Ipswich Town’s Under 23s were beaten 1-0 by Barnsley at Playford Road this afternoon (Tuesday 13th April).

The game kicked off at 1pm and the young Blues, kicking toward the Playford Road end, had the first chance of the game on three minutes as Tyreece Simpson sent in a low cross from the left wing which Troy Parrott swept wide at the far post. Barnsley won the first corner of the game on five minutes, but the set-piece came to nothing before Town goalkeeper Bert White claimed the ball following a low, cross-shot from Tykes number 11 Tomas Kalinauskas.

Town had a scare on seven minutes, as White was forced into pushing a driven shot onto the post. Luckily for the hosts, the ball fell to a Reds attacker who was in an offside position. One minute later, Parrott tried to lay a low cross into the path of Simpson but a visiting defender arrived just in time to intercept. The game has started evenly and was being played at a good pace, with Town perhaps having fractionally the better of things in terms of chances.

A great team move from Ipswich on 13′ saw Parrott, Kan Vincent-Young and Myles Kenlock link up before the latter was dispossessed by a well-timed tackle in the opposition area. A similar move was put together five minutes later, but Liam Gibbs couldn’t quite keep the final through-ball in play (18′). On 23 minutes, White came to the edge of his area to claim a high ball but was unable to catch cleanly. The ball fell to Barnsley number 9 Angus Chapman who, fortunately for Town, fizzed his first-time shot just over the bar from 18 yards with the goal unguarded.

The action was end-to-end as the half reached its later stages, but clear-cut chances were at a premium. Bailey Clements cleared well from a Barnsley corner on 28′, Ross Crane’s trickery forced a corner at the other end on 30′ and White again saved well from Kalinauskas on 34′. On 36′, Crane and Parrott combined to force a corner which was taken by Gibbs. When the ball broke back to him, his whipped cross was well held by Tykes ‘keeper Daniel Jinadu under pressure from Clements.

The away side almost took the lead just before the break, as a through-ball found marauding full-back Renedie Masampu whose first-time effort was blocked by White for a corner. A minute later it was again Town’s turn to threaten as Cole Skuse broke up play in the centre of the pitch before releasing Parrott. The on-loan Tottenham Hotspur front-man saw his shot half-blocked by a tackling defender, however, which took the pace of the strike and allowed Jinadu to save comfortably. The half-time whistle blew with the sides level at 0-0.

There were no substitutions at the break and as the second period got underway, just like in the first half it was Simpson who threatened first with a powerful run without being able to pick out a team mate with his final ball (47′). Crane then fired over on 49′, before a sustained spell of Barnsley pressure resulted in back-to-back corners.

On 57 minutes, Town had their best opening of the game. Good work from Simpson led to a smart cut-back to Gibbs, whose stunning effort was brilliantly tipped around the post by Jinadu. The ‘keeper backed up that save by claiming the resulting corner. Four minutes later, Tristan Nydam fired in a strong left-footed shot but Jinadu was again up to the task. Barnsley made a double substitution on 63′, before Town made two changes of their own (Matt Healy on for Crane on 64′, then Colin Oppong on for Simpson on 68’).

On 75′, left-back Masampu again threatened but his shot was superbly blocked by a lunging, perfectly-time Skuse tackle. From the resulting corner, a Barnsley player inexplicably headed wide when it seemed easier to score. The visitors didn’t have to wait long to break the deadlock, however, as Chapman slotted a right-footed effort low and beyond White in their very next attack (76′).

Barnsley pushed for a decisive second goal, but were almost caught out when Skuse and Parrott linked before a Barnsley player cleared the resulting cross from almost under his own bar. Substitute Healy then got the only yellow card of the game as the match entered its final moments (85′). Barnsley then won three corners in a row but were unable to put the game to bed, with Clements among others standing firm for Town.

Into injury time, the Blues had a couple of chances to claim a point as Vincent-Young’s cross to Oppong was cleared just in time (90+2) before Nydam fired a late free kick well over the bar. The final whistle blew, with Chapman’s 76th-minute strike sufficient to see the young Tykes leave Suffolk with all three points in this Professional Development League clash. The result sees Town stay in second place in the ‘South’ table, nine points behind Bristol City who drew 1-1 at home to Nottingham Forest. Barnsley’s win saw them move up to fourth place in the ‘North’ section.

Town’s Under 23s, sponsored by CNet Training, are next in action on Monday 19th April when they travel away to Wigan Athletic (11am kick-off).

ITFC Under 23s line-up vs Barnsley (home, league, Tue 13/04/2021): White. Vincent-Young, Andoh, Clements, Kenlock, Skuse, Gibbs, Nydam, Crane (Healy 64′), Simpson (Oppong 68′), Parrott. Unused subs: Bort, O’Reilly, Page

Photo credit: James Ager

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