Whitestone takes Reading trip - Referee
Friday, 19th Mar 2021 13:10 by Clive Whittingham
Dean Whitestone, who was in charge of the last QPR game played in front of a full crowd, is in charge as the R’s head to Reading on Saturday.
Referee >>> Dean Whitestone (Northants), was due to take charge of our trip to Rotherham prior to its postponement.
Assistants >>> Adam Crysell (Northants) and Craig Taylor (West Mids)
Fourth Official >>> Chuckles Woolmer (Zippo’s Circus)
Half an hour into this debacle Queens Park Rangers were awarded a free kick just inside the Huddersfield Town half of the field. Not a bad position really, a chance to put some men into the penalty box, a chance to hold possession in a dangerous area, a chance to test the home defence, who knows, maybe even a chance to register that mythical holy grail: a serious shot on target. What’s more, QPR actually had a lot of time to consider their options. Bright Osayi-Samuel, face like a smacked arse, was engaging in his latest quest for a red card with full back Harry Toffolo, requiring referee Dean Whitestone to come across and deliver a stern lecture, so there was actually some thinking time there to set something up, make a bit of a plan, get some people in position, maybe even bring something off the training ground playbook into a live game situation. Imagine that. When it was time to get underway, Yoann Barbet aborted his first attempt, stopping just shy of the ball at the end of his run up, not liking something he was seeing up ahead. He started walking back to try again, but midway through thought he might have seen a quick and short option so suddenly approached the ball a second time only to think better of it once more. Bit of a shrug, lot of pointing, and then eventually, at the third time of asking, a long, aimless, hopeless punt sent out for a goal kick via one bounce without a QPR player within 15 yards of it. Pub football.
Changes made to no effect it was now a case of how many. To be fair, it had been that for a while. Ball introduced himself to the game by miscontrolling the ball and then chucking himself into a loss-chasing tackle from which no good could come. Perhaps lucky to only receive a yellow. Likewise Bright, kicking and niggling his way through a sulky performance, eventually booked by Dean Whitestone for clattering O’Brien. He would finally go round his full back for the first time on 74, and Schindler did himself a nasty looking injury rescuing the situation, but it was the first and last time we saw it. Any watching scouts hoping to take advantage of that contract situation may well have left thinking Toffolo would be a far better investment – who knows, he may even arrive with Osayi-Samuel still in his pocket and you could get two for the price of one.
Huddersfield: Hamer N/A, Pipa 7 (Bacuna 73, 7), Schindler 6 (Edmonds-Green 79, 6), Sarr 6, Toffolo 8; Eiting 8, Hogg 8, O’Brien 7; Mbenza 7 (Duhaney 87, -), Campbell 7 (Ward 73, 6), Koroma 8
Subs not used: Pritchard, Diakhaby, Brown, Schofield, Daly
Goals: Koroma 3 (unassisted), Toffolo 39 (assisted Koroma)
QPR: Dieng 7; Kane 4, Dickie 5, Barbet 4, Hämäläinen 5; Cameron 4 (Ball 56, 4), Carroll 5; Osayi-Samuel 4 (Kelman 82, -), Chair 4 (Adomah 82, -), Willock 5 (Thomas 56, 5); Dykes 4 (Bonne 46, 4)
Subs not used: Masterson, Bettache, Kelly, Kakay
Bookings: Ball 62 (foul), Osayi-Samuel 71 (foul)
The game to that point had been played mostly in the Middlesbrough half by QPR. George Thomas had been handed a first league start which benefitted the side. I like him. He’s muscly and direct. He's got a strong boy's name. I feel like he might tell funny pub jokes. He and Ilias Chair were on the end of rugged Anfernee (yes, really) Dijksteel tackles in the opening quarter hour that both looked like that grey area between a yellow and red card to me and yet somehow drew neither from referee Dean Whitestone. Dijksteel, uncomfortable in a back three in the first half and switched in the second, was eventually booked for a far more meagre foul five minutes from time but he should have been walking long before that. Whitestone a referee who seems to veer between every tiny little thing being a foul, and knee-capping opponents being barely a talking to, from week to week and mood to mood.
