Ipswich learn harsh lessons

A PROUD but deflated Bryan Klug felt his gutsy side had learnt a harsh lesson at Liverpool last night after a poor refereeing decision went against FA Youth Cup holders Ipswich.

By Derek Davis

A PROUD but deflated Bryan Klug felt his gutsy side had learnt a harsh lesson at Liverpool last night after a poor refereeing decision went against FA Youth Cup holders Ipswich.

The Blues Academy director praised his young side, who did more than enough to win at Anfield last night, but rued the ruled-out effort from Kieran Leabon in a 2-1 defeat.

All the goals came in the second half of an entertaining and hard-fought match. Stuart Ainsley hit a marvellous equaliser after Paul Anderson opened the scoring and Leabon looked to have hit a second leveller following Jimmy Ryan's goal - but it was ruled out for a pull.


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Klug said: “The referee said Kieran pulled a defender back, but he was in front of him, so there is no way that could have been. Everyone in the ground could see it was a perfectly good goal, but the officials contrived not to allow it.

“I smelled a rat early on when they gave a free kick against Oskar Petursson when he dropped the ball and it was given back to him.”

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Klug put it down to another page in the players' education which they will learn from.

He said: “All these games are about learning lessons and last year we had some enjoyable lessons, but tonight they have learned some nasty lessons.

“Some of the young lads were devastated in the dressing room, but you have to accept sometimes decisions go against you as well as for you.”

Town had the better of the first half before being under the cosh for the early part of the second and came back strongly towards the end.

Klug said: “We did not play with as much quality as we can, but I still thought we played very well and created the better chances, while the game may have been even.

“They scored two scrappy goals, while both our goals were excellent goals.

“Although I know we can do better, I was very proud of the players and very pleased with the way they acquitted themselves.”

Although Town were missing key players, Klug refused to allow that as an excuse. He said: “They have moved on now and that is it. Every one of the lads that played against Liverpool did very well and deserved better.”

Liverpool Academy director Steve Heighway admitted his side were fortunate not to be taken to extra time and said: “Ipswich are a good team with a long run without losing and they played very well. We had a lot of young players who were very nervous, but in the end we had a bit of a break.

“It would not have surprised me if it had gone 2-2 when the ball went into the back of the net and I thought our keeper was outstanding.”

Liverpool, who won the FA Youth Cup 10 years ago with Michael Owen and Jamie Carragher in the side, now meet Burnley at Turf Moor in the fifth round.

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