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Donohue in charge of Charlton visit - Referee
Friday, 20th Dec 2019 09:14 by Clive Whittingham

Matt Donohue, new to the Championship, gets a third QPR appointment of the season already as the R’s face Charlton at Loftus Road on Saturday.

Referee >>> Matt Donohue (Manchester)

Assistants >>> Matt Foley (Hertfordshire) and Shaun Hudson (Tyne and Wear)

Fourth Official >>> Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire)


Cardiff 3 QPR 0, Wednesday October 2, 2019, Championship

The time wasting in this one started after little more than a quarter of an hour. Every time the ball went out for a throw in, a farcical routine would kick into gear whereby a Cardiff player would set off at walking pace looking for the ball, then having located it set off at walking pace in the other direction to find a towel to dry it with on the first day for three fucking weeks where there’d been no rain, then walk back to roughly where the throw in should be taken, then walk very, very slowly away from that spot down the line, and finally chuck the ball. Every free kick awarded was followed immediately by the ball being nudged ten or 15 yards away from where it needed to be by a player who would then stand on the spot and refuse to move back without a prolonged argument about whether the offence had actually been committed very slightly further back. Goal kicks were taken in the sort of time a half decent artist might be able to complete an oil on canvas of Smithies lining the thing up.

All of this was passively overseen by referee Matt Donohue, in his first season on the Championship list and completely and utterly out of his depth here in dealing with experienced, professional, cynical footballers. He refereed like he was scared to say anything to the players under his charge, twice in the first half playing advantages through bad fouls and failing to return to the offender later for even so much as a word. He happily let Morrison pull that towel trick all night, only very occasionally blowing his whistle for a second time and making a hand gesture that I think was supposed to signal that perhaps a minute and a half is long enough to prepare for a throw in and the ball should probably be back in play by now. He did go and speak to Smithies at one point, delaying the game further, to make it clear that he absolutely wouldn’t stand for very much more of this stuff for very much longer. And then did. Dust the sand out of your vagina and do something about it for goodness sake. Despite it all, the standard two minutes was added to the first half and four to the second. It didn’t matter, QPR would have lost regardless, but two minutes was a bold call given what had gone in that half and four at the end of the second was, frankly, a total fucking shambolic embarrassment that should see him spending some time back down the divisions for a few weeks.

I’ve said this a fair bit, usually after losing to Preston, but QPR are horribly naïve in this sort of situation. Do I want us to go full Ben Pearson on the situation? No. But when the referee is standing there scratching his pubics while Sean Morrison ambles off down the touchline looking for a towel to wipe the ball for a routine throw in on a dry night, it’s not beneath us or unbecoming to get in the referee’s ear and ask what in the name of fuck is going on. On Saturday Jake Livermore spoke to the referee so much in the first half I thought it might be his dealer - asking why every QPR offence wasn’t a yellow card, and downplaying everything West Brom did. We just sort of kick around and let it happen, timid lads in the playground, bullied by the bigger boys.

Cardiff: Smithies 7; Peltier 6, Morrison 7, Flint 7, Bennett 5; Bacuna 5, Pack 6; Whyte 5 (Hoilett 87, -), Tomlin 6 (Paterson 65, 6), Murphy 5; Glatzel 5 (Ward 81, -)

Subs not used: Etheridge, Nelson, Mendez-Laing, Coxe

Goals: Morrison 11 (assisted Flint), Pack 45+1 (assisted Whyte), Paterson 72 (assisted Bacuna)

Bookings: Whyte 87 (foul), Paterson 80 (unsporting)

QPR: Kelly 5; Rangel 5 (Kane 66, 6), Cameron 4, Leistner 5, Manning 6; Ball 5 (Wells 63, 5), Scowen 6; Osayi-Samuel 6, Chair 6 (Pugh 80, -), Eze 7; Hugill 5

Subs not used: Lumley, Wallace, Mlakar, Masterson

Bookings: Manning 80 (unsporting)

Referee – Matt Donohue (Manchester) 4 Out of his depth. Taken for a fool by more experienced players who knew what they were doing. Allowed the game to descend to a pace so slow it was literally stationary for long periods. You could drink eight pints of Carling and produce a piss stronger than this bloke.

QPR 3 Wigan 1, Saturday August 24, 2019, Championship

Wigan, so comfortable in the first half, were now having a bit of a panic for themselves. Kipre, a human Redwood for the first 45, was starting to sway a bit in the growing storm. A high boot on Ilias Chair – not difficult, to be fair to him – was right on the cusp of the penalty box but drew only a free kick from newbie referee Matt Donohue. Rangers protested, as well they might, they haven’t scored a direct free kick since Yeni Ngbakoto did so at Birmingham City in February 2017 and have spent the early rounds of 2019/20 hopelessly punting one attempt after another into the base of the wall. Not, it should be said, that we’ve been a lot better with penalties recently either. All runs come to an end eventually though and with two QPR men allowed to stand on the end of the Wigan wall (thought there was a new rule about that this season?) Ebere Eze was able to cutely pick his spot to the left of the defenders, and the keeper, but not so far that the ball couldn’t neatly beautifully in the side-netting for 2-1. We have choreographed handshakes now too, just in case any Spurs scouts are in the house.

QPR: Lumley 5; Rangel 5, Hall 6, Barbet 6, Manning 6; Scowen 5 (Leistner, 46 7), Ball 5 (Smith 71, 6); Eze 8, Chair 7, Pugh 7 (Hugill 68, 6); Wells 6

Subs not used: Kane, Osayi-Samuel, Owens, Kelly

Goals: Wells 48 (assisted Rangel, pre-assist Manning), Eze 61 (direct free kick, won Chair), Hugill 81 (assisted Eze)

Bookings: Char 45+2 (diving), Hall 78 (unsporting)

Wigan: Marshall 4; Kipre 6 (Massey 78, 6), Dunkley 5, Fox 5; Byrne 6, Robinson 7; Morsy 5, Evans 5, Jacobs 5 (Naismith 56, 5); Lowe 6 (Lang 59, 5), Garner 5

Subs not used: MacLeod, Mulgrew, Roberts, Jones

Goals: Kipre 2 (assisted Fox)

Bookings: Dunkley 58 (foul), Kipre 65 (foul), Robinson 76 (foul), Garner 78 (unsporting)

Referee – Matt Donohue (Manchester) 7 Lot of bookings, but all justified. Maybe could have done more to stop Joe Garner being Joe Garner before it finally boiled over into a spat with Hall for which both were yellow carded but everything else pretty spot on and game management was fine.


This is Donohue’s second full season on the league list as a referee and he’s started it with 68 yellows and three reds in 18 games, ten of which have been at this level. That includes seven and a late penalty in Barnsley’s 2-2 draw at home to Charlton and eight yellows at Plymouth’s 3-0 opening day win at Crewe. His three reds came in consecutive games in the last week of October, including one for West Brom’s Nathan Ferguson in a 2-2 draw with Charlton last time he had an Addicks game. He also oversaw their 1-0 home loss to Birmingham.

Last season he booked 135 players (3.64) and sent a further seven off in 37 appointments. All of those were in League’s One and Two, and the cup competitions, with the Championship step up only coming this season.

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