Simpson in charge of Preston visit - Referee
Thursday, 30th Sep 2021 15:47 by Clive Whittingham
Jeremy Simpson is the man in the middle for Saturday’s home game with Preston North End.
Referee >>> Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire), sent two QPR players off at Preston in 2017/18.
Assistants >>> Rob Smith (Hertfordshire) and Lee Venamore (Kent)
Fourth Official >>> James Linington (Isle of Wight)
Rangers were perhaps lucky to escape when sub Dom Ball conceded possession exposing Geoff Cameron and the American fouled Josh Eccles right on the edge of the box when he looked to be running clean through on goal. Referee Jeremy Simpson quickly on the scene to end the debate about whether it would be a yellow or red card for Cameron by booking Ball instead. Well, yes. Gyokeres’ free kick beat the wall, and Lumley, and missed the bottom corner by a foot or so. Still time for Lumley to preserve his clean sheet with a nervy save from Eccles’ long ranger, and QPR sub Albert Adomah to bundle past three men and hit a powerful shot which Marosi only just about managed to tip away from under his own crossbar.
QPR: Lumley 6; Dickie 8, Cameron 7, Barbet 7; Kakay 7, Field 8, Johansen 8 (Ball 83, -), Chair 8 (Adomah 76, 6), Wallace 8 (Kelman 83, -); Austin 7 (Dykes 66, 6), Willock 7 (Thomas 66, 6)
Subs not used: Kane, Bonne, Dieng, Bettache
Goals: Willock 1 (assisted Wallace), Rose og 22 (assisted Chair), Chair 68 (unassisted)
Bookings: Ball 84 (mistaken identity)
Coventry: Marosi 5; Rose 3 (Pask 66, 5), Ostigard 5, Hyam 5; Da Costa 3, Hamer 5 (Eccles 77, 5), James 6, McCallum 5; Allen 5 (O’Hare 58, 6), Godden 5 (Gyokeres 58, 5), Shipley 5 (Walker 58, 5)
Subs not used: Kelly, Wilson, Bakayoko
Referee – Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire) 6 Very little to referee in a completely uncompetitive game. Couple of flashes of the pedantry we’ve come to know him for, stopping the game because a second football had blown onto the field miles and miles away from where the play was taking place. Seemed to book the wrong man for the Geoff Cameron foul at the end.
Another helter-skelter evening of second tier fun and frolics for the regulars at the Kiyan Prince School of Science to enjoy and endure. Queens Park Rangers, at times slipping into an adventurous 2-4-4 formation, sneering at the idea of moderately competent defending like a teenager hearing about something their parents think is a good idea. Reading, already one managerial change deep into the season but surely, on this evidence at least, in a false league position, taking it to their hosts with the two outstanding players on the pitch. Jeremy Simpson, who doesn’t seem to enjoy refereeing, and isn’t a very good referee, was the referee.
Rangers also endured some terrible refereeing decisions from Jeremy Simpson that would, on another night, have got them over the line for a win.
Because I’m a geek about things like this I’m always reminded of the tale of Eastern Airlines flight 401 when I see this bloke referee. I don’t expect you normal people to know this but in 1972 a very large passenger jet heading for Miami crashed into the Everglades killing 101 and leaving 78 more at the mercy of the alligators and jet fuel. It was the first ever crash of a wide-bodied jet, and for a while the most deadly airline disaster in US aviation history. The cause of this, it would turn out, was that the entire flight crew had become preoccupied with the landing gear display which hadn’t fully illuminated. Was the gear faulty, or was it simply a burnt out bulb? While all three of them transfixed themselves on finding out which it was, none of them paid attention to the direction the plane was heading which, as it turned out, was steadily down into the mud. Which brings me neatly and tastelessly back to Mr Simpson – obsessively picky and pedantic about tiny little things that DO. NOT. FUCKING. MATTER. while painfully oblivious to the really big important stuff that does.
