Magilton's praise for Town substitutes

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton had praise for his substitutes after Matt Richards struck a dramatic late goal to earn the Blues a draw in last night's friendly against Willem II in Tilburg, Holland.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton had praise for his substitutes after Matt Richards struck a dramatic late goal to earn the Blues a draw in last night's friendly against Willem II in Tilburg, Holland.

Richards was one of the five replacements used in the second period, and the new manager also had praise for Billy Clarke and Danny Haynes.

“Matt added some quality to our midfield,” said Magilton. “He put his foot on the ball and provided the front men with some inviting passes.

“Billy and Danny also added some energy to our play and I was pleased with how the changes we made paid off.”

But Magilton could not hide his disappointment at the form of striker Dean Bowditch, who also appeared as a second half substitute.

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The boss said: “Dean is a very good footballer, but he needs some self belief. I want him to show me what he is capable of.”

Richards struck in the second minute of stoppage time to maintain Magilton's unbeaten record. He took a blow on his ankle within a minute of coming on and was hobbling in the hotel later on.

He said: “The blow was on the other side of the ankle I damaged last season. I should be okay. The ball bounced invitingly for me, and I was able to strike the equaliser with the power I intended.”

On this evidence though, there is plenty of room for improvement and it was a rather lacklustre display by the Blues on the first of their three games in their week-long tour to Holland and Belgium.

The visitors created few chances until Richards struck with a 22-yard left-foot thunderbolt that screamed into the corner of the net after Jaime Peters and Ian Westlake had had shots blocked following a long throw by Fabian Wilnis.

Icelandic international Indridi Sigurdsson struggled to make an impression at left back with most of the danger from an enterprising home team coming down their right side.

Magilton will be looking for a more fluid display when his team play in Waregem, Belgium tomorrow and back in Holland in a re-arranged match against Dordrecht on Friday evening.

Willem II are managed by former Norwich City player, Dennis Van Wijk and they included in their squad Joe Keenan, who was a Chelsea junior at the same time as Ipswich striker Sam Parkin.

The Tilburg-based side provided opposition that was a considerable step up from Ipswich's previous two pre-season games against Boston and Galway.

But it was Ipswich who had the first chance when the home keeper saved a close range effort from Richard Naylor, following a corner.

Shane Supple was impressive all night and he made an early save to deny Kevin Bobson before Willem should have taken the lead in the 27th minute when Mohamed Messoudi was clean through. Wilnis made a magnificent late challenge and the ball rolled safely away from the goal, to the relief of the Town defence.

Little happened to suggest an Ipswich goal before the interval and at the break, former Willem II players were paraded in front of their fans including ex-Town star Martijn Reuser.

Mounir El Hamdaoui was only cautioned for a blatant elbow across the face of Westlake in the 55th minute, and Ipswich were to pay for the referee's leniency six minutes later.

A cross from the left was not cleared and El Hamdaoui had space to rifle a 20-yard right-foot shot beyond the searching fingers of the flying Supple.

Sigurdsson was booked for a foul as he did his best to contain the Willem attack and soon afterwards he was replaced with what looked like a slight head wound as a succession of substitutes took to the field.

Teams

Willem II: Sengier; Wau, Kargbo, Baelum, Valencia, Hadouir, Messoudi, Assou-Ekotto, Bobson, Redan, El Hamdaoui. Second half subs: Van der Stuijk, Imschoot, Janse, Keenan, Swinkels, Holmin, Wilmet, Kerekesn Van Lieshout, Nieuwendaal

Ipswich Town: Supple; Wilnis, Naylor, De Vos, Sigurdsson; Peters, Bertin, Westlake, Currie; Parkin, Forster. Subs: Richards for Currie (62), Bowditch for Bertin (72), Haynes for Parkin (72), Barron for Sigurdsson (79), Clarke for Forster (83).

Referee: Mr B Kuipers.

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