Brooks in charge of Brentford trip - Referee
Friday, 10th Jan 2020 08:08 by Clive Whittingham
John Brooks from Leicestershire, who refereed QPR’s 2-1 away win at Sheff Wed in August, is in charge of the derby with Brentford this weekend.
Referee >>> John Brooks (Leicestershire), controversially failed to send off Jake Livermore, who subsequently scored the winner, in QPR’s heart-breaking 3-2 home loss to West Brom in February.
Assistants >>> Akil Howson (Leicestershire) and Sam Lewis
Fourth Official >>> John Busby (Oxfordshire)
The first half was made up of a mixture of: great approach play without the necessary final ball or finish from us, poor play and niggly fouls from Wednesday, and some quite frankly awful decisions from the referee.
Most of the play was in the midfield area, with only Wells testing Westwood with a smart low effort, before the referee decided to liven things up in the 22nd minute by awarding a perplexingly soft penalty to the home side. Just before this occurred, I'd very stupidly thought (but didn't say it out loud) that I couldn't see them hurting us, they looked so ponderous and ineffective. Then bang, ball nowhere near him, Forestieri decides to do an impression of a goat and put his face into the grass. There probably was some kind of contact from Hall, but enough for that reaction, I doubt it. You will have all seen the highlights by now and I bet it looks even softer on the screen. I don't recall any appeals for a penalty, but the referee was happy to take centre stage and give Wednesday a chance to have an actual shot. Lumley, as usual dived early and the wrong way. It was a good strike by 87-year-old Fletcher and Lumley wouldn't have saved it anyway. But Joe, just wait a second, stand your ground and save the bad penalties.
Talking of penalties, Hugill ended up on the deck in the box, twice later in the half, one of these looked a very good shout, but nothing was given. Any little touch outside the box was instantly blown for- so bloody infuriating.
Despite the setback, we continued to dominate the ball and applied plenty of pressure in the final third. The impressive Chair had a couple of long range shots, one comfortably saved, the other into the side netting. This was also the destination for a Manning free kick, which cleared the wall and momentarily looked very good.
There were a fair few cynical fouls and handbag situations, which were initially unpunished before the referee stated waving his yellow card around. The very annoying (and unusually poor for him on the day) Bannan was finally booked for a spat with Hugill, who was also carded. Bannan was lucky it wasn't worse after kicking out. Forestieri also saw yellow for a niggly foul against Manning and Rangel received the same for a very professional, breakaway stopping trip on halfway.
Subs not used: Lee, Rhodes, Dawson, Bates
Goals: Fletcher 23 (penalty, won Forestieri)
Bookings: Borner 21 (foul), Bannan 23 (unsporting) Forestieri 45+3 (foul), Iorfa (90+4 (foul)
QPR: Lumley 6; Rangel 7 (Kane 88, -) Manning 7, Barbet 6, Hall 6, Leistner 7; Ball 6, Eze 7 ( Scowen 83, -), Chair 7; Wells 7 (Mlakar 68 5), Hugill 8.
Subs not used: Pugh, Osayi-Samuel, Owens, Kelly
Goals: Hugill 60 (assisted Wells), 64 (assisted Manning)
Bookings: Hugill 23 (unsporting) Rangel 43 (foul), Leistner 90+6 (foul)
Referee: John Brooks (Leicestershire) 3 Ridiculously soft penalty when compared to two claims at the other end. Let too much go early on and struggled to regain control. No issue with any of the bookings and did improve in second half- good job he did.
Yet as quickly and well as they had started, it was all very nearly undone within the first quarter-hour in the most typical Rangers' fashion. Millwall forward Lee Gregory looked to race onto a hopeful punt over the top before going to ground under a challenge from Lynch. The general consensus from the away end was that it was a red. Lynch Easter getaway booked etc etc. Yet despite referee John Brooks judging 20 innocuous challenges as fouls in the first half alone, he let Lynch off the hook.
