Dunk 31, Starkey 36, Rea 73
Ipswich U21s 1
Albion’s under-21s emerged comfortable 3-1 winners against Ipswich Town, thanks to goals from Lewis Dunk, Jesse Starkey and Glenn Rea, and made it two wins out of two for new coach Simon Ireland.
The game itself started brightly and George Barker was unlucky not to give Albion the lead after 13 minutes. Collecting a lovely ball over the top, the hard-working forward saw his well- struck effort hit the underside of the visitors’ crossbar.
As the half progressed the home side continued to cause problems for the visitors and, when the goal arrived, it was nothing more than Albion’s youngsters deserved - and a cracker from Dunk.
Striding out from the back, Dunk played a quick ball to Barker and continued his charge up field, as Barker sprayed the ball wide for Starkey. His well-timed cross found Dunk unmarked on the edge of the Ipswich area.
Taking the ball in his stride, the big centre-back did not look out of place as Albion's most advanced player, and he emphatically fired past Ipswich Michael Crowe with his first touch to give Albion the lead, with a goal of which any striker would have been proud.
Albion doubled their lead through new recruit Starkey just before the break. Barker collected the ball in the middle, and ran at the Ipswich defence before he sliding in Starkey who finished the move with a neat finish to double the tally.
Ipswich, watched by first-team boss Mick McCarthy, enjoyed their best spell at the start of the second half, and after Dunk brought down Jack Marriott, referee Robin Cox had no choice but to award a penalty.
Paul Taylor halved the arrears, as his excellent spot-kick gave Christian Walton little chance in the Albion goal. The visitors, growing in confidence as the half wore on, almost leveled with twenty minutes to go but, after a well-worked move, Taylor's close-range effort was brilliantly blocked by Dunk.
However, with 14 minutes Albion killed off any Ipswich hopes of a comeback as Rea restored the two-goal cushion. Bradley Barry, on for Robert Hunt, won his side a corner and Brennan Dickenson floated in the resulting set-piece and Glen Rea, rising well, made sure of the win with a well-directed looping header back across goal.
Dickenson went close to a fourth for Albion a few moments later, but his effort was well saved by Crowe and, when the whistle blew, the win was just reward for a polished team performance.
Albion: Walton (GK), Hunt (Barry 72), Chicksen, Richards, Rea, Dunk, Goodwin, Asmundsson, Barker, Starkey, Dickenson.
Subs not used: Colquhoun (GK), Harris, Muitt, Horncastle.