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Crystal Palace 2 Ipswich Town 1 match report – Blues kids can hold their heads high

PUBLISHED: 22:32 22 August 2017 | UPDATED: 23:40 22 August 2017

Bersant Celina celebrates his late consolation goal at Crystal Palace Pictures: PAGEPIX LTD

Bersant Celina celebrates his late consolation goal at Crystal Palace Pictures: PAGEPIX LTD

Pagepix Ltd

Ipswich Town’s youngsters can hold their heads high after pushing Premier League side Crystal Palace all the way in tonight’s 2-1 Carabao Cup second round defeat at Selhurst Park.

Ipswich's young team are downcast after conceding a second goal at Crystal Palace Ipswich's young team are downcast after conceding a second goal at Crystal Palace

Blues boss Mick McCarthy named the most junior team in the club’s history, but in the end it took two late stunning strikes from James McArthur to break their resistance.

Bersant Celina scored a consolation in stoppage-time with Town’s first shot on target, but it was no more than they deserved after producing a performance that the travelling army of 2,000 fans could be very proud of.

With eight senior players injured or recovering, and 11 more left at home, Town boss Mick McCarthy named keeper Dean Gerken, 32, as his captain behind an outfield with an average age of just 19.

George Fowler (19), Patrick Webber (18), Ben Folami (18) and Shane McLoughlin (20), Ben Morris (18), Shane McLoughlin (20) and Chris Smith (19) all made debuts, the latter three off the bench, while Luke Woolfenden (18), Flynn Downes (18) and Tristan Nydam (17) also got another chance to impress.

James McArthur celebrates his second goal against Ipswich James McArthur celebrates his second goal against Ipswich

Palace boss Frank de Boer made seven changes to the team which lost 1-0 to Liverpool at the weekend, but was still able to name a line-up packed with international caps and top-flight experience.

Despite this, the Blues more than held their own in the first half. Palace lacked urgency and Town’s youngsters grew in confidence with every touch. Downes was here there and everywhere, Adam McDonnell was assured on the ball, while Nydam was lively and alert at left-back.

Dean Gerken made a flying save from Yohann Cabaye’s free-kick just before the break and smart stops from Jeffrey Schlupp and Jason Lokilo after the restart, but Ipswich never looked on the ropes until legs began to tire and England international winger Andros Townsend was called off the bench.

McArthur’s fine curling effort finally broke the deadlock in the 76th minute, Lokilo struck the base of a post, then McArthur fired into the top corner (86).

Ben Morris cut the ball back for Celina to fire home in the first minute of stoppage-time though and then Monty Patterson glanced a header just wide with the last touch of the game.

CRYSTAL PALACE (3-4-3): Speroni; Kelly, Dann (Fosu-Mensah 46), Ward; Cabaye; van Aanholt (Townsend 57), Puncheon (cpt), McArthur, Schlupp; Lokilo, Kaikai (Lee 74).

Unused subs: Hennessey, Milivojevic, Tomkins, Benteke.

IPSWICH TOWN (4-2-3-1): Gerken (cpt); Woolfenden, Fowler, Webber, Nydam (C.Smith 80); McDonnell, Downes; Rowe, McLoughlin (Patterson 80), Celina; Folami (Morris 61).

Unused subs: Crowe, McKendry.

Booked: Downes (56)

Referee: Mr A Davies.

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