Langford gets Fulham date - Referee
Wednesday, 13th Oct 2021 17:42 by Clive Whittingham
Experienced Football League official Oliver Langford is the man in the middle for Saturday’s lunchtime game at Fulham.
Referee >>> Oliver Langford (West Midlands), awarded penalties at both ends in QPR’s 1-1 draw at Norwich last season.
Assistants >>> Steven Russell (Nottinghamshire) and Mark Russell (Somerset)
Fourth Official >>> David Rock (Herts)
Afobe apart, Millwall were good, vindicating our pre-season shout that this could easily be a play-off team. There’s an eye for detail in Gary Rowett’s management that always draws me to him – he’d picked up on all the issues regarding space in front of and behind QPR’s wing backs, and who to press and when as we try to play through Johansen in midfield, that were there in our pre-season games. They are, still, as well, a Millwall team at heart. Their three centre backs, led by Shaun Hutchinson, stood for no shit whatsoever, and neither Charlie Austin nor Lyndon Dykes got much of a kick all afternoon. When they felt it required, a tactical foul was made, often with added nastiness and bite – early leniency from referee Oliver Langford ended with a yellow card for Ballard on the quarter hour for a hack from behind, and Murray Wallace and George Saville would follow him into the book later for similar reducers.
QPR: Dieng 6; Odubajo 7, Dickie 9, De Wijs 8, Barbet 7, Wallace 6; Ball 5, Johansen 7 (Thomas 73, 5); Willock 6, Dykes 5, Austin 5 (Dozzell 68, 6)
Subs not used: Kakay, Archer, Dunne, Bettache, Adomah
Goals: Dickie 31 (unassisted)
Millwall: Bialkowski 7; McNamara 6, Ballard 7, Hutchinson 7, Wallace 7, Malone 6; Evans 6 (Mitchell 88, -), Kieftenbeld 7, Saville 7 (Leonard 68, 6); Afobe 5 (Smith 78, 5), Wallace 8
Subs not used: Long, Bradshaw, Pearce, Mahoney
Goals: Wallace 11 (unassisted)
Bookings: Ballard 15 (foul), Wallace 43 (foul), Saville 59 (foul)
QPR Star Man – Rob Dickie 9 Not a difficult decision.
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Midlands) 7 Few complaints, though it will be interesting to see how this Euros-style leniency plays in the Championship if that is the policy they’re pursuing this season. Certainly Chris Willock had plenty of cause to be aggrieved with stuff that was waved away on him.
But, mostly, the home team started to behave rather oddly. Top of the league, 13 wins, Vrancic, Cantwell and Pukki against Moe, Larry and Curly? This should have been a cakewalk. Todd Kane was playing like a man who had Norwich on his coupon and Buendia and Aarons double teaming Hämäläinen was a meat raffle waiting to happen. And yet, somehow, not. Frustration with a clunky performance soon manifested itself in a series of screeched appeals to referee Oliver Langford for nothing very much at all. Pukki fumed at a thirtieth minute penalty appeal for an alleged foul by Geoff Cameron, but it was nothing of the sort and even Rob Styles would have waved it away. Afterwards Daniel Farke, while insisting he wouldn’t be speaking about the officials and brushing off ongoing questions about the whereabouts of the painting of The Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies, claimed his side should have had four (four) penalty kicks at least, but jumping up in the air and screaming the place down doth not a penalty kick make. Actually, that’s not true, but more on that later.
Quite what Rob Dickie was doing loitering around on the goal line on 67 minutes only he knows, but it proved very useful as Sorensen’s low shot zipped past the keeper towards the bottom corner. QPR desperately needed to keep possession of the ball better, rather than handing it back to their opposition quite so readily, but once back in shape the back three at least looked solid. Sadly, a seed planted earlier was about to germinate. All of the constant, ongoing, incessant appeals, all of the haranguing of the match officials, all of the abuse from the bench, the almost certainly incorrectly disallowed goal, proved too much to resist. Skater boi said see you later boi (fuck me) and hurled himself to the floor one more time. Dom Ball had actually pulled out. It made no difference. A penalty kick. Pukki to his right and Dieng’s left. One nil. Does that Eyeball Paul thing with the vodka actually work?
Or… not. QPR responded by coming up with a new fangled idea of attempting to score from corners, rather than punting them straight to the defender at the near post. Little Tom Carroll can take them it turns out. Feels like this might have been worth a mensh a bit earlier if I’m being truthful, Thomas. Dom Ball’s firm header from one on 78 minutes was a foot either side away from being an equaliser. Don’t worry about it, let’s get on with the quiz. Here goes Osayi-Samuel, screaming into the penalty area, hitting the deck under duress from Zimmermann. Langford, for whom penalty controversies have already been a bit of a thing this season in games between QPR and Rotherham, Sheff Wed and Reading, had rather painted himself into a corner now. If Cantwell’s best Jack Laugher impression was a penalty kick, then this had to be as well, as I very forcefully put to him while throwing empty Peroni bottles, creative swear words and graphic sexual imagery at my television set. Dykes, who’d taken and scored QPR’s previous four spot kicks this season, had been replaced by Macauley Bonne by this point so Bright took on the responsibility himself and smashed it home.
Norwich: McGovern 6 (Barden 46, 6); Aarons 7, Zimmerman 6, Hanley 7, Sorensen 5 (Hugill 89, -); Crane 7, McLean 6; Buendia 6, Vrancic 6, Cantwell 7 (Dowell 89, -); Pukki 6
Subs not used: Quintilla, Martin, Tettey, Omobamidele, Gibson, Omotoye
Goals: Pukki 75 (penalty, won Cantwell)
Bookings: Zimmermann 84 (foul), McClean 87 (foul), Skipp 90 (foul)
QPR: Dieng 8; Dickie 8, Cameron 7, Barbet 7; Kane 5, Ball 6, Carroll 6, Chair 6 (Adomah 71, 6), Hämäläinen 5; Dykes 5 (Bonne 71, 6), Osayi-Samuel 6
Subs not used: Thomas, Willock, Masterson, Bettache, Kelman, Kelly, Duke-McKenna
Goals: Osayi-Samuel 84 (penalty, won Osayi-Samuel)
Bookings: Kane 22 (foul), Ball 73 (foul), Dickie 75 (dissent), Carroll 88 (time wasting), Osayi-Samuel 90+1 (foul) Bonne 90+4 (foul)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Midlands) 5 A difficult game to referee, with Norwich screaming blue murder over every decision. That ratcheted up the pressure which eventually told when he incorrectly awarded them a penalty for the Cantwell dive, having earlier wrongly disallowed a goal by the same player on the linesman’s say so. I’m not overly convinced he would have awarded Bright’s at the end were it not for the nagging doubt that he’d got the earlier one wrong. Big decisions wrong – never a high mark in those circs.
