Eleven years later, Dowd takes QPR v Fulham again
Thursday, 23rd Feb 2012 00:24 by Clive Whittingham
It’s been 11 years since QPR and Fulham last met competitively at Loftus Road, and by strange coincidence we have the same referee for this Saturday’s meeting as we did way back then.
Referee >>> Phil Dowd (Staffordshire), third QPR appointment of the season for Dowd who previously refereed our 0-0 home draw with Newcastle and cup replay with MK Dons.
Assistants >>> John Flynn (Wiltshire) and Andy Garratt (West Midlands).
Fourth Official >>> Lee Probert (Wilshire), fourth official last week at Crawley v Stoke where he appeared to advise referee Mike Jones to send off Rory Delap in the first half. The red card was overturned on appeal during the week.
Nothing annoys me more than when people privileged enough to be paid to commentate on football games complain about being bored (Alan Green) but I’ve been to book club meetings more exciting than the first 20 minutes of this one. Diligently waiting pen in hand for action I noted a petulant foul and mouthful of dissent from Federico Macheda that referee Phil Dowd made a public point of clamping down on, and a weak shot from Luke Chadwick that dribbled straight through to Paddy Kenny. When Macheda did win the ball cleanly he then released Jay Bothroyd who cut into the area well before blasting a shot high over the bar.
Another QPR man thought he’d got his first goal for the club from the resulting corner. Having no doubt watched videos of Rangers playing this season, and then facing up to them for 90 minutes in the original tie, MK Dons could be forgiven for not paying close attention to the marking at set pieces given how consistently awful they have been at Loftus Road this year. But their failure to spot Shaun Derry loitering unmarked in the six yard box could have cost them when the midfielder turned in what would have been his first goal since November 4, 2006, had referee Phil Dowd not penalised him for an infringement on the goalkeeper David Martin. Replays showed that Derry had indeed, needlessly, reached behind him to hold the goalkeeper in place and annoyingly he probably would have scored anyway had he not done so such was the quality of the delivery from Buzsaky.
MK Dons boss Karl Robinson immediately sent on Daniel Powell for Luke Chadwick and later Jay O’Shea (would you really call your kid Jay if his last name was O’Shea?) for the hero of the first match Dean Bowditch but there was a sense now that they would do well to take anything from a tie having passed up so many opportunities to win across both games. The frustration of the situation probably had a lot to do with Ibehre’s late lunge on Shaun Derry that justifiably brought a first yellow card of the night from referee Phil Dowd.
That new defensive attitude shone through twice in three added minutes at the end of the game. First Tommy Smith and Shaun Wright-Phillips played keep ball with a late corner, and then Luke Young took a booking on the chin for a professional foul on Ibehre as he threatened to break clear across the halfway line. If only Alejandro Faurlin had done the same against West Brom a couple of months ago, things could all be very different at QPR now. The resulting free kick was headed wide by Doumbe and that was pretty much that.
QPR: Kenny 6, Young 6, Ferdinand 7, Gabbidon 6, Hill 7, Mackie 6, Buzsaky 7 (Helguson 72, 6), Derry 5, Wright-Phillips 5, Macheda 5 (Smith 62, 6), Bothroyd 6 (Orr 86, -)
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Hall, Campbell, Ephraim
Booked: Young (foul)
Goals: Gabbidon 73 (assisted Wright-Phillips)
Milton Keynes Dons: Martin 7, Smith 8, Doumbe 7, S Williams 7, Lewington 7, Gleeson 7, Potter 6, Chadwick 6 (Daniel Powell 73, 6), Bowditch 6 (O'Shea 83, -), MacDonald 5, Ibehre 7
Subs Not Used: McLoughlin, Flanagan, Baldock, McNamee, G Williams
Booked: Ibehre (foul)
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire) 8 Makes a big showy song and dance over every free kick and warning which can grate after a while but he refereed this game perfectly well and got very few decisions wrong on the night.
