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Davies takes cup tie - Referee
Monday, 12th Aug 2019 20:15 by Clive Whittingham

Andy Davies, who turned down multiple Reading penalty appeals when we won there last October, takes charge of our League Cup tie with Bristol City on Tuesday.

Referee >>> Andy Davies (Hampshire), QPR won all three of the games Davies refereed them in during 2018/19.

Assistants >>> Daniel Leach (Oxfordshire) and Geoffrey Russell (Northants), ran the line for Davies in our 1-0 win at Reading last season.

Fourth Official >>> Matthew Lee, won World Championship bronze in the Men’s 10m synchronised competition in South Korea earlier this year, diving alongside Tom Daley.

Previously

Sheff Wed 1 QPR 2, Sunday May 5, 2019, Championship

Ridiculous that a goalkeeper of this quality was ostracised and left in the reserves by the previous manager here, Jos The Child Catcher. Westwood is still just about the best there is at this level but brilliant keeper or not, you have to score when you’re on top, when you’re playing like this, when the combinations are clicking. Finish him for God’s sake, he wants you to punch him. Sadly, QPR have been missing chances all season long, not least when presented to them in the form of a kick from the penalty mark. When Osayi-Samuel was felled by Lees in the area ten minutes from time, referee Andy Davies pointed straight to the spot and, in front of the travelling 500 from West London, Rangers would have a chance to seal a deserved 2-0 win from 12 yards. Thankfully no Nahki Wells on the field to go for a sixth consecutive personal miss, and second this week, but also no Tomer Hemed, whose successful spot kicks against Ipswich and West Brom are about all he’s contributed across a season long loan. Ryan Manning, as discussed a week ago, had scored three penalties for Rotherham earlier in the season and had the ball in his hands straight away, but there ensued an ugly and needless row among several players about who would take the kick. Bright Osayi-Samuel seemed to want it, which is terrifying really because God bless the kid but he can’t finish his dinner at the moment. And then Eze, seemingly on the say so of captain Leistner took the ball.

He had scored a penalty in fine style in the summer friendly win against Union Berlin, calmly into the top bins, but has endured a difficult season since then. All things considered, with Westwood in flying form, this needed five big steps and one almighty smack. What it got was some weird Trevor Francis-style walk and shimmy, presumably attempting to deceive Westwood but having no such effect – the keeper palmed a weak kick onto the post. Memories of that harrowing 1995/96 Premier League relegation season, punctuated by penalty misses from Simon Barker (Boro H), Kevin Gallen (Leeds H) and Bradley Allen (Chelsea H), flooding back. Annoyingly, this will be what Eze’s critics remember of him from this game, which is a shame because he was great across the 90 minutes as a whole.

Moments of brilliance, check. Profligacy in front of goal, check. A penalty miss, check. Then there was the really bad stuff. If you’re going to pass up opportunities with such frequency, you’ve got to be as tight as a mouse’s waistcoat at the end, and QPR simply aren’t. You couldn’t help but stand and applaud Darnell Furlong’s fabulous recovery tackle on Steven Fletcher after the Scottish international forward had been played into a must score situation by Lucas Joao. Turning our own throw on halfway into a clear run on Joe Lumley for Marcos Matias within two touches was somewhat less impressive – thankfully his cut back missed Fletcher and Joao and was scrambled away. Later Lumley improvised a punched clearance after Fox had got in too easily down the left and crossed from the byline – the rebound hit Matias, rather than him heading it deliberately, and it drifted wide of the unguarded net.

And then, of course, there’s the astonishing moments of refereeing that have peppered our season, particularly in our own area where Rangers were about to concede their league leading tenth and eleventh penalties of the campaign. The second brought the equaliser, calmly rolled in by Hector, and we’ll start with that because although if you slow the replay right down it does look like Matias is rather playing for the foul, at first glance it looked a stick on foul from Manning in the exact spot on the pitch where we’ve committed identical fouls on two Blackburn players this season to lose both games against them and away at Derby over Easter as well. Manning slips, I think, and Freeman won the ball at Pride Park, but still we’re giving referees decisions to make there.

