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Webb gets Derby gig again - Referee
Friday, 29th Nov 2019 08:50 by Clive Whittingham

David Webb is the man in the middle for Saturday's trip to Derby, just as he was last season and given how that game turned out in the end I'm not sure I see the wisdom in letting him have another crack at this fixture.

Referee >>> David Webb (Durham), refereed both matches between these sides in the Championship last season.

Assistants >>> Steven Meredith (Nottinghamshire) and Matthew McGrath (East Yorkshire)

Fourth Official >>> James Bell (West Riding)

History

Derby 2 QPR 0, Monday April 22, 2019, Championship

A defeat, QPR’s twenty second of the season and thirteenth since January 12, away to a much better team that still has things to play for was not unexpected. We said as much in the preview. In fact, we thought it might be a deal worse. But to actually play reasonably well, as QPR did by their admittedly pitiful standards, create the better chances in the game and make it to the last minute level only to lose amidst a refereeing brain explosion seemed particularly cruel on a club that has suffered enough over the past few weeks.

When we play poorly, as we did against Blackburn and Bolton and Rotherham and Norwich, we lose. When we play alright, as we did here and against Bristol City and West Brom and Watford, we also lose. It’s like we’re going out of our way to find new and creative ways to do it. The two goals Derby scored in a ludicrous 12 minutes of stoppage time added to this game (more, much more, on that later) were the seventh and eighth goals we’ve conceded after the 90 minute mark this season – more than any other team in the league. The nonsense penalty that gifted them their first (more, much more, on that later) was the ninth spot kick Rangers have conceded this term – again, a division high. We’re like Kif with the Women of Amazonia in Futurama – suffering death by a thousand blows to the groin. You will be snoo-snooed by the last-minute goals, then your own crass incompetence, then a dreadful piece of refereeing. THEN THE LAST-MINUTE GOALS AGAIN.

But, in actual fact, Rangers, with Tomer Hemed and Nahki Wells together up front and Luke Freeman and Bright Osayi-Samuel on the wings, didn’t do too badly at all. An early Derby free kick whipped in from wide by set piece specialist Harry Wilson had Lumley diving right to make a save from a flicked header, but Rangers marched straight down the field and caused panic of their own in the Derby area with a low cross from Manning that was turned back to his own goalkeeper by a home defender amidst a scramble and hurried clear. Roos’ handling of the deliberate back pass ignored by referee David Webb.

The loan players looked their best hope. Wilson tried a free kick from somewhere out near Strutt’s North Mill which Lumley saved reasonably easily, Mason Mount got a sight of goal but spooned a shot over while unbalanced. I thought QPR had a decent appeal for a penalty on 53 minutes but I haven’t seen it back since and in the ensuing Derby counter attack Scowen picked up a yellow card for a typical bit of ratting. Ten minutes later Luongo saw yellow for much the same. Luke Freeman was tackled and the ball went out of play. Derby throw in. In amongst the obvious calls there were, to put it mildly, some odd refereeing decisions.

Still, a point is not to be sniffed at when you’ve been as bereft as QPR of late. What came next was cruel.

First of all, nine minutes of added time. Nine. In actual fact, Webb ended up playing more than 12. Now this has been a bugbear of mine all season. In the Championship now, as soon as you take the lead in a game, or not even that if you’re an away side, the time wasting begins. Blatantly, flagrantly, obviously. Sometimes as little as 15 minutes into a game. Throw ins passed around between would-be takers, keepers swapping the sides of their goal kicks, prolonged debates over corners and free kicks, substitutes completing a lap of honour at the speed of Thora Hird before trudging off, goalies catching routine crosses and then falling theatrically to the ground in several stages like a collapsing ironing board. We’ve had it done to us, and we’ve done it to other teams. It’s cheating, it’s rife, and the referees have not only done nothing about it and allowed it to fester, they’ve actually been willing participants and facilitated it – refusing to issue yellow cards other than the odd token gesture here and there, as we saw with the Blackburn keeper on Friday, and spending all afternoon pointing at their watch only to add a nominal amount of time to the end of the game that bears no relation to anything that went before it. Including, it should be said, this same referee against this same opponent in the first meeting at Loftus Road before Christmas. “Prior to the equaliser he’d been another example of a referee enabling and encouraging time wasting by failing to do anything about some pretty flagrant clock running,” we said of him that day.

Then, suddenly, here, from nowhere, 12 minutes. Nine advertised and three more played on top of that. Is this the standard now? Good. Long overdue. I welcome our new ant overlords. But it wasn’t the rules we played to against Blackburn three days ago, and I’ll bet you a Coke it’s not the rules we’re playing to against Forest next Saturday. Twelve minutes. In a half of four substitutions and no goals. Have a fucking day off mate, we didn’t play 12 minutes at Aston Villa on New Year’s Day when the game was stopped for Lumley to have his face stitched back on.

