Ipswich Town: Hewitt scores the winner for under-21s side featuring six first-team players – but no game time for Collison or Ambrose
PUBLISHED: 17:51 25 August 2014
Copyright Ashley Pickering
Six first-team players turned out for Ipswich Town’s under 21 side as they beat their Swansea City counterparts in the season opener at Playford Road.
But free agent Jack Collison – who has been training at the club and could be offered a short-term deal by manager Mick McCarthy this week – was not included in the 16-man squad.
Nor was former Blue Darren Ambrose who has also spent time with the squad since being released by Birmingham last season.
Instead summer signings Kevin Bru, Balint Bajner, Alex Henshall and Jonathan Parr (returning from a pre-season injury) started along with defenders Elliot Hewitt and captain Matt Clarke, whose senior debut came in the 1-0 defeat at Crawley Town in the Capital One Cup.
The two full-backs impressed the most out of those six, Parr a model of calmness throughout while Hewitt’s runs down the right wing were one of the home team’s more effective threats.
And it was the young Welshman who scored the only goal of the game when he leapt highest to meet a Bajner cross from inside the box and nod past David Cornell in the Swansea goal.
McCarthy, who was watching from the touchline, could be heard congratulating Hewitt as the teams reset for the kick-off and the 20-year-old has certainly done his chances of getting back into the first team no harm.
Ipswich controlled large parts of the game, goalkeeper Michael Crowe having little to do for much of the match as Swansea found themselves pinned back in their own half.
Most of the home side’s chances came via the wings, Hewitt and Parr keen to get forward and put in crosses or cut the ball back for the midfield to run at the visiting defence.
This was typified by 18-year-old Irishman Cory Galvin who, wearing the number seven shirt, was always quick to run at his opponents and put the wind up defenders unable to match him for pace or strength despite his small stature.
Other promising youth players included Clarke and Omar Sowumni, the central defensive pair towering over almost all of the Swans side and mopping up the visitors’ long balls forward, which seemed to be their primary tactic.
When Swansea did keep the ball on the deck midfielder Liam Shephard and left-back Raheem Hanley were the two who stood out the most, the former fashioning a few chances for his team before being substituted while the latter kept Hewitt busy throughout the 90 minutes.
Despite playing well Town struggled to find that killer final ball regularly, and it was this rather than standout defensive work from Swansea which limited their clear-cut chances.
Bajner spent most of the match holding up the ball while his teammates rushed forward and in the 74th minute he did just that on the left edge of the box.
After shrugging off the unwanted attention the Hungarian floated in a cross which was met in the air by Hewitt just outside the six-yard box, whose header back across goal drifted beyond a helpless Cornell.
1 Michael Crowe; Composed when called upon. 7
2 Elliot Hewitt; Good all round and scored like a striker. 9
5 Omar Sowumni; Strong and reliable. 7
6 Matt Clarke (cpt); Organised defence and led from the back. 8
3 Jonathan Parr; Experience and quality showed. 7
7 Cory Galvin; Ran at defenders, looks promising. 7
4 Kevin Bru; Solid but unspectacular. 6
8 Teddy Bishop; Did the simple things well. 6
11 Alex Henshall; Linked well with Parr on left. 7
10 Balint Bajner; Unselfish and hard working. 7
9 Darren McQueen; Suffered against taller opponents. 6
12 Jacob Marsden (not used)
14 Joe Robinson (not used)
15 Jack Willbye (not used)
16 Shane McLaughlin 6 (Galvin, 77)
17 Cemal Ramadan (not used)
Bookings: None. Sendings off: None
1 David Cornell; Not at fault for goal. 6
2 Connor Roberts; Fashioned a few chances. 6
5 Stephen Kingsley; Pressurised by Town attackers. 6
6 Scott Tancock (cpt); Tidy but average. 6
3 Raheem Hanley; Looked good going forward. 7
7 Liam Shephard; One of Swansea’s better performers
4 Henry Jones; Booked for clumsy challenge. 6
8 Adam King; Fairly anonymous. 5
11 Kenji Gorre; Promising movements foiled by Hewitt. 7
10 Kurtis March; Didn’t trouble Clarke and Sowumni. 5
9 Alex Samuel; Good pace but outmuscled by defenders. 6
12 Ryan Hedges 6 (Gorre, 77)
13 Gregor Zabret
14 Alex Gogic
15 Giancarlo Gallifuoco 6 (Shephard, 63)
16 Kris Scott 6 (Jones, 67)
Bookings: Jones (53), Hanley (89)
Referee: Christopher Francis