East heads west for QPR's Millwall match - Referee
Monday, 11th Sep 2017 12:17 by Clive Whittingham
Premier League referee Roger East is slumming it in the Championship on Tuesday night as QPR welcome Millwall to Loftus Road.
Referee >>> Roger East (Wiltshire) last refereed QPR in a 2-0 home win against Birmingham the season before last.
Assistants >>> Simon Beck (Bedfordshire) and Michael McDonough (Northumberland)
Fourth Official >>> Keith Stroud (Hampshire), lunatic.
QPR 2 Birmingham 0, Saturday February 27, 2016, Championship
QPR: Smithies 6; Onuoha 7, Angella 7, Hall 6, Perch 7; Henry 7, Luongo 7, Phillips 6 (Washington 82, -), Chery 8 (Tozser 76, 6), Hoilett 6 (El Khayati 90+3, -); Polter 7
Subs not used: Konchesky, Faurlin, Ingram, Petrasso
Goals: Chery 35 (assisted Perch), Hoilett 38 (penalty, won Polter)
Birmingham: Kuszczak 6; Shotton 5, Morrison 5, Robinson 6, Grounds 6; Gleeson 6, Kieftenbeld 6 (Vaughan 71, 5); Cotterill 7, Fabbrini 4 (Toral 63, 6), Maghoma 6 (Buckley 79, 6); Donaldson 4
Subs not used: Legzdins, Spector, Davis, Caddis
Bookings: Fabbrini 15 (foul), Morrison 39 (foul), Donaldson 60 (dissent), Toral 81 (foul)
Referee – Roger East (Wiltshire) 6 An odd performance, which started with him pulling QPR back from a dangerous counter attack to give them a free kick in their own half, and ended with a succession of infuriating decisions in the closing two minutes. In between it’s hard to see how Morrison can stay on having fouled Polter just as he’s about to shoot from six yards out for the penalty.
To make things even more galling, QPR actually found time after conceding to force the ball over the line for an apparent equaliser at the other end. A cross from substitute Mauricio Isla caused panic when it deflected high into the night sky and goalkeeper Fraser Forster dropped the ball in a crowded penalty box under pressure from Onuoha. Charlie Austin and Mauro Zarate swarmed around the loose ball and bundled it home but somewhere in amongst the carnage Onuoha had technically strayed offside and the goal was chalked off. Southampton surrounded referee Roger East anyway, and Forster was booked for dissent, but his fumble was the result of bad handling rather than a foul and the Saints were lucky to escape.
QPR: Green 6; Onuoha 5, Caulker 5, Dunne 6 (Vargas 83, -), Hill 5; Phillips 6, Barton 7, Fer 7, Traore 5 (Isla 73, 6); Austin 6, Taarabt 6 (Zarate 63, 6)
Subs not used: McCarthy, Kranjcar, Henry, Zamora
Bookings: Barton 13 (foul), Hill 57 (foul)
Southampton: Forster 7; Clyne 6, Fonte 7, Yoshida 6, Targett 6 (Gardos 26, 6); Wanyama 6 (Schneiderlin 61, 6), Davis 6; Ellia 8 (Tadic 80, 6), Ward Prowse 6, Mane 8; Pelle 6
Subs not used: Davis, Reed, Flanagan, Seager
Goals: Mane 90+3 (assisted Yoshida)
Bookings: Schneiderlin 74 (foul), Forster 90+5 (dissent)
Referee – Roger East (Wiltshire) 7 There was an obvious foul on Leroy Fer that he waved away during a second half counter attack, and Southampton were unhappy he didn’t award a free kick for a potential foul on Forster in that incident at the death, but overall I thought he refereed the game reasonably well. Yellow cards all fair enough.
Leicester would probably have taken a point before the kick-off, and now had half a foot planted firmly in all three. Schmeichel started to waste time after five minutes - meticulously cleaning his boots by banging them against the post before every. Single. Goal. Kick. I’d have fancied myself to complete an oil painting of the scene before he finally got round to leathering a couple of them away down the field. Annoyingly, Schmeichel’s clearances are so long, and QPR’s defence so unprotected, that Leicester’s goal kicks posed more danger to Rangers on Saturday than the average team’s corners – Caulker and Onuoha were bailing water out of a leaky boat the whole game, unable to deal with the aerial bombardment.
