Ipswich were never six goals superior

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IT is all well and good asking the players to show respect to the officials, but when you get a manager like Portsmouth’s Steve Cotterill, who blatantly flouts the law and good spirit within the game, it makes a mockery of the Respect Campaign.

We had had enough of him after the Fratton Park match where Pompey had a player sent off. But he tried to blame Rovers for his player’s second yellow card on Saturday which he described as the ‘worst sending off ever.’

He also kicked the ball away when Byron Webster went to retrieve it for a throw-in. He then had an angry spat with Sean O’Driscoll.

If the game had been at Belle Vue, the main stand ‘shoutybags’ would have had a field day.

Back to the game, luck deserted us when Halford’s shot came back off the post only to fall to Kitson and give him the chance to head home.

The ball also fell nicely for the Pompey player to lob the ball past Gary Woods to make it 2-0.

We again picked up some injuries to Billy Sharp, a challenge the weak referee and officials failed to spot. Billy missed the Ipswich game and with Brian Stock and Ryan Mason also missing we turned out the walking wounded against the Tractor Boys.

We played some nice football in the first half, and could easily have taken the lead. But another own goal put us on the slippery slope.

Ipswich were never six goals superior, their manager Paul Jewell admitted that. But they had players who could find the net and they seized on their chances.

Town’s keeper pulled off two great saves in the closing stages, which would have made the scoreline more respectable had at least one gone in. But with our injuries and depth of squad it was always going to be a bit of an uphill battle.

I loved Jewell’s reply in his post-match press conference, when asked by an Ipswich newspaper reporter if 17 year-old hat trick hero Connor Wickam would be making the headlines, he hit back with: “You should know, you are writing them!” A good one.

It was a bit different to Sean’s interview which lasted all of 20 seconds because nobody asked a ‘sensible question’

The fans have been criticised a bit lately for not turning up.

But the fans on Tuesday night, especially the South stand drummer and his gang, backed the team until the final whistle, and when some boos rang out they were soon drowned out.

Our normally lucky mascot, referee Mark Halsey, didn’t bring us any luck, but he controlled the game well, although the tackles were not as bad as the Pompey lot.

We could not ask for a harder game to try and get back on track than the long trip to Swansea, a team who get the totalling plaudits along with ourselves, tomorrow.

They had a great 4-3 victory at Middlesbrough on Saturday after being 3-1 down. I would be happy if we could get a point like we did last season.

Then it’s off to East Anglia on Tuesday to face Norwich and we must keep going until the final whistle blows as the Canaries have scored a last-ditch winner in eight games.

n A couple of diary dates: Next Wednesday sees the second Fans’ Forum at the Brooke Arms, Wikegate Road in Thorne (7.30pm) . All fans are welcome and it’s hoped to have Sean and chief executive Dave Morris in attendance along with other representatives from the club.

Bus times for Saturday are: Retford 7.20, Harworth 7.35, Rossington 7.45, Hare and Tortoise (Rossington side) 7.50, Infirmary 8.00, and Keepmoat 8.15. Fare £24 adult member, £22 OAP and £20 under 16’s. Add £2 for non members.

Norwich bus: Retford 1.30, Harworth 1.35, Rossington 1.45, Hare and Tort 1.50, Infirmary 2.00 and Keepmoat 2.15. Fare: £18, £16, £14. Again add £2 for non members.

Please book early for Derby, Leeds and Forest due to holidays.

Rovers ‘till I drop.