Eltringham in charge of Reading trip - Referee
Thursday, 9th Sep 2021 08:56 by Clive Whittingham
QPR missed Championship mainstay Geoff Eltringham for the entirety of 2020/21 but have him back in charge of their game at Reading this Saturday.
Referee >>> Geoff Eltringham (County Durham), last refereed QPR in a defeat at Wigan during the first lockdown.
Assistants >>> Michael George (Norfolk) and Graham Kane
Fourth Official >>> Brett Huxtable, finding it hard to believe, he’s from (Devon)
Wigan had more muscle on their left back than QPR did in their entire team. Antonee Robinson, he of failed January move to AC Milan fame, looked like he’d stepped off the set of the Old Spice advert. Look at your left back, now back to me, now back at your left back, now back to me. An oyster shell containing two tickets to that thing you love – look again, the tickets are now a dangerous cross into your penalty box.
He actually started the second half with a strange incident, thrusting an arm high up into the air and seemingly, apparently, fairly blatantly, blocking Bright Osayi-Samuel’s cross with his hand. He immediately hit the deck clutching his face, but there was a touch of the Steven Taylor’s about it for me. Minimal appeals from the QPR players, but we’re nice boys like that, and a linesman looking straight at it seemed unmoved as well, though Championship linesmen are often incompetent like that. The division’s best referee Geoff Eltringham said no and our emotionally affected match director, mourning the dismal marks from his fine art degree and now left to scratch a living by stringing together abstract slow motion replays of nothing very much at all and lingering close ups of Championship footballers while THE FUCKING MATCH IS GOING ON OVER THERE, afforded us only one second look, taken from ground level, from the opposite corner flag, filmed through the goal net. So he could have caught the ball for all I know. Anyway, you fancy us to score a penalty playing like this?
Wigan: Marshall 6; Byrne 7, Kipre 7, Fox 6, Robinson 7; Morsy 6, Williams 7; Naismith 6 (Massey 80, -), Dowell 7 (Evans 63, 6), Lowe 7; Moore 6
Subs not used: MacLeod, Pearce, Roberts, Jones, Dobre, Mlakar, Gelhardt
Goals: Moore 33 (assisted Morsy)
Bookings: Williams 63 (foul)
QPR: Lumley 6; Kakay 5, Cameron 3, Barbet 4; Kane 4 (Clarke 57, 6), Manning 4; Ball 4 (Amos 46, 4), Eze 5, Chair 5 (Bettache 80, -); Oteh 4 (Shodipo 57, 6), Osayi-Samuel 6
Subs not used: Rangel, Masterson, Kelly, Gubbins
Referee – Geoff Eltringham (Durham) 7 Usual calm, authoritative control of the game with minimal errors and few complaints other than the failure to clamp down on some pretty blatant time wasting in the second half – to be fair no Championship referee does this adequately, and QPR wouldn’t have scored if he’d added another ice age onto the end of the game so it didn’t really matter. The big incident was the Robinson handball, which looked absolutely nailed on to me at first glance but there were few appeals and the linesman was looking straight at it. Thanks to now being at the mercy of match streams, and with last night’s game overseen by a director with a fetish for long lingering close-ups on players and replays of nothing very much at all while the match is going on, I’ve barely seen it back so who knows?
Leeds went through the motions and won the game at about 60% of their best. Klich sidefooted their first chance over after ten minutes when well placed to do better, and was then later booked by the always excellent Geoff Eltringham for tripping Ebere Eze after being tricked. Luke Ayling headed a free kick over the bar, Stuart Dallas drew a functional save from Liam Kelly, Patrick Bamford waltzed around the goalkeeper and still didn’t score – partly because that’s what Patrick Bamford does at the moment, and partly because Lee Wallace produced the tackle of the season to deny him a walk in. When “Bam Bam” did find the net in the second half it was disallowed for offside – because that’s where Patrick Bamford tends to stand, on the occasions he is upright.
The rain fell, the scarves twirled, the fictitious European Cup success was celebrated, and Pablo Hernandez made his return from injury for the final 13 minutes but could only lift a very dangerous late free kick over the bar. When Eltringham played a super advantage through a deliberate assault on the game’s star player Phillips in injury time, Liam Kelly beat away the resulting shot from Roberts to stop it going to three nil.
