Huws’ recovery continues, Town win in U23 Premier Cup and Cowley watches from stands
PUBLISHED: 11:00 07 November 2017
Emyr Huws got another 90 minutes under his belt as Ipswich Town’s Under-23s put on an impressive display to beat Aston Villa 2-1 in Premier League Cup at Portman Road last night, writes Harry Mallett.
The Blues played a strong team that featured senior players Emyr Huws, Dean Gerken, Myles Kenlock and Danny Rowe.
Huws completed another full match for Gerard Nash’s side as he steps up his recovery from the Achilles injury which has sidelined him ever since he completed his permanent switch from Cardiff City in the summer.
Ipswich burst out of the blocks and took less than three minutes to take the lead. Danny Rowe’s cross was flicked on into Conor McKendry’s path and the diminutive Irish winger tapped home at the far post.
Town’s fast start continued when striker Ben Folami had the composure to lay the ball off for Rowe and his effort was tipped onto the crossbar.
Wing duo McKendry and Rowe continued to be a dangerous outlet for Town throughout the first half. Breaking from a Villa corner, McKendry drove from the edge of one box to the other and saw a low effort tipped wide.
Gerken wasn’t tested until the half hour mark when Corey Blackett-Taylor’s near post shot was routinely palmed past the post.
Town centre backs Luke Woolfenden and Pat Webber looked very composed on the ball, both splitting at goal kicks throughout the game and allowing Ipswich to build from the back. One such moment led to a Town corner from which Ben Morris volleyed narrowly wide.
The Blues’ tempo dropped towards the end of the half and, in the 42nd minute, Villa equalised when Harvey Knibbs got on the end of a scuffed cross.
Lincoln City boss Danny Cowley was spotted in the Cobbold Stand and was happy to pose for selfies with Town fans at half-time.
It was in the second half that Huws stamped his authority on the game, driving Ipswich forwards and helping his younger team-mates. The Welsh international went close in the 57th minute when checked onto his right foot on the edge of the box and forced a good stop from the Villa keeper.
Ipswich’s pressure finally paid when Morris did brilliantly to hold the ball up, get to the by-line and fizz in a cross which was parried into the path of Woolfenden to smash home.
Knibbs had a late chance for Villa when he just couldn’t reach a ball across the face of goal, but the Blues held on for another three points in the group stages.
TOWN U23s: Gerken; D Crowe, Woolfenden, Webber, Kenlock; Rowe (Dobra 80), Huws, McLoughlin (cpt), McKendry (Clements 74); Morris, Folami.
Unused: M Crowe, McGavin, Lankester.