Linington takes Norwich visit - Referee
Thursday, 22nd Apr 2021 13:00 by Clive Whittingham
Isle of Wight official James Linington is back in charge of QPR on Saturday as they welcome champions-elect Norwich to Loftus Road.
Referee >>> James Linington (Isle of Wight)
Assistants >>> Matthew Jones (Staffs) and Ian Cooper (Kent)
Fourth Official >>> Craig Hicks (Surrey)
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)
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.
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.
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: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Four reds and 65 yellows in 28 games for Linington as the season reaches its conclusion – a low average of 2.3 yellows which continues a trend from last season. That started off as something of a card flurry with 54 yellows (3.357) and three reds in his first 16 appearances and then just 20 yellows and no reds in the next 14 games. His two Norwich appointments so far this season included one of their seven defeats so far, away at Bournemouth, as well as a 2-0 home win against Bristol City.
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