Drinan bags a brace as Town under 23s beat the Baggies
Under 23 Premier League Cup
Ipswich Town 3
West Bromwich Albion 2
Aaron Drinan netted twice and Ben Morris continued his impressive run of form with another goal as ten-man Ipswich Town U23’s edged out West Bromwich Albion in their final Under 23’s Premier League Cup group game at a snowy Portman Road this afternoon, writes Kieren Standley.
Sam Field and Jamie Soule had twice pegged Town back, before Drinan sealed the victory in stoppage time.
Town didn’t register a shot on target until just before the half-hour mark when Barry Cotter’s shot from distance forced Albion keeper Alex Palmer into a low diving save.
But Drinan started the goal rush a minute after the break as he fired into the far corner at the second attempt, after the Baggies failed to clear their lines following a quick throw in and delivery from the left hand side.
Five minutes later, the Blues were reduced to ten men as Chris Goteni clumsily brought down Pierce just inside the area, following a long ball over the top. Field stepped up and sent Crowe the wrong way to bring the Baggies level.
The West-Midlanders weren’t level for long as the Blues responded to going a man down and re-took the lead.
Trialist Ben Stephens won the ball in midfield and ran at the Albion defence before playing a perfectly weighted through-ball to Morris, who showed great composure to smash the ball past the helpless Palmer.
However Albion drew level 13 minutes from time as they capitalised on the extra-man advantage, with substitute Soule following up at the second attempt after Michael Crowe had denied his initial effort.
The entertaining second-half would produce more drama as Cotter was forced off with injury late on, resulting in Drinan temporarily filling in at centre-half.
Town continued to push for a winner, with Stephens unlucky to see his bullet header denied by a tremendous save from Palmer, five minutes from time.
The ten man Blues did eventually come up with the winner in stoppage time as Morris’ low driven cross was turned home by what looked like an own-goal from Nathan Ferguson, but Drinan was judged to have got the final touch.