That set up a cliffhanger ending. Schmiechel had been like the minutes taker at an arthritis care meeting in the first half but was suddenly racing around like a contestant on Supermarket Sweep, retrieving balls and pumping them straight to the heart of the QPR defence. Charlie Austin was booked for kicking the ball away by East – you wondered why Schmeichel hadn’t suffered similar treatment before half time.
Leicester corners caused panic routinely. When Jordon Mutch encroached on a late free kick and blocked it before it reach the area the Foxes were understandably furious, but it was the first time you could really fault referee Roger East who controlled a mentally unsound football match with deft understanding. He added six minutes to the end of it for the benefit of the neutrals – those inside Loftus Road with a vested interest reached for the Beta-blockers.
QPR: Green 7; Isla 6, Onuoha 6, Caulker 8, Suk-Young 6 (Traore 51, 6); Kranjcar 7 (Hoilett 90, -), Barton 6, Henry 6, Fer 6, Vargas 7 (Mutch 76, 6), Austin 8
Subs not used: Ferdinand, Phillips, Wright-Phillips, McCarthy
Goals: Morgan own goal 37 (assisted Caulker), Fer 45 (assisted Barton/Austin), Austin 73 (assisted Kranjcar/Caulker/Onuoha)
Bookings: Suk-Young 43 (foul), Austin 76 (kicking ball away), Green 90+3 (dissent)
Leicester: Schmeichel 5; De Laet 5, Morgan 6, Wasilewski 6, Konchesky 6; Mahrez 8 (Albrighton 60, 5), James 6, Cambiasso 8 (King 89, -), Schlupp 7; Vardy 6, Ulloa 4 (Nugent 60, 6)
Subs not used: Drinkwater, Hamer, Moore, Knockaert
Goals: Cambiasso 4 (assisted Schlupp/Ulloa), Schlupp 67 (unassisted)
Bookings: Nugent 90+2 (foul), Albrighton 90+4 (foul)
Referee – Roger East (Wiltshire) 8 As this was a Championship match in quality, style and pattern it’s perhaps no surprise to see East excelling, because he is a Football League referee who has struggled to step up to the top division. But he handled this very well, two teams throwing things at each other and he let them get on with it. Could have done more to stop Schmeichel’s blatant time-wasting in the first half.
The Irish international striker had scored just three times in 29 appearances for Wolves in the division below prior to moving to Loftus Road, but a change is as good as a rest sometimes and after scoring early he seemed imbued with self belief and confidence. A sharp interception gave him a chance to shoot wide after 11 minutes and later he chased back 80 yards to execute a fine tackle in his own half. His enthusiasm got the better of him with a bad tackle and yellow card for a foul on Jason Shackell late in the half but overall this was a hugely encouraging debut.
Hoilett struck a long range effort wide, Richard Dunne required a bandage around a nasty head wound, and Michael Kightly was yellow carded for pulling back Hoilett after the Canadian had skipped past him. Everywhere you looked there were incidents taking place and referee Roger East incurred the wrath of a sizeable travelling support by subsequently failing to yellow card Joey Barton for two quickfire fouls on Kightly and Jones – the latter was probably at least a booking on its own but having escaped punishment the uneven tempered QPR midfielder went on to have his best match of the season at the heart of a fine performance.
Dunne was carded within seconds of the restart for deliberately chopping down Ings after he’d flat footed the giant Irish centre back with a neat cut inside. Trippier showed his quality once more with the delivery, hanging it up to the back post on the stiff breeze that was at QPR backs in the second half, and only Michael Duff will know how he didn’t get a header on target at the very least after sneaking in behind Clint Hill.
QPR: Green 6; Onuoha 5, Dunne 7, Hill 6, Assou-Ekotto 4; Phillips – (Hoilett 6, 6), Barton 8, Kranjcar 7, Traore 6 (Henry 83,-); Johnson 6 (Maiga 68, 6), Doyle 8
Subs not used: Carroll, Hughes, Zamora, Murphy
Goals: Doyle 7 (assisted Kranjcar), Dunne 34 (assisted Kranjcar), Maiga 79 (assisted Hoilett)
Bookings: Doyle 40 (foul), Dunne 46 (foul)
Burnley: Heaton 6; Tripper 7, Duff 6, Shackell 6, Mee 7; Kightly 7 (Stanislas 85, -), Arfield 7, Jones 6, Marney 7; Ings 8, Vokes 8
Subs not used: Lafferty, Wallace, Cisak, Edgar, Long, Barnes
Goals: Ings 25 (assisted Trippier), Vokes 54 (assisted Kightly), 62 (assisted Ings)
Bookings: Kightly 14 (foul)
Referee – Roger East (Wiltshire) 8 Upset the Burnley fans in the first half by booking Michael Kightly immediately, then allowing Joey Barton plenty of leniency after several quick fire fouls, but overall he refereed well, got the key decisions right and aided the flow of the game.