When he did connect properly with an identical chance five before half time George Saville apparently handled the shot above his head with two arms, followed by a Days of Our Lives audition Steven Taylor would have been proud of, but the replays suggested that referee Whitestone had got it right and the ball had indeed struck him in the face. Credit the referee, it looked a penalty every day and night of the week.
QPR: Dieng 6; Kakay 7, Dickie 6, Barbet 5, Wallace 5; Cameron 5, Amos 6; Osayi-Samuel 7, Thomas 6 (Carroll 60, 6), Chair 6 (Smyth 73, 6); Dykes 6
Subs not used: Kane, Ball, Oteh, Masterson, Kelly
Goals: Osayi-Samuel 28 (assisted Amos)
Boro: Bettinelli 5; McNair 7, Hall 6 (Fry 55, 6), Dijksteel 5; Tavernier 5, Howson 6, Johnson 5, Saville 6, Spence 5 (Morsy 64, 6); Assombalonga 5, Akpom 6
Subs not used: Wing, Browne, Bola, Coulson, Pears
Goals: Akpom 19 (assisted McNair)
Bookings: Dijksteel 85 (foul)
Referee – Dean Whitestone (Northants) 5 Unusually and unduly lenient on some big early hits – particularly Dijksteel on Chair which was a yellow card all day long and would have resulted in further punishment later when he was eventually booked. Boro should certainly have had a penalty in first half injury time, though he did call the George Saville handball right when it looked nailed on at normal speed.
Our left side was a huge problem for the whole of the first half. Ryan Manning was receiving zero help from Marc Pugh, who didn’t look strong enough to blow the seeds off a dandelion clock. The pair of them seemed to have lost all sense of positioning and purpose and this left the whole team looking disjointed and unable to get anything going. The one time Pugh did actually cover the run forward of Preston right back Fisher he managed to concede the penalty for Preston’s opener. I’ve only seen it once and it did look incredibly soft but why put in any kind of challenge in the penalty area when the opponent is not haring down on goal?
After all of Johnson’s prima donna antics, it would have be lovely to see him miss, but his low effort to his right had just enough to beat Kelly, who did manage to get his fingertips to the ball. As a result, we were one down to Preston’s only effort on target. The home side had been the better side but that was mainly due to us not getting going at all. Both keepers were inactive observers as a fairly low standard Championship game drifted aimlessly under very typical, leaden northern skies.
Until the equaliser the approach play was not rewarded with any clear cut chances. There was one huge appeal for a penalty when a goal bound Amos effort was blocked at the heart of the Preston box. Many around me were convinced it was stonewall penalty, but the referee had no intentions of evening things up and there wasn’t a great deal of moaning from our players- is there ever?
That potential injustice was righted a few minutes later, when we did deservedly levels things. Hugill was taken out by a yellow and half challenge from Davies, who was correctly carded. From the resulting free kick Hall finished smartly from Eze’s delivery to the back post. It’s great to see Hall racking up a few goals (five and counting) as it seems ages since a centre half contributed so often to the goal tally.
Everything looked like it was going to unravel just after that miss. Cameron who had been booked at the start of the second half for a cynical pull back, was then late in a tackle. No final warning, second yellow, followed by the red. Deflation in the away end. Cameron had been solid and always in the right place holding things together. It wouldn’t be Preston away without the obligatory red card for the away team. Here we go again, Preston were sure to take control and nick a dodgy winner late on. Wrong and wrong.
PNE: Rudd 6; Fisher 5, Davies 6, Bauer 6, Hughes 5; Gallagher 5 (Stockley 73, 5), Harrop 5 (Ledson 81, -), Johnson 5, Barkhuizen 5 (Sinclair 81, -); Maguire 7.
