Linington returns for Norwich visit - Referee
Sunday, 1st Apr 2018 12:56 by Clive Whittingham
Isle of Wight official James Linington is in charge of QPR for the fourth time this season as they face Norwich at Loftus Road on Easter Monday.
Referee >>> James Linington (Isle of Wight), QPR have never lost a league game with this referee in charge, but have twice been beaten by lower league teams in the cup.
Assistants >>> Lee Venamore (Kent) and Darren Blunden (Kent)
Fourth Official >>> Andy Davies (Hampshire)
It was a defeat made all the more galling not only because of who the opposition are, and their lowly position in League One, but also because they didn’t seem to have turned up with much ambition to win the game. They ended with two players booked for time wasting, including the main culprit goalkeeper Lee Nicholls, and referee James Linington ended up playing eight minutes of stoppage time to account for the flagrant clock running. But that had begun in the first half, with the score at 0-0. Despite QPR’s record in this competition, MK it seemed had come for a replay only to be handed a victory on a plate.
Nevertheless, they did have the better of the possession and chances. Smith and last week’s over-exposed hero Paul Smyth got in each other’s way and made a bit of a emss of a good Luke Freeman through ball on the quarter hour, then Freeman himself fired a free kick into the wall and volleyed the rebound wide. On the half hour what looked like a pretty obvious penalty for a blatant push on Chair just as he jumped for a header in the area was waved away by Linington. Chair was just off target with a shot from a partially cleared corner right on half time. I like him, he’s tidy, but he needs to add some thrust and incision moving forwards to that as he gets more game time under his belt.
Subs not used: Lynch, Lumley, Oseyi-Samuel, Oteh
Yellow Cards: Freeman 71 (retaliation)
MK Dons: Nicholls 7; Williams 6, Walsh 6, Wootton 6, Brittain 6 (Ebanks-Landell 80, -); Cisse 8, McGrandles 6, Upson 7, Muirhead 6 (Agard 77, 6); Aneke 6, Ugbo 6 (Thomas-Asante 90+1, -)
Subs not used: Sietsma, Seagar, Nombe, Kasumu
Goals: Cisse 60 (unassisted)
Yellow cards: Muirhead 66 (foul), McGrandles 71 (foul), Wootton 87 (time wasting), Nicholls 90+2 (time wasting)
Referee – James Linington (Isle of Wight) 6 A referee QPR have never lost a league game with but have twice now suffered cup defeats against lower league opposition with him in the middle. I thought he could have carded more, earlier, for the most blatant and flagrant time wasting I can ever recall seeing in a game, which started early in the first half with the score at 0-0. By the time he did book a couple, the job had been done, and he even delayed a throw in further to write down Wootton’s name. All that said, it was refreshing and unusual to see an official actually add a decent chunk of stoppage time (eight in the end) for time wasting – usually it goes on all half and they just add the usual four or five minutes, so good for him on that front. Should have been a penalty on Chair in the first half.
The equaliser we craved should have come from the spot after Massimo Luongo was brought down in the box. It looked a penalty all day from the upper tier, but Rangers justified protests were waved away.
Bolton: Alnwick 6; Little 6, Wheater 7, Beevers 7, Taylor 6; Pratley 6, Henry 6; Vela 6 (Le Fondre 83, -), Ameobi 5 (Morais 62, 6), Armstrong 5 (Noone 66, 5); Madine 4
Subs not used: Robinson, Cullen, Burke, Howard
Goals: Pratley 22 (assisted Madine/Vela)
QPR: Smithies 6; Baptiste 6, Lynch 5, Bidwell 6; Wszolek 6, Manning 6 (Washington 38, 5); Freeman 7, Luongo 6, Scowen 6; Sylla 7 (Wheeler 85., -), Mackie 5 (Smith 61, 5)
Subs Not Used: Furlong, Cousins, Ngbakoto, Lumley
Goals: Sylla 78 (assisted Freeman)
QPR Star Man - Luke Freeman 7 Never stopped, and got his reward with a fine assist for the Sylla goal.
Referee James Linington (Isle of Wight) 7 Couple of questionable ones, including the Luongo penalty appeal in the second half, but overall a very calm and sensible refereeing display, taking the difficult conditions into account and giving the game and players every chance. All our games this season bar one (which had a Premier League referee) have been officiated like this this season. It can’t possibly continue.