Leeds: Casilla 6; Ayling 6, Cooper 6, White 7, Dallas 6; Phillips 8, Klich 6; Harrison 7 (Davis 84, -), Roberts 7, Costa 5 (Hernandez 77, 5); Bamford 5
Subs not used: Meslier, Berardi, Gotts, Bogusz, Clarke
Goals Roberts 39 (assisted Harrison), Harrison 82 (assisted Pugh)
Bookings: Klich 22 (foul)
QPR: Kelly 6; Hall 6, Leistner 5 (Kane 54, 6), Wallace 6; Rangel 5, Ball 5, Chair 5 (Pugh 63, 5), Eze 6, Manning 6; Wells 5 (Mlakar 72, 5), Hugill 5
Subs not used: Lumley, Amos, Scowen, Osayi-Samuel
Bookings: Ball 70 (repetitive fouling), Wallace 79 (foul), Rangel 90+2 (foul), Hugill 90+3 (foul)
Referee – Geoff Eltringham (Durham) 8 Continuing a long line of impressive performances with his usual calm, authoritative, unfussy display. Scrupulously fair to both sides, which isn’t always easy in an atmosphere like this. Very welcome relief after sitting through Simpson and Woolmer’s nonsense last week.
Worse was to come. Still in the game with six minutes to go and only a goal down, there was still the outside possibility of a grandstand finish and an equaliser being sucked in down at the Loft End. Bright Osayi-Samuel and Marc Pugh had been brought on for lacklustre Ebere Eze and Wells to search for it. But that plan went clean out of the window when one long punt down the field somehow caught the otherwise impressive Toni Leistner and Yoann Barbet too high and too square, allowing Bilic’s own second half replacement Hal Robson-Kanu a clear run on goal. He didn’t look particularly confident, and nor was Barbet’s subsequent collision and trip on him deliberate, but it was a clear free kick and obvious red card for referee Geoff Eltringham. Rangers then compounded this by building a wall with more holes than a tramp’s trainer through which Pereira was able to slide a second goal onto Lumley’s unsighted side. Cameron and Leistner the guilty parties this time. Stupid boys.
With that in mind, quite why West Brom felt the need to engage in various morally bankrupt time wasting techniques when they were bossing proceedings to his extent I have no idea. Nor really while Pereira blotted the copy book of an outstanding personal performance with a theatrical collapse to try and get Ryan Manning booked, then a patronising tickle of the Irishman’s chin on his way off after being subbed which sparked a needless flashpoint. Bilic clearly agreed, fishing the Brazilian back out of the dug out to apologise to the QPR coaching staff. Can’t help but like the fella, unless you’re French of course. Referee Geoff Eltringham, like every other Championship referee before him, allowed both to take place unchecked, and then added the standard four minutes at the end. It didn’t matter, one of those we wouldn’t have scored all night jobs, but second tier teams’ obsession with shithouse tactics and clock running and the point blank refusal of referees at this level to do anything about it festered last year and continues this.
QPR: Lumley 5; Cameron 5, Leistner 7, Barbet 6; Kane 5, Manning 6; Eze 5 (Osayi-Samuel 70, 5), Ball 6 (Smith 85, -), Chair 6; Hugill 5, Wells 5 (Pugh 77, 5)
Subs not used: Wallace, Scowen, Masterson, Kelly
Red Cards: Barbet 83 (denying clear goalscoring opportunity)
Bookings: Cameron 22 (foul), Barbet 34 (foul)
West Brom: Johnstone 6; Furlong 7, Ajayi 7, Bartley 7, Ferguson 8; Livermore 7, Sawyers 7; Phillips 7 (Edwards 71, 6), Pereira 8 (Krovinovic 87, -), Diangana 8; Austin 6 (Robson-Kanu 61, 6)
Subs not used: Gibbs, Zohore, Bond, O’Shea
Goals: Ferguson 53 (unassisted), Pereira 84 (direct free kick, won Robson-Kanu)
Bookings: Furlong 16 (foul), Robson-Kanu 89 (kicking ball away)
Referee – Geoff Eltringham (Durham) 6 I quite like him. I’ve seen him cop a fair bit of stick for yesterday but bar two throw in calls on the South Africa Road side of the ground in the second half which were clearly the wrong way I didn’t really have too much of a problem. The Barbet red card, the big decision in the game, was correct, as were the other yellow cards. Thought he was harsh on Toni Leistner a few times, penalising him for what looked like fair challenges on Robson-Kanu to me. I didn’t like the way he allowed Jake Livermore to follow him around for huge swathes of the first half giving a running commentary on the game, nor the complete lack of preventative action taken against Johnstone and others for flagrant time wasting in the second half, but they’re persistent failings of referees in that league not just a problem with this official. Marks off for all that but overall not too bad, unfussy, unobtrusive.
