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Linington in charge of Stoke game - Referee
Monday, 27th Nov 2023 08:56 by Clive Whittingham

Isle of Wight official James Linington is back in charge of a QPR match as the R’s host Stoke City at Loftus Road on Tuesday night.

Referee >>> James Linington (Isle of Wight)

Assistants >>> Richard Wild (Rochdale) and Lee Venamore (Kent)

Fourth Official >>> Craig Hicks (Surrey)


QPR 0 Norwich 1, Wednesday August 16, 2023, Championship

QPR: Archer 6 (Walsh 46, 6); Adomah 3 (Drewe 85, -), Kakay 6 (Fox 77, 5), Field 6, Gubbins 5, Larkeche 5 (Paal 77, 6); Duke-McKenna 7, Dixon-Bonner 6, Dozzell 5 (Aoraha 62, 7); Richards 4, Dykes 6 (Kolli 64, 7)

Subs not used: Rendall, Pedder, Bala

Bookings: Field 24 (foul)

Norwich: Gunn 6; Fisher 7, Duffy 6, Omobamidele 5, Placheta 7; Gibbs 5 (Rowe 69, 7), McLean 6 (Sara 46, 6); Fassnacht 6 (McCallum 80, 6), Nunez 5, Springett 5 (Hernandez 32, 5 (Barnes 69, 5)); Idah 5 (Sargent 69, 7)

Subs not used: Gibson, McCracken, Warner

Goals: Rowe 90+8 (assisted Fisher)

Bookings: Omobamidele 61 (foul)

Referee – James Linington (Isle of Wight) 6 Think he’s probably got the Norwich throw wrong in the build up to their goal. Some complaints about him waving play on through QPR fouls but not through Norwich ones. Making Lyndon Dykes walk all the way around the pitch with a blown knee felt a bit pedantic. I generally like his style though, and thought he was more than fine here.

QPR 1 Watford 0, Saturday March 11, 2023, Championship

The second half was ridiculous. Ale Faurlin came on at half time and made everybody cry. Jamie Mackie and Shaun Derry were here with him, quaffing the table wine. Is that a feel-good factor returning? What’s he up to next week? Any room in the car for Blackpool? Amidst it, an announcement for anybody in the crowd qualified to fly a plane. Referee James Linington, the best referee in this league at the moment, has gone in the night and just been discovered by one of the maids. The second half will be refereed by his non-union Surrey-based equivalent Craig Hicks who looks, among other things, scared.

QPR: Dieng 6; Dickie 6, Dunne 6, Field 7; Drewe 7 (Amos 84, -), Dozzell 6 (Armstrong 84, -), Iroegbunam 6 (Johansen 71, 6), Kakay 7; Lowe 6, Dykes 7 (Adomah 57, 6), Martin 7

Subs not used: Archer, Richards, Gubbins

Goals: Iroegbunam 15 (unassisted)

Bookings: Lowe 44 (grown up stuff), Iroegbunam 61 (foul)

Watford: Bachmann 6; Porteous 6 (Asprilla 76, 6), Cathcart 6, Hoedt 5; Gaspar 4, Louza 5, Choudhury 5, Sema 5; Sarr 5 (Assombalonga 76 3), Davis 5, Pedro 6

Subs not used: Ngakia, Kona, Araujo, Hamer, Kabasele

Bookings: Choudhury 45+1 (head loss), Hoedt 90+6 (head loss)

First half referee — James Linington (Isle of Wight) 7 Best referee in the league.

Second half supply teacher — Craig Hicks (Surrey) 5 A jobbing lower league official, plunged into a first ever Championship match after five years in Leagues One and Two, and the kids tried every trick in the book. Just about kept his head above the waterline. Very difficult game to referee.

Hull 3 QPR 0, Saturday January 28, 2023, Championship

Hull: Ingram 6; Christie 7 (Simons 89, -), Jones 6, McLoughlin 6, Elder 6; Tufan 7 (Woods 75, 6), Docherty 6, Seri 8 (Longman 75, 6), Slater 6; Connolly 8 (Coyle 84, -), Estupinan 6 (Smith 89, -)

Subs not used: Figueiredo, Lo-Tutala

Goals: Connolly 10 (assisted Christie), 64 (assisted Seri), Dickie og

QPR: Dieng 4; Kakay 2, Dickie 2, Dunne 3, Paal 1 (Clarke-Salter 45+3, 3); Field 3 (Johansen 75, 4), Iroegbunam 1 (Dozzell 45, 4); Roberts 1 (Willock 79, 2), Chair 3, Adomah 1 (Armstrong 46, 5); Lowe 3

Subs not used: Archer, Trävelmän

Bookings: Lowe 20 (dissent), Iroegbunam 40 (foul), Armstrong 67 (foul), Dunne 90+1 (foul)

Referee — James Linington (Isle of Wight) 6 Refereed it much as he always does, firmly but mostly fairly, and not standing for any faking of injuries and trying to get the game stopped — I thought Paal was very lucky to not be booked for walking back onto the field after his treatment, sitting down again to stop the game again, and the physio coming back on when the referee was clearly signalling for them both to stay on the touchline. Couple of harsh moments against us: Jamal Lowe was booked for dissent and, while we can’t know what he said, he was right — Hull had just been awarded a free kick for something he’d waved play on through on us at the other end not 15 seconds prior and I was actually quite pleased to see Lowe getting involved about that because it was a joke. Overall, fine.

QPR 3 Cardiff 0, Wednesday October 19, 2023, Championship

Picking up a loose ball on the left hand-side. His first touch and close control was excellent as he burst through two challenges, leaving only a cluster of shit-scared Welshmen trailing. He continued to motor on before falling to the ground from a challenge by Simpson. I’m not sure it was a penalty at the time, but I’m almost certain it wasn’t a red card which was then shown by James Linington. Cardiff protested, young Sinclair shadowboxed and Dykes picked up the ball. Also on my list of hooks was the refereeing in this league and in general, honestly this was so bad even Neil Warnock, latest inductee of the Forever R’s made a jib at how he misses football until he sees decisions like this. A discussion took place in the stands that the game was over from here on in, I know that sounds crazy being QPR but its half testament to Mick (not Michael, he’s a footballing man) Beale’s work and half to how bad Cardiff were even without being a man down.

QPR: Dieng 7; Laird 7 (Kakay 76, 6), Balogun 7, Clarke-Salter 7, Paal 7; Iroegbunam 7 (Amos 71, 6), Field 8, Johansen 7; Chair 8 (Bonne 76, 6), Dykes 8, Armstrong 7 (Dozzell 59, 6)

Subs not used: Archer, Dickie

Goals: Dykes 19 (penalty won by Armstrong), 33 (assisted Chair), Paal 74 (assisted Field)

Bookings: Johansen 26 (foul), Paal 79 (foul)

Cardiff City: Allsop 5; O’Dowda 5 (Ralls 76, 6), Ng 5 (Sang 45, 5), Simpson 4; Nkounkou 6, Sawyers 5 (Nelson 21, 5), Wintle 5 (Philogene-Bidance 76, 5), Rinomhota 5, Ojo 6; Robinson 4 (Harris 61, 5).

Subs not used: Alnwick, Etete

Red Cards: Simpson 19 (professional foul, I mean, not fair though really is it?)

Bookings: Ng (consonant neglect), Nelson (foul), Wintle (foul), Harris (foul).

Referee James Lininton 4 I didn’t think he was too bad, gave what he should didn’t seem to make any massive or controversial decision that were that bad until he completely fucked the whole game after 20 minutes. Game over for Cardiff and for their fans who had travelled miles on a Wednesday evening, it’s just not good enough. I understand mistakes will be made, but not mistakes like that. Come on, you could have just given the penalty. There was a sense that it was rushed and perhaps influenced by Laird's claim minutes earlier.

