Langford in charge tonight - Referee
Tuesday, 20th Feb 2018 10:42 by Clive Whittingham
Oliver Langford, genuinely (touch wood) one of the Championship’s more lenient officials, is in charge of tonight’s game at Sheffield United.
Referee >>> Oliver Langford (West Midlands), third QPR game of the season following comfortable defeats to Norwich and Middlesbrough.
Assistants >>> Neil Davies (London) and James Wilson (Cheshire)
Fourth Official >>> Tony Harrington (Cleveland)
Smith’s arrival did at least worry Boro’s enormous back four into almost conceding a penalty. Referee Oliver Langford is known as a lenient official, and in general we quite like that, but at least one of the two incidents where Smith was knocked to the ground in the six yard box chasing a cross, once with an elbow and the other more blatantly when Ayala had his hands around his neck, looked like they should have been a spot kick. QPR haven’t had a penalty since the opening day of the season against Reading and when Smith was later then penalised himself for much less it became clear he wasn’t about to get one for us here. Langford not the first referee this season who I think has judged the big target man harshly when he’s clearly being fouled in the penalty area. Holloway and Pulis, friends off the pitch, at it like cats and dogs on the touchline after the second incident.
But you can’t play as poorly as QPR did here and go away talking about refereeing decisions. Langford was fine overall, and Rangers weren’t even close to that.
QPR: Smithies 6; Onuoha 5, Lynch 5, Robinson 5; Furlong 6, Bidwell 5 (Osayi-Samuel 46, 5); Scowen 5 (Eze 70, 6), Freeman 5, Luongo 5; Washington 5, Oteh 5 (Smith 46, 5)
Subs not used: Ingram, Manning, Baptiste, Wszolek
Boro: Randolph 6; Shotton 7, Ayala 7, Gibson 7, Friend 7; Bamford 6 (Clayton 72, 7), Leadbitter 7, Howson 7, Traore 8; Downing 7 (Christie 87, -); Asombalonga 6 (Gestede 69, 7)
Subs not used: Konstantopoulos, Braithwaite, Fletcher, Johnson
Goals: Ayala 24 (assisted Traore), Friend 34 (unassisted), Traore 85 (assisted Gestede)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Midlands) 6 Usual calm, unfussy, cardless officiating of the game that we’ve come to expect from him, but I thought at leats one of the fouls on Smith in the second half was worth a penalty and to then penalise him and give a free kick the other way for far less in the third instance was taking the piss a bit.
Norwich: Gunn 6; Pinto 6 (Martin 68, 6), Zimmermann 6, Franke 6; Husband 5, Reed 7, Hoolahan 6, Maddison 7, Vrancic 7; Murphy 6 (Watkins 79, 6), Oliveira 8 (Stiepermann 85, -)
Subs not used: Naismith, Jerome, Tettey, McGovern
Goals: Oliveira 48 (assisted Vrancic), Reed 82 (unassisted)
Bookings: Martin 72 (foul)
QPR: Smithies 7; Perch 6, Onuoha 6, Lynch 6 (Furlong 65, 5); Wszolek 5 (Lua Lua 29, 5), Bidwell 7; Scowen 6, Freeman 6, Luongo 6; Mackie 6 (Smith 71, 5), Washington 5
Subs not used: Ingram, Manning, Borysiuk, Robinson
Bookings: Lynch 15 (foul)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Midlands) 8 The usual calm, assured, unfussy performance we’ve come to expect from this excellent (famous last words) referee. Must be knocking on the door for a promotion soon.
A fairly frustrating half finished with Rangers leading 2-1 and Matt Smith having an angry dispute with referee Oliver Langford, in for the advertised Andy Davies, after twice being dumped to the turf by Belaid and requiring treatment to his knee. One might have thought, after Smith had made such a big deal of it, and the referee’s attention had been drawn, and a warning had been issued, that it might have been half an idea for Belaid to lie low at the start of the second half and maybe leave Smith alone for a bit. Instead, within two minutes of the restart, he pulled the big striker to the ground by the head as a long throw from Darnell Furlong flew across the area. A ridiculous piece of play, an obvious penalty, an act of pure stupidity in a centre half display the likes of which we haven’t seen since Gus Caeser was lumbering around these parts trying not to kill anybody. Karl Ready has done more talented beer shits than Belaid, and partnering him with Ajayi who spent the entire afternoon booting the ball straight up in the air was disastrous.
