Experienced Mathieson starts season at Loftus Road
Thursday, 1st Aug 2013 22:25 by Clive Whittingham
QPR start the season with Scott Mathieson, one of the Championship’s most experienced officials, in charge of their opening home match with Sheffield Wednesday.
Referee >>> Scott Mathieson (Cheshire), refereed QPR once in their 2010/11 promotion season in a 2-0 defeat at Leeds. Hit the headlines afterwards when he was caught on camera in the tunnel giving Neil Warnock as good as he got after the game.
Assistants >>> Carl Brook (East Sussex) and Mathew Buonassisi (Northants)
Fourth Official >>> Barry Holderness (Essex)
The first card of the game came ten minutes before half time and left a bitter taste in the mouth. Bradley Orr put a challenge in on Max Gradel tight to the touchline and upended the Leeds man – the home side continued to attack despite this so play was waved on but as they went in search of a second goal Gradel embarked on a series of exaggerated rolls, screams and spasms on the floor in the technical area. It was play acting of the lowest order, there was absolutely nothing wrong with Gradel as everybody was able to clearly see when he picked himself up, dusted himself off and then raced into the penalty area to get on the end of a low cross from Snodgrass and screw his shot wide of the post. Despite the child-like reaction from Gradel referee Scott Mathieson did indeed to return to book Orr once the play had come to a halt.
There was no card for George McCartney though five minutes before the break when he again upended Taarabt on the edge of the area – and there was no reward from the free kick for QPR either as Taarabt again disappointed with a weak effort that sailed harmlessly over the bar. As good as Taarabt is and as much as I love him, he really should be taken off set piece duty as soon as possible because his delivery and shots from corners and free kicks is abject at the moment.
The injury to Bruce and subsequent substitution contributed to four minutes of injury time at the end of the first half and the extra period turned out to be a dramatic one. First Jamie Mackie appeared to be badly fouled on the halfway line and stayed on the ground motionless as the referee inexplicably waved play on. QPR encouraged Leeds to kick the ball out of play and when they refused to do so the inevitable happened – Clint Hill hacked into Paul Connolly for a clear Leeds free kick that sparked a minor fracas in front of Leeds’ giant, and half full, West Stand. The upshot off all of this was a booking for both Hill and Connolly although the referee may reflect upon reviewing his performance that he caused the whole situation with a bad decision in the first place.
There was more to come from Mathieson before the half time piss and pies – Adel Taarabt embarked on a Roy Wegerle like run from the halfway line that carried him past three Leeds players to the edge of the area where he appeared to be clearly chopped down in full flight. Matheison waved play on for a second time and the QPR players held lengthy conversations with the match officials as they left the field at half time.
Leeds: Schmeichel 6, Connolly 6, Bruce - (Bromby 11, 7), Collins 7, McCartney 6, Kilkenny 7, Howson 7, Johnson 7, Gradel 7 (Sam 76, 7),Becchio 8 (Paynter 90, -), Snodgrass 7
QPR Kenny 7, Orr 6, Gorkss 6, Connolly 5, Hill 4 (Hall 46, 5), Derry 5, Walker 5, Mackie 6, Smith 6 (Ephraim 75, 5), Taarabt 6, Hulse 6 (Helguson 75, 5)
Referee – Scott Mathieson (Stockport) 6 Had a bit of a mad 15 minutes at the end of the first half which culminated in the scuffle in injury time and the bookings for Connolly and Hill. That whole incident was a direct result of a foul not being given in favour of Jamie Mackie when he was clearly felled and the whole thing had been simmering through a quarter of an hour of odd decisions. Apart from that though he was his usual self – allowing players to get on with it and largely keeping his cards to himself. I have to be honest, the clip of him giving some back to Warnock after the match did make me laugh because for the QPR manager to be giving the referee any grief, and attaching any blame for the defeat to him, at all was unfounded and unjustified and it was nice to see a referee give a bit back.
The main talking point of the half came in stoppage time at the end of it. Sam Di Carmine attempted to control a bouncing ball tight to the touchline on the South Africa Road side of the ground and as he leaned in to try and get a head on the ball Claude Davis arrived with an uncompromising challenge that did take the ball, but also delivered a kick to the Italian striker’s head.