But Warburton’s team got straight back on it. They were in again literally from the kick-off as Kakay and Osayi-Samuel got into the penalty area down the right and a deflected near post cross was headed fractionally wide by Willock. Then incredible work from Chair presented Osayi-Samuel with an absolute sitter right in front of goal but a combination of what seemed to be Angus MacDonald’s outstretched arm, and the foot of the post, diverted the ball away. No penalty from referee Oliver Langford, and no appeals either, so presumably the picture quality and frame rate of the stream was playing tricks on me. To be honest, it’s a miracle we saw it at all, given the match director’s obsession with long, lingering shots of visiting manager Paul Warne while play was in progress. I’d have no trouble picking him out of an identity line-up after this farce, I’ve seen more of him than I have my mum in the last nine months.
More to come too, as Rotherham desperately tried to see out the remainder of the half committing tactical fouls, but only succeeded in giving Rangers a chance to put another ball into the box where Barlaser, weighed down by the Samba Diakite Memorial Millstone of being our opposition one-to-watch in the pre-match, senselessly reached around with an arm and punched the ball away from Dykes. Flamethrower loaded, penalty dispatched in the usual manner, 3-1 a much fairer reflection of proceedings.
Kakay had been poor all game but Niko Hämäläinen, after a splendid first hour with Willock in front of him, now suddenly couldn’t find his own arse with both hands. Time after time after time possession was conceded down his side, and he was fortunate twice in two minutes with sliding tackles that went wrong. The former was generously waved away as a goal kick, the latter, on latest big impact Rotherham substitute Olosunde, could easily have been a penalty had he not just about withdrawn his legs in time. You’d have wanted it. Ihiekwe was booked for dissent in the aftermath. The Millers will tell you they have history with this referee.
QPR: Dieng 7; Kakay 5, Masterson 6, Barbet 6, Hämäläinen 6; Ball 6, Cameron 6 (Carroll 66, 5); Osayi-Samuel 8 (Adomah 79, 5), Chair 7, Willock 8 (Bonne 60, 4); Dykes 6
Subs not used: Kane, Wallace, Bettache, Kelman, Kelly, Alfa
Goals: Chair 20 (assisted Osayi-Samuel), Osayi-Samuel 45+1 (assisted Cameron), Dykes 45+3 (penalty, handball)
Rotherham: Blackman 5; Harding 6 (Hirst 84, -), Ihiekwe 6, MacDonald 6, Mattock 5; Jozefzoon 6 (Olosunde 59, 7), Wiles 6, Barlaser 5 (Crooks 45, 6), Clarke 5 (Lindsay 45, 6); Vassell 6 (Ladapo 74, 8); Smith 7
Subs not used: Johansson, Jones, Wood, Miller
Goals: Smith 38 (assisted Harding), Ladapo 84 (unassisted)
Bookings: Wiles 45+3 (foul), Ihiekwe 79 (dissent), Crooks 90+1 (foul)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Midlands) 6 A man Rotherham have history with by all accounts, and they were very unhappy about a second half penalty appeal against Hämäläinen which you’d have certainly have wanted at the other end but I thought he just about managed to pull out of enough. I would say that wouldn’t I, I suppose, and he was daft to go to ground and give the referee a decision to make. Unusually pedantic about the placement of everything, which he isn’t usually.
QPR: Lumley 5; Masterson 4 (Oteh 33, 4), Cameron 3, Barbet 3; Kakay 5, Manning 3; Eze 4, Ball 3 (Clarke 60, 4), Amos 3; Osayi-Samuel 4, Shodipo 4 (Chair 60, 4)
Subs not used: Kane, Rangel, Bettache, Kelly, Gubbins
Bookings: Ball 35 (foul)
Sheff Wed: Wildsmith 6; Iorfa 7, Lees 6 (Shaw 75, 6), Borner 6; Odubajo 6, Hunt 6 (Pelupessy 61, 6); Bannan 7, Luongo 8, Harris 7; Windass 6 (Nuhiu 75, 6), Da Cruz 6 (Murphy 55, 8)
Subs not used: Rhodes, Reach, Dawson, Brennan, Hughes
Goals: Iorfa 5 (assisted Luongo), Windass 45+2 (assisted Harris), Murphy 78 (assisted Bannan)
Bookings: Hunt 30 (foul), Odubajo 57 (foul)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Midlands) 8 Few errors and three correct yellow cards in a relatively easy, uncompetitive game to control.
From there on, both teams reverted to type. QPR became the QPR that had stuck six through Cardiff, five through Swansea, four through Blackburn, three through Luton in half an hour and so on. Geoff Cameron looked like a man on a mission against the club he served for eight years and Dominic Ball was covering serious yardage alongside him to lay a platform. Jordan Hugill, buoyed by the goal, was giving a fairly hapless looking centre back pairing of Danny Batth and the newly acquired James Chester a torrid afternoon, taking them both on physically and winning every battle, caked in mud from an old school afternoon of centre forward play. In the space between the two engine rooms, Ebere Eze started to seriously look the part, playing much further forward than he had been a fortnight ago to great effect, building on the good showings at Huddersfield and Swansea with a masterclass here. Osayi-Samuel slowly started getting the better of Bruno Martins Indi, although a big penalty appeal just before half time looked like a theatrical fall and referee Oliver Langford was right to wave it away. Ryan Manning steamed into attacks from the left side like it was August again, and even coal-fired Marc Pugh was chugging along nicely and effectively.
Stoke meanwhile regressed to the overpaid, underworked slop they’ve been for the last three years. Powell, so mesmerising in the first third of the game, started throwing his arms around and sulking with team mates. Clucas, scorer of the brilliant first, was booked for bitching at the referee. Joe Allen, so ruddy bloody brave, was bossed by the makeshift Cameron and Ball partnership. Tom Ince was, frankly, a complete joke. Chester and Batth looked big, and slow, and out of their depth against a mobile attack. The dangerous Campbell vanished from the game minus any sort of support.
