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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.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy spoke openly about his uncertain future at this morning’s press conference ahead of tomorrow’s Championship game at Preston. STUART WATSON posed the questions.

Martyn Waghorn wants Ipswich Town to make a fast start and ‘have a real go’ at Preston North End tomorrow afternoon.

Mick McCarthy has confirmed striker David McGoldrick will not play again this season.

Mick McCarthy believes Luke Hyam needs to remain patient and push his case on the field as he enters the final few months of his Ipswich Town contract.

Mick McCarthy is hopeful Joe Garner will be fit to face former club Preston this weekend while a trio of youngsters could get a chance to impress at Deepdale.

Ipswich Town take on Preston North End, at Deepdale, on Saturday in what will be their third Championship game in seven days.

Ipswich Town travel to Preston North End for a third Championship game in seven days on Saturday. STUART WATSON previews the action.

Ipswich Town midfielder Luke Hyam knows he is playing for a future at the club he loves.

Ipswich Town defender Jonas Knudsen believes wins will come if the recent level of performances are replicated.

There was a sense a toxic atmosphere awaited manager Mick McCarthy as the Blues faced Cardiff following the weekend’s events at Norwich.

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