Bond in charge of Birmingham visit - Referee
Friday, 8th Feb 2019 08:38 by Clive Whittingham
Darren Bond from Lancashire is the man in the middle on Saturday as QPR host Birmingham City at Loftus Road.
Referee >>> Darren Bond (Lancashire), last three QPR appointments have ended in defeats.
Assistants >>> Michael George (Norfolk) and Ian Cooper (Kent)
Fourth Official >>> Keith Stroud (Hampshire), kill it before it lays eggs.
If you thought Norwich were clock running before, well then the remaining time in this game really wasn’t for you. It seems to be just generally accepted in the Championship this season that once a team is leading in the final third of the game they are allowed to take absolute liberties with what time remains. We’ve had it done to us by Sheffield United, Preston and Norwich now, while we’ve done it ourselves to Wigan, Bolton and Millwall. It is appalling to watch, reducing sporting fixtures people have forked over serious amounts of their hard earned cash to see into drawn out, boring farces. Players who are substituted deliberately going to the far side of the field and then walking off like a veteran member of the Cleethorpes and District Arthritis Care Association. Goalkeepers allowed to fuck about with the ball - cleaning it, placing it, replacing it, taking it to the other side of the six yard box, having a couple of false start run ups – for days and days at a time at every single goal kick. Play disrupted with one deliberate free kick after another, and every free kick immediately followed by the same niggly stuff where the ball gets poked away, and players refuse to retreat, and we have a big mother’s union with the referee about whether it was actually a free kick or not a free kick and whether it’s been placed in quite the correct position or not. Play repeatedly stopped to tend to one prostrate player after another when it is blatantly obvious to everybody in the ground that there is absolutely nothing wrong with them. And two physios now for every team - since when did that become necessary? One to make sure they are indeed pretending to be hurt and one to check for any signs of intelligent life? Then the whole palaver where said cheating footballer limps off to the side of the pitch the long way before immediately sprinting back on fit as a fiddle as soon as the game restarts.
And all the while all any of the referees at this level do is repeatedly point at their watch, book absolutely nobody, and then add four minutes at the end of the game regardless of anything that’s gone before. One or two minutes in the first half, four minutes in the second, thanks very much I’m off home now. What’s the point in them having a fucking watch at all really? I already know how much stoppage time there’s going to be at Swansea next week and the game’s six days away.
Now let’s be clear here. This is not the embittered, sour grapes ranting of the beaten football fan, though I appreciate it may come across as that in this context. As I say, we were doing exactly this to Bolton and Millwall earlier in the week. Joe Lumley is bloody awful for it. And let’s not forget that after Preston and Sheff Utd dark arted us to death in the opening week of the season, I said that QPR needed to learn from them and get some street smarts of their own, which in the last few games it seems we have. We were wasting time at 0-0 at Birmingham a fortnight ago.
This is a general point about how referees in the Championship are complicit in, and in the case of Darren Bond on Saturday actively encouraging through total indifference and inaction, this descent of second tier football in this country to the very worst tropes of the leagues in Spain, Italy and particularly Portugal – where the aim of the game is to make sure you’re not losing after an hour, and then piss the final 30 minutes up the wall in front of 12,000 people who’d paid north of £30 to get in. This will fester if there isn't a serious clampdown and make what is already a basic, attritional, mediocre and borderline unwatchable league less palatable still. There have been episodes of Celebrity Big Brother that had more about them than this latest dirge. Loftus Road, like many Championship grounds, littered with empty seats, and I doubt those that did bother will be keen to rush back for more.
Subs not used: Ingram, Cameron, Wszolek, Kakay
Norwich: Krul 6; Aarons 6, Zimmerman 6, Klose 6, Lewis 7; Leitner 6 (Trybull 90, -), Tettey 8; Buendia 6 (Vrancic 68, 6), Stiepermann 7, Cartwell 7; Pukki 7 (Rhodes 90+2, -)
Subs not used: Godfrey, Srbeny, McGovern, Thompson
Goals: Pukki 71 (assisted Stiepermann)
Yellows: Aarons 61 (foul), Lewis 67 (foul)
Referee – Darren Bond (Lancashire) 5 Missed a fairly blatant QPR penalty at the end of the game when Luongo was shoved to the ground as he was about to shoot. Was complicit in, and actively encouraged, the time wasting that went on in the second half.