Reading on the other hand have been poor of late. They were comprehensively outplayed ten days ago by the same Spurs side that QPR had taken apart at the weekend and followed that up with a meek surrender at West Brom . Their manager Brian McDermott responded with a rudimentary game plan based around putting the ball into the right area of the pitch, working harder than the opposition, and being overly physical. Jay Tabb served notice on the quarter hour with a vicious, studs-up challenge on Alejandro Faurlin. The crack as he connected could be heard from the second tier of the South Africa Road stand and Faurlin was fuming when referee Roger East awarded only a throw in for a challenge that may well have been legal 25 years ago but is a free kick and yellow card every day of the week in the modern game. Playing Faurlin, only just back from a nine month absence with a knee injury, was a risk from Mark Hughes and despite his accomplished performance it's probably one he wished he hadn't taken given what was to come later in the game, and Reading 's approach to the tie throughout.
Now, I'm going to have a little rant later, so remember this bit for then. In the twenty sixth minute Jimmy Kebe got the better of Mbia after the Cameroon international had been dragged out of the centre to the right wing. Mbia hauled him down deliberately and he was shown a yellow card. Fair enough, cynical thing to do after being beaten by a quick player, judged on its own a booking was exactly the right decision from Mr East. Like I say, bare this and the earlier Tabb incident in mind for later please.
Freed from the shackles of worry and fear that may have come with a league game both sides upped the tempo and pressed for a win. The game rattled from end to end with Pogrebnyak having a goal disallowed at one end for a foul by Hunt in the build up – although it looked harsh – and McCarthy producing a nervous save from a shot by Park at the end of a flowing QPR move. If Reading felt aggrieved about the disallowed goal, they were grateful to referee East a moment later when Kebe slid in late on Onuoha as he cleared down the line and was booked for the sort of tackle you've seen players dismissed for before.
Reading boss Brian McDermott said afterwards this game showed what his team is about, and I wholeheartedly agree with him. Noel Hunt made out like he'd been killed and laid motionless on the floor down at the School End forcing a stoppage in play – when referee East told him he would have to roll two yards off the pitch if he wanted treatment and the game was to continue he decided he was alright and sprinted back into position. Then Jem Karacan did likewise down in front of the dug out, rolling around clutching his face in apparent agony until he realised that he'd have to leave the field if treated at which point he too ran back into position. Hal Robson-Kanu was booked by East for screaming in his face that a QPR player should be yellow carded for the Karacan incident and the Royals’ bench massed on the side of the pitch demanding the same.
This is the Reading we've come to know and loathe in recent times. What you need is a strong referee to cope with it, but sadly the authorities have sent anything but to this fixture in recent times with Gavin Ward and others all making an absolute hash of it. On Wednesday night we had Roger East – a Premier League referee as of a month ago – and if you'd now like to recall the earlier incidents I flagged up I'm going to have a little bit of a moan for myself.
The two fundamental jobs of the match referee are to uphold the rules of the game and to ensure the safety of the players. Unfortunately Mr East seems rather too pre-occupied with the former at the expense of the latter. Recall Jay Tabb's challenge on Ale Faurlin in the first half for which East didn't even award a free kick, only for Stephane Mbia to then receive a for a shirt pulling offence on Jimmy Kebe. Now as I wrote earlier I'm not for one moment suggesting that Mbia shouldn't have been booked, but what is more dangerous to the safety of the player here? What is the more serious crime? Tabb, a player we're all familiar with, meant to leave his mark on Faurlin – putting the reducer out early doors as Ron Atkinson may have said – and yet the only punishment he received for it was the concession of a throw in. Djibril Cisse was later yellow carded for removing his shirt after blasting a fantastic goal in from 25 yards, and while yes that is in the rules and he's a pillock for doing it I'd again like to know why something that endangers the safety of the players gets a lesser punishment than something that endangers nobody at all?
