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Harrington in charge at Hawthorns - Referee
Friday, 17th Aug 2018 08:13 by Clive Whittingham

Tony Harrington, who refereed two QPR home wins last season, gets an away date with the R’s this Saturday at West Brom.

Referee >>> Tony Harrington (Cleveland), refereed wins against Wolves and Barnsley at Loftus Road last season, sending off Ryan Manning in the latter.

Assistants >>> Timothy Wood (Gloucestershire) and Mark Dwyer (West Yorkshire)

Fourth Official >>> Darren England (Barnsley), refereed our opening game at Preston.

History

QPR 1 Barnsley 0, Saturday February 3, 2018, Championship

The goal that sealed it was worthy of winning any match. Three minutes after half time Josh Scowen made the most of too much time and too much space 25 yards out from goal to get the ball out of his feet and whip a clean strike round goalkeeper Nick Townsend (making his first start of the season) and into the far bottom corner. Nice to see Scowen get some reward for his hours of thankless toil at the base of a poor side’s engine room, nice to get a still all-too-rare goal from central midfield (something we still desperately need to improve), nice to see a goal of such high quality in such a drab game, and nice for the old player scoring against his former club and player scoring his first goal in 53 appearances to go for us for a change rather than against us. But it was the one shining moment of quality in a game that, particularly in the first half, bordered on being fucking abysmal and even that was celebrated in quite a muted and odd manner because the crowd was still trying to fathom how Matt Smith being dragged to the floor by the throat by everybody’s favourite backseat referee Matt Mills wasn't worthy of a penalty seconds before.

The win was secured despite playing the last 20 minutes of the game with ten men.

Poor Ryan Manning. The young Irishman has endured a terribly frustrating 2017/18 after a breakout season the year before, with first team chances horribly restricted by the form of the Scowemango combination in midfield. Jordan Cousins had been given the nod with the Luongo part of that trio ruled out injured and ill but as he tired and fresh legs were required Manning was an obvious choice from the bench for the final third of the game. Sadly, a propensity to play ourselves into trouble from our own over-complicated dead ball situations reared its head for the umpteenth time on the day as three desperate and out of control passes from a goal kick eventually ended up with Manning arriving hours late with a horror tackle on Barnsley debutant Mills over by the dugout. Referee Tony Harrington had absolutely no choice but to immediately brandish a red card and Manning was off after just four minutes on the pitch – a cameo Samba Diakite would have been proud of.

It was at least watchable by the point, which is more than you could say for a turgid first half spent mostly waiting for referee Harrington to check whether the ball was placed precisely right for corners to be taken. Moncur hit a low shot that Smithies saved comfortably, giant Kieffer Moore did the same after ten minutes fresh from his move from Ipswich in January, and Gardner volleyed over from 15 yards. Adam Hammill drew a great clearance from Nedum Onuoha with one cross, and a splendid one-handed save up in the top corner from Smithies with a dipping volley. Harrington’s decision to book Jordan Cousins for the first foul of the game, then let a series of other poor tackles from both teams slide with just a word on the run, only darkened the mood among what looked like the lowest attendance at this ground for a Saturday league game in many a long year – the announced crowd in excess of 12,000 about as believable as a ‘Sky sources’ story on deadline day. Andy Yiadom, a summer transfer target for Rangers, smacked Jack Robinson with no comeback in one particularly inconsistent moment of refereeing before Gary Gardner was deservedly booked to huge applause for interrupting a counter attack. QPR had one blocked shot from Cousins amongst a twenty second minute goalmouth scramble to show for their ‘efforts’. It was, in all honesty, like watching paint dry. And not very good paint at that.

