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Report: Blues Under-18s 2 Ipswich Town Under-18s 3

Oumar Traore scored Blues' second goal against Ipswich.
Oumar Traore scored Blues' second goal against Ipswich.

We were 2-0 up with the wind behind us, but playing into the wind in the second-half we struggled.

Steve Spooner.

Blues Under-18s fell to a late 2-3 home defeat to Ipswich Town in their Professional Development League fixture at the Trillion Trophy Training Centre on Saturday.

In a game which was very much affected by the strong blustery conditions, Rhys Hilton and Oumar Traore scored two early goals for Steve Spooner’s side.

But three second-half finishes from Ipswich saw the East Anglian side ultimately come away with the victory.

Hilton opened the scoring after he danced through the Ipswich defence before firing his effort into the top-right corner.

Blues looked in complete control in the opening stages as they quickly scored a second.

This time Hilton this was the creator of the goal, as he pulled the ball back from the right into the path of forward Traore and his effort trundled in off the goalkeeper.

Spooner’s side maintained control in the first-half although Ipswich did start to grow into the game as they looked threatening on the counter-attack.

The second-half was an altogether different story as Ipswich made the most of having the wind behind them.

And their dominance paid off just after the hour-mark when they pulled a goal back with shot from the left, before levelling minutes later with an attempt that deflected in off the post.

With less than 10 minutes of the match remaining, Ipswich claimed all three points with a goal which was scored from inside their own half that looped over Josh Bradley-Hurst in the Blues goal.

Lead Professional Development Coach admitted that his Blues side, which included a number of Under-16s in their line-up, were ultimately beaten because of lack of physicality.

“It was slightly disappointing that having gone in front, we weren’t able to hold onto it,” admitted Spooner.

“Rhys (Hilton) scored an excellent goal to give us the lead and he was also  pivotal in setting up the second goal by showing great skill and presence of mind to pick Oumar (Traore) out.

“But unfortunately, what really told in the end was our lack of physicality.

“We had five Under-16s playing; including three in our midfield.

“Having said that we wanted to get some of younger boys in with a view to using them next season, so it was a good opportunity.

“We were 2-0 up with the wind behind us, but playing into the wind in the second-half we struggled.

“The weather conditions made it hard for both teams, but where Ipswich had the advantage over us was the fact they were physically stronger playing into the wind.

“And we lost when their lad showed a great bit of skill to score the winner from inside his own half."

Blues: Bradley-Hurst, Roberts, Craig, Gordon, Oakley (Kinina, 69), Chang, Finnegan (Scott, 57), Baker, Walker, Hilton, Traore (George, h/t).
Subs (not used): Djurovic, Clayton.

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