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Monday, March 31, 2008

QPR-Ipswich Reports....Camp: Connolly Admits Ball Hit Hand

Telegraph - Huw Turbervill Ipswich draw little comfort but make point
Ipswich felt aggrieved with referee Paul Armstrong after they were denied a goal and a batch of penalty appeals.
Alan Lee appeared to be shoved in the back by Michael Mancienne just before half-time, and the striker claimed he was pushed again by Matthew Connolly on the hour.
By far the most contentious incident, however, was when Velice Sumulikoski's close-range effort was cleared by Connolly. Ipswich were adamant that the ball had crossed the line and the QPR player had handled.
A point keeps the hosts' play-off hopes alive, though, while the visitors' hopes seem to have ended.
"We didn't have any luck in terms of the decisions," said Ipswich captain Jason De Vos.
"We should have had a penalty in the first half and we scored a legitimate goal in the second. The video shows that, but unfortunately the referee and his assistants don't have the benefit of that during a match so we have to lick our wounds and be happy with the point.
"There's a lot in the press about the abuse of referees. The referee isn't going to change his mind because you're screaming at him. But he's there to do a job and I think video technology would make his job easier."
QPR goalkeeper Lee Camp said: "Matthew admits it hit his hand but said it was ball to hand. It's one for television to sort out and it just shows how a tough a job the referees have Telegraph

Daily Mail/BRIAN SCOVELL - No spot luck for Ipswich
England need a captain like Jason de Vos, the Canadian centre half. Six minutes from the end of a lively game that could have ended 5-3, the Ipswich skipper hauled away his younger colleagues from referee Paul Armstrong.
They claimed that the ball was over the line when it struck Mark Connolly's arm and the unruly scene was repeated at the final whistle before De Vos stepped in again. "I was like a policeman," he said.
"I've seen the video and there was no argument about it. But the referee and his assistant didn't have a good view of it and you have to accept their word. There's no point abusing the referee. He's not going to change his mind. The captain should be the only person to speak to the referee but in a calm way."
Fabio Capello, meanwhile, should study the PR technique of QPR boss Luigi De Canio. Both use interpreters but De Canio comes up with jokes, including one about the disallowed goal. "The ball hit the player's arm and possibly we were a bit lucky the referee missed it," he said. "But my keeper assured me that if it had been given, he would have saved it!" Daily Mail

The Times - Ipswich Town 0 Queens Park Rangers 0
Ipswich’s play-offs hopes were dented by Lee Camp, the Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper. The home team had the better chances and Jim Magilton, the manager, rued points dropped after his team had two penalty claims turned down.
Alan Lee claimed that he was pushed by Michael Mancienne, the QPR defender, and in the 85th minute players surrounded Paul Armstrong, the referee, after Velice Sumulikoski’s close-range header was blocked on the goal-line by Matthew Connolly. Magilton said: “Schumi [Sumulikoski], Jason [de Vos] and Alan Lee have said the ball was behind the line and that the lad used his hand. I’m not here to be critical of referees. I love them.”
Luigi De Canio, the QPR first-team coach, said: “This is a really important and valuable point.” The Times