Where we didn’t give the referee a decision to make was with the first penalty on 57 minutes. Forestieri picked the ball up on the edge of the box, tried to trick his way through the defence with a one two off Fletcher, couldn’t quite reach the return ball as he’d have liked and toed it straight at Lumley from close range. No contact, at any point in the move, from any QPR player. No appeals, from the several thousand Sheff Wed supporters massed on The Kop behind the goal not ten yards away from the incident. No appeals, even, from Forestieri, who’s just about as big a cheat as you’ll find at this level and can’t get round fucking Meadowhall without throwing himself down the escalator and accusing some passing pensioner of pushing him. Nevertheless, as happened against Sheff Utd in August, Bristol City in February and Derby in April, a ridiculous penalty was awarded all the same. Forestieri very sportingly skied it over the bar Kerry Dixon style, but I’m not sure that’s the point.

Four penalties awarded against you in a season that were clearly, obviously, blatantly, palpably complete bullshit is really out of the ordinary. Quite something. The stand out line from Luke Freeman’s farewell interview in the Indie last week was the revelation that QPR have received eight letters from the PGMOL, who oversee the match officials, this season apologising for decisions that have cost us points and presumably we’ll be getting another in the post this week. Should it arrive, I think we should return it back to them having taken the trouble first of all to roll it up very tightly to make it easier for them to shove up their arse. Because it’s all very well apologising for this rubbish - we get it, refereeing is tough, mistakes happen, we’ve had much more than our fair share of incorrect calls against us this season but it won’t carry on like that and that’s football – but it rings rather hollow when nothing is actually done about it. One of those letters is surely about the two goals Sheff Utd scored at Loftus Road in August, one which was offside the other from a bad penalty call. Another one of those letters, almost certainly, will refer to the deliberate handball in the penalty area which stopped Ryan Manning equalising at Wigan in January. And I dare say another of them could be for Jack Robinson’s two-handed save in his own box for Forest at Loftus Road last week. But those incidents were all with the same referee, Scott Duncan, who was also seen recently screwing Bristol City out of a nonsense penalty decision at Villa Park. What’s the fucking point in apologising, if you’re just going to send the same referee out to do the same damage again the following week? Stuart Attwell’s “punishment” for allowing that Leeds Villa game to descend into a complete farce, complete with a red card that was subsequently scrubbed off, was a Premier League appointment at West Ham this week. So they’ve apologised to Villa, rescinded the red card, banned another player retrospectively, and promoted the referee that cocked it all up. It’s mental. It’s like Boris Johnson, apologising for shagging your wife, while still shagging her. Never mind apologising, do something about it, get off her you fat shit.

Anyway, that’s the final rant for the season. And the final outcome, it seemed. Hector’s equalising penalty looked like being the last word because along with the moments of brilliance, the missed chances, the missed penalties, the refereeing calamities and the comical defending the other thing QPR have been good for this season is prolonged, blatant, tedious clock running to protect a scoreline that isn’t really that great and doesn’t really do a lot for them. And so it was again here, with Joe Lumley and Darnell Furlong as usual the chief protagonists of it – though quite why Hector was allowed to interrupt Furlong’s shithousing by booting him straight in the shins off the ball while the play was dead without receiving even a yellow card I’m not sure. Davies capping a curious performance in the middle by awarding Forestieri another dangerous set piece, this time right on the corner of the box, for a blatant dive (he skied it over again, stop laughing at the back), only to then wave Josh Scowen’s similar appeal away at the other end and then yellow card him for sarcastically applauding the linesman on that side. It was the only time all afternoon that assistant referee had actually been up with play and stood where he was supposed to be.

All we needed now to really put the tin hat on it was an injury time goal against. Rangers have conceded nine of those this season – like the penalties, that’s more than any other team in the league – and invariably when we’ve tried to slow things down and drag the game out for a point we’ve ended up getting nothing at all. But Sheff Wed weren’t very good, clearly on the beach after an excellent second half to the season of just three defeats in 23 games, and having replaced one injury prone midfielder, Kieran Lee, with another, Shaun Hutchinson, they then found themselves down to ten men for the last few minutes when the latter had to leave the field after Steve Bruce had used all his subs. That meant space, and tired legs. That meant Mass Luongo moving into a dangerous place down the QPR left unchallenged. That meant an understaffed penalty box and that meant one final chance for the R’s. Luongo got the cross spot on. Matt Smith has probably never hit a ball better in his entire life. First time, full toss, left foot, ninety-third minute, and absolute thunderbastard ripped right into the roof of the net. Big Posh Matt’s Big Posh Volley. Wallop. Even Westwood wasn’t saving that.

