Ipswich Town to benefit from home EFL Trophy tie after West Ham United Under-21s docked points meaning Colchester United also now progress
Ipswich Town's chances of progression into the last 16 of the Papa John's (EFL) Trophy have been boosted by the news they will now receive a home tie in the first knockout game.
A penalty shootout victory over local rivals Colchester United, following a goalless draw at Portman Road on Tuesday, had see the Blues finish runners-up in Southern Group A. It meant they were set to be drawn as an away side in the last 32 of the competition.
But the EFL has revealed table-toppers West Ham United Under-21s are being docked three points for fielding an ineligible player in their fixture against Gillingham on October 26.
Having received yellow cards in each of the previous two group fixtures, Ajibola Alese was suspended from playing and unavailable for selection, though featured in the fixture which West Ham U21s won 2-0.
The points deduction sees Ipswich elevated to group winners, despite a record of one win, one draw and one defeat, accumulating five points, from their three fixtures.
Colchester United, who had looked to have missed out on the knockout stages, will now qualify as runners-up with their four-point tally.
It means the Suffolk side and their supporters can now look forward to a home knockout tie in the regionalised last 32 stage. It has also been revealed it will be against Chelsea U21s, Arsenal U21s, Charlton Athletic or Stevenage after they were placed in Draw A of the Southern Section.
The draw is set to take place live on Sky Sports Football at 2pm on Saturday, following the conclusion of the station's coverage of the Sky Bet League Two midday kick-off between Port Vale and Bradford City.
David Prutton will host it and it will be conducted by former Newport County manager Michael Flynn, alongside Chris Birchall, who gained promotion with Port Vale in 2013. Round Two ties will be played week commencing November 29.
It was also revealed the EFL Board had reached a decision prior to kick-off in the fixture between Ipswich Town and Colchester United.
It is the first time that the Blues have reached the knockout stages of the competition, which concludes with a Wembley final, since they were eligible for it following their relegation from the Championship in 2018/19.