Our own fault, Royle

Stoke City 3Ipswich Town 2SHELL-shocked Joe Royle roasted his players after they slipped from the top-of-the-table, going down 3-2 at Stoke City.

By Derek Davis

Stoke City 3

Ipswich Town 2

SHELL-shocked Joe Royle roasted his players after they slipped from the top-of-the-table, going down 3-2 at Stoke City.

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Twice Ipswich went in front, only to concede two poor goals at set-pieces, leaving the Blues boss infuriated.

He said: “For the second year running I would have been disappointed with a point here, yet we have come away with nothing.

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“It was totally our own fault by defending poorly on the same corner twice and the same person, although the keeper was fouled on the first one.

“The third goal was from a straight free-kick which we have not dealt with, although I don't think it should have been a free-kick in the first place - but the crowd roared and people respond.

“I was disappointed with our second-half performance. We didn't keep the ball, we were non-existent up front and individually we were poor at the back.

“We should have been out of sight by half-time, it's just down to a lack of concentration.”

Town scored the pick of the goals with Ian Westlake finishing off a wonderful move started by Jim Magilton and including Tommy Miller and Darren Bent.

“It was a terrific second goal but instead of going on and dominating from there we didn't keep the ball and I'm disappointed with our forwards' ability to keep the ball so we can go on from there,” Royle added.

“For a side that is supposed to be a passing side we don't keep the ball well enough.”

City twice hit the crossbar and Kelvin Davis made a number of good saves, but Blues seemed to have done enough to have gained at least a point.

Davis undid his good work with a couple of mistakes which led to goals as 10-man Stoke climbed above Ipswich in the Championship.

Jason De Vos scored his first goal for Ipswich since signing from Wigan in the summer and Westlake capped a good display with a tap-in to climax a slick Town move.

But Wayne Thomas grabbed his first goals of the season to twice pull Stoke level, before Ade Akinbiyi was presented with a gift for the winner.

John Halls was dismissed for two bookings in as many minutes as the game threatened to become overly physical.

Instead of counting against the Potters, the sending-off fired them up even further, but it was still down to a defensive mix-up that they were able to claim victory.

Stoke City boss Tony Pulis was delighted that the biggest crowd of the season, boosted by £5 admission for all, saw them leap-frog Ipswich to the top of the table.

He said: “It was a cracking game. End-to-end stuff with chances for both teams.

“We have hit the bar twice, their keeper has made some great saves and we have deserved to just win it, although I know Ipswich will be disappointed and they showed they are a very good side.

“It is great that we have been able to send 23,000 fans home happy.”

Fabian Wilnis was hit with a couple of late tackles, one of which led to Halls' dismissal, although no fresh injury worries ahead of the West Ham game have been reported.

Asked if there were any knocks, Royle joked: “Yeah, I have knocked three out.”

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