Lee is all smiles after double

ALAN Lee put a smile as wide as the Solent on the faces of Ipswich Town fans at Southampton and admitted he loved every second of it.The recent signing from Cardiff bagged a brace in his first away game for the Blues in front of more than 2,000 travelling Town supporters and after a wretched 2005 that saw him have as many operations as goals - three - he could not have been happier.

By Derek Davis

ALAN Lee put a smile as wide as the Solent on the faces of Ipswich Town fans at Southampton and admitted he loved every second of it.

The recent signing from Cardiff bagged a brace in his first away game for the Blues in front of more than 2,000 travelling Town supporters and after a wretched 2005 that saw him have as many operations as goals - three - he could not have been happier.

Lee said: “I have not had that much fun of a football pitch for three seasons.


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“It could not have gone any better for me and the way the Ipswich supporters got behind me and the team was fantastic. It brought a lump to my throat and I want to say thanks to them and the lads.”

Lee netted after just four minutes when Owen Garvan a picked him out and then hit another midway through the second half after a super pass from Scott Barron.

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Lee said: “A lot of credit must go to my team-mates and the way we played because that made it easy for me.

“The balls in from Owen and then Scott for the goals, and then Matt (Richards) for the header which was saved, were all brilliant.

“With service like that I could not go wrong. It was great. I was pleased with the goals and the game just flowed for me and I felt really confident.

“The keeper didn't know much about the save from the diving header and it was one of those that if I had put it anywhere else it would have gone in.”

Lee's day was marred by a first-half booking picked up after protesting at being brought down in the area by Darren Powell, which means he is suspended for the Leeds United match.

Livid Lee said: “I can't believe that decision by the referee. Darren Powell saw me coming through and kicked me and then he goes down pretending to be injured. I walked towards the linesman, and I swear I did not curse. He didn't wave me away or anything and the referee booked me even though he could not give me an explanation as to why I was being booked. Nigel Quashie was an absolute gentleman and remonstrated with the referee saying he could not see why I was being booked.

“It is so disappointing to be missing a game already and for such a terrible decision.”

The 27-year-old looked exhausted in the second half and appeared to be holding the inside of his leg as if hurt, but admitted his body language can be misleading.

He said: “I still had enough energy to get away from the defender to score so I was not so tired.

“I'm renowned for not looking as if I'm fully fit but really I'm feeling better than I look.”

After such a bright start there is already talk of an international return with the Republic of Ireland for the Galway-born striker, who has made eight appearances for his country.

But Lee played that down and added: “Ireland would be a big bonus but all I want to do at the moment is score goals for Ipswich.”

And that will continue to put smiles on everyone's faces.

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