Sheff Utd 0 QPR 1, Tuesday October 4, 2022, Championship

Still, it was better, and there were good signs at the other end. Ethan Laird switched off for half a second on 33, Balogun swooped in with a powerful rescue act. The former Rangers man, along with Jimmy Dunne - back in while Clarke-Salter’s fitness is managed - took ownership of our penalty box to such an extent that United were quickly reduced to long range shots and three or four of the worst, most pathetic and personally shameful penalty appeals you’ll ever see from Roddy McScotsman. Each one followed by a prolonged spell of testiculating at the match officials - the sort of bitchy, whiny moaning about nothing of any consequence at all that would make him an ideal guest for Loose Women. Referee James Linington treated it all with the contempt it deserved, and booked him for dissent after the final whistle which even at this early stage of the year makes five and a one match ban, but after the third or fourth theatrical collapse you’ve got to wonder whether a card might be in order for that too. Stand up and play the game you fucking penis. Grandad didn’t fight a war so you can pisball about like this.

Five minutes added to the end. Taxi Joe called them out from the back of the stand. TWO MINUTES TO GO. Get the crystal, get the crystal. We even had Richard O’Brien running one of the lines, maverick guesswork mixed with harmonica riffs. A MINUTE AND THIRTY. Automatic lock in this one, but QPR were well wise to the concept by now. A MINUTE TO GO. Ilias Chair, his first game as captain, no VAT on child’s armbands, watching his team see it through from the side. A ground he left in tears last season, now skippering a team to victory. See it through they did, see it through they were always going to do from long before full time. Nobody was coming through that centre back and central midfield pairing last night. The home fans, more so than the home players, campaigned long and hard for a late penalty when Andre Dozzell went for an early shirt swap with Berge — daft of him to give the referee a decision to make, but the replays speak for themselves and they’ve both got hold of each other. Never quite sure whey the man in possession does that. Relatively, just five more seconds of time in the Dome; mentally though, far more than that to this team and where it’s come from.

Sheff Utd: Foderingham 5; Basham 5, Egan 5, Norrington-Davies 5; Baldock 5 (Khadra 47, 6), Berge 6, Norwood 6, Doyle 5 (Brewster 64, 5), Bogle 5 (McAtee 77, 5); Ndiaye 6, McBurnie 4 (Sharp 64, 5)

Subs not used: Davies, Arblaster, Gordon

Bookings: Egan 22 (foul), McBurnie 90+6 (dissent)

QPR: Dieng 7; Laird 7, Balogun 8, Dunne 8, Paal 8; Dozzell 7, Field 8, Amos 7 (Iroegbunam 77, 6); Chair 7 (Adomah 77, 6), Willock 7 (Dykes 56, 6), Roberts 6 (Clarke-Salter 66, 7)

Subs not used: Dickie, Johansen, Archer

Goals: Willock 51 (assisted Laird)

Bookings: Balogun 75 (foul), Dunne 82 (time wasting)

Referee — James Linington (Isle of Wight) 7 Ok, which basically puts him top of the referees we’ve had so far this season. Sheffield United will talk about the late penalty appeal, and my heart was indeed in my mouth at the time, but you can see on the stills and the video that they’ve both got hold of each other and Berge didn’t appeal — daft of Dozzell, on an otherwise good night for him personally, to give the referee that decision to make mind, which I think was the crux of Clarke-Salter’s conversation with him afterwards. Some of Neeps McHaggis' theatrics in the penalty box wouldn’t have looked out of place at Tom Daley’s birthday party and though they were rightly ignored, one of them was so embarrassing I thought it crossed the threshold for a card.

Millwall 2 QPR 0, Tuesday February 15, 2022, Championship

Millwall’s Murray was extremely fortunate not to be booked for screaming and pointing in the face of referee James Linington over the award of a free kick ten minutes after half time, which Ilias Chair crossed and a crowd-scene bundled into the arms of goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski. He, and Millwall, were typically in your face all night, as you expect when you come here, and Rangers wilted immediately and embarrassingly. Less than a quarter of an hour into the game Stefan Johansen collapsed in a heap demanding a free kick and a game stoppage. He got neither, and nor should he as he wasn’t fouled and he wasn’t hurt. The home team, under threat of pitch invasion from the locals, played on and pushed for a goal, and referee Linington was happy for them to do so — again, absolutely right, there should be more of this. But, here’s the but, another quarter of an hour later the home team’s Oli Burke had a sit down of his own, Millwall this time demanded the game be halted because they didn’t want to play with ten, and everybody went along with this happily. Referee stopped play, invited the physio on. QPR basically stopped it themselves, Yoann Barbet even seemed to be calling the referee’s fucking attention to it. Where’s the consistency from the officials there? Neither head injuries. More to the point, in the context of the evening, where are our bollocks there? Why aren’t we playing on? Why aren’t we in on the referee demanding fair treatment? Nobody said or did anything. We seemed glad of the fucking stoppage so we could have a breathe. The most macro of microcosms.

Millwall: Bialkowski 6; McNamara 8, Hutchinson 7, Cooper 7, Wallace 7, Malone 8 (Pearce 82, -); Kieftenbeld 7, Mitchell 7, Wallace 9; Burke 6 (Burey 28, 7), Bennett 7 (Saville 89, -)

Subs not used: Long, Mahoney, Evans, Lovelace

Goals: Bennett 48 (assisted Malone), Burey 64 (assisted Wallace)

Bookings: Wallace 59 (foul), Burey 65 (over celebrating)

QPR: Marshall 6; Adomah 3 (Amos 76, 6), Dickie 4, Dunne 5, Barbet 4, Wallace 4 (Odubajo 21, 4); Johansen 3 (Austin 76, 4), Field 5, Chair 4; Willock 5, Dykes 3

Subs not used: Dieng, Gray, Sanderson, Hendrick

Bookings: Dickie 45+3 (foul)

Referee — James Linington (Isle of Wight) 7 Other than the rank inconsistency and hypocrisy of refusing to stop the game for an injury to Stefan Johansen but then happily doing so moments later for Oli Burke, I thought he was very sound, sensible and comfortable as usual.

West Brom 2 QPR 1, Friday September 24, 2021, Championship

Nevertheless, shoot me, I came away disappointed in us. I felt we were uncharacteristically shy on the ball, far too often taking the easy and lazy option to go back to Dieng whose succession of long clearances down field were tantamount to handing the ball back to West Brom every time with Bartley in dominant form. That it stayed 1-0 as long as it did was more down to the fairly dismal performance of the home team rather than anything QPR contributed on what was, again just my opinion, our worst performance of the season. Darnell Furlong’s first long throw of the game after three minutes was scrambled wide of the post with Grady Diangana loitering. Diangana then got going down the left side but rather spaffed his shot at goal. Alex Mowatt, who’d earlier cracked into Gray and been very fortunate referee James Linington didn’t issue a yellow card, had a free kick from exactly the spot he’d scored against us for Barnsley last season but for some reason this time tried to go low under the wall and it was blocked. Straight after Dieng’s brilliant save from Reach was a prolonged period of pressure caused once again by the keeper turning down a short throw out to Odubajo in favour of a long heave down the field which West Brom seized back immediately, and this concluded with masked man Furlong heading a corner over and wide at the far stick. Repeatedly in the notes I’ve written ‘stressful’, ‘can’t keep doing this’ and ‘can’t continue’.

