Behind the Whistle: West Brom, Southampton, Wrexham decisions analysed

23 January 2024 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…

Sky Bet Championship

Norwich City 2-0 West Bromwich Albion

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West Bromwich Albion were denied a goal against Norwich as their goal just before half-time was disallowed following a handball in the build-up

Incident: Goal ruled out – handball (West Bromwich Albion)

Decision: Goal disallowed (West Bromwich Albion)

Foy says: This is a really positive piece of refereeing, with the positioning of the official leading to the correct call being made to rule out the West Brom goal for handball.

Whether the West Brom No 21 handles the ball deliberately or accidentally, the handball leads immediately to a goal being scored by the same player. The referee gets himself into a good position to see the handball and to correctly rule the goal out.

Swansea City 1-3 Southampton

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Southampton’s second goal against Swansea was allowed even though there were calls for offside in the build-up

Incident: Goal scored – Potential offside in the build-up (Southampton)

Decision: Goal awarded (Southampton)

Foy says: The still image will show that Southampton’s No 17 is offside in the passage of play ahead of the goal being scored, however these situations are challenging to judge as there is a ‘reverse crossover’ situation where the attacking player is moving back at pace in the direction of the halfway line and that means the picture changes so fast for the assistant referee to make a judgment.

The play continues and a goal is scored by the away side, but ultimately the attacking player was in an offside position and the decision should have been made to stop play / disallow the goal.

Sky Bet League Two

Newport County 1-0 Wrexham

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A Wrexham player was shown red following a challenge which followed through with high and forceful contact

Incident: Potential Red Card (Wrexham)

Decision: Red Card awarded (Wrexham)

Foy says: For me, this one meets the criteria for serious foul play and therefore a red card, as the action by Wrexham’s No 25 endangers an opponent here.

Even though the Wrexham player plays the ball, his follow-through results in high and forceful contact on his opponent from a straight leg. The opponent was always in front of the Wrexham player and following through in such a way was correctly identified as serious foul play.

When observing the incident, I do believe the referee could have perhaps created a better angle for himself to see the incident more clearly, however through effective teamwork with the assistant referee, a correct decision has been made.

Gillingham 1-1 Forest Green Rovers

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Gillingham were disallowed a goal against Forest Green Rovers as the ball hits the Gillingham player and falls into the path of his team-mate who is in an offside position

Incident: Goal scored – Potential offside (Gillingham)

Decision: Goal disallowed – offside (Gillingham)

Foy says: This is a good decision from the officials, as it could well have been a tricky one with the defender aiming to play the ball down the field, and an attacker blocking the ball. Because it hits the Gillingham player and falls into the path of his team-mate who is in an offside position – the No 45 commits an offside offence by playing the ball.

The assistant referee shows really good concentration here and makes a positive call. No 45 is clearly offside when you see the still image, but the quick change in direction of the ball makes it a difficult decision for the assistant to make in real-time. He gets it correct though, and the goal is rightly ruled out.

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