There was a brief rally from the home team. Smith headed a good cross from Wszolek wide when he should have scored, and then did likewise with another header that referee Bond generously decided had been deflected. From that corner, Massimo Luongo bundled in from close range to make it 3-1. Had Eze then scored when he should have done after Pantilimon fumbled a corner straight to him there might have been a game on, and the keeper once again started his time wasting antics as a result – finally booked by Bond with 20 minutes left.
QPR: Smithies 5; Onuoha 4, Robinson 4, Lynch 4 (Eze 53, 5); Wszolek 4, Bidwell 4 (Washington 70, 4); Scowen 3, Luongo 3, Freeman 5; Smith 5, Smyth 5
Subs not used: Ingram, Furlong, Manning, Perch, Osayi-Samuel
Goals: Luongo 68 (assisted Smith), Smith 78 (assisted Freeman)
Bookings: Scowen 84 (foul)
Forest: Pantilimon 6; Darikwa 7, Figueiredo 7, Fox 7, Osborn 8; Watson 8, Colback 7 (Guédioura 90, -); Cash 8, Tomlin 9 (Dowell 69, 8), Lolley 8 (Worrall 85, -); Brereton 8
Subs not used: Mancienne, Bridcutt, Kapino, Vellios,
Goals: Tomlin 37 (assisted Lolley), 47 (unassisted), Lolley 51 (assisted Tomlin), Cash 76, Brereton 90+1 (assisted Cash)
Bookings: Tomlin 35 (foul), Pantilimon 72 (time wasting)
Referee – Darren Bond (Lancashire) 6 Not too bad overall but – and this is a regular complaint – why do experienced, otherwise very good, referees struggle so much to clamp down on time wasting? Pantilimon was trying it on at 0-0 after 15 minutes and really took the piss through the second half. Quite why he felt the need to do that with Forest in such dominant control I’m not sure but Bond let him get away with it for far too long, and then when he did book him he let him carry on doing it afterwards. Even immediately after the yellow card was issued Pantilimon continued the conversation for ages, then wandered back and started messing about with his socks. Book him again, send him off. But nobody does, so they keep doing it.
QPR have been good this season. They pose an attacking threat, pass the ball nicely, play through opponents effectively and are good to watch. But even when their first choice defence was playing, they’ve proven vulnerable during those ten minute pleasure windows every team has in a game. Sheff Wed, Norwich, Millwall and now Middlesbrough have stuck five goals through Rangers in the 15 minutes immediately after half time when, ideally, you want to be soaking up anything new the opposition manager has to offer, quietening the crowd back down, working your position back into the game and then setting about playing through the final half hour. An Alex Smithies yellow card for timewasting as early as the fifty second minute betrayed the team’s nervousness with the situation, despite their accomplished performance to that point.
Game retrieved, Boro rather went back into their shells after that – though Assombalonga skied a wonderful chance to make it 4-2 high over the bar and off towards the docks on 72 minutes and Smithies spectacularly tipped over from the impressive Baker. Jamie Mackie’s scrap with Cyrus Christie, for which both players were yellow carded by excellent referee Darren Bond, showed Rangers weren’t done yet and Holloway sent on Idrissa Sylla to add more presence and threat to the attack.
Boro: Randolph 5; Christie 6, Fry 6, Gibson 6, Fabio 5; Leadbitter 6 (Howson 56, 6), Clayton 6 (Fletcher 46, 7); Baker 8, Downing 6 (Forshaw 78, 6), Johnson 8; Assombalonga 7
Subs not used: Konstantopoulos, Friend, Shotton, Bamford
Goals: Baker 36 (assisted Johnson), Fletcher 55 (assisted Christie), Assombalonga 60 (assisted Johnson)
Yellows: Clayton 34 (foul), Leadbitter 39 (foul), Christie 66 (unsporting), Baker 66 (foul)
QPR: Smithies 7; Furlong 6, Baptiste 6, Robinson 6, Bidwell 6; Luongo 8, Freeman 7, Manning 7; Lua Lua 6 (Wszolek 45, 6), Smith 6 (Mackie 45, 6), Wheeler 6 (Sylla 68, 6)
Subs not used: Borysiuk, Ngbakoto, Lumley, Osayi-Samuel
Goals: Wheeler 2 (assisted Freeman), Mackie 50 (unassisted)
Yellows: Luongo 32 (foul), Wszolek 47 (foul), Smithies 52 (timewasting), Mackie 66 (unsporting)
Referee – Darren Bond (Lancashire) 8 A lot of cards (eight) in a game that didn’t really feel like one of those but overall I thought he was excellent, in keeping with the unusually high standard of officiating we’ve had from the Championship officials in our games so far this season. Really contributed to the flow of an enjoyable game.