You can perhaps forgive him, though not his linesman, for missing Miazga, whose conduct all night hinted at problems at home, belting Angel Rangel in the mush after a Reading corner was cleared just before the half hour. But not what happened moments later at the other end when first Ebere Eze looked to be fouled at the near post as Ilias Chair cut a ball back into the area, and then Andy Yiadom dived full length to his left and brilliantly saved a goalbound Jordan Hugill shot with his left arm. Simpson, looking right at it from ten yards away, saw it and went to put his whistle to his mouth before then apparently changing his mind, frantically waving his arm around like he was having some sort of seizure. I’d love to hear his explanation for that one, or his ongoing lenience with the gratuitously violent Miazga, or any number of decisions given against Jordan Hugill in the second half, at least three of which were given against him when it appeared he was the one who’d been fouled. This all culminated in the frustrated striker picking up a fifth yellow of the season which rules him out of the Brentford game.
By the way, anybody throwing a VAR argument at me for that handball can get in the fucking sea. Judging by what we saw of that ongoing farce at the weekend, we’d have spent four minutes looking at it only to decide that the referee was right all along, even though he knew himself he wasn’t.
But for all of that, even the most hardened QPR fan knows it’s stretching it to say the R’s deserved to win this game.
Reading were excellent all things considered. Miles and miles away from the team their league position would suggest. Like QPR they went with two up front, and like Rangers both those forwards – George Puskas and Sam Baldock – scored goals. But unlike the hosts, the system really seemed to suit the Royals. While QPR struggled to dominate midfield in the way they had in a 4-2-3-1 at Hull at the weekend, and Ebere Eze suffered from a combination of being stuck too far wide and subjected to multiple cynical attempts to kick him out of the game (Simpson still fiddling around with that chuffing bulb while all that was going on), Reading impressed through the middle with Jonathan Swift and Liverpool loanee Ovie Ejaria easily the best two players on the pitch in a fluid midfield three with last season’s player of the year Andy Rinomhota.
QPR: Kelly 6; Rangel 6 (Kane 46, 5), Leistner 5, Barbet 6, Manning 6; Chair 6 (Pugh 77, 5), Scowen 7, Cameron 6, Eze 6; Wells 7 (Amos 67, 5), Hugill 6
Subs not used: Lumley, Ball, Mlakar, Osayi-Samuel
Goals: Wells 29 (assisted Eze), Hugill 58 (assisted Wells)
Bookings: Hugill 90+1 (retaliation), Eze 90+5 (foul, laughable)
Reading: Barbosa 6; Miazga 6, Morrison 7, Moore 6; Yiadom 7, Swift 8, Ejaria 8 (Gomes 90+2, -), Rinomhota 7 (McCleary 67, 6), Richards 6; Puskas 7, Baldock 7
Subs not used: Walker, Loader, McIntyre, Blackett
Goals: Puscas 31 (assisted Ejaria), Baldock 74 (assisted Yiadom)
Bookings: Rinomhota 56 (foul), Miazga 90+1 (persistent cuntishness)
Referee – Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire) 3 You know, I want to like him. I know better than most what walking around with hair like that can do to a man’s sense of self worth, so it would be good if I could turn around a couple of times a season and say “you know what, never mind that it looks like somebody’s stuck their pubes to your head with PVA glue, you’re really brilliant at refereeing football games mate”. And he reminds me a lot of Nick’s dad from Big Mouth, and who doesn’t like Nick’s dad from Big Mouth? (Treat yourselves). But the simple fact is, this is not a man cut out to referee Championship football games. Apparently the Sky commentators said of the handball “the officials can only give what they see” – or, in this case, not give what they’ve seen, and initially decided was a penalty, and gone to put the whistle in his mouth, only to inexplicably change his mind. This is far from a one off with this guy. I still remember Ayoze Perez chasing him across the pitch at the City Ground the other year when he’d denied Newcastle a similarly blatant penalty against Nottingham Forest. He consistently, persistently, either misses the big stuff entirely, or sees it and gets it wrong in any case. And even if you could forgive a referee not spotting defenders making incredible one-handed saves ten yards away, or big angry American defenders forearm smashing opponents off the ball, he combines this tin ear for the blatantly fucking obvious with a pedantry and fussiness over everything else that strangles the living shit out of games. You’ll rarely see one of his matches not go the way this one did in the last 20 minutes, with two sets of frustrated players starting to get involved in pushing and shoving matches, trying it on, starting skirmishes and so on – he not only cannot keep control of games, he actively engages in doing the exact opposite. Top notch pain in the arse.