Subs not used: Rafferty, Huntington, Ripley, Nugent
Goals: Johnson 19 (penalty, won Fisher)
Bookings: Gallagher 44 (foul), Davies 61 (foul)
QPR: Kelly 6; Rangel 7, Hall 8, Barbet 7, Manning 6; Ball 6 (Amos 46, 7), Cameron 6; Pugh 4 (Chair 46, 7), Eze 8, Osayi-Samuel 8; Hugill 7
Subs not used: Lumley, Clarke, Kane, Shodipo, Oteh
Red Cards: Cameron 67 (two yellows)
Bookings: Cameron 56 (foul), Cameron 67 (foul), Amos 83 (foul)
Referee – Dean Whitestone (Northants) 6 Just a bit annoying. He can have a seven if his soft penalty award is deemed correct and if our claim wasn’t. Two offenses and Cameron gets a red, while for Derby Rooney gets a chat. Just a bit predictable
A bit of a “come on you R’s” at the start of the second half carried all the conviction of one of those farts you quietly release into the bed clothes hoping the other half doesn’t notice. The team’s response was similarly unconvincing, and constantly hampered by referee Dean Whitestone’s persistent and ongoing belief that you can play advantage through a foul on the edge of the penalty area if the team that’s been sinned against has retained possession back in their own half. I know we’re not shit hot with direct free kicks Dean, but throw us a fucking bone mate. Eze shot wide, then on the hour clever movement from Hugill at a corner got him free enough to head down into the ground, over the goalkeeper Daniel Bentley and eventually away to safety via a clearance on the line. City’s two centre backs, Nathan Baker looking like the world’s tallest human and Ashley Williams so round I was surprised not to see a moon in orbit around him, stood up big and strong all day. Conor Masterson headed wide of the top corner when I thought he’d scored.
Marc Pugh’s introduction for Luke Amos did nothing for anybody, one horrendous air shot from a presentable chance deep in the penalty area particularly galling, but Jack Clarke’s addition to the fray really enlivened things. Clarke was so appallingly bad against Sheffield Wednesday you could have legitimately registered a charity dedicated to his care and improvement, but here he was an entirely different and far more effective small blond child. On for the last nine minutes, and a disgracefully skinny five minutes of stoppage time given all the shithousery Whitestone had allowed to go on unchecked, he electrified the game, his team and the crowd, cutting in and delivering lethal service to the back post time and time again.
Bentley saved in thoroughly unorthodox fashion from Hugill’s header off an Eze cross. An equaliser was coming, and who knows had Whitestone added the seven, eight or nine minutes the events of the second half warranted we may have got one. The final kick of the game saw Clarke deliver a vicious free kick that provoked another scramble which City were lucky to survive. The final whistle followed, prematurely, immediately.
QPR: Kelly 6; Kane 6, Hall 5, Masterson 6, Wallace 7; Ball 7 (Shodipo 88, -), Amos 5 (Pugh 63, 5); Osayi-Samuel 5, Chair 7 (Clarke 81, 7), Eze 6; Hugill 5
Subs not used: Lumley, Manning, Rangel, Barbet
Bristol City: Bentley 6; Hunt 6 (Pereira 63, 6), Williams 7, Baker 7, Dasilva 8; Smith 7; Eliasson 7, Massengo 6 (Rowe 78, 6), Paterson 6 (Wells 63, 5), Weimann 7; Diedhiou 8
Subs not used: Nagy, O’Dowda, Wollacott, Palmer
Goals: Diedhiou 16 (assisted Hunt)
Referee – Dean Whitestone (Northants) 5 Sigh. Big decisions, the few that there were, correct. Bookings, none, gave the players every chance, letting Lee Wallace and Eliasson battle away gamely without getting over fussy and involved. But the festering epidemic of clockrunning in the Championship, with the referees complicit and at times exacerbating it, was excruciating here in the second half. We had instances where Bristol City free kicks were awarded, and all their players walked away from the ball and just left it there – nothing done. We had play stopped for injuries which were clearly, obviously, players faking it to stop the game. We had an inordinate delay to execute a simple drop ball in neutral territory – just GET. ON .WITH. IT. We had fouls committed in the final third and an advantage waved when QPR had the ball back in their own half – where’s the pissing advantage there? We had a prolonged ceremonial booking of Bristol City’s assistant manager – I bet he was absolutely fucking devastated, oh no, a yellow card, whatever will I do, I must modify my behaviour, another 45 seconds pissed away. And for all of that and more, we had five minutes added to the end of the game. Disgraceful. It’s the same every single week, and for any Bristol City fans looking in who thinks this is a salty QPR fan trying to pin a deserved defeat on a referee it’s absolutely not, I say the same thing when we do it to other teams. In the Championship, as soon as your team goes in front, the clock running begins, blatant and flagrant, and the referees not only do nothing about it, but actually contribute to it. Five minutes of added time, do me a bloody favour.