Hull, with two players already off injured, didn’t approach the second half with much ambition. Goalkeeper Allan McGregor saw yellow for timewasting near the end of proceedings but referee James Linington could have taken action against the luminous stopper much earlier than that. They asked QPR to break them down and sat back to see if it would happen. Seb Larsson’s deliberate pull back and booking when Rangers did look like they’d got the right side of their opponent summed it up.
QPR: Smithies 7; Perch 7, Onuoha 6, Baptiste 5 (Wszolek 63, 6); Lua Lua 4 (Smith 57, 6), Bidwell 6; Scowen 7, Luongo 7, Freeman 6; Mackie 6 (Sylla 72, 7), Washington 6
Subs not used: Furlong, Ingram, Manning, Borysiuk
Goals: Smith 74 (assisted Freeman), Sylla 90+1 (assisted Washington)
Bookings: Perch 82 (foul), Sylla 90+1 (over celebrating), Smith 90+7 (foul)
Hull: McGregor 5; Aina 5, Dawson 7, Hector 6; Clark 6, Meyler 6, Stewart – (Diomande 10, 6), Bowen 7, Larsson 6; Grosicki 6, Campbell 5 (Mazuch 45, 5)
Subs not used: Mannion, Weir, Batty, Olley, Lenihan
Goals: Bowen 35 (assisted Meyler)
Bookings: Meyler 56 (foul), Larsson 60 (foul), McGregor 87 (time wasting)
Referee – James Linington (Isle of Wight) 6 Should have been down on the time wasting much earlier, and I still think it looks like an obvious foul by Washington for the Sylla goal but Hull didn’t appeal and nobody else has mentioned it so hey ho.
Washington saw a shot blocked in the eleventh minute but QPR were poor during the first half. Nedum Onuoha’s third minute booking from referee James Linington set him on edge for the rest of the game, and a foul and subsequent arm waving dissent three minutes before half time had hearts in mouths, but he had his best game of the season overall, hardly putting a foot wrong and executing a number of beautifully-timed, crucial sliding tackles in his own area while walking the proverbial disciplinary tightrope. A real captain’s knock at the best possible time.
Manning, booked just after the second goal for his usual one bad tackle of the game, lashed a first time shot just over the bar shortly after and then nearly caught Smith out with a curling effort direct from the corner. What a talent the boy is. Could have been 3-0.
Linington added six minutes to the end of it all, for his own amusement considering Forest made all three of their subs at once and QPR also made a double change at the same time, but they passed by without further panic as Michael Doughty enjoyed a decent cameo as a defensive central midfield player against his dad’s old club – hussling, harrying, blocking, building up that hope he might one day make it with us all over again. Realistically, it’s time for him to seek permanent, regular football a division lower where his lack of speed and engine isn’t such an issue. A cross from Luongo from the right would have resulted in a third goal from another sub, Yeni Ngbakoto, had he gone with his head rather than an outstretched leg.
QPR: Smithies 8; Perch 5, Onuoha 8, Lynch 7, Bidwell 6; Wszolek 7, Luongo 6, Freeman 6 (Doughty 82, -), Manning 7; Smith 6 (Ngbakoto 82, -), Washington 6 (Mackie 66, 6)
Subs not used: Ingram, Lua Lua, Furlong, Sylla
Goals: Washington 49 (assisted Luongo), Lynch 60 (assisted Manning)
Bookings: Onuoha 3 (foul), Manning 58 (foul)
Trees: Smith 6; Lichaj 6, Worrall 5, Mancienne 6, Pinilos 6 (Mills 62, 5); Vaughan 6, Cohen 6, Osborn 6, Carayol 6 (Cash 62, 6); Brereton 6 (Ward 61, 6), Assombalonga 5
Subs not used: Tshibola, Evtimov, Lam, Vellios
Bookings: Osborn 72 (dissent), Vaughan 76 (foul), Ward 80 (foul)
Referee – James Linington (Isle of Wight) 6 Much like the game, improved in the second half from a poor, niggly first half. The Onuoha booking, while justified, came after three minutes and I wondered if we’d see him do as he has done in our games before – paint himself into a corner with a flurry of early cards. He didn’t do that, and wasn’t too bad in the end. Not sure where six minutes came from, considering five of the subs were made at the same time.