West Brom: Johnstone 5; Furlong 6, Ajayi 6, Bartley 7, Townsend 6, Reach 6; Livermore 6, Mowatt 6; Diangana 6 (Hugill 55, 5), Phillips 5 (Robinson 54, 7), Grant 7 (Bryan 90, -)

Subs not used: Molumby, Kipre, Snodgrass, Button

Goals: Grant 75 (assisted Robinson), 88 (assisted Robinson)

Bookings: Hugill 90+3 (time wasting)

QPR: Dieng 4; Odubajo 5, Dickie 6, De Wijs 6 (Kakay 77, 5), Dunne 6, Barbet 6; Ball 6, Johansen 5 (Dozzell 77, 5), Chair 5; Gray 5, Willock 5 (Dykes 66, 6)

Subs not used: Austin, Thomas, Walsh, Adomah

Goals: Gray 1 (assisted Odubajo)

Bookings: Kakay 86 (foul)

Referee — James Linington (Isle of Wight) 8 Very generous with Alex Mowatt and his foul on Gray in the first half which looked a booking to me but, as usual, very good overall and in calm, authoritative control of the game without involving himself unduly. Absolutely right to book Hugill for that rather pathetic rolling around on the floor clutching his face routine at the end. That sort of stuff should embarrass players regardless of circumstance but to do it against a club that picked you up from a dead end move to West Ham and gave you a showcase which has led to two very lucrative moves since I thought was particularly poor form.

QPR 1 Norwich 3, Saturday April 24, 2021, Championship

Sam Field replaced George Thomas, far less influential than he had been at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday, at half time and the two sides set about the tit for tat attack and defence all over again. Ilias Chair curled over, Kieran Dowell went down screaming for a nonsense penalty in the same fashion that had blighted the first meeting between the sides this season and referee James Linington rightly laughed it off. Field’s thick yellow card for a cruncher on Oliver Skipp less of a laughing matter.

There was a spot kick coming though, Grant Hanley clumsily through the side of Chris Willock for an obvious foul and QPR’s first penalty since the game at Carrow Road 22 fixtures ago. Bright Osayi-Samuel took the ball that night, but Lyndon Dykes had been six for six from the spot for QPR and Livingston this season prior to that and went with his usual hard-as-you-can approach here. Unfortunately for him the strike wasn’t clean, too low and straight, and saved by specialist Tim Krul with his leg. To compound matters, within two minutes McLean had produced a delicious cross to the far post for marauding full back Max Arrons to thump into the far top corner for 2-0. Norwich did at least have to do their own work for that one, but you couldn’t shake the feeling Rangers had rather beaten themselves.

QPR: Dieng 4; Dickie 4, De Wijs 5 (Ball 76, 6), Barbet 6; Kakay 6 (Adomah 66, 7), Johansen 6 (Bettache 89, -), Thomas 5 (Field 46, 6), Chair 6 (Austin 66, 5), Wallace 6; Willock 7, Dykes 6

Subs not used: Kane, Bonne, Hämäläinen, Walsh

Goals: Dykes 71 (assisted Austin)

Bookings: Field 68 (foul)

Norwich: Krul 8; Aarons 7, Omubamedele 6, Hanley 6, Quintilla 7 (Tettey 89, -); McLean 8, Skipp 7; Buendia 7 (Placheta 89, -), Dowell 7 (Sorensen 74, 6), Cantwell 7 (Hernandez 85, -); Pukki 5 (Hugill 85, -)

Subs not used: Vrancic, Nyland, Stiepermann, Mumba

Goals: Quintilla (assisted Buendia), Aarons 57 (assisted Mclean), Buendia 82 (assisted McLean)

Referee — James Linington (Isle of Wight) 8 Very good, big decisions correct, let the game flow, only one card and that was pretty blatant, very few complaints.

QPR 1 Bristol City 2, Tuesday December 1, 2020, Championship

Rangers might have stolen a point regardless. City engaged in clock running late on, when they’d no real need given how they’d taken things over by that point. Wells and Martin aiming for a place in the Guinness Book of Records for the slowest substitutions of all time — nice touch, introducing five subs at the same time as taking the rule away about exiting the pitch on the nearest side, that’ll be fun when we play Preston again won’t it? For once though, in James Linington, we actually had a referee willing to tag extra-extra-time on to make up for that, playing in excess of five having advertised four, and within that a super touch by Kelman carried him into space on debut and he teed up Bright Osayi-Samuel — nice of him to rejoin the action — for what should have been a relatively simple finish into the far corner from six yards, only for him to try and reverse the ball into the nearest bottom corner and miss the goal entirely.

QPR: Dieng 6; Kakay 6, Dickie 5, Barbet 6, Wallace 5 (Hämäläinen 74, 6); Ball 6 (Adomah 68, 5), Carroll 7; Osayi-Samuel 7, Chair 7, Willock 7 (Kelman 83, -); Dykes 6 (Bonne 68, 5)

Subs not used: Thomas, Masterson, Bettache, Kelly, De Silva

Goals: Dickie 12 (assisted Willock)

Bookings; Dickie 27 (foul), Carroll 69 (foul)

Bristol City: Bentley 7; Mariappa 6, Vyner 7, Kalas 7, Desilva 4 (Rowe 46, 8); Nagy 7, Brunt 5, O’Dowda 8; Semenyo 6 (Bakinson 83, -), Martin 7 (Diedhiou 90+3, -), Wells 7 (Moore 88, -)

Subs not used: Hunt, O’Leary, Edwards, Towler, Massengo

Goals: Wells 40 (assisted Martin), Nagy 50 (assisted Wells)

Bookings: Wells 57 (kicking ball away)

Referee — James Linington (Isle of Wight) 8 Good referee this bloke who can usually be relied upon to control a game while giving it every chance, which is exactly what he did here. Even my usual complaint about failure to clamp down on some pretty egregious time wasting was negated somewhat by him sticking an extra 90 seconds onto the advertised four minutes to compensate for the two slowest substitutions known to man on 89 and 93 minutes. Welcome change after some of the rubbish we’ve suffered through in recent weeks.

QPR 4 Millwall 3, Saturday July 18, 2020, Championship

QPR: Lumley 6; Kakay 7, Masterson 6, Barbet 5, Manning 8; Ball 8, Cameron 6, Amos 7 (Bettache 90+3, -); Chair 8 (Oteh 84, -), Eze 8, Shodipo 6 (Kane 72, 7)

Subs not used: Kelly, Gubbins, Clarke

Goals: Masterson 43 (assisted Eze), Manning 52 (unassisted), Eze 62 (assisted Chair), Kane 73 (assisted Ball)

Millwall: Bialkowski 6; Romeo 5 (Smith 45, 7), Hutchinson 5, Pearce 6 (Mitchell 87, -), Cooper 6; Leonard 5 (Molumby 57, 6), Woods 6, Ferguson 6, J Wallace 7; Bennett — (Bodvarsson 11, 5), Bradshaw 5 (Mahoney 57, 7)

Subs not used: M Wallace, Williams, Thompson, Steele

Goals: Smith 47 (assisted Wallace), Hutchinson 67 (assisted Wallace), Molumby 90+5 (assisted Wallace)

Bookings: Cooper 20 (foul)

Referee — James Linington (Isle of Wight) 8 Excellent. Zero complaints. Big decisions correct. Game allowed to flow. He’s not been particularly good in our games this season but he’s a referee I like and this performance was a great example of why. My kind of people.

QPR 2 Birmingham 2, Saturday February 29, 2020, Championship

The leniency over the throw in technique wasn’t the only thing referee James Linington was strangely blasé about. Presumably attempting to “give the game every chance” and let it flow, he rather quickly painted himself into a corner where nothing was a yellow card, because if that thing that had gone before wasn’t a yellow card, then this thing happening now can’t be either. This manifested itself in several ways, but Ivan Sunjic booting Ebere Eze up in the air time and time and time again, including twice in ten seconds just before the half hour, was one of the more noticeable. Not a difficult yellow card to issue that one, nor the deliberate smashing of Osayi-Samuel to the ground by Pedersen after getting skinned on 36, and having not done so it set a rather dangerous precedent for the rest of the game. I didn’t think Pugh's tackle on Bela that led to him being carried from the field looked that terrific either, and I’d have definitely wanted Birmingham’s late penalty shout for a foul in the box by Barbet on Hogan.