You never would have seen it coming after half an hour but it should have been 3-2 to QPR before half time. Grant Hall this time taking a turn at missing, essentially, an open goal from a yard out from a corner in first half stoppage time. Undeterred, Rangers set about the second half with real purpose. Pugh claimed he’d been clipped when played in behind two minutes after the restart but the fall looked like a theatrical, belated afterthought and I could see why the referee waved it away, though I know not many agree. Fifty one minutes, great move, the sort of football you don’t mind paying to see, Jordan Hugill seeking the far corner out with a curling shot that Butland parried away. Sixty two minutes, Ilias Chair fresh from the bench, immediately to the byline and delivering some teasing service, Butland off his line to punch away from Hugill. When Wee Joe tried a brave shot from the edge of the area Manning and Ball won it from him and Rangers countered straight back - Ebere Eze’s powerful drive was tipped over as it threatened to crash in off the underside of the bar.
But QPR looked seriously good in the last hour of this game. Yoann Barbet’s return may not have tightened the defence much, but his distribution from back there makes such a difference, as does Ryan Manning’s attacking from left back alongside him. The football was clever, creative, and ceaselessly attacking. A blatant haul back on Eze by Tommy Smith brought a yellow card and devilish Manning free kick which cried out for a killer touch. Hall got the wrong side of a static Batth, apparently thinking about other things, at a corner and was clearly and obviously hauled down for a penalty but referee Langford, ridiculously, waved it away.
There was one of those deliberate, cynical, taking one for the team fouls by Manning on Ince to stop a counter attack and gladden the hearts of those who feel we’re a bit too nice and passive for our own good. And there was a goal. A beautiful goal. Scored by Osayi-Samuel, on the end of a lofted through ball from Barbet, sent screaming into the far corner of the net when there seemed to be no angle for a shot, after a chop back onto the right foot so severe it sent Danny Batth skidding so far beyond the Loft End byline that he had to pay to get back in. From two nil down QPR were now three two up and absolutely motoring. Is it still raining? I hadn’t noticed.
QPR: Kelly 6; Rangel 7, Hall 5, Barbet 6, Manning 8; Ball 8, Cameron 8; Osayi-Samuel 8, Eze 8, Pugh 7 (Chair 61, 7); Hugill 7 (Oteh 90+4, -)
Subs not used: Lumley, Kane, Amos, Masterson, Clarke
Goals: Hugill 34 (assisted Manning), Eze 38 (assisted Pugh), Osayi-Samuel 71 (assisted Barbet), Chair 90+1 (assisted Manning)
Yellows: Osayi-Samuel 24 (foul), Cameron 41 (foul), Manning 80 (foul), Rangel 88 (foul)
Stoke: Butland 5; Smith 5, Batth 4, Chester 5, Martins Indi 6; Allen 5 (Ngoy 79, -), Clucas 6; Ince 4, Powell 7, Thompson 5 (Cousins 66, 5); Campbell 7 (Vokes 79, -)
Subs not used: Davies, Gregory, Oakley-Boothe, Collins
Goals: Clucas 27 (unassisted), Campbell 31 (assisted Powell)
Yellows: Clucas 55 (dissent), Smith 74 (foul)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Mids) 6 I’ve seen a bit of stick kicking around for him today and don’t get me wrong there were mistakes – I thought Bright’s yellow was harsh, and the pull back on Hall is the most blatant penalty I’ve seen not given for a while and took place right in front of him. But I thought most of the other penalty claims, and the Pugh trip, he actually called right, and the yellow cards were tough to argue with as well. Not his best, but as I’ve said before I like his style and he got more right than wrong in a difficult game to oversee.
In injury time, Joe Lumley rather naively kicked the ball out in his own half for a non-existent clock running injury to Wells – Pulis ordered his team not to return it. I’d probably have done the same. In the first half, he appealed long and loud that Assombalonga had been wrestled to the ground in the penalty area – referee Oliver Langford said no. I’d have wanted it too. Afterwards he blamed the referee for the whole thing, including QPR second goal which he says came from a free kick for an offside that wasn’t (it was) taken from the wrong place (not by much) with a moving ball (which wasn’t). He didn’t mention Assombalonga craftily creating a chance early in the second half by laying on top of Jake Bidwell by Lumley’s goal post, pinning him to the ground and playing everybody onside. Nor that Aden Flint spent more time with Langford on Saturday – screaming, shouting, arguing, sarcastically applauding – than Mrs Langford has in the last five years put together. He will, almost certainly, be demanding yet more money to spend in January, so defeats to teams with three youth team players in the starting 11, two senior defenders out injured and a third leaving the pitch at half time, and a loaned striker from Burnley running rings round an expensively assembled defence, definitely don’t happen again. Not that this one was anything to do with him, you understand. Pesky referees.
QPR: Lumley 6; Furlong 7, Leistner 8, Lynch 5 (Scowen 52, 6), Bidwell 6; Cousins 7, Luongo 8; Wszolek 8, Eze 7 (Smith 88, -), Freeman 8; Wells 8 (Oteh 90+3, -)
Subs not used: Ingram, Chair, Osayi-Samuel, Smyth
Goals: Wszolek 3 (assisted Bidwell), Wells 60 (assisted Wszolek)
Boro: Randolph 5; Shotton 6, Ayala 6, Flint 6, Friend 5; Howson 6 (Wing 64, 6), Clayton 6; Saville 7 (Fletcher 82, -), Downing 6 (Tavernier 64, 6), Assombalonga 5; Hugill 5
Subs not used: Konstantopoulos, Batth, McNair, Fry
Goals: Saville 51 (unassisted)
Bookings: Saville 58 (foul), Flint 73 (persistent fuckwittery), Assombalonga 88 (foul)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Midlands) 6 I like him. I like his style. I like how unfussy he is. But I do think it could have been a penalty for the foul on Assombalonga, it’s an absolute liberty that Wszolek wasn’t booked for at least one of his two dire fouls in the second half, and although it was us doing the time wasting this time rather than having it done to us it was another example of a referee just allowing it to go on and then not adding sufficient time at the end. An absolute plague of Championship matches this season. So not too high a mark, but I enjoyed his performance and much prefer this to the constant interference and card fest that referees like Simpson, Woolmer and Robinson often preside over.
QPR looked good. They could have taken the lead after two minutes when Hemed flicked on for Wells who will perhaps regret not taking a shot on first time but rounded the keeper all the same and squared it back for Hemed who was denied by a desperate Mark Beevers block on the goal line. Two minutes after that Wells looked to have his heels clipped chasing a ball into the left channel but referee Oliver Langford showed no interest in awarding a penalty. Looked a spot kick to me at first glance.
