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Ipswich Town Under-23s lose nine-goal semi-final against Coventry City



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Ipswich Town's Under-23s came up just short in their goal-packed Professional Development League (PDL) semi-final away at their Coventry City counterparts this afternoon.

The young Blues, who finished top of the PDL Two South Division, found themselves in front on three separate occasions at the Coventry Building Society Arena. However, each time they were pegged back by the hosting Sky Blues, who after forcing the contest into extra-time ran out winners by a 5-4 margin.

It took Coventry just seven minutes to break the deadlock through Will Bapaga, but the response from Ipswich was swift as Tommy Hughes levelled up the scoreline with 15 minutes on the clock.

Captain Albie Armin was sent off late on against Coventry City. Picture: ITFC
Captain Albie Armin was sent off late on against Coventry City. Picture: ITFC

Cameron Humphreys, who made four senior appearances for the Tractor Boys in 2021/22, then put Ipswich in front for the first time with 29 minutes played and it remained 2-1 going into the break.

Parity was restored 10 minutes after the restart courtesy of Coventry's Marco Rus, and while both sides had chances – including Ipswich's Gerard Buabo striking the woodwork late on – a winning goal was not forthcoming and so the tie headed into an extra 30 minutes.

Within 60 seconds Hughes' second goal of the contest put Ipswich back in front, but Coventry were proving tough to shake off and they made it three goals apiece in the 99th minute when Jonny Ngandu kept his cool from the penalty spot.

Edwin Agbaje featured in defence for the young Town team. Picture: ITFC
Edwin Agbaje featured in defence for the young Town team. Picture: ITFC

Midfielder Tawanda Chirewa restored Ipswich's lead just before half-time, but the momentum switched in the 112th minute as Town defender Albie Armin was red carded and Ngandu levelled up the scoreline, again from the penalty spot.

And three minutes later Coventry scored the game's ninth and decisive goal through Ryan Howley, who planted his header beyond the reach of Ipswich goalkeeper Lewis Ridd.

The victory has sent Coventry through to the final to face either Sheffield United or Bristol City.

Ipswich: Ridd, Abaje, Hudson, Bradshaw, Kabongolo, Armin, Ward, Humphreys, Buabo, Chirewa, Hughes