Goal-grabber Lee avoids suspension

IN-FORM striker Alan Lee last night talked of his relief at being told he will be eligible for Ipswich Town's next match - against Leeds United at Portman Road in the Championship on Tuesday.

By Elvin King

IN-FORM striker Alan Lee last night talked of his relief at being told he will be eligible for Ipswich Town's next match - against Leeds United at Portman Road in the Championship on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old left Southampton last Saturday dreading that his controversial booking at St Mary's Stadium would lead to a one-match ban.

He feared that it was his fifth yellow card of the campaign, but the Football Association have confirmed that Lee is only on four bookings.


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“It is a huge relief,” said Lee. “I had it implanted in my mind that I was up for a ban. I must have got it wrong.

“If I had to sit out the Leeds game it would have been terrible.”

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Lee, who scored two well-taken goals in Town's comprehensive 2-0 victory against the Saints, is gutted that there is no match this Saturday because of Ipswich being knocked out of the FA Cup.

“After the fun I had against Southampton I cannot wait to get back on the pitch again. But I will have to be careful from now on as I don't want to sit out any games.”

Town fans can rest easy about the East Anglian derby at Norwich City on Sunday week as suspensions for five bookings commence on the seventh day after the last offence.

So, if Lee is booked against Leeds next Tuesday, he will still be available to play against the Canaries.

Looking back on the Southampton game, Lee added: “It gave me such a buzz, and Ipswich fans were so great.

“Everybody has made me welcome and I feel very comfortable here.”

Lee trained yesterday having spent the weekend in Cardiff - and bringing fresh attire back with him to Suffolk.

He was ribbed by his new team-mates last week after initially bringing just one bag of clothes. “They are still giving me stick - and I will have to go shopping,” added Lee, whose girlfriend Rhiannon Evans has Suffolk connections.

“She went to the Royal Hospital School at Holbrook, but still got me lost when I came to Ipswich to sign!”

For the record, Lee collected three bookings while with Cardiff prior to his £100,000 move to Portman Road - against Derby, Crewe and Coventry. One more before the end of next month will see him receive a ban.

Lee was shown a yellow card on Saturday after querying a decision with an assistant referee. But he confirmed that he did not swear or use abusive language.

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