Former Premier League referee Chris Foy examines decisions from the latest Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two action
Image: Chris Foy explains some of the latest key decisions in the EFL
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…
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Sky Bet Championship
Huddersfield 1-2 Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough were denied a penalty and Alex Bangura was cautioned for simulation against Huddersfield Town
Incident: Potential penalty (Middlesbrough)
Decision: No penalty awarded – caution for simulation (Middlesbrough)
Foy says: “This a very good decision by the referee to not award the penalty but to also caution the attacking player for simulation.
“There is normal footballing contact between the players outside of the area, but that stops as they enter the box. The defender does not make a challenge and the attacking player falls to ground without contact and these actions were considered as an action to deceive, and the correct call was made by the referee.”
Watch highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Huddersfield Town and Middlesbrough
Coventry City 2-2 Swansea City
The offside flag didn’t get raised to rule out Haji Wright’s goal against Swansea City
Incident: Potential goal scored – offside (Coventry)
Decision: Goal awarded (Coventry)
Foy says: “The attacking player is attempting to come back from an offside position but, for me, he doesn’t quite get back in line with the second-last defender, therefore when the ball is played through, even though it’s close he is still in an offside position, and then becomes involved in active play.
“Decisions involving players coming back from an offside position, rather than running through into one, are more unusual and therefore can be more difficult. However, given the high standards match officials set week in, week out, I think the assistant referee will be disappointed not to have raised their flag on this occasion.”
Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Coventry City and Swansea City
Lincoln City 0-1 Bolton Wanderers
Danny Mandroiu was shown a straight red card for a foul on Aaron Morley
Incident: Potential red card (Lincoln City)
Decision: Red card awarded (Lincoln City)
Foy says: “For a red card to be issued for serious foul play, a tackle or challenge must clearly endanger the safety of an opponent or use excessive force or brutality. I think this is a challenge which meets this definition and is judged correctly by the referee.
“The Lincoln City player has committed to the challenge from a distance, in a lunging motion and makes contact with excessive force. The red card was the best outcome, with the referee taking decisive and swift action.”
Watch highlights of the Sky Bet League One match between Lincoln City and Bolton Wanderers
Port Vale 3-0 Blackpool
Nathan Smith’s goal in the 80th minute was allowed to stand against Blackpool
Incident: Potential goal scored (Port Vale)
Decision: Goal awarded (Port Vale)
Foy says: “This is a really difficult phase of play for the assistant referee to judge, and it is only with the benefit of reviewing the replay, that I think the goal should have been disallowed for offside.
“When the ball is headed into the centre by the Port Vale No 27, the eventual goal scorer appears to be in an offside position. Vale’s No 25 then attempts to head the ball but appears to fail to make contact, however, it’s not conclusive. Had the No 25 made contact, it would have made the decision an even tighter call.”
Highlights of the Sky Bet League One match between Port Vale and Blackpool
Northampton Town 1-0 Cheltenham Town
Lewis Freestone was adjudged to have fouled Kieron Bowie in the penalty area which led to Bowie converting from the spot in the match’s only goal
Incident: Potential penalty (Northampton)
Decision: Penalty awarded (Northampton)
Foy says: “I think the key indicators for this decision are that the defending player is attempting to win the ball from behind the attacker – which always carries a risk – and once the challenge comes in and the ball doesn’t change path, it indicates that contact has been made with the player rather than the ball.
“The contact has the consequence of tripping the attacker, and the referee has judged the incident well and awarding a penalty kick is the correct decision.”
Highlights of the Sky Bet League One match between Northampton and Cheltenham
Barrow 2-2 Stockport County
Ben Whitfield was stood near the back post with the goalkeeper closer to the ball before scoring the opening goal against Stockport County
Incident: Potential goal scored (Barrow)
Decision: Goal awarded (Barrow)
Foy says: “In the offside Law, an attacking player is in an offside position if they are nearer to the opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent. Looking at this particular incident, this is not the case.
“When the ball is initially struck towards goal by Barrow’s No 8, the eventual goalscorer is beyond at least the goalkeeper and the nearest Stockport County defender, so is in an offside position. The correct decision is to rule out for effort for offside.”
Highlights from the Sky Bet League Two match between Barrow and Stockport
Swindon Town 0-1 Wrexham
Wrexham’s Elliot Lee went down the box after moving between two Swindon players
Incident: Potential penalty (Wrexham)
Decision: No penalty awarded (Wrexham)
Highlights of the Sky Bet League Two match between Swindon and Wrexham
Foy says: “I don’t think this meets the required high threshold to be given as a penalty, therefore the referee has made the correct call in my opinion.
“The attacking player has tried to move into a space that isn’t really there, with the two defenders standing their ground and not committing to a challenge. I would agree the best course of action was to continue with play.”