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curzon ashton 3 1000x500The under-23s will play Ipswich Town in our third home game of the Professional Development League season this afternoon and it brings with it a return to Curzon Ashton for the first time in the league since early January when we suffered a 1-0 defeat against Sheffield Wednesday.

One cup tie apart, we played almost exclusively at Gawthorpe in the second half of last season but 2019/20 has seen a change. Only once did we play a home game last season at Turf Moor, against Millwall in September 2018, but we’ve already played at our home ground twice this season with three more scheduled.

When we travelled to Charlton last week it was a choice of whether the preview referred to our unbeaten start to the season or a team still looking for its first win. We’d played four times and drawn all four but two Ali Koiki goals and one from under-18 forward Mitch George gave us a 3-1 win and that means we head for the Tameside Stadium this afternoon unbeaten in the league with seven points from our first five games and we currently sit in fourth place in the table behind Nottingham Forest, Barnsley and Leeds. Alongside Leeds, we are now the only unbeaten side in the north group.

Ipswich ended the 2017/18 season, our first in this league, in third place in the south group; last season they won it comfortably. At first team level they are playing in League One, the first time they’ve played so far down since 1957, and it hasn’t been the best of starts for their under-23s either. They’ve played four games but are still searching for their first point after suffering defeats against Hull (2-1), Leeds (1-0), Birmingham (2-0) and Nottingham Forest (3-1).

Last season’s game against them was an away fixture which Ipswich won 2-0 but they were our opponents when we picked up our first ever points in this league. We lost the opening game of the 2017/18 season at Crystal Palace but the first home game was against Ipswich, a game we won 2-0 courtesy of goals from Dan Agyei and Tunde Bayode.

Please note, kick off for this game has been brought forward one hour and will now kick off at 1 p.m. and not at the previously advertised 2 p.m.

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