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Conor Chaplin claims a hat-trick as Ipswich Town hit seven past Needham Market with Freddie Ladapo and Greg Leigh scoring on first outings



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Conor Chaplin helped himself to a second half hat-trick in a 7-0 victory as Kieran McKenna fielded two Ipswich Town sides in their opening pre-season match at Needham Market this afternoon.

Three of the Blues' four summer signings got their first minutes in front of a sellout crowd of 1,600 supporters at Bloomfields with Freddie Ladapo and Greg Leigh both getting their names on the scoresheet. Dominic Ball also featured while the game was deemed to come too soon for Tyreece John-Jules, the Arsenal youngster who signed on loan during the week.

Despite Needham missing a number of first-team regulars such as Luke Ingram and Patrick Brothers who were unavailable, leading Kevin Horlock's squad to include academy players mixed with trialists, the scoreline was just 1-0 at half-time. Matt Penney swept home in the 18th minute of what was two 30 minute halves.

Ipswich Town players celebrate Matt Penney's opening goal at Needham Market Picture: Richard Marsham
Ipswich Town players celebrate Matt Penney's opening goal at Needham Market Picture: Richard Marsham

With a new Town team, featuring regular captain Sam Morsy, emerging for the second half, further goals soon began to go past Needham's young replacement goalkeeper Ewan Johnson at regular intervals.

Tommy Hughes' third minute near-post effort started things off before two in two minutes from the 49th followed by a Chaplin finish and a Ladapo lob.

Chaplin glanced in a standing header thereafter before fellow new signing Leigh slid in number six at the far post.

Supporters enjoy getting close to the action with both clubs' opening pre-season friendly Picture: Richard Marsham
Supporters enjoy getting close to the action with both clubs' opening pre-season friendly Picture: Richard Marsham

The rout was completed by Chaplin two minutes into added time when his central free kick deflected in off the wall.

As well as John-Jules not being part of the squad, the Blues were also missing last season's top goalscorer Wes Burns and young defender Elkan Baggott, both of whom have not yet joined the group following international duties for Wales and Thailand. Geroge Edmundson and Kayden Jackson were not fit enough to be involved.

There was a real feelgood factor around Bloomfields in the sunshine before kick-off with Town's chief executive Mark Ashton and Mark Steed, over from America on a visit on behalf of the club's ownership group, both mingling with supporters.

Town lined up with a 4-2-3-1 formation for the first half with Dominic Ball and Cameron Humprheys playing in the deeper-lying midfield roles.

Freddie Ladapo lobs Needhan Market goalkeeper Ewan Johnson Picture: Richard Marsham
Freddie Ladapo lobs Needhan Market goalkeeper Ewan Johnson Picture: Richard Marsham

Youngster Tawanda Chirewa, captain for the half Sone Aluko and Kyle Edwards were the three behind striker Joe Pigott.

Christian Walton gave fans their first view of the new home goalkeeper shirt, a dark shade of green with purple flecks down the sleeve. The visiting players were also giving the new Ed Sheeran-sponsored Umbro home kit its first airing.

There was a chance for League One Town inside the opening minute with former QPR man Ball seeing a shot from the edge of the area deflected away off Tom Fitzgerald.

Ipswich Town's Kyle Edwards curls in a shot Picture: Richard Marsham
Ipswich Town's Kyle Edwards curls in a shot Picture: Richard Marsham

The Blues were dominating the early stages and only a good one-handed stop from Marcus Garnham denied Pigott in the ninth minute before Aluko saw his 12th minute free kick cannon off the back of the right-hand post.

Chirewa then brought a near-post save out of the Needham glovesman following turning smartly away from his marker after a short corner.

Kane Vincent-Young looks to break clear of a Needham Market trialist in the second half at Bloomfields Picture: Richard Marsham
Kane Vincent-Young looks to break clear of a Needham Market trialist in the second half at Bloomfields Picture: Richard Marsham

A rare sight of goal for Needham up the other end saw academy player Seth Johnson bear down on Christian Walton before Luke Woolfenden did well to thwart the danger.

