Behind the Whistle: Championship, League One and League Two decisions analysed

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Behind the Whistle: Championship, League One and League Two decisions analysed

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

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 0-0 Coventry City

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Coventry City’s Liam Kitching received a red card for this incident during their Sky Bet Championship game at Blackburn Rovers

Incident: Possible red card – denial of obvious goal-scoring opportunity (DOGSO) – (Coventry City)

Decision: Red card shown – DOGSO (Coventry City)

Foy says: “This clip highlights positive on-field decision-making and an excellent real-time judgement which sees Coventry City no. 15 sent off for denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity.

“As Blackburn’s no. 9 makes a clear run towards the opponent’s goal, he is clearly held back, which impacts him unfairly and causes the attacker to go to ground. The referee correctly recognises the foul and must then make a judgement about whether this foul has denied Blackburn no. 9 an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.

“In my opinion, the decision to show Coventry City no. 15 a red card is the correct one, as Blackburn no. 9 is clearly moving towards goal and is in control of the ball. At the moment the foul is committed, Coventry City no. 4 does not have the opportunity to act as a covering defender.

“This situation meets all of the criteria for a DOGSO, and the correct outcome is reached by the referee.”

Bristol City 2-0 Rotherham United

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Tommy Conway won a penalty for Bristol City during their Sky Bet Championship game against Rotherham United after this incident

Incident: Possible penalty – foul (Bristol City)

Decision: Penalty awarded (Bristol City)

Foy says: “As this attacking phase of play develops, the first key judgement is whether or not Bristol City no. 15 is onside as he runs onto the through ball. Although it is a very tight situation, my view is that the assistant referee makes an incorrect judgement to keep their flag down, as the attacker is just offside.

“As the Bristol City no. 15 then moves around the goalkeeper, he falls to ground and the referee points to the spot.

“The replays confirm that there is minimal contact on the attacking player, which does not have the consequence of tripping him, as Bristol City no. 15 takes a couple of steps before going to ground. Therefore, with the high threshold for penalising contact, the referee should not have awarded a penalty kick.

“My view is that the attacker has deceived the referee and the correct decision would be to caution the Bristol City no. 15 for simulation and award Rotherham United an indirect free-kick.”

Sky Bet League One

Exeter City 1-2 Oxford United

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Oxford United were awarded a penalty during their Sky Bet League One game against Exeter City after this incident

Incident: Potential penalty (Oxford United)

Decision: Penalty awarded – foul (Oxford United)

Foy says: “Although it appears to be a fairly straight-forward decision for the referee to make in awarding Oxford United a penalty here, it is a clip which highlights the importance of creating an angle to provide an unobstructed view.

“As the clip begins, the referee is in a central position as the ball is played wide. He then does well to sprint across the pitch and create an angle, keeping the developing action ahead of him.

“Oxford’s no. 23 is then tripped up inside the area and the referee shows no hesitation in pointing to the spot, capitalising on the acceleration and his positioning and movement in the build-up to the penalty incident.”

Peterborough United 3-3 Bolton Wanderers

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Joel Randall scored this goal for Peterborough United in their Sky Bet League One game against Bolton Wanderers

Incident: Goal scored – possible offside (Peterborough United)

Decision: Goal awarded – no offside (Peterborough United)

Foy says: “As far as onside decisions go, this is one of the best you’ll see as Peterborough United’s no. 14 races through on goal and scores.

“With the quickly developing phase of play and the action being in and around the half-way line, it can be extremely difficult for the officials to judge tight calls like this.

“Both Peterborough United no. 14 and Bolton Wanderers no. 2 are perfectly in line, on the halfway line; therefore, Peterborough United no. 14 is onside.

“The assistant referee gets it absolutely spot on and the goal is correctly allowed to stand.”

Sky Bet League Two

Bradford City 4-1 Newport County

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Bradford City scored this goal during their Sky Bet League Two game against Newport County

Incident: Goal scored – possible ball outside the quadrant (Bradford City)

Decision: Goal awarded (Bradford City)

Foy says: “As the ball is placed ahead of the corner kick, it appears that the whole of the ball is outside the quadrant.

“This is not recognised by the match officials and play is allowed to continue, where Bradford City then score from the set piece.

“The replays confirm that the ball is outside the quadrant and not hanging over it. In this case, the match officials should have worked together to ensure that the ball was correctly placed.”

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