'Ref never had a clue', blasts keeper

CANARIES keeper David Marshall claims he is innocent of all charges after conceding the penalty which helped send Norwich City to defeat at Portman Road yesterday.

CANARIES keeper David Marshall claims he is innocent of all charges after conceding the penalty which helped send Norwich City to defeat at Portman Road yesterday.

The East Anglian derby was all square 10 minutes into the second half when one-time City loan player Kevin Lisbie raced clear, pushed the ball wide to Marshall's right and then appeared to tumble over the stricken keeper.

Marshall insists he didn't touch Lisbie and accused referee Neil Swarbrick of a dereliction of duty which could have massive repercussions for City.

The defeat leaves City third from bottom, a point behind Barnsley, who have a game in hand, and three behind Nottingham Forest.


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But Marshall believes it could have been different, had the official not blundered.

“I never touched him,” he said. “I was racking my brains as soon at it happened to see if I could have done it differently - stay on my line, but if I stay on my line he's going one-on-one. So I come and try and block the shot. I don't even move towards him as he kicked it.

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“I know it's gone wide so I stop and he has to jump me, that's the only thing I can do. But it's not a penalty.”

Referee Swarbrick took a look at his assistant on the far side before finally pointing to the spot - sparking the inevitable protests from City players - although he decided against giving Marshall a card.

“He's not got a clue, the referee,” Marshall said. “The ref came up to me and said, 'the ball went well wide', that's what he said to me, and I said, 'that's the whole point. It's not a penalty', and he said, 'but it's still a foul'.

“Then he hears Ipswich fans shouting, 'off, off, off' and I can see his brain thinking - he just never had a clue, it's embarrassing.

“I just honestly don't think he knew what to do. If it's such a stonewall penalty he would have given it straight away, but he's looked at his linesman. I don't know if he's not given a penalty or just sat on the fence. He took that long I thought he was coming over to book the boy for diving.

“It's hard - I have tried to think of other things I could do better at the goal, but honestly if I had the time again I'd do the same again, I can't see anything else I could do.”

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