Linington was “assisted” on the Ellerslie Road side of the ground by his elderly father, which was nice for the family, but bad for the game. Unable to keep up with play and with as firm a grip on the offside law as I’ve got on my drinking, he seemed to be determined to have a deliberately contrary day, flagging the onside off, letting the blatantly offside play on, giving corners as goal kicks, and vice versa. Jordan Hugill was first to suffer, flagged off when level as he opened the scoring from a low Angel Rangel cross following great Osayi-Samuel approach work on 19 minutes. One in the second half, where four Birmingham attackers went early on a free kick and all ran offside only for the flag to stay down, sent me into a bad place, and I’d like to take this chance to apologise, once again, to anybody sitting within earshot of me. If it makes you feel any better I wake up every Sunday feeling shit about myself, and walk to the supermarket chastising myself for being such a gobshite, so we’re all suffering in our own way. Fucking miles offside though, all four of them.

(n.b. I’ll take some contrary pensioner given a flag on a daytrip passing judgements on offsides over some under sexed dweeb drawing lines from players’ arm pits on a blurry freeze frame any day of the week.)

QPR: Kelly 6; Rangel 6, Barbet 6, Masterson 6, Manning 6; Ball 7, Cameron 6; Osayi-Samuel 8, Eze 7, Pugh 7 (Chair 74, 6); Hugill 7

Subs not used: Lumley, Kane, Amos, Shodipo, Clarke, Oteh

Goals: Pugh 51 (assisted Hugill), Hugill 55 (assisted Osayi-Samuel)

Birmingham: Camp 7; Colin 6, Roberts 6, Dean 6, Pedersen 5; Bela 7 (Montero 73, 6), Gardner 6, Sunjic 6, Crowley 6 (Kieftenbeld 83, -); Jutkiewicz 6, Hogan 8

Subs not used: Harding, Clarke-Salter, Mrabti, Bellingham, Trueman

Goals: Hogan 24 (assisted Colin), 81 (assisted Gardner)

Referee — James Linington (Isle of Wight) 4 As both regular readers know, I far, far prefer a referee that’s willing to let things go, keep cards to a minimal, restrict his involvement, allow some physicality in a contact sport and so on and so forth. But I felt here Linington was so keen to be hands off that he rather painted himself into a corner with his leniency. Multiple examples, on both sides, of things that were pretty standard yellow cards being allowed to go, and once you’ve done that and it happens again you kind of have to let them off with it again, and again, because if it wasn’t a yellow card before, then why is it now? Sunjic certainly took plenty of advantage — half a dozen fouls without a reprimand — and Pedersen was twice done all ends up by Bright and just hauled him down without recourse, but there were QPR players doing the same. Throw in a late Birmingham penalty appeal that I’d certainly have wanted, a blatant foul throw not spotted in the lead up to their second goal, and a whole afternoon of highly questionable offside decisions from a lino often behind the play on the Ellerslie Road side of the ground and it’s not going to be a high mark.

Reading 1 QPR 0, Thursday December 26, 2019, Championship

Straight after, when Ebere Eze got free into open space for the first time in the game and glided smoothly into the penalty area his progress was interrupted by a crude trip from Liam Moore — leg out, taking the Rangers man down at the thigh, on the linesman’s side of the field. Referee James Linington failed to award a pretty blatant spot kick.

Reading: Rafael 8; Gunter 6, Moore 6, Morrison 6, Blackett 7; Ejaria 7 (Boye 86, -), Swift 8 (Olise 84, -), Adam 7 (Rinomhota 74, 6), Gomes 6; Joao 6. Meite 6

Subs not used: Walker, Miazga, Loader, Obita

Goals: Swift 52 (unassisted)

Yellow Cards: Gunter 74 (foul)

QPR: Lumley 7; Kane 5, Leistner 7, Hall 6, Manning 6; Cameron 5 (Smith 68, 5), Amos 6; Osayi-Samuel 6 (Wells 83, -), Eze 7, Pugh 5 (Chair 61, 6); Hugill 5

Subs not used: Barnes, Wallace, Scowen, Ball

Referee — James Linington (Isle of Wight) 6 Not too bad, but I thought he missed a pretty blatant penalty for the foul on Eze and like everybody else that officiates at this level quietly and passively allowed some biblical time wasting to go on second half without so much as a warning.

Fulham 2 QPR 1, Friday November 22, 2019, Championship

Fulham: Rodak 7; Odoi 6, Mawson 6, Ream 6, Bryan 5; Johansen 6, Reed 5 (Reid 54, 6), Cairney 6; Knockaert 7 (Christie 76, 6), Kamara 7, Cavaleiro 7 (McDonald 90+1, -)

Subs not used: Bettinelli, Kebano, Onomah, O’Riley

Goals: Kamara 27 (assisted Odoi), 64 (assisted Johansen)

Bookings: Bryan 61 (foul)

QPR: Lumley 4; Hall 5, Leistner 5, Wallace 6; Kane 7, Manning 6; Ball 6 (Mlakar 81, -), Amos 7 (Chair 66, 6), Eze 7; Hugill 6, Wells 5 (Scowen 66, 5)

Subs not used: Smith, Pugh, Osayi-Samuel, Barnes

Goals: Hugill 3 (assisted Kane)

Referee — James Linington (Isle of Wight) 6 We didn’t seem to get a lot from him, but I’m not convinced there was a lot to give us. Couple of minor things, bit lenient with the cards on a couple of occasions, standard slapdash Championship attitude to timekeeping and clock running, but not too bad overall.

Aston Villa 2 QPR 2, Tuesday January 1, 2019, Championship

None of that is what anybody was talking about afterwards though. The tone and tempo of the game swung on 49th minute incident in which Joe Lumley comfortably collected a through ball ahead of Kodija but the Villa man decided to proceed anyway and boot the stricken goalkeeper right in the head, splitting his nose in the process. There followed a prolonged (seven or so minutes) period of treatment for the keeper during which Matt Ingram seemed likely to come on — but this didn’t strike me, nor Steve McClaren, as the ideal time to reintroduce him to public life so they patched Lumley up to play on.

This took quite a lot of time, as tends to happen when you get your face split, and Villa got very aggy about this indeed. Big Kev came across at one point to add his medical opinion, which Lumley received with good grace and then ran 50 yards down the field to discuss further with him after Eze had made it 2-1. Future tip, if you don’t want the visiting goalkeeper to be down on the floor for seven or eight minutes then don’t kick him square in the bloody face. Kodija was lucky to escape with only a yellow from referee James Linington — and you get the feeling he only got that because of Furlong’s outraged reaction and Lumley’s streaming wound. It was a red card. It was also the only thing the former Bristol City striker hit the target with all afternoon.

That’s not to say there weren’t some Preston North End levels of shithousery from QPR in this game. There absolutely were. Pawel Wszolek’s stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down, am I injured, am I not injured, am I going off, am I staying on routine wore very, very thin even as an away fan so it must have been purgatory for those of a Villa persuasion. Bright Osayi Samuel eventually got a rare chance to impress as his replacement but, sadly for him, McClaren also removed Nahki Wells at roughly the same time and introduced Matt Smith who did the square root of fuck all in his spell on the pitch and basically ended QPR as an attacking threat in the match. Darnell Furlong, suddenly out of his depth against Bolasie, deliberately trying to get the game stopped when he realised he was out of position at a quick throw in by collapsing to the floor, then springing up and sprinting back when he realised Linington was playing on, was really poor too.

But when Preston pulled all these stunts on us last season we said at the time, don’t bitch and moan about it, learn from it. It’s a tough division in a tough sport, not an episode of Watercolour Challenge. Villa were particularly irate after the Freeman goal - with QPR all celebrating down by the away end and therefore all in their own half the home team wanted to take a quick kick off and pile through on goal to return fire but Wszolek clocked this was going on and sensibly remained on the Villa side of the halfway line on the far side of the field, waving his arms around at the linesman and fourth official to make sure they knew he was there and the game couldn’t restart. That’s just sensible stuff lads, what we meant to do wave you through for a goal because it would be good for the neutral spectators?

