Kevin has a nightmare
A HALLOWEEN horror show by referee Kevin Friend took the gloss of probably the hardest-earned Championship point Ipswich Town are going to collect this season.
By Elvin King
A HALOWEEN horror show by referee Kevin Friend took the gloss of
probably the hardest-earned Championship point Ipswich Town are going to collect this season.
The Leicestershire official showed seven yellow cards to Town players in their 1-1 draw at Plymouth last night.
It was not a dirty game, but a full-throttle encounter in which Ipswich came out with some deserved reward against an impressive and lively Argyle side.
Dutch defender Fabian Wilnis was shown two yellows, which led to Ipswich playing the final 12 minutes - plus six stoppage time minutes - with ten men.
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Wilnis, 36, called Mr Friend's display the worst he has seen from a referee in his long playing career, and Town chairman David Sheepshanks confirmed that he will be doing all he can to relieve Ipswich of the dirty reputation that they in danger of getting.
When Simon Walton was cautioned in stoppage time it was the 49th yellow card the Blues have been shown in their 16 games.
Plymouth had two players booked, but only the fouls by Dan Harding and Paul Wootton were unmistakably worth a card.
Sheepshanks, who had to leave Home Park with the rest of the Town party within minutes of the end as their plane had to take off from Plymouth Airport before it shut at 10.30pm, said:
“It is a totally unfair reputation that we are gaining. I will be looking at what the referee's assessor has to say and then making my feelings known.
“It is a situation that I am very unhappy about as we are not a dirty side.”
Wilnis will now sit out Saturday's match at Burnley, while Walton has collected five bookings and will miss the home match with Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday week.
Alex Bruce and Mark Noble have both already served suspensions this season.
Wilnis said: “That was the worst refereeing display of my long career. We wanted to play football, but were not allowed to by the man in black.
“We were playing against 12 men. My first booking was harsh when the referee was swayed by the reaction of the crowd.
“When one of their players broke away from the wall he was not punished, but when Gary Roberts moved the free-kick forward a foot he was shown a card. Where is the justice?
“This was a game we came to win, and we benefited from a great early goal.
“But it was not football. It was a battle and the referee did not give us a thing.”