England in charge of Leeds trip - Referee
Thursday, 3rd May 2018 16:14 by Clive Whittingham
A second QPR appointment of the season for rising referee star Darren England – who’s from just down the road, which is nice.
Referee >>> Darren England (Barnsley), better known as an assistant referee this is his third full season as the man in the middle.
Assistants >>> John Flynn (Oxfordshire) and Anthony Da Costa (Cambridgeshire)
Fourth Official >>> James Adcock (Nottinghamshire)
Although the R’s conceded an equaliser right on the very stroke of half time from the penalty spot, and the decision was correct, it was one that most referees wouldn’t see and came a matter of seconds before half time. Albert Adomah took Alex Smithies out of the equation with an emphatic finish but Rangers were so close to going in at half time in front which could have made a big difference.
Moments later he saved equally well from Keinan Davis, Villa’s lone striker, though Robinson seemed to have been fouled in the build-up. Mackie was definitely fouled prior to the next chance, referee Darren England waving a nonsense advantage on with Luke Freeman surrounded by four players and Villa quickly broke with Davis testing Smithies again – Whelan’s booking after the event scant consolation. Smithies saved a header from Adomah and Alex Baptiste flung himself full length across the goal to block another shot from Onomah with Villa appealing for handball. This was all in the last eight minutes of the first half so the penalty, when it finally came, for a handball by Robinson stopping Hourihane's goalbound shot, felt inevitable if irritatingly timed.
Snodgrass, a man with a lot to say for himself for somebody not good enough to get in the current abysmal West Ham team, was perhaps lucky his yellow card on the hour was only that. Having tried, not for the first time, to extract a free kick from Darren England by diving over Jake Bidwell, the Scottish winger reacted to the non-award by leaping up and smashing Bidwell in the back of the head seconds later. Having spent all afternoon spraying the match officials with abuse he’s lucky the referee was so sympathetic with him.
QPR: Smithies 8; Baptiste 4, Lynch 5, Robinson 6; Cousins 6 (Washington 63, 5), Bidwell 6; Sowen 6, Freeman 6, Luongo 6 (Manning 45, 5); Mackie 5 (Sylla 72, 6), Smith 7
Subs not used: Furlong, Wszolek, Lumley, Wheeler
Goals: Mackie 18 (assisted Freeman)
Bookings: Robinson 53 (foul), Manning 76 (foul)
Villa: Johnstone 6; Hutton 5, Samba 5, Chester 7, Taylor 6; Snodgrass 6 (Jedinak 81, 7), Whelan 6, Hourihane 7, Adomah 8 (Bjarnason 90+1, -); Onomah 8 (De Laet 86, -); Davis 8
Subs not used: Lansbury, Grealish, Steer, O’Hare
Goals: Adomah 45+3 (penalty, won Hourihane), 58 (assisted Hourihane)
Bookings: Whelan 38 (foul), Snodgrass 60 (foul), Taylor 90+1 (foul)
Referee – Darren England (Barnsley) 6 Seem him get a lot of stick post-match, but honestly I thought he was pretty good in a tough game to referee. Penalty decision was correct, and well spotted. Just before that though he’d waved away an obvious foul because he felt Luke Freeman running with the ball surrounded by four Villa players with no support was somehow an advantage. Thought he was quite generous with Snodgrass, who was diving around all over the place, went for Bidwell with his elbow after (rightly) not getting a free kick and only got booked, and spent his entire time on the pitch spraying abuse at the match officials. But overall not too bad.
Cardiff had much the better of things, led from the left by tricky wide man Kadeem Harris. A former Wycombe youth product who’s spent time on loan at Brentford and Barnsley, Harris’ purposeful and dangerous wing play vindicated Holloway’s decision to go with the more experienced Perch at right back rather than expose young Darnell Furlong – Perch had to work exceptionally hard just to hang onto his opponents’ coat tails and an eleventh minute cross shot from Harris nearly squirmed its way in. Fine tackles by first Bidwell on 15 minutes and then Perch, again on Harris, after 24 denied clear runs on the goal. Massimo Luongo was booked for a foul on former R Matt Connolly. Smithies saved splendidly from Ralls before half time and then, finally, the visitors did open the scoring on the stroke of the break when Grant Hall contrived to leave Sol Bamba, just about the most conspicuous and dangerous opposition presence we’ll have visiting our penalty box all season, completely free to power a header into the top corner.
Pilkington shot over from the lesser spotted well worked short corner routine, and James Perch received his weekly yellow card for a typical shin splitter on Junior Hoilett as QPR just about saw out the game.
QPR: Smithies 7; Perch 7, Onuoha 6, Lynch 6, Bidwell 6; Goss 6 (Ngbakoto 58, 7), Hall 6, Luongo 5 (Morrison 76, 4); Mackie 6 (Wszolek 81, -), Smith 6, Washington 6
Subs not used: Ingram, Furlong, Sylla, Manning
Goals: Ngbakoto 62 (assisted Mackie), Smith 83 (assisted Ngbakoto)
Bookings: Luongo 40 (foul), Perch 88 (standard Perch shin rattler)
Cardiff: McGregor 6; Connolly 5 (Bennett 86, -), Morrison 6, Bamba 6, Richards 6; Noone 6 (Pilkington 72, 6), Gunnarsson 6 (Halford 90, -), Ralls 6, Harris 8; Hoilett 6, Zohore 6
Subs not used: Whittingham, John, Murphy, Harris
Goals: Bamba 44 (assisted Noone)
Bookings: Morrison 66 (foul)
Referee – Darren England (Barnsley) 8 Very good. Impressive.
England, an experienced linesman at the highest level, made his Championship debut as a referee at QPR v Cardiff last season. In this his first full season in the second tier he’s shown 139 yellows and two reds in 37 games so far, led by the eight yellows shown at Norwich 0 Wolves 2 at the end of October.
England was fast tracked from local football in South Yorkshire onto the assistant referees list in the professional ranks at a relatively young age, and made his Premier League debut in QPR’s 3-2 win at Stoke City under Neil Warnock in 2011 aged just 24. He ran the line for the FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Aston Villa aged 29 two years ago before hanging his flag up to start moving up the ranks as a referee.
He started with a bang in 2015/16, his first full one on the Football League list, with ten yellow cards in just his second match – Accrington v Mansfield in League Two – and showed five red cards in his first 14 games but he’s calmed down considerably since then. He finished last season with 97 yellows and six reds in 30 appointments.
Championship >>> Of the games with stuff riding on them… Stuart Attwell has Birmingham v Fulham, Robert Madley takes Cardiff v Reading, David Coote is at Ipswich v Boro, and Tim Robinson has Millwall v Villa. At the bottom end Simon Hooper has Derby v Barnsley, Andrew Madley is in charge of Preston v Burton and Scott Duncan has Bolton v Forest.
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