Behind the Whistle: Leeds, Birmingham and Portsmouth decisions explained

10 October 2023 0 By Total Football News

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.

Leeds United 2-1 Bristol City

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Leeds had a goal correctly ruled out for offside in their win against Bristol City

Incident: Goal scored, potential offside (Leeds United)

Decision: Goal disallowed

Foy says: Making a decision in a crowded penalty area is always challenging for the officials. When the ball is volleyed towards goal by Sam Byram (25) the eventual goal scorer, Georginio (24) is stood just beyond the second-last opponent - so in an offside position. Although he doesn't touch Byram's initial shot, he makes a clear attempt to play the ball, and clearly impacts the ability of Bristol City's goalkeeper to play the ball, who delays his save and spills Byram's effort, before Georginio taps the loose ball into the net.

There are two offside offences here, the first is Georginio's initial action that clearly impacts the Bristol City goalkeeper's attempt to make the save, and the second is that following a save he gains an advantage for the resultant tap-in by initially being in an offside position. This is a good call by the officials.

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Birmingham City 3-1 West Bromwich Albion

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Birmingham were awarded a penalty after their player slipped in their win against West Brom

Incident: Penalty awarded (Birmingham City)

Decision: Penalty awarded

Foy says: Both BIR11 and WBA4 challenge for the ball, and a penalty was awarded for the challenge by WBA4. This is an unusual situation, where BIR11 appears to slip and WBA4 makes contact through his momentum and in my view, a penalty is the incorrect decision. The referee misreads the situation and would have benefitted from creating a better viewing angle. This is more a case of two players losing their footing and coming together, and the best option is to allow play to continue.

Portsmouth 2-0 Port Vale

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Portsmouth have a goal awarded after a possible offside in the build-up during their victory against Port Vale

Incident: Possible offside (Portsmouth)

Decision: Goal awarded

Foy says: The decision the assistant referee has to make is whether Portsmouth's No 9 is closer to the goal line than the second-last opponent when the ball was last played by a team-mate. There is good focus to recognise that the Port Vale goalkeeper, who has come off his line in an attempt to gather the initial cross, is the second rearmost defender.

When the ball comes back across goal, the attacking player is in line with the goalkeeper and therefore is onside and the correct decision made.

Colchester 1-3 Morecambe

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Morecambe's James Connolly stamps on Colchester player which is spotted by assistant referee and he is sent off

Incident: Red card (Morecambe)

Decision: Red card

Foy says: This is a great example of a team of officials working together. After the initial tangle between Morecambe's James Connolly and Colchester's Samson Tovide, a free-kick is awarded to Colchester and play quickly resumes. At this point, the referee's focus turns to the developing phase of play. However, the two players involved in the incident are still on the floor. Connolly clearly stamps on Tovide as he gets to his feet which is spotted by the assistant referee who immediately brings this to the referee's attention, and a red card is shown for violent conduct.

Mansfield 0-0 AFC Wimbledon

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Mansfield were not awarded a goal after a missed penalty bounced on the goal line in their draw against Wimbledon

Incident: Goal decision (Mansfield)

Decision: Goal not awarded

Foy says: This is a good decision by the officials. The penalty is hit at pace, which the goalkeeper pushes onto the crossbar. The ball bounces down, then back up and hits the bar again before being collected by the 'keeper. There is a lot to process in a split second, but the ball doesn't cross the line and the match officials rightly allowed play to continue.

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