Still, half time, 3-1. A lazy lob rather than a big stiff hard on perhaps, but a decent erection all the same. No real cause for concern. Just have a nice steady start to the second half with a lot of possession, take any sting that might come from Luton trying to seize initiative and momentum after a half time bollocking, add some fresh legs from the bench and then go on and fill your boots. Fourth goal, fifth goal, and a sixth for Paul Parker. Don’t, whatever you do, allow Cornick and Collins to load up the back post unmarked and force in a second Luton goal from a nice Shinnie cross to change the entire complexion of the game within minutes of the restart. Especially don’t do that if Luton have very kindly let you off with an identical move and miss just a moments before.
Don’t do that. Don’t do that at all. Because then an afternoon at the beach becomes an afternoon in the office. Then a lovely couple of hours reclining in the sun watching Ilias Chair and Eere Eze do bits becomes 45 minutes in a sweatbox waiting for Yoann Barbet to give another chuffing penalty away. (Actually, to be fair to the Frenchman, when Collins did go storming through for a certain equaliser and a perfectly executed sliding was required he did indeed come up with his second one of the game and referee Jeremy Simpson rightly kept whistle away from lips). Don’t do that because it’s taking something fun and making it something terrifying. And all so utterly needless and self-inflicted.
QPR: Lumley 5; Hall 6, Leistner 7, Barbet 7; Kane 6 (Amos 69, 6), Manning 7; Ball 6, Chair 7 (Pugh 74, 7), Eze 8; Wells 8 (Mlakar 66, 6), Hugill 5
Subs not used: Cameron, Smith, Scowen, Kelly
Goals: Eze 3 (assisted Chair), Wells 20 (assisted Leistner), 28 (assisted Eze)
Bookings: Kane 47 (foul), Hall 90+2 (foul)
Luton: Sluga 5; Tunnicliffe 5, Pearson 5, Bradley 5; Bolton 5 (Galloway 59, 6), Bree 6; Shinnie 6, Lua Lua 5 (Moncur 66, 6), Brown 7; Collins 7 , Cornick 7 (Lee 79, 6),
Subs not used: Mpanzu, Jones, Butterfield, Shea
Goals: Cornick 36 (unassisted), Collins 48 (pre-assist Shinnie, assisted Cornick)
Bookings: Shinnie 65 (foul)
Referee – Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire) 8 Unobtrusive and unfussy, the complete opposite of his pedantry and pickiness in previous performances. Big relief, contributed to a fantastic game.
And then there was referee Jeremy Simpson. Few agree but I happen to think the standard of Championship refereeing is actually pretty good. We give sixes, sevens and eights to the officials most weeks and the vast majority of the decisions are correct, including almost all of the big ones, on the days when Andy Woolmer’s not involved. That said, this bloke really boils my piss.
He’s one of those officials that I not only wonder how he’s been able to move up the ladder this far, but why he’s even really in the job at all. Like somebody that was bullied at school by the boys who were good at football and has now made it his life’s work to ruin the sport for them in adulthood, he has absolutely no feel for the games he’s in charge of which frequently spiral into the sort of farcical nonsense we saw in the second half here. There was the bizarre incident straight after half time where Leistner went through the back of Frazier Campbell ten yards away from Simpson who initially played on only to then bring play back and award a free kick, and then belatedly book Leistner, after consultation with the fourth official, who was 40 yards further away and looking through the bloody referee to see the incident. What’s he fucking seen from over there that you haven’t from ten bloody yards away? Two minutes later when he did see Elphick cut through the back of Eze in a much more dangerous position on the field, he awarded a free kick but no yellow card.