Sheff Wed: Westwood 8; Palmer 6, Hector 7, Lees 6, Fox 6; Matias 6, Pelupessy 5, Lee 7 (Hutchinson 64, 5); Forestieri 5, Joao 6 (Nuhiu 64, 5), Fletcher 6 (Hooper 78, 6)

Subs not used: Winnall, Thorniley, Dawson, Penney

Goals: Hector 84 (penalty, won Matias)

Bookings: Matias 90+3 (foul), Hector 90+4 (foul)

QPR: Lumley 6; Furlong 7, Leistner 6, Cameron 6, Manning 7; Eze 7, Scowen 7, Luongo 6, Shodipo 5 (Walker 61, 5); Osayi-Samuel 6 (Hall 89, -), Smith 7

Subs not used: Ingram, Bidwell, Freeman, Wells, Bansal-McNulty

Goals: Scowen 28 (assisted Furlong), Smith 90+3 (assisted Luongo)

Bookings: Scowen 74 (dissent), Cameron 88 (foul)

Referee – Andy Davies (Hampshire) 3 Making his own fun.

QPR 1 Leeds 0, Tuesday February 26, 2019, Championship

As happened in the cup tie between the two teams here earlier this season, a swift counter attack in the very first minute gave Tyler Roberts a sight of goal but where he struck both posts with a shot in January this time his weak hit dribbled wide. Within ten minutes Toni Leistner had, fairly blatantly, blocked a goalbound shot with an outstretched arm right on the edge of the area – referee Andy Davies, who’s been kind to QPR previously this season, played on. Joe Lumley tipped one near post header from an Alioski corner over but then blotted his copy book with a poor throw out that conceded possession and Roberts drew a nervy save from him. Lumley, and Darnell Furlong, looked particularly troubled mentally in the first half – stiff, tentative, second guessing, hesitating, terrified of making a mistake and yet therefore much more likely to do so. Furlong messed up a header, and then a second attempt at a clearance, sparking a penalty box panic. Things didn’t look good. They didn’t look good at all. Pablo Hernandez dribbled one cross shot right through the goal mouth, Patrick Bamford a whisker away from converting at the far post.

One thrust into the Leeds penalty area seemed to have Wells in for a crucial second but Cassila sprung from his line and saved. A cross from Jake Bidwell was headed straight at the keeper by Wszolek. Jordan Cousins, improved again, was set free behind Ayling by Freeman and seemed to be fouled but referee Davies said no. A Freeman corner was sent screaming a foot over the bar by Luongo on the volley – a rare Tony Yeboah thunderbastard alive in the wild, but just too high. Bielsa sent on Izzy Brown in another attempt to wrestle back control of the game. The Chelsea loanee - quelle surprise - seemed more bothered about trying to get sent off than plundering an equaliser. One bad smack on Jordan Cousins drew an immediate yellow card and the crowd wanted blood red when he committed another foul straight away but referee Davies gave him the benefit of the doubt. If there’s some shithousing to be done there’s a rat for that, and Josh Scowen sprinted on from the bench and booted Tyler Roberts up in the air for his trademark yellow literally within seconds. This guy. Bright Osayi-Samuel, another sub, came close to sealing it with a second goal only for Cassila to save low to his left.

QPR: Lumley 7; Furlong 6, Leistner 7, Hall 7, Bidwell 6; Luongo 8, Cousins 7; Wszolek 6, Eze 7 (Osayi-Samuel 77, 6), Freeman 9 (Scowen 86, -); Wells 6 (Hemed 83, -)

Subs not used: Ingram, Smith, Lynch, Manning

Goals: Freeman 48 (assisted Luongo)

Bookings: Luongo 45+2 (foul) Bidwell 50 (foul), Wells 57 (kicking ball away), Scowen 87 (ratting)

Leeds: Cassila 7; Ayling 6 (Dallas 73, 6), Jansson 6, Cooper 6, Alioski 5 (Brown 81, -); Phillips 5 (Douglas 65, 5), Klich 6; Hernandez 6, Roberts 6, Harrison 5; Bamford 5.