QPR: Lumley 6; Rangel 5 (Smith 62, 5), Hall 3 (Leistner 49, 4), Lynch 3, Bidwell 4; Scowen 5, Luongo 5; Wszolek 5, Freeman 5, Osayi-Samuel 6; Hemed 3 (Wells 70, 6)
Subs not used: Ingram, Furlong, Cousins, Eze
Goals: Wells 81 (unassisted)
Bolton: Matthews 6; Olkowski 6, Wheater 6, Beavers 6, Taylor 6; Williams 7, Connolly 7; Ameobi 8 (Donaldson 89, -), Buckley 7 (Noone 80, -), O’Neil 7; Magennis 6
Subs not used: Alnwick, Little, Oztumer, Wilson, Connell
Goals: Buckley 35 (assisted Magennis), Connolly 71 (assisted Ameobi)
Bookings: Connolly 75 (foul)
Referee – Geoff Eltringham (Durham) 8 Continuing his excellent run of performances in QPR games with another calm, unfussy, unobtrusive display.
Ebere Eze had already been taken out on the edge of the area for a free kick he struck into the wall when Bidwell then found himself turning beyond Davis in the area. He youngster, naively, hung out a leg, tripping Bidwell and conceding an obvious penalty. Rangers have only had one of these this season, scored by Tomer Hemed at Ipswich, and with the Israeli out injured there was some debate over who might take the responsibility. Eze had calmly put one in the top corner during a pre-season friendly with Union Berlin but it was Oteh, as striker, who insisted on being given the chance. He took four steps and gave it a good belt to make it 1-0. Lovely stuff – the confidence to take it, and then the complete lack of histrionics, posing, over-thinking or too-clever-for-your-own-good run up and taking technique that we see way too often these days. Just put the ball down and give it a smack. Wallop. Good lad.
The first of Ingram’s big saves came off a Grant Hall mistake. The odd slip was to be expected in Hall’s first 90 minutes since Princess Diana was still in leopard-print swim suits, and when it came it Roberts through on goal but Ingram came out, stayed big, slid under his man and took the ball. Referee Geoff Eltringham rightly siding with the keeper. Alert defending from the other centre half, Darnell Furlong moved infield for this one, averted disaster at the subsequent quickly taken corner - he looks an absolute natural in that position.
His second was better, 13 minutes from time as a corner to the back post fell the way of Harrison who struck goalwards only for Ingram to deny him. By then, the former Wycombe keeper was protecting a lead. Bidwell had been threatening from corners all afternoon with referee and Leeds pre-occupied with whatever Grant Hall was up to under Freeman’s deliveries. This time a firm header sailed into the bottom corner with nobody stationed on the back post.
The substitutions felt a little later than they could have been as usual – Ilias Chair, Pawel Wszolek and Matt Smith all brought on to run the clock down, Eze, Osayi-Samuel and Oteh given deserved ovations on the way off. But it was Rangers, and Freeman’s super-human levels of energy, that were posing the threats as time ran down – Eltringham returning to book Baker after he’d tried, and failed, to stop him bowling across halfway with pace and purpose once more. Four minutes of injury time sailed on by without incident.
