Penalty pain leaves Canaries teetering on the brink
If Bryan Gunn had hair he would have been tearing it out by the handful
as his Norwich side were nailed to the relegation places by a controversial
In a rousing East Anglian derby watched by 28,274, Ipswich were awarded a
spot kick on the hour, despite Kevin Lisbie appearing to use his hand before
minimal contact from Norwich keeper David Marshall sent him tumbling.
Referee Neil Swarbrick took an age before pointing to the spot and Giovani
dos Santos, on loan from Tottenham, slotted the kick home to make the score
Although Ipswich substitute Jon Stead galloped away to slide in a 90th-minute
clincher, Sammy Clingan still had time to convert a Norwich penalty in added
time after Alan Quinn's foul on Alan Lee.
Gunn said of Ipswich's vital goal: 'I don't want to talk about referees
or Ipswich manager Jim Magilton saying even he didn't think it was a penalty.
'Kevin Lisbie wasn't even facing towards the goal.
'Minimal contact and the referee decided to give it from near the halfway
Norwich know they could be down by next Monday if Barnsley win at Coventry
tomorrow, Forest take anything on Saturday and they lose to Reading a week
It had looked like being a bad day for Ipswich boss Magilton when Norwich's
Dave Mooney sent a long-range header into the right corner of the net from
Clingan's 15th-minute freekick.
But Ipswich equalised soon after with a fine move when Pablo Counago gave
Giovani the chance to slip Quinn in to score.
left fuming as drop nears for Norwich City
“I don’t want to talk about the referee,” Bryan Gunn, the Norwich City
interim manager, said. Of course, he did. Neil Swarbrick’s decision to award
a penalty when Kevin Lisbie, the Ipswich Town forward, fell under a challenge
by David Marshall, the Norwich goalkeeper, provided the moment of the game.
It gave the home side a lead that they did not relinquish in what may be the
last “Old Farm” derby for a while, because Norwich are in the bottom three
with two games left.
Gunn’s side do not play until next Monday, and if this week’s results are
unfavourable, they may need to beat Reading to keep their hopes alive before
a final-day trip to Charlton Athletic, who are already relegated.
While local pride was a secondary issue for the visiting team given their
plight, this was an important win for Jim Magilton, the Ipswich manager, as
he tries to keep his job after failing to reach the play-offs.
David Mooney’s excellent header after 16 minutes put Norwich ahead but Ipswich
steadied and were the more incisive and inventive team, with Giovani Dos Santos,
on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, a stylish puppeteer in midfield. Midway through
the first half, Alan Quinn ran on to a Giovani flick and angled a fine low
finish into the far corner.
Ipswich were dominant thereafter and with an hour gone, Lisbie burst through
and poked the ball towards the corner flag, possibly handling as he made contact
with the onrushing goalkeeper. Swarbrick, after some deep pondering, pointed
to the spot. Gunn, who confronted the referee at the final whistle, said that
even Magilton and Lisbie felt that the decision was dubious.
Giovani scored the kick and Jon Stead, a substitute, calmly added another
in the 90th minute. Added time brought added drama as the referee awarded
a soft penalty to Norwich for a foul by Quinn. Sammy Clingan scored but there
was no miracle comeback. So the locals smeared themselves in schadenfreude.
But they might find that they miss these feisty days, and the thrill of this
victory can be only fleeting in the context of a season that promised more.
Tom Dart (Times Online)