Subs not used: Peacock-Farrell, Berardi, Shackleton, Gotts

Bookings: Brown 85 (foul)

Referee – Andy Davies (Hampshire) 6 I thought QPR got away with a big Leistner handball right on the edge of the area early in the game, and there were some odd bits and pieces apart from that. Bamford should have been booked for the attempt at handling an opening goal in on the stroke of half time. Not bad though, difficult game to keep a hold of.

Stoke 2 QPR 2, Saturday November 24, 2018, Championship

QPR have already won three away games this season, as many as they managed in the whole of last. They’ve also already matched their clean sheet total of seven from 2017/18 and, honestly, despite the vast majority of the game remaining, this felt strongly like it was going to be another notch in both columns. On the ball, Rangers were very good, certainly far better than their hosts. Off it, the pride in defending the penalty box reduced Gary Rowett’s team to feeding on scraps. A shot from public enemy number one James McClean deflected wide but Wells quickly went up the other end and unloaded his own attempt across the face of Jack Butland’s goal. Referee Andy Davies, very kind to Rangers in a recent win at Reading, turned down two fairly obvious looking fouls on Eze only to then award a free kick for a pretty clear dive by Stoke’s lone front man Saido Berahino but Joel Lynch cleared the resulting free kick no dramas.

Stoke didn’t like it. They didn’t like it one bit. They’d already had a potential third goal from Berahino ruled out for offside (reassuring to know the lino on that side was actually still alive, we were beginning to have our doubts) and they treated the equaliser as a chance to roll back the years to that vintage period when they used to beat Arsenal up and steal their lunch money. On came Afobe and Crouch, the two biggest humans in Staffordshire, and the tactic changed to the sort of packed penalty box, chuck it, boot it, flog it, kill it, burn it-style that Tony Pulis used to employ here to extract confessions from prisoners of war. QPR really, really struggled with this. A heartbreaking late winner from Crouch, who’d been given an outstanding reception from the away end before the game and at the point of his introduction, was mercifully ruled out for offside.

Stoke: Butland 6; Edwards 6, Shawcross 6, Williams 6, Martins Indi 6; Woods 6; Ince 7 (Crouch 84, -), Clucas 6 (Bojan 72, 5), Allen 7, McClean 7 (Afobe 81, -); Berahino 6

Subs not used; Diouf, Martina, Fletcher, Federici

Goals: Berahino 21 (assisted Allen), Allen 60 (assisted McClean)

Bookings: Martins Indi 47 (foul)

QPR: Lumley 6; Rangel 7, Leistner 6, Lynch 5, Bidwell 6; Cousins 6, Luongo 6; Wszolek 6 (Hemed 62, 6), Eze 7 (Hall 90+1, -), Freeman 5; Wells 6 (Smith 89, -)

Subs not used: Ingram, Scowen, Furlong, Osayi-Samuel

Goals: Rangel 7 (assisted Eze), 78 (assisted Eze)

Bookings: Lynch 3 (foul), Leistner 36 (foul), Bidwell 90+1 (foul), Cousins 90+7 (foul)

Referee – Andy Davies (Hampshire) 6 Few bits and pieces of rubbish but nothing major wrong, assuming the second goal was onside though it certainly didn’t look it to me either at the time or on the replay.

Reading 0 QPR 1, Tuesday October 2, 2018, Championship

Fortunately, apart from Méïté’s one off the post, Reading’s main tactic for the second period seemed to be based around conning penalties out of referee Andy Davies. Double fortunately, Davies wasn’t having any of it. First he booked Méïté for going down as he ran past Toni Leistner in the box – haven’t seen it back, it looked a pen to me at first glance. Then Ezatolahi went the same way, into the notebook for a much more obvious flop under no contact at all. I wondered whether Reading were deliberately playing on the human nature of match officials, who having had enough courage of their convictions to wave one appeal away from a home team and issue a yellow card may be intimidated into awarding a questionable one the other way next time. If so, they’d backed the wrong horse. This was a man who’d had the stones to give two penalties against Millwall at The Den on Saturday, and besides there were no Reading fans in attendance to provide the intimidation factor. Just for good measure, he waved a third appeal away from the home team’s best player Andy Yiadom after he’d charged forward from left back and beaten two men on his way into another theatrical penalty box tumble. No card that time though, that would have been a bit much.