Joe Lumley collected the loose ball and wasted no time in starting a counter attack whilst Millwall remonstrated with the referee but Wells' shot was well blocked by James Meredith. The resulting corner was headed over by Smith as Rangers played percentages at every opportunity. Not content with his escape, Lynch was soon into the book for the sixth time in 11 games and the twelfth occasion this season for abusing the linesman over another soft call.
Millwall: Martin 6; Romero 6, Cooper 5, Pearce 6, Meredith 6; Wallace 6, Tunnicliffe 5 (Morrison 83 5), Leonard 5, Marshall 6 (O'Brien 78 5); Thompson 6, Gregory 6
Subs not used: Amos, Mcauglin, Williams, Elliot, Skalak
Bookings: Marshall 14 (foul), Tunnicliffe 30 (foul)
QPR: Lumley 6; Furlong 6, Leistner 6, Lynch 6, Manning 7; Scowen 8, Luongo 7, Cameron 6, Freeman 7 (Wszolek 90); Wells 6 (Osayi-Samuel 62, 8), Smith 7
Subs not used: Ingram, Cousins, Eze, Walker, Hemed
Bookings: Lynch 24 (dissent), Manning 33 (foul), Luongo 49 (foul)
Referee – John Brooks (Leicestershire) 6 Picky. Clearly wanted to keep a hold of a London derby with a lot of whistle and card, particularly in the first half. Generously let Lynch off with what looked like a foul on Gregory as he went through on goal.
Then a couple of odd things happened. Firstly, Nahki Wells took a bit of a whack to the face which referee John Brooks seemed quite ok with – we know from experience he’s not adverse to allowing players to rip each other’s faces off of course. Secondly, West Brom treated this stoppage as a bit of a networking opportunity - ambling over to the touchline, getting a round of drinks in, having a bit of a conflab between themselves, business cards passed around, ball boys carrying trays of canapes… Loftus Road, where connections get made and deals get done. Sorry to interrupt lads but there’s a football game going on here. Not much of one, admittedly, but if we could just fucking well get on with it then I can get home and get the heating on and contemplate how much of my life I’ve wasted on this shit.
You can talk about bad luck, and by God are we getting our fair wedge of that at the moment, but if you’re going to shit the bed like that under no pressure whatsoever against teams of West Brom’s quality then really and truly what on earth do you expect? Another defensive howler with another bouncing ball drew Lumley from his area for a pretty obvious deliberate handball missed by the referee. How are those contract talks progressing Joel?
With a quarter of an hour to go, Rangers were awarded a soft penalty. Turning back into the area after retrieving a deep cross from Eze, Hemed bent down to head a bouncing ball just as Jake Livermore kicked upward looking for the same thing. A generous call of high foot, one you never see given in the penalty box, but a spot kick all the same and with Hemed now on the field one QPR were likely to convert. Johnstone sat down. Two two it was.
Two two and flying all over the show now. Championship football at its nonsense best. Murphy thought he’d scored with a low shot off a Gibbs cross – QPR still horribly vulnerable out wide despite a switch to a back four – but Lumley made an unorthodox and brilliant save with his legs. Eze delicately sent Osayi-Samuel screaming through on goal but his shot was struck too purely and went straight at Johnson. Frustrated, Jake Livermore embarked on a wild, rash, late sliding tackle on Eze over by the dugouts which was a red card all day long but only received a yellow. West Brom will call that one each from John Brooks after the soft penalty, but Livermore would have more to say later. Eze recovered, spun, unloaded a shot at the near post, Johnstone fortunate not to be caught out. Good to see Eze back at this sort of level. We’re better in this shape, with him in it.
