Quick match report from last night's U23's fixture at Portman Road v Ipshit Towaaaarn,
Don't expect names as buggered if I know who most of them were and it wasn't helped by the Blades' team on the photocopies of the team sheets handed out didn't have numbers on them. In fact it didn't help the player's not having names on their backs and some of them having the same number (we had 2 number 6's for example!).
Anyway, we started well enough but after about 10 mins looked a little lethargic, like we'd travelled 4.5 hours down the A1 and A14 just before the game
We were holding and playing the ball well in midfield but not really creating much and looked dodgy everytime Ipswich broke, which wasn't that often and was usually a long ball over the top. The lino was terrible and missed several clear offsides (I'm talking yards not inches).
It was poor marking at a corner that got them their first goal, how a corner can land at someone's feet in the six yard box for him to jab home I'm not sure, especially as he was marked. Keeper should have come for it and defender should have cleared it.
Hallam (I think) then went on a mazy run and curled a level shot in from the angle of the edge of the box but the Ipswich keeper made a stunning finger tip save to push it round the post. The ref gave a GK
We had a lot of possession in the middle of the pitch, they looked dangerous on the break but were made to pass the ball around the edge of their box for most of the half to be fair.
Their second came from another ball over the top (they'd claim it was a weighted lobbed through ball, but I'd claim it was hoofball again). The keeper came out to the edge of his box despite the Ipswich player going wide and being tracked by our full back. He dived, missed the ball completely but was given as second go and did the same again, then once more before they scored a second. A farcical goal to give away but to be honest we were looking more weary as the half drew on and Ipshit looked like scoring on every break, so I was fearing for us before HT.
Second half we were a different team. We were up and at them from the start and a goal was evidently coming. We missed a couple of sitters, where great play down the right wing saw the ball whipped in low into the six yard box but no one was able to get on the end of it when a tap in would do. Out strikers seemed to either want to hold back on the edge of their box, or were just too slow to get forward, although to be fair our wing backs and midfielders were lightening quick at going past their defenders.
Ipshit were even more limited to breaks now, but did look dangerous when they got out of their half, especially as we only had two players in our own half (3 with the keeper).
We dominated the 2nd period and should have scored at least 5 goals - I'm not talking half chances but sitters! If you add in the half-chances we could have had double figures. Our first came from a corner, the big black lad from the back soaring above their defence to head home. He'd done this a few times and missed an easy unmarked header earlier, but this time he hammered home and you could see it coming. They then scored a third shortly after, against the run of play and, you guessed it, on the break with their 2nd attack of the 2nd half, but again the keeper could (bit harsh this time maybe) have saved it as the chasing full back put pressure on their forward.
Our second goal came after some brilliant play down the right, quick passing leaving Ipswich dizzy and chasing shadows for log periods of the game (think Swindon or Southend away for what it was like). Then the right sided midfielder powered past three defenders into their box, the keeper saved well, they cleared the rebound effort off the line but we then slid it home from three yards.
There were two more occasions where this ping pong happened in their box but this time we couldn't score. They broke again got a pen and skied it, then we had three more good chanced, a header just going over when it was was looking goal bound, great save from the keeper then another tap in going inches wide when it was easier to score, smacking the post from 25 yards with a low, rasping and curling shot and so on.
Plus points for me were the way we dominated second half, all over the pitch. Our right winger was especially good as was the left wing-back... Not sure about the defence and keeper who looked dodgy throughout, but give them credit we did play with 3 and then 2 only at the back. Our strikers also didn't seem to get much of the ball and their positioning seemed too far back when if they'd been further forward there were simple tap ins to be had on more than one occasion.