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Town take spoils as Taricco returns

FA Premier Reserve League South

Mauricio Taricco completed 45 minutes on his return to Portman Road - but his former club took the spoils in Wednesday night's high-quality reserve encounter.

The full-back appeared untroubled in the first half in his first outing since our win at Blackburn Rovers back in October.

Still popular with the Ipswich fans, who gave him an ovation before the game, Taricco's return made back-page news in the local press and helped boost the gate to almost 2,000 in a match-up full of Premiership quality.

The home side flew out of the traps in the first half.

It took only a minute for Darren Ambrose to make his mark with a curling free-kick out of Lars Hirschfeld's reach and into the top corner from 25 yards.

However, we were level only seven minutes later as Ben Thatcher opened his account for the club with a rasping low drive from the edge of the area after Clemence was upended.

With the returning Martijn Reuser and Finidi George pulling the strings, Town had the better of the first half.

George was inches away from Westlake's cross before playing a major part as Ipswich regained the lead after 16 minutes.

The striker latched onto Reuser's flick only for Hirschfeld to save the one-on-one chance but he was there again from the ensuing corner, heading into the danger area where Tommy Miller rammed home the loose ball from 10 yards.

Perry produced heroics to keep out Reuser's shot soon after and in the final chance of the half, Hirschfeld was out sharply at George's feet after a lightning break.

Taricco was replaced by Diego Bortolozzo at half-time as Colin Calderwood switched from 3-5-2 to a 4-3-3 system.

That change certainly led to an increase in possession but with Ipswich getting plenty of players behind the ball and working tirelessly to deny us time and space, chances were few and far between.

The first fell to the lively Ferdinand midway through the half as he was a toe nail away from converting Blondel's low cross.

Naylor did well to head Rebrov's deep cross away from Blondel at the far post and substitute George Snee snatched at a chance after Rebrov's promptings.

Line-ups: Ipswich Town Reserves: Pullen, Artun (Bloomfield, 45), Richards, Naylor, Brown, Venus, Ambrose, Miller, George (Logan, 81), Reuser (Abidallah, 75), Westlake. Unused subs: Price, Beevers.

Spurs: Hirschfeld, Marney, Thatcher, O'Donoghue, Perry, Taricco (Bortolozzo, 45), Ricketts (Snee, 81), Clemence, Ferdinand, Blondel (Galbraith, 81) Rebrov. Unused subs: Burch, S Kelly.