Stuart Watson and Andy Warren are back for another episode of the Kings of Anglia podcast to discuss the win over Leeds, Portman Road atmosphere and the latest transfer news.

Bersant Celina revealed just how much the adulation of the Ipswich Town fans means to him after his latest match-winning effort.

It’s that kind of season. Just when everything seems to be miserable, and the fans’ anger is mounting, along comes a victory to lighten the mood. At least temporarily, writes Northstander Terry Hunt.

Saturday was a much-needed day for Town fans, writes Karl Fuller.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy and former Blues boss Roy Keane could be in direct competition for the Republic of Ireland job if Martin O’Neill is lured to Stoke City, according to the Irish Sun.

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