QPR initially lacked significant intensity to trouble them unduly. The home side had more of the ball, looked the more accomplished side, but never really felt capable of doing much with it. An early cross from Ebere Eze sparked a panic in the School End penalty area and he was soon teeing up Bright Osayi-Samuel for a shot from a narrow angle tipped over the bar. Jordan Hugill lashed one into the away end with Osayi-Samuel crying out for a pass to his right. Later, when the former Blackpool man did get good ball in good field position, referee Dean Whitestone had a penalty appeal to contend with and rightly decided the Town defender had taken the ball for a corner.
Town’s German manager Jan Siewert had seen something he liked. His team emerged for the second half in a noticeably more positive mood, with a formation shift to overload the right side and Elias Kachunga introduced from the bench for Bacuna who’d been lucky not to see red at the end of the first half for a lazy, ugly tackle on Manning as he cleared a ball down the line. Suddenly half the population of Huddersfield was kicking around in the space in front of Barbet, inside Manning and behind Cameron and the influence of Pritchard and Kachunga was keenly felt. It took all of three minutes for this to tell in the form of a goal – Barbet’s hail Mary attempt at salvaging a lost cause after Kachunga had got in behind him led to a penalty and a yellow card. Joe Lumley went the right way, but wasn’t anywhere really close to Karlan Grant’s second goal of the season. Both have come from the spot.
Chair had a shot saved by loaned Liverpool keeper Grabara almost immediately after coming on. Brilliant hold up and lay work from Jordan Hugill won the first of two free kicks belted into the wall by Barbet – we remain without a goal from a direct free kick since Yeni Ngbakoto at Birmingham in February 2017. Eze pulled O’Brien’s pants down midway through the half and after the Huddersfield man had pulled his drawers up and paid to get back in he was booked for hauling the talented youngster back. When he was freed from those shackles, Eze strode onto a gorgeous chop back from Chair but his shot struck a defender before it reached the goal. Those two could be special together. The frustration of a prolonged stoppage in the game for a miniscule tear in the goalkeeper’s shorts, allowed to turn into an impromptu water break by an otherwise pernickety referee, saw Osayi-Samuel cut in from the left and unleash a shot an inch or two wide of the top corner.
