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Blues Under-23s win a thriller

Posted: Mon 22 Aug 2016

The Development Squad defeated Ipswich Town this afternoon at Playford Road.

Kyle McFarlane, with two, and Wes McDonald got Blues goals and Jake Weaver saved a penalty in the Professional Development League clash.

Blues got off to a flying start with two goals in little over a minute.

 McDonald volleyed home from Viv Solomon-Otabor's cross after four minutes played, getting in between two defenders to meet a fine cross.

Then Ipswich were left reeling when Kyle McFarlane latched onto a pass over the top by Noe Baba and lobbed the ball over the 'keeper expertly.

However, Ipswich were far from out of proceedings.

Jake Weaver made an excellent save from an Andre Dozzell free-kick.

And trialist Leon Best reduced the arrears after racing onto a flick by Luke Varney before slotting in.

But, in the 33rd minute, Blues restored their two-goal advantage.

It was McFarlane again, sticking the ball past Michael Crowe. Dominic Bernard started another lightning attack by Blues, pressing to win possession, and a nice exchange of passes between Reece Brown and McDonald saw the former flip the ball through for McFarlane to profit.

A pivotal moment came just before the interval when Ipswich were awarded a penalty for a pull in the area.

Dozzell stepped up to take it and Weaver made a superb save, going high to his left to push the spot-kick wide.

The match continued in entertaining, open vein and Ipswich came back at Blues again when Adam McDonell made things tense for the final quarter.

But Weaver made another outstanding stop, from Varney, and McFarlane was denied a hat-trick when Crowe saved from point blank range.

Paul Caddis completed 90 minutes for Blues, who early on swapped roles for Luke Maxwell - from centre-half to midfield - and Baba in a ploy designed to quell the initial threat of Best in the air.

Blues, in a 4-2-3-1, performed energetically and with their pace always caused plenty of problems up top and wide for their hosts.

Blues: Weaver, Caddis, Bernard, Baba, Cogley, Maxwell, O'Keeffe, Brown, McFarlane, McDonald (O'Neill 60), Solomon-Otabor (Lubala 75). Not used: Trueman, Seddon, Popa.