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Match Report


Posted Mon 01 Nov 10 at 12:48 PM

Ipswich Town 2 Millwall 0

Millwall paid a heavy price as one defensive howler and three appalling penalty decisions saw The Lions' mini-revival come to an end against Ipswich Town at Portman Road.
Lions boss Kenny Jackett was left to ponder what might have been as goals from Jason Scotland (5mins) and a controversial Grant Leadbitter spot-kick (54mins) saw Roy Keane's Tractor Boys record their first Championship win in four starts.
But sandwiched between Town's two goals came two of the clearest penalties you will see - or in referee Kevin Friend's case, not see, as Steve Morison was shoved over in the danger zone before Leadbitter then clearly handled Danny Schofield's pass.
To say that Ipswich had the rub of the green would be an understatement; if there was a deflection to be had, they fell kindly for the home side; if there was a 50-50 challenge made, the ball invariably fell to a Town man; and most crucially, if there was a penalty decision to be had, they went one way only.... in favour of the home side.
It was difficult not to feel a touch short-changed at the final whistle after watching Jackett's men dominate long spells possession-wise, yet come away from Portman Road empty-handed.
"We should have done better defending the first goal," said Kenny, "But then the penalty decision was a poor one, and we had two penalty decisions not given at the other end, including an absolute stonewall penalty with a handball that wasn't given.
It was frustrating because I thought that on the balance of our performance, we deserved something."
The Lions, showing just one change to the team that beat Derby County with Jimmy Abdou in for the injured Tamika Mkandawire, registered their first shot with just nine seconds on the clock courtesy of Theo Robinson's drive that flew well wide.
Less than a minute later Tamas Priskin escaped the attentions of Paul Robinson, cut into the danger zone only to scuff his effort into the side netting.
However there was to be no mistake on five minutes when Paul Robinson misjudged Carlos Edwards' routine cross from the right and Scotland controlled the ball before lashing home from eight yards.
However the stunned Lions recovered from this early setback and proved equal to Ipswich thereafter, creating some decent scoring opportunties themselves.
Alan Dunne's low cross following good work by Danny Shittu and James Henry took a double deflection before finally going behind for a corner.
Henry worked an opening 20 yards out before testing keeper Martin Fulop with a smart shot with the outside of his boot whilst Steve Morison sent a piledriver over the bar from five yards further out.
It then took the combined heads of Gareth McAuley and Delaney to clear off the line as Robinson's looping cross caused panic in the heart of the home defence.
A huge throw from Forde picked out Barron inside the Ipswich half, the left-back bombed forward before picking out Theo Robinson, whose shot was blocked by a line of blue shirts as Millwall kept the pressure on.
The Lions, who had already seen a shove on Morison in the area somehow be construed as a foul by the striker, were then on the receiving end of another decision that was so bad it was laughable, except there was no-one in the visiting camp who found it vaguely amusing when Leadbitter's blatant handball went unpunished.
At the other end Ipswich could have doubled their tally seven minutes before the break, only for Damian Delaney to send a free header wide of the mark from a corner.
Millwall were a whisker away from levelling seconds later, but on this occasion skipper Robinson's powerful header from Abdou's inviting delivery on the right flashed inches over the bar.
The Lions were left counting their lucky stars four minutes after the break when Edwards sprinted down the right and split the defence with a fine ball to Jack Colback, who with just keeper David Forde standing between him and goal glory, somehow screwed his shot wide.
But that luck soon ran out - and how. Jackett made a double substitution on 53 minutes, but Darren Carter and John Marquis were still taking their positions on the field when Priskin flung himself to the ground when he was behind Shittu, who had already cleared the ball.
To the defender's horror referee Friend pointed straight to the spot and even then, Leadbitter's penalty smacked the inside of the post before crossing the line a whisker away from the fingers of Forde.
Needing two goals now to try and salvage something from the game, Jackett's men certainly gave it a good go.
Using the physical presence of Marquis and Morison up front, The Lions continued to prise and probe looking for a goal to reduce the arrears.
A delightful move started by Marquis in a central position saw the young sub spread play out to Henry on the right and his cross fizzed across the face of goal with Marquis and Schofield inches away from connecting.
Millwall must have known it wasn't going to be their day when Henry's goal-bound shot was then somehow cleared off the line and when the ball was played back in to Marquis, his header was hooked away from under the bar.
Morison saw a stinging effort tipped over by keeper Fulop as The Lions desperately tried to claw their way back and set up a grandstand finish.
But as the clock ticked away it was Ipswich who could have added what would have been a hugely flattering third goal; Connor Wickham's shot was parried by Forde and the ball fell to Jake Livernmore. The youngster's shot hit the foot of the post, rebounded straight into his path but he inexplicably blasted wide of an open goal with Forde stranded.
Luck, for once, was on Millwall's side, but in too small a dose.

Ipswich Town: Fulop, McAuley, Delaney, Leadbitter, Edwards, Norris (Livermore, 80mins), Scotland (Murray 70mins), Priskin (Wickham, 65mins), Smith, Eastman, Colback. Subs not used: Murphy, Peters, Townsend, Brown.
Scorers: Scotland (5mins), Leadbitter (54mins, pen)

Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Barron, Abdou (Carter, 53mins), Robinson, Shittu, Schofield, Trotter, Morison, T.Robinson (Marquis, 53mins), Henry. Subs not used: Mildenhall, Hackett, Craig, Ward, Laird.
Booking: Dunne (88mins)

Ref: K. Friend
Att: 19,020 (away 1,262)

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