Scouts denied a look at Dean

IPSWICH Town's scheduled Premier League Reserve fixture with West Ham at Portman Road last night was called off 90 minutes before the proposed 7pm kick-off time.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Town's scheduled Premier League Reserve fixture with West Ham at Portman Road last night was called off 90 minutes before the proposed 7pm kick-off time.

The referee inspected the pitch and ruled that it was too frozen for the match to go ahead.

Originally planned to take place at Needham Market FC, the game will now be re-arranged.


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The match would have given striker Adam Proudlock an outing after recovering from injury while various scouts, including Gillingham's Ronnie Jepson, were due to take a look at Town's striker Dean Bowditch.

Kevin Horlock, who has been told he can leave as his contract is not being renewed, would also have been in the shop window.

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Head groundsman Alan Ferguson re-laid grass in both goalmouths last week, and the pitch will now suffer no further wear and tear before next Tuesday's Championship home encounter with Leeds United.

Ipswich have switched their reserve games with Coventry. They will now travel to meet the Sky Blues next Wednesday, February 1, and entertain the Midlands side on February 21 either at Needham Market or Portman Road.

Meanwhile, in-form striker Alan Lee has spoken of his relief at being told he will be eligible for next Tuesday's match against Leeds.

The 27-year-old left Southampton last Saturday dreading that his controversial booking at St Mary's Stadium would lead to a one-match ban.

He feared that it was his fifth yellow card of the campaign, but the Football Association have confirmed that Lee is only on four bookings as reported in Monday's Star.

“It is a huge relief,” said Lee. “I had it implanted in my mind that I was up for a ban. I must have got it wrong.

“If I had to sit out the Leeds game it would have been terrible.”

Town fans can rest easy about the East Anglian derby at Norwich City on Sunday week as suspensions for five bookings commence on the seventh day after the last offence.

So, if Lee is booked against Leeds next Tuesday, he will still be available to play against the Canaries.

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