Bolton’s struggles to keep hold of Eze were highlighted by Noone’s brutal hack at the youngster after a quarter of an hour which brought the game’s only yellow card – Langford so keen to brandish it that he belted Jordan Cousins in the face in the process. Championship.
Bolton: Alnwick 6; Olkowski 6, Wheater 5, Beevers 6, Grounds 5 (Oztumer 83, -); Lowe 6 (Magennis 60, 7), O’Neil 6; Ameobi 5 (Wildschut 35, 6), Williams 6, Noone 6; Doidge 5
Subs not used: Vela, Hobbs, Wilson, Matthews
Goals: Magennis 69 (free kick, won Doidge)
Bookings: Noone 14 (foul)
QPR: Lumley 6; Rangel 6, Leistner 7, Lynch 6, Bidwell 6; Eze 7, Cousins 5, Luongo 5, Freeman 7 (Scowen 83, -); Wells 7 (Smith 87, -), Hemed 6 (Cameron 73, 6)
Subs not used: Ingram, Baptiste, Wszolek, Osayi-Samuel
Goals: Freeman 26 (assisted Wells), Eze 56 (assisted Freeman)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Midlands) 5 A referee I like, but one who missed what looked a clear penalty to me on Wells early on, and then awarded some incredibly soft stuff in the second half including the free kick for the goal which looked like Doidge just fell over under no contact at all to me.
The second half started as predicted with Wednesday doing all they could to get back into the game whilst Rangers looked happy to play on the counter. Osayi-Samuel used his body well before turning inside the visitors' area only for Tom Lees to inflict one of the most blatant assaults in a penalty box you are likely to see. No complaints from any of the travelling party and despite Scowen's half arsed attempted at getting the ball following the amateur set up at the Madjeski, Sylla wasn't having any of it.
Cue one of the most bizarre run ups you're likely to see, Sylla slotted away his penalty before celebrating in a choreographed dance likely to put Diversity to shame. He then celebrated with Holloway and the coaching staff before breaking out in a solo effort in front of the C Club, all whilst the referee tried to restart the game.
QPR: Smithies 7; Furlong 7, Baptise 7, Robinson 6, Bidwell 8; Cousins 7, Scowen 6 (Manning 67, 7), Freeman 6; Osayi-Samuel 7 (Wszolek 77, 6), Sylla 7 (Smith 68, 6), Smyth 7
Subs not used: Ingram, Kakay, Eze, Washington
Goals: Smyth 8 (assisted Bidwell), Bidwell 10 (assisted Sylla), Sylla 15 (assisted Furlong), 53 (penalty won Osayi-Samuel)
Bookings: Scowen (foul play)
Sheff Wed: Wildsmith; Palmer, Lees, Pudil, Thorniley; Pelupessy, Jones, Reach, Forestieri (Boyd 80); Joao (Matias 64), Nuhui (Rhodes 83)
Subs not used: Dawson, Baker, Butterfield, Nielsen.
Goals: Forestieri 61 (assisted Joao), Nuhui 69 (assisted Palmer)
Bookings: Pudil (foul play)
Referee - Oliver Langford 6 Did okay but booked Scowen and cautioned Baptiste for two strong challenges in the first half at the request of Nuhui.
Osayi-Samuel came on for Washington with ten minutes to go and Eze replaced Luongo with just three to play, but neither substitute did anything of note. One final chance fell to Smith in the late stages. Freeman swung in a great cross from the left and Smith got up well and powered a header straight at Blackman, who saved comfortably. This was exactly the same kind of chance Smith had against Villa, a foot either side of the keeper and it was in. But as usual, with the ball safely in his hands, the keeper chose to dive on the floor and demonstrate his excellent time-wasting skills; he was superb at this. The referee kept hurrying him up and did add five minutes on at the end. It didn’t really matter though as Utd did a very professional job in playing out time well away from their goal and the three points stayed in South Yorkshire.
QPR: Smithies 6; Baptiste 5 (Smyth 66, 6), Onuoha 5, Lynch 5; Wszolek 5, Bidwell 4; Scowen 5, Freeman 6, Luongo 5 (Eze 87, -); Washington 5 (Osayi-Samuel 80, -) Smith 5
Subs not used: Ingram, Perch, Chair, Furlong
Goals: Freeman 63 (unassisted)
Sheff Utd: Blackman 5; Basham 6, Stearman 7, O’Connell 7, Baldock 7; Evans 6, Duffy 6 (Leonard 75, 6), Lundstram 7 (Lafferty 84, -), Stevens 7; Clarke 7 Sharp 5 (Donaldson 74, 5)
Subs not used: Wright, Eastwood, Evans, Brooks
Goals: Stearman 27 (assisted Clarke), Lundstram 50 (assisted Sharp)
Bookings: Evans 77 (foul)
Referee: Oliver Langford 6 This was a pretty easy game to referee as there was hardly a decision to make. Kept his cards in his pocket, bar one obvious yellow for Evans in the second half. As usual Smith got nothing despite his rough handling and ref could’ve put a stop the endless time-wasting of the Utd keeper, but chose to ignore it.
Smith’s arrival did at least worry Boro’s enormous back four into almost conceding a penalty. Referee Oliver Langford is known as a lenient official, and in general we quite like that, but at least one of the two incidents where Smith was knocked to the ground in the six yard box chasing a cross, once with an elbow and the other more blatantly when Ayala had his hands around his neck, looked like they should have been a spot kick. QPR haven’t had a penalty since the opening day of the season against Reading and when Smith was later then penalised himself for much less it became clear he wasn’t about to get one for us here. Langford not the first referee this season who I think has judged the big target man harshly when he’s clearly being fouled in the penalty area. Holloway and Pulis, friends off the pitch, at it like cats and dogs on the touchline after the second incident.
But you can’t play as poorly as QPR did here and go away talking about refereeing decisions. Langford was fine overall, and Rangers weren’t even close to that.
QPR: Smithies 6; Onuoha 5, Lynch 5, Robinson 5; Furlong 6, Bidwell 5 (Osayi-Samuel 46, 5); Scowen 5 (Eze 70, 6), Freeman 5, Luongo 5; Washington 5, Oteh 5 (Smith 46, 5)
Subs not used: Ingram, Manning, Baptiste, Wszolek
Boro: Randolph 6; Shotton 7, Ayala 7, Gibson 7, Friend 7; Bamford 6 (Clayton 72, 7), Leadbitter 7, Howson 7, Traore 8; Downing 7 (Christie 87, -); Asombalonga 6 (Gestede 69, 7)
Subs not used: Konstantopoulos, Braithwaite, Fletcher, Johnson
Goals: Ayala 24 (assisted Traore), Friend 34 (unassisted), Traore 85 (assisted Gestede)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Midlands) 6 Usual calm, unfussy, cardless officiating of the game that we’ve come to expect from him, but I thought at leats one of the fouls on Smith in the second half was worth a penalty and to then penalise him and give a free kick the other way for far less in the third instance was taking the piss a bit.