He awarded fouls that weren’t fouls, including the one in stoppage time on Luongo for the Freeman free kick wide. Then he didn’t blow for much more obvious offences, such as when Wells was obviously chopped down from behind in the same position five minutes earlier, and when Matt Smith shoved a defender in the area to create a late chance. At one point he stopped the game for a “serious injury” to Campbell that was, pretty balatantly to anybody with half a brain in their head, cramp, and having done that he then attempted to restart it by asking QPR (who were in possession at the time) to return the ball to Hull via a drop ball. Leistner, rightly, told him exactly where he could stick that idea and just played on.
And then there was the time wasting. My god, the time wasting. All of the time wasting. Over every throw in, every goal kick, every free kick, and a laughable moment when Grosicki was replaced by Mazuch midway through the second half and was allowed to pigeon step Paul Pogba penalty style all the way from the centre spot to the dugout in a voyage that seemed to take him 80 years to complete. Simpson’s reaction to this was to issue warning, after warning, after warning, after warning, after warning, after warning, after warning, after warning, after warning, after warning, after warning. Everybody got a bloody warning in the end, and nobody got a card. On more than one occasion he stopped Marshall in the process of taking a goal kick, or Batty in the process of taking a throw in, to warn them to get on with it. Well that’s just wasting more time still isn’t it you fucking penis?
The second half had four substitutions, including the Grosicki farce; two goals, including the Bowen one where the celebrations lasted longer than the 100 years war; and three Hull injuries, all of which involved ridiculously overblown medical attention followed by a long, slow, drawn out walk to the furthest touchline away after which they were immediately waved back on and came sprinting back into the action. Having spent the whole second half allowing the Hull players to take the absolute piss out of him if he honestly believes that four minutes of stoppage time was adequate at the end of all that then he’s even more of a festering knobcheese than even I’d initially given him credit for.
But he wasn’t the reason we lost. Both teams got exactly what they deserved – three points to Hull for an excellent performance, full of attacking intent and clever tactical ideas and set ups; no points to QPR, who were peculiarly lethargic, tactically found out, and horribly complacent.
QPR: Lumley 5; Rangel 5 (Smith 73, 5), Leistner 5, Lynch 4, Bidwell 5; Cameron 5 (Hemed 63, 5), Luongo 5; Wszolek 5 (Osayi-Samuel 86, -), Eze 5, Freeman 5; Wells 5
Subs not used: Ingram, Furlong, Cousins, Scowen
Goals: Wszolek 24 (assisted Rangel), Freeman 90+1 (assisted Smith)
Bookings: Bidwell 78 (foul), Lynch 87 (nearly Christmas)
Hull: Marshall 7; Kane 6, Elphick 7, Burke 6 (de Wijs 46, 6), Lichaj 6 (McKenzie 46, 6); Henriksen 7, Batty 6; Bowen 9, Irvine 8, Grosicki 8 (Mazuch 74, 6); Campbell 7
Subs not used: Stewart, Long, Keane, Martin
Goals: Bowen 5 (unassisted), 69 (assisted Grosicki), Henriksen 20 (assisted Bowen)
Bookings: Batty 73 (time wasting)
Referee – Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire) 2 Uncle knobhead.
For your authentic, thick Championship sludge simply take two poor teams and boil them through a traumatic August until all the confidence has evaporated and they’re labouring under the misapprehension that a draw from a game against each other is a good result. Add one referee who grew up loathing football and is now dedicating his life to ruining it for the rest of us and serve over 90 stupefying minutes until your guests have started to weep.