QPR: Lumley 6; Rangel 6 (Kane 71, 7), Hall 7, Barbet 7, Manning 6; Cameron 7, Amos 5 (Wells 82, -); Eze 6, Scowen 5 (Chair 55, 7), Osayi-Samuel 6; Hugill 6
Subs not used: Pugh, Ball, Kelly, Leistner
Goals: Hall 82 (assisted Manning)
Yellow cards: Barbet 48 (foul, penalty concession), Osayi-Samuel 90+2 (foul)
Huddersfield: Grabara 6; Hadergjonaj 6, Elphick 6, Schindler 7, Kongolo 6; Bacuna 5 (Kachunga 45, 6), Hogg 6, O’Brien 6, Diakhaby 6 (Quaner 76, 5), Pritchard 6 (Stankovitch 90+5); Grant 7
Subs not used: Bockhorn, Koroma, Brown, Schofield
Goals: Grant 48 (penalty, won Kachunga)
Yellow cards: Diakhaby 2 (diving), Bacuna 43 (foul), O’Brien 69 (foul), Quaner 79 (foul), Grant 90+2 (foul)
Referee – Dean Whitestone (Northants) 6 Big decisions were right, and there were four of them to make – Diakhaby’s dive in the area after two minutes, the challenge on Osayi-Samuel in the other area which Rangers wanted a penalty for, the penalty that was awarded, and the yellow rather than red for Bacuna for the Manning foul. Not easy to call all four correct at normal speed in a pressure situation. Plenty of niggle on the minor stuff though. Went from being one of those officious, by-the-book, absolutely-every-bit-of-physical-contact-is-a-free-kick officials one minute, to letting Geoff Cameron away with a couple of fouls in quick succession that were certainly worth a card when taken cumulatively. Veered between jobsworth and relaxed best mate of the players, often in the same incident – such as the nonsense stoppage of the game for a tiny rip in the goalkeeper’s shorts, followed by a prolonged drinks break in the sun. Despite that, and the goals, and the delay for the penalty, and the full set of substitutions, and an infuriating stoppage so Kachunga could be treated despite him being off the pitch, only five minutes added. How about instead of force feeding technology we don’t need into our sport to check if Raheem Sterling’s arm pit is offside, we make a useful change and take the clock off the referee on the field?
QPR: Ingram 6; Perch 6, Onuoha 6, Hall 7, Bidwell 6; Borysiuk 7 (Luongo 6, (61)), Kakay 7 (Polter 6, (73)), Sandro 8; El Khayati 7 (Chery 7 (40)), Shodipo 7, Washington 7
Subs Not used: Smithies, Grego-Cox, Comley, Paul
Rochdale: Logan 6; Rafferty 6 (Andrew (5, (78)), McGahey 6, Canavan 6, McNulty 6; Lund 7, Allen 7, Cannon 7 (Mendez-Laing (6, (62)), McDermott 7; Henderson 6, Thompson 6 (Davies 6, (63))
Referee - Dean Whitestone 8 Having booked Sandro for talking out of turn, he was consistent in eventually pulling out a yellow card for Lund following a prolonged talking to. Overall, he handled the game well and was largely anonymous throughout - although, in my opinion, he could have done more in clamping down on the niggling trait of the Rochdale forwards in holding on to the ball when it was dead and then dropping it just out of reach. It’s so annoying, very unsporting - and Karl Henry, in particular, is guilty of it a lot. It’s behaviour that could easily be stamped out with a warning at first and a yellow card to finish.
Rotherham complained long and hard to referee Dean Whitestone in the aftermath. The move had begun with a free kick awarded for a nothing foul by Clarke-Harris on Perch in the Rangers half of the field – an incredibly generous decision, one that Rotherham and their walking heart attack on the touchline, with some justification, feel go against them far too often at this level.
Whitestone later let Karl Henry off without a card for a bad foul on Ledesma but Austin was booked for a wild tackle on Grant Ward. The striker seemed to be in a funny mood. His flick round the corner for Luongo in the run up to the second goal was sublime, but afterwards he turned away from the action and stood still while the attack developed. The foul smacked of frustration, like his long range shots in the first half, but his determination to get a goal did bring a third on the hour as he brought a goal kick out of the air brilliantly on his chest, turned Danny Collins and then finished low under Kelle Roos – the keeper on loan from Derby County should have been able to save it blindfolded.
A comfortable win and stroll in the sun had been turned into a nervous farce. Suddenly Rangers were watching the clock. Luckily, Polter took the matter in hand and drove into the penalty area in his own unique style, never once looking like he had the ball under control or knew what he was doing, before hitting the deck under pressure from Lee Frecklington. Rangers had been denied a penalty earlier when Austin was apparently tripped after picking up on Luongo’s flick, but Whitestone pointed to the spot this time. Polter seemed keen to take the kick himself – penalty taking being the German national sport after all – but Austin was having none of it and calmly rolled the ball home to win the match all over again.