QPR: Smithies 6; Furlong 6, Onuoha 6, Lynch 5, Bidwell 6; Luongo 7 (Goss 74, 6), Hall 7, Freeman 7 (Morrison 63, 6); Sylla 6, Ngbakoto 7, Smith 7 (Washington 63, 6)
Subs not used: Mackie, Ingram, Wszolek, Manning
Goals: Smith 5 (assisted Sylla), Freeman 15 (unassisted) Ngbakoto 49 (penalty won Smith), Luongo 57 (assisted Ngbakoto), Onuoha 90+1 (assisted Ngbakoto)
Rotherham: Price 2; Vaulks 5, Ajayi 2, Belaid 2, Purrington 5; Taylor 5 (Forde 65, 5), Adeyemi 5, Frecklington 4, Newell 6; Ward 4 (Smallwood 85, -), Yates 5 (Morris 70, -)
Subs not used: Blackstock, Bray, Warren Bilboe
Goals: Newell 13 (unassisted)
Yellow Cards: Belaid 48 (foul)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Midlands) 8 Apart from being a late replacement for Andy Davies, and therefore making a mess of our copy and paste referee profiles next time we have either of them in charge of our game, he was very decent I thought. Not a particularly competitive match clearly but controlled well, just the one card and the penalty decision was correct.
Reading 0 QPR 1, Thursday January 12, 2017, Championship
Reading: Al Habsi 5; Gunter 6, Moore 6, Van Den Berg 6, Obita 5; Kelly 6; Beerens 6, Williams 6, Swift 6 (Meite 73, 5), McCleary 6; Kermorgant 4
Subs not used: Cooper, Evans, Samuel, Wieser, Watson, Moore
Bookings: Moore 85 (handball), van den Berg 89 (foul)
QPR: Smithies 6; Furlong 7, Onuoha 7, Lynch 7, Bidwell 7; Manning 7 (Doughty 86, -), Hall 8, Luongo 7; Mackie 7 (Comley 90+2, -), Wszolek 8, Sylla 7 (Lua Lua 73, 6)
Subs not used: Ingram, El Khayati, Shodipo, Ngbakoto
Goals: Mackie 28 (assisted Manning)
Bookings: Mackie 33 (kicking ball away), Wszolek 87 (foul)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Mids) 8 A man in prolific card form at the moment, and ridiculously harsh on Mackie with his first half booking, but the other three cards were all justified and overall I thought he was very good.
Wood’s ineffectiveness up front and Luongo and Henry’s dominance of the midfield starved their two headline summer signings, Matt Grimes on loan from Swansea and Kemar Roofe for £3m from Oxford, of any ball at all. Grimes curled a second half free kick over the bar from long range with Smithies just about covering it after a foul by Ben Gladwin – already booked for a bad tackle in the first half this was the second time he’d lunged in horribly since and he was lucky not to be sent off by referee Oliver Langford before Hasselbaink sensibly withdrew him. A mistake from Nedum Onuoha – rare on the day, one of his better outings at right back this – gave Roofe a clear run into the QPR half but Onuoha and Caulker were quicker, fitter and sharper and able to get back and block away the danger.
Those two second half subs turned the screw on a Leeds side that had been struggling to keep hold of QPR’s coat tails anyway. El Khayati saw one of his trademark curling shots to the far corner blocked by a defender and another well saved by Robert Green on his first return to Loftus Road after departing Rangers in the summer. Green saved nervously at his near post from Chery as well but there was nothing he could do when Cousins drew a naïve foul from Leeds’ wonderfully named youngster Ronaldo Veira in the penalty area and Chery converted from the spot. The visitors had simply been overawed and when Polter made it three later on it was no more than Rangers deserved.