QPR: Smithies 7; Perch 6, Onuoha 6, Lynch 7; Wszolek 6, Robinson 6; Scowen 7, Freeman 6, Cousins 6 (Manning 67, -); Washington 5 (Bidwell 90, -), Smith 5 (Osayi-Samuel 79, 5)

Subs not used: Ingram, Baptiste, Eze, Oteh

Goals: Scowen 48 (unassisted), Robinson 90+4 (foul)

Red Card: Manning 71 (killing a man to death)

Bookings: Cousins 5 (foul)

Barnsley: Townsend 6; Yiadom 6, Mills 6, Lindsay 6, Pinillos 6 (Mahoney 80, 6); Gardner 6, Williams 6, Hammill 6 (Hedges 68, 5); Moncur 7; Bradshaw 6, Moore 6 (McBurnie 68, 5)

Subs not used: Davies, Mallan, Pearson, Thiam

Bookings: Gardner 31 (foul)

Referee – Tony Harrington (Cleveland) 5 Very decent in his recent appointments with us but a bit of a pain here. Absolutely no arguments with the Manning red card but his decision to issue a ridiculously harsh yellow card to Jordan Cousins so early placed him behind the eight ball for the rest of the half, and he was forced to let several players off with identical offences or risk turning a run-of-the-mill Championship game into an absolute card fest. There was no need to put himself under that pressure. Rangers haven’t had a penalty since the opening day of the season and Matt Smith has been particularly hard done to in that regard – having seen Matt Mills respond to getting the wrong side of his man by yanking him to the floor by the throat just before Scowen’s goal I’m now resigned to us never getting a spot kick ever again.

QPR 2 Wolves 1, Saturday October 28, 2017, Championship

Yes, Wolves looked good at times, but only in fits and starts. They were hamstrung by first Ivan Cavaleiro and then later substitute striker Bright Enobakhare’s apparent total lack of knowledge of how the offside law works. When Cavaleiro did finally get through on goal with the flag down, he flung himself theatrically to ground in the penalty box under minimal contact from Jack Robinson. Referee Tony Harrington, excellent all afternoon, waved the half-hearted appeals away.

QPR: Smithies 7; Baptiste 6, Lynch 7, Robinson 8; Cousins 6 (Wszolek 66, 6), Bidwell 8; Scowen 8, Freeman 7 (Furlong 90+2, -), Luongo 8; Washington 7, Sylla 6 (Smith 66, 7)

Subs not used: Mackie, Ngbakoto, Lumley, Wheeler

Goals: Washington 41 (assisted Luongo), Smith 82 (assisted Lynch)

Bookings: Bidwell 45+1 (foul), Luongo 79 (foul), Lynch 90+6 (foul)

Wolves: Ruddy 6; Batth 5, Coady 5, Doherty 6, Douglas 7; Neves 6 (Marshall 84, -), Miranda 6, Saiss 6; Cavaleiro 4 (Costa 57, 6), Bonatini 6 (Enobakhareat 71, 4), Jota 7

Subs not used: N’Diaye, Bennett, Boly, Norris

Goals: Bonatini 43 (assisted Jota)

Bookings: Saiss 90+5 (foul)

Referee – Tony Harrington (Cleveland) 9 I continue to be disconcertingly impressed with the quality of Championship refereeing this season, and how there seems to be a concerted effort not to smother games with cards and endless whistle. I suspect the Wolves equivalent of this site would give him a five and say they should have had a penalty but I thought that would have been soft and he set his stall out early on that just because there’s contact, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a foul. By waving away a few early cheap ones he contributed to the flow and tempo of the game.

QPR 2 Barnsley 1, Tuesday March 7, 2017, Championship

It remained 1-0 until half time, although quite how, nobody could be sure. Ngbakoto struck a fresh air shot when well placed two minutes later, then did connect with a fierce volley from the edge of the area when a cross was cleared up in the air – Davies did well to save. James Perch, already yellow carded for his weekly attempt to kill a man to death with a wild hack which actually seemed to do more damage to him than anybody else, crashed a header off the underside of the bar having arrived at the back post all the way from right back.

The result was the Tykes drew a blank from 45 minutes of football when most sides would have scored at least twice. Watkins and Armstrong’s finishing, if not their movement which was too much for Onuoha and Hall at times, made one grateful Tom Bradshaw spent the first half on the bench. That was corrected at half time, but only after the fourth official and referee Tony Harrington had faffed about making sure he had the regulation socks on.