QPR: Ingram 5; Kakay 6, Furlong 7, Hall 6, Bidwell 8; Scowen 7, Cousins 7; Osayi-Samuel 7 (Wszolek 86, -), Eze 6 (Smith 90, -), Freeman 8; Oteh 7 (Chair 83, -)
Subs not used: Lumley, Manning, Baptiste, Smyth
Goals: Oteh 23 (penalty, won Bidwell), Bidwell 75 (assisted Freeman)
Bookings: Furlong 72 (foul), Kakay 90+3 (dissent)
Leeds: Peacock-Farrell 7; Shackleton 6, Ayling 6, Halme 5 (Pearce 45, 5 (Temenuzhkovat 79, 5)) Davis 5 (Odour 87, -); Forshaw 7, Clarke 6; Baker 6, Roberts 7, Alioski 6; Harrison 6
Goals: Halme 25 (assisted Baker)
Subs not used: Huffer, Diaz, Stevens, Gotts
Bookings: Halme 20 (foul), Alioski 84 (repetitive fouling), Baker 88 (foul)
Referee – Geoff Eltringham (Durham) 8 Made an absolute howler in his last Leeds appointment against Forest before Christmas, allowing Roofe to punch in the equaliser, but he’s always seemed like a very good, calm, unfussy referee when we’ve had him and that was the case again here. The Alioski booking seemed a little harsh but I think was a culmination of fouls, dissent and twattery over a few minutes before hand. Penalty was the correct decision and it’s hard to think of much he got wrong.
QPR crawled all over Town in the first quarter of an hour and eventually, predictably, deservedly, forced their way into an inevitable lead. Hemed had already headed one corner over, and Wszolek drawn a save from home keeper Dean Gerken at a narrow angle after a bad back header, when Luke Freeman’s inswinging corner into a crowded six-yard box was inexplicably palmed into his own net by the goalkeeper. Few, if any, appeals for a foul by Eze who’d simply stood his ground – referee Geoff Eltringham didn’t strike me as a man who’d stand for such obvious nonsense even if there had been. Paul Hurst’s decision to cut the popular Polish keeper Bartosz Białkowski in favour of Gerken fast changing from a bold move into a coffin nail.
The only concern was that it was only 1-0 and Ipswich surely couldn’t be as bad again second half. As it turned out, they got worse still, but Rangers had already futureproofed their afternoon with a second goal in first half injury time. Again a Freeman corner caused the damage, this time falling to Eze whose feet were too quick for Nsiala (to be honest it’s hard to think of a land mammal whose movements wouldn’t be too quick for Nsiala) and he drew a clear and obvious foul in the area for a blatant penalty. Nice of referee Eltringham to check if an advantage would occur first at an end of the ground where one of the best QPR goals of the modern era was disallowed in favour of a spot kick being awarded instead back in 2010, but there were no complaints when he did eventually point to the spot. Hemed never looked like he was going to miss, the half time whistle sounded as the ball hit the net.
Ipswich: Gerken 4; Pennington 5, Nsiala 2, Chambers 4, Donacien 5; Edwards 6 (Lankester 66, 5), Skuse 5, Chalobah 5, Ward 4 (Jackson 66, 5); Dozzell 5, Sears 4
Subs not used: Knudsen, Nolan, Graham, Downes, Bialkowski
QPR: Lumley 6; Rangel 7, Leistner 7, Lynch 7, Bidwell 7; Luongo 7, Cameron 7; Wszolek 7, Eze 6 (Scowen 90, -), Freeman 7; Hemed 7 (Wells 72, 6)
Subs not used: Ingram, Hall, Cousins, Smith, Osayi-Samuel
Goals: Gerken 13 (own goal, assisted Freeman), Hemed 45+2 (penalty, won Eze)
Bookings: Lynch 53 (foul)
The final indignity came in added time when our contract-stalling captain completely lost the plot. Scowen committed a foul near the halfway line and a Hull player retaliated, giving Scowen a gentle shove. Onuoha then charged across the field and rammed into the Hull playing sending him flying. As straight forward case of violent contact as you will ever see and the red card was rightly shown. We were 4-0 down in added for crying out loud. Did Onuoha think he was Joel Lynch on Christmas Eve? Three match ban.
