10 man Royals lose at Ipswich
3rd April 2010
The Royals were beaten at Ipswich after Matt Mills was sent off for what was nothing more than a 50/50 challenge in the first half. The home side then scored two quick goals before the break leaving us too much to do in the second period, however Gylfi Sigurdsson did score a late consolation.
Brian McDermott kept faith with the side that drew 1-1 at West Brom last weekend but there was a return on the bench for Jay Tabb who recovered from an ankle injury. The game started with chances few and far between but both sides having penalty shouts, firstly for the Royals when Jobi McAnuff looked like he was fouled whilst at the other end David Norris was booked for diving after a challenge from Zurab Kizhanishvili.
The turning point of the game happed just after the half hour when a loose ball in the midfield saw Matt Mills slide in on Norris for a 50 / 50 ball, with the Ipswich player getting their marginally before our man. It was a free kick, a yellow card if you were being harsh but the red card given by referee Keith Stroud shocked everyone apart from the Tractor Boys Jon Walters who raced a long way to lead the only protests over the tackle. McDermott immediately made the decision to take of Brynjar Gunnarsson, who had already been booked, and replaced him with Alex Pearce who made his first appearance for the first team since December.
Before the break the home side had taken advantage of their good fortune, firstly when Gareth McAuley headed home a corner and then David Wright`s cross found its way to Walters inside the 6 yard box who also found the net. Two poor goals to concede and it left us with an uphill task for the second half.
With ten men it was always going to be difficult and we created very few chances despite the introduction of Simon Church and Hal Robson Kanu. There was a late consolation when Sigurdsson curled home a trademark free kick but it was too little too late, and we were left counting the cost of an awful refereeing decision.