Jones back for Preston visit - Referee
Friday, 13th Apr 2018 15:42 by Clive Whittingham
A quickfire return to Loftus Road for Football League newbie Robert Jones, who only refereed his first game here a month ago when we faced Sunderland.
Referee >>> Robert Jones (Merseyside), second season on the Football League list.
Assistants >>> Michael George (Norfolk) and Mark Pottage (Dorset)
Fourth Official >>> Craig Hicks (Surrey)
Shortly after half time, for reasons known only to himself, Steele came haring out of his penalty area into a region adequately covered by defenders, on a fool’s errand to try and deal with a bouncing ball that he’d misjudged from the very beginning. Having run under it, and with Little Smyth in behind him and ready to run the ball into the open net, he decided he had no choice but to thrust his arms up and palm the ball away from danger. Deliberate handball, denying a clear goalscoring opportunity, even a referee as lenient and keen to keep the cards in his pocket as newbie Robert Jones had no choice or hesitation in sending him off.
Big Smith headed a Bidwell cross wide, Little Smyth drew another good save from Camp from a narrow angle, Darnell Furlong showed his prodigious aerial ability with a header from a pre-planned Freeman corner but planted it straight into the keeper’s arms when a foot either side would have been a goal. Another header from the impressive young full back seemed destined for the net until Matt Smith helped it on its way and was flagged offside – haven’t seen it back but from where I was it was a goal if he’d left it. Freeman and Onuoha were both booked for very strong mistimed tackles.
Subs not used: Cousins, Washington, Ingram, Wszolek
Goals: Eze 62 (assisted Smith)
Bookings: Freeman 61 (foul), Onuoha 74 (foul)
Sunderland: Steele 3; Matthews 6, Kone 5, O’Shea 3, Oviedo 6; Cattermole 3, Asoro 6 (Camp 51, 7), Williams 3 (McGeady 30, 6), Ejaria 6, Honeyman 6; Fletcher 4 (Maja 87, -)
Subs not used: Jones, McManaman, Gooch, Robson
Red Cards: Steele 49 (deliberate handball denying goalscoring opportunity)
Bookings: O’Shea 70 (foul)
Referee – Robert Jones (Merseyside) 8 I liked him a lot, and can see why he’s climbed so rapidly from Conference to Championship in little over 18 months. Calm, keen to let play flow, lenient to the point of generous but absolutely right to show the three yellow cards he did and no choice with the sending off.
Jones only joined the Football League list last season after finishing his non-league days with the Conference play-off final at Wembley between Forest Green and Grimsby Town. He booked 122 and sent off four in 41 mostly League One and Two games last season, making a Championship bow at Barnsley v Brentford and then Preston v Rotherham right at the end of the campaign.
He’s had 15 Championship fixtures this season, all since November 25, and including our 1-0 win against Sunderland where Jason Steele was sent off. He’s shown 113 yellows and eight reds in 40 games so far.
The Twitter @loftforwords
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