Former U's star blocked Blues

FORMER Colchester United keeper Dean Gerken was the difference between Ipswich Town drawing and winning Saturday's Ashton Gate showdown.

Carl Marston

FORMER Colchester United keeper Dean Gerken was the difference between Ipswich Town drawing and winning Saturday's Ashton Gate showdown.

The impressive Gerken, who left the U's to sign for Bristol City last summer, produced a string of good saves to keep Town at bay.

And the performance of his goalkeeper was not lost on Bristol boss Gary Johnson.

"Dean was in excellent form," confirmed Johnson.

"He spilled a shot (from Grant Leadbitter) early on when it skidded off the surface, but it didn't affect his confidence and from then on he was in great form.

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"We're a bit low on confidence at the moment, so thank goodness for Dean!" added Johnson.

Southend-born Gerken played 109 league games for Colchester, between

2004 and this year, but he is now relishing the step up a level to the Championship.

The 24-year-old ousted former No. 1 Adriano Basso during the first weeks of the season, and has now started 15 of City's 19 league games.