If Newcastle’s ambition had waned somewhat by the end of the game, you couldn’t fault it to start with. Ryan Taylor, full back and free kick taker extraordinaire, stepped up and whacked a seriously ambitious shot well wide of the target from the thick end of 45 yards out in the opening minute of the game with the first set piece awarded by referee Phil Dowd.
Dowd is never shy of producing a card or four in a game and quickly whistled his yellow one out here when Shola Ameobi objected rather too vehemently to the award of a QPR free kick for a foul by Ryan Taylor on Shaun Wright Phillips. You’ll forgive the over-use of Christian names in this report I’m sure, given the presence of two Taylors and two Ameobis in the Newcastle matchday squad
It had been 20 minutes of solid QPR pressure and dominance with the only black spot coming whenShaun Derry picked up a yellow card for a tackle on Leon Best on halfway. Referee Dowd didn’t seem like he was even going to give a free kick at first but when Best rolled over he duly obliged, and then when Best stayed down he handed out a yellow card as well. Ridiculously harsh that one, especially given Best’s sudden and miraculous recovery once the punishment had been metered out. He, unsurprisingly, played on well into the second half without a further problem.
Much of the debate in the North East before the game had been about whether Italian full back Davide Santon would start the game instead of Ryan Taylor. Santon is potentially a fantastic signing, a talented youngster who burst onto the scene at Inter Milan before losing his way, but Taylor, who was seemingly only bought by Newcastle in the first place because he kept scoring against them, has made a decent start to the season in his position. A goal against Sunderland is always likely to win you friends on Tyneside and he had an ideal chance to repeat that feat here with five minutes left on the watch.
Again I have to criticise the referee for rank inconsistency. At the Loft End DJ Campbell did magnificently wide on the QPR right to skin his man and accelerate into the penalty area with the Newcastle player yanking him back by the shirt the whole way. Campbell escaped and an advantage was rightly played but when the move broke down a split second later Dowd ignored pleas to bring it back for a Rangers free kick. Fair enough, we had an advantage and lost it. But then, within seconds, an identical situation emerged at the other end when Faurlin fouled Obertan on the edge of the box but the ball rolled to Gutierrez and advantage was waved on. When the Argentinean then lost possession Dowd happily pulled the play back and awarded a free kick. I cannot recall such a stark piece of one-rule-for-one-one-for-another officiating since Trevor Kettle disallowed a QPR goal for a challenge on Southampton keeper Kelvin Davis and then two minutes later allowed the Saints to bundle home a winner in identical circumstances.
Warnock sent on Jason Puncheon for an unhappy cameo and Rangers again had cause to feel aggrieved with the referee when Adel Taarabt stuck the ball in the net only to find the play had long since been pulled back to the halfway line for an unseen offence that nobody in F Block could even hazard a guess at.
No matter what flood, fire, plague or pestilence befalls a game these days you can pretty much guarantee that four minutes will be added onto the end of the second half and referee Dowd, despite much exaggerated posturing and watch gesturing during Krul's increasingly blatant clock running, duly obliged with the standard offering. For one reason or another the ball was barely in play for a quarter of that time and both teams were forced to settle for a point – Rangers left to curse their finishing, Newcastle grateful to get back on the bus and go home.
QPR: Kenny 7, Young 8, Ferdinand 7, Gabbidon 6, Traore 7 (Connolly 51, 6), Derry 7, Faurlin 8, Wright-Phillips 8 (Puncheon 88, -) Barton 7, Taarabt 8, Bothroyd 7 (Campbell 80, -)
Subs Not Used: Murphy, Hall, Buzsaky, Smith
Booked: Derry (foul)
Newcastle: Krul 6, Simpson 7, Steven Taylor 6, Coloccini 7, Ryan Taylor 6, Cabaye 6,Tiote 7, Obertan 6 (Sammy Ameobi 88, -), Gutierrez 6, Best 6 (Marveaux 82, -),Shola Ameobi 5 (Ba 64, 6)
Subs Not Used: Elliot, Santon, Guthrie, Lovenkrands
Booked: Shola Ameobi (dissent),Tiote (repetitive fouling),Steven Taylor (foul)
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire) 6 The predicted card fest, that looked even more likely than it had done before kick off when Ameobi was booked after four minutes, failed to materialise and overall Mr Dowd was not too bad. However, as already discussed, the Derry booking was a result of player reaction rather than anything the referee had seen, the failure to clamp down on Krul’s time wasting or punish him with some proper stoppage time was poor, and the late chance for Taylor from a free kick came from a terribly inconsistent application of the advantage rule.
