Town starlets win Youth Cup

FA YOUTH CUP FINAL, SECOND LEGIpswich Town 1-0 Southampton (after extra time, Town win 3-2 on aggregate)EDWARD Upson won Ipswich Town the FA Youth Cup with a dramatic extra-time winner on an unforgettable night at Portman Road.

FA YOUTH CUP FINAL, SECOND LEG

Ipswich Town 1-0 Southampton (after extra time, Town win 3-2 on aggregate)

EDWARD Upson won Ipswich Town the FA Youth Cup with a dramatic extra-time winner on an unforgettable night at Portman Road.

Upson, a 15-year-old midfielder, came off the substitutes' bench and scored from 25 yards in the 118th minute to give the Blues a 3-2 aggregate victory.

Town captain Liam Craig lifted the cup as Ipswich, who had been cheered on by nearly 15,000 fans, won the competition for the third time.

Upson, who hails from Bury St Edmunds but has been involved with the Town set-up for three years, said: “I saw the ball coming back to me so I just went for power.

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"I cannot believe it, I'm so pleased. I haven't experienced anything like that in my life.”

Ironically, Upson was only selected for the bench due to regular midfielder

Owen Garvan being ruled out with a virus.

Ipswich academy manager Bryan Klug admitted he had taken a risk by choosing

Upson but thought the youngster had deserved his chance.

“Edward is a boy in our under-15s team and has been doing really well,” said

Klug.

“At 15, to play in front of 14,000 people and Sky Television, it could have gone horribly wrong.

“But we knew he could score goals and he stroked the ball around like a quality player."

The result was harsh on Southampton who had created the majority of the chances but were denied by a combination of poor finishing, brave defending and excellent goalkeeping.

Shane Supple was in outstanding form and made a fantastic double save in the

63rd minute to twice deny Southampton's Tim Sparv from close range.

The Saints had broken Ipswich's offside trap and Theo Walcott crossed for

Sparv, who looked certain to score from inside the six-yard box.

His first effort was parried by Supple and the ball rebounded back to the midfielder but Supple somehow recovered to stop the follow-up shot on the

Ipswich goal-line.

Klug said: “You will have to go a long way to see a better save than that in the Premier League, Spanish or Italian leagues.

“Shane is a young man who deals with anything in a great manner. He has been with the first team, played in the reserves and always works hard. We are really pleased for him.”

Ipswich had impressed in Monday's 2-2 draw at the St Mary's Stadium in the first leg but had to soak up a lot of pressure last night.

The Saints dominated the first half but failed to take any of their numerous chances with David McGoldrick, Leon Best and Walcott all missing the target when well placed.

Although Ipswich's performance improved in the second half, Southampton continued to create the better opportunities.

Best thought he had won the cup for his side in the 79th minute when he put the ball in Ipswich's net but was correctly adjudged to be offside.

Ipswich struggled to create any clear-cut opportunities in normal time but nearly stole a victory in the 90th minute.

Away goalkeeper Andrew McNeil, who had seen little action, had to save from

Knights and then a rebound effort from substitute Blair Hammond.

Both sides had chances in extra-time as the players began to tire. The game was only two minutes away from going to a penalty shoot-out when Hammond pulled the ball back to Upson whose shot took a slight deflection but went into the net.

However, the drama had not finished and the game nearly took another twist in the dying seconds when Town left-back James Krause had to clear the ball off the line after it had deflected off his team-mate Aidan Collins.

But Ipswich held on to spark jubilant scenes at the final whistle as the club had won their first FA Youth Cup in 30 years.

Ipswich Town (4-5-1): Supple, Krause, Collins, Casement, Synnott; Craig,

Lordan (Hammond 82), Trotter (Upson 105), Moore, Haynes (Sheringham 71);

Knights.

Subs not used: Reynolds, Ainsley

Southampton (4-4-2): McNeil, Critchell, Rudd, Cranie, Richards; Dyer, Sparv

(Lallana 106), James, Walcott; Best, McGoldrick (Condesso 86).

Subs not used: Wallis-Tayler, Jones, Dutton-Black.

Attendance: 14,889

Referee: Mr Andre Marriner

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