Norwich: Gunn 6; Pinto 6 (Martin 68, 6), Zimmermann 6, Franke 6; Husband 5, Reed 7, Hoolahan 6, Maddison 7, Vrancic 7; Murphy 6 (Watkins 79, 6), Oliveira 8 (Stiepermann 85, -)
Subs not used: Naismith, Jerome, Tettey, McGovern
Goals: Oliveira 48 (assisted Vrancic), Reed 82 (unassisted)
Bookings: Martin 72 (foul)
QPR: Smithies 7; Perch 6, Onuoha 6, Lynch 6 (Furlong 65, 5); Wszolek 5 (Lua Lua 29, 5), Bidwell 7; Scowen 6, Freeman 6, Luongo 6; Mackie 6 (Smith 71, 5), Washington 5
Subs not used: Ingram, Manning, Borysiuk, Robinson
Bookings: Lynch 15 (foul)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Midlands) 8 The usual calm, assured, unfussy performance we’ve come to expect from this excellent (famous last words) referee. Must be knocking on the door for a promotion soon.
A fairly frustrating half finished with Rangers leading 2-1 and Matt Smith having an angry dispute with referee Oliver Langford, in for the advertised Andy Davies, after twice being dumped to the turf by Belaid and requiring treatment to his knee. One might have thought, after Smith had made such a big deal of it, and the referee’s attention had been drawn, and a warning had been issued, that it might have been half an idea for Belaid to lie low at the start of the second half and maybe leave Smith alone for a bit. Instead, within two minutes of the restart, he pulled the big striker to the ground by the head as a long throw from Darnell Furlong flew across the area. A ridiculous piece of play, an obvious penalty, an act of pure stupidity in a centre half display the likes of which we haven’t seen since Gus Caeser was lumbering around these parts trying not to kill anybody. Karl Ready has done more talented beer shits than Belaid, and partnering him with Ajayi who spent the entire afternoon booting the ball straight up in the air was disastrous.
QPR: Smithies 6; Furlong 6, Onuoha 6, Lynch 5, Bidwell 6; Luongo 7 (Goss 74, 6), Hall 7, Freeman 7 (Morrison 63, 6); Sylla 6, Ngbakoto 7, Smith 7 (Washington 63, 6)
Subs not used: Mackie, Ingram, Wszolek, Manning
Goals: Smith 5 (assisted Sylla), Freeman 15 (unassisted) Ngbakoto 49 (penalty won Smith), Luongo 57 (assisted Ngbakoto), Onuoha 90+1 (assisted Ngbakoto)
Rotherham: Price 2; Vaulks 5, Ajayi 2, Belaid 2, Purrington 5; Taylor 5 (Forde 65, 5), Adeyemi 5, Frecklington 4, Newell 6; Ward 4 (Smallwood 85, -), Yates 5 (Morris 70, -)
Subs not used: Blackstock, Bray, Warren Bilboe
Goals: Newell 13 (unassisted)
Yellow Cards: Belaid 48 (foul)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Midlands) 8 Apart from being a late replacement for Andy Davies, and therefore making a mess of our copy and paste referee profiles next time we have either of them in charge of our game, he was very decent I thought. Not a particularly competitive match clearly but controlled well, just the one card and the penalty decision was correct.
Reading 0 QPR 1, Thursday January 12, 2017, Championship And it should have been more than 1-0. Just to prove it wasn’t a fluke, just to prove QPR had planned meticulously for this Reading side, they nearly scored an identical goal two minutes later – this time Mackie arrived in the Manning position as Wszolek provided brilliant service once more and a low shot destined for the far corner flicked off a defender and flashed wide. Jamie Mackie was shown a very harsh yellow card by referee Oliver Langford for kicking the ball away but it didn’t interrupt the momentum.
Reading: Al Habsi 5; Gunter 6, Moore 6, Van Den Berg 6, Obita 5; Kelly 6; Beerens 6, Williams 6, Swift 6 (Meite 73, 5), McCleary 6; Kermorgant 4
Subs not used: Cooper, Evans, Samuel, Wieser, Watson, Moore
Bookings: Moore 85 (handball), van den Berg 89 (foul)
QPR: Smithies 6; Furlong 7, Onuoha 7, Lynch 7, Bidwell 7; Manning 7 (Doughty 86, -), Hall 8, Luongo 7; Mackie 7 (Comley 90+2, -), Wszolek 8, Sylla 7 (Lua Lua 73, 6)
Subs not used: Ingram, El Khayati, Shodipo, Ngbakoto
Goals: Mackie 28 (assisted Manning)
Bookings: Mackie 33 (kicking ball away), Wszolek 87 (foul)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Mids) 8 A man in prolific card form at the moment, and ridiculously harsh on Mackie with his first half booking, but the other three cards were all justified and overall I thought he was very good.
Wood’s ineffectiveness up front and Luongo and Henry’s dominance of the midfield starved their two headline summer signings, Matt Grimes on loan from Swansea and Kemar Roofe for £3m from Oxford, of any ball at all. Grimes curled a second half free kick over the bar from long range with Smithies just about covering it after a foul by Ben Gladwin – already booked for a bad tackle in the first half this was the second time he’d lunged in horribly since and he was lucky not to be sent off by referee Oliver Langford before Hasselbaink sensibly withdrew him. A mistake from Nedum Onuoha – rare on the day, one of his better outings at right back this – gave Roofe a clear run into the QPR half but Onuoha and Caulker were quicker, fitter and sharper and able to get back and block away the danger.
Those two second half subs turned the screw on a Leeds side that had been struggling to keep hold of QPR’s coat tails anyway. El Khayati saw one of his trademark curling shots to the far corner blocked by a defender and another well saved by Robert Green on his first return to Loftus Road after departing Rangers in the summer. Green saved nervously at his near post from Chery as well but there was nothing he could do when Cousins drew a naïve foul from Leeds’ wonderfully named youngster Ronaldo Veira in the penalty area and Chery converted from the spot. The visitors had simply been overawed and when Polter made it three later on it was no more than Rangers deserved.