QPR: Green 6; Perch 6, Hall 6, Onuoha 6, Konchesky 6; Faurlin 6 (Doughty 77, 6), Henry 5; Luongo 7 (Polter 82, -), Chery 8 (Kpekawa 90+2, -), Phillips 7; Austin 7
Subs not used: Hill, Emmanuel-Thomas, Hoilett, Smithies
Goals: Chery 42 (assisted Perch/Austin), 50 (assisted Luongo), Austin 63 (unassisted), 90 (penalty – won Polter)
Bookings: Austin 61 (foul)
Rotherham: Roos 4; Buxton 6, Halford 6, Collins 5, Newell 6; Frecklington 6, Smallwood 5 (Thorpe 45, 6), Ward 5 (Maguire 78, 5), Ledesma 5 (White 68, 5); Clarke Harris 6, Derbyshire 5
Subs not used: D Ward, Green, Rawson, Collin
Goals: Clarke Harris 72 (assisted Frecklington), Thorpe 87 (assisted Newell/Collins)
Bookings: Buxton 68 (foul), Maguire 78 (foul)
Referee – Dean Whitestone (Northants) 6 Fairly standard Championship refereeing performance. Rotherham were rightly aggrieved at the very generous free kick awarded to QPR before the second goal, and that Karl Henry escaped a booking for a bad foul in the second half. QPR felt they should have had a penalty for a foul on Austin, but I’m inclined to agree with the referee that the defender played the ball.
Sensing there might be something here for his team after all, Charlton boss Chris Powell made a double substitution on the hour replacing Pritchard with young Callum Harriott, and the ineffective Church with French forward Yann Kermorgant who, even allowing for his recent period of inactivity enforced by injury, carried an extra layer of winter blubber that hints at rather too much enthusiasm for his nation’s cheese industry.
Still, despite the extra lumber, he was effective in a niggly way, diving around theatrically – including one incident where he claimed Assou-Ekotto had struck him in the face from a distance even Inspector Gadget would have struggled with and another where Joey Barton was harshly yellow carded - to con referee Dean Whitestone out of a couple of dangerous late free kicks that Rangers saw off easily enough. Immediately after coming on Kermorgant nodded back a deep cross immediately after his introduction that Stephens should have done far more than simply hack over the top.
QPR: Green 6; Simpson 6, Dunne 6, Hill 6, Assou Ekotto 7; Barton 6, O’Neil 6; Phillips 6 (Johnson 77, 6), Jenas 5 (Henry 45, 6), Kranjcar 6 (Wright-Phillips 64, 6); Austin 7
Subs not used: Traore, Onyewu, Young, Murphy
Goals: Austin 40 (unassisted)
Bookings: Barton 85 (foul)
Charlton: Hamer 7; Wilson 6, Wiggins 6 , Morrison 6, Devite 6; Stewart 6 (Sordell 87, -), Jackson 5, Cousins 6, Pritchard 5 (Harriott 58, 6), Stephens 5; Church 5 (Kermorgant 58, 6)
Subs not used: Hughes, Evina, Alnwick, Wood
Bookings: Jackson 90+4 (foul)
Referee – Dean Whitestone (Northants) 8 Certainly not the most fiery, keenly fought London derby you’re ever going to see, but what there was to referee Whitestone did well – remaining in the background while keeping a firm hold on proceedings. Marks off for allowing himself to be conned by Kermorgant twice in the final 20 minutes.
QPR: Ikeme 6, Ramage 5 (Taarabt 77, 5), Stewart 6, Gorkss 7, Hill 6, Buzsaky 7, Faurlin 7, Connolly 7 (Borrowdale 85, -), Cook 7, Simpson 7, German 8 (Vine 90, -)
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Quashie, Balanta, Oastler
Goals: German 25 (assisted Buzsaky), Simpson 76 (assisted Buzsaky
Doncaster: Sullivan 7, O'Connor 6, Hird 5, Ward 5, Chambers 6, Oster 6, Wilson 5 (Roberts 83, -), Stock 7 (Mutch 86, -), Coppinger 6 (Shiels 83, -),Hayter 7, Sharp 6
Subs Not Used: Smith, Guy, Spicer, Dumbuya
Goals: Hayter 51 (assisted Sharp)
Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire) 9 Hard to think of a mistake he made all game really. I thought one challenge in the second half, from Stock on Buzsaky, was worthy of a yellow card but otherwise he was almost totally anonymous – staying out of the limelight, allowing the game to flow and keeping his cards in his pocket.