This first half performance was similar to Lynch’s attempts to mark Aston Villa’s Jonathan Kodija, where he kept trying to cheat his way around the blind side of the man to nip in front of him and intercept balls only to find himself rolled and his man in on goal on the danger side each time. It was Lynch who gave the penalty away for the equaliser, though it had been Luke Freeman who’d seemingly snuffed out the danger by winning the ball back in midfield only to present it straight back to the visitors and leave his team in trouble. Lynch’s foul so blatant there wasn’t a single objection to James Linington’s decision, and only the new rule this season whereby a genuine attempt for the ball in such situations means you only get a yellow card saved him from a red – which it definitely would have been in any other previous campaign.
More fool us for making a big deal of Alex Smithies’ penalty saving exploits – Bogle sent him the wrong way with relative ease from the spot. He’ll never save one again now you watch.
Bogle’s threat continued in the second half including one horrifying moment where a two on two Wigan counter attack seemed to be completely under control until Lynch decided to come across and double up on Onuoha’s man, leaving Bogle completely free behind him – Smithies saved magnificently up in the top corner as the big forward let fly. Prior to half time Smithies had also produced an improbable reaction save under his own cross bar when Buxton met a driven corner with a fierce header that looked a certain goal.
One one then, and Wigan tails up, the game entered something of a scrapyard dogs phase. Bogle had already been late on Grant Hall once before the goal when he was booked for walloping Lynch immediately after. He was perhaps lucky that another late hit on Hall, which finished the QPR man off and saw him leave the field permanently, didn’t see him following his opponent down the tunnel – particularly as Linington got a little card happy after that, booking Grigg harshly and then later, hilariously but farcically, Idrissa Sylla five seconds after he’d come on as a sub for a meagre shove. A foul on Onuoha was awarded as a Wigan corner, then then in first half stoppage time Gilks helped a ball over his crossbar with both gloves only for a goal kick to be awarded.
Linington seemingly one of those referees that likes to paint himself into a corner with a lot of early cards, only to then get all lenient later on when those on a booking misbehave a second time. We ended the game with seven bookings, and while some were unfortunate to get one at all, others perhaps could have been dealt with more harshly and quite how Callum Connolly escaped disciplinary action I’m not sure.
QPR: Smithies 7; Furlong 6, Onouha 7, Lynch 5, Bidwell 6; Manning 6, Hall 6 (Lua Lua 29, 7), Freeman 6; Wszolek 6, Smith 6 (Sylla 76, 6), Washington 7 (Ngbakoto 68, 6)
Subs not used: Mackie, Ingram, Perch, Luongo
Goals: Smith 4 (assisted Washington), Washington 60 (assisted Freeman/Lua Lua)
Bookings: Lynch 15 (foul), Sylla 76 (foul)
Wigan: Gilks 4; Connolly 5, Buxton 5, Burn 6, Warnock 6; Power 6, Hanson 6 (Mandron 81, -), Morsy 6, Tunnicliffe 6; Grigg 6 (Obertan 73, 6), Bogle 8
Subs not used: Perkins, Kellett, Laurent, Weir
Goals: Bogle 17 (penalty – won Bogle)
Bookings: Bogle 22 (repetitive fouling), Grigg 30 (foul), Power 35 (foul), Hanson 46 (foul), Buxton 61 (foul)
Referee – James Linington (Isle of Wight) 5 Odd one. Very competitive game, though seven bookings felt excessive at the time – Grigg and Sylla in particular can feel a bit hard done to. Then at the same time other players, Connolly in particular, seemed to be able to get away with all sorts. Standard Championship referee really.
Neither goalkeeper was being unduly tested, and a whistle-happy referee wasn't exactly helping what flow there was to the game with his constant interuptions, the majority of decisions seeming to go against Rangers. It was all, much like the weather in South Wales, pretty dull.
Now ahead, Rangers continued to press in search of a second goal. It duly arrived, from the penalty spot, after Polter had been unceremoniously upended inside the area. Even with the new directives in place, there were few arguments from Cardiff.
A year ago, against Rotherham at Loftus Road, Polter had tried to claim the ball from Charlie Austin to take a 90th minute penalty. Charlie, being Charlie, was quite rightly having none of it. He duly dispatched that particular penalty. However, for all that he scored more than he ever missed from the spot, you could never be totally sure that Charlie Austin would be successful when stepping up.