Reading: Walker 6; Gunter 5, Ilori 5, Moore 6, Yiadom 7; Bacuna 5, Kelly 5 (Swift 67, 5); Barrow 6, Ezatolahi 5 (McNulty 79, 5), Aluko 5 (Sims 65, 5); Méïté 6

Subs not used: Mannone, Blackett, Rinomhota, Loader

Bookings: Méïté 55 (diving), Ezatolahi 68 (diving), Sims 70 (foul)

QPR: Lumley 6; Rangel 6, Leistner 7, Lynch 6, Bidwell 6; Cameron 5, Luongo 6; Cousins 6 (Wszolek 82, -), Eze 6 (Scowen 80, -), Freeman 7; Wells 7

Subs not used: Ingram, Hall, Osayi-Samuel, Smith

Goals: Leistner 64 (assisted Freeman/Cameron)

Referee – Andy Davies (Hampshire) 11 QPR got a lot out of him. He laid his stall out early when challenges from Luongo on Barrow and Méïté on Lynch that were easily yellow cards were allowed to float past with a word on the run. Whether he’d have awarded the penalty for the handball on the line for Leistner’s goal we’ll never know – though as he didn’t book the player involved anyway we assume not. I’ve heard Méïté’s was a dive, it looked a penalty to me at the time. The other two were dives, and rightly ignored. Blew for half time ten seconds early, which I’m all in favour of, we’ve all got homes to go to. Overall, in all seriousness, maybe a 6/10.

Ipswich 0 QPR 0, Tuesday December 26, 2017, Championship

Josh Scowen had been harshly booked for kicking the ball away – at 0-0, after 18 minutes, not exactly prime time-wasting territory – in the first half by referee Andy Davies, a man who looked heartily pissed off with being asked to work on Boxing Day and determined to take it out on everybody else who was there for enjoyment with a maddeningly inconsistent and pedantic performance. Scowen had committed two fouls since then and been warned severely after a third when Ipswich finally put a move together that would have had David McGoldrick through for a winner had the self-styled ‘little rat’ not taken one for the team and hauled him back. Free kick awarded, second yellow card rightly administered, Scowen was off and Ipswich had a chance to win the game from 20 yards against ten men. Celina beat the wall, and Smithies, but missed the top corner.

Ipswich: Bialkoski 7; Iorfa 7, Chambers 6, Webster 6, Knudsen 7; Bishop 5 (Ward 42, 5), Connolly 6, Waghorn 6, Sears 5 (Celina 84, -); McGoldrick 6, Garner 6

Subs not used: Smith, Spence, Crowe, Kenlock, McDonnell

Bookings: Knudsen 24 (foul)

QPR: Smithies 7; Baptiste 6, Onuoha 6, Robinson 6; Wszolek 6, Bidwell 6; Scowen 6, Luongo 6, Cousins 6 (Osayi-Sauel 82, -); Freeman 8, Sylla 5 (Smith 80, 5)

Subs not used: Furlong, Hall, Lumley, Chair

Red Cards: Scowen 88 (two yellows)

Bookings: Scowen 18 (kicking ball away), Scowen 88 (foul)

Referee – Andy Davies (Hampshire) 5 Bit of a pain in the arse really. Pedantic and picky over minor offences, then waved away other stuff that obviously should have been given, often in the same passage of play. Sending off was correct, although whether a yellow card for kicking the ball away when it’s 0-0 after 18 minutes is really appropriate I’m not sure.

QPR 2 Ipswich 1, Saturday September 9, 2017, Championship

The first wasn’t without controversy. Massimo Luongo, for once looking fresh on his return from a long-haul international break with Australia, typified his powerful midfield display on the day with a surging run away from a crowded midfield area into the red zone – though he’d almost certainly handled the the bouncing ball to get it under control in the first instance, a fact missed by referee Andy Davies and his assistant but certainly not by Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy and his staff. Play was allowed to roll on and Luongo fed Wszolek who, as usual, picked somebody out in the penalty box for his cross rather than just slinging it over and playing the percentages. That somebody was Jamie Mackie, and he arrived right on time to sweep it into the bottom corner from 12 yards out.