QPR: Lumley 6; Furlong 5, Leistner 6, Lynch 4; Wszolek 6 (Osayi-Samuel 71, 7), Bidwell 5; Cousins 6, Luongo 7, Freeman 8; Smith 5 (Eze 46, 7), Wells 5 (Hemed 71, 7)
Subs not used: Ingram, Scowen, Manning, Kakay
Goals: Freeman 35 (assisted Wells), Hemed 75 (penalty, won Hemed)
West Brom: Johnstone 6; Holgate 7, Hegazi 8, Dawson 6, Gibbs 7; Livermore 7, Johansen 6 (Barry 65, 6); Montero 7 (Harper 57, 6), Field 6 (Phillips 81, -), Murphy 8; Rodriguez 7
Subs not used: Bartley, Edwards, Bond, Adarabioyo
Goals: Montero 4 (assisted Murphy), Murphy 61 (assisted Lynch), Livermore 90+3 (assisted Holgate)
Bookings: Livermore 74 (foul)
Referee – John Brooks (Leicestershire) 5 Much like his last visit here his overall control of the game and refereeing style is very good – calm, unfussy, unobtrusive – but he’s not good on the big decisions. Livermore was late, reckless, with studs up. It was a red card. Lumley definitely handled the ball outside the area. The QPR penalty was very debateable. Linesman on the Ellerslie Road side had an odd night as well.
Hemed had already toed an improvised effort at Dawson and Rangers were comfortable thereafter, bar one pretty blatant penalty appeal survived when referee John Brooks failed to spot Rangel’s high boot challenge which smashed Pudil’s head into a thousand pieces. Any cynicism about the way the Czech played dead, then immediately jumped up to chase the official when he realised he wasn’t getting the decision, was tempered at first sight of the huge hole in his head. Don’t shine that light in my eyes mate, I’ve lost a pint of blood.
QPR: Lumley 7; Rangel 7, Leistner 7, Lynch 8, Bidwell 6; Cameron 8, Luongo 7; Wszolek 8, Eze 8 (Scowen 84, -), Freeman 8 (Cousins 88, -), Hemed 7 (Wells 65, 7)
Subs not used: Ingram, Hall, Smith, Osayi-Samuel
Goals: Hemed 35 (assisted Wszolek), Freeman 65 (assisted Wszolek), Wells 83 (assisted Eze)
Sheff Wed: Dawson 5; Baker 6, Hector 6, Pudil 6 (Thorniley 62, 6), Fox 5; Pelupessy 5 (Penney 75, 6), Bannan 7, Reach 7, Onomah 6; Joao 5 (Fletcher 75, 6), Nuhiu 5
Subs not used: Palmer, Lees, Wildsmith, Kirby
Referee – Robert Brooks (Leicestershire) 6 Well I liked his unfussy style, and keenness to keep cards in his pockets. But Freeman was one of a couple who committed cynical fouls after being caught out of position that really should have been yellows, and although Pudil was stooping for the incident where Rangel split his head open it’s a pretty obvious penalty.
Brooks stepped onto the Football League list for the first time in 2016/17, refereeing 36 games in Leagues One and Two and a smattering in the Football League Trophy. He showed 150 yellows (4.166) and ten reds across those games, topped out by eight yellows and a red in Millwall’s hilarious 3-2 home defeat by Rochdale in the third tier.
His first Championship game came in 2017/18 amidst a hefty workload of 51 appearances. He took Reading’s home defeat by Burton two days before Christmas and added three more games at this level before the end of the campaign (Sunderland 0-2 Brentford, Ipswich 0-0 Sheff Utd, Norwich 2-1 Leeds). He booked 149 (2.9) and sent six off in total, with nine yellows and a red at Bristol Rovers 2-1 Walsall his top haul.
Last season he showed 156 yellows and five reds across 40 appointments (3.9) which includes eight yellows at Bolton 2-2 Bristol City, Norwich 3-3 Forest and Brentford 3-3 Derby, and seven yellows and a red at Portsmouth 1-2 Charlton. He had Sheffield Wednesday twice – for a 3-0 loss at Loftus Road and a 0-0 homer with Reading.
He's yet to show a red card this season in 20 games, with the seven yellows shown in our win at Sheff Wed even the biggest single haul among his 59 yellows. He refereed Brentford’s recent 2-1 home win against Cardiff. Being given games like this one, and Forest’s 3-0 League Cup win against bitter rivals Derby earlier in the season, suggests he’s one they have their eye on for further promotion.
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