Keane respite as Leadbitter fires Ipswich into final four

Ipswich Town 1 West Bromwich Albion 0
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The Independent Football

In his programme notes Roy Keane had talked of the moment when a manager is at the point of resigning. "Some might see it as a cop out," the Irishman had written following four straight defeats. "I think it's a brave decision.

"I'm pretty sure I'll make the right decision if it comes to it. That might be next week, that might be next month, that might be in 10 years' time."

This morning, thanks to Grant Leadbitter's penalty winner, next week seems an unlikely departure date for the man most likely to walk out on a club and a decade, too, seems a long shot. Next month, when Keane's Championship strugglers take on Arsenal over two legs for a place in the Carling Cup final, it is then.

Keane thought so too, with his tongue firmly in his cheek. "We've got the first leg here on 10 January," he said. "And we've got Chelsea around that time as well. Hopefully I'll be here. I might be gone at the end of January but I should be here for them."

In front of Ipswich's lowest crowd of the season – a legacy of Sunday's 4-1 thrashing at Norwich as much as the cold weather – Premier League West Bromwich Albion were beaten by a contentious penalty decision.

Substitute Carlos Edwards went to ground as Graham Dorrans challenged but it was unclear whether the offence had been committed at all let alone in the penalty area.Yet referee Mike Jones pointed to the spot and Leadbitter made no mistake.

Albion assistant manager Eddie Newton was convinced Jones had erred but was not prepared to use that as an excuse for his side's lacklustre performance. "For me it was a soft penalty but the fact remains we didn't deserve anything out of the game," Newton said. "I know when I was a player I wanted to play in finals and be as successful as possible so it's bewildering that we had so many poor performances.

"Forget all the other trappings in football – that's what you are in football for, to be successful, to win trophies so you can look back on your career, that's what it's about. And I didn't see enough desire for that tonight."

Ipswich Town (4-4-2): Murphy; Peters, Brown, Smith, O'Dea; Lambe (Edwards 46), Leadbitter, Norris, Townsend; Priskin, Scotland. Substitutes not used Lee-Barrett, O'Connor, Eastman, Healy, Civelli, Murray.

West Bromwich Albion (4-2-3-1): Myhill; Hurst, Meite, Ibanez, Cech; S Reid, Dorrans; Barnes, Cox, Tchoyi; Fortune. Substitutes not used Carson, Tamas, Morrison, Thomas, Miller, Jara, Berahino.

Referee: M Jones (Cheshire)