QPR: Smithies 6; Onuoha 7, Caulker 7, Hall 7, Bidwell 7; Gladwin 5 (Cousins 56, 7), Henry 8, Luongo 8, Shodipo 6 (El Khayati 68, 6); Chery 7 (Perch 88, -); Polter 8
Subs not used: Lynch, Washington, Ingram, Kpekawa
Goals: Bamba og 5 (assisted Chery/Onuoha), Chery 73 (penalty, won Cousins), Polter 90+3 (assisted Onuoha)
Bookings: Gladwin 25 (foul), Bidwell 31 (dissent)
Leeds: Green 3; Beradi 3 (Coyle 22, 6); Bartley 6, Bamba 4, Taylor 6; Viera 6, Diagouraga 4; Dallas 5, Grimes 5 (Antonsson 61, 4), Roofe 5 (Sacko 75, 7); Wood 4
Subs not used: Cooper, Turnbull, Mowatt, Phillips
Bookings: Grimes 57 (foul)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Midlands) 6 Gladwin should probably have been sent off. Three very poor challenges, two of them after he’d already been booked, ordinarily you’d be paddling round in the early bath water for that. Bidwell’s booking for dissent – throwing his arms around after a 50/50 call went against him – is fair enough under the new clamp down as long as it’s applied consistently. Given that Bamba was allowed to give Langford a gobfull after the penalty award (which was blatant) and later chase the official half the length of the field yelling at him for not penalising Seb Polter for a foul I don’t think there was any consistency here. Overall though, not too bad.
Grant Hall, fresh from a deserved contract renewal during the week, was booked by referee Oliver Langford for a firm foul on Ward, after a quarter of an hour. Lumley set up his wall well - despite some absolute Nesbit right behind the kid in the away end screaming “it’s too far right Green you fucking West Ham cunt” at him throughout the process - and Jamie Ward’s shot subsequently smacked straight into the defensive line.
Forest: De Vries 7; Mancienne 6, Hobbs 6, Wilson 6, Cohen 6 (Lichaj 71, 6); Tesche 5, Gardner 6 (Lansbury 62, - (Jokic 79, -)) Osborn 6, Burke 8; Blackstock 5, Ward 7
Subs Not Used: Mendes, Burke, Walker, Evtimov
Goals: Ward 24 (assisted Burke)
QPR: Lumley 6; Onuoha 5, Hall 6, Angella 6, Hill 6 (Perch 67, 5); Tozser 6; Mackie 5 (Petrasso 61, 6), Luongo 5, Doughty 6, Gladwin 6 (Chery 52, 6); Emmanuel- Thomas 4
Subs Not Used: Polter, Hoilett, Faurlin, Brzozowski
Yellow Cards: Hall 17 (foul), Doughty 43 (foul)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Midlands) 6 One of my preferred referees thanks to his unfussy style and leniency with the cards, but he wasn’t great here. Several harsh decisions against QPR, though none of them crucial. Fitted in quite well with the game really – going through the motions.
The striker’s trademark flying header from Chery’s corner was headed onto the underside of the bar by Robertson on the line but bounced down behind him for an obvious goal which the linesman flagged for immediately. Steve Bruce’s complaints afterwards that the assistant had been “hasty” in giving the correct decision was vintage Alex Ferguson Manchester United bile – doesn’t matter that your team can’t defend a corner properly, or your medical department incorrectly turned away a fantastic striker who now keeps scoring against you, shift blame quickly onto the defenceless person who’s actually got the decision right. “He failed your medical” rang out from the away end.
Hull’s wing back system gives opposing full backs a lot of time on the ball when their team has possession. That benefitted James Perch who, after a nervy beginning where Robertson did him twice, grew into the game and gave his best performance in Hoops. It didn’t do so much for Paul Konchesky, whose monotonous possession concession suggested he’d either brought some odd shaped boots or put his regular ones on the wrong feet. A foul five minutes into the second half which he was fortunate not to be booked for thanks to the leniency of referee Oliver Langford rather summed it up.
Hull: McGregor 6; Bruce 6 (Akprom 65, 6), Davies 6, Dawson 7; Robertson 8, Huddlestone 7, Clucas 6, Diame 6 (Elmohamady 76, 6), Odubajo 6; Hernandez 5 Aluko 4 (Maloney 69, 6)
Subs not used: Jakupovic, Taylor, Meyler, Hayden
Goals: Dawson 38 (assisted Huddlestone)
QPR: Green 6; Perch 6, Onuoha 6, Angella 7, Konchesky 5; Faurlin 8, Henry 6; Phillips 6, Luongo 6 (Doughty 87, -), Chery 5 (Mackie 76, 6); Austin 8
Subs not used: Hall, Gladwin, Emmanuel-Thomas, Smithies, Tozser
Goals: Austin 26 (assisted Chery)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Midlands) 9 After Darren Deadman’s histrionics and rank incompetence on Wednesday, what an absolute blessed relief to see a Championship game refereed calmly, sensibly and competently by a referee who’s all about letting the football take place while staying out of the way and treating the players like adults rather than naughty school boys. More of this guy please.
Yeovil: Krysiak 5; Roberts 5, Arthurworrey 5, Sokolik 5, Smith 6; Lacey 5, Allen 4 (Fogden 46, 5), Dolan 6, Laird 5 (Burrows 63, 5); Cornick 5, Jeffers 5 (Beck 46, 5) Subs not used: Bird, Weale
QPR: Green 6; Perch 6, Onuoha 6, Hall 6, Kpekawa 7; Doughty 7, Gobern 5 (Hoilett 77, 5); Phillips 5 (Blackwood 70, 6), Gladwin 5 (Henry 59, 5), Emmanuel-Thomas 6; Polter 7
Subs not used: Chery, Lumley, Konchesky, Luongo
Goals: Polter 16 (assisted Kpekawa), Emmanuel Thomas 20 (assisted Kpekawa), Onuoha (unassisted)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Midlands) 9 One of the Football League’s most lenient referees even in the most testing of times, so was never likely to have much influence over a game as uncompetitive as this one. No cards, no mistakes, but nothing to referee in truth.
Mackie meanwhile, formerly known in these parts for such high-octane performances, was completely anonymous in a poor performance from the visiting team – after six minutes Benayoun launched into a risky tackle on the former QPR man and came out with the ball and the approval of referee Oliver Langford. A microcosm of their respective performances.
