An injury-hit Fulham side were knocked out of the League Cup in controversial circumstances as First Division Ipswich Town progressed to the third round following a 4-2 second leg win at Portman Road this evening.
Injuries to several first-team regulars saw manager Micky Adams lace up his boots for the first time in thirteen months and the retired stalwart John Marshall made up the numbers on the substitutes bench. Fulham contributed to open and entertaining Cup tie and had chances in the first half to go ahead, just as they did in the first leg through Simon Morgan. But the visitors failed to take them and were eventually punished by their clinical First Division opponents.
Danny Sonner drilled home a cross from Alex Mathie to put Ipswich ahead both on the net and in the tie and, although the Whites got an almost immediate equaliser when Steve Sedgley fired past his own goalkeeper three minutes later, the tie turned on a contentious penalty award from referee Rob Harris five minutes into the second half. Jamie Scowcroft was deemed to have been fouled by Danny Cullip and Sedgley stepped forward to convert the spot-kick.
Alex Mathie then scored twice in the space of six minutes to put the tie beyond Fulham before Mark Blake was sent off for a second yellow card. Substitute Paul Brooker did reduce the arrears with a stunning volley from fifteen yards but that was the merest of consolations on a frustrating evening for the Londoners.
IPSWICH TOWN (3-5-2): Forrest; Thomsen, Swailes, Vaughan; Milton, Stockwell (Uhlenbeek 73), Mason, Sonner, Sedgley; Scowcroft, Mathie.
GOALS: Sonner (28), Sedgley (pen 50), Mathie (63, 69).
FULHAM (5-3-2): Walton; Watson (Marshall 65), Herrera, Angus, Blake, Cullip (Brooker 65); Morgan, Cusack, Adams (Mison 81); Scott, Conroy.
SENT OFF: Blake.
GOALS: Sedgley (o.g. 31), Brooker (69).
REFEREE: Rob Harris (Oxford).