And then came Leeds away at the back end of last season, and Charlie Austin now long gone. Stepping up that evening was Tjaronn Chery, who hit the ball so high and so hard into the top corner, if it hadn't have been for the net stopping it, it might now be in permanent orbit around Earth. So no arguments this time around. Chery struck a now trademark spot-kick powerfully passed Marshall - and Rangers were just about home and hosed.
Cardiff: Marshall; Peltier, Manga, Connbolly, Richards (Noone 77); Whittingham, John, Ralls; Immers (Huws 75), Pilkington, Gounongbe (Zohore 75)
Subs not used: Morrison, Gunnarsson, Moore, Ajayi
Bookings: Ralls 90+4 (foul)
QPR: Smithies 7; Onuoha 7, Caulker 8, Hall 7, Bidwell 6; Cousins 6, Luongo 6, Henry 6, Gladwin 5 (N'Gbakoto 25, 7); Chery 7 (Washington 91, -), Polter 6 (Perch 90+2, -)
Subs not used: Ingram, El Khayati, Shodipo, Kpekawa
Goals: Caulker 76 (assisted Bidwell), Chery 85 (penalty, won Polter)
Bookings: Onuoha 8 (foul), Chery 21 (dissent), Luongo 61 (foul), Henry 86 (repetitive fouling)
Referee: James Linington (Isle of Wight) 6 Somewhat fussy early on in the game, he was clearly keen to follow the FA directives in using his card to clamp down on dissent. Normally, and unlike Clive in this respect (you might have noticed!), I don't normally take much notice of, or get riled by referees; but one inexplicable decision left all of us in the away end fuming. It was during the second-half, when Nedum Onuoha charged in to intercept the ball and launched a powerful run, only to be clearly and physically pulled back. For reasons only he will know, the referee gave the free-kick to Cardiff. Barmy.
QPR tried to push for an equaliser, but more in hope rather than expectation. Doughty took up a quarterback role with 10 minutes remaining as they went long but nothing really came close. There was muted claimed for a penalty, Emmanuel Thomas cut inside from the right-hand side and went down under a challenge from Raynes but in truth the Arsenal graduate went down a little too easily. I don't think anyone truly expected it to be given other than Emmanuel-Thomas who remained on his knees distraught that his moment of magic was so barbarically ruined by the League 2 centre half.
QPR: Smithies 5; Furlong 6, Hall 6, Hill 7 , Kpekawa 6; Doughty 7, Gobern 6 (Comley 67 6); Grego-Cox 6(Chery 83 -), Emmanuel-Thomas 5, Hoilett 4 (Luongo 72, -), Polter 4
Subs not used: Lumley, Perch, Phillips, Blackwood.
Goals: Emmanuel-Thomas 39 (assisted Doughty)
Bookings: Doughty 21 (foul)
Carlisle United: Gillespie 7; Miller 6, Raynes 6, Grainger 7 (Archibald-Henville 55 6); Brough 7 (Ibehre 85 -), Balanta 7 (Kennedy 72 7), Dicker 6, Sweeney 6, McQueen 7; Joyce 7, Asamoah 8.
Subs not used: Hanford, Hery, Rigg, Thompson.
Goals: Asamoah 36 (assisted Brough), Kennedy 78 (assisted by Asamoah)
Bookings: Sweeney 23 (foul)
Referee – James Linington (Isle of Wight) 6 Like most one the night, another average performer. QPR and Emmanuel-Thomas might have thought they deserved a penalty but my first impressions were that the referee got it right. Played advantage well and pulled the play back when needed.
The Hornets committed men to the penalty box for a corner in the last minute of normal time as well but their optimism brought only a season ending goal at the other end as Hoilett broke down the right and sent a crossfield pass that had Austin, Morrison and Zamora all steaming forward with limited opposition. Austin initially tried to play in Morrison who seemed to be felled in the area but referee James Linington waited long enough for Zamora to touch the ball back to Austin and he scored his first goal since January with a precision shot from 20 yards out, around Almunia and into the far corner.