Robbed of Jermaine Jenas through yet another injury early on, his replacement Karl Henry also impressed in the centre of midfield, breaking up play, passing the ball with imagination and accuracy not previously seen, and giving Carroll a platform on which to showcase his give and go ability. Henry niggled Forest, and he provoked a reaction on the ground from Henri Lansbury on the stroke of half time that could have led to greater punishment than a simple word on the run from Langford.
But that was nothing compared to the impact of Bobby Zamora when he emerged for the final 20 minutes of the game. Rangers had been pegged back to 2-2 by then thanks to their chronic inability to defend corners which cost them at Bournemouth a week ago and nearly robbed them of points here. Giant Forest youth team graduate Jamaal Lascelles came up from the back to head home the first equaliser from close range just after the half hour and then Matt Derbyshire powered in a similar effort with 15 minutes left to play. Greg Halford, centre forward in the first meeting but back at right back here and lucky to escape a card for a nasty tackle from behind on Hoilett, also powered a header from a set piece at goal only to see it cleared from the line. Rangers must tighten up before the play-offs come around.
Charlie Austin lost his man for the first goal and his impact on a first start in three months was negligible – given the rough end of the decisions from the referee and clearly struggling for fitness, he should have been removed much earlier than he was. A first half chance poked wide at full stretch from a perfect Benoit Assou-Ekotto cross would surely have been converted earlier in the season when he was fighting fit and match sharp. One wouldn't have thought the introduction of Zamora would improve the situation greatly, given that his contribution to QPR since arriving from Fulham two years ago would probably qualify him for shop mobility, but the lumbering target man looked like a man possessed here and turned the game back in QPR's favour. Lascelles had been imperious at the heart of the Forest defence to that point, but looked like a rabbit in headlights as Zamora steamrollered his way through the final 15 minutes of the game which brought Rangers three goals.
QPR had managed only weak penalty appeals in the 20 minutes before he arrived: Kelvin Wilson potentially handled accidentally after Lascelles had flicked a cross onto his team mate, but Ravel Morrison definitely dived – pathetically – under very little contact at all 20 minutes from time. The Forest fans were in fine voice up in the School End, hopeful of roaring their team onto a first win in 13 attempts, but they were to be let down by their players again. The light at the end of their tunnel merely a train coming towards them at speed.
QPR: Green 6; Simpson 8, Dunne 6, Onuoha 6, Assou-Ekotto 7; Carroll 7, Jenas 6 (Henry 13, 7); Benayoun 8, Morrison 7, Hoilett 7 (Kranjcar 77, 6); Austin 5 (Zamora 73, 8)
Subs not used: Keane, Suk-Young, Hughes, Murphy
Goals: Benayoun 1 (assisted Carroll), Hoilett 43 (assisted Carroll/Benayoun), Onuoha 84 (assisted Carroll), Morrison 90+1 (assisted Zamora), Zamora 90+3 (assisted Morrison)
Forest: Darlow 4; Halford 6, Lascelles 6, Wilson 5, Fox 5; Peltier 5, Jara 6 (Greening 65, 5); Lansbury 5 (Osborn 65, 6), Mackie 5, Cox 5 (Henderson 74, 5); Derbyshire 7
Subs not used: Harding, de Vries, Gomes, Vaughan
Goals: Lascelles 37 (assisted Lansbury), Derbyshire 75 (assisted Osborn)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Midlands) 7 Lenient – with Henry and Lansbury in their clash before half time, with Halford who fouled repeatedly, with Cox who dived in the first half, and Morrison who did likewise in the second. But overall, unfussy and calm, allowing a decent game to flow. No key decisions wrong.
Doncaster Rovers 2 QPR 1, Saturday November 30, 2013, Championship If it was simply over-confidence then, as happened at Millwall, Rangers would have stepped up and retaken the lead. But the lack of tempo in the Londoners’ game was palpable and absolutely slayed them here. Passes were laboured, delivered far too late, after too many touches, and too much dwelling on the ball. A blind man in a medically induced coma could have telegraphed the R’s intentions. Wellens chopped into Barton and, after prolonged treatment himself and a typical exchange of words with the QPR man, was yellow carded but the incident seemed to stoke the home fires rather than stir Rangers up at all.
Doncaster grew in belief that there was more than a point here for them. A counter attack with Robinson at its heart drew a yellow card from Dunne for a shirt pull in back play and then the Irish centre half had to flick a header behind as Rovers players queued up to convert the cross. Federicho ‘Smokey’ Macheda shot into the side netting with a now silent away following fearing that one of Rangers’ worst loanees in recent memory might come back to haunt them, and Khumalo came up for a corner but headed over.
Doncaster: Turnbull 5; Quinn 5, Khumalo 6, McCullogh 6, Stevens 6; Coppinger 6, Furman 6, Wellens 7, Duffy 7; Robinson 6, Macheda 7
Subs not used: Paynter, Cotterill, Maxted, Wakefield, Woods, De Val, Paterson
Goals: Robinson 48 (unassisted), Quinn 89 (assisted Duffy)
Bookings: Wellens 51 (foul) Turnbull 90 + 4 (time wasting)
QPR: Green 6; Simpson 6, Dunne 6, Hill 6, Assou-Ekotto 5; Barton 6, O’Neil 5 (Johnson 63, 6); Phillips 5, Jenas 4, Kranjcar 4 (Hoilett 77, 6); Austin 6
Subs not used: Traore, Carroll, Onyewu, Henry, Murphy
Goals: Austin 43
Bookings: Dunne 81 (foul), Jenas 90 + 3 (foul)
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Midlands) 7 Not much to referee, with QPR not really in the mood to be competitive, but allowed a poor game to flow as best he could. Should have got to drips with Turnbull’s time wasting a lot sooner – a card in the fourth minute of injury time isn’t much of a deterrent really – but as QPR did nothing when the ball was in play it’s difficult to get too upset about that.
A Taarabt through ball on the hour might have been the moment of magic the game begged for, but it rolled just out of Andrade’s reach and through to Lucas. A little controversy may have livened things up too but when Grimes ran onto a long, high through ball that Shittu had misjudged and then tried to whip it back over the head of the big Nigerian his penalty appeals for a perceived handball were rightly ignored by referee Oliver Langford. Whether my Langford actually knew what handball was however was open to debate as a moment later when Stephen Darby miscontrolled the ball and decided to bring it down with his hand instead in plain sight of the match official who ignored it and played on.
