It should have been yellow - Jim

AN amazing about turn by referee Lee Mason wrecked Ipswich Town's hopes of East Anglian derby success.The match official from Bolton was initially going to give a caution to Town full back Sito Castro after Norwich City's Kevin Lisbie took a tumble in the 18th minute.

By Elvin King

AN amazing about turn by referee Lee Mason wrecked Ipswich Town's hopes of East Anglian derby success.

The match official from Bolton was initially going to give a caution to Town full back Sito Castro after Norwich City's Kevin Lisbie took a tumble in the 18th minute.

But Mason changed his mind, and placed a red card into the face of Sito leaving Town to fight an uphill battle and eventually go down 1-0 in this Championship clash.

Mason's switch of cards turned the match - sending off Sito for what he deemed a professional foul.

It was down's depleted Ipswich's right side that Darren Huckerby took advantage of an error by keeper Lewis Price to score the only goal in the 51st minute.

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Town skipper Jim Magilton was standing close to the referee when Lisbie tumbled to the floor while chasing a through ball.

A furious Magilton today explained: “The referee saw it from the same angle as I did, and there was no way it looked like a professional foul to me.

“It was a tangle of legs, and when I approached the referee after he had blown he told me he was going to show a yellow card.

“But half a minute later after all the jostling he took out a red card. I don't know what made him change his mind, but my opinion of referees at the moment is not very high.

“Sito is the nicest lad on the planet and it was never a sending off offence. It ruined the game.”

Although gutted by the result, Magilton was happy with the Ipswich performance. He added: “We conceded a sloppy goal following a poor decision.

“But our fans were surely saying that we had a go as they left the ground.

“They could see that there was pride in the shirt and plenty of spirit in the side. It was important that we did enough to give our supporters hope as they journeyed home.

“A 100 per cent commitment to the cause would have got us a result on another day even if down to ten men.

“The roll of the dice did not go our way. We saw things out to half-time with Kevin Horlock playing well at left back, and the manager then made changes.”

Ipswich, who play at Leeds United on Saturday, are to appeal against the Sito sending off.

With Fabian Wilnis injured it could mean a recall for Matt Richards, while manager Joe Royle will continue his search for at least one loan signing to increase the strength of his squad.

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