The visitors did settle to their task and started to look more comfortable, while always being under pressure, as the half wore on. One thing they could not afford to do was give possession away deep in their own half and when Akos Buzsaky did that after 20 minutes Tevez pounced and raced into the penalty area before pulling the ball back towards his onrushing team mates. Luckily for Buzsaky Fitz Hall was growing in stature by this stage and he got back with a timely interception and Cerny collected the ball as Dowd ignored half hearted claims for a pass back.Two minutes of injury time were advertised, but Dowd played three to give United a chance to have one last go from a corner – Stewart cleared the ball and the whistle sounded immediately. Rangers had been under the cosh, and were yet to have a shot on goal of their own, but they were hanging in there. If there was a criticism of them in the first half it was that twice they had been given a chance to put a couple of free kicks into the box from 40 or 50 yards out and twice the delivery had been very poor. Set pieces were always going to be our best chance of nicking a goal and the way we wasted the ones we got was disappointing.
United were clearly starting to get frustrated but two minutes after the Blackstock chance they introduced young striker Danny Wellbeck at the expense of Rodrigo Possebon and it gave them a crucial added cutting edge. Four minutes after coming on Wellbeck ran in behind the QPR defence, turned Ramage on the byline and then hit the deck as the ball ran back to Cerny. He would not have scored, he had toed the ball too far in front of him and Cerny had collected, but for the first time in the game a QPR player had lost his composure and gone to ground on an opponent. Stretford End, United struggling, player sent sprawling – there was only ever going to be one call. Ramage looked distraught, his best performance for the club so far ruined by a rush of blood to the head.
Tevez embarked on a mazy, bendy, ridiculously over elaborate run up and some half hour later arrived at the ball and sent Cerny the wrong way to give United the lead. Before the kick had even been taken Ainsworth was readying Sam Di Carmine on the bench and sure enough once United had gone into the lead the Italian came on to replace Lee Cook.
Now with three recognised strikers on the pitch QPR actually started to threaten. Almost right from the kick off Blackstock declined to shoot when the ball bounced up invitingly in the penalty area for him and then on the very next attack the R’s got the ball in the net. Again Blackstock struggled to get a shot away with the ball bouncing all over the place, then Mahon hit a half volley into the ground and as the ball bounced up Di Carmine headed home from six yards out. The away end burst into life, but the passion was killed almost immediately as the sight of a linesman’s flag in the air brought a premature end to the celebrations.
QPR: Cerny 9, Ramage 7, Stewart 9, Hall 9, Connolly 7, Mahon 8, Rowlands 8, Buzsaky 5 (Agyemang 7), Parejo 4 (Ledesma 7) Cook 5 (Di Carmine 7) Blackstock 5
Subs Not Used: Cole, Delaney, Gorkss, Ephraim
Man Utd: Kuszczak 6, Rafael Da Silva 7, Neville 7 (Vidic 89, -), Evans 7, O'Shea 7, Gibson 7, Possebon 7 (Welbeck 72, 8), Anderson 7, Nani 7, Tevez 8, Park 8
Subs Not Used: Foster, Carrick, Manucho, Cleverley, Gray
Goals: Tevez 76 pen (assisted Nani)
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire) 8 No bookings and no real controversy. The QPR disallowed goal was offside, the penalty was a penalty. I thought we were lucky to escape a hand ball shout in the first minute but other than that it was hard to fault the referee.
