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Ipswich Town Under-18s hammer Coventry City to win Professional Development League Cup

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Ipswich Town's Under-18s cruised to a 7-0 victory at the expense of their Coventry City counterparts to lift the Professional Development League Cup last night.

The Tractor Boys were four goals to the good at Portman Road, where the visitors suffered an early red card and never recovered.

The encounter was just 13 minutes old when Abel Alabi was shown his marching orders for bringing down Gerard Buabo inside the box. The responsibility from the spot fell to Tawanda Chirewa and just like Karim Benzema in the Champions League on Tuesday evening, he showed plenty of composure with a Panenka to set Ipswich on their way.

Adem Atay's Under-18s scored seven goals without reply against Ipswich. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Adem Atay's Under-18s scored seven goals without reply against Ipswich. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Ipswich won another penalty four minutes later after a challenge on Jesse Nwabueze, who ended the season on loan at Felixstowe & Walton United, was penalised. On this occasion Chirewa saw his effort saved by Coventry goalkeeper Luke Bell, but Nico Valentine reacted quickest to turn in the rebound from a narrow angle.

Cameron Humphreys set up Jack Manly to make it 3-0 after 35 minutes before Valentine added his second goal of the game when turning in a cross from the lively Nwabueze.

Just two minutes into the second half Ipswich scored their fifth goal courtesy of Buabo, who got up highest to head a Humphreys corner beyond the reach of Bell.

Goal number six came just after the hour mark when Chirewa shifted the ball on to his left foot and whipped a shot that flew inside the far post.

And the scoring was completed with 67 minutes on the clock as another Humphreys corner was converted, this time by Albie Armin.

Under-18s manager Adem Atay said: "They fully deserve it. For the whole nation it's been a tough two years but these boys, in a scholarship programme that they're in, it's been a tough two years.

"They got to semi-final of the Youth Cup last year and played behind closed doors. They done so well last year without having facilities to use because of Covid, so I just feel this is one big reward for them to come through the programme and perform like they did tonight because it was a good performance.

"They're a good group of boys and they deserve to enjoy this occasion.

"Our main focus before the game was to do things properly and make sure on the occasion you enjoy it, perform right, because yes they are people watching.

"Everybody contributed and there wasn't a bad performance from anyone. It is really pleasing to see because it is not often at youth level you can get a group of players that can collectively perform on the night when it matters. It's a good experience for them, it's a final and a cup game and they've come through it."

Ipswich: Ridd, Agbaje (O'Neill 72'), Barbrook, Humphreys, Bradshaw (Steele 72'), Armin, Valentine, Manly (Turner 50'), Buabo, Chirewa, Nwabueze. Attendance: 559.