Fab's unwanted record

FABIAN Wilnis has earned himself an unwanted place in the Ipswich record books.The Dutch defender's red card in Tuesday's 1-1 draw at Plymouth made him the first Town star to be sent off three times.

By Mel Henderson

FABIAN Wilnis has earned himself an unwanted place in the Ipswich record books.

The Dutch defender's red card in Tuesday's 1-1 draw at Plymouth made him the first Town star to be sent off three times.

Wilnis, 36, was dismissed for a second bookable offence and will miss Saturday's trip to Burnley as he serves an automatic one-game suspension.

Since turning professional in 1936, Ipswich have had only 53 players given their marching orders - a disciplinary record of which they are understandably proud.

But Wilnis' red card was their eighth in just over two years, which illustrates how times have changed in football.

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The full-back's first sending-off was also against Plymouth, in a home game on September 25, 2004.

He saw red again, just two months later, in Town's game against Cardiff at Ninian Park.

Until Tuesday he was one of 11 players with two dismissals against him, the others being current colleagues Richard Naylor and Sito, along with former favourites Pablo Counago, Paul Mariner, John McGreal, Russell Osman, James Scowcroft, Manu Thetis, Tony Vaughan and John Wark.

But now he is out on his own with three red cards to his name, despite pleading his innocence after referee Kevin Friend brandished two yellows in his direction at Home Park.

Ipswich are also £10,000 worse off after Tuesday's game, the second in which they had six or more players cautioned.

Each time a team collects six bookings they incur an automatic £5,000 Football Association fine and it has now happened twice to Jim Magilton's team, the first being at Southend 12 days ago.

Meanwhile, Wilnis' absence at Turf Moor on Saturday gives manager Jim Magilton a selection poser.

He must decide whether to recall Sito as a direct replacement or to switch Alex Bruce to right-back and bring in Naylor alongside skipper Jason de Vos in the middle of the defence.

Another option would be to give a first start of the season to Belfast-born defender Chris Casement, 18, who was a late addition to the squad that flew down to Devon two days ago.

N DO you think Ipswich are a dirty side? Or have they just been unlucky with many of their bookings? Are you pleased to see the side getting stuck in? Let us know. Star Sport Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN. E-mail starsport@eveningstar.co.uk

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