Moment of madness costs Town
QUITE what Ipswich Town have done to upset the footballing Gods no one knows but they are certainly being punished.How else can you explain why a Government official would intervene after watching television at work and spotting that Ipswich Town had signed Ricardo Fuller on loan from Southampton.
By Derek Davis
QUITE what Ipswich Town have done to upset the footballing Gods no one knows but they are certainly being punished.
How else can you explain why a Government official would intervene after watching television at work and spotting that Ipswich Town had signed Ricardo Fuller on loan from Southampton.
It turns out that the Jamaican's work permit means he can play only for the Saints, his employers, even though he is only at Town to improve his form and go back to them a better player.
So, the Blues, who had already suffered a cruel blow in losing yet another striker to injury, with Alan Lee suffering a hamstring tear, had to reshuffle their pack once more.
They pressed a sore Fabian Wilnis into action as a centre-back so Richard Naylor could go back to his former employment as a centre-forward. But that lack of a genuine cutting edge hurt Town and, in the end, after dominating for more of the game, having more chances and efforts on goal, albeit most of them wide of the mark, they lost out to a moment of madness.
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The Blues were punished for going for goal when a Darren Currie free-kick fell short and Wolves countered swiftly.
Even so, when Kenny Miller slipped the ball through for Jeremie Aliadiere the on-loan Arsenal youngster still had a lot to do but Sito Castro crashed into him side-on and conceded a stonewall penalty.
It was hard on Town, and the full-back, who had been impressive up until that point.
Sito has a propensity to make monumental errors that have cost the Blues dearly many times this season and that blots an otherwise impressive copy-book for a popular player who has many fine attributes.
Town were not helped either by a referee who seemed to have blind spot when it came to late and nasty challenges against the flair players in a blue shirt.
Andy Woolmer has already angered Dave Jones at Cardiff with his apparent ineptness and didn't endear himself to the Ipswich bench when he missed Denes Rosa's kick on Currie off the ball, which forced the normally mild mannered trickster into a rare flash of anger.
Darren Anderton landed on Owen Garvan's ankle, while Scott Barron and Ian Westlake were also targeted by Mark Davies and Lee Naylor more than once.
Currie clearly asked for his rough treatment by turning Davies and Ross inside out. He sold them enough dummies to fill a ventriloquist shop, while Barron's overlapping had Wolves in knots.
Unfortunately, Town lacked any real bite in front of goal, although Wolves were not much better.
A troop of Royal Marine Commandoes abseiled onto the side of the pitch from the roof of the main stand as part of the pre-match build up.
If either team had shown the same killer instinct as the Green Perils at half-time, when they put on a display of unarmed combat, then there would have been a beret full of goals.
Shane Supple made a terrific bending-back save to touch away a powerfully driven Miller shot but he also saw efforts from the Scottish international blaze high and wide. Wolves could have been ahead from the kick-off but Denes Rosa was way off target.
The young Irish keeper was well placed to deal with what little danger Wolves then offered and was never overly stretched.
His opposite number, Stefan Postma, was slightly the busier but he too was happy to see Town's best efforts flash wide of goal.
Dean McDonald was a couple of inches short of connecting with a low Ian Westlake ball across the face of goal, went close with a header and could not bury a rebound when Barron forced the keeper into making a save.
Westlake had arguably the best chance of the game when he made a great run into the box and Garvan picked him out with a sublime through ball but the unmarked midfielder could only hook his shot against a post and wide.
Jim Magilton went on for substitute Jaime Peters, who was subjected to a couple of heavy challenges, but, even as Town shuffled once more to go three up front with just three at the back, they could not force the opening, even though former wolves striker Adam Proudlock went close with a shot on the turn.
It was a tough defeat for Town to take and one that has made their hopes of reaching the play offs all the more difficult.
No doubt they will keep on believing but sometimes, when your luck is out, you have to accept the inevitable.