QPR: Smithies 5; Furlong 5, Lynch 6 (Robinson 15, 5), Onuoha 5, Bidwell 5; Scowen 5, Freeman 6, Luongo 5; Wsolek 3 (Osayi-Samuel 67, 5), Manning 4 (Sylla 45, 5); Eze 5.
Subs not used: Ingram, Cousins, Baptiste, Smyth
Red Card: Onuoha 90+1 (violent conduct)
Bookings: Bidwell 30 (unsporting), Scowen 90+1 (foul)
Hull: McGregor, Aina, Dawson, Hector, Clark, Henriksen, Larrson, Bowen (Grosicki 52), Toral (Irvine 59), Wilson, Hernandez (Campbell 71)
Subs not used: Meyler, Marshall, Tomori, McDonald
Goals: Wilson 42 (assisted Hernandez), Smithies own goal 45 (assisted Hernandez), Grosicki 62 (assisted Wilson), Hernandez 69 (assisted Henriksen)
Bookings: Bowen 30 (unsporting), Irvine 81 (foul), Henriksen 90+1 (unsporting)
Referee G.Eltringham 8 No complaints at all. Another solid display from a reliable official. Didn't let home fans and players intimidate him, getting all major calls right. Although a special mention to assistant nearest us, who gave a foul to Hull when Sylla was pushed in the back- a truly remarkable decision.
The second half brought another important change with Smith coming on to replace the hapless Cousins. What have we done to this promising player? Injuries and an obvious lack of confidence have resulted in Cousins being a shadow of the man that had looked so good for Charlton. His only impact in the first half had been to flatten an opponent and receive a caution. Lynch was also shown yellow for a typical Lynch challenge.
The referee only gave us two minutes of added time to find an equaliser, when do you ever see less than three? But one final chance was created. From another corner the ball broke to Scowen on the edge of the box and he nailed a low drive which fizzed the wrong side of the post. How wide? We couldn’t tell but there would’ve been carnage in the away end if it had been the other side of the upright.
Wolves: Ruddy 5, Bennett 6, Coady 7, Boly 7,Doherty 7, N’Diaye 6, Neves 6,Douglas 7,Costa 7 (Gibbs-White), Jota 7 Cavaleiro 7( Afobe)
Subs not used: Batth, Vicente, Miranda, Vinagre, Norris
Goals: N’Diaye 12 (assisted Cavaleiro), Costa 21 (assisted Cavaleiro)
QPR: Smithies 6, Perch 2 (Eze 7), Onuoha 6, Lynch 6, Robinson 7, Cousins 3 (Smith 6), Robinson 7, Scowen 7, Bidwell 5, Freeman 5, Washington 6
Subs not used: Ingram, Baptiste, Chair, Osayi-Samuel, Oteh
Goals: Washington 51 (assisted Smith)
Bookings: Lynch 40 (foul), Cousins 45+2 (foul), Freeman 61 (foul)
Referee: Geoff Eltringham 8 Another good one. He looked a little eager to give easy fouls early on every time a Wolves player started rolling around but he grew into the game, allowing it to flow. In fact he was hardly noticeable for most of the match; always a good sign.
Wszolek was presented with a gilt edge chance as time began to ebb away but his strike from 8 yards out, with the whole goal to aim at, was laughable; but we weren’t smiling. We also had claims for a penalty which didn’t interest the officials. I thought at the time it would‘ve been a harsh award and certainly wouldn’t want given against us for that kind of challenge, but it did fall under “you’ve seen them given” category. We were clutching at straws by this time. Smith came on to replace Caulker and Mackie was then replaced by the infuriating Lua Lua whose only notable contribution was to throw himself flamboyantly, forward to the ground after having his shirt tugged backwards. Think Ashley Young and Shaun Derry and you’ll get the picture. I’m glad the referee waved him away even though it was a foul. Can’t shoot, can’t cross and can’t beat a man- what is he doing taking a spot in our squad? I would pick Wheeler every time ahead of this theatrical, non-entity.