QPR: Smithies 6; Onuoha 7, Caulker 7, Hall 7, Bidwell 7; Gladwin 5 (Cousins 56, 7), Henry 8, Luongo 8, Shodipo 6 (El Khayati 68, 6); Chery 7 (Perch 88, -); Polter 8
Subs not used: Lynch, Washington, Ingram, Kpekawa
Goals: Bamba og 5 (assisted Chery/Onuoha), Chery 73 (penalty, won Cousins), Polter 90+3 (assisted Onuoha)
Bookings: Gladwin 25 (foul), Bidwell 31 (dissent)
Leeds: Green 3; Beradi 3 (Coyle 22, 6); Bartley 6, Bamba 4, Taylor 6; Viera 6, Diagouraga 4; Dallas 5, Grimes 5 (Antonsson 61, 4), Roofe 5 (Sacko 75, 7); Wood 4
Subs not used: Cooper, Turnbull, Mowatt, Phillips
Bookings: Grimes 57 (foul)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Midlands) 6 Gladwin should probably have been sent off. Three very poor challenges, two of them after he’d already been booked, ordinarily you’d be paddling round in the early bath water for that. Bidwell’s booking for dissent – throwing his arms around after a 50/50 call went against him – is fair enough under the new clamp down as long as it’s applied consistently. Given that Bamba was allowed to give Langford a gobfull after the penalty award (which was blatant) and later chase the official half the length of the field yelling at him for not penalising Seb Polter for a foul I don’t think there was any consistency here. Overall though, not too bad.
Grant Hall, fresh from a deserved contract renewal during the week, was booked by referee Oliver Langford for a firm foul on Ward, after a quarter of an hour. Lumley set up his wall well - despite some absolute Nesbit right behind the kid in the away end screaming “it’s too far right Green you fucking West Ham cunt” at him throughout the process - and Jamie Ward’s shot subsequently smacked straight into the defensive line.
Forest: De Vries 7; Mancienne 6, Hobbs 6, Wilson 6, Cohen 6 (Lichaj 71, 6); Tesche 5, Gardner 6 (Lansbury 62, - (Jokic 79, -)) Osborn 6, Burke 8; Blackstock 5, Ward 7
Subs Not Used: Mendes, Burke, Walker, Evtimov
Goals: Ward 24 (assisted Burke)
QPR: Lumley 6; Onuoha 5, Hall 6, Angella 6, Hill 6 (Perch 67, 5); Tozser 6; Mackie 5 (Petrasso 61, 6), Luongo 5, Doughty 6, Gladwin 6 (Chery 52, 6); Emmanuel- Thomas 4
Subs Not Used: Polter, Hoilett, Faurlin, Brzozowski
Yellow Cards: Hall 17 (foul), Doughty 43 (foul)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Midlands) 6 One of my preferred referees thanks to his unfussy style and leniency with the cards, but he wasn’t great here. Several harsh decisions against QPR, though none of them crucial. Fitted in quite well with the game really – going through the motions.
The striker’s trademark flying header from Chery’s corner was headed onto the underside of the bar by Robertson on the line but bounced down behind him for an obvious goal which the linesman flagged for immediately. Steve Bruce’s complaints afterwards that the assistant had been “hasty” in giving the correct decision was vintage Alex Ferguson Manchester United bile – doesn’t matter that your team can’t defend a corner properly, or your medical department incorrectly turned away a fantastic striker who now keeps scoring against you, shift blame quickly onto the defenceless person who’s actually got the decision right. “He failed your medical” rang out from the away end.
Hull’s wing back system gives opposing full backs a lot of time on the ball when their team has possession. That benefitted James Perch who, after a nervy beginning where Robertson did him twice, grew into the game and gave his best performance in Hoops. It didn’t do so much for Paul Konchesky, whose monotonous possession concession suggested he’d either brought some odd shaped boots or put his regular ones on the wrong feet. A foul five minutes into the second half which he was fortunate not to be booked for thanks to the leniency of referee Oliver Langford rather summed it up.