The game started with a free kick into the wall from Jake Bidwell tormenter in chief Jota. At the other end, Wells went over in the area and enquired about a penalty from referee Jeremy Simpson. Given that Simpson deemed the Nottingham Forest goalkeeper belting Ayoze Perez in the back of the head wasn’t a penalty at the end of the Reds’ cup tie with Newcastle during the week, this one was never likely to be awarded. Strange though, because absolutely every other single little tiny insignificant thing that happened outside the area was a foul apparently. That’s a foul, that’s a foul, that’s a foul, that’s a foul, that’s a foul, that’s a foul, that’s a foul, that’s a foul, that’s a foul, that’s a foul, that’s a foul, that’s a foul. There were 41 free kicks awarded in this game, not far off one every 120 seconds. Honestly, it felt like three times that. If you told me the ball was in play for 15 minutes across the 90 I’d call you a liar. That’s a foul. That’s a foul.
Birmingham: Camp 6; Colin 5 (Harding 59, 6), Morrison 6, Dean 5, Pedersen 6; Maghoma 6, G Gardner 6, Kieftenbeld 6, Jota 6; Adams 6 (Solomon-Otabor 68, 6), Jutkiewicz 6 (Bogle 86, -)
Subs not used: Roberts, Mahoney, C Gardner, Trueman
Bookings: Maghoma 30 (foul), Pedersen 53 (foul)
QPR: Lumley 6; Rangel 6, Leistner 6, Lynch 6, Bidwell 6; Eze 6, Cousins 6, Luongo 5, Freeman 6; Wells 6 (Smith 85, -), Hemed 6 (Cameron 89, -)
Subs not used: Ingram, Baptiste, Osayi-Samuel, Wszolek, Smyth
Referee – Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire) 5 A pernickety, pedantic, suffocating presence in a match that was already plenty shit enough without him stopping the bloody thing every minute and a half.
One early talking point was the Preston goalkeeper’s kit; he wore our green socks and shorts with a black top. All he was missing was the green hoops! Ridiculous, no amateur referee would allow such an obvious clash. In fact in the second half we looked certain to score from a corner but instead of heading it in, the bloke in green and black caught it comfortably.
The good start came to nothing and unravelled significantly when Mackie received his straight red in the twenty third minute. It may or may not have been the correct call, we couldn’t tell from our distant view point, but the referee didn’t hang about in flashing the card. The Preston players certainly helped him with his decision, as one lay poleaxed as if shot, and the assistant refs in white surrounded Mr Simpson. When Mackie finally departed and the “dead” Preston player recovered, we all knew the game was up and the new sequence of defeats was off and running. But why did it have to take until the final two minutes for the winner to arrive? It’s always the hope that does for you. Even with ten men, the home side hardly laid a glove on us in the first half. We continued to look composed in possession but of course didn’t threaten their goal either.
The fans stayed with their team and we even managed to create a couple of opportunities. Robinson broke forward and hit a shot that was on target but well parried by Maxwell, of course the rebound went in between attackers rather than to one, and Smith hit a smart over-the –shoulder effort that went straight to the keeper. Holloway sent on Sylla for a pointless couple of minutes, where Preston successfully kept the ball safely away from their own half and managed to frustrate Bidwell and Baptiste into unnecessary bookings. Baptiste’s obviously proved far more important as he managed to make it two yellows and a red after the final whistle- cheers.