The first booking of the match went the way of former Brentford man Jay Tabb for a poor tackle on Cook. Ward headed wide from a corner with many of the home fans celebrating believing it had gone in but Coventry didn’t have to wait much longer to be rewarded for their impressive start to the match.
Michael Doyle was booked for a deliberate handball that stopped QPR breaking away then five minutes before half time QPR squandered the best chance of the match. Leigertwood knocked a hopeful ball through the middle and when the flag stayed down Ledesma homed into view and ran away from the QPR fans through on goal. The little Agentianian took an age to get the shot away, composing and setting himself with numerous touches, and then rolled a tame effort straight into the arms of Westwood. Credit the keeper for reading his opponent’s intentions but in fairness I’ve read more taxing Topsy and Tim books in my time and this was a poor, poor miss from Ledesma – one that Rangers would pay dearly for.
When he did eventually beat that man Westwood caught the ball easily and then went to throw the ball out quickly only to collapse theatrically under no contact whatsoever from Damion Stewart. The young keeper, somebody I rate very highly, then had the nerve to stay on the ground and ask for treatment following which, wouldn’t you just know it, he leapt back up and took the resulting free kick himself. Time wasting is to be expected but this shameful attempt to get another professional booked is not what we want to see.
Isaac Osbourne did see yellow for a bad foul on Delaney that presented Rangers with another chance to deliver into the area but again it came to nothing and was cleared at the near post. With Parejo, Cook and Ledesma in the team our set pieces really should be of a higher quality than they were on Saturday.
Rangers had a penalty appeal waved away as Rowlands broke down the middle of the park, skipping past two City players in the process, only to be brushed off the ball by Dann just inside the penalty area. It would have been a harsh decision had it been given, and it wouldn’t of mattered at all had Blackstock converted from a yard out when Delaney whipped in a cross to the near post seconds later. As it was Dexter bundled the ball high and wide into the stand – another sitter gone begging. Dowie sent on Agyemang for Blackstock after this, despite Dexter’s poor finishing and lacklustre performance I still would have played Agyemang with him rather than instead of him at this stage with QPR needing a goal and Gorkss, Stewart and Delaney still in the defence with absolutely nothing to do.
Coventry: Westwood 7, Osbourne 7, Ward 8, Dann 8, Fox 8, Tabb 7 (Beuzelin 85, -), Gunnarsson 5, Doyle 5, Morrison 6, Eastwood 6 (Best 76, 5), McKenzie 5 (Mifsud 80, -).
Subs Not Used: Marshall, Hall
Booked: Tabb (foul), Doyle (handball), Ward (foul), Osbourne (foul)
Goals: Ward 15 pen (assisted Tabb)
QPR: Cerny 6, Ramage 5 (Parejo 56, 6), Gorkss 7, Stewart 7, Delaney 6, Mahon 5, Leigertwood 6, Ledesma 6 (Buzsaky 53, 7), Rowlands 8, Cook 7, Blackstock 5 (Agyemang 77, 6)
Subs Not Used: Camp, Hall
Booked: Mahon (foul)
Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire) 5 Over fussy in my opinion. Plenty of whistle, not a lot of common sense. Hard to argue with any of the cards but otherwise it was another football match where physical contact seemed to be completely banned – an increasing problem in the game. The players have come to play, put the whistle away for a few minutes and let them play.
But when have QPR ever done anything the easy way? Referee Darren Whitestone allowed Colchester to substitute Teddy Sheringham when he really should have been sent off instead and from then on there was only one team in it. A combination of mistakes from Rehman and Bolder let in Yeates for his second goal against us this season. The U's hit the post when Lee Camp uncharacteristically dropped a cross, and had what looked like a blatant penalty waved away late on when Lisbie was accused of diving.