QPR: Smithies 6; Perch 6 (Furlong 48, 7), Onuoha 6, Hall 5, Bidwell 7; Luongo 7, Manning 7, Freeman 8; Wszolek 8 (Washington 70, 6), Sylla 7, Ngbakoto 6 (Morrison 87, -)

Subs not used: Goss, Ingram, Doughty, Smith

Goals: Sylla 7, MacDonald og 66 (assisted Wszolek)

Bookings: Perch 14 (foul), Bidwell 83 (foul), Manning 86 (foul)

Barnsley: Davies 6; Yiadom 6, Roberts 6, MacDonald 6, Elder 5; Scowan 7, James 7, Mowatt 6 (Bradshaw 45, 7), Kent 6 (Hammill 77, 6); Watkins 6 (Hedges 73, 6), Armstrong 6

Subs not used: Moncur, Townsend, Jackson, Jones

Bookings: Hammill 85 (foul)

Referee – Tony Harrington (Cleveland) 6 Bit fussy, but not too bad overall. The Bradshaw nonsense at half time seemed pedantic in the extreme.

Blackburn 1 QPR 0, Saturday February 4, 2017, Championship

There’s something about Queens Park Rangers playing games in this part of the world against teams managed by Owen Coyle that turns assistant referees into incompetent, window-licking morons, incapable of finding their own arse with both hands or identifying the blatantly obvious when it occurs right in front of their face.

Joining Bob Pollock in the hall of horrors this week is Tony Peart. Or, perhaps, some random member of the Blackburn branch of the Royal Society for the Blind on whom Tony Peart had played a cruel trick earlier in the day, quietly swapping the guide dog for a flag without the poor bastard noticing and shoving him off in the direction of Ewood Park.

In fairness to Pollock – not a sentence I ever thought I’d be starting – Clint Hill’s famous ghost goal against Coyle’s Bolton in 2012 never actually hit the ground. On that occasion goalkeeper Adam Bogdan clawed a header out from well behind the line after it had kissed the underside of the bar on the way in. That happened fast.

Quite what defence Saturday’s scrotum can offer for his abomination I’m not sure. It began with a long throw from Darnell Furlong, who doesn’t really have a lone throw. This was no Dave Challinor/Rory Delap-style missile, more a gentle loft into the vague vicinity of the area. Using every inch of his height and straining every neck muscle substitute Matt Smith was able to help the ball on to Conor Washington who, in similar style, looped a header over goalkeeper Jason Steele, onto the underside of the bar and down into the net.

The ball never got above snail’s pace throughout. The whole thing happened in super slow motion. The ball dropped so far over the line it actually didn’t land on the grass at all, but came to rest on the artificial turf which surrounds the Ewood Park pitch. This was not, by any stretch of any pathetic excuses this anal gimp may come up with, a difficult decision to make.

Peart, whose positioning four yards away from the byline suggests he’d switched off and started thinking about other things, realised he was in trouble and sidestepped down the touchline to get himself level with the goal – where he should have been in the first place – after the incident had happened, presumably hoping the ball might have stopped dead where it landed so he could have a look. Of course, it hadn’t, long gone by now, and so with nothing to go on Peart delivered a firm no – shaking his head and waving his hands in the manner of a man absolutely sure of his decision.

We can talk about goalline technology in the Championship all we like – not much of a discussion, it should absolutely be here and should have been here since it was introduced in the Premier League – but the simple fact is this one was blatantly fucking obvious. A one-eyed, drunk chimp could have told you it was a goal.

Blackburn: Steele 6; Nyambe 6, Greer 6 (Akpan 70, 6), Lenihan 6, Lowe 6; Feeney 7, Mulgrew 6, Conway 6 (Mahoney 65, 6), Bennett 6; Gallagher 7, Graham 5 (Emnes 65, 7)

Subs not used: Joao, Guthrie, Brown, Raya

Goals: Gallagher 90+1 (assisted Emnes)

QPR: Smithies 6; Furlong 6 (Lua Lua 90+4, -), Onuoha 6, Lynch 6, Bidwell 7; Luongo 6 (Morrison 78, 5), Perch 6, Manning 7; Mackie 6 (Smith 62, 6), Washington 6, Wszolek 6

Subs not used: Freeman, Hall, Goss, Ingram

Bookings: Perch 59 (foul), Manning 80 (foul), Furlong 90+1 (foul)

Referee – Tony Harrington (Cleveland) 6 Quite a decent referee actually from what we’ve seen of him this season. Good with the advantage, not too hot with the cards, tries to give games a good chance. Sadly, completely let down by an assistant referee here who should certainly be considering a change of career, or a full frontal lobotomy. Useless fucking prick.