Rangers had been awful in the final third, Mackie was really isolated and easily handled. One up front against a bang ordinary side was a mistake. We needed bodies in the box to support and good delivery of the ball; we had neither. Osayi-Samuel was frustrating on the ball and subsequently replaced at half time, and on the other side Wszolek had one of his regular annoying performances where he loses possession far too easily. Caulker was booked for a cynical but necessary foul after being caught on the wrong side of his man and Luongo was booked for something, but no-one around me had a clue what for. It looked like a non-league game (bar the goal) but at £30 a ticket, a very over-priced one.
Barnsley: Davies; McCarthy, Jackson, Lindsay, Freyers; Williams, Hammill, Moncur (McGeehan 71), Potts (Hedges 80); Barnes (Bradshaw 45), Ugbo
Subs not used: MacDonald, Townsend, Pearson, Thiam
Goals: Barnes 20 (unassisted)
Bookings: Williams 49 (foul)
QPR: Smithies 7; Baptiste 7, Caulker 6 (Smith 74, 5), Robinson 7, Bidwell 7; Luongo 6, Scowen 7, Freeman 7; Wszolek 4, Mackie 5 (Lua Lua 74, 5), Osayi-Samuel 4 (Washington 46, 5)
Subs not used: Lynch, Manning, Lumley, Wheeler
Goals: Freeman 86 (unassisted)
Bookings: Caulker 23 (foul), Luongo 39 (foul)
Referee – Geoff Eltringham (Co Durham) 8 This guy has good ratings on LFW and I can see why. Unfussy, good positioning and lets the game flow. Even when he gave decisions against the hosts the home fans seemed to accept his calls- very unusual. Loved the way he treated Lua Lua and happy to accept the non-award of the penalty. A good official, happy to see him in the middle again.
A tough night for Furlong should have been capped with a booking for an off the ball shove on Russell with a quarter of an hour to go. Shortly afterwards he was put out of his misery, replaced by Idrissa Sylla leading to a sort of lopsided 4-4-2 as Rangers went in search of an equaliser.
Geoff Eltringham did go to his pocket after a rash challenge from Freeman on Bradley Johnson. As great as Freeman has been to watch recently he is developing a bit of a propensity for poor challenges. Then again, if he had to chop anyone down…
Derby: Carson 6; Baird 7, Keogh 6, Pearce 6, Olsson 7; Ince 7 (Hughes 80, -), Johnson 6, Bryson 6, Russell 7, Vydra 7 (Anya 79, -); Nugent 6 (Bent 86, -)
Subs not used: Christie, Butterfield, Camara, Mitchell
Goals: Vydra 70 (unassisted)
QPR: Smithies 4; Furlong 4 (Sylla 76, -), Onuoha 6, Perch 5, Bidwell 5; Manning 5, Hall 6, Freeman 4; Wszolek 4 (Goss 59, 5), Smith 5 Washington 5 (Ngbakoto 69, -)
Subs not used: Mackie, Ingram, Robinson, Petrasso
Yellow Cards: Freeman 78 (foul)
Referee – Geoff Eltringham (Wearside) 7 Like all good Victorian schoolchildren he was seen and not heard. A fairly easy game to referee, he was probably a bit too shy to get his cards out - Furlong should definitely have gone into the book. No complaints overall.
QPR: Smithies 6; Furlong 5, Onuoha 4, Lynch 4, Bidwell 4 (Mackie 87, -); Doughty 4 (Manning 74, 6), Hall 6 (Washington 45, 6), Luongo 3; Wszolek 6, Lua Lua 5, Sylla 4
Subs not used: Ingram, Perch, Eze, Shodipo
Goals: Washington 63 (assisted Lua Lua)
Bookings: Luongo 86 (foul)
Burton: McLaughlin 6; Flanagan 6, Brayford – (Mousinho 3, 6), Turner 7; McCrory 6, Chirstensen 7 (Akins 74, 6), Irvine 8, Murphy 7, Palmer 6, Dyer 8; Sordell 6 (Woodrow 87, -)
Subs not used: Williamson, Bywater, Miller, Barker
Goals: Murphy 11 (assisted Dyer), Dyer 52 (assisted Christensen)
Bookings: Christensen 47 (foul), Irvine 79 (kicking ball away)
Referee – Geoff Eltringham (County Durham) 8 As against Villa earlier in the season proved himself to be a friend of the time waster, but overall well refereed. Obvious caveat being QPR were about as strong and intense as church hall orange squash so it wasn’t exactly a tough one to keep hold of.
