Honest Pablo: It wasn't a goal

HONEST Pablo Counago admitted that the referee was right to rule out Ipswich Town's "goal," early in the second half, as Roy Keane's men crashed out of the FA Cup at Southampton.

Carl Marston

By Carl Marston

HONEST Pablo Counago admitted that the referee was right to rule out Ipswich Town's "goal," early in the second half, as Roy Keane's men crashed out of the FA Cup at Southampton.

Town's miserable recent record in the FA Cup continued, after goals from Wayne Thomas and Michail Antonio secured a fourth round victory for the Saints.

Counago did pull a goal back in the last minute of normal time, but it was not enough to prevent Town from suffering a 2-1 defeat. They have only reached the fifth round once in the last 14 years.

It had initially looked as though Town were robbed of a potential equaliser on 50 minutes, when Carlos Edwards' long throw ended up looping over keeper Kelvin Davis and into the net.

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It appeared as though Counago had got a touch to the ball, but the Spaniard revealed otherwise, so referee Andy Hall was right not to allow the goal.

"I didn't get a touch to it," confessed Counago.

"Perhaps it touched someone behind me, but I think it went straight in from the throw in.

"There may have been a few protests from us, but as players you're always trying that!"

Counago coolly slid home his second goal in as many matches, by burying fellow substitute Lee Martin's pass on 90 minutes.

Town's striker had been crowned a hero the previous weekend, when netting a last gasp winner in the remarkable 3-2 win over Coventry, but there were no such feelings of elation at St Marys on Saturday.

"Everyone is disappointed, because we had seen all the surprises that had taken place in recent seasons, and we thought - why not Ipswich this season?" insisted Counago.

"The league is the most important, but the FA Cup is still big and I haven't had that much success in the Cup.

"We came very close in the last few minutes. We had a few chances, but it was a little bit too late.

"I don't think we were at our best today. I felt we were never in control of the game."

Counago came on as a substitute for the injured Jon Walters at the start of the second half. Walters could miss the next few games, due to a hamstring injury.

At least Counago is back in Keane's plans, after not even making Town's 18-man squad for the first two fixtures of 2010.

"It was very frustrating to be out of the team, and its obviously good for me to get a couple of goals," said Counago.

"It's a good feeling for me to score goals, but it's always the manager's decision whether I play or not.

"The fans have always been good to me. They've always been with me, even when I was only on the bench. They are a big part of my game.

"Football is up and down all the time. You go from nothing to everything, and go the same way as well."

Town entertain West Brom in the Championship tomorrow night.

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