City reject Haynes at it again
CHRIS LAKEY Norwich City Res 1, Ipswich Town Res 2: One of the few consolations of this dismal season has been taken away from Norwich City - East Anglian bragging rights, courtesy of a City reject who is fast becoming a scourge of the Canaries.
Norwich City Reserves 1, Ipswich Town Reserves 2
One of the few consolations of this dismal season has been taken away from Norwich City - East Anglian bragging rights, courtesy of a City reject who is fast becoming a scourge of the Canaries.
Danny Haynes, the player whose controversial goal at Carrow Road handed Ipswich the Championship points back in February, hit both goals for the Tractor Boys last night as Town edged this season's derby fixtures. While spoils were shared among the first teams, it was the Ipswich reserves who twice came out on top against their Norwich counterparts.
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But while last night's result meant little in the positional jostling in the Barclays Reserve League South - Norwich are bottom of the 14-strong table while Ipswich move up a place to eighth - it perhaps gave some indications of manager Nigel Worthington's plans for the rest of the season, and possibly beyond.
Calls have been mounting for the Canaries boss to blood some of his youngsters now that the season is over and, while he has skirted the issue to a certain extent, there is no doubting the pedigree of many of those players.
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Of the seven “young” starters last night, four - keeper Joe Lewis, Michael Spillane, Ian Henderson and Ryan Jarvis - have international experience, as has sub Andrew Cave-Brown, while Rossi Jarvis is on Under-18s duty next week.
Henderson and Ryan Jarvis are the most experienced - in international and club terms - but neither has seen regular first-team action, while Spillane, Rossi Jarvis and, to an extent, Lewis, have been touted for a place now that the season is all but over.
However, it may be too soon for the likes of Matthew Halliday and Andrew Fisk, two of the four third-year scholars recently awarded professional contracts - the other two, Robert Eagle and Andrew Cave-Brown, starting on the bench.
Should Worthington give any of his young players a run over the next four Championship games, it may mean a barren time for one or two first-team squad players who played last night, including striker Peter Thorne, out of favour since the February hammering at Crystal Palace, and defender Jurgen Colin, who hasn't started a first-team game since the end of January. Then there's Simon Charlton, who will be released come the summer, when on-loan Zesh Rehman will go back to Fulham.
Lewis will find Robert Green a tough keeper to dislodge, but he produced a man-of-the-match performance last night, while Ryan Jarvis scored City's equaliser and should have had a second.
Spillane's position is the most interesting of all; he was substituted after an hour in the right-back position last night, which is usually pretty much a sure sign that he has obligations at the weekend - and not with the academy.
Certainly, in the current downbeat climate of all things Norwich City, there wasn't much top cheer for the near-4,000 crowd last night. Haynes, who had a trial for Norwich in 2004, beat Rehman for speed and slotted the ball past Lewis on 11 minutes, but Jarvis levelled on the half-hour mark from the penalty spot after James Krause was harshly adjudged to have handled his close-range shot.
The Fakenham youngster headed straight at keeper Lewis Price just before half-time, but the best moment came just before the interval when Lewis produced a breathtaking save to keep out a James McEveley shot that took two wicked deflections.
Town's winner came 19 minutes into the second half, again from the spot, after Fisk had handled Jaime Peters' cross - similar, but much more obvious than the first penalty decision.
Lewis was sent the wrong way by Haynes, but the keeper was in stunning form in the closing minute, twice defying Peters as Ipswich tried to wrap up the game.
The only consolation left for Norwich is if, in the meaningless morass that is the middle of the Championship, they finish above Ipswich. It means nothing in a season that has provided so little anyway.
t Norwich City Reserves: Lewis, Spillane (Bexfield 60), Charlton, Fisk, Rehman (Cave-Brown 45), Halliday, Colin (Eagle 77), Henderson, Thorne, Rossi Jarvis, Ryan Jarvis. Subs not used: Arnold (GK), Cave-Brown.
t Ipswich: Price, Mitchell, Krause, Casement, McEveley, Peters, Brekke-Skard, Trotter, Castro, Forster (Knights 72), Haynes. Subs not used: Petursson, Webster, Leabon, Moore.
t Attendance: 3,935.