Behind the Whistle: Leeds and Plymouth decisions analysed

27 November 2023 0 By Total Football News

In Behind the Whistle, former Premier League and EFL 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…

Rotherham United 1-1 Leeds United

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Leeds were denied a late winner as Patrick Bamford was deemed to be offside prior to Jaidon Anthony's strike

Incident: Possible offside (Leeds United)

Decision: Goal disallowed - Offside (Leeds United)

Foy says: This is a fantastic decision by the assistant referee in the closing stages of the fixture.

You can see on the replays that the Leeds No 9 is leaning slightly in front of the deepest Rotherham United defender - with the six-yard box able to be used as a reference point.

Even if the attacker didn't touch the ball, given the clear attempt to play the ball that is close to him having moved from an offside position it was the correct decision to disallow the goal as he has become involved in active play and clearly impacted the opponent.

Plymouth Argyle 2-0 Sunderland

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Plymouth Argyle and Sunderland

Incident: Potential red card - Serious Foul Play (Plymouth Argyle)

Decision: Yellow card awarded (Plymouth Argyle)

Foy says: Although this is a difficult one to spot in real-time, I think the Plymouth Argyle player is fortunate to have only received a yellow card for this challenge.

The challenge is late, with a high point of contact and is made with speed, force and intensity that endangers the safety of an opponent. The tackle is made with studs showing and going into the Sunderland player's leg above the ankle making the ankle buckle. These are the factors a referee will consider when making a decision as to whether it is serious foul play (red card) or just reckless (yellow card).

In my opinion, the better outcome would have been to award a red card to the Plymouth Argyle player for serious foul play.

Portsmouth 0-4 Blackpool

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Highlights of the Sky Bet League One match between Portsmouth and Blackpool

Incident: Goal scored - goal-line decision (Blackpool)

Decision: Goal awarded (Blackpool)

Foy says: It's a tight decision and one that without the use of goal-line technology is extremely difficult to be certain if the ball had crossed the line or not, unless you are viewing this incident from a position looking directly along the goal-line.

As the footage shows, the assistant referee is perfectly positioned to make a real-time judgement. Given the positioning of the goalkeeper when making the initial save and then subsequent save while behind the line, I believe the decision to award the goal looks to be the correct one.

Shrewsbury Town 2-1 Port Vale

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Highlights of the Sky Bet League One match between Shrewsbury Town and Port Vale

Incident: Goal scored - potential foul (Port Vale)

Decision: Goal disallowed - foul awarded (Port Vale)

Foy says: I think the Shrewsbury Town defender is very fortunate in this particular incident to have been awarded a free-kick.

Both players initially come together before the defender attempts to block the cross into the box. I believe the referee has judged there to be a push on the defender, but with the benefit of being able to watch the incident back, I think this should have resulted in the goal being awarded as it looks more like normal football contact to me.

AFC Wimbledon 4-2 Notts County

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Highlights of the Sky Bet League Two match between AFC Wimbledon and Notts County

Incident: Potential penalty (AFC Wimbledon)

Decision: Penalty awarded (AFC Wimbledon)

Foy says: Given the number of bodies near the goalkeeper following the initial clearance from the corner, this is a really good spot to identify the pull-back on the AFC Wimbledon attacking player in the second phase of play.

The attacking player is looking to move ahead of the defenders to attack the second ball, however his movement is impacted by being clearly held back. It's a good call to award the penalty.

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