Andy saves Roberts from red card
IPSWICH goalkeeper Andy Marshall today revealed how he helped save former team-mate Iwan Roberts from a red card.Marshall, 27, was hailed a hero by the 2,000 Town fans at Carrow Road for yesterday's much-needed derby success, as he kept only his second clean sheet in 17 games. And City skipper Roberts also had cause to be grateful to him.
By Mel Henderson
IPSWICH goalkeeper Andy Marshall today revealed how he helped save former team-mate Iwan Roberts from a red card.
Marshall, 27, was hailed a hero by the 2,000 Town fans at Carrow Road for yesterday's much-needed derby success, as he kept only his second clean sheet in 17 games.
And Norwich skipper Roberts also had good reason to be grateful to Marshall for having a timely word in the ear of referee Graham Laws.
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The Whitley Bay whistler booked the experienced striker in the 28th minute, clearly indicating he felt the former Welsh international had used an elbow in an aerial challenge with Ipswich defender Thomas Gaardsoe.
That decision angered Town boss Joe Royle, who felt Roberts was fortunate not to be dismissed, but Marshall today owned up to his part in the first half flashpoint.
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He said: "From what I saw I didn't think Iwan had intended to elbow Thomas. That was my opinion, based on what I saw, and I just told the referee 'I don't think there was any intent'.
"I know Iwan and he's an honest lad. He's not a dirty player and he's not a bad person. In my
opinion he didn't foul Thomas – not deliberately anyway."
Marshall turned in a flawless display, although he was quick to agree that the punchless Canaries had offered little threat throughout the 90 minutes.
He added: "I didn't have many saves to make and to keep a clean sheet was exactly what I needed to be honest. I've had a tough season – it's been really hard – but this has done me the world of good.
"At the start of the season, when I saw the fixtures, I thought this could be a vital game that might go a long way towards deciding which team went forward to the play-offs. We were worthy winners and played a lot of good football."
The nearest Marshall came to conceding a goal came just four minutes into the second half, when David Healy sent in a rather tame effort.
Norwich's top scorer, Paul McVeigh, not only helped the ball goalwards but also changed its direction and the Town keeper, already committed to diving to his left, used his legs to keep it out.
Marshall found himself the centre of attraction as he made his first return to Carrow Road since
leaving for Ipswich on a free transfer in the summer of 2001.
He grinned as he added: "I got a little bit of stick. I knew it was going to happen and it was everything I expected and more."
Now Marshall is looking to do his bit to help propel Ipswich into the First Division's top six at the earliest opportunity.
He said: "We have to put some wins together. We were consistent over Christmas but we've had some very poor performances in recent weeks.
"We need to regain our consistency during the run-in. We just want to be in those play-offs – whether we finish sixth or higher it doesn't really matter, as long as we're in there at the end."