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Report: Bristol City U23s 3-1 Ipswich Town U23s

A strong City Under-23 side secured consecutive home victories with a comfortable 3-1 win over their Ipswich Town counterparts at Stoke Gifford Stadium this afternoon.

Gustav Engvall, Diego De Girolamo and trialist Osagi Bascome each found the net after the break, in an afternoon when Jamie McAllister’s young side were bolstered by the inclusion of several first-team players. 

Ivan Lucic, Taylor Moore, Adam Matthews, Korey Smith, Josh Brownhill, Callum O’Dowda and Luke Freeman were among those included in the starting XI in a bid to boost their match fitness. 

The hosts enjoyed some good early possession and attacked with real menace from the first whistle, while the Tractor Boys continued to stand firm in defence and frustrate the young Robins. 

O’Dowda, Brownhill and Freeman were equally instrumental and direct in their style of play as City repeatedly threatened to break the deadlock inside the opening stages. 

After Brownhill’s early free kick was comfortably gathered by Harry Wright, the Ipswich stopper was called into action moments later when he desperately pushed Freeman’s driven effort on to the crossbar to maintain his clean sheet. 

City continued to press with urgency as the half wore on, and Brownhill was denied once again when his skidding low drive from 25 yards forced Wright into a stooping save down to his right. 

In a rare attack, the visitors had their first real sight on goal when the highly-rated Andre Dozzell attacked the City defence with pace, but, just as he positioned himself for a shot, the recovering Matthews produced a superb last-ditch sliding challenge to pinch possession. 

On the stroke of half-time, Brownhill saw another stunning effort from distance parried away by the outstretched Wright, leaving City increasingly in the ascendancy come the break. 

Rather than dwell on an infuriating first half in which Wright looked unbeatable, McAllister’s side flew out the traps in the second period and took a deserved lead within eight minutes. 

Smith picked out Joe Morrell’s overlapping run with an inch-perfect ball, and the promising Academy product found himself a pocket of space to cross for Engvall, who expertly spun away from his defender to steer past the helpless Wright and open his goalscoring account in City colours. 

Moments later, the scores were level. A direct goal kick was flicked into the path of the nippy Ben Morris and the attacker knocked the ball under Lucic, who had raced off his line in a bid to claim possession, before finishing into an unguarded net. 

City responded brightly, however, and Morrell again turned architect after an individual piece of brilliance down the right allowed him to twist his way beyond the last defender before releasing a floating delivery across the six-yard area for De Girolamo to poke home. 

McAllister then made a triple substitution, as Smith, Matthews and Freeman were each withdrawn after 64 minutes, all of whom looked comfortable in their performance. 

The hosts then secured victory 15 minutes from time when substitute Bascome received possession just inside the area and sent a vicious first-time strike nestling into the near corner – showing why he has seen his trial period with the club extended. 

City Under-23s: Lucic, Matthews (Harris 64), Moore, Kelly, Smith (Lyons-Foster 64), Brownhill, Morrell, O’Dowda, De Girolamo, Freeman (Bascome 64), Engvall. Subs not used: Wollacott, Moseley.

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