PNE: Maxwell; Fisher, Clarke (O’Connor 45), Huntingdon, Davies; Gallagher, Pearson, Barkhuizen, Browne (Harrop 45); Robinson, Hugill
Subs not used: Rudd, Boyle, Horgan, Pringle, Welsh
Goals: Hugill 88 (assisted Gallagher)
Yellow cards: Huntingdon 79 (foul), Pearson 79 (dissent)
QPR: Smthies 7; Wszolek 6, Baptiste 8, Robinson 8, Bidwell 7; Luongo 6, Scowen 6, Wheeler 5 (Smith 73, 6); Chair 6 (Sylla 90, -), Mackie 4, Washington 6
Subs not used: Lumley, Cousins, Smyth, Manning, Goss
Red Cards: Mackie 22 (serious foul play), Baptiste 90+6 (two yellows)
Yellow cards: Luongo 86 (foul), Bidwell 90 (foul), Baptiste 90+5 (dissent), Baptiste 90+6 (dissent)
Referee – Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire) 5 Just like our players, the performances of the men-in-the middle have faded recently. The last score I gave, to a Mr Martin at Sunderland, was as close to a ten as is possible, but here Mr Simpson has brought the average score down. Until the red card I thought he looked pretty solid. Mackie’s dismissal came as a shock to us, but we were a long way from the incident. If it was the right call, fair enough, you can make him a 6. But here we have another ref who seems to allow one set of players to berate him with no consequences. Smith could’ve /should’ve earned a penalty when forced to the ground late on. Instead the coward chose to award a free kick for an identical offence outside the box moments later. He also wimped out of sending off the violent Huntingdon, who was already on a yellow, when he flattened Smith again late on.
They’d had the ball in the net before half time as well when Smith nodded a Freeman corner in from half time only to be penalised for a foul on the goalkeeper. Bollocks. Fielding’s a decent shot stopper but he’s too small and doesn’t command his area at all. Flint had more to do with him ending up flat on his back here than Smith did – one of those where the referee, Jeremy Simpson, had decided he was giving a free kick almost before the corner was taken.
It’s a source of frustration that the clampdown on jostling in the penalty area announced last summer has, in the Championship at least, been interpreted almost exclusively as a crackdown on attacking players. While Premier League referees, Mike Dean in particular, have been penalising defenders and awarding penalties for holding, in the second tier all we’ve seen is a huge increase in the number of free kicks being awarded against strikers as soon as corners are delivered. With some referees, Tim Robinson in particular, it’s hardly worth having a bloody corner at all, so keen and quick are they to immediately award a free kick the other way. This one, from Smith, should have stood.
City: Fielding 6; Little 6, Flint 8, Wright 7, Bryan 7; Brownhill 6, Smith 6, Pack 7, Paterson 7 (Tomlin 88, -); Abraham 7 (Wilbraham 76, 6), Taylor 7 (O’Dowda 77, 6)
Subs not used: Magnusson, Hegeler, Cotterill, Giefer
Goals: Pack 14 (assisted Taylor), Paterson 40 (assisted Taylor)
Bookings: Pack 86 (time wasting)
QPR: Smithies 6; Furlong 6 (Washington 45, 6), Onuoha 5, Lynch 5, Bidwell 5; Manning 6, Freeman 6, Luongo 5; Ngbakoto 4 (Mackie 71, 5), Wszolek 4, Smith 4 (Sylla 69, 6)
Subs not used: Goss, Ingram, Perch, Lua Lua
Goals: Sylla 90+6 (assisted Washington)
Bookings: Manning 35 (foul), Luongo 45+1 (foul), Freeman 53 (foul), Mackie 90+3 (foul)
Referee – Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire) 6 Bit slow to punish the time wasting – Pack eventually booked in the 86th – and I thought Smith’s goal from the corner in the first half was fine. All of QPR’s bookings more than fair. Not helped by a linesman on the main stand side whose concept of the touchline and where it figures in the rules of the game left a lot to be desired.