Villa: Steer 6; Bree 6, Elphick 6, Chester 6, Hutton 4; Hourihane 6 (Whelan 90+1, -), McGinn 7; Bjarnason 5, Adomah 5 (Bolasie 61, 8), Kodija 5 (El Ghazi 61, 8); Abraham 8

Subs not used: Hogan, Davis, El Mohamady, Bunn

Goals: Abraham 21 (assisted McGinn), 75 (assisted El Ghazi)

Bookings: Hourihane 45 (foul), Kodija 49 (foul)

QPR: Lumley 6; Furlong 5, Leistner 5, Lynch 6, Bidwell 6; Cousins 7, Scowen 7; Wszolek 7 (Osayi-Samuel 77, 6), Eze 7 (Hall 90+7, -), Freeman 8; Wells 7 (Smith 71, 4)

Subs not used: Ingram, Manning, Oteh, Chair

Goals: Freeman 41 (unassisted), Eze 57 (assisted Wszolek)

Bookings: Wszolek 30 (repetitive fouling), Leistner 69 (foul), Osayi-Samuel 90 (foul), Lumley 90+4 (time wasting), Bidwell 90+10 (time wasting)

Referee — James Linington (Isle of Wight) 5 Kodija should have been sent off, that wasn’t a difficult decision to get right. From then on his game management was poor — he let Wszolek take the piss with the clock running and several times stopped quick free kicks being taken because they were in slightly the wrong place when the game (though not QPR) really needed him to just let a bit of that go for 10 minutes to try and get a flow going again.

QPR 3 Brentford 2, Saturday November 10, 2018, Championship

There was a hint of trouble soon after when Luke Freeman, for reasons known only to himself, made an attempt on Canos’ life tight to the touchline under the camera gantry. A mindless tackle, on a player in a neutral area with his back to goal, and stupid early yellow card. Even Mark Dennis would have thought it a bit much. Excellent referee James Linington had no choice, and was right to wave away a subsequent penalty appeal for a much better timed tackle on Mass Luongo as he burst into the Brentford box. In between, the visitors opened the scoring — Benrahma again doing the damage with a cut inside and shot that Lumley will reflect should have been parried wider of his goal but instead landed plum on the head of Neal Maupay for a twelfth of the season.

QPR: Lumley 6; Rangel 7, Leistner 7, Lynch 7, Bidwell 7; Cameron 6, Luongo 6; Wszolek 8, Eze 6, Freeman 7; Wells 7 (Cousins 86, -)

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

Goals: Luongo 50 (assisted Freeman), Lynch 58 (assisted Freeman/Leistner), Wells 60 (assisted Wszolek)

Bookings: Freeman 18 (foul), Wells 65 (yellow)

Brentford: Bentley 5; Dalsgaard 6, Mepham 6, Konsa 6, Odubajo 5; McEachran 6 (Da Silva 76, 7), Yennaris 6; Canos 6, Sawyers 6, Benrahama 8 (Clarke 84, -); Maupay 7 (Judge 45+6, 7)

Subs not used: Marcondes, Daniels, Barbet, Oksanen

Goals: Maupay 22 (assisted Benrahma), Dalsgaard 81 (assisted Sawyers)

Bookings: Sawyers 59 (dissent)

Referee — James Linington (Isle of Wight) 8 Difficult to fault. Fraught, competitive game between two teams both playing to win, flying at each other from end to end at high pace, and he kept up with the whole thing, rarely more than ten yards away from his decisions which were made quickly, decisively, fairly and almost always correctly. It’s how you want a game like this refereed, in the background but not to the point where it’s allowed to run into an absolute free for all. His stoppage time allocation, in both halves, given what had gone on injury and goal wise, was a complete nonsense — I thought there’d be five or six minimum at the end of the game - but that was about all you could say by way of criticism. Some of the Championship fusspots hoping to reach the Premier League by steadfastly ticking every box on the sheet and suffocating the games they’re in charge of in the process — Peter Bankes — would do well to watch this calm, authoritative, sensible approach to a difficult task and emulate it. The game would be much better for more refereeing like this. Contributed to a fine spectacle.

QPR 4 Norwich 1, Monday April 2, 2018, Championship

Norwich’s frustration was obvious and a slew of yellow cards, including to Vrancic and Hanley for taking their turns at chopping down Eze, and James Husband for starting on Massimo Luongo while he was laid on the floor — quite why referee James Linington saw fit to book Luongo for that as well only he will know and how Harrison Reed didn't see yellow after an afternoon of niggling and dissent is also a mystery.

QPR: Smithies 6; Furlong 7, Onuoha 8, Lynch 6, Bidwell 6; Luongo 8, Scowen 8, Manning 7, Freeman 7 (Wszolek 81, -), Eze 8 (Smyth 89, -); Smith 8 (Sylla 77, 6)

Subs not used: Cousins, Washington, Ingram, Robinson

Goals: Luongo 39 (assisted Smith), Smith 55 (assisted Scowen), Eze 60 (assisted Smith), Manning 80 (assisted Bidwell)

Bookings: Luongo 41 (unsporting), Lynch 56 (foul)

Norwich: Gunn 4; Pinto 5, Zimmerman 5, Hanley 5, Husband 5 (Lewis 75, 6); Reed 5, Vrancic 5; Hoolahan 6, Maddison 5, Murphy 6; Oliveira 5

Subs not used: Watkins, Klose, Edwards, Tettey, Srbeny, McGovern

Goals: Manning own goal 38 (assisted Murphy)

Bookings: Husband 41 (unsporting), Vrancic 68 (foul), Hanley 77 (foul), Zimmerman 80 (foul)

QPR Star Man — Matt Smith 8 I thought Nedum Onuoha played very well, keeping us in it during a lacklustre first 30 and then excelling in the second half as Rangers took the game over. But a goal, two assists, huge influence on the performance, Norwich’s complete inability to cope with him and a double drag back to boot means it can’t be anybody other than Matt Smith.

Referee — James Linington (Isle of Wight) 8 Very good overall. Luongo can count himself unfortunate to be booked for Husband starting on him before half time — thought a yellow card each way was a bit of a cop out — but no real complaints across the 90 minutes.

QPR 0 MK Dons 1, Saturday January 6, 2018, FA Cup Third Roung

It was a defeat made all the more galling not only because of who the opposition are, and their lowly position in League One, but also because they didn’t seem to have turned up with much ambition to win the game. They ended with two players booked for time wasting, including the main culprit goalkeeper Lee Nicholls, and referee James Linington ended up playing eight minutes of stoppage time to account for the flagrant clock running. But that had begun in the first half, with the score at 0-0. Despite QPR’s record in this competition, MK it seemed had come for a replay only to be handed a victory on a plate.

Nevertheless, they did have the better of the possession and chances. Smith and last week’s over-exposed hero Paul Smyth got in each other’s way and made a bit of a emss of a good Luke Freeman through ball on the quarter hour, then Freeman himself fired a free kick into the wall and volleyed the rebound wide. On the half hour what looked like a pretty obvious penalty for a blatant push on Chair just as he jumped for a header in the area was waved away by Linington. Chair was just off target with a shot from a partially cleared corner right on half time. I like him, he’s tidy, but he needs to add some thrust and incision moving forwards to that as he gets more game time under his belt.

