Town fail to find shooting boots

IPSWICH Town, who lost their footwear on their way to Denmark, failed to find their shooting boots in their first match on this six-day pre-season trip.

Randers 0 Ipswich Town 0

IPSWICH Town, who lost their footwear on their way to Denmark, failed to find their shooting boots in their first match on this six-day pre-season trip.

Their boots were discovered by the airline in time for last night's match against a Randers side who have just been promoted to the Danish Super League.

In a rather low key affair, Town manager Joe Royle used an inexperienced side and chances were few and far between.

Richard Naylor, one of the substitutes, struck the bar with a header in the final minute but otherwise the visitors rarely looked likely to find the net in front of around 150 of their supporters who had travelled to Scandinavia to watch.

Lewis Price made one fine save and looked secure throughout the 90 minutes in front of a defence that had little authority in the first period but improved after the break when Naylor came on to partner Drissa Diallo at the heart of the defence.

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Youngsters Scott Mitchell and Scott Barron lasted the full 90 minutes, although the former was not at his best for parts of the game at right back. Barron switched to midfield after the interval and continued a busy display.

Antonio Murray had his first game for eight months and was one of the few successes on the night until he was forced off in the 78th minute after being affected by cramp. Young Murray moved the ball around neatly on a big pitch but Ipswich were unable to find any sustained rhythm with the front runners unable to hold the ball up and mount attacks.

Spaniard Pablo Counago lost possession many times and it was no surprise when he was substituted at the interval after a disappointing 45 minutes.

Teenager Dean Bowditch also failed to sparkle and Darren Bent's arrival in the 72nd minute livened things up in attack.

Tommy Miller was made captain in the first period and he got back into his game after an operation on his jaw during the summer led to him missing Saturday's 2-1 victory at Peterborough.

Randers, who are part-time with most of their players having worked during the day, posed Town problems with Georges Santos and Diallo failing to cope at times with the Danish forward line.

The 12-hour journey to Randers from Ipswich the previous day no doubt had an effect on Town and the match was more about improving fitness levels than on winning.

Trialist Mark Rivers, after a splendid early run that took him past three defenders, disappeared from the game for periods before being one of the players replaced at half-time.

Whether he figures in what Royle considers to be his best available side in the stiffer match against Aalborg on Friday remains to be seen, but the former Norwich midfielder probably has more work to do to gain a contract with Ipswich chief executive Derek Bowden confirming that any more full time signings will have to be at the expense of someone leaving.

In the eighth minute Mogen Laursen broke clear of Santos and Diallo and from his cross Lars Larsen shot over from a great position.

In a rare Town attack Counago linked with Miller who brought a good save out of Christian Kemph, with Rivers sliding a follow-up effort wide of the goal.

Laursen broke clear again after 28 minutes with Nocko Jokovic heading over when unmarked close in.

Mitchell and Murray figured in an impressive build up as Ipswich stepped up a gear after the break with Bowditch seeing his angled drive tipped over by substitute keeper Martin Laursen.

Another substitute, Rastrus Katholm burst through a square Town defence just after the hour and Price needed to dive smartly to his right to make a good save on his way to a clean sheet.

Barron then put Bent clear but his shot was tipped over well by the Randers keeper.

With time running out Bent directed a header from beyond the far post that would have entered the goal if it had not struck Naylor when the Town player was standing on the line.

Magilton's desire came to the fore when he was cautioned after a spat with Morten Lauritsen and then came Naylor's backward header that struck the post with a minute remaining.

Randers FC starting XI: Kemph, Rask, Rasmussen, Nielsen, Pedersen, Rynkerby, Kral, Thygesen, L Larsen, Jokovic and Laursen. Second-half substitutes: Rathmus, Holdgard, J Larsen, M Larsen, Lauritsen, Andersen,

Ipswich Town starting XI: Price, Mitchell, Barron, Diallo, Santos, Richards, Rivers, Miller, Counago, Bowditch, Murray. Second-half substitutes: Magilton 46, Kuqi 46, Naylor 46, Horlock 46. Bent, 72, Wilnis, 78.

Attendance: 1,100