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Ledley's back, Roman conquers

Ledley King returned to action as Roman Pavlyuchenko's goal secured a 1-0 friendly win for our Spurs XI at Ipswich Town on Tuesday night.

Ledley King returned to action as Roman Pavlyuchenko's goal secured a 1-0 friendly win for our Spurs XI at Ipswich Town on Tuesday night.

The club captain breezed through the first 45 minutes of an entertaining encounter at Portman Road.

It was his first friendly action of the summer after an extended break for the World Cup and he declared himself fit and well afterwards.

Pavlyuchenko, back after suffering a hamstring tweak in the USA, played the full 90 minutes alongside Younes Kaboul and struck the only goal of the game just after the hour.

The Russian hitman took aim from 25 yards and saw his effort benefit from a deflection off Conor Hourihane to leave goalkeeper Arran Lee-Barrett stranded as the ball nestled in the corner.

It was a little harsh on Lee-Barrett after he'd kept out everything the lads had thrown at him, but few would argue that the right team won on the night.

King partnered Kaboul at the back in the first half in a 4-2-3-1 system, with Dean Parrett and Jake Livermore anchoring in central midfield, Paul Jose-M'poku and Jon Obika wide and Ryan Mason supporting Pavlyuchencko up top. Youngster Tom Carroll got his chance and impressed at left-back.

Indeed, it was Carroll who set up the first chance when he fizzed in a cross that Obika somehow failed to convert in front of goal.

Pavlyuchenko then brought the best out of Lee-Barrett as the keeper first blocked a one-on-one chance with his legs before flying to his left to turn away a piledriver from 20 yards. At the other end, Ben Alnwick showed similar sharp reflexes when Ronan Murray let fly.

When Lee-Barrett was beaten, Kaboul's header didn't have enough power to get past Reggie Lambe on the goalline and the teams went in scoreless at half-time.

Calum Butcher took over from King in the second half and we were soon in the ascendancy again only to be denied on a number of occasions by the impressive Troy Brown in the heart of the home defence.

M'poku forced another decent save from Lee-Barrett but the keeper was rooted to the spot when Pavlyuchenko's shot was deflected home to open the scoring in the 61st minute.

Obika headed just wide and lashed over from a good position and Parrett hammered straight at Lee-Barrett from 16 yards as we continued to pile on the pressure.

Roy Keane introduced the experience of Jon Stead and Pablo Counago just after we'd scored and the pair were heavily involved in Ipswich's best spell.

Stead held the ball up well before setting up Lambe and the wide man's shot from the right angle tested Alnwick to the limit, the keeper tipping the effort wide at full stretch.

Five minutes later and Counago picked the ball up in space and found Lambe again, but this time Alnwick was out quickly and got his angles right to block with his left foot.

Nathan Byrne had the last effort of note deflected wide on a good night for the lads in Suffolk.

Ipswich Town (4-4-2): Lee-Barrett; Ainsley, Brown, Eastman, O'Connor (Griffiths, 73); Lambe, Cawley, Hourihane (Stead, 61), Martin (Dunbar, 61); Murray (Counago, 61), Healy (Clark, 46). Unused sub: McLoughlin.

Spurs XI (4-2-3-1): Alnwick; Smith, Kaboul, King (Butcher, 46), Carroll (Byrne, 74); Parrett, Livermore (Kane, 74); Mason, M'poku (Dawkins, 66), Obika; Pavlyuchenko. Unused subs: Ranieri, Oyenuga, Durojaiye, Nicholson.