QPR: Green 7; Simpson 6 (Hoilett 72, 7), Dunne 5, Onuoha 7, Hill 6, Traore 6; Carroll 6, Barton 6, Morrison 6; Austin 6 (Henry 90+1, -), Doyle 5 (Zamora 72, 7)
Subs not used: Keane, Suk-Young, Hughes, Murphy
Goals: Barton 76 (free kick won Morrison), Austin 90 (assisted Zamora)
Bookings: Austin 85 (foul)
Watford: Almunia 6; Angella 6, Cassetti 6, Ekstrand 6; Riera 6, Abdi 6, Tozser 7, McGugan 8 (Battocchio 63, 5), Pudil 6; Deeney 7, Ranegie 6
Subs not used: Merkel, Doyley, Murray, Faraoni, Bond, Hoban
Goals: Ranegie 51 (assisted Deeney)
Bookings: Riera 51 (foul), Ranegie 57 (foul), Abdi 59 (foul)
Referee – James Linington (Isle of Wight) 8 Three quick fire Watford bookings before the hour were arguably a result of him not showing one earlier and calming down a increasingly frenetic visiting team – poor game management – but otherwise he went about his work sensibly, with a smile on his face, and didn’t get involved in the game unduly.
QPR 4 Barnsley 0, Saturday August 7, 2010, Championship
That was just one incident where Barnsley could, and indeed should, have scored. Three times they struck the post with Kenny beaten and the game still in the balance, three times they gifted QPR embarrassingly simple goals through defensive ineptitude. Two of those were penalties and just to further exacerbate the visitors’ frustrations with an inconsistent and eccentric refereeing performance they were somehow, inexplicably, denied a spot kick of their own in the second half when Fitz Hall turned LeBron James and plucked the ball out of the air with his right hand before clearing.
Barnsley’s solution to the growing threat of Taarabt was to foul him, and the Moroccan will have to put up with that on more than one occasion this season. A needlessly robust, two footed tackle by Martin Devaney ten minutes before half time was clearly designed to injure Taarabt and prevent him from inflicting any more damage and disgracefully escaped without a yellow card. It failed in its mission as well and five minutes before the break Taarabt found the key to the Barnsley door. He tricked his way into the area and then with the byline approaching collapsed under heavy pressure from Stephen Foster with referee Linington well placed to point straight to the spot. Barnsley protested vociferously, and Taarabt isn’t exactly known for staying on his feet in such situations, but the referee’s mind was made up and Foster was booked for his troubles.
That should have been that for the first half really, but Linington then added three minutes of injury time which perplexed the faithful in F Block as the trainer hadn’t been onto the field and Gorkss had left immediately for his treatment, and in that time Barnsley had two golden chances to equalise. First Faurlin was harshly penalised 45 yards out from goal after appearing to win the ball. The free kick was stood up to the back post where Paddy Kenny, under no pressure at all, completely misjudged the flight of it and dropped the ball behind him. That left Adam Hammil with an open goal and a tight angle but his header was somehow diverted onto his own post and away to safety by Helguson, who was back to defend the free kick. Kenny laid in the penalty area with his head in his hands for a minute or so, but he was trying to save face more than anything.
Mackie sent a free header straight at Steele in QPR’s first attack of the half a couple of minutes later but Barnsley were straight back on the attack after that and their travelling fans, entire team, substitutes and coaching staff rose as one to demand a penalty when Fitz Hall thrust up an arm in desperation and plucked a loose ball from the sky deep inside his own penalty area. It was an obvious spot kick, everybody in the ground saw it, but Linington waved the prolonged appeals away. The visitors seemed to be sapped of spirit by this incident and it was all Rangers thereafter.
Barnsley sent on Iain Hume, still sporting the hideous scars of a sickening clash with paid football thug Chris Morgan, but apart from dragging an early effort wide of Kenny’s post Hume seemed interested only in moaning about perceived injustices from the referee, digging out his own team mates, and ultimately hacking through the back of Adel Taarabt for which he was lucky to escape a card. Taarabt dusted himself down to deliver a perfect cross to the back post which Heidar Helguson failed to make contact with altogether when it looked easier to score.
QPR Kenny 5, Orr 7, Hall 6, Gorkss 7, Hill 7, Ephraim 7,Derry 7 (Leigertwood 79, 6), Faurlin 7, Taarabt 8 (Parker 77, 6),Helguson 7 (German 83, 5), Mackie 7
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Clarke, Connolly, Borrowdale
Booked: Orr (tripping)
Goals: Helguson 41 (penalty, assisted Taarabt), Mackie 53 (assisted Ephraim), Taarabt 63 (penalty, assisted Helguson), Hall 81 (assisted Ephraim)
Barnsley Steele 5, Hassell 2, Shackell 5, Foster 4, McEveley 2,Hammill 6 (Neumann 76, 5), Doyle 5, Lovre 5 (Butterfield 86, -),Devaney 5 (Hume 46, 6), Colace 7, Gray 6
Subs Not Used: Preece, Dickinsone, Boulding, Potter
Booked: Foster (foul, penalty concession), McEveley (professional foul)
Referee: James Linington (Isle of Wight). 5 Last time we had him for a game he got a mark of five and I said he made some rather eccentric decisions. I could just copy and paste that write up here because it was the same again. Both QPR penalties looked fair, but Barnsley should certainly have had one of their own. Of the bookings Orr’s was harsh, McEveley was lucky his wasn’t a red and both Hume and Devaney should have been at least yellow carded for their respective hacks on Taarabt.
