Red-card keeper happy after inquiry

SOCCER: IPSWICH Athletic goalkeeper Neil Hamblin used video evidence to escape further punishment after being sent off in last season's Suffolk Senior Cup final at Portman Road.

IPSWICH Athletic goalkeeper Neil Hamblin used video evidence to escape further punishment after being sent off in last season's Suffolk Senior Cup final at Portman Road.

Hamblin was deemed to have handled the ball outside the penalty area and was dismissed with the score 1-0 to Kirkley in a final won 3-1 by the Lowestoft-based club.

Hamblin feels no animosity to the referee and his assistant who combined to issue a red card early in this showpiece match.

The keeper's departure also proved a disaster to Athletic youngster Nathan Brame, who was immediately substituted to allow reserve keeper Jason Evans to play between the posts.

Hamblin's previous Senior Cup final experience was also a nightmare when he did not have the best of games in a 4-1 defeat by Haverhill Rovers when playing for Ipswich Wanderers in 1997.

"Portman Road and me don't seem to mix," said Hamblin. "I was gutted at the time of the sending off but life goes on and I have no animosity towards the officials.

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"It was a close call, and if ten people had made a judgement on the video five would probably have said I handled inside the area and five would have said outside.

"It was quite amusing seeing the Suffolk FA disciplinary panel huddled round a TV as the video was played frame by frame on several occasions. It was just too close to call and I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome."

Gary Steed, the county's disciplinary secretary, said that it was not the first time video evidence had been used at a hearing in front of the Suffolk FA.

"If my memory serves me correctly Sudbury Town used it for one of their players a couple of years ago," said Steed.

"The official decision on Hamblin was that the action taken by the referee and his assistant at the match was deemed sufficient punishment."

While Hamblin has accepted the decision – made by the assistant referee and backed by the referee – his Ipswich Athletic manager Jimmy Marjoram is still far from happy.

He said: "Neil was in tears at the time and it ruined his night. Nathan Brame had done nothing wrong but he was also punished severely.

"And it messed up the night for Ipswich Athletic. It upset all our plans and although we were 1-0 down at the time there was still a long way to go."

n THE Football Association, in conjunction with the institute of groundsmanship, are running courses for the autumn preparation and winter maintenance of pitches at all levels.

The two one-day courses that are being held in the Ipswich area are on August 16 and October 11 at the Ipswich Town FC training ground at Bent Lane.

Each course will start at 9.15am and will finish at around 4.15pm. The courses will cover the principles and practical techniques involved in surface requirements, setting out, marking compounds, sequence of autumn preparation, line marking, rolling, harrowing, tools and equipment etc.

The courses are suitable for people whether they are club or school groundsmen, volunteers or contractors and everybody is welcome.

If you attend the course you will receive a day's tuition from a fully qualified instructor and a set of resource material containing all the elements of the course.

The course fees are £50 per person (inc VAT) or £40 for IOG members. This fee includes VAT, lunch and refreshments and a comprehensive handout and attendance certificate.

For full details and to register for the course contact the Suffolk County FA office on 01473 407290 for a registration form and further details. All applications must arrive 14 days before the start of the course.

n FELIXSTOWE and Walton United are holding youth summer soccer schools with a view to selecting squads for next season.

On Saturday July 28, August 4 and 11 qualified coaches will be supervising sessions at Langley Avenue, Felixstowe with Under-10s from 9-10am, Under-13s from 10-11 am and Under-16s from 11am until noon.

The cost is £1 per session and more information can be obtained on 01394 284464.

n CODDENHAM Country Club FC, playing in divisions three and seven of the Metaltec SIL and division three of the Licensed Trades League, have started training on Wednesday nights at Coddenham Recreation Ground.

There is also an extra session on Sunday mornings.

New players for all teams are welcome, particularly on Sundays. Contact Dean Smith on 01449 770530 for more information.

n FORMER Ipswich Town defender Kevin Beattie is running a summer soccer coaching course at Westerfield House Hotel, Ipswich on August 7 and 8 from 10am until 2 pm.

The course is open to boys and girls aged five to 14 and costs £25. For more information and booking forms contact 01473 719420.

n IPSWICH company Gemini Travel is arranging a tour to Ireland to follow Ipswich Town when they play two matches in the Emerald isle next month.

The four-day trip, which starts on Tuesday, August 7, will take in Town's games in Dublin and Bray. More information can be obtained from Ed Nicholls at Gemini Coaches on 01473 462721.

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