Bruce may have given dad's side a hand

ALEX Bruce may have helped his father Steve's battle to win promotion with Birmingham City - without actually meaning to.While the Ipswich Town defender has been cleared to play the remaining two matches of the season after his red card against Derby on April 14, the Rams' keeper Stephen Bywater, who was dismissed in the same incident, will miss Sunday's crucial Championship clash against Crystal Palace as the race for promotion hots up.

By Derek Davis

ALEX Bruce may have helped his father Steve's battle to win promotion with Birmingham City - without actually meaning to.

While the Ipswich Town defender has been cleared to play the remaining two matches of the season after his red card against Derby on April 14, the Rams' keeper Stephen Bywater, who was dismissed in the same incident, will miss Sunday's crucial Championship clash against Crystal Palace as the race for promotion hots up. Birmingham top the table at the moment, with Sunderland second and Derby third.

Bruce was handed a £1,500 fine and warned as to his future behaviour while Bywater was handed a £2,000 penalty on top of the suspension, which indicates that the FA panel thought the blame laid mainly with the keeper. Although both players were cleared of wrongdoing and had their red cards rescinded, they were charged with improper conduct as they left the pitch.

Bruce will play against Leeds on Saturday although his manager Jim Magilton will be watching from the stands. Magilton was handed a two-match touchline ban and a £500 fine following his dismissal by Mark Clattenburg towards the end of the defeat at Preston. He said: “I'm not sure how I will feel on the day but perhaps it is a good time to watch from a different viewpoint.”

Leeds' Alan Thompson has had a three-match ban overturned after his red card against Southampton last week, and can play against Town.

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