QPR: Smithies 6; Baptiste — (Hall 11, 5), Onuoha 5, Robinson 6; Cousins 5 (Wszolek 46, 6), Bidwell 6; Scowen 5, Chair 6 (Eze 61, 6), Freeman 6; Smith 5, Smyth 5

Subs not used: Lynch, Lumley, Oseyi-Samuel, Oteh

Yellow Cards: Freeman 71 (retaliation)

MK Dons: Nicholls 7; Williams 6, Walsh 6, Wootton 6, Brittain 6 (Ebanks-Landell 80, -); Cisse 8, McGrandles 6, Upson 7, Muirhead 6 (Agard 77, 6); Aneke 6, Ugbo 6 (Thomas-Asante 90+1, -)

Subs not used: Sietsma, Seagar, Nombe, Kasumu

Goals: Cisse 60 (unassisted)

Yellow cards: Muirhead 66 (foul), McGrandles 71 (foul), Wootton 87 (time wasting), Nicholls 90+2 (time wasting)

Referee — James Linington (Isle of Wight) 6 A referee QPR have never lost a league game with but have twice now suffered cup defeats against lower league opposition with him in the middle. I thought he could have carded more, earlier, for the most blatant and flagrant time wasting I can ever recall seeing in a game, which started early in the first half with the score at 0-0. By the time he did book a couple, the job had been done, and he even delayed a throw in further to write down Wootton’s name. All that said, it was refreshing and unusual to see an official actually add a decent chunk of stoppage time (eight in the end) for time wasting — usually it goes on all half and they just add the usual four or five minutes, so good for him on that front. Should have been a penalty on Chair in the first half.

Bolton 1 QPR 1, Saturday October 21, 2017, Championship

The equaliser we craved should have come from the spot after Massimo Luongo was brought down in the box. It looked a penalty all day from the upper tier, but Rangers justified protests were waved away.

Bolton: Alnwick 6; Little 6, Wheater 7, Beevers 7, Taylor 6; Pratley 6, Henry 6; Vela 6 (Le Fondre 83, -), Ameobi 5 (Morais 62, 6), Armstrong 5 (Noone 66, 5); Madine 4

Subs not used: Robinson, Cullen, Burke, Howard

Goals: Pratley 22 (assisted Madine/Vela)

QPR: Smithies 6; Baptiste 6, Lynch 5, Bidwell 6; Wszolek 6, Manning 6 (Washington 38, 5); Freeman 7, Luongo 6, Scowen 6; Sylla 7 (Wheeler 85., -), Mackie 5 (Smith 61, 5)

Subs Not Used: Furlong, Cousins, Ngbakoto, Lumley

Goals: Sylla 78 (assisted Freeman)

QPR Star Man - Luke Freeman 7 Never stopped, and got his reward with a fine assist for the Sylla goal.

Referee James Linington (Isle of Wight) 7 Couple of questionable ones, including the Luongo penalty appeal in the second half, but overall a very calm and sensible refereeing display, taking the difficult conditions into account and giving the game and players every chance. All our games this season bar one (which had a Premier League referee) have been officiated like this this season. It can’t possibly continue.

QPR 2 Hull City 1, Saturday August 19, 2017, Championship

Hull, with two players already off injured, didn’t approach the second half with much ambition. Goalkeeper Allan McGregor saw yellow for timewasting near the end of proceedings but referee James Linington could have taken action against the luminous stopper much earlier than that. They asked QPR to break them down and sat back to see if it would happen. Seb Larsson’s deliberate pull back and booking when Rangers did look like they’d got the right side of their opponent summed it up.

QPR: Smithies 7; Perch 7, Onuoha 6, Baptiste 5 (Wszolek 63, 6); Lua Lua 4 (Smith 57, 6), Bidwell 6; Scowen 7, Luongo 7, Freeman 6; Mackie 6 (Sylla 72, 7), Washington 6

Subs not used: Furlong, Ingram, Manning, Borysiuk

Goals: Smith 74 (assisted Freeman), Sylla 90+1 (assisted Washington)

Bookings: Perch 82 (foul), Sylla 90+1 (over celebrating), Smith 90+7 (foul)

Hull: McGregor 5; Aina 5, Dawson 7, Hector 6; Clark 6, Meyler 6, Stewart — (Diomande 10, 6), Bowen 7, Larsson 6; Grosicki 6, Campbell 5 (Mazuch 45, 5)

Subs not used: Mannion, Weir, Batty, Olley, Lenihan

Goals: Bowen 35 (assisted Meyler)

Bookings: Meyler 56 (foul), Larsson 60 (foul), McGregor 87 (time wasting)

Referee — James Linington (Isle of Wight) 6 Should have been down on the time wasting much earlier, and I still think it looks like an obvious foul by Washington for the Sylla goal but Hull didn’t appeal and nobody else has mentioned it so hey ho.

QPR 2 Forest 0, Saturday April 29, 2017, Championship

Washington saw a shot blocked in the eleventh minute but QPR were poor during the first half. Nedum Onuoha’s third minute booking from referee James Linington set him on edge for the rest of the game, and a foul and subsequent arm waving dissent three minutes before half time had hearts in mouths, but he had his best game of the season overall, hardly putting a foot wrong and executing a number of beautifully-timed, crucial sliding tackles in his own area while walking the proverbial disciplinary tightrope. A real captain’s knock at the best possible time.

Manning, booked just after the second goal for his usual one bad tackle of the game, lashed a first time shot just over the bar shortly after and then nearly caught Smith out with a curling effort direct from the corner. What a talent the boy is. Could have been 3-0.

Linington added six minutes to the end of it all, for his own amusement considering Forest made all three of their subs at once and QPR also made a double change at the same time, but they passed by without further panic as Michael Doughty enjoyed a decent cameo as a defensive central midfield player against his dad’s old club — hussling, harrying, blocking, building up that hope he might one day make it with us all over again. Realistically, it’s time for him to seek permanent, regular football a division lower where his lack of speed and engine isn’t such an issue. A cross from Luongo from the right would have resulted in a third goal from another sub, Yeni Ngbakoto, had he gone with his head rather than an outstretched leg.

QPR: Smithies 8; Perch 5, Onuoha 8, Lynch 7, Bidwell 6; Wszolek 7, Luongo 6, Freeman 6 (Doughty 82, -), Manning 7; Smith 6 (Ngbakoto 82, -), Washington 6 (Mackie 66, 6)

Subs not used: Ingram, Lua Lua, Furlong, Sylla

Goals: Washington 49 (assisted Luongo), Lynch 60 (assisted Manning)

Bookings: Onuoha 3 (foul), Manning 58 (foul)

Trees: Smith 6; Lichaj 6, Worrall 5, Mancienne 6, Pinilos 6 (Mills 62, 5); Vaughan 6, Cohen 6, Osborn 6, Carayol 6 (Cash 62, 6); Brereton 6 (Ward 61, 6), Assombalonga 5

Subs not used: Tshibola, Evtimov, Lam, Vellios

Bookings: Osborn 72 (dissent), Vaughan 76 (foul), Ward 80 (foul)

Referee — James Linington (Isle of Wight) 6 Much like the game, improved in the second half from a poor, niggly first half. The Onuoha booking, while justified, came after three minutes and I wondered if we’d see him do as he has done in our games before — paint himself into a corner with a flurry of early cards. He didn’t do that, and wasn’t too bad in the end. Not sure where six minutes came from, considering five of the subs were made at the same time.

QPR 2 Wigan 1, Tuesday February 21, 2017, Championship

This first half performance was similar to Lynch’s attempts to mark Aston Villa’s Jonathan Kodija, where he kept trying to cheat his way around the blind side of the man to nip in front of him and intercept balls only to find himself rolled and his man in on goal on the danger side each time. It was Lynch who gave the penalty away for the equaliser, though it had been Luke Freeman who’d seemingly snuffed out the danger by winning the ball back in midfield only to present it straight back to the visitors and leave his team in trouble. Lynch’s foul so blatant there wasn’t a single objection to James Linington’s decision, and only the new rule this season whereby a genuine attempt for the ball in such situations means you only get a yellow card saved him from a red — which it definitely would have been in any other previous campaign.

More fool us for making a big deal of Alex Smithies’ penalty saving exploits — Bogle sent him the wrong way with relative ease from the spot. He’ll never save one again now you watch.

Bogle’s threat continued in the second half including one horrifying moment where a two on two Wigan counter attack seemed to be completely under control until Lynch decided to come across and double up on Onuoha’s man, leaving Bogle completely free behind him — Smithies saved magnificently up in the top corner as the big forward let fly. Prior to half time Smithies had also produced an improbable reaction save under his own cross bar when Buxton met a driven corner with a fierce header that looked a certain goal.

