Stu says: Five observations after Town U23s lose 3-1 at home to Charlton
PUBLISHED: 21:00 23 September 2019 | UPDATED: 23:11 23 September 2019
Ipswich Town's Under-23s suffered a sixth straight defeat tonight, going down 3-1 to Charlton Athletic at a rain-soaked Portman Road. STUART WATSON gives his thoughts.
TALE OF THE GAME
It took Town less than a minute to break the deadlock.
Anthony Georgiou set off on a driving run through the middle before slipping a pass to Jordan Roberts and his rather tame shot somehow squirmed into the net, despite Ben Amos getting his hands behind the ball. It was a howler from the former Bolton keeper.
Charlton increasingly began to get on top as the half wore on though. Harry Wright made a smart low save to keep out Ben Dempsey's effort inside the area, then Jake Forster-Caskey's inswinging corner struck the base of the near post.
The Addicks' breakthrough came in the 33rd minute when Dempsey's header looped in after Albie Morgan's free-kick from the left was only half-cleared.
Then came a quickfire double right on half-time as Dempsey drilled home from the edge of the box (43) before Josh Davison produced a cool finish (45+2).
Charlton's tempo dropped after the restart, but Town couldn't take advantage. Armando Dobra hit the bar after a jinking run, while the Albanian teenager also saw a lobbed effort drop just wide.
Toto Nsiala is becoming a bit of a cult hero with Town fans. The small crowd constantly chanted his not-suitable-for-print song and urged him to give them a wave at various points.
The centre-back was far too focused on the game to get engaged in that. He knows, following a spell out with a hamstring injury suffered in pre-season, that he's got a fight on his hands to get in Paul Lambert's side due to the fine form of Luke Chambers, Luke Woolfenden and James Wilson.
A week on from giving away a penalty at Burnley for 23s, it was his foul which led to Charlton's opening goal. After blocking a cross in the box he rushed out to make a follow-up tackle and got there late. He was booked and Town were punished from the subsequent free-kick.
The powerful defender responded with a super lunging block on Armando Quitirna Junior and also made a vital intervention in the second half.
Charlton's team, watched by first team boss Lee Bowyer, contained several senior players.
Welsh international right-back Adam Matthews, formerly of Cardiff, Celtic and Sunderland, showed his ability with a couple of classy assists at the end of the first half. The first was a clever cut-back, the second a super ball in from deep.
Chuks Aneke scored 19 goals for MK Dons last season on their way to League Two promotion. The big, strong centre-forward proved a handful for Corrie Ndaba at times.
Former Brighton midfielder Forster-Caskey has plenty of Championship and League One experience. He looked a calm head as the talented but green Town central duo of Armando Dobra and Idris El Mizouni sometimes ran into traffic.
Luke Garbutt got off to a flying start at Ipswich by scoring two goals in two games. He promptly injured his knee and spent five weeks sidelined.
The Everton loanee went straight into the starting line-up for the 1-0 win at MK Dons, where he looked pretty tidy, before being rested for Saturday's 1-0 victory at Gillingham.
Here he was pretty quiet. That was down to a combination of Matthews' attacking play down that side and most of Ipswich's attacks going down the opposite flank.
Anthony Georgiou was the man on the right wing. The Tottenham loanee was always positive. There was the driving run for the opener, a shot in the box blocked and a sumptuous switch pass.
It's now played six, lost six for Gerrard Nash and Chris Hogg's men in the Professional Development League Two South.
Last season, it was the first team rooted to the foot of the table and the U23s sitting top of the standings. Fast forward a few months and it's roles reversed. I know which I'd prefer.
Right now these matches are all about getting minutes in the legs for those either coming back from injuries or on the fringes.
IPSWICH TOWN (4-1-4-1): Wright; O'Reilly (Cotter 75), Nsiala, Ndaba, Clements (cpt); Scott (McGavin 61); Georgiou, Dobra, El Mizouni, Garbutt (Folami 61); Roberts.
CHARLTON ATH (4-4-2): Amos; Matthews, Yao (cpt), Keefe, Vega; Dempsey, Forster-Caskey, Morgan, Junior (Clayden 58); Davison, Aneke (Powell 77).