Holloway was full of praise for his beaten side at full time. It could have been different had the recalled Pawel Wzsolek connected to a good through ball from Grant Hall, again pressed higher up the field into midfield, early in the first half. Later Wzsolek's cross that seemed destined to be headed in by Conor Washington in the six yard box was diverted away from him at the last minute. Washington had a penalty appeal given as a corner instead, referee Geoff Eltringham deeming the Villa man won the ball.
After quiet beginnings the visitors burst into the game on the half hour when Wzsolek got the wrong side of Kodija in the area and attempted to recover with a clumsy tackle that led to what looked at the time like an obvious penalty. Spot kick duly awarded but no need for panic as Smithies has saved 18 PKs (c Bob Bradley) in his career so far, including five for QPR while a sixth hit the post. Bananaman made light work of Kodija's needlessly poncey run up, diving left to save with relative ease. Perhaps with the former Huddersfield man keeping goal one defensive technique might be to start deliberately giving penalties away.
The final ten minutes were dominated by visiting goalkeeper Mark Bunn reaching new levels of cuntishness – allowing balls returned to him to roll past so he had to go and fetch them again, changing the side of every goal kick, pretending to be injured and basically engaging in clock running the likes of which I haven't seen since Paul Gerrard was keeping goal.
There's an obvious rule change that could help here – goal kicks must be taken from the side the ball goes out, same as corners, so keepers can't do this irritating walk to the opposite side of the six yard box. The rules as they are written should have seen Eltringham take action far, far sooner than a token yellow card for Bunn in injury time. But the most effective solution to this ball ache would have been a shot or two for Bunn to save. Equalise, and he'd have no advantage to protect.
Bunn behaved like an absolute prick, but he didn't have a save to make in the whole game. The easiest clean sheet of his career. In fact, it's getting hard to remember the last serious save made by a visiting keeper at Loftus Road. Eltringham added five minutes to the end of the game, Bunn's antics mean there should have been more, but QPR hadn't had a shot on target in the previous 95 minutes while Villa had tested Smithies seven times so it's a bit rich of them to be arguing the toss over not getting another 60 or 120 seconds.
QPR: Smithies 8; Perch 6, Onuoha 5, Lynch 5, Bidwell 5; Hall 6, Luongo 5, Chery 5 (Mackie 78, 6); Wzsolek 5 (Shodipo 62, 6), Washington 5 (Sylla 46, 6), Ngbakoto 5
Subs not used: Sandro, Borysiuk, Ingram, Polter
Bookings: Luongo 81 (foul)
Villa: Bunn 5; Hutton 6, Chester 6, Baker 6, Amavi 7; Adoma 6, Jedinak 7, Gardner 6 (Westwood 89, -), Bacuna 6; McCormack 5 (Agbonlahor 71, 5), Kodija 8 (Gestede 82, -)
Subs not used: Gollini, Elphick, Ayew, Grealish
Goals: Kodija 75 (assisted Hutton)
Bookings: Jedinak 43 (foul), Chester 63 (foul), Bunn 90+3 (time wasting)
Referee – Geoff Eltringham (Co Durham) 7 Odd one this, I came away thinking he'd got most of the stuff right. Villa's penalty was a penalty at first viewing, Washington's didn't look like one to me albeit from the other end of the ground. Should have clamped down on Bunn's antics a lot sooner, and Mackie did seem to be pushed in the back in that late incident, but that was about it. Lots, including those watching on TV, have said he was terrible and QPR should have had at least one pen.