One one then, and Wigan tails up, the game entered something of a scrapyard dogs phase. Bogle had already been late on Grant Hall once before the goal when he was booked for walloping Lynch immediately after. He was perhaps lucky that another late hit on Hall, which finished the QPR man off and saw him leave the field permanently, didn’t see him following his opponent down the tunnel — particularly as Linington got a little card happy after that, booking Grigg harshly and then later, hilariously but farcically, Idrissa Sylla five seconds after he’d come on as a sub for a meagre shove. A foul on Onuoha was awarded as a Wigan corner, then then in first half stoppage time Gilks helped a ball over his crossbar with both gloves only for a goal kick to be awarded.

Linington seemingly one of those referees that likes to paint himself into a corner with a lot of early cards, only to then get all lenient later on when those on a booking misbehave a second time. We ended the game with seven bookings, and while some were unfortunate to get one at all, others perhaps could have been dealt with more harshly and quite how Callum Connolly escaped disciplinary action I’m not sure.

QPR: Smithies 7; Furlong 6, Onouha 7, Lynch 5, Bidwell 6; Manning 6, Hall 6 (Lua Lua 29, 7), Freeman 6; Wszolek 6, Smith 6 (Sylla 76, 6), Washington 7 (Ngbakoto 68, 6)

Subs not used: Mackie, Ingram, Perch, Luongo

Goals: Smith 4 (assisted Washington), Washington 60 (assisted Freeman/Lua Lua)

Bookings: Lynch 15 (foul), Sylla 76 (foul)

Wigan: Gilks 4; Connolly 5, Buxton 5, Burn 6, Warnock 6; Power 6, Hanson 6 (Mandron 81, -), Morsy 6, Tunnicliffe 6; Grigg 6 (Obertan 73, 6), Bogle 8

Subs not used: Perkins, Kellett, Laurent, Weir

Goals: Bogle 17 (penalty — won Bogle)

Bookings: Bogle 22 (repetitive fouling), Grigg 30 (foul), Power 35 (foul), Hanson 46 (foul), Buxton 61 (foul)

Referee — James Linington (Isle of Wight) 5 Odd one. Very competitive game, though seven bookings felt excessive at the time — Grigg and Sylla in particular can feel a bit hard done to. Then at the same time other players, Connolly in particular, seemed to be able to get away with all sorts. Standard Championship referee really.

Cardiff 0 QPR 2, Sunday August 14, 2016, Championship

Neither goalkeeper was being unduly tested, and a whistle-happy referee wasn't exactly helping what flow there was to the game with his constant interuptions, the majority of decisions seeming to go against Rangers. It was all, much like the weather in South Wales, pretty dull.

Now ahead, Rangers continued to press in search of a second goal. It duly arrived, from the penalty spot, after Polter had been unceremoniously upended inside the area. Even with the new directives in place, there were few arguments from Cardiff.

A year ago, against Rotherham at Loftus Road, Polter had tried to claim the ball from Charlie Austin to take a 90th minute penalty. Charlie, being Charlie, was quite rightly having none of it. He duly dispatched that particular penalty. However, for all that he scored more than he ever missed from the spot, you could never be totally sure that Charlie Austin would be successful when stepping up.

And then came Leeds away at the back end of last season, and Charlie Austin now long gone. Stepping up that evening was Tjaronn Chery, who hit the ball so high and so hard into the top corner, if it hadn't have been for the net stopping it, it might now be in permanent orbit around Earth. So no arguments this time around. Chery struck a now trademark spot-kick powerfully passed Marshall - and Rangers were just about home and hosed.

Cardiff: Marshall; Peltier, Manga, Connbolly, Richards (Noone 77); Whittingham, John, Ralls; Immers (Huws 75), Pilkington, Gounongbe (Zohore 75)

Subs not used: Morrison, Gunnarsson, Moore, Ajayi

Bookings: Ralls 90+4 (foul)

QPR: Smithies 7; Onuoha 7, Caulker 8, Hall 7, Bidwell 6; Cousins 6, Luongo 6, Henry 6, Gladwin 5 (N'Gbakoto 25, 7); Chery 7 (Washington 91, -), Polter 6 (Perch 90+2, -)

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

Goals: Caulker 76 (assisted Bidwell), Chery 85 (penalty, won Polter)

Bookings: Onuoha 8 (foul), Chery 21 (dissent), Luongo 61 (foul), Henry 86 (repetitive fouling)

Referee: James Linington (Isle of Wight) 6 Somewhat fussy early on in the game, he was clearly keen to follow the FA directives in using his card to clamp down on dissent. Normally, and unlike Clive in this respect (you might have noticed!), I don't normally take much notice of, or get riled by referees; but one inexplicable decision left all of us in the away end fuming. It was during the second-half, when Nedum Onuoha charged in to intercept the ball and launched a powerful run, only to be clearly and physically pulled back. For reasons only he will know, the referee gave the free-kick to Cardiff. Barmy.

QPR 1 Carlisle United 2, Tuesday August 25, 2015, League Cup

QPR tried to push for an equaliser, but more in hope rather than expectation. Doughty took up a quarterback role with 10 minutes remaining as they went long but nothing really came close. There was muted claimed for a penalty, Emmanuel Thomas cut inside from the right-hand side and went down under a challenge from Raynes but in truth the Arsenal graduate went down a little too easily. I don't think anyone truly expected it to be given other than Emmanuel-Thomas who remained on his knees distraught that his moment of magic was so barbarically ruined by the League 2 centre half.

QPR: Smithies 5; Furlong 6, Hall 6, Hill 7 , Kpekawa 6; Doughty 7, Gobern 6 (Comley 67 6); Grego-Cox 6(Chery 83 -), Emmanuel-Thomas 5, Hoilett 4 (Luongo 72, -), Polter 4

Subs not used: Lumley, Perch, Phillips, Blackwood.

Goals: Emmanuel-Thomas 39 (assisted Doughty)

Bookings: Doughty 21 (foul)

Carlisle United: Gillespie 7; Miller 6, Raynes 6, Grainger 7 (Archibald-Henville 55 6); Brough 7 (Ibehre 85 -), Balanta 7 (Kennedy 72 7), Dicker 6, Sweeney 6, McQueen 7; Joyce 7, Asamoah 8.

Subs not used: Hanford, Hery, Rigg, Thompson.

Goals: Asamoah 36 (assisted Brough), Kennedy 78 (assisted by Asamoah)

Bookings: Sweeney 23 (foul)

Referee — James Linington (Isle of Wight) 6 Like most one the night, another average performer. QPR and Emmanuel-Thomas might have thought they deserved a penalty but my first impressions were that the referee got it right. Played advantage well and pulled the play back when needed.

QPR 2 Watford 1, Monday April 21, 2014, Championship

The Hornets committed men to the penalty box for a corner in the last minute of normal time as well but their optimism brought only a season ending goal at the other end as Hoilett broke down the right and sent a crossfield pass that had Austin, Morrison and Zamora all steaming forward with limited opposition. Austin initially tried to play in Morrison who seemed to be felled in the area but referee James Linington waited long enough for Zamora to touch the ball back to Austin and he scored his first goal since January with a precision shot from 20 yards out, around Almunia and into the far corner.

QPR: Green 7; Simpson 6 (Hoilett 72, 7), Dunne 5, Onuoha 7, Hill 6, Traore 6; Carroll 6, Barton 6, Morrison 6; Austin 6 (Henry 90+1, -), Doyle 5 (Zamora 72, 7)

Subs not used: Keane, Suk-Young, Hughes, Murphy

Goals: Barton 76 (free kick won Morrison), Austin 90 (assisted Zamora)

Bookings: Austin 85 (foul)

Watford: Almunia 6; Angella 6, Cassetti 6, Ekstrand 6; Riera 6, Abdi 6, Tozser 7, McGugan 8 (Battocchio 63, 5), Pudil 6; Deeney 7, Ranegie 6

Subs not used: Merkel, Doyley, Murray, Faraoni, Bond, Hoban

Goals: Ranegie 51 (assisted Deeney)

Bookings: Riera 51 (foul), Ranegie 57 (foul), Abdi 59 (foul)

Referee — James Linington (Isle of Wight) 8 Three quick fire Watford bookings before the hour were arguably a result of him not showing one earlier and calming down a increasingly frenetic visiting team — poor game management — but otherwise he went about his work sensibly, with a smile on his face, and didn’t get involved in the game unduly.

