U23 Professional Development League
Team: Dieng, Petrasso, Caulker, Paul, Hamalainen, Smyth, Stylianides, Goss, LuaLua, Akinola, Oteh
Sub Not Used: Herdman
The match kicked off late due to the Ipswich Town players’ coach being held up in traffic.
The young R’s side also included Steven Caulker and Kazenga LuaLua, with Chris Paul taking the captain’s armband.
The first goalscoring opportunity fell to Paul Smyth after he had received a long ball over to the right-wing. He then cut in and the Ipswich keeper managed to stop his low shot after sticking out a leg.
The Northern Ireland winger received a good ball in the box from Michael Petrasso, but his effort evaded the crossbar.
Rangers were having the best of the half, but it was the visitors who took the lead on 37 minutes with only their first real effort thus far. New Zealand international, Monty Patterson, turned, almost stumbled, but continued and slotted the ball in at the far post. Half-time: 0-1.
In the 54th minute, Aramide Oteh headed in LuaLua’s cross, but it was ruled offside.
Michael Petrasso was having a good game at right-back, but unfortunately he was forced off around the hour mark and Olamide Shodipo replaced him.
Danny Darbyshire’s introduction soon followed after Paul Hall took off Romeo Akinola.
Ben Folami spectacularly doubled Ipswich’s lead on 63 minutes. Seeing the R’s keeper well off his line, he lofted the ball from just inside his own half. Seny Dieng ran back and tried to palm the ball away on the goal-line, but to no avail.
Chay Tilt came on minutes later at the expense of Paul Smyth.
The Tractor Boys No.7, Conor McKendry, was walking a very fine line with his constant fouling and kicking the ball away!
Rangers came close to pulling a goal back on 72 minutes, when Oteh’s curled effort came off the crossbar. Then a long-range effort finished just wide of the post.
Whilst at the other end, the visitors could well have added a third when the Ipswich player ran free into the box, but then knocked the ball wide of the far post.
In the closing stages, Oteh headed Shodipo’s cross just over the bar from close range, but he made no mistake soon after. Although he didn’t really get hold of it, his shot from 20 yards found its way into the corner of the net.
This was just the second defeat of the season, and with Coventry not in action until the following week, Ipswich closed the gap and moved up into second place.