Sadly, Webb was still very much at work. Three minutes into said chunk of stoppage time he awarded Derby a penalty for what was, pretty obviously, a fair tackle from Luke Freeman on Jayden Bogle. A disgraceful decision, clearly wrong, the second time this season Rangers have lost out to an injury time penalty that was the incorrect call. Joe Lumley’s been letting the weak spot kicks beat him recently so he was never likely to save a proper one from Wilson, buried into the corner for the game. Rangers have now lost out on five points by conceding penalties this season, and another four to goals scored in injury time.

Still an evening session left to play of course, during which Marriott curled one wide from range and then Derby were able to add a second goal in unfathomable circumstances. Trying to get a quick restart away and launch a hunt for an equaliser, Ryan Manning took a hurried throw in back to Joe Lumley who was miles out of his goal. The goalkeeper, perhaps believing the final whistle had blown, took a lazy, frustrated, wild swing at a bouncing ball he had plenty of time to take a touch on. This presented the home team with possession, men, and no defence between them and the goal, and they were able to basically walk the thing in from there. Wilson with a brace. Bizarre stuff. Lumley, like most of his team mates, needs this season to end soon.

Derby: Roos 6; Bogle 6, Keogh 6, Tomori 6, Malone 6; Bryson 5 (Bennett 37, 6), Johnson 5; Mount 6, Wilson 7, Lawrence 6 (Nugent 78, 6); Waghorn 5 (Marriott 69, 6)

Subs not used: Carson, Evans, Cole, Huddlestone

Goals: Wilson 90+3 (penalty, won Bogle), 90+11 (assisted Marriott)

Bookings: Bennett 90+9 (foul)

QPR: Lumley 5; Wszolek 6, Furlong 6, Cameron 7, Manning 6; Osayi-Samuel 7 (Eze 82, -), Scowen 6, Luongo 6, Freeman 6; Wells 5 (Walker 90+6, -), Hemed 5 (Smith 73, 5)

Subs not used: Ingram, Shodipo, Phillips, Tilt

Bookings: Wszolek 41 (foul), Scowen 54 (foul), Luongo 67 (foul)

Referee – David Webb (Durham) 3 I thought there’d been some pretty weird and wonderful calls across the regulation 90 minutes anyway. What followed in a ridiculously protracted spell of stoppage time was just rank bad refereeing, plain and simple.

QPR 1 Rotherham 2, Wednesday March 13, 2019, Championship

A fourth more effective tactic was a quick release from Joe Lumley, over the head of Joe Mattock, for Bright Osayi-Samuel to chase after. The former Blackpool man was treated to a rare start here with Pawel Wszolek benched and set about the task nicely. He was patently quicker than Mattock, and caused the full back problems right from the off, giving him a ten yard start and beating him to the first ball, then doing the same again moments later and drawing a foul and a yellow card from referee David Webb. This was wonderful. Exactly what you want: young, quick, talented winger looking confident; creaking, painfully slow, full back looking frightened and booked early. Keep doing that. Keep going there. Keep picking away at that. There’s joy there. There’s low hanging fruit. McClaren, after 25 minutes, moved Osayi-Samuel to the other wing.

QPR: Lumley 5; Furlong 4, Leistner 5, Lynch 5, Bidwell 5; Osayi-Samuel 6, Luongo 6, Cousins 4 (Shodipo 72, 6), Freeman 5; Eze 5 (Wszolek 80, 6), Hemed 3 (Wells 72, 5)

Subs not used: Ingram, Cameron, Scowen, Manning

Goals: Osayi-Samuel 86 (assisted Wszolek)

Bookings: Bidwell 43 (foul), Furlong 90+4 (foul)

Rotherham: Rodak 6; Vyner 6, Ihiekwe 8, Wood 6, Mattock 5; Taylor 7, Ajayi 8, Towell 7 (Crooks 64, 6), Newell 7 (Forde 83, -); Smith 6, Wiles 6 (Jones 90+2, -)

Subs not used: Palmer, Price, Yates, Williams

Goals: Ajayi 71 (unassisted), 90+5 (assisted Forde)

Bookings: Mattock 17 (foul)

Referee – David Webb (Durham) 6 Gave a lot of free kicks, but then QPR committed a lot of fouls. Bit fussy, and as during the Derby game did a lot of gesturing towards his watch during blatant time wasting and then added a pitiful three minutes onto the end of the game (though played a more realistic five).

QPR 1 Derby County 1, Saturday October 6, 2018, Championship

And so, with an hour still to play and only one goal in it, began, once again, the excruciating palaver of a goal kick only being taken after the keeper has walked out to the edge of his box to speak with his defenders, walked all the way back to retrieve the ball from behind the goal, found a towel in the net to clean the ball (presumably in case it’s too wet and dirty to kick), picked a side to take the goal kick from (the opposite one to where he’s cleaning the ball naturally), walked over there, placed the ball, taken a few steps back, taken a few steps forward, picked the ball up again, replaced the ball, taken a few steps back, pretended he hasn’t understood what the referee is shouting, acknowledge the second time what the referee is shouting, take a few more steps back, and then finally kick the ball down the field. Every. Single. Time.