QPR 4 Barnsley 0, Saturday August 7, 2010, Championship

That was just one incident where Barnsley could, and indeed should, have scored. Three times they struck the post with Kenny beaten and the game still in the balance, three times they gifted QPR embarrassingly simple goals through defensive ineptitude. Two of those were penalties and just to further exacerbate the visitors’ frustrations with an inconsistent and eccentric refereeing performance they were somehow, inexplicably, denied a spot kick of their own in the second half when Fitz Hall turned LeBron James and plucked the ball out of the air with his right hand before clearing.

Barnsley’s solution to the growing threat of Taarabt was to foul him, and the Moroccan will have to put up with that on more than one occasion this season. A needlessly robust, two footed tackle by Martin Devaney ten minutes before half time was clearly designed to injure Taarabt and prevent him from inflicting any more damage and disgracefully escaped without a yellow card. It failed in its mission as well and five minutes before the break Taarabt found the key to the Barnsley door. He tricked his way into the area and then with the byline approaching collapsed under heavy pressure from Stephen Foster with referee Linington well placed to point straight to the spot. Barnsley protested vociferously, and Taarabt isn’t exactly known for staying on his feet in such situations, but the referee’s mind was made up and Foster was booked for his troubles.

That should have been that for the first half really, but Linington then added three minutes of injury time which perplexed the faithful in F Block as the trainer hadn’t been onto the field and Gorkss had left immediately for his treatment, and in that time Barnsley had two golden chances to equalise. First Faurlin was harshly penalised 45 yards out from goal after appearing to win the ball. The free kick was stood up to the back post where Paddy Kenny, under no pressure at all, completely misjudged the flight of it and dropped the ball behind him. That left Adam Hammil with an open goal and a tight angle but his header was somehow diverted onto his own post and away to safety by Helguson, who was back to defend the free kick. Kenny laid in the penalty area with his head in his hands for a minute or so, but he was trying to save face more than anything.

Mackie sent a free header straight at Steele in QPR’s first attack of the half a couple of minutes later but Barnsley were straight back on the attack after that and their travelling fans, entire team, substitutes and coaching staff rose as one to demand a penalty when Fitz Hall thrust up an arm in desperation and plucked a loose ball from the sky deep inside his own penalty area. It was an obvious spot kick, everybody in the ground saw it, but Linington waved the prolonged appeals away. The visitors seemed to be sapped of spirit by this incident and it was all Rangers thereafter.

Barnsley sent on Iain Hume, still sporting the hideous scars of a sickening clash with paid football thug Chris Morgan, but apart from dragging an early effort wide of Kenny’s post Hume seemed interested only in moaning about perceived injustices from the referee, digging out his own team mates, and ultimately hacking through the back of Adel Taarabt for which he was lucky to escape a card. Taarabt dusted himself down to deliver a perfect cross to the back post which Heidar Helguson failed to make contact with altogether when it looked easier to score.

QPR Kenny 5, Orr 7, Hall 6, Gorkss 7, Hill 7, Ephraim 7,Derry 7 (Leigertwood 79, 6), Faurlin 7, Taarabt 8 (Parker 77, 6),Helguson 7 (German 83, 5), Mackie 7

Subs Not Used: Cerny, Clarke, Connolly, Borrowdale

Booked: Orr (tripping)

Goals: Helguson 41 (penalty, assisted Taarabt), Mackie 53 (assisted Ephraim), Taarabt 63 (penalty, assisted Helguson), Hall 81 (assisted Ephraim)

Barnsley Steele 5, Hassell 2, Shackell 5, Foster 4, McEveley 2,Hammill 6 (Neumann 76, 5), Doyle 5, Lovre 5 (Butterfield 86, -),Devaney 5 (Hume 46, 6), Colace 7, Gray 6

Subs Not Used: Preece, Dickinsone, Boulding, Potter

Booked: Foster (foul, penalty concession), McEveley (professional foul)

Referee: James Linington (Isle of Wight). 5 Last time we had him for a game he got a mark of five and I said he made some rather eccentric decisions. I could just copy and paste that write up here because it was the same again. Both QPR penalties looked fair, but Barnsley should certainly have had one of their own. Of the bookings Orr’s was harsh, McEveley was lucky his wasn’t a red and both Hume and Devaney should have been at least yellow carded for their respective hacks on Taarabt.

QPR 1 Nottingham Forest 1, Saturday August 22, 2009, Championship

Helguson was involved again right on the stroke of full time as Camp came out of his area to deal with a long through ball and then very much in the style that cost him so dearly in QPR colours at Norwich the season before last when on a bit of a dribbling expedition. Time seemed to stand still as the ball, and Camp, stopped 40 yards out from goal and the keeper seemed to believe referee Linington had blown his whistle. I certainly had not heard it and neither had Helguson who executed a perfect tackle on the keeper and was then wrestled to the ground as he attempted to find the empty net from distance. With a foul and red card seemingly the only option the home crowd was immensely frustrated to see a flag now raised against Helguson for offside which, bearing in mind camp had touched the ball three times before Helguson had even tried to chase him back, seemed a little farfetched to me. No cards from the referee on the day which was a good thing but one or two of his decisions were eccentric to say the least.

QPR: Cerny 7, Ramage 6, Hall 5 (Gorkss 46, 6), Stewart 6, Borrowdale 6,Routledge 7, Leigertwood 7, Faurlin 7, Pellicori 5 (Vine 61, 5), Helguson 5,Taarabt 6 (Buzsaky 66, 6)

Subs Not Used: Heaton, Mahon, Agyemang, Connolly

Goals: Leigertwood 25 (assisted Routledge)

Nottm Forest Camp 7, Gunter 6, Morgan 6, Lynch 6 (McCleary 46, 6), Cohen 7, Chambers 6, Majewski 8, McKenna 7, Garner 6, Adebola 7 (Blackstock 71, 7),McGoldrick 7 (Tyson 75, 6)

Subs Not Used: Smith, Anderson, Earnshaw, Davies

Goals: McGoldrick 57 (assisted Adebola)

Referee: J Linington (Hampshire) 5 Some perplexing stuff at times although there were no bookings which is a positive. The most frustrating thing for me was his consistent reward of play acting — Adebola’s theatrical falls to earth became a joke as the game went on and yet he gave him a free kick every single time, likewise with Taarabt who we all know is never shy of hitting the deck. The incident with Camp and Helguson in the last minute was a poorly managed farce.


Pretty standard numbers this season – 38 yellows and no reds from ten, led by seven bookings at Sheff Wed 0-1 Ipswich.

Last season 32 appointments with 115 bookings and four reds — the seven yellows and extremely dodgy red card in our 3-0 home win against Cardiff his biggest haul. Two Stoke appointments among those – a 2-0 home loss to Coventry and 3-0 home victory against Huddersfiueld who had Will Boyle sent off after an hour with the score at 1-0.

The season before he finished on 144 yellows and seven reds in 32 games, with some absolute whoppers amongst them: 11 yellows and a red in Luton’s late-season home win against Forest; ten yellows and two reds in Derby’s 1-0 home win against Peterborough; nine yellows in Forest’s home loss to Fulham and eight in Blackpool’s 3-1 in over Bristol City.

He has had 24 QPR appointments in his career, we have a 12-4-10 record in those games. Stoke are 3-2-3 from eight.

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vietchochet added 17:12 - Nov 28
This match took place in a very exciting way and the fans could not help but be disappointed with the dedication of the players.

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