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Luke Hyam returns, while AFC Sudbury defender Tyler French plays in Ipswich Town U23s victory

PUBLISHED: 19:12 14 August 2017 | UPDATED: 23:06 14 August 2017

Luke Hyam (right) and Tyler French battling for the ball with Crewe's Jordan Bowery. Photo: Ross Halls

Luke Hyam (right) and Tyler French battling for the ball with Crewe's Jordan Bowery. Photo: Ross Halls

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Ipswich Town’s Under-23s got their Professional Development League Two campaign off to the perfect start as they fought back from two goals down to beat Crewe Alexandra 3-2 at Playford Road this afternoon.

Terry Connor and Mick McCarthy watch on at the Town U23s game. Photo: Ross Halls Terry Connor and Mick McCarthy watch on at the Town U23s game. Photo: Ross Halls

Goals from Chris Smith, Ben Folami and Conor McKendry turned the match around for the Blues, with Luke Hyam playing 45 minutes on his return from a long-term ankle injury.

On the latter, Blues boss Mick McCarthy said: “Isn’t that brilliant? I was delighted. I just said to him I loved seeing him donning that Ipswich Town kit again. He’ll get his fitness again quickly. I would target the Crystal Palace (Carabao Cup) game for him.”

AFC Sudbury defender Tyler French played for Town on trial, with McCarthy saying: “He’s tall and slim and athletic, he can use the ball and is a decent defender. He’s not looked out of place with our younger pros. We’re just having a look.

“He’s had trials elsewhere. He’s very capable, but whether he could push for a first team place is another matter.”

Ben Folami celebrates his goal with Conor McKendry and Corrie Ndaba. Photo: Ross Halls Ben Folami celebrates his goal with Conor McKendry and Corrie Ndaba. Photo: Ross Halls

Town were unfortunate not to take the lead within the first seven minutes. Shane McLoughlin latched onto a long ball over the top before smashing a drive against the inside of the post. Monty Patterson then fired the rebound wide.

The visitors made the most of this let off by taking the lead five minutes later. Charlie Kirk’s free-kick delivery from the left was met well by midfielder Lewis Reilly, who nodded past Harry Wright in the Ipswich net.

Owen Dale was causing problems for Town down the right wing, having a shot well tipped onto the post by Wright, before he made it two just after the half-hour mark. Jordan Bowery fed the No.7 and his drilled shot beat the Blues’ stopper at his near post.

Ipswich forced a route back into the match on the stroke of half-time. Centre-half Smith rose highest in the box to halve the deficit, after a floated set-piece delivery from James Blanchfield.

Ipswich Town's Shane McLoughlin in action. Photo: Ross Halls Ipswich Town's Shane McLoughlin in action. Photo: Ross Halls

After the break, Town looked to gain the upper hand and gradually pushed their opponents back. Patterson shot wide within a minute of the restart as the pressure on the away side built.

It eventually told with an hour gone. Folami showed good strength to turn his man and hammer a low strike into the bottom corner beyond the dive of ‘keeper David Richards.

The Cheshire outfit almost immediately regained the advantage through Daniel Udoh. On the stretch, the striker put his effort over the bar from six yards out.

Ipswich grabbed the winner with 20 minutes remaining. McKendry completed the comeback with a fierce drive across the ‘keeper and into the far corner.

George Fowler battling for the ball with Jordan Bowery. Photo: Ross Halls George Fowler battling for the ball with Jordan Bowery. Photo: Ross Halls

Town continue their season away at Burnley next Monday, before their next home fixture against Sheffield United in a fortnight.

TOWN U23s: Wright, French, Webber, Blanchfield, Fowler, Smith, Patterson, Hyam (Ndaba 46), Folami, McLoughlin, McKendry.

Unused subs: Marshall, Egan, McGavin, Wilton.

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