Reading taking the lead and resorting to their cynical, referee influencing, clock running ways was all too much for East to cope with culminating in an incident five minutes from time that could have had far graver consequences than it did. Nine months ago Ale Faurlin ruptured his knee ligaments in a cup match at MK Dons after landing awkwardly while competing for a header. Here, down in front of the dug outs, he rose into the air again to challenge his man and found himself elbowed straight in the side of the head by Noel Hunt who'd been allowed to rampage around the place doing pretty much whatever the hell he liked by East all evening. The Argentinean crashed down on a straight outstretched, straight left leg and collapsed to the ground screaming. This was a nasty, pre-meditated challenge. Faurlin eventually left the field of play appearing to be badly hurt.
Mr East didn't even award a free kick. In fact he oversaw a ludicrous restart to the game where QPR, the team in possession at the time and sinned against in the incident, kicked the ball back to McCarthy in the Reading goal. Not only that but because he chose this method of restart he then forbid QPR from making a substitution to replace Faurlin and so McCarthy restarted the game with the home team reduced to ten men. It was a piece of refereeing so incompetent, so ludicrous, that even Pogrebnyak in the Reading attack was left shaking his head and ordering his team mates to put the ball into touch so Rangers could at least make a change.
To add insult to considerable injury East then awarded Reading a penalty in five minutes added time at the end of the game. Pogrebnyak tayed on his feet through what looked to be an initial foul by Mbia in the area, then hit the deck as the ball rolled out of play for a goal kick under no contact whatsoever. East, ten yards behind the play and looking through a crowd of players, awarded the spot kick immediately and only a fine save from Cesar to deny Pogrebnyak ensured some semblance of justice.
QPR: Cesar 6, Dyer 6 (Nelsen 64, 5), Mbia 6, Hill 7, Onuoha 5, Mackie 5, Granero 6, Faurlin 7 (Diakite 87, -), Park 5 (Zamora 67, 6), Hoilett 6, Cisse 6
Subs not used: Green, Derry , Wright Phillips, Ehmer
Goals: Hoilett 14 (unassisted), Cisse 71 (unassisted)
Bookings: Mbia 26 (foul), Cisse 71 (over celebrating)
Reading: McCarthy 7, Cummings 6, Gorkss 7, Mariappa 6 (Morrison 79, -), Shorey 7, Kebe 6 (McCleary 69, 6), Karacan 6, Tabb 6, Robson Kanu 6, Pogrebniak 6, Hunt 7
Subs not used: Taylor, Gunter, McAnuff, Le Fondre, Church
Goals: Gorkss 15 (assisted Shorey), Shorey 76 (unassisted – free kick), Pogrebnyak 81 (assisted Hunt)
Bookings: Kebe 60 (foul), Robson Kanu 84 (dissent)
Referee – Roger East (Wiltshire) 3 With about 20 minutes of this game left I think Mr East was on about a six. He’ been too lenient, allowing bad fouls to go unpunished while issueing mandatory yellow cards for nothing offences. But he’d been equal for both teams and hadn’t got any big decisions wrong. The way he lost the plot in the closing stages of the game was alarming and each dreadful decision quickly led to another to the point where nobody was safe, or very sure what was coming next. Complete loss of control.
Leicester’s first attack of note came with the time fresh into double figures – Yakubu went to ground in the area rather more easily than a man of his size really should have done but the contact from Fitz Hall was sufficient to warrant more significant appeals than Leicester offered and referee Roger East was happy to let play go on when he could easily have pointed to the spot. This referee turned down a more blatant penalty appeal from Doncaster early on in his last visit to Loftus Road back in September – the R’s would certainly have taken the 3-0 scoreline they went on to achieve that day had it been offered to them at this stage.
This served as something of a wake up call for the home team and they finally started to string together a few bits and pieces and get their key men into the game. On 19 minutes Buzsaky and Faurlin combined in eye catching style around the edge of the area but the Hungarian fired very high and very wide indeed from 20 yards out. Two minutes later Bamba, clearly full of confidence and playing the game in an all action domineering style not dissimilar to that we associate with our own Danny Shittu at the height of his game, was penalised for a foul on Taarabt on the touchline when he appeared to get a good foot on the ball. Taarabt took it himself and found Hall in the area and although his header appeared to be deflected over a goal kick was awarded – the first in what would turn out to be a long, long list of basic, but nonetheless important in their own right, decisions that Mr East got obviously wrong on the day.