The whole thing then descended into a farce with lots of players crowding around who were not involved in the incident, possibly pointing out that Di Carmine had now twice received blows to the face although in fairness he hits the deck and feigns injury that often it’s hard to tell when he is genuinely fouled and hurt and when he’s just putting it on. Then Paulo Sousa came across to see how Di Carmine was and remonstrate a bit with the officials. Warnock tried to get the Portuguese to go back to his technical area which he did. Di Carmine headed straight down the tunnel for treatment while referee Mathieson held a long conversation with Sousa resulting in the QPR manager being sent to the stand for the first time in his fledgling career. Sousa didn’t seem to entirely understand what had happened and had to have the situation explained to him by Gareth Ainsworth who then went onto the pitch for a chat with the referee at the half time whistle. Much ado about nothing really, it was a foul and nothing more on Di Carmine and the scenes afterwards were all a bit daft to be honest. Davis was booked for his part in it all.
The Rangers’ coaching staff finally gave the fans what they wanted with about seventeen minutes left to play when they sent Rowan Vine on for Adel Taarabt. The cheers for the striker’s return were mixed in with boos from some sections of the crowd when they realised it was Taarabt making way, and not Di Carmine as many thought was probably inevitable. Vine looked lively but a little rusty on his return, his main piece of action was a penalty appeal in the final minute of the game. Inside the penalty area with his back to goal he attempted to flick the ball over his head and that of his marker Jose Fonte who was very tight to the Rangers man. The ball appeared to strike the Palace defender’s raised arm and Vine immediately appealed, along with the entire Loft and Ellerslie Road stands, but referee and linesman stood unmoved. I have to say from my seat in F Block it looked like it would have been a very harsh penalty to give.
QPR: Cerny 7, Ramage 7, Gorkss 8, Connolly 8, Delaney 7, Leigertwood 6, Routledge 6, Miller 4 (Cook 46, 5), Ephraim 6, Taarabt 6 (Vine 73, 6), Di Carmine 4 (Balanta 85, -)
Crystal Palace: Speroni 7, Lawrence 7, Davis 7, Clyne 7, Hill 5 (Jose Fonte 40, 6), Danns 6, Derry 6, Carle 6, Moses 8, Kuqi 6 (Scowcroft 83, -), Stokes 6 (Ifill 79, 6)
Referee: Scott Mathieson (Cheshire) 6 Couldn’t argue with any of the bookings and as I have no idea what was said on the touchline when Paulo Sousa was sent off hard to say if that was harsh or not although if he really has been sent to the stand simply for leaving the technical area to check on an injured player that’s pretty poor in my opinion. Palace were very physical and Sam Di Carmine could perhaps have been given more protection in the first half when Davis, Lawrence and Hill all had good cracks at him. I didn’t have the best view of the late penalty appeal but from what I did see it would have been a harsh one to give.
His last fixture with Rangers prior to that was a 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth during the promotion season of 2003/04. Prior to that he was part of an inglorious moment in recent Rangers history when he took charge of the goalless draw with Vauxhall Motors at Chester’s Deva Stadium. QPR infamously lost the replay on penalties. QPR have only won one of ten matches refereed by Mathieson – a dire 1-0 televised success against Bradford at Loftus Road in 1997, Gavin Peacock bundled in a poorly taken penalty to win the game. Rangers have lost five and drawn four of the other nine games, picking up ten yellows compared to 13 for the opposition.
In 1998 he was the referee for our 2-1 defeat at Watford where Vinnie Jones turned up after the rest of the team, demanded to play, intimidated several team mates in the dressing room beforehand and then launched into a horrific tackle inside the first ten minutes that Mathieson booked him for, but really should have sent him off.
Last season Mathieson showed 105 yellows (2.76 a game) and eight reds in 38 appointments. His biggest haul in a single match was eight yellows in a League One encounter between Sheffield United and Oldham in October. He also booked six and sent one off at Oxford v Northampton in League Two in November. By coincidence he also refereed Sheffield Wednesday’s opening league game of last season – on that occasion they drew 2-2 at derby having trailed 2-0 after half an hour. His other Wednesday appointment last season was a 1-0 away win at Bolton on Boxing Day.
Championship >>> Mark Clattenburg drops down out of the Premier League to keep an eye on the local derby between Bolton and Burnley which is the first Championship televised game this season on Saturday lunchtime. Andy D’Urso is going round again this season and he starts with Bournemouth v Charlton. Stuart Attwell has the other TV game which is Derby v Blackburn on Sunday afternoon.
League Two >>> Gavin Ward starts with Portsmouth v Oxford – Fratton Park of course was the venue for one of his horror shows against QPR back in 2010/11.
Photo: Action Images
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