Stoppage time heartbreak for Town as Melbourne advance in the FIFA Quaran-Team cup

Melbourne secured their place in the second round of the FIFA Ultimate Quaran-Team tournament after a stoppage time winner in the replay between the two sides.

Town’s Josh Blunden took on Melbourne Victory’s Mouad Zwed this morning in the fist round of the tournament. Josh selected an attacking line-up for his opening game, with Kayden Jackson, James Norwood and Will Keane all starting for Town.

Josh picked a 4-2-3-1 formation, Tomas Holy was given the nod in goal, behind a back of Kane Vincent-Young, Luke Chambers, Luke Woolfenden and Luke Garbutt. Flynn Downes and Emyr Huws were preferred to Cole Skuse and Jon Nolan in front of the back four. Kayden Jackson and Jack Lankester operated in the wide roles, with Will Keane just behind lone striker James Norwood.

In the opening game, Town dominated the ball during the opening exchanges, but were not able to create too many goalscoring opportunities in a cagey opening.

Despite Town seeing a lot of the ball, it was Melbourne Victory who took the lead. The goal came just before the half hour mark, with Nabbout beating Woolfenden with a lovely bit of skill and firing past Holy in goal.

After the break, Town had more intensity about their play and were rewarded just be the hour mark. James Norwood worked the ball to the byline before firing a low ball across the face of goal for Jack Lankester to equalise.

Despite Town continuing to dictate the play, Melbourne were still looking very dangerous on the break, but both teams had to settle for the replay.

Starting with an unchanged side, it was Town who had the first real chance of the replay but Will Keane fired just wide.

Moments later, Melbourne could have took the lead but Tomas Holy was there to deny them the opener. 

Town were then awarded a penalty in the 30th minute, but James Norwood’s spot kick was straight down the middle and easily saved.

The breakthrough came early in the second half. Kayden Jackson and Will Keane exchanging passes down the right, with the former Accrington man then pulling the ball back for Will Keane to fire Town into the lead. 

That goal then sparked a goalscoring frenzy, with Athiu equalising for Melbourne in the 56th minute. Two minutes later Town regained the lead, Kayden Jackson again pulling the ball back, this time Jack Lankester found the net.

James Norwood then made amends for his earlier penalty miss, scoring the third after putting through on goal in the 64th minute to put Town in a 3-1 lead.

Melbourne got back into the game when Nabbout pulled a goal back, just after Town changed to a more defensive 5-3-2 formation.

That formation change seemed to have had handed the initiative to Melbourne as they clawed back a two goal deficit to equalise through Athiu in the 76th minute.

Alan Judge was then introduced for Jack Lankester for the final ten minutes, with Josh opting back to the traditional 4-2-3-1.

However, the winner came from the Australians and the comeback was complete. Typical of Town (in real life) the goal came in stoppage time, after being initially denied by Holy, Kamsoba was quickest to react and head Melbourne Victory into the next round. 

It was a brilliant effort from Josh, who certainly gave as good as he got, only to be undone by the sucker punch! To be fair, it wouldn’t be Ipswich Town if we didn’t have that kick in the…

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