Hull: McGregor 6; Bruce 6 (Akprom 65, 6), Davies 6, Dawson 7; Robertson 8, Huddlestone 7, Clucas 6, Diame 6 (Elmohamady 76, 6), Odubajo 6; Hernandez 5 Aluko 4 (Maloney 69, 6)
Subs not used: Jakupovic, Taylor, Meyler, Hayden
Goals: Dawson 38 (assisted Huddlestone)
QPR: Green 6; Perch 6, Onuoha 6, Angella 7, Konchesky 5; Faurlin 8, Henry 6; Phillips 6, Luongo 6 (Doughty 87, -), Chery 5 (Mackie 76, 6); Austin 8
Subs not used: Hall, Gladwin, Emmanuel-Thomas, Smithies, Tozser
Goals: Austin 26 (assisted Chery)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Midlands) 9 After Darren Deadman’s histrionics and rank incompetence on Wednesday, what an absolute blessed relief to see a Championship game refereed calmly, sensibly and competently by a referee who’s all about letting the football take place while staying out of the way and treating the players like adults rather than naughty school boys. More of this guy please.
Yeovil: Krysiak 5; Roberts 5, Arthurworrey 5, Sokolik 5, Smith 6; Lacey 5, Allen 4 (Fogden 46, 5), Dolan 6, Laird 5 (Burrows 63, 5); Cornick 5, Jeffers 5 (Beck 46, 5)
QPR: Green 6; Perch 6, Onuoha 6, Hall 6, Kpekawa 7; Doughty 7, Gobern 5 (Hoilett 77, 5); Phillips 5 (Blackwood 70, 6), Gladwin 5 (Henry 59, 5), Emmanuel-Thomas 6; Polter 7
Subs not used: Chery, Lumley, Konchesky, Luongo
Goals: Polter 16 (assisted Kpekawa), Emmanuel Thomas 20 (assisted Kpekawa), Onuoha (unassisted)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Midlands) 9 One of the Football League’s most lenient referees even in the most testing of times, so was never likely to have much influence over a game as uncompetitive as this one. No cards, no mistakes, but nothing to referee in truth.
Mackie meanwhile, formerly known in these parts for such high-octane performances, was completely anonymous in a poor performance from the visiting team – after six minutes Benayoun launched into a risky tackle on the former QPR man and came out with the ball and the approval of referee Oliver Langford. A microcosm of their respective performances.
Robbed of Jermaine Jenas through yet another injury early on, his replacement Karl Henry also impressed in the centre of midfield, breaking up play, passing the ball with imagination and accuracy not previously seen, and giving Carroll a platform on which to showcase his give and go ability. Henry niggled Forest, and he provoked a reaction on the ground from Henri Lansbury on the stroke of half time that could have led to greater punishment than a simple word on the run from Langford.
But that was nothing compared to the impact of Bobby Zamora when he emerged for the final 20 minutes of the game. Rangers had been pegged back to 2-2 by then thanks to their chronic inability to defend corners which cost them at Bournemouth a week ago and nearly robbed them of points here. Giant Forest youth team graduate Jamaal Lascelles came up from the back to head home the first equaliser from close range just after the half hour and then Matt Derbyshire powered in a similar effort with 15 minutes left to play. Greg Halford, centre forward in the first meeting but back at right back here and lucky to escape a card for a nasty tackle from behind on Hoilett, also powered a header from a set piece at goal only to see it cleared from the line. Rangers must tighten up before the play-offs come around.
Charlie Austin lost his man for the first goal and his impact on a first start in three months was negligible – given the rough end of the decisions from the referee and clearly struggling for fitness, he should have been removed much earlier than he was. A first half chance poked wide at full stretch from a perfect Benoit Assou-Ekotto cross would surely have been converted earlier in the season when he was fighting fit and match sharp. One wouldn't have thought the introduction of Zamora would improve the situation greatly, given that his contribution to QPR since arriving from Fulham two years ago would probably qualify him for shop mobility, but the lumbering target man looked like a man possessed here and turned the game back in QPR's favour. Lascelles had been imperious at the heart of the Forest defence to that point, but looked like a rabbit in headlights as Zamora steamrollered his way through the final 15 minutes of the game which brought Rangers three goals.