QPR: Murphy 5, Orr 5 (Harriman 31, 6), Perone 6, Shittu 5, Connolly 6, Ephraim 5, Rowlands 5 (Derry 72, 5), Andrade 6, Taarabt 4, Cook 4 (Hewitt 73, 5), Bothroyd 4
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Buzsaky, Gibbons, German
Rochdale: Lucas 7, Darby 7, Holness 7, Balkestein 8, Widdowson 7, Tutte 7, Kennedy 7, Jones 7, Adams 8, Grimes 8 (Thompson 83, -), Akpa Akpro 7
Subs Not Used: Edwards, Twaddle, Marshall, Gray
Booked: Widdowson (foul)
Goals: Akpa Akpro 5 (assisted Adams), Jones 81 (assisted Adams)
Referee: Oliver Langford (W Midlands) 6 No key decisions wrong but failed to play obvious advantages on numerous occasions and missed the most obvious handball I’ve ever seen in my life from Darby in the second half.
Before half time Whelpdale had a half hearted penalty appeal waved away, Zakuani was rightly carded for a clumsy foul on Simpson and Ephraim burst into the penalty area but dragged a low shot across the face of goal and wide of the far post.
Cerny comfortably tipped a Morgan free kick over the bar but when the same player headed wide from a corner he was a mile away from it and was then grateful to see Rowe’s low shot deflected wide of the target later in the half. Certainly it was Peterborough rather than Rangers who came home with a wet sail. Connolly and Borrowdale were both booked for fouls on Frecklington and Batt respectively as frustration grew around Loftus Road.
QPR: Cerny 5, Leigertwood 6, Connolly 6, Stewart 6, Borrowdale 5, Routledge 6, Watson 6, Faurlin 6 (Rowlands 58, 5), Ephraim 5 (Buzsaky 69, 6),Simpson 6, Taarabt 6 (Vine 58, 4)
Subs Not Used: Heaton, Ramage, Mahon, Pellicori.
Booked: Connolly (foul), Borrowdale (foul)
Goals: Routledge 34 (assisted Simpson)
Peterborough: Lewis 6, Martin 6, Morgan 6, Zakuani 6, Williams 7,Whelpdale 6 (Batt 70, 6), Frecklington 7, Diagouraga 6, Boyd 7 (Rowe 65, 6),McLean 8, Mackail-Smith 6
Subs Not Used McKeown, Coutts, Keates, Pearce, Day
Booked: Zakuani (foul), Batt (foul)
Goals: Mclean 16 (assisted Williams)
Referee: Oliver Langford (W Midlands) 8 Very little to referee in his first ever Championship match but he seemed calm, in control and willing to give the game every chance to flow. Very few complaints about his performance at all.
The nine yellow cards shown at Carrow Road, along with eight yellows and a red at Brentford’s 2-2 home draw with Blackburn, were the biggest hauls in totals of 107 yellows and six reds in 30 appointments last season. Having started 2019/20 with a Premier League draw between Chelsea and Leicester Langford has not been back at this level since and again missed out on promotion this summer – Aussie Jarred Gillett and John Brooks deservedly promoted, Michael Salisbury and Tony Harrington rather less so.
So far this season he has shown 29 yellows and now reds in eight games. A total substantially boosted by nine yellows at Blackburn’s recent 2-2 home draw with Luton which Tony Mowbray said he allowed to descend into “a farce” and “the wild west”. His last Fulham game was a 1-0 defeat at Brentford in December 2019.
Pictures – Action Images
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When Saturday Comes #10 by wessex_exile
So here we are again, still looking for that elusive first home league win of the season, only this time against high-flying (and recently non-league) Harrogate Town. That isn’t meant to be in any way disrespectful for Harrogate Town, they should be applauded for what they have achieved so far, but it is nevertheless a measure of how far our stock has fallen in recent years that we find ourselves in this situation. I have no doubt that today will be a difficult game, but it’ll be even more so if Hayden Mullins doesn’t take anything from recent performances and realise that what he’s trying just doesn’t seem to be working – he simply has to change things around. Whether he will or not remains to be seen – maybe he will, maybe won’t and the old guard will finally come good? I guess we’ll know one way or another by 5pm.
When Saturday Comes #9 by wessex_exile
After the complete horror-show that was U’s v Salford last Saturday, we find ourselves desperately clinging on to our away form like a drowning man to a lifebuoy…and I have no doubt Tranmere will be seriously stamping on our fingers in that regard. As a Friday night kick-off, I can look forward to the live match stream, which I was fortunately spared for the Salford game (it sounded bad enough). Swings and roundabouts though, if this hadn’t been rearranged to a Friday night, I may well have joined my Tranmere mate Chris and his family for the weekend – Prenton Park is always a good visit for an awayday, so safe travelling and good luck to Durham and the rest of the U’s faithful who make the trip.
When Saturday Comes #8 by wessex_exile
I’ve gone back through my archive, and the last football match I attended before last Saturday at the County Ground was U’s at Cheltenham on 29th February 2020 (and covered in LfW11) – In other words a 574 day wait. Others have mentioned about finding other things to do, losing their love for live football, things like that, and certainly my bank balance has appreciated the break from costly awaydays for the best (worst) part of 18 months. If I’m honest, I was slightly worried that I would go the same way, that the attraction would fade after so long, but I needn’t have been. As a result, it’ll be a slightly different format to this When Saturday Comes blog.
When Saturday Comes #7 by wessex_exile
Well that didn’t go as planned at all – after a stirring battling performance full of grit, character and togetherness with the small band of travelling supporters at Barrow, the U’s then finally returned back to the JobServe and completely failed to turn up against bogey side Crawley. They weren’t the only ones either, Hayden Mullins was absent as well, and we have since learned he has Covid-19 and will also miss tomorrow’s game at Swindon too – I know we all wish Hayden a speedy recovery. Fortunately, I won’t be missing the match, with tickets arriving last weekend – first live game for best part of 18 months, and I can’t bloody wait!
When Saturday Comes #6 by wessex_exile
After over a month of absence, the U’s finally make a welcome return to the JobServe for a home league fixture. Sutton seem to have quickly got over their Covid-19/ injury crisis/ international call-up woes, fielding a team the following Tuesday that was strong enough to push Cardiff City hard in a narrow 3-2 defeat to the Championship side. But enough of that, I haven’t seen the outcome of the EFL investigation, but I don’t doubt the decision has either already been or will be rubber-stamped. Gamesmanship – maybe, but I hope at least the EFL are now a bit more alert to the fact that some might think they can treat them like chumps when it suits their purpose? Still – it’s great to be back home isn’t it!
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