In Behind the Whistle, former Premier League referee Chris Foy goes through a selection of key match decisions from the latest Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two action.
Although many decisions made on the pitch are of a subjective nature, 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…
Watford 0-0 Preston North End
Incident: Potential red card (Watford)
Decision: Not awarded (Watford)
Foy says: “I think there are two parts to this decision – does the defender win the ball, and if he doesn’t is there a denial of an obvious goalscoring opportunity (DOGSO)?
“Whilst close to doing so, I don’t believe the defender has made contact with the ball and has therefore committed a foul on the attacking player as the contact is a clear trip.
“As a result, I think the correct course of action from the referee would have been to award a direct free-kick and show a red card, given the other defending player was unlikely to impact on the potential goalscoring opportunity.”
Wigan Athletic 1-1 Birmingham City
Incident: Potential Penalty (Birmingham City)
Decision: Penalty Awarded (Birmingham City)
Foy says: “When making a judgement like this, it’s important to consider both the actions of the defending and attacking players. The key consideration here is that the defending player is actually in front of the attacking player and doesn’t attempt to make a challenge.
“Whilst there is a coming together, I believe the actions of the attacking player are what create the contact rather than the other way around, and therefore the better choice would have been to play on and a penalty shouldn’t have been awarded.”
Derby County 2-2 Shrewsbury Town
Incident: Potential penalty (Shrewsbury Town)
Decision: Penalty awarded (Shrewsbury Town)
Foy says: “I don’t think there can be many complaints following the award of a penalty here.
“The defending player clearly pushes the Shrewsbury Town attacker in the back, impacting his ability to play the ball. Therefore, the penalty being awarded was the correct decision.”
Ipswich Town 4-0 Burton Albion
Incident: Potential penalty (Burton Albion)
Decision: Penalty not awarded (Burton Albion)
Foy says: “I think given that the defending player is in such close proximity to the attacking player at the time the ball makes contact with the hand, and the fact the arms were in an expected and justifiable position given his actions, I agree with the on-field decision to not award a penalty in this instance.”
Northampton Town 1-0 Crawley Town
Incident: Potential Red Card (Northampton Town)
Decision: Red Card awarded (Northampton Town)
Foy says: “There is a ‘coming-together’ off the ball between the attacking and defending players, however I’m not convinced there is clear evidence of an act of violent conduct.
“I think with the benefit of reviewing the footage, the better course of action would have been to show a yellow card to both players for their unsporting actions.”
Tranmere Rovers 1-1 Hartlepool United
Incident: Potential penalty (Tranmere)
Decision: Penalty awarded (Tranmere)
Foy says: “Whilst momentum carries the attacking player into the penalty area, I think the replay confirms that the contact which resulted in a foul was outside of the box.
“With the benefit of replays, the Hartlepool No 5 – the defending player the foul is given against – never enters inside the 18-yard box, so a direct free-kick and not a penalty kick should have been awarded in this instance.”