Behind the Whistle: Former Premier League referee Chris Foy explains the latest EFL decisions

Former Premier League referee Chris Foy examines decisions from the Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two; Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Stoke, West Brom 0-1 Sunderland, Oxford 5-0 Peterborough, Cheltenham 1-3 Bristol Rovers, Gillingham 3-0 Barrow all analysed

Image: Chris Foy explains some of the latest key decisions in the EFL

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

Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Stoke City

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Sheffield Wednesday were denied an opening goal after the Owls were adjudged to foul the Stoke City goalkeeper

Incident: Possible goal (Sheffield Wednesday)

Decision: Goal disallowed – foul (Sheffield Wednesday)

Foy says: “As the ball is swung in from the corner, Stoke’s goalkeeper is clearly being held by Sheffield Wednesday’s No 11, which has a clear impact by preventing him from being in a position where he is able to make a save.

“In my view, it is the correct decision for the referee to disallow the goal because the holding by the Sheffield Wednesday’s No 11 on the goalkeeper is sustained and impactful.

“These situations can be difficult to detect in a crowded penalty area from a corner kick. The referee shows good awareness and makes a positive on-field decision to identify the unfair contact by the attacker and immediately rule the goal out.”

West Bromwich Albion 0-1 Sunderland

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Brandon Thomas-Asante was sent off for West Brom against Sunderland after a late tackle lead to a second booking

Incident: Possible second caution – (West Bromwich Albion)

Decision: Second caution, red card awarded (West Bromwich Albion)

Foy says: “Having just been cautioned a few minutes prior to this incident, West Bromwich Albion’s No 21 inherits the risk of a second yellow card by making a challenge with an outstretched leg in an attempt to play the loose ball.

“The timing of the challenge results in West Bromwich Albion’s No 21 making high contact with Sunderland’s No 5 and, while the contact does not have the speed or intensity to be a direct red card, it is reckless and therefore meets the threshold for a second yellow card. In my view, the referee arrives at the correct outcome in this situation.”

Sky Bet League One

Oxford United 5-0 Peterborough United

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Oxford United are awarded a penalty during their Sky Bet League One clash with Peterborough United after Jadel Katongo fouled Joshua Murphy

Incident: Possible penalty and possible DOGSO (denying a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity) red card (Oxford United)

Decision: Penalty awarded and DOGSO yellow given – (Oxford United)

Foy says: “This incident is a good example of the referee having to make a number of judgements. The first is whether or not to award a penalty; if it is determined that an offence has occurred the next judgement is whether or not the foul has denied an obvious goalscoring opportunity.

“If so, the third question is whether the foul involved a genuine attempt to play or challenge for the ball. All these considerations impact what disciplinary action needs to follow – yellow card or red card? Oxford United were awarded a penalty and a yellow card was shown.

“As Oxford’s No 23 progresses into the box, he is clearly tripped by Peterborough United’s No 2 and a penalty kick is rightly awarded.

“The referee then decides that the denial of an obvious goalscoring opportunity has occurred, however because Peterborough’s No 2 makes a genuine challenge for the ball, a yellow card is – in my opinion – correctly shown.

“Had the foul been a clear push or holding offence or not an attempt to play the ball, this would be a red card for DOGSO.”

Cheltenham Town 1-3 Bristol Rovers

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Bristol Rovers were incorrectly awarded a penalty during their 3-1 win over Cheltenham Town after one of their attackers was in an offside position in the build-up to the penalty incident

Incident: Possible offside in build-up to penalty being awarded (Bristol Rovers)

Decision: Penalty awarded, no offside given (Bristol Rovers)

Foy says: “The decision to award Bristol Rovers a penalty here was ultimately incorrect, not because the goalkeeper didn’t commit a clear foul but because there was a missed offside offence in the build-up to the penalty.

“Reverse crossovers are arguably the most difficult decisions for assistant referees to read in real-time because of the quickly changing picture and this is the case here as Bristol Rovers’ No 7 comes back from a marginally offside position in the build-up to play the ball.

“Although the referee was correct to identify the foul on the Bristol Rovers’ No 21 inside the penalty area, ultimately the correct decision would have been to call the offside in the build-up.”

Sky Bet League Two

Gillingham 3-0 Barrow

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The linesman during the League Two match between Gillingham and Barrow makes an excellent decision to keep his flag down for the Gills’ opening goal

Incident: Goal scored – possible offside (Gillingham)

Decision: Goal awarded (Gillingham)

Foy says: “The decision to keep the flag down and allow Gillingham to score here is an excellent one. Both the speed of play and the distance from which the ball was played make it a tough call for the assistant referee, however they make an outstanding decision.

“Because Barrow’s No 17 steps forward after the ball is played through by a team-mate, the picture changes very quickly and requires an inch-perfect decision to be made and the goal is correctly awarded.”

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