IPSWICH Town Under-18 coach Adem Atay was not too downcast after seeing his side lose to an injury time goal in the KBB NEFF Suffolk Premier Cup Semi-Final.
Atay, who was in charge of the Town youngsters along with ex-England international Kieron Dyer, saw his side lose 2-1 to Leiston at Felixstowe & Walton United FC on Wednesday.
Substitute Harrison Bacon scored a 92nd minute winner for Leiston, who had led through skipper Tom Bullard’s 14th minute strike, before Tom Hughes had deservedly levelled for Ipswich in the 68th minute. Ipswich equalise (pictured above) as Tom Hughes’ shot beats Leiston keeper Marcus Garnham. Photograph: Paul Voller.
Atay said afterwards: “First and foremost we want our boys to be exposed to these types of games and a different style of football.
“There were some really good individual performances. Leiston had the best chances in the game, but we played the better style of football – we just didn’t create enough good chances.
“After equalising it was disappointing they scored a last-minute winner, just like they did last year, but we wish Leiston, who have several of our ex-Academy and Youth team players, all the best for the final.”
Ipswich grew more into the game after the opening half-an-hour when Leiston could have scored more than once.
Atay continued: “We showed a little bit of experience, but we want to expose our players to situations like that as they have to learn to be at it from the start, because if you don’t you can be a goal or two behind before you know it.
“We did settle into the game and were good in possession until the final third, but we spoke to them at half time about that.
“In the second half we allowed them with one pass to have an open goal, which we cleared off the line, but otherwise I thought we deserved our equaliser.
“Towards the end both teams were tiring and the quality went down and when the board for four extra minutes went up I thought we would see it out.
“So it is disappointing to lose as every game we play we want to win, but it is also a learning experience which will stand them in good stead in the future.
“We like playing in this competition and we will be entering it again next year and trying to go one step further.”