Refereeing error two of several on the day came on the half hour. Clint Hill betrayed his age with a heavy touch on halfway, and then executed a wild lunge attempting to retrieve the situation. This was a fool’s mission from the very beginning and it sent Oakley flying through the air in dramatic fashion. This was certainly a yellow card, and the Leicester players appealed with some justification that it should have been even more than that. Certainly Hill couldn’t have had too many complaints had he found himself splashing around in some early bath water and yet Mr East elected to have a quiet word with the player. I’ve said before I don’t come to games to see players booked and sent off but short of shooting the Leicester player in the back of the head I’m not sure what more Hill could have done here to deserve stricter punishment.
In between those two gilt edged chances we’d had a ludicrous booking for Heidar Helguson who was accused of fouling Wellens when he’d clearly and obviously taken the ball. The teams had also had a near miss each – QPR’s came when Faurlin recognised the potential in a seemingly aimless long ball from Shittu and kept it in tight to the corner flag before setting up Taarabt and his dragged cross shot narrowly eluded Helguson at the back post. Leicester responded with an Andy King header against the cross bar after Yakubu crossed. Kenny didn’t get anywhere near it but a corner was given anyway – our referee based very few of his decisions on actual facts – and although Rangers were initially able to clear the ball was returned with interest by Yuke Abe but his shot flew over the bar. Like many Japanese players who come to the European game Abe was technically proficient, but physically lacking in this match.
Initially QPR should have been awarded a foul as the ball dropped from a Clint Hill throw deep in his own half. Wayne Routledge was clearly tripped but East showed no interest and play went on. Routledge got to his feet, regathered possession, turned and then knocked a ball in behind the Leicester defence with the outside of his right foot. For the first time in the game Bamba suddenly found himself against a player in Hoops with more pace and power than he possesses. Miller sprung the offside trap, accelerated away from Bruma and Bamba, held off the latter and was able to stay within striking distance of the ball despite a heavy first touch on the edge of the area. And then… well, to describe it simply and dissect it scientifically he slid the ball calmly under Ricardo and into the back of the net with the outside of his right foot, losing his shorts in the process. To describe what it felt like, what it sounded like and what it meant is difficult in mere words. A similar goal scored on this ground by Paul Furlong in a play off semi final sprung to mind. A magical moment in a magical season. A gift wrapped twenty fourth birthday present for the loaned West Brom striker.
In a half of four substitutions (two of them made at the same time), one goal and no injuries Mr East added four minutes for reasons known only to himself, and then awarded Leicester another one of those corners that the rules of the game suggest should probably have been a goal kick, but it was to no avail, City’s chance had gone. Ultimately the referee played almost five extra minutes (perhaps he was enjoying himself) before bringing to an end a titanic contest that QPR barely did enough to win and Leicester will wonder how they lost. Results from elsewhere, on a day when QPR had the hardest fixture and everybody else was expected to win, appeared on the scoreboard to the audible delight of the home fans. The Rangers players down on the pitch surveyed them with smiles. When Swansea are losing at Scunthorpe you know it’s your day.
QPR: Kenny 8, Orr, 7 Shittu 8, Hall 6 (Connolly 31, 5), Hill 7, Derry 7, Faurlin 7, Routledge 6, Taarabt 6 (Miller 86, -), Buzsaky 6 (Ephraim 90, -), Helguson 6
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Hulse, Smith, Moen
Booked: Helguson (foul)
Goals: Miller 88 (assisted Routledge)
Leicester: Ricardo 7, Naughton 7, Bruma 8, Bamba 8, Mee 8, Oakley 6, Wellens 6, King 6 (Gallagher 79, 6), Abe 6, Vassell 6 (Waghorn 65, 7), Yakubu 7 (Dyer 86, -)
Subs Not Used: Weale, Miguel Vitor, Teixeira, Berner
Booked: Bamba (foul)
Referee: Roger East (Wiltshire) 5 Infuriating at times, and a man who seemed to have no real feel for the game. He got several simple decisions wrong, awarding goal kicks for corners and vice versa – one or two are forgivable, three is maybe unlucky but when you start talking about a fourth or fifth one wrong then I’m afraid marks have to come off. Clint Hill could have been sent off for a foul in the first half that he wasn’t even booked for, then Helguson got booked for a tackle that, while robust, won the ball. Leicester had a good shout for a penalty in the first half too, although it was more than 20 minutes before QPR got a free kick of any sort so there was no bias involved. Basic bog standard Championship official really.
