Halsey under fire from Town

BLUES defender Alex Bruce has described how referee Mark Halsey was “very pally” with the Portsmouth team before Saturday's FA Cup tie.

Derek Davis

BLUES defender Alex Bruce has described how referee Mark Halsey was “very pally” with the Portsmouth team before Saturday's FA Cup tie.

Bruce did not accuse Halsey of bias, although Town suffered on the wrong end of two crucial decisions.

Liam Trotter's red card midway through the first half has been questioned and it has been shown that David Nugent's winner should not have been allowed.


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Bruce said: “He seemed to know all the Portsmouth players. He was very pally with them all before the game in the tunnel.

“He is a Premiership referee and it showed that he had refereed them before, whereas he didn't know many of our lads.

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“He was certainly very quick to pull out the red card.”

Bruce believes it was a mistake in dismissing Trotter and one that changed the game.

He said: “It is a harsh world we live in sometimes.

“The referee has spoilt the game but unfortunately these things happen.

“We thought he was just going to have a word with him. Common sense has to prevail sometimes. It was not a harsh or dangerous tackle at all.

“Mendes made a meal of it, rolling around.”

Although Ipswich refused to give up but were knocked out by a David Nugent finish, that should have been disallowed as offside.

“We had our line and the ricochet knocked our line out of shape and Nugent has come through, so it was a disappointing goal to concede.

“When you play against quality opposition and give them chances then they are going to take them.

“The decisions did spoil a cup tie.

“It was lining up to be that but going down to 10 men put is on the back foot and meant we couldn't launch attacks the way we have done at home.

“We came back and had chances and David James has made some great saves.”

Bruce was partnered in central defence by Fabian Wilnis after Jason De Vos missed his first game of the season due to a rib injury.

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