Referee under fire over penalty

Canaries keeper David Marshall claims he is innocent of all charges after the conceding the penalty which helped send City to defeat at Portman Road yesterday.

Canaries keeper David Marshall claims he is innocent of all charges after the conceding the penalty which helped send City to defeat at Portman Road yesterday.

The East Anglian derby was all square 10 minutes into the second half when one-time City loan player Kevin Lisbie raced clear, appeared to push the ball wide to Marshall's right and then tumbled over the stricken keeper.

Marshall insists he didn't touch Lisbie and accused referee Neil Swarbrick of a dereliction of duty which could have massive repercussions for City.

Defeat leaves City third from bottom, a point behind Barnsley, who have a game in hand and three behind Nottingham Forest.

But Marshall believe sit could have been different, had the official not blundered.

“I never touched him,” he said. “I was racking my brains as soon at it happened to see if I could have done it differently - stay on my line, but if I stay on my line he's doing one-on-one. So I come and try and block the shot. I don't even move towards him as he kicked it.

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“I know it's gone wide so I stop and he has to jump me, that's the only thing I can do. But it's not a penalty.”

Referee Swarbrick took a look at his assistant on the far side before finally pointing to the spot - sparking the inevitable protests from City players - although he decided against giving Marshall a card.

“He's not got a clue, the referee,” Marshall said. “The ref came up to me and said, 'the ball went well wide', that's what he said to me, and I said, 'that's the whole point. It's not a penalty', and he said, 'but it's still a foul'.

“Then he hears Ipswich fans shouting, 'off, off, off' and I can see his brain thinking - he just never had a clue, it's embarrassing.

“I just honestly don't think he knew what to do. If it's such a stonewall penalty he would have given it straight away, but he's looked at his linesman. I don't know if he's not given a penalty or just sat on the fence. He took that long I thought he was coming over to book the boy for diving.

“It's hard - I have tried to think of other things I could do better at the goal, but honestly if I had the time again I'd do the same again, I can't see anything else I could do.”

When the dust had settled Giovani Dos Santos tucked away the free kick to put Town 2-1 up, after David Mooney's 15th-minute opener for City had been cancelled out 10 minutes later by Alan Quinn. Jon Stead made it 3-1 in the final minute before Sammy Clingan scored from the spot in time added on.

Defeat in any manner hurts, but the echoes of “going down, going down, going down” will still be ringing for some time to come.

“It's a really bad result,” said Marshall. “Results were average for us yesterday - only six points now from the last two games will give us a bit of hope, so we just have to take it on the chin and get on with it.

“I think if we win both games we will stay up, that's the positive we can take. I believe that so we just have to do that. Reading still have to come and get points now to even get in the play-offs, so I think if we get six points we will stay up, but it's going to be a big ask.”

Ipswich boss Jim Magilton admitted the penalty decision was “contentious” - but also felt that Marshall was lucky not to be sent off.

“Some you get and some you don't,” he said. “I never want to see a player sent off but why has he not even spoken to the goalkeeper?

“It was a great break and he flipped it over the keeper and Kevin knows what he is doing and goes down.

“If it is a foul, and it was because he gave it, then he has to go there. But he didn't even get booked.

“It was contentious but in the second half we turned it up a notch and played some great stuff. It was an important win for the fans and we deserved it in my opinion. Norwich threw the kitchen sink at us but we defended well and saw it out.”