Gallery & Reaction: McCarthy praises referee after 2-1 win over Stevenage

Jay Tabb nets Ipswich Town's winner against Stevenage. Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown

Jay Tabb nets Ipswich Town's winner against Stevenage. Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy praised referee Fred Graham for changing his mind, after initially awarding Stevenage a late penalty, as the Blues secured a 2-1 victory in the Capital One Cup first round at Portman Road tonight.

Town had trailed their League Two visitors at the break, following Christophe Berra’s 34th minute own goal, but came storming back to lead through Josh Yorwerth’s headed equaliser and Jay Tabb’s cool finish.

Then came a bizarre moment when Graham awarded Stevenage an 82nd minute spot-kick following a tangle of legs between Berra and Dean Parrett in the box. Linesman Elliott Kaye had flagged furiously, Graham pointed to the spot but then, after consulting his assistant, over-ruled him having seen the incident differently.

“I thought we deserved that bit of luck,” said McCarthy. “I think the linesman said it was for a trip from behind and the ref said ‘if that’s what you’re giving it for then it’s not’. He over-ruled it.”

He continued: “I didn’t think it was a penalty. I thought he (Parrett) did brilliantly to get in the box, then when he got there he stuck his left leg out desperately trying to get brought down.

“Fair play to the referee to have the wherewithal to ask the question and the courage to change his mind.

“We got away with it though because, on another night, he might have given the penalty and we would still be playing now.”

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Reflecting on the game as a whole, the draw for the second round taking place after the conclusion of Thursday night’s tie between Doncaster and Leeds, he said: “I think we played well enough.

“We started well but gave an awful goal away. Cokey (Giles Coke) reckons he was fouled, but if you’re fouled make sure you get the bleeding foul. They all appeal for fouls in training all the time and I don’t give them to make sure they don’t appeal for fouls. Josh (Yorwerth) then misses his tackle and they score.

“I thought for 10 minutes before the end of the first half we had enough chances to have gone in front, we were the better team, but they were always a threat because they’re a good team and they played well.

“Second half they ran out of steam because we passed the ball better. Overall I think we deserved it.”

The introduction of flying winger Ryan Fraser at the break turned the tie, McCarthy saying: “He’s a very, very good player. I’m delighted we’ve got him. That’s the reason I put him on because I thought he would have that affect. I thought Larsen (Toure) did some good things as well, but he’s not fit. He only came two weeks ago and could barely play 15 minutes when he first arrived.

“I think he’s got something to offer, but Ryan’s a proper player.”

He added: “The one that really impressed me today was Myles Kenlock; I thought he was brilliant, outstanding.

“I’m sure the academy are so enthused because all they want to do is produce players. When they are not producing players then everyone is questioning the academy. We has Josh (Emmanuel) on Saturday (at Brentford) and he was terrific. I thought Myles today was equally as good.

“When you consider that he played against Fortuna Dusseldorf and had a really tough start it was great to see him do well today.

“Him and Josh are both physically capable, they’re both quick and can defend. They’ve just come on from the end of last season to training with the first team every day. They’re both really good squad players and I know I can play them.”

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