Behind the Whistle is back, with former Premier League referee Chris Foy going 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…
QPR 1-3 Sunderland
Incident: Potential red card – serious foul play (QPR)
Decision: Red card awarded – serious foul play (QPR)
Foy says: The referee was decisive in his actions and couldn’t have been better positioned to make the judgement, which was correct in my view.
It ticks all the boxes for a serious foul play offence and therefore a red card – it was a lunging challenge, with the leading left leg making a high, full and forceful contact with the right calf of the opponent, clearly endangering his safety.
Blackburn Rovers 2-1 Middlesbrough
Incident: Goal scored – potential offside (Middlesbrough)
Decision: Goal awarded (Middlesbrough)
Foy says: I have had the benefit of being able to watch a replay of this incident, and when analysing it, it does look like the Middlesbrough attacker is just in an offside position when the ball is last played by a team-mate.
Despite his attempts to step back in-line with the second-last defender, he looks to still be in an offside position when the ball is played across, so ultimately an incorrect judgement. Match officials set high standards and I think the assistant referee will be disappointed not to have got this call right, as the goal should have been ruled out for offside.
Derby County 1-1 Portsmouth
Incident: Goal scored – potential handball/offside (Portsmouth)
Decision: Goal awarded (Portsmouth)
Foy says: There are two aspects to this decision – a potential handball at the start of the move and then a question of offside involving the goal scorer.
While there is a movement of the arm, the ball strikes the top of the shoulder of the Portsmouth player, therefore this is not a handball – what’s more, the referee is well positioned to make this judgement.
The potential offside aspect to this decision is a really good decision from the assistant referee. When the ball is last touched into the path of the goal scorer, the trailing leg of Derby’s No 3 is playing the forward onside. A good decision at a pivotal moment in the contest.
Exeter City 1-0 Cheltenham Town
Incident: Potential penalty (Exeter City)
Decision: No penalty awarded (Exeter City)
Foy says: The handball law is subjective and requires a number of factors to be taken into consideration by the referee, and while the ball does strike an arm, Exeter’s No 8 kicks it against his own arm as he’s attempting to clear the ball from the defensive penalty area.
As he’s doing so, he also slips and he’s using his arm to try and balance himself to make a good connection with the ball up the field of play. Taking into consideration all of these factors, play on is correct and the best outcome in circumstances such as these.
Wrexham 3-0 Grimsby Town
Incident: Goal scored – potential offside (Wrexham)
Decision: Goal awarded (Wrexham)
Foy says: This is a good decision from the assistant referee and the correct call to allow the goal to stand.
The Grimsby Town defender is recovering from an earlier passage of play and therefore is trying to get back to his feet and in line with his team-mates, but he doesn’t quite manage it, meaning the Wrexham goal scorer was in an onside position.