|Two goals from Steven Hewitt|
From the last game out versus Accrington we saw the return to the starting line-up of Archie Love, replacing the chicken pox victim Cameron Howieson, and Aryn Williams, slotting in at right back as 1stt year Jack Errington dropped to the bench, also came back in. He was even being watched from the stands by big brother and former Claret Rhys. There were also a good number of scouts in the crowd alongside our entire 1st team coaching staff all hoping to see some young stars put in a performance. They weren’t to be disappointed.
We started strongly and were the best side for the opening quarter of the match. We were playing some lovely stuff, showing innovation and confidence that generally comes with the precociousness of youth. Shay McCartan skipped past his marker and laid it up to Adam Evans, who just cleared the bar. Then Love showed a dazzling Ardiles-like piece of footwork to wrong-foot the entire defence and break into the box. His cut back was a little fierce though and was cleared. Steven Hewitt then fired a shot over from the edge of the box.
The only issue was that we were not finding the target and slowly but surely Ipswich gained a foothold and asserted control. As they tightened their grip we started resorting to pass attempts that were too extravagant and we began to routinely surrender possession. On the half hour mark we had a scare as the Ipswich number 10 struck the bar with a thunderous long range effort. We were dropping deeper as the visitors pressed, but that allowed us to utilise one of our strengths at this level and that is a rapid counter. Hewitt cut out a pass and burst clear with Tractor boys trailing in his wake. He found speed merchant McCartan but the Ulsterman was taken out near the corner of the box. The ref could have gone either way with the card colour but I think was correct to show yellow. The free kick was fired high over the bar by Hewitt.
With less than five minute to the break we were undone and it was a really soft goal. A corner routine was worked to the near post and the number ten made contact. Somehow the ball squeezed in past the near post via a deflection or two and it was 1-0 Ipswich.
However, we didn’t allow our heads to drop. We won a left wing corner and the routine between Love and Evans saw a clumsy challenge made in the box and a spot kick was awarded to us. Steven Hewitt stepped up and fired in a shot even Sly Stallone would have struggled to keep out. It proved to be the last action of the half as the ref blew up immediately after the restart and the young Clarets left the field in buoyant mood.
The 2nd half started and seemed a little niggly. We found opportunities to break but on each occasion were stopped by cynical fouls. We could have allowed the frustration to get to us but instead retained focus and were rewarded. Hewitt again cut out a through ball and surged through. He played it to Jason Gilchrist, who in turn played it forward for McCartan to run onto. Despite perhaps being 2nd favourite to the covering defender the pressure he exerted was enough to force a mistake and he won the ball. He cut back to Hewitt who rounded the move off with a strike into the back of the net.
|Aryn Williams was watched by brother Rhys|
Our tails were really up at this point and we put the Town defence under tremendous sustained pressure. Gilchrist jinked in on the right but his cut back was smashed for a corner. McCartan picked up the ball from Evans on the wing and hit an angled drive that needed fingertips to turn it round the post. The resultant corner was tipped over by the keeper when it looked to be curling straight in.
The visitors were really rocking and you felt a third must be close. Thankfully it was as Alex Coleman headed the ball out from the back and Gilchrist spun away and ran in on goal. He got into the box, outmuscled the centre half and took it past the keeper. As he was on the verge of pulling the trigger the other Ipswich centre half slid in and poked it into the unguarded net to make it 3-1 to the Clarets.
The Ipswich defence continued to work with a high line and we were creating more and more chances. We should have been completely out of sight when first Evans and then McCartan were put through in good positions, but the keeper and defence on both occasions managed to regroup.
With ten minutes remaining the visitors made a couple of chances but the efforts they mustered were off target on both instances. McCartan was replaced by Luke Daly up front to give the youngster his first appearance in a Claret shirt.
Into stoppage time and Gilchrist could have got on the score sheet at the death but as he ran on to a through ball the Ipswich keeper had read the situation well and managed to block the danger about 35 yards from his goal.
There were a number of good individual performances but tonight was all about the team, and as a group the lads fully deserved to progress to the next round. Regardless of who we end up playing in the next round we can do so without fear. I’d fully agree with the comments made by Eddie Howe prior to the match that there is some real potential in these lads.
Team:- Josh Cook, Aryn Williams, Luke Conlan, Alex Coleman, Tom Anderson, Archie Love, Steven Hewitt, Adam Evans, Alex Mullin, Jason Gilchrist, Shay McCartan (Luke Daly).
Subs not used:- Callum Jakovlevs, Charlie Holt, Lewis Nuttall, Jack Errington.