Biiiiiiig start to the season for Geoff, with 27 yellow cards and a red flashed already in just five Championship appointments – a hefty ten shown at Bristol City 0-1 Swansea topping that up nicely. That’s way ahead of last year’s average when he showed 81 yellows and five reds in 31 games, and was rewarded for his efforts with a play-off semi-final leg between Barnsley and Swansea. He was in charge of Reading three times, and awarded two penalties against them, one in a 2-1 home loss to Norwich and another in a 1-1 away draw at Barnsley. A 0-0 at Preston was the other making up that trio.
No QPR games last season – his County Durham base presumably precluding a lot of long distance travel during PLAGUE – but three in 2019/20 with Rangers losing 2-0 at home to West Brom and having Yoann Barbet sent off, 2-0 at Leeds and 1-0 at Wigan. He showed 100 yellows and two reds across 31 games.
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When Saturday Comes #5 by wessex_exile
“Well, I can tell u my son was stood nearer the back of the Holker Street end and although he couldn't see who was responsible, he was disgusted and was very clear in telling me that the 'N' word was used by someone stood directly behind the goal nearer the front. I'm sick of hearing this, no one but the player being abused heard anything so maybe he was mistaken crap. This shite still exists despite everything that the authorities try to do because unfortunately there are still racists in every, city, town, village and hamlet in this country. [SwearFilter] scum of the earth.”
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I start with an apology for the no-show last weekend, but for all the right reasons. My nephew and his fiancé finally managed to tie the knot on Friday, at the fifth time of asking (previous four attempts falling foul of covid restrictions unfortunately). It was a fantastic afternoon and evening over in Essex, but meant it just wasn’t possible to get a blog produced. A significant proportion of the wedding party were U’s supporters, including the groom, but any thought of live-streaming the Rochdale game at the evening celebration might have resulted in the fastest divorce on record, so we contented ourselves with surreptitious glances at the BBC Sports updates – and what an own goal it was! Different circumstances, but I was (painfully) reminded of Aidan and Kevin’s howler at Blackburn – golden rule, never, ever pass the ball directly towards your own goal.
When Saturday Comes #3 by wessex_exile
The goalless U’s have eventually got that monkey off their backs, with the Frank and Freddie show combining to win a somewhat dubious penalty, in the 5th minute of injury time, allowing Freddie to get his new goal account at the U’s off and running (all in all he now has 37 goals, five of them penalties). It was tight though, and on another day the goalkeeper would have got a hand to it, but they all count, whether it’s a 25 yard peach or one off the arse. Everyone has rightly said that without doubt Mansfield were the best side we’ve faced so far – I’ll go so far as to say they’ll probably be one of the best sides we face all season. Though it wasn’t comfortable viewing at the time, some of their passing and movement, particularly on the break, was breath-taking at times. But enough of the love-in, however good they were, the U’s stood up to them, kept them out for the most part, and eventually got the point we deserved.
When Saturday Comes #2 by wessex_exile
Two games into the season, and although still goalless, it has been a reasonably promising start for the U’s. A tough opening day fixture away at Carlisle, and in front of a bumper crowd which delayed kick-off by 15 minutes, the U’s were largely resolute in defence, whilst still creating enough chances to have won the game if our finishing had been sharper. To be fair though, were it not for prodigal son Shamal George making his return to Brunton Park, we could just have easily lost – a performance which rightly earned him the Man of the Match award. Midweek at Championship club Birmingham City in the Carabao Cup was an even more spirited performance, and one which really should have seen the U’s victorious, but if you don’t take your chances you will get punished, and we did in the 75th minute. Much has been said about the opposition being a second (third?) string side, and with players taking the field with squad numbers in the 50s, that can’t be disputed. But, when you’re facing a team that actually has squad numbers in the 50s, you realise just how big a club our opposition was.
When Saturday Comes #1 by wessex_exile
So here we go for another rollercoaster ride on the trials and tribulations of being a U’s supporter. 2021/22 is a noteworthy personal milestone, as we start my 50th season following Colchester United Football Club. Nowhere near as long-suffering and venerable as some of you out there I know, but it’s significant to me that’s for sure. More of less this time next (on my birthday as it happens) will be my actual 50th anniversary – will I be celebrating with the U’s in League 1? Who knows, but with the players that Hayden Mullins has added to the squad during the summer, hope springs eternal.
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