QPR 1 Nottingham Forest 1, Saturday August 22, 2009, Championship
Helguson was involved again right on the stroke of full time as Camp came out of his area to deal with a long through ball and then very much in the style that cost him so dearly in QPR colours at Norwich the season before last when on a bit of a dribbling expedition. Time seemed to stand still as the ball, and Camp, stopped 40 yards out from goal and the keeper seemed to believe referee Linington had blown his whistle. I certainly had not heard it and neither had Helguson who executed a perfect tackle on the keeper and was then wrestled to the ground as he attempted to find the empty net from distance. With a foul and red card seemingly the only option the home crowd was immensely frustrated to see a flag now raised against Helguson for offside which, bearing in mind camp had touched the ball three times before Helguson had even tried to chase him back, seemed a little farfetched to me. No cards from the referee on the day which was a good thing but one or two of his decisions were eccentric to say the least.
QPR: Cerny 7, Ramage 6, Hall 5 (Gorkss 46, 6), Stewart 6, Borrowdale 6,Routledge 7, Leigertwood 7, Faurlin 7, Pellicori 5 (Vine 61, 5), Helguson 5,Taarabt 6 (Buzsaky 66, 6)
Subs Not Used: Heaton, Mahon, Agyemang, Connolly
Goals: Leigertwood 25 (assisted Routledge)
Nottm Forest Camp 7, Gunter 6, Morgan 6, Lynch 6 (McCleary 46, 6), Cohen 7, Chambers 6, Majewski 8, McKenna 7, Garner 6, Adebola 7 (Blackstock 71, 7),McGoldrick 7 (Tyson 75, 6)
Subs Not Used: Smith, Anderson, Earnshaw, Davies
Goals: McGoldrick 57 (assisted Adebola)
Referee: J Linington (Hampshire) 5 Some perplexing stuff at times although there were no bookings which is a positive. The most frustrating thing for me was his consistent reward of play acting – Adebola’s theatrical falls to earth became a joke as the game went on and yet he gave him a free kick every single time, likewise with Taarabt who we all know is never shy of hitting the deck. The incident with Camp and Helguson in the last minute was a poorly managed farce.
Linington has refereed 35 Championship games this season, showing 121 yellows and five reds. The red cards have come in groups of two – two off at Swindon 1 Barnet 4 in League Two, then the same at Villa 0 Middlesbrough 0 in the Championship. Ridiculously, Henri Lansbury’s sending off for a violent hack on a player running away towards goal was rescinded on appeal when it looked a red all day long. Seven is his highest total in a game this season, in Sheff Utd’s remarkable 4-5 home defeat against Fulham.
Last season he showed a slightly high 146 yellows and a pretty low four reds in his 35 matches. He booked seven in a match on five occasions, including our game with Wigan, and the eight he showed in Wigan’s game at Forest (which Forest won 4-3) back in August still leads his total.
He finished the previous season with 74 yellows and four reds from 26 matches, with seven yellows at Wolves v Boro in the Championship easily his biggest single haul. Linington started the season before in harsh form, with four red cards in his first five games and five in his first ten. In the end he sent ten players off in 38 games last season, unusually high, while booking 107 – 2.815 yellows a game on average.
This is his fourth Norwich appointment of the season and they’re yet to lose – 1-1 at Fulham, 3-1 wins against Sheff Wed and at Brentford, 2-2 at Wolves.
Championship >>> Michael Oliver, just about the top man on the Premier League list, comes down for the Sheff Utd v Cardiff Neil Warnock derby. Keith Stroud at Bristol City v Brentford.
League One >>> Another top flight official going down through the leagues is Kevin Friend who, for some reason, has MK Dons v Blackburn Rovers.
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