Rotherham: Price 7; Fisher 6, Wood 6, Belaid 6, Mattock 6; Forde 6, Adeyemi 6 (Vaulks 85, -), Frecklington 8, Newell 7 (Kelly 90+3, -); Ward 8, Brown 8 (Taylor 86, -)
Subs not used: Ball, Blackstock, Yates, Bilboe
Goals: Brown 24 (assisted Ward)
Bookings: Adeyemi 50 (foul), Frecklington 83 (foul), Forde 87 (foul)
QPR: Smithies 7; Onuoha 4, Hall 5, Lynch 5, Bidwell 4; Sandro 4 (Gladwin 72, 5); Luongo 5, Cousins 5; Chery 5 (Wszolek 89, -); Ngbakoto 5 (Polter 59, 5), Washington 5
Subs not used: Ingram, Henry, El Khayati, Shodipo
Bookings: Ngbakoto 45+3 (repetitive fouling), Luongo 48 (foul), Polter 73 (foul)
Referee – Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire) 8 Very decent. Not a lot to referee but consistent, calm and not over-fussy. Blessed relief after the last couple of weeks.
The same can be said of Alejandro Faurlin, who may also now have played his last in Hoops. It looked for one glorious moment in the second half like he was going to sign off with a spectacular goal, tiptoeing through the tulips on the edge of the City penalty box before being tripped right on the line. Tjaronn Chery’s resulting free kick flicked off the wall on its way past the top corner, but referee Jeremy Simpson awarded a goal kick.
But the goal, a real sucker punch, seemed to knock the stuffing out of City for the final half hour of the game. Johnson responded with a triple substitution, and had good reason to believe his side should have had a penalty when Kodjia seemed to be impeded in the area by Hill – I’d have wanted a spot kick at the other end – but the contest petered out after Rangers had taken the lead and QPR could actually have ended up winning by more.
QPR: Ingram 7, Onuoha 6, Hall 6, Hill 7, Kpekawa 7; Henry 6, Faurlin 7; Gladwin 6 (Petrasso 67, 6), Chery 6 (Hoilett 59, 6), El Khayati 5; Washington 5 (Polter 74, 6)
Subs not used: Lumley, Perch, Prohouly, Grego-Cox
Goals: Henry 63 (unassisted)
Bristol City: O’Donnell 6; Ayling 6 (Vyner 68, 6), Pearce 6, Baker 6, Goldbourne 6; Reid 6, Pack 6, Bryan 7 (Freeman 68, 6); Tomlin 8; Kodjia 6, Wilbraham 6 (Dowling 67, 6)
Subs not used: Little, Williams, Agard, O’Leary
Referee – Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire) 6 Not much to referee, but I thought City were unlucky not to be awarded a second half penalty and Chery’s free kick was certainly deflected over when he awarded a goal kick erroneously.
Bolton’s pitch, more mud than grass, looked to have another couple of hours left in it. Had this been an evening game, referee Jeremy Simpson may have had a call to make. One patch of bare earth stretching from the goal to the corner flag in front of the away end glistened under standing water, and the whole thing played like a skating rink – players struggling to keep their balance, the ball picking up pace and skidding off in random directions every time it landed.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink stiffened his midfield following the capitulation against Fulham a week ago by recalling Karl Henry. A shrewd move in the circumstances – despite a first half yellow card from referee Simpson for a tackle that looked to cleanly take the ball and was certainly no worse or different from three that had been made immediately before it, and Darren Pratley’s subsequent prolonged attempts to wind him up and extract a red card, Henry protected the defence well and closed that space in the ‘ten’ position from where Fulham had done so much damage.
Bolton: Amos 5; Vela 5, Dervite 6, Holding 6, Moxey 5; Spearing 5, Pratley 6, Davies 5, Clough 8 (Danns 84, -); Heskey 4 (Madine 53, 5), Feeney 5
Subs not used: Rachubka, Osede Prieto, Wellington, Dobbie, Woolery
Goals: Clough 68 (unassisted)
QPR: Smithies 6; Perch 5, Onuoha 5, Hall 6, Konchesky 4; Luongo 5, Henry 6 (Chery 80, -); Phillips 5, Hoilett 5 (El Khayati 62, 7), Mackie 5 (Polter 74, 6); Washington 6
Subs not used: Angella, Toszer, Ingram, Petrasso
Goals: Phillips 90+3 (Unassisted)
Bookings: Henry 21 (foul), Luongo 60 (foul)
Referee – Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire) 6 Booked Henry in the first half when I didn’t even think it was much of a foul, and was then pursued around the field by Darren Pratley and harangued from the touchline by Neil Lennon for the rest of the game as they attempted to Henry sent off. Having been weak in the first instance, he did well to stand up to that nonsense after half time.