Ten minutes later Stewart was caught out by Earnshaw as he tried to shield a ball away for a goal kick and the big Jamaican hauled him to the ground as he tried to recover. The incident took place a matter of inches away from the penalty area and Stewart was unlucky to escape without a card or a spot kick being awarded. Marcus Bignot wasn't so lucky in the next attack when he dragged Huckerby back to prevent the speedy winger racing away from him and he picked up the first yellow of the game from Phil Dowd.
Norwich: Gallacher 7, Colin 7, Shackell 7, Doherty 6, Drury 7,Croft 8 (Hughes 77, 6), Safri 8 (McVeigh 88, -), Etuhu 7, Huckerby 7, Dublin 8,Earnshaw 7
Subs Not Used: Lewis, Fleming, Ryan Jarvis
Goals: Dublin 69
QPR: Royce 7, Bignot 5, Stewart 7, Mancienne 7, Milanese 5,Gallen 5 (Blackstock 77, 5), Rowlands 7 (Ward 41, 5), Lomas 7, Cook 5, Furlong 5, Ray Jones 5
Subs Not Used: Cole, Baidoo, Kanyuka
Booked: Bignot, Cook
Ref: P Dowd (Staffordshire) 5 - Pretty home orientated, allowed Dublin to challenge pretty much however he liked while Furlong was penalised every time he went near the ball. Also gave a number of free kicks to Lee Croft in the first half which quite blatantly came from dives, seemed to get wise to him though after a particularly obvious flop right in front of the away fans.
Prior to that Dowd refereed Rangers' 4-2 home win against Crystal Palace in 2006/07, awarding Rangers a stone wall penalty for a foul by Danny Butterfield on Lee Cook. In 2004/05 he refereed us twice, in a 3-1 home defeat by Sunderland and a 1-0 defeat at Leicester where he disallowed two perfectly good Martin Rowlands goals for reasons known only to him. Dowd also refereed the infamous 2-0 home defeat by Fulham in 2001 when Clarke Carlisle and Richard Langley both ruptured their cruciate ligaments. In 1999/00 he refereed a 2-1 home win against Tranmere and the season before he was in the middle for our 3-2 away defeat against the same opponents.
So far this season Dowd has shown an above average number of yellow cards (98 in 26 games, 3.77 a match on average) and a below par number of reds (just three so far). His biggest haul in a single game was eight yellows at Liverpool v Sunderland back in August. He was pretty prolific last season as well, showing 139 yellows in 38 matches (3.66 a match) and a hefty 12 reds. That included two matches where he booked nine players and sent another off (Fulham v Wolves, Newcastle v Sunderland) and one where he booked nine (West Brom v Wigan ). He showed six cards or more in a game on nine different occasions and in only two matches did he show no cards at all. In 2009/10 he showed 135 yellows and five reds in 39 matches – 3.46 yellows a game.
His only Fulham appointment so far this season was a 4-0 home win against Charlton in the FA Cup, one of the goals coming from the penalty spot.
Premiership >>> If you asked me for a referee in poor form at the moment I’d probably say Mike Dean, but I’d be wrong it seems because he has the big match this season Arsenal v Spurs on Sunday. Michael Oliver has been getting plenty of praise recently and he has Chelsea v Bolton this weekend. Howard Webb less so, he has Stoke v Swansea which is a contrast in styles to say the least.
Championship >>> Champagne corks were popping at LFW Towers this week when it was announced that calamity referee Stuart Attwell had been dropped from the Premiership list permanently. Sadly he hasn’t been dropped from a great height and can still referee in a division that QPR may well find themselves in next season – this weekend he has Middlesbrough v Reading. Trevor Kettle has Bristol City v Blackpool.
League Two >>> The other youngster the authorities seem determined to promote way beyond his experience and ability is Gavin Ward, although Northampton v Port Vale seems about his level this weekend.
Pictures – Action Images
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Letters from Wiltshire #33 by wessex_exile
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Letters from Wiltshire #32 by wessex_exile
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Letters from Wiltshire #31 by wessex_exile
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