QPR had managed only weak penalty appeals in the 20 minutes before he arrived: Kelvin Wilson potentially handled accidentally after Lascelles had flicked a cross onto his team mate, but Ravel Morrison definitely dived – pathetically – under very little contact at all 20 minutes from time. The Forest fans were in fine voice up in the School End, hopeful of roaring their team onto a first win in 13 attempts, but they were to be let down by their players again. The light at the end of their tunnel merely a train coming towards them at speed.
QPR: Green 6; Simpson 8, Dunne 6, Onuoha 6, Assou-Ekotto 7; Carroll 7, Jenas 6 (Henry 13, 7); Benayoun 8, Morrison 7, Hoilett 7 (Kranjcar 77, 6); Austin 5 (Zamora 73, 8)
Subs not used: Keane, Suk-Young, Hughes, Murphy
Goals: Benayoun 1 (assisted Carroll), Hoilett 43 (assisted Carroll/Benayoun), Onuoha 84 (assisted Carroll), Morrison 90+1 (assisted Zamora), Zamora 90+3 (assisted Morrison)
Forest: Darlow 4; Halford 6, Lascelles 6, Wilson 5, Fox 5; Peltier 5, Jara 6 (Greening 65, 5); Lansbury 5 (Osborn 65, 6), Mackie 5, Cox 5 (Henderson 74, 5); Derbyshire 7
Subs not used: Harding, de Vries, Gomes, Vaughan
Goals: Lascelles 37 (assisted Lansbury), Derbyshire 75 (assisted Osborn)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Midlands) 7 Lenient – with Henry and Lansbury in their clash before half time, with Halford who fouled repeatedly, with Cox who dived in the first half, and Morrison who did likewise in the second. But overall, unfussy and calm, allowing a decent game to flow. No key decisions wrong.
Doncaster Rovers 2 QPR 1, Saturday November 30, 2013, Championship
Doncaster grew in belief that there was more than a point here for them. A counter attack with Robinson at its heart drew a yellow card from Dunne for a shirt pull in back play and then the Irish centre half had to flick a header behind as Rovers players queued up to convert the cross. Federicho ‘Smokey’ Macheda shot into the side netting with a now silent away following fearing that one of Rangers’ worst loanees in recent memory might come back to haunt them, and Khumalo came up for a corner but headed over.
Doncaster: Turnbull 5; Quinn 5, Khumalo 6, McCullogh 6, Stevens 6; Coppinger 6, Furman 6, Wellens 7, Duffy 7; Robinson 6, Macheda 7
Subs not used: Paynter, Cotterill, Maxted, Wakefield, Woods, De Val, Paterson
Goals: Robinson 48 (unassisted), Quinn 89 (assisted Duffy)
Bookings: Wellens 51 (foul) Turnbull 90 + 4 (time wasting)
QPR: Green 6; Simpson 6, Dunne 6, Hill 6, Assou-Ekotto 5; Barton 6, O’Neil 5 (Johnson 63, 6); Phillips 5, Jenas 4, Kranjcar 4 (Hoilett 77, 6); Austin 6
Subs not used: Traore, Carroll, Onyewu, Henry, Murphy
Goals: Austin 43
Bookings: Dunne 81 (foul), Jenas 90 + 3 (foul)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Midlands) 7 Not much to referee, with QPR not really in the mood to be competitive, but allowed a poor game to flow as best he could. Should have got to drips with Turnbull’s time wasting a lot sooner – a card in the fourth minute of injury time isn’t much of a deterrent really – but as QPR did nothing when the ball was in play it’s difficult to get too upset about that.