Set pieces are another staple of a cup upset that Exeter failed to make the most of. Centre half Danny Coles scored a thumping header from a corner against Bristol Rovers in the opening league game at the weekend but the delivery on Tuesday night was poor. When referee Jeremy Simpson adjudged Alejandro Faurlin to have fouled striker Alan Gow on the edge of the QPR box just after the half hour an enticing free kick offered the home side a route back into the game. Winger Liam Sercombe had earlier fed young Jamie Reid in open play and his shot forced a comfortable parry from QPR’s stand in goalkeeper Brian Murphy but on this occasion Sercombe hoisted a mishit shot high and wide of the goal and onto the terrace of QPR fans.
Harry Redknapp meanwhile removed Alejandro Faurlin from the midfield and replaced him with Shaun Derry. This turned out to be the footballing equivalent of a bad move in Jenga and suddenly a previously sturdy QPR tower was swaying alarmingly. Already lacking pace at the back with Richard Dunne preferred to Nedum Onuoha alongside Clint Hill, Rangers suddenly found themselves unable to either maintain possession or get their team high enough up the field. A mild panic set in as the back four got sucked deeper and deeper towards Murphy’s goal. Exeter’s Davies let fly from 20 yards and rattled the cross bar; then referee Simpson waved away loud penalty appeals for a clumsy challenge by Clint Hill on John O’Flynn; and Murphy did little to calm the nerves when he scrambled around a crowded penalty area chasing the ball while leaving his goal unguarded during a melee sparked by an Exeter corner.
Exeter: Krysiak 8, Woodman 6, Baldwin 6, Coles 6, Moore-Taylor 6, Bennett 5, Sercombe 6, Doherty 5 (Davies 46, 6), Wheeler 6 (Parkin 54, 7), Gow 5 (O’Flynn 54, 6), Reid 6
Subs not used: Pyn, Dawson, Gosling, Keohane
QPR: Murphy 6, Simpson 6, Hill 6, Dunne 5, Suk-Young 6, Barton 6, Jenas 6, Faurlin 6 (Derry 63, 6), Hoilett 7 (Wright-Phillips 74, 6), Austin 7, Zamora 5 (Johnson 46, 7)
Subs not used: Green, Onuoha, Ehmer, Henry
Goals: Austin 1 (assisted Jenas), Simpson 50 (assisted Johnson)
Bookings: Hill 85 (foul)
Referee – Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire) 7 Very little to referee really because, as previously said, Exeter stood off and did little to effect the game for the first hour at least. There were none of the biting challenges and frayed tempers you usually see in a fiery cup tie, even with Mad Dog Doherty prowling round the midfield for the first half. Waved away two penalty appeals in the second half, one completely and the other because he felt it was a foul on the edge of the box rather than inside. I’ve seen neither again, and the away terrace didn’t offer a great view of the far end of the ground, but by most accounts the first one should have been given.
So far 19 yellows and no reds in five games for Simpson in 2021/22, four of those in the Championship including the Huddersfield 3-2 Blackburn thriller during the week. Last season he showed 78 yellows and four reads in 28 appointments, topping our with six yellows and two reds at Sheff Wed’s 1-0 home win against Bournemouth. QPR have bad memories of this referee in games with Preston, but certainly wouldn’t say no to a repeat of his two games with them last season – he had their 3-0 away defeat at Luton and 4-0 loss at Cardiff in which he awarded the hosts a second minute penalty.
Pictures – Action Images
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