QPR 2 Ipswich Town 1, Monday January 2, 2017, Championship

QPR: Smithies 6; Perch 6, Hall 8, Lynch 7, Bidwell 6; Manning 6 (El Khayati 68, 6), Cousins 6, Borysiuk 6 (Onuoha 58, 7); Mackie 7, Wzsolek 7, Sylla 7 (Washington 38, 5)

Subs not used: Ingram, Ngbakoto, Sandro, Shodipo

Goals: Sylla 30 (assisted Perch), Wszolek 83 (assisted Onuoha)

Ipswich: Bialkowski 6; Webster 6, Chambers 6, Berra 6, Kenlock 6 (Knudsen 77, 6); Emmanuel 5 (Ward 46, 6), Bru 6 (Douglas 69, 5), Skuse 6, Lawrence 7; Pitman 6, McGoldrick 7

Subs not used: Gerken, Varney, Sears, Dozzell

Goals: Lawrence 48 (unassisted)

Referee – Tony Harrington (Cleveland) 8 Right fussy plonker when we had him earlier this season for Swindon but this was a well controlled game, allowed to flow, with no cards, and no big decisions wrong.

QPR 2 Swindon 2, League Cup First Round, Wednesday August 10, 2016

Referee Tony Harrington exacerbated matters, stopping the play unnecessarily frequently - including the very generous award of a free kick on the halfway line to QPR who might have liked him not to bother and allow them to streak away in a three v one attack instead. Several yellow cards were awarded completely at random. On three separate occasions play was brought back because a restart was adjudged to have been executed with a moving ball. It was the very definition of ball ache.

Regular time ended with Swindon booting Chery up in the air by the dugouts, then surrounding him and screaming in his face like a Terry family Christmas. Referee Harrington booked Karl Henry for the incident. Hasselbaink did his fellow Dutchman a favour, wrestling him away from the incident and off down the tunnel until things calmed.

The farce dragged on, with scant regard for local last orders regulations. Referee Harrington had a prolonged discussion with Swindon manager Williams before taking no action.

QPR: Ingram 7; Furlong 6, Onuoha 6, Lynch 5 (Polter 78, 7), Perch 5; Ngabakoto 6 (Kpekawa 71, 5), Henry 6, Cousins 6, Shodipo 6 (Chery 58, 7); El Khayati 5; Washington 5

Subs not used: Smithies, Hall, Gladwin, Kakay

Goals: Ngabakoto 58 (assisted El Khayati), Washington 93 (assisted Chery)

Bookings: Perch 57 (foul), Henry 90+2 (unsporting), Polter 103 (foul)

Swindon: Vigouroux 7; Jones 5, Thomas 6, Thompson 6 (Iandolo 61, 6), Sendles-White 6; Brophy 6, Rogers 6, Kasim 7 (Smith 65, 6), Barry 6; Hylton 6 (Stewart 65, 7), Norris 6

Subs not used: Goddard, Henry, Evans, Young

Goals: Stewart 72 (unassisted), Brophy 107 (unassisted)

Bookings; Barry 90+2 (unsporting), Stewart 112 (foul)

Referee – Tony Harrington (Cleveland) 5 A right pedantic arsehole.

Stats

This is Harrington’s first game of the season having finished the last campaign with 118 yellows and six reds in 35 games. Three of those reds came in a little flurry in the autumn and included one in a League Cup game between Wovles and Bristol Rovers that also featured eight yellows and his biggest haul in a single match this season.

The previous year, a pre-Christmas flurry of 24 yellow cards in four matches died away in the spring and he finished the season with 121 yellows and a relatively low four reds from 34 games. A big portion of those of those came in just three matches – seven yellows at Wigan v Wolves and Rotherham v Burton and nine at Reading v Sheff Wed.

Harrington joined the league list from the National League in 2012/13 and this is his second year of regular Championship action.

Other Listings

Premier League >>> High flying elite level referee Bobby Madley has abruptly retired from the sport at the age of 32 citing a “change in personal circumstances”. For the lurid speculation on exactly what that change might be, please see the Twitter. His brother Andy remains on the list.

The Twitter @loftforwords

Pictures – Action Images

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