Our only moment of excitement in the first half came from a Chery free kick. From about 20 yards he curled a lovely effort which clipped the top of the bar and went out for a goal kick. That was it for us and it was with some relief the half ended with only a one goal deficit and we could hope for an improvement in the second half.
We didn’t have to wait long. A lovely ball around the centre half by Chery and Polter was away and heading towards goal. Through a mixture of shirt pulling and tripping Polter was thwarted and the referee pointed to the spot. Chery easily converted and the away end finally awoke from their sleepy state and our spirits were rightly raised.
But before any changes could be made Rangers found themselves in front. Some neat passing and a dangerous cross from the right came to N’Gbakato who drew a foolish challenge and the referee once again pointed correctly to the spot. There were concerned looks around us as Chery threw the ball to Polter to take the penalty. Why? Chery had already nailed three pens this season surely he should be taking this one too? Oh no, Polter’s bound to miss. Bang! 2- 1 to the R’s and “We’re top of the league!” boomed out of the away end.
Only fifteen minutes to go and leading through our only two efforts on target, let’s show that strength and steel that was in evidence on Sunday and put this game to bed. Or let’s give away a ridiculous free kick in dangerous position when an attacker is moving away from goal. It may have been soft but why give the opponent a reason to fall flat on his face and the referee a decision to make? We’ve just taken the lead and Barnsley have struggled to break us down in the second half. Utter stupidity and naivety to make any kind of challenge there and you know the rest. From an almost identical position as Chery’s free kick in the first half, Hourihane belts an absolute beauty passed the helpless Smithies and the momentum swung back to the home side.
Hasselbaink tried to freshen things up by replacing the tired N’Gbakoto with El Khayati, who I don’t think touched the ball in the ten minutes he was on for. We had tossed the lead away but a point was still a good result and we move on to Saturday still unbeaten. Yeah right. Last minute winner for Barnsley.
From our angle it looked like Hall had been fouled in the lead up to the goal but the officials were unmoved and Oakwell was predominantly jubilant. Washington replaced the ineffective and knackered Cousins and Hall was rightly shown a second yellow followed by the red for deliberately stopping a late Barnsley break on the halfway line. That really was the icing on the cake for a disappointing last 15 minutes and the game drifted to defeat.
Hasselbaink is moaning about the officials but he needs to look more closely at his game management. Cousins needed replacing far earlier and we seemed content to let the game drift for long periods rather than trying something different. We certainly didn’t play well enough to deserve the win and we need to get more people forward more quickly. Too often our midfield slowed the game down and passed backwards. Henry was particularly guilty of this and kept putting us under pressure with misplaced passes, terrible crosses or fouls. I also hope the real Smithies returns on Saturday as I didn’t enjoy his Rob Green impersonation at all.
Barnsley: Davies NA; Bree 6; Roberts 6, Mawson 7, White 7; Kent 8; Scowen 7; Hourihane 8; Hammil 5; Watkins 6 (D’Almeida 82, -); Bradshaw 5 (Payne 63, 6)
Goals: Watkins 4 (assisted Hourihane/Roberts), Hourihane 77 (free kick won Hourihane, conceded Luongo), Scowen 89 (assisted Payne, mistake Hall)
Bookings: Roberts 46 (foul)
Goals: Chery 47 (penalty, won Polter), Polter 75 (penalty, won N’Gbakoto)
Red Cards: Hall 90+5 (two bookings)
Bookings: Onuoha 90+3 (foul), Hall 61 (foul), 90+5 (foul)
A couple of recent red cards have lifted Bond to 74 yellows and four reds in 24 games, led by some considerable distance by the eight yellows and one red at Barnsley 2-1 Charlton in League One. This will be his third Birmingham game of the season, and they’ve won they other two at home to Sheff Wed 3-1 and Stoke 2-0.
He came home with a wet sail last season with six red cards in his final 15 matches lifting his totals to 136 yellows and eight reds in 40 games across the campaign.
The Grant Hall red card at Barnsley the previous August was one of six Bond showed across the season in 40 appointments. The total of 117 yellows was an average of 2.925 a game and led by the seven shown in Wolves’ ridiculous 4-4 draw with Fulham in the Championship.
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