Town took the lead in the 18th minute when Edwards cut in menacingly into the area from deep on the right-hand side and pulled the ball back for Penney who swept it past Garnham.

The left-back had a chance to double the dominant Blues' lead in the 21st minute but blazed wildly over the far post with his weaker right foot.

Matt Penney (right) opened the scoring for Ipswich Town with the only goal of the first half Picture: Richard Marsham
Matt Penney (right) opened the scoring for Ipswich Town with the only goal of the first half Picture: Richard Marsham

Edwards picked out Pigott in the 25th minute but the former AFC Wimbledon man was unable to trouble Garnham with a weak effort.

Aluko showed good footwork to dance past a few challenges before sending his shot wide as the half drew to a close with Needham having kept the scoreline to 1-0.

While the hosts only opted for four changes at the break, including released Town player Ross Crane, who had ended the season on loan at Bury Town, it was a totally new visiting side.

Rekeem Harper, usually seen in central midfield, partnered Cameron Burgess in the centre of defence with Idris El Mizouni in an unfamiliar right-back role.

Ipswich Town's summer signing Freddie Ladapo looks to break clear of the attentions of Needham Market's Dan Morphew Picture: Richard Marsham
Ipswich Town's summer signing Freddie Ladapo looks to break clear of the attentions of Needham Market's Dan Morphew Picture: Richard Marsham

Lee Evans partnered Sam Morsy in the holding midfield roles with Ladapo spearing the attack. Vaclav Hladky was in goal despite reports the club are speaking to Aberdeen over a move for him.

Hughes sent an effort over at the near post early on before the youngster doubled Town's advantage less than three minutes after the restart. Kane Vincent-Young broke into the box and rolled the ball across to him with Hughes' effort going in despite Garnham getting a hand to it at his near post.

Ladapo could not direct a header from an inviting cross from Vincent-Young goalwards before El Mizouni's goalbound effort was turned up and over the bar by Johnson.

Needham Market goalkeeper Ewan Johnson looks on after Ipswich's Greg Leigh slid in a further goal in a punishing second period Picture: Richard Marsham
Needham Market goalkeeper Ewan Johnson looks on after Ipswich's Greg Leigh slid in a further goal in a punishing second period Picture: Richard Marsham

It was 3-0 in the 49th minute when Morsy flicked on Leigh's left-wing cross and Chaplin fired home from inside the area.

Within a minute Johnson was picking the ball out of his net again after a smart-thinking and well-placed lob from Ladapo.

Evans was withdrawn in what seemed a pre-arranged alteration 22 minutes into the half with youngster Albie Armin replacing him.

Two minutes later it was 5-0 with Hughes picked out Chaplin with a cross from the right and the number 21 nodded it beyond Johnson.

Morsy saw an effort deflected wide from a Vincent-Young pull-back before Leigh slid in at the far post to convert a delicous cross from El Mizouni for number six.

The seventh arrived in stoppage time with Chaplin firing in a central free kick just outside the area in off the wall.

The match was followed by a simultaneous penatly shootout at both ends, utilising all the players saw Ipswich win in front of the Hub (car park end) 6-4 while the other end was a 5-5 draw.

The players delighted fans by staying behind afterwards for pictures and a signing session on the club's 3G academy pitch.

Town boss McKenna was left delighted with what they got out of the day and praised Needham Market's hospitality.

Needham Market squad: (shirt numbers 1-11 and subs 12 & 15-18 unless in brackets in order): Garnham, Dye, Trialist, Hammond (14), K.Morphew (c), D.Morphew, Trialist, Fitzgerald, Chambers, Clark, Trialist. Subs: Cullum, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Crosthwaite.

Ipswich Town 1st half: Walton, Donacien, Woolfenden, Ndaba, Penney, Ball, Humphreys, Chirewa, Aluko (c), Edwards, Pigott.

Ipswich Town 2nd half: Hladky, Vincent-Young, Leigh, Burgess, Lee (Armin 52'), Harper, Morsy (c), El Mizouni, Ladapo, Chaplin, Hughes.

Attendance: 1,600 (sellout).