Crystal Palace 2 Ipswich Town 2: Palace fail to capitalise on Fuller's farewell gesture

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Ricardo Fuller, playing his last game on loan for Ipswich before returning to Southampton, left Selhurst Park pleading his innocence after being sent off for aiming an ill-judged hand gesture towards a linesman.

The frustrated Jamaican had only just been cautioned by the referee Keith Friend for time-wasting when, in his words, he gave a "two-fingered salute" to the supporters who had been taunting him all afternoon.

Unfortunately for the Tractor Boys they were left to dig out a result with a man down for the sixth time this season by Friend who explained afterwards: "The player was sent off for an offensive gesture to the assistant referee." A confused Fuller did not agree. He said: "Why would I give the fingers to the linesman? I was doing it to the fans because I was getting stick. I got a bit of rough treatment all afternoon but none of their defenders even got a card for doing anything to me.

"I have spoken to the referee and told him what I was doing to the fans - not to the linesman. I don't know if he will do anything about it." Joe Royle, the Ipswich manager, had every sympathy with Fuller's predicament and will ask Southampton today if they will extend the loan agreement.

Palace took a 10th-minute lead when a short free-kick saw Jobi McAnuff cross for Aki Riihilhati to score with a free header but Ipwich equalised on the half-hour when the home midfielder Tom Soares inadvertently turned Fuller's deflected shot into his own net.

Eagles striker Clinton Morrison flew in at the near post from Ben Watson's free-kick to head Palace back in front after 53 minutes before Fuller lost his marker 14 minutes later to nod home a centre from Matthew Richards.

Riihilhati, Palace's Finnish goalscorer, summed up the mood in the home camp saying, "We were sloppy. Drawing this game after twice taking the lead is not pleasing. But if we get three points at Leeds on Tuesday, it will make up for it."

Goals: Riihilahti (10) 1-0; Soares og (30) 1-1; Morrison (53) 2-1; Fuller (67) 2-2.

Crystal Palace (4-4-2): Kiraly; Boyce, Hall, Ward, Borrowdale (Leigterwood, 89); Soares (Freedman, 74), Watson, Riihilahti, McAnuff (Reich, 85); Morrison, Johnson. Substitutes not used: Popovic, Speroni (gk).

Ipswich Town (4-4-2): Supple; Sito, Wilnis, De Vos, Barron (Casement, 68); Magilton (Brekke-Skard, 82), Garvan, Richards, Currie; Lee, Fuller. Substitutes not used: McDonald, Clarke, Price (gk).

Referee: K Friend (Leicestershire).

Booked: Ipswich Town Wilnis, Lee, Fuller.

Sent-off: Ipswich Town Fuller.

Man of the match: De Vos.

Attendance: 22,076.

Comments