Yellow fever could hit Town

A DOSE of yellow fever, compounded by a red rash, is about to hit hard for the Blues.Ten days after being hit by a £5,000 fine for having six players booked at Southend, Ipswich Town have been whacked in the pocket again for the same offence, this time at Plymouth.

A DOSE of yellow fever, compounded by a red rash, is about to hit hard for the Blues.

Ten days after being hit by a £5,000 fine for having six players booked at Southend, Ipswich Town have been whacked in the pocket again for the same offence, this time at Plymouth.

If the Blues continue as they are they are likely to incur the wrath of the FA and could be liable to a fine of up to £50,000 at the end of the season.

And it is not just the financial penalty that Town are being forced to pay as two more players are about to be suspended for a match.


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Fabian Wilnis' red card after two booking against Argyle means he misses the trip to Burnley on Saturday, while Simon Walton was one of the half-dozen players booked and that took his tally to five and gives him a one match ban, which will be served at home against Sheffield Wednesday next week.

Alex Bruce, who amazingly was not among those carded at Home Park, has already missed a game, along with Gavin Williams and Mark Noble, who have also reached the five-card mark.

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Bruce though is just two cards away from a two-match ban for reaching 10 bookings and a warning as to his future conduct.

It is amazing how the Blues have gone from qualifying for the Europe via the Fair Play league even though they were relegated from the Premiership, to being the bad boys of the Football League.

In 2001/2002 Town receieved 50 yellow cards all season, and no reds, with John McGreal on eight the worst offender and Hermann Hreidarsson with five the only other players to miss a game through suspension.

But then they were regarded as a soft touch.

While Ipswich are undoubtedly tougher now, even a neutral would not describe then as a dirty old Town. It was easy to see why chairman David Sheepshanks was so outraged following Tuesday's match, when referee Kevin Friend was flourishing cards like invitations to a party. It is probably just coincidental that the Leicestershire official was also the man who dismissed Ricardo Fuller the last time he was in the middle for a Town match, at Crystal Palace last season.

While many of the bookings have been given for fouls, virtually none have been particularly bad tackles, as they have usually been mistimed, with players getting there when they could.

An example of why Ipswich will feel hard done by with officials was an extraordinary decision by Friend at Plymouth. As Town were about to take a free-kick, with Matt Richards shaping up to shoot, Cherno Samba raced from the wall before the ball was struck. Amazingly the official merely ticked the player off. Meanwhile a substitution was being made. Gary Roberts then replaced the ball, as it was clear he was now going to take the kick, and the referee produced a card. Staggering

While some decisions may have been tough on Town, there is no doubt though that the club needs to address the situation, and players need to be just that little more careful. Perhaps they could ask Suffolk referee Mick Thorpe to train with them for a while and offer some advice.

Either way the disease needs to be treated or Town could be laid low.

derek.davis@archant.co.uk

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