Doncaster responded by winning the first corner of the game which was quickly followed up with another – although Paddy Kenny tried hard to keep the ball in and the linesman who gave the decision from the opposite side of the field was well behind the play when he made the decision. From this set piece the ball was again allowed to drop in the area and Doncaster defender James O’Connor appeared to be tripped after he toed the ball back out to the corner taker. To me it looked like a nailed on penalty kick and QPR were fortunate it wasn’t given by referee Roger East.
Despite the upheaval of Derry’s departure QPR doubled their ten minutes from time with QPR’s sixth penalty of the season already – although not for the first time had the referee allowed play to go on a goal would have resulted anyway. Heidar Helguson burst into the area chasing a perfect through ball from Adel Taarabt, toed the ball past Neil Sullivan as he raced from the goal line, and then hit the deck under heavy contact from the keeper. It was a clear and obvious penalty but had play been allowed to carry on for three seconds Helguson bounced back up and stuck the ball into the empty net anyway.
Exactly the same thing happened at Ipswich last week when Akos Buzsaky had a glorious long range strike ruled out and a penalty awarded instead, and against Barnsley on the first day of the season when Taarabt lashed home after a penalty had been given. There was an incident in the first half of this game as well where East blew up too early, hauling QPR back for a free kick in their own half when an advantage would have seen the R’s away with a heavily weighted counter attack. Referees just need to hold the whistle for a second or two, they can always come back and give the decision four or five seconds later. Having given the penalty Sullivan should surely have been sent off, as it was a clear goal scoring opportunity.
Anyway Adel Taarabt stepped up to take the penalty – I genuinely have no idea how him and Helguson are working out who takes what spot kick at the moment – and he calmly sent Sullivan the wrong way and slammed in the game sealing second goal from 12 yards out.
QPR: Kenny 8, Walker 8, Connolly 7, Gorkss 8, Hill 8, Derry 8 (Leigertwood 76, 7), Buzsaky 7, Taarabt 6, Ephraim 6, Mackie 6 (Smith 89, -), Helguson 8 (Agyemang 87)
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Rowlands, Borrowdale, Parker
Goals: Gorkss 53 (assisted Buzsaky), 88 (assisted Taarabt), Taarabt 81 (penalty won by Helguson)
Doncaster: Sullivan 6, Dumbuya 8, O'Connor 7, Martis 6, Friend 6, Coppinger 7, Gillett 7 (Hayter 79, 6), Oster 7, Martin Woods 7, Shiels 7, Sharp 6
Subs Not Used: Gary Woods, Stock, Lockwood, Wilson , Hird, Fairhurst
Booked: Sharp (foul), Sullivan (penalty concession)
Referee: Roger East (Wiltshire) 6 Not bad overall but three key incidents dragged his mark down. Firstly Doncaster should have had a penalty after four minutes, no question about it. Secondly QPR set off on a very promising counter attack in the first half where five players were comfortably outnumbering the backtracking Doncaster players but East pulled the play back for a QPR free kick giving Rovers chance to bring their whole team back behind the ball. Thirdly Helguson’s goal should have stood, again he was too quick with his whistle with the penalty. Referees seem to be far too quick to whistle this season because this is the third time we’ve scored but had to take a penalty instead.
Referee Roger East had a reasonable day all in all, although was possibly slightly fussy. There was a lot of whistle from him at times, but not cards which although is usually a relief was not a particularly good thing when Plymouth were kicking Taarabt from pillar to post in the first half and further punishment was probably required. His one really dodgy moment came with little more than twenty minutes left for play. First Taarabt was obviously fouled in the Plymouth half but was told to get up, Argyle then broke and players and fans appealed as one for handball as Fallon’s shot was deflected wide – it did not look like a penalty from the far end of the ground and a corner was the right outcome from where I was.
