Bond, Darren Bond, in charge of Middlesbrough trip – Referee
Thursday, 14th Sep 2017 13:40 by Clive Whittingham
Darren Bond takes charge of QPR for the second time in his refereeing career as the R’s face a tough match at Middlesbrough on Saturday.
Referee >>> Darren Bond (Lancashire), refereed a 3-2 loss at Barnsley a year ago, awarding Rangers two penalties.
Our only moment of excitement in the first half came from a Chery free kick. From about 20 yards he curled a lovely effort which clipped the top of the bar and went out for a goal kick. That was it for us and it was with some relief the half ended with only a one goal deficit and we could hope for an improvement in the second half.
We didn’t have to wait long. A lovely ball around the centre half by Chery and Polter was away and heading towards goal. Through a mixture of shirt pulling and tripping Polter was thwarted and the referee pointed to the spot. Chery easily converted and the away end finally awoke from their sleepy state and our spirits were rightly raised.
But before any changes could be made Rangers found themselves in front. Some neat passing and a dangerous cross from the right came to N’Gbakato who drew a foolish challenge and the referee once again pointed correctly to the spot. There were concerned looks around us as Chery threw the ball to Polter to take the penalty. Why? Chery had already nailed three pens this season surely he should be taking this one too? Oh no, Polter’s bound to miss. Bang! 2- 1 to the R’s and “We’re top of the league!” boomed out of the away end.
Only fifteen minutes to go and leading through our only two efforts on target, let’s show that strength and steel that was in evidence on Sunday and put this game to bed. Or let’s give away a ridiculous free kick in dangerous position when an attacker is moving away from goal. It may have been soft but why give the opponent a reason to fall flat on his face and the referee a decision to make? We’ve just taken the lead and Barnsley have struggled to break us down in the second half. Utter stupidity and naivety to make any kind of challenge there and you know the rest. From an almost identical position as Chery’s free kick in the first half, Hourihane belts an absolute beauty passed the helpless Smithies and the momentum swung back to the home side.
Hasselbaink tried to freshen things up by replacing the tired N’Gbakoto with El Khayati, who I don’t think touched the ball in the ten minutes he was on for. We had tossed the lead away but a point was still a good result and we move on to Saturday still unbeaten. Yeah right. Last minute winner for Barnsley.
From our angle it looked like Hall had been fouled in the lead up to the goal but the officials were unmoved and Oakwell was predominantly jubilant. Washington replaced the ineffective and knackered Cousins and Hall was rightly shown a second yellow followed by the red for deliberately stopping a late Barnsley break on the halfway line. That really was the icing on the cake for a disappointing last 15 minutes and the game drifted to defeat.
Hasselbaink is moaning about the officials but he needs to look more closely at his game management. Cousins needed replacing far earlier and we seemed content to let the game drift for long periods rather than trying something different. We certainly didn’t play well enough to deserve the win and we need to get more people forward more quickly. Too often our midfield slowed the game down and passed backwards. Henry was particularly guilty of this and kept putting us under pressure with misplaced passes, terrible crosses or fouls. I also hope the real Smithies returns on Saturday as I didn’t enjoy his Rob Green impersonation at all.
Barnsley: Davies NA; Bree 6; Roberts 6, Mawson 7, White 7; Kent 8; Scowen 7; Hourihane 8; Hammil 5; Watkins 6 (D’Almeida 82, -); Bradshaw 5 (Payne 63, 6)
Goals: Watkins 4 (assisted Hourihane/Roberts), Hourihane 77 (free kick won Hourihane, conceded Luongo), Scowen 89 (assisted Payne, mistake Hall)
Bookings: Roberts 46 (foul)
Goals: Chery 47 (penalty, won Polter), Polter 75 (penalty, won N’Gbakoto)
Red Cards: Hall 90+5 (two bookings)
Bookings: Onuoha 90+3 (foul), Hall 61 (foul), 90+5 (foul)
A very busy start to the season has seen Bond in charge of eight matches already, most recently Derby’s 5-0 demolition of Hull where he (rightly) awarded a penalty to the away side only for Seb Larsson to blaze it over the bar. He’s shown 22 yellows and one red across those fixtures, the sending off coming in Birmingham’s 2-1 home win against Bristol City. This is already his second Middlesbrough game of the season having refereed their 1-0 opening day loss at Sporting Wolverhampton.
The Grant Hall red card at Barnsley last August was one of six Bond showed across the season in 40 appointments. The total of 117 yellows was an average of 2.925 a game and led by the seven shown in Wolves’ ridiculous 4-4 draw with Fulham in the Championship.
Championship >>> Weird that Martin Atkinson should be dropping down for a run of the mill fixture like Bristol City v Derby – not sure what he’s done to offend, although his withdrawal from an advertised appointment at Liverpool v Arsenal earlier this season suggests he’s on his way back from injury.
League One >>> It’s been a while since we had to suffer at the hands of our old nemesis Trevor Kettle but he is still loitering around – Blackburn v Wimbledon for him this weekend.
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