Behind the Whistle: Blackburn and Leeds decisions analysed

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Behind the Whistle: Blackburn and Leeds decisions analysed

In Behind the Whistle, former Premier League referee Chris Foy goes through a selection of key match decisions from the latest Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two action.

Behind the Whistle aims to give supporters of EFL clubs an insight into the decision-making considerations and also clarification of certain calls to provide an understanding of how the laws of the game are interpreted.

As part of a regular feature on Sky Sports following the conclusion of a matchday, Foy will be here to run you through some refereeing matters in the EFL…   

Sky Bet Championship

Blackburn Rovers 1-1 Plymouth

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Blackburn’s Kyle McFadzean was sent off for this incident during his side’s clash against Plymouth.

Incident: Possible red card Denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity (DOGSO) (Blackburn Rovers)

Decision: Red card for DOGSO (Blackburn Rovers)

Foy says: “This clip is one which highlights the importance of being focused and making a positive decision, having taken into account a number of considerations, and results in Blackburn Rovers No 55 sent off for Denial of an Obvious Goal-Scoring Opportunity (DOGSO).

“As Plymouth’s No 9 advances away from Blackburn Rovers No 55 and moves directly towards goal, there is a risk that any foul will result in denying a goalscoring opportunity as he goes through on goal.

“Once Blackburn Rovers No 55 pulls the Plymouth player and impacts his progress, the referee shows no hesitation in coming across and correctly issuing a straight red card for DOGSO.”

Sheffield Wednesday 0-2 Leeds United

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Leeds were awarded a controversial goal against Sheffield Wednesday in their clash in the Championship.

Incident: Possible offside (Leeds United)

Decision: Goal awarded (Leeds United)

Foy says: “When the speed of play is as fast as it is here, it is imperative that the assistant referee’s positioning and awareness are of the highest order.

“The real-time judgement to ‘keep the flag down’ here is a brilliant one, as Leeds’ No 29 latches onto a through ball, and runs through on goal to score.

“In real-time it looked like a really tight decision and the speed of the attack makes it a difficult one for the assistant to get spot on, but he did just that, recognising that Sheffield Wednesday No 5 is playing Leeds No 29 onside.”

Sky Bet League One

Bristol Rovers 0-3 Derby County

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Bristol Rovers were denied a penalty against Derby County during their League One clash.

Incident: Possible penalty (Bristol Rovers)

Decision: No penalty (Bristol Rovers)

Foy says: “As the volley comes in from the Bristol Rovers player on the edge of the box, it is struck with real pace and hits the Derby County No 5.

“In real time, it is difficult to tell exactly where the point of contact is, but replays confirm it strikes the right arm of Derby County No 5.

“With the ball approaching the player’s face at some speed, the natural reaction is to raise the arm as a form of protection.

“However, in this case Derby County No 5 is turning away and his arm is extended away from the body, making his body bigger, with his action preventing the shot progressing towards goal.

Derby County No 5 inherits the risk of being penalised and the correct action would’ve been to award a penalty kick.”

Charlton Athletic 3-2 Carlisle United

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Carlisle United were awarded a penalty for this incident during their game against Charlton in League One.

Incident: Possible penalty (Carlisle United)

Decision: Penalty awarded (Carlisle United)

Foy says: “The decision here to award a penalty kick for sustained holding is a good one, which highlights the threshold for when holding should be penalised.

“As the ball is whipped into the area, the Carlisle No 35 is making a run into the six-yard box away from Charlton No 27, who then holds the Carlisle No 35 which is clearly impactful and prevents the Carlisle No 35 progressing towards the anticipated dropping zone of the ball.

“The holding is sufficiently sustained and impactful and therefore I believe it is a correct decision to award a spot-kick.”

Sky Bet League Two

Forest Green Rovers 2-0 Walsall

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Forest Green Rovers were awarded a penalty in this incident against Walsall in League Two.

Incident: Possible penalty (Walsall)

Decision: Penalty awarded (Walsall)

Foy says: “In real time it appeared that the correct decision was made in awarding a Walsall penalty kick for a foul by the Forest Green Rovers defender.

“The Walsall No 12 gets to the ball first and goes down once he takes a touch past the Forest Green Rovers player.

“With the benefit of the replay, I think the Forest Green Rovers defender has completed a challenge, which does not make contact with Walsall No 12, and it is the Walsall No 12 who makes an exaggerated action, falling to ground in anticipation of contact.

“The correct decision would be to caution the Walsall No 12 for simulation and award Forest Green Rovers an indirect free-kick.”

Doncaster Rovers 2-0 Crewe Alexandra

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Doncaster Rovers scored a controversial goal that potentially could have been disallowed for offside against Crewe Alexandra in League Two.

Incident: Possible offside (Doncaster Rovers)

Decision: Goal awarded- no offside (Doncaster Rovers)

Foy says: “From an educational point of view, this clip is a good one to reinforce the correct interpretation of offsides when a player leaves the pitch over the goal-line through normal momentum.

“When the ball is played towards goal and turned in from close range by the Doncaster Rovers No 10, several Crewe Alexandra players appeal for an offside flag.

“As you can see though, there is a Crewe Alexandra defender off the pitch as the goal goes in, meaning that his position for the purposes of making an offside judgement is on the goal-line.

“When the ball is last played by a team-mate (which is when offside position of any attackers is judged) Doncaster No 10 is in an onside position due to the position of the Crewe Alexandra goalkeeper and two other defenders who are both considered to be positioned on the goal-line.”

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