Saturday 20 January 2018

Delaney's gaffe leaves Roy on brink

Championship round-up

Damien Delaney's unfortunate own goal piled more misery on Ipswich but lifted Nottingham Forest to the brink of the Championship play-off places.

The only goal of the game came in first-half injury-time. David McGoldrick's cross from the left was missed by Ipswich 'keeper Marlon Fulop and the ball went into the net off Delaney, who could not get out of the way in time.

Town finished the game with 10 men as Grant Leadbitter was shown a straight red card for a high challenge on Paul Anderson.

A seventh defeat in nine league games means Roy Keane's team continue to plummet towards the drop zone, now just three points above the relegation places in 19th.

The Corkman admitted that his side need to make their own luck. "We lost to an own goal but I wouldn't say we were unlucky. There are no pity parties," he said.

Disappointed

"A lot went on before the goal and we had possession of the ball. We should have done better. We would have been disappointed had it been 0-0 at half-time, let alone be 1-0 down.

"In the second half we were chasing the game, though, and it would have been the other way round if we'd scored first. Scoring goals is the hardest part of football and it's been a problem for us since I've been here, in terms of our final ball and being clever in and around the box.

"One or two of the players make the wrong decision. We've taken one point from six in the last few days but I'm convinced we deserved more. Then again I've been saying the same thing for a year and a half."

McGoldrick accidentally hit the Ipswich bar from a drop ball, when he was trying to give the ball back to Fulop. Forest boss Billy Davies said of the incident: "I apologised to Roy Keane before he punched me! It was an accident and we'd have been gutted had it gone in."

The game marked Aaron Ramsey's final appearance for Forest as he will return to parent club Arsenal because his loan expires today.

"Aaron Ramsey has been a credit to himself and I'd like to thank him and Arsene Wenger. We wish him well for the rest of the season," Davies added.

Steven Caulker's late equaliser earned Bristol City a 2-2 draw at QPR to deny the Championship leaders the chance to open up a seven-point gap at the top of the table. Brett Pitman gave the Robins a 50th-minute lead, but a goal from Alejandro Faurlin and Adel Taarabt's penalty looked set to give Neil Warnock's men all three points.

But Caulker, on loan from Spurs, tapped home Jamal Campbell-Ryce's cross to deny them in injury-time and maintain City's recent improvement.

Norwich are now QPR's nearest challengers after their 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough moved them above Swansea. Captain Grant Holt's sixth goal in six games had put the Canaries ahead, but Russell Martin turned a Julio Arca pass into his own net as Boro earned a point.

The Swans dropped to third in the table as they lost 2-1 at Leicester. Bruno Berner gave Sven Goran Eriksson's side the perfect start with a sixth-minute opener before Scott Sinclair levelled. Darius Vassell grabbed a 43rd-minute winner.

Ireland striker Shane Long struck twice for Reading as they leapfrogged managerless Burnley with a 2-1 win.

Irish Independent

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