East Anglican Daily Times/Derek Davis - Missed chances and poor decisions costly
THE Championship's version of musical chairs is getting to the mouth-watering stge.
With a potential £30m plus to be unwrapped, rather than a bar of chocolate, each step towards the final place in the coveted top six gets more breathtakingly exciting as epitomised in this edge-of seat thriller.
While Ipswich will consider these two points dropped, the goalless draw virtually ends QPR's hopes of being in the game when there are just four seats left for the elusive last hot-spot to join the two that automatically go to play with the big boys.
So tight is the scramble for the play-off places, that three teams had their bums on the sixth-placed seat in a four-hour spell on Saturday.
Town briefly took over from Plymouth before Wolves' last-gasp win at Charlton in the evening saw them leap-frog into the coveted space, at least for a week.
Victory over Colchester at Layer Road on Saturday could see Town force their way back into the play-off places while relegating their Essex neighbours, not a nice thought but as the late, great, Alan Ball used to say “football is a beautiful game but a horrible business”.
The beautiful game was in evidence as Ipswich and QPR went at each other hammer and tongs in an open and expansive game filled with chances and incident.
The only thing missing was goals and all the money the combined billionaire owners of these two clubs have, could not buy one of those.
Ipswich had three claims for a penalty, two of which looked nailed on.
The first was when Michael Mancienne cleared pushed Alan Lee in the back as he went up for a ball.
Referee Paul Armstrong later explained to the players that, in his opinion, it was merely a coming together of the two but in the opinion of this reporter, it was a definite foul.
It is also this reporter's opinion that Gavin Williams should have buried the chance that immediately fell to him but he missed the target completely.
With Pablo Counago suspended and Jon Walters and Shefki Kuqi not fit, Magilton chose to go with Danny Haynes up front with Lee and brought in Williams on the right flank.
Williams, who has struggled with injury for most of the season and is in contract dispute, has played just once this calendar year, in the FA Cup loss with Portsmouth, and it showed.
He was unable to do himself justice and never produced the way we know he can.
He failed to combine effectively with full debut-making Danny Simpson, the on-loan Manchester United right back, who showed quality in defence and attack.
Even switching wings did not help much and Alan Quinn offered only glimpses of his ability, not least when he forced the outstanding Lee Camp into a terrific save from a free kick.
Williams had been replaced by Gary Roberts by the time the most contentious decision was reached, as was Quinn who had gone off six minutes from time for Jordan Rhodes, a decision the crowd indicated should have been made much earlier.
Rhodes was instantly involved as he flicked on an Owen Garvan corner which came back off the inside of the far post.
Velice Sumulikoski nudged it in from close range but it was scooped out by a Matthew Connolly arm, when he looked well over the line.
The officials claimed to have not been able to see the incident through the melee which is fair enough and yet another classic case where technology would help them make an informed, correct decision.
Lee's other claim for a penalty was when he went down under a Connolly challenge but that was less clear cut.
A goal, or two, would have been fitting for the game which both sides made entertaining with their open, attacking style.
Ipswich had the better chances and always looked the most likely to score from the moment a superb through ball by De Vos sent Haynes scampering away.
He left Fitz Hall with twisted blood as he turned him inside out before cracking a shot against a post.
De Vos, who had a three goals in six games record against QPR, almost extended that when he got on the end of a Quinn cross but Camp made a superb reaction save to beat it away.
Camp, a former team-mate of Stephen Bywater at Derby, was the busiest of the pair and denied Garvan and Haynes.
It can only be hoped by Town that those missed opportunities, and the Berkshire official's decisions, don't come back to haunt them when the music finally stops on May. East Anglican Daily Times

EAST Anglican Daily Times/Derek Davis - Blues boss bemoans bad luck and misses
JIM Magilton bemoaned two dropped points after Ipswich Town missing a host of chances and three penalty decisions went against them in their 0-0 draw at home to QPR.
The Blues were also adamant that the ball had crossed the line before it was knocked back out by a Matthew Connolly hand.
Town hit the woodwork twice, once from Danny Haynes the other from an Owen Garvan corner and QPR keeper Lee Camp, a former team-mate at Derby with Town keeper Stephen Bywater made two top class saves to deny the Blues.
Magilton said: “On any other day we get penalties. It looks a stonewaller to Shumi but also Shumi should put ball and man in the net.
“Also Gavin Williams should score when the ball lands to him after the push on Alan Lee.
“Danny has hit a post and their keeper has made two world class saves.”
Although highly entertaining, and a clean sheet for Town, Magilton could not help feeling they had lost out.
He said: “It was end to end, a bit too much for my liking but when the midfields vacate midfield as much as teams did today that is what happens.
“Credit to QPR they came to give us a game and did that.

“It is still a point but really I feel it is two dropped and we don't know if it will cost us at the end of the season. It is where we finish that is important.”
QPR boss Luigi De Canio admitted his side were fortunate and said: “It is difficult to judge if the ball went over the line because it was in the air. We were lucky with the hand ball because the referee did not see it but I'm assured if a penalty had been given Lee (Camp) would have saved it.”
In a highly entertaining first half encounter Hogan Ephraim came closest for Rangers with a free kick that went inches wide.
Town had the edge throughout, although Alan Lee on his 100th appearance for the Blues missed a couple a chances, Williams was also guilty while Camp made a reaction save to deny skipper Jason de Vos at a corner.
Camp also made a super save to push away a well-taken Alan Quinn free kick. EADT

Also earlier Reports and comments on QPR-Ispwich draw

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