Magilton joins Town's bad boys
JIM Magilton was sent to the stands as his side went down to a single-goal defeat at Preston last night.Over-fussy referee Mark Clattenburg saw reason to book eight players in what was not a dirty game and banished the Blues boss to the concrete terraces behind the dug-out after the Irishman gave the official a piece of his mind moments after Danny Haynes had a goal ruled out.
By Derek Davis
JIM Magilton was sent to the stands as his side went down to a single-goal defeat at Preston last night.
Over-fussy referee Mark Clattenburg saw reason to book eight players in what was not a dirty game and banished the Blues boss to the concrete terraces behind the dug-out after the Irishman gave the official a piece of his mind moments after Danny Haynes had a goal ruled out.
Haynes had swivelled to volley in from a free kick but appeared to have been punished for a hand-ball which was not obvious.
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However petty the official was, it was not exactly the best example to set by the manager to an Ipswich team that has the worst disciplinary record in the club's history.
The defeat will have hurt Magilton more but at least his side gave a decent account of themselves.
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If they had shown a bit more guile with the ball they might even have pinched at least a draw from a jittery Preston side who moved back into the play-off places after collecting the three points.
Former Blues boss Joe Royle was in the crowd watching the side that have not improved their league position since he left them in 15th place at the end of last season.
He will have recognised an Ipswich side that still look good going forward but remain vulnerable at the back and the opening few minutes highlighted the current problems.
Ipswich made four changes from Saturday's defeat by Southend with Jon Walters and Haynes in for the suspended Alan Lee and injured Francis Jeffers.
With Walters and Haynes up front and George O'Callaghan playing just behind them, Ipswich looked dangerous in attack and showed some good fluidity.
After only three minutes, Walters flicked on a Wright corner which O'Callaghan poked goalwards but Andy Lonergan managed to get a hand on it to save.
The lively start raised hopes among the loyal travelling Town contingent but they were soon slumped back in their seats.
Ipswich had wanted to change their goal celebration music on Saturday but never got the chance; it only took six minutes at Preston for the home side to blast out the popular 'Chelsea Dagger' tune as they went ahead.
Chris Sedgwick picked up a loose ball in the centre circle before spraying it out wide to Danny Pugh, who delivered perfectly for Ricketts to rise above De Vos and head wide of Price into a bottom corner.
It was a goal of stunning simplicity but one tame Town were powerless to prevent.
Ricketts had shed a couple of stone and looked twice the player that appeared for Southend Reserves against the Blues at the beginning of the season and Ipswich might have been relieved when he went off at half-time.
Ipswich tried to respond from the early setback and moments later a Haynes shot from the edge of the area stretched Lonergan and the keeper did well to then block Walters' follow-up and secure the ball.
Town's defence settled quite well after the goal and kept Preston at bay.
Bruce made an eye-wateringly painful but effective block as Ricketts hit a powerful drive from the edge of the area and Nugent had a run on goal but fired over.
With six goals in his previous four outings against Town, Nugent fancied his chances of adding to that and almost beat Price at his near post with a low drive that spewed away for a corner.
Richards limped off 11 minutes before the break after a clean tackle by Rickets and Gavin Williams made his first appearance since the goal-less draw at Stoke at the end of January
He had a shot blocked and De Vos was thwarted with a header from a Roberts free kick.
Substitute Danny Dichio nodded in from a Patrick Agyemang cross but he was ruled offside, and Haynes was left frustrated too.