Football: Timely boost for Ipswich and Genchev

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THE MORALE of Boncho Genchev, the Bulgarian midfielder, has received a timely boost as he prepares to help his new club, Ipswich Town, reach the fourth round of the FA Cup in a rearranged tie against Plymouth at Portman Road tonight, writes Paul Trow.

Genchev, a pounds 250,000 signing from Sporting Lisbon, learned yesterday that the Football Association is likely to allow him to stay with the Premier League club even though his work permit had originally been obtained from the Home Office on the understanding that he was an established international with 12 caps.

It transpired that 28-year-old Genchev had played in only one full international as a substitute while the remainder of his 'caps' came from appearances for the Bulgarian A team.

But after investigating the affair, the FA apparently feels that revoking the work permit would now cause more problems than it would solve, especially as Genchev has made a favourable impression since arriving at Ipswich, scoring one goal in four appearances.

The winners at Portman Road will face either Oldham or Tranmere, who meet tonight in a third- round replay at Prenton Park.

Wimbledon go into their fifth game of the season against Everton tonight without the midfield contribution of Vinnie Jones, who starts a two-match suspension after collecting six bookings.

The Everton manager, Howard Kendall, is also without key players through suspension. The striker Paul Rideout, sent off against Queen's Park Rangers two weeks ago, begins a three-match ban and will be replaced by Stuart Barlow.

A one-match ban means that Everton's Welsh international goalkeeper, Neville Southall, who was controversially sent off for handling the ball outside his area in the same fixture, misses his first senior game in more than four years. The Australian-born Jason Kearton takes his place.

Roly Howard, manager of Marine, of the HFS Loans League, takes the last non-League side still in the Cup to Crewe tonight, hoping to turn his friendship with the Blackburn manager, Kenny Dalglish, into a fourth-round rivalry.

Burnley, who face Premier Division Sheffield United in a third- round replay at Turf Moor, are to ask their referee, Roger Wiseman, to reconsider an incident for which he showed the red card to their striker Adrian Heath in the first game at Bramall Lane.

Arsenal see the Swedish winger Anders Limpar as their most likely source of chances as they seek to recapture their scoring touch in tonight's Coca-Cola Cup quarter- final against Nottingham Forest at Highbury. Terry Wilson, who has been out since September following ankle surgery, is set to return in place of the cup-tied Neil Webb for Forest, who have lost only two of their last 37 matches in the competition.