By Richard Clarke
Arsenal leapfrogged Tottenham and returned to the top of the Premier Reserve League South table with a 2-0 win over Ipswich on Wednesday.
Headers from Arturo Lupoli 11 minutes from the start and nine minutes from the end settled a match played in bitter cold conditions behind-closed-doors at the Arsenal Training Ground.
The 18-year-old Italian striker now has 14 goals from 11 League games this season.
Lupoli's first was set up by Nicklas Bendtner's high, hanging cross from the right. The former Parma striker showed expert technique, heading the downward and past the despairing dive of goalkeeper Garnham.
Arsenal might have added further goals in the first half. In the 17th minute, Bendtner stabbed a shot over the bar at the near post and then set up himself for a shot in the turn.
Eight minutes before the break, the Danish striker turned provider. Ipswich defender Chris Casement allowed Bendtner's through ball to roll under his foot and Lupoli latched on. This time he dragged his shot wide.
Arsenal were on top but Ipswich had their chances. Liam Craig pulled shot wide when well-placed and Jaime Peters blazed over on the turn.
However, within 41 seconds of the restart, the home side might have killed the game. A clipped pass from Stokes sent Lupoli clear on the right. His cutback shot beat Garnham but Gerard Nash recovered to boot the ball off the line.
Arsenal seemed to be hitting their stride. In the 53rd minute, a typically mazy run from Quincy allowed Bendtner to send a deflected shot over the bar. Three minutes later, Seb Larsson fed Senderos, who has thundered up from centre half. Unfortunately the Swiss defender sliced his effort over the bar.
Ipswich stormed back and the home side were soon thankful to have the experience of Mart Poom in goal. Keiron Leabon drove across goal and Cathal Loudon chipped over. Then, in the 69th minute, Sammy Moore's deep cross was nodded down for the unmarked Leabon just inside the area. The young striker picked the wrong time to miscue and a gilt-edged chance was squandered.
Three minutes later, it was Poom's chance to shine. The impressive Jaime Peters got to the byline and cut the ball back for Lordon to let fly. Poom stretched up his left-hand to make a superb reaction save. Craig put the rebound wide.
The Estonian excelled himself again five minutes from time when substitute Tony Boto burst through. The striker's shot seemed destined for the top corner but the keeper somehow pawed it away.
By that time Lupoli had scored a second. The Italian Under-18 international had won a corner after following-up when Garnham spilled Quincy's long range effort. Larsson swung it over to the edge of the six-yard box for the unmarked Lupoli to nod home.
He had one chance to grab his hat-trick. That came from Bendtner's low pass three minutes from time. For once, Lupoli missed the target.
Senderos gallops upfield
Quincy sprints into the area
Kerrea Gilbert traps the ball
Lupoli heads home his second goal
- To buy official Arsenal pictures visit www.ArsenalPics.com.
- Djourou 62
- Eboue 45
- Lupoli Goal! Goal!
- Stokes 76
- Kelly 76
- Simpson 62
- Murphy 45