A Taarabt through ball on the hour might have been the moment of magic the game begged for, but it rolled just out of Andrade’s reach and through to Lucas. A little controversy may have livened things up too but when Grimes ran onto a long, high through ball that Shittu had misjudged and then tried to whip it back over the head of the big Nigerian his penalty appeals for a perceived handball were rightly ignored by referee Oliver Langford. Whether my Langford actually knew what handball was however was open to debate as a moment later when Stephen Darby miscontrolled the ball and decided to bring it down with his hand instead in plain sight of the match official who ignored it and played on.
QPR: Murphy 5, Orr 5 (Harriman 31, 6), Perone 6, Shittu 5, Connolly 6, Ephraim 5, Rowlands 5 (Derry 72, 5), Andrade 6, Taarabt 4, Cook 4 (Hewitt 73, 5), Bothroyd 4
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Buzsaky, Gibbons, German
Rochdale: Lucas 7, Darby 7, Holness 7, Balkestein 8, Widdowson 7, Tutte 7, Kennedy 7, Jones 7, Adams 8, Grimes 8 (Thompson 83, -), Akpa Akpro 7
Subs Not Used: Edwards, Twaddle, Marshall, Gray
Booked: Widdowson (foul)
Goals: Akpa Akpro 5 (assisted Adams), Jones 81 (assisted Adams)
Referee: Oliver Langford (W Midlands) 6 No key decisions wrong but failed to play obvious advantages on numerous occasions and missed the most obvious handball I’ve ever seen in my life from Darby in the second half.
Before half time Whelpdale had a half hearted penalty appeal waved away, Zakuani was rightly carded for a clumsy foul on Simpson and Ephraim burst into the penalty area but dragged a low shot across the face of goal and wide of the far post.
Cerny comfortably tipped a Morgan free kick over the bar but when the same player headed wide from a corner he was a mile away from it and was then grateful to see Rowe’s low shot deflected wide of the target later in the half. Certainly it was Peterborough rather than Rangers who came home with a wet sail. Connolly and Borrowdale were both booked for fouls on Frecklington and Batt respectively as frustration grew around Loftus Road.
QPR: Cerny 5, Leigertwood 6, Connolly 6, Stewart 6, Borrowdale 5, Routledge 6, Watson 6, Faurlin 6 (Rowlands 58, 5), Ephraim 5 (Buzsaky 69, 6),Simpson 6, Taarabt 6 (Vine 58, 4)
Subs Not Used: Heaton, Ramage, Mahon, Pellicori.
Booked: Connolly (foul), Borrowdale (foul)
Goals: Routledge 34 (assisted Simpson)
Peterborough: Lewis 6, Martin 6, Morgan 6, Zakuani 6, Williams 7,Whelpdale 6 (Batt 70, 6), Frecklington 7, Diagouraga 6, Boyd 7 (Rowe 65, 6),McLean 8, Mackail-Smith 6
Subs Not Used
Booked: Zakuani (foul), Batt (foul)
Goals: Mclean 16 (assisted Williams)
Referee: Oliver Langford (W Midlands) 8 Very little to referee in his first ever Championship match but he seemed calm, in control and willing to give the game every chance to flow. Very few complaints about his performance at all.
So far 93 yellows and four reds in 30 mostly-Championship matches for Langford this season, topped by nine yellows at Bolton v Barnsley (thriller) in December and six yellows and two reds at Bristol City v Leeds before that. His only Sheff Utd appointment so far was a 3-1 win at Burton in November when he awarded the Blades a tenth minute penalty.
Langford is usually the most lenient referee on the circuit so it was something of a surprise to see him harshly dismiss Norwich's Robbie Brady at Brentford on New Year's Eve last season, and even more so to find that it was his fifth red card in six fixtures. As it turned out, those were his only five reds of the season and he went through the final 20 appointments showing no reds and 56 yellows to take his season totals to 129 and five from 44 games.
So far this season he’s been in charge of three matches, beginning with Sunderland’s 1-1 draw with Derby on opening night and since including big home wins for Bristol City against Plymouth in the cup and Wigan against Bury in League One. He’s shown six yellows and no reds and awarded two penalties across those three games.
Pictures – Action Images
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