Just before the substitution Sheringham went over the ball on Bob Malcolm and then appeared to have a second go at the Scot as he laid on the floor. It could easily have been a sending off but when the melee had clamed down referee Whitestone allowed the veteran front man to leave the field in a substitution rather than sending him off. It all looked a bit like a junior football matches where referees allow a team to sub a player rather than send him off and cost him his pocket money. Sheringham, and Colchester, can count themselves lucky because he really couldn't have had many complaints if he had been dismissed for a poor tackle. To make matters worse Damion Stewart was then harshly carded when a simple free kick would have sufficed as punishment.
That came back to haunt Stewart ten minutes later. As if Rangers needed any further problems they were reduced to ten men with eight minutes and stoppage time still to play. Mark Yeates collected possession after a scrappy passage of play just outside the centre circle but before he had a chance to turn and run at the defence Stew Peas came flying in with a rash, two footed ball and all tackle from behind. There's no doubt the Jamaican got a big piece of the ball but it was a dangerous tackle that left both players injured and in the modern game you're always going to be in trouble for tackling like that. Sure enough when he got to his feet Whitestone showed him a second yellow and subsequent red - he'd spend his early shower no doubt reflecting on a soft first yellow.
With the sands of time slipping away Colchester thought they were in for an equaliser when Kevin Lisbie raced in behind the defence onto a Clive Platt flick on. Lisbie ran into the area before collapsing under a challenge from Malcolm and Walton. Whitestone put the whistle in his mouth and blew, it seemed certain he'd given a penalty. He ran towards the spot before giving a prolonged, exaggerated wave of his arm that looked like it was going to turn into a heartbreaking point but in the end was simply the most extravagant extrication of a yellow card from a pocket you're ever likely to see. Lisbie was booked for diving, Rangers lived to fight another day. From where I was sitting it looked like a pen and I think that was the longest three seconds of my life ever.
QPR: Camp 6, Malcolm 6, Stewart 6, Rehman 6, Barker 6, Ainsworth 5, Leigertwood 6 (Walton 83, -), Bolder 6, Buzsaky 8, Blackstock 5 (Nygaard 75, 6), Vine 7
Subs Not Used: Cole, Moore, Balanta
Sent Off: Stewart (two yellows)
Booked: Leigertwood (foul), Stewart (foul) Stewart (tackle from behind)
Goals: Buzsaky 27 (assisted Malcolm), 52 (assisted Blackstock)
Colchester: Gerken 6, Balogh 4, Baldwin 5 (Guy 88, -), Virgo 6, Granville 6, Yeates 7, Jackson 6, Izzet 6 (Guttridge 36, 6), McLeod 6, Sheringham 5 (Lisbie 71, 7), Platt 6
Subs Not Used: Cousins, Duguid
Booked: Balogh (shirt pull), Baldwin (foul), Lisbie (diving) Virgo (fighting)
Goals: Yeates 62 (assisted Platt)
Referee - Dean Whitestone 6 - I actually came away from the game thinking he'd done quite well but as I've reflected during my Sunday in front of the television his mark has dropped by a couple as I've remembered some things that worried me about his performance. Firstly Sheringham should have been sent off in my opinion, secondly Stewart's first yellow was very harsh and thirdly I reckon that was a Colchester penalty at the end. In general play he seemed happy to allow the game to flow and seemed reasonably sensible, but he did get too many key decisions wrong for too high a mark.
Whitestone’s leniency in the Boro v Blackburn game that so angered Neil Warnock is mirrored in his card count this season with just 52 yellows and three reds in 26 appointments. Those three reds have come in his last nine outings though at Reading 3-0 Coventry, Crawley 1-3 Harrogate and Wycombe 1-0 Reading. The five and one at the Coventry game is the highest single total he’s managed this season, and there have been six games without a card at all.
His totals for 2019/20 were 86 yellows (2.86) and three reds from 30 appointments. He never did beat his total of seven yellows at QPR 1-1 Huddersfield in August.
Pictures – Action Images
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