QPR: Smithies 6; Baptiste 8, Onuoha 7, Robinson 7; Wszolek 7 (Wheeler 77, 6), Bidwell 7; Scowen 8, Luongo 8, Freeman 8; Mackie 7 (Lua Lua 82, -), Washington 7 (Smith 82, -)

Subs not used: Furlong, Manning, Lumley, Osayi-Samuel

Goals: Mackie 43 (assisted Wszolek), Freeman 49 (unassisted)

Bookings: Freeman 90 (foul)

Ipswich: Bialkowski 6; Connolly 6, Spence 6, Iorfa 6, Knudsen 6; Ward 5 (Celina 76, 7), Skuse 6, Downes 6 (Adeyemi 66, 7); Waghorn 5 (Sears 67, 6), McGoldrick 6, Garner 5

Subs not used: Gerken, Rowe, Kenlock, Woolfenden

Goals: Celina 89 (unassisted)

Bookings: Downes 34 (foul), Connolly 90+5 (foul)

QPR 1 Sheff Wed 2, Monday April 17, 2017, Championship

This one had much in common with the four that went before it. Again, Rangers were beaten by a single goal, 2-1 for the third game in succession. Again, as at Villa and Bristol City and at home to Brighton, it could reasonably be argued that they may have taken something from the same game on a different day – referee Andy Davies said no to two very reasonable penalty appeals from the hosts and Matt Smith missed a sitter. But, again, the scoreline was somewhat flattering to Rangers, who responded to yet another team selection riddled with changes with a confused, disjointed performance which Wednesday really should have overcome a lot more easily than they did.

There was good cause to feel aggrieved with Wednesday’s second on the half hour, scored by the excellent Pudil himself this time from close range after a tremendous Alex Smithies save had kept out a header from Jordan Rhodes. The free kick which led to it, awarded for a foul by Joel Lynch wide on the right touchline, was marched several yards infield by Ross Wallace to improve his crossing angle. Referee Andy Davies let him do it, then spent the rest of the afternoon meticulously placing and marking out every subsequent free kick.

Don’t think that referee Davies had played advantage mind. He was clearly waving the stone waller away, and he did so again three times in the second half when all three looked good shouts to me – one when Ryan Manning appeared to handle in the box, another when Jamie Mackie was involved in a three-way clash with Westwood and Pudil over a loose ball he’d seemingly reached first, and finally when substitute Matt Smith seemed to be fairly blatantly pushed by Tom Lees who had two hands in his back as a ball was played forward. Davies booked Reach for repetitive fouling, and Perch for his weekly attempt to end another professional’s career, but this was a poor afternoon of officiating overall.

A Freeman free kick (very carefully positioned by Davies) caused panic before half time and Jake Bidwell lashed over straight after the break when another set piece fell loose to him on the edge of the box.

QPR: Smithies 6; Perch 5, Lynch 4, Bidwell 4; Petrasso 4 (Lua Lua 45, 6), Robinson 6 (Washington 62, 6); Freeman 6, Luongo 6, Manning 5 (Smith 75, 5); Mackie 5, Sylla 5

Subs not used: Goss, Ingram, Wszolek, Ngabakoto

Goals: Sylla 20 (assisted Mackie)

Bookings: Perch 76 (foul)

Sheff Wed: Westwood 6; Palmer 6, Lees 6, Loovens 6, Pudil 8; Wallace 6 (Semedo 67, 6), Jones 6, Bannan 6, Reach 7; Rhodes 7 (Nuhiu 76, 4), Hooper 6 (Forestieri 67, 6)

Subs not used: Wildsmith, McManaman, Fletcher, Sasso

Goals: Reach 12 (assisted Pudil), Pudil 31 (assisted Wallace)

Bookings; Reach 61 (Repetitive fouling)

Referee – Andy Davies (Hampshire) 4 Not great. Sylla scoring when nobody noticed got him out of jail in the first half because he wasn’t going to award a penalty for the obvious foul on Mackie and he missed at least two further obvious spot kick – one for a push on Smith, the other the clash with Mackie – and possibly one at the other end too when Manning appeared to handle. That and the farce of the free kick placement for the second goal made it a poor afternoon.

