Brooks in charge of Millwall trip - Referee
Tuesday, 9th Apr 2019 18:31 by Clive Whittingham
John Brooks from Leicestershire is in charge of QPR for the third time this season on Wednesday night as the R’s journey across town to face Millwall.
Referee >>> John Brooks (Leicestershire), controversially failed to send off Jake Livermore, who subsequently scored the winner, in QPR’s heart-breaking 3-2 home loss to West Brom in February.
Assistants >>> Adam Crysell (Northants) and Nigel Lugg (Surrey)
Fourth Official >>> John Busby (Oxfordshire)
Then a couple of odd things happened. Firstly, Nahki Wells took a bit of a whack to the face which referee John Brooks seemed quite ok with – we know from experience he’s not adverse to allowing players to rip each other’s faces off of course. Secondly, West Brom treated this stoppage as a bit of a networking opportunity - ambling over to the touchline, getting a round of drinks in, having a bit of a conflab between themselves, business cards passed around, ball boys carrying trays of canapes… Loftus Road, where connections get made and deals get done. Sorry to interrupt lads but there’s a football game going on here. Not much of one, admittedly, but if we could just fucking well get on with it then I can get home and get the heating on and contemplate how much of my life I’ve wasted on this shit.
You can talk about bad luck, and by God are we getting our fair wedge of that at the moment, but if you’re going to shit the bed like that under no pressure whatsoever against teams of West Brom’s quality then really and truly what on earth do you expect? Another defensive howler with another bouncing ball drew Lumley from his area for a pretty obvious deliberate handball missed by the referee. How are those contract talks progressing Joel?
With a quarter of an hour to go, Rangers were awarded a soft penalty. Turning back into the area after retrieving a deep cross from Eze, Hemed bent down to head a bouncing ball just as Jake Livermore kicked upward looking for the same thing. A generous call of high foot, one you never see given in the penalty box, but a spot kick all the same and with Hemed now on the field one QPR were likely to convert. Johnstone sat down. Two two it was.
Two two and flying all over the show now. Championship football at its nonsense best. Murphy thought he’d scored with a low shot off a Gibbs cross – QPR still horribly vulnerable out wide despite a switch to a back four – but Lumley made an unorthodox and brilliant save with his legs. Eze delicately sent Osayi-Samuel screaming through on goal but his shot was struck too purely and went straight at Johnson. Frustrated, Jake Livermore embarked on a wild, rash, late sliding tackle on Eze over by the dugouts which was a red card all day long but only received a yellow. West Brom will call that one each from John Brooks after the soft penalty, but Livermore would have more to say later. Eze recovered, spun, unloaded a shot at the near post, Johnstone fortunate not to be caught out. Good to see Eze back at this sort of level. We’re better in this shape, with him in it.
QPR: Lumley 6; Furlong 5, Leistner 6, Lynch 4; Wszolek 6 (Osayi-Samuel 71, 7), Bidwell 5; Cousins 6, Luongo 7, Freeman 8; Smith 5 (Eze 46, 7), Wells 5 (Hemed 71, 7)
Subs not used: Ingram, Scowen, Manning, Kakay
Goals: Freeman 35 (assisted Wells), Hemed 75 (penalty, won Hemed)
West Brom: Johnstone 6; Holgate 7, Hegazi 8, Dawson 6, Gibbs 7; Livermore 7, Johansen 6 (Barry 65, 6); Montero 7 (Harper 57, 6), Field 6 (Phillips 81, -), Murphy 8; Rodriguez 7
Subs not used: Bartley, Edwards, Bond, Adarabioyo
Goals: Montero 4 (assisted Murphy), Murphy 61 (assisted Lynch), Livermore 90+3 (assisted Holgate)
Bookings: Livermore 74 (foul)
Referee – John Brooks (Leicestershire) 5 Much like his last visit here his overall control of the game and refereeing style is very good – calm, unfussy, unobtrusive – but he’s not good on the big decisions. Livermore was late, reckless, with studs up. It was a red card. Lumley definitely handled the ball outside the area. The QPR penalty was very debateable. Linesman on the Ellerslie Road side had an odd night as well.
Hemed had already toed an improvised effort at Dawson and Rangers were comfortable thereafter, bar one pretty blatant penalty appeal survived when referee John Brooks failed to spot Rangel’s high boot challenge which smashed Pudil’s head into a thousand pieces. Any cynicism about the way the Czech played dead, then immediately jumped up to chase the official when he realised he wasn’t getting the decision, was tempered at first sight of the huge hole in his head. Don’t shine that light in my eyes mate, I’ve lost a pint of blood.
QPR: Lumley 7; Rangel 7, Leistner 7, Lynch 8, Bidwell 6; Cameron 8, Luongo 7; Wszolek 8, Eze 8 (Scowen 84, -), Freeman 8 (Cousins 88, -), Hemed 7 (Wells 65, 7)
Subs not used: Ingram, Hall, Smith, Osayi-Samuel
Goals: Hemed 35 (assisted Wszolek), Freeman 65 (assisted Wszolek), Wells 83 (assisted Eze)
Sheff Wed: Dawson 5; Baker 6, Hector 6, Pudil 6 (Thorniley 62, 6), Fox 5; Pelupessy 5 (Penney 75, 6), Bannan 7, Reach 7, Onomah 6; Joao 5 (Fletcher 75, 6), Nuhiu 5
Subs not used: Palmer, Lees, Wildsmith, Kirby
Referee – Robert Brooks (Leicestershire) 6 Well I liked his unfussy style, and keenness to keep cards in his pockets. But Freeman was one of a couple who committed cynical fouls after being caught out of position that really should have been yellows, and although Pudil was stooping for the incident where Rangel split his head open it’s a pretty obvious penalty.
Brooks stepped onto the Football League list for the first time in 2016/17, refereeing 36 games in Leagues One and Two and a smattering in the Football League Trophy. He showed 150 yellows (4.166) and ten reds across those games, topped out by eight yellows and a red in Millwall’s hilarious 3-2 home defeat by Rochdale in the third tier.
His first Championship game came last year amidst a hefty workload of 51 appearances. He took Reading’s home defeat by Burton two days before Christmas and added three more games at this level before the end of the campaign (Sunderland 0-2 Brentford, Ipswich 0-0 Sheff Utd, Norwich 2-1 Leeds). He booked 149 (2.9) and sent six off in total, with nine yellows and a red at Bristol Rovers 2-1 Walsall his top haul.
He’s been pretty hot with the cards so far this season. In total, 135 yellows and five reds across 35 appointments (3.85) which includes eight yellows at Bolton 2-2 Bristol City, Norwich 3-3 Forest and Brentford 3-3 Derby last time out, and seven yellows and a red at Portsmouth 1-2 Charlton. He’s had Millwall twice – a 3-2 away defeat at Preston and recent 2-0 away win at Birmingham.
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