Inept Town crash out

Doncaster Rovers 2Ipswich Town 0FOR the second year running Ipswich Town were dumped out of the Carling Cup and had no one to blame, apart from their own tame and inept selves.

By Derek Davis

Doncaster Rovers 2

Ipswich Town 0

FOR the second year running Ipswich Town were dumped out of the Carling Cup and had no one to blame, apart from their own tame and inept selves.

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The alarming thing for the Blues is their lack of depth. Not for the first time has it been clear that unless Joe Royle puts out his first choice XI, with possibly one or two adjustments, they struggle.

Four changes from the side which held West Ham to a draw on Saturday was obviously too many, although putting in Tony Dinning, Dean Bowditch, Lewis Price and a fit-again Matt Richards seemed to make perfect sense against a Coca-Cola League One side who were playing Conference football two seasons ago while Town were playing in Europe.

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While there is no doubt that the Championship is the priority, a good cup run would have been important in terms of revenue, of which Town are not in a position to gift to clubs as badly-off as themselves.

Rovers went ahead after just six minutes when Ricky Ravenhill sprinted onto a long clearance and outstripped the Blues defence before unleashing a shot on the run from 15 yards to beat Price.

The rest of the half saw Town have their chances. Darren Bent ran onto a clever Dean Bowditch ball but the keeper parried his effort. Sporting a new crew-cut hairstyle, Bowditch was looking sharp and thumped in a superb volley which Andy Warrington turned away.

The Rovers keeper also made a fine save from a 25-yard curling Magilton free-kick and striker Guy Ipoua blocked a loose ball from an in-swinging Richards corner, while Ian Westlake wasted a long range shot after Pablo Counago set him up.

The Spaniard was battling well up front and again showed his array of clever little skills to set up opportunities and curled one shot over the bar himself.

He also came in for a bit of afters when Nick Fenton stamped on his back after the ball had gone, but the referee, although well-placed, took no action.

He did book Dinning for a foul on scorer Ravenhill and the on-loan Wigan player tried to impose himself on the gamed and produced a couple of well-hit passes.

On the whole, though, Town struggled to win the midfield, with Westlake putting in the effort without finding an end product most of the time.

Jim Magilton created some space and got the ball forward but Rovers were quick to get it down the other end.

Jason De Vos put in a couple of vital interceptions to thwart Michael McIndoe and later Ipoua, while Richard Naylor got in a good headed clearance before Leo Fortune-West could meet the cross.

Price had little to trouble him after a shaky start and was well positioned to deal with a John Doolan shot and got down to a Ravenhill effort from a Nick Priet corner.

Tommy Miller replaced Bowditch at half-time as the Blues pushed Westlake up as the extra attacker and then switched Counago for Shefki Kuqi.

It didn't help, and less than a minute after the restart Rovers were two up.

Town failed to deal with wide ball from kick-off and it went deep for an unmarked Jermaine McSporran to take down and lash a fierce angled shot past the hapless Price.

Even when Rovers were down to ten men, as skipper Steve Foster changed his blood-stained shirt and got cleaned up, Blues could not take advantage, with Magilton at least trying a long range shot.

Bent had a good shot tipped over the bar by Warrington and also pushed a way a good cross. Magilton fired over the bar and Bent hit a tame shot at the keeper from a Kuqi pull-back.

It was Rovers who could have finished in style but Fortune-West hit a shot straight at Price when clean through.

But the League One underdogs were the undoubted and deserved winners.

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