We also had players repeatedly throwing themselves up in the air and screaming as if they’d been the victim of some sort of David Buust-style leg annihilation under the bare minimum of contact, followed by a prolonged period of rolling around on the floor, treatment from two physios (we have to have two physios now for some reason), a long, drawn out, laboured, pained, agonising stroll to the touchline, and then a swift 180 and sprint back into the action once play had resumed and the opponent had been punished. Lawrence, a bit of an underrated shithead for me, ended up being booked by struggling referee David Webb along with Angel Rangel for a ridiculously overblown clash between the pair under a quick throw out from Carson. Bradley Johnson and new England call up Mason Mount were both guilty of literally screaming after innocuous challenges on them that were barely fouls, and yet both were miraculously able to jump up and sprint about again moments later. One day somebody will snap one of them properly, but referees will be so accustomed to them letting out these weird banshee impressions that they risk being left to lay seriously injured on the turf while play goes on around them – you could hear their cries of wolf from White City tube station. In actual fact the only serious injury suffered all day was Jake Bidwell’s suspected broken collarbone, from a bad challenge that apparently didn’t even warrant a yellow card.

Referees can clamp down on this, as we saw during the World Cup. Book early and often for time wasting and it stops. Allow the play to go on and invite the player to go to the sideline for treatment if it’s really necessary and they’re soon up and about again. But we are seeing time and time again this season, from QPR in games they’re winning and against QPR in games they’re losing, this ball acheing twattery just allowed to go on and on and on unchecked. Webb barely had a control of the game all afternoon - ignoring serious stuff, penalising stuff that could have been allowed to go, a grasp of the advantage rule as thin as tracing paper - and as per usual completely ignored everything that had gone on in the respective halves and added the regulation two minutes to the first and four to the second regardless. Championship football is a bracing watch at the best of times, and this sort of Portuguese league-style game killing is suffocating it even more.

Rangers were level almost immediately. Tomori was adjudged by Webb to have fouled Eze on the edge of the area when he’d done nothing of the sort giving Luke Freeman a presentable free kick opportunity. Scott Carson has enjoyed a career revival at Frank Lampard’s Derby County, and is rated by many of their fans as the best keeper in the league, but he has a history of mistakes at Loftus Road and is always a keeper I feel gives you a chance. Caught between a catch and a camera save from Freeman’s shot he did neither, parrying the ball straight to Nahki Wells who pulled it back blind from the byline for Geoff Cameron to slam in a first goal for the club.

QPR: Lumley 7, Rangel 6, Leistner 6, Lynch 7, Bidwell 6 (Wszolek 30, 7); Luongo 6, Cameron 6; Cousins 6 (Hemed 69, 6), Eze 6 (Smith 90+3, -), Freeman 7; Wells 6

Subs not used: Ingram, Scowen, Baptiste, Osayi-Samuel

Goals: Cameron 48 (assisted Wells)

Bookings: Rangel 9 (shithousery), Luongo 37 (foul), Leistner 86 (foul)

Derby: Carson 5; Bogle 6, Keogh 6, Tomori 6, Forsyth 6; Bryson 6, Johnson 5 (Huddlestone 75, 7); Jozefzoon 6 (Wilson 56, 7), Mount 7, Lawrence 6 (Waghorn 78, 6); Marriott 6

Subs not used: Roos, Nugent, Davies, Malone

Goals: Marriott 24 (assisted Johnson)

Bookings: Lawrence 9 (shithousery), Bryson 83 (foul)

Referee – David Webb (Durham) 5 A difficult game to referee, with several players (Bradley Johnson) trying every trick in the book to con him, screaming blue murder as if they’d had their leg snapped after every challenge. But, overall, not the best. Derby were, rightly, stewing over the free kick which led to the goal which was never a foul in a month of Sundays, although it’s a bit much to accuse the referee of costing you the game with one mistake across 90 minutes and it rather ignores Scot Carson’s part in it. It was one of several very soft/blatantly wrong free kicks given against both sides, often when there was an obvious advantage to wave on, while other much more serious stuff was ignored – the challenge that broke Jake Bidwell’s collar bone, for instance, not even a yellow card. Prior to the equaliser he’d been another example of a referee enabling and encouraging time wasting by failing to do anything about some pretty flagrant clock running.

Stats

Fairly odd career path so far for this official. He’s been on the list since 2008/09 refereeing mostly League One and League Two, with a smattering of Championship games each season. It was only last season that he became a mainstay of our division with all but eight of his 34 appointments coming in the second tier. He showed 102 yellows and five reds in that time, topped out by six yellows at Wycombe v Oxford in League One and Norwich 3-4 Derby. Apart from the two games with us last season hs had Derby for a 2-0 home win against Preston and 4-3 away win at Norwich.

Like Steve Martin during the week, Webb arrives into this game without a red card to his name so far this season – though we know how that turned out for us against Forest. He’s shown 34 yellows across a dozen fixtures led by eight bookings at the recent Charlton 0-1 Preston Championship game. He’s refereed Derby once already, for a 3-0 defeat away at Brentford who were probably the best side they’ve played all season.

The Twitter/Instagram @loftforwords

Pictures – Action Images

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