Plymouth: Larrieu 8, McNamee 6, Seip 6, Timar 6, Sawyer 5, Fletcher 5, Paterson 7 (Duguid 86, -), Judge 7 (Noone 82, -), MacLean 5 (Sheridan 46, 7), Mackie 6, Fallon 7
Subs Not Used: Letheren, Arnason, Summerfield, Johnson
Goals: Gorkss 90 og (assisted Fallon)
QPR: Cerny 6, Ramage 6, Hall 7, Gorkss 6, Borrowdale 6, Routledge 7, Leigertwood 7, Mahon 5, Buzsaky 6 (Ephraim 72, 6), Taarabt 7 (Vine 76, 5), Helguson 6 (Agyemang 61, 5)
Subs Not Used: Heaton, Stewart, Pellicori, Connolly
Goals: Helguson 43 (assisted Taarabt)
Referee: Roger East (Wiltshire) 6 Slightly fussy perhaps, and probably should have produced a card for Plymouth’s brutal approach to stopping Adel Taarabt early on in the game, but overall made very few mistakes and did not stand out – which is what you want.
Liam Miller was the first man to go into the referee’s book for a poor foul on Ledley deep inside the Cardiff half. East could easily have let him off with what was his first foul of the game but it seems churlish to complain when two minutes later Mikele Leigertwood was lucky to get away with a thigh high lunge on McNaughton who subsequently required extensive treatment in the centre circle and was substituted at half time. The home fans bayed for blood, the referee settled for a free kick and a final warning.
The next forty five minutes were about as well as Cook has played this season after a poor first half. Within two minutes of the restart he had picked the ball up wide on the left touchline, turned and accelerated away from Cardiff ’s new arrival and collapsed in a heap on the edge of the penalty area buying a free kick from our referee. Liam Miller sized the free kick up and was clearly aiming low for a gap to be created by Mahon peeling away just before the shot. Sadly Miller’s aim was slightly out and he succeeded only in blasting the ball straight into the gut of one of the blue bricks in the defensive wall.
Cardiff then came back into the match and enjoyed what would turn out to be their last ten minutes of pressure. It all started with Michael Chopra theatrically hitting the deck under minimal contact from Kaspars Gorkss and appealing demonstrably for a penalty to be awarded. It never was. Cheating, plain and simple. Not the first time Chopra has done that in his career, not even the first time he has done it against us. East was absolutely right to wave the appeals away and could even have showed Chopra a yellow card.
The mood among the home fans did not improve much when Parry took Stewart to the byline and was then the victim of a crude lunge by the Jamaican which should have been a free kick and booking at least but was actually given as a QPR goal kick right in front of the most vociferous Cardiff fans. Mr East was not winning many friends in South Wales although having given them a penalty and disallowed a Coventry goal on his last visit here perhaps they have had their fair share of decisions from him this season. QPR completely took over and dominated the game from this point on.
Cardiff: Konstantopoulos 6, McNaughton 8 (Comminges 46, 5), Purse 7, R Johnson 7, Kennedy 7, Parry 6, Rae 6, Ledley 7, Burke 7 (Owusu-Abeyie 73, 6), Chopra 5 (Whittingham 66, 6), McCormack 6
Subs Not Used: E Johnson, Scimeca
QPR: Cerny 7, Connolly 7, Gorkss 8, Stewart 8, Delaney 8, Cook 7, Miller 6 (Alberti 58, 6), Leigertwood 8, Mahon 7 (Blackstock 89, -), Routledge 7, Helguson 6 (Di Carmine 90, -)
Subs Not Used: Hall, Lopez
Booked: Miller (foul), Alberti (foul)
Referee: Roger East (Wiltshire) 6 The Cardiff fans were moaning about him on the radio afterwards but I thought he got both of their penalty appeals absolutely spot on. One was a blatant dive and the other was a good tackle from Gorkss. Should have booked Stewart and Leigertwood for their fouls and was assisted by a truly awful linesman down at our end of the ground but not bad overall.
Despite being a Premier League referee (Bournemouth 0 Watford 2 his first top flight game this season), two of East’s three appointments so far this term have been in League One – Bradford 2 Blackpool 1, Northampton 1 Peterborough 4. He’s shown nine yellows and no reds in those three appointments so far.
Last season he finished with 140 yellows and five reds in 33 fixtures. Those totals were boosted significantly by three separate eight-yellow hauls at Oxford v Millwall, MK Dons v Northampton and Brighton v Ipswich. His last Millwall appointment was a 3-0 defeat at Scunthorpe in League One in February.
He ran the line for QPR's play off final defeat to Cardiff and lists Andy Campbell's winning goal as a career highlight as he got the offside decision correct and allowed the goal. The swine.
To follow, once the Football League starts updating its hideously awful website again.
Pictures – Action Images
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Queens Park Rangers Polls