Birmingham 1 QPR 4, Saturday February 18, 2017, Championship

Birmingham had posed the odd threat. Jerome Sinclair, on loan from Watford, must be wondering how Che Adams headed an early chance he’d put on a plate for him wide and later he had a deflected shot of his own clip the top of the bar on its way over. But the Blues were so obviously second best that even Paul Robinson, two weeks shy of his seventy eighth birthday and incapable of doing anything other than staggering around miles off the pace of the game and abusing the match officials, improved them slightly when he came on for the injured Keita after half an hour. The crusty old git was eventually booked by Andy Davies for repeated dissent.

Birmingham: Kuszczak 6; Nsue 6, Cogley 5 (Koyunlu 45, 5), Shotton 5, Grounds 5; Keita 5 (Robinson 31, 5), Kieftenbeld 4, Tesche 5 (Storer 82, -), Stewart 7, Adams 5; Sinclair 5

Subs not used: Legzdins, Gleeson, O’Keefe, Bielik

Goals: Nsue 90+3 (assisted Adams)

Bookings: Tesche 21 (foul), Robinson 56 (dissent), Storer 87 (foul)

QPR: Smithies 6; Furlong 7, Onuoha 8, Lynch 7, Bidwell 6; Manning 8, Hall 7, Freeman 8; Washington 8 (Ngbakoto 85, -), Smith 8 (Sylla 80, -), Wszolek 7 (Lua Lua 85, -)

Subs not used: Mackie, Ingram, Luongo, Perch

Goals: Smith 18 (assisted Freeman), Washington 47 (unassisted), Sylla 84 (assisted Wszolek), Ngbakoto 88 (free kick – won Manning)

Bookings: Lynch 50 (foul), Bidwell 82 (foul), Manning 90 (foul)

Referee – Andy Davies (Hampshire) 7 Birmingham have lost 8-1 on aggregate in the two games they’ve had with Davies this season and they didn’t seem overly thrilled with his performance in the first half but I thought he was ok, no complaints about the bookings, no big decisions wrong. Got conned by Manning a couple of times, but he’s a sneaky little git sometimes so that’s not that unusual.

QPR 0 Newcastle 6, Tuesday September 13, 2016, Championship

Jonjo Shelvey dominated this match completely from the centre of the Newcastle midfield. A talented player, only at this level through personality flaws, he’ll do that to a few teams this season. He set the tone for the night in the first 12 minutes – three nasty tackles, two rows with QPR players, one argument with referee Andy Davies who really should have booked him, one shot which deflected into the net off Perez who was flagged offside, one shot drilled just wide and then one shot into the net via two deflections to give his side the lead. Nice clear message stamped all over the game – we’re not here to piss about, we mean business, we’re already 1-0 up, what have you lot got?

Often in such circumstances you see the beaten team picking up bookings for frustrated tackles and kicks out at opponents – QPR didn’t even get close enough to Newcastle to commit a foul and referee Davies’ cards stayed firmly in his pocket. There never seemed to be any inkling that we should change formation, limit the damage, add a man to the middle of midfield, get some men behind the ball and at least try and hold out for ten minutes, maybe commit a few fouls to disrupt the play, or anything really. It was barbaric. Almost cruel. I honestly thought they were going to get double figures. Never mind not at the races, QPR weren’t on the same planet.

QPR: Smithies 5; Onuoha 3, Caulker 3 (Lynch 89, -), Hall 4, Bidwell 4; Perch 5 (Wszolek 18, 3), Henry 3, Cousins 3, Ngabokoto 4 (Sylla 57, 6); Chery 4, Washington 3

Subs not used: Borysiuk, Ingram, El Khayati, Shodipo

Newcastle: Sels 6; Anita 8, Lascelles 8, Clark 8, Dummett 7 (Hanley 65, 8); Gouffran 7 (Atsu 61, 7), Hayden 8, Shelvey 9, Ritchie 8; Mitrovic 8 (Yedlin 74, 6), Perez 8

Subs not used: Colback, Gayle, Diame, Darlow

Goals: Shelvey 12 (assisted Mitrovic), 48 (unassisted), Perez 30 (assisted Ritchie), Clark 56 (assisted Ritchie), Mitrovic 63 (unassisted), Hanley 79 (assisted Clark)

Referee – Andy Davies (Hampshire) 7 Nothing to really referee, with QPR rarely close enough to Newcastle to put a tackle in and commit a foul. Two borderline offside decisions, one given as a goal which looked about right, one disallowed which looked generous. Shelvey could easily have been booked in the first ten minutes but other than that he was essentially marshalling a procession.

Sheff Wed 1 QPR 1, Tuesday February 23, 2016, Championship

It looked like a typical QPR in the north evening was unfolding, and that feeling only grew immediately after half time when Grant Hall had one go at tripping Gary Hooper in the penalty area, failed, and Nedum Onuoha swept in to finish the job with an obvious foul for a spot kick. But Hooper, with ten goals in 11 matches prior to kick off, didn’t take the penalty himself and although Nuhiu’s record from 12 yards is apparently decent, his kick was tame and read expertly by Smithies who saved and held the ball down to his left.

The game seemed to be petering out into another stalemate until referee Andy Davies took centre stage. Phillips hung a lazy leg out and was booked, and Ross Wallace followed him – odd considering the two earlier fouls on Washington and Luongo in much more dangerous areas hadn’t drawn cards and Nuhiu absolutely hacked into Onuoha right on half time and again escaped further reprimand. Seemingly cold and fed up, Davies then made his way to the touchline with an ailment so troublesome (or a train home so early) it apparently meant he couldn’t referee the final ten minutes or so of the match. Fourth official Graham Salisbury creaked onto the field looking, and running, like the exhumed remains of Methuselah and, wouldn’t you just know it, was presented with a huge decision to make during five minutes of added time at the end of the game.

Rangers looked stretched to breaking point as Wednesday freed Lee into the Kop End penalty box for a final time, and Grant Hall’s desperate lunge looked like a fool’s mission to rescue the situation. Only the theatrical fall from the Wednesday player, and the distance of Old Father Time from the incident, can have counted in QPR’s favour – it looked like a stick on penalty at the time and the home crowd and bench were as happy as Graeme Souness at Jamie Redknapp’s birthday party when it wasn’t awarded. Carvalhal came onto the field at the final whistle to demand answers. We’d have been fuming too.

Sheff Wed: Westwood 6; Hunt 6, Lees 7, Sasso 6, Pudil 6; Wallace 7, Lee 7, Bannan 6, McGeady 5 (Jao 62, 6); Hooper 6, Nuhiu 5

Subs not used: Loovens, McGugan, Bennett, Helan, Lopez, Price

Goals: Nuhiu 63 (assisted Pudil)

Bookings: Wallace 72 (foul)

QPR: Smithies 8; Onuoha 5, Hall 6, Angella 7, Perch 6; Phillips 5, Tozser 7, Henry 6, Luongo 6, El Khayati 7 (Mackie 79, 6); Washington 6 (Polter 73, 6)

Subs not used: Chery, Hoilett, Ingram, Petrasso, Diakite

Goals: Tozser 57 (unassisted)

Bookings: Phillips 76 (foul)

Referee – Andy Davies (Hampshire) 6 (Graham Salisbury {Lancashire} 80, 5) Davies did ok, although it seemed odd that Phillips and Wallace were booked for their fouls in reasonably neutral positions while Pudil and Jao escaped censor for deliberate chops on Washington and Luongo respectively, right on the edge of the Wednesday box as dangerous situations developed. The home crowd were unhappy that he let Karl Henry get away with so much, but he rightly awarded them a penalty for Onuoha’s reckless challenge. Obviously the talking point for his late replacement was the final minute penalty appeal from Kieran Lee which looked absolutely blatant at the time, and still does now really although Lee probably convinced the official otherwise by falling so theatrically. Still looks a foul by Hall though, so for the second time this season Rangers have had the rub of the green against Sheff Wed from a referee.

Stats

Having only sent off one player in his first 18 matches last season, Davies suddenly brandished five red cards in three games over Christmas including two Reading reds (he really doesn’t like them) in a 1-0 loss at Millwall and one from each side at Crawley 2-0 Colchester in League Two. That boosted his totals to six reds and 124 yellows (3.33) from 37 games. He started 2019/20 at Barnsley 1-0 Fulham, booking four. He was last in charge of Bristol City for a 2-1 home loss with Sheff Wed in the Championship last October – his only City appointment of the season.

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