I didn’t go to Millwall on Tuesday but I’ve just seen the goal highlights on Virgin Media.
Now you probably know that I do a bit of refereeing in local leagues, which is nothing like as difficult as doing it at Football league level, mainly because professionals move themselves, and the ball, about twice as quickly around the pitch as local amateurs, and you have to be twice as fit and twice as sharp to keep up with it.
So I know what a tough job it is, and I’m slow to criticise officals for that very reason. But honestly….what was that assistant referee thinking of at the New Den when he flagged for a hand ball penalty against Austin?
The Millwall player blasted the ball at Austin from two yards away and there was no movement of the arm to meet the ball. Yes, the ball struck the arm, but I would NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS have awarded a penalty if that had happened in a match I was doing. It was a clear case of ‘ball to hand’. How on earth could a player decide to handle in the split second it took for the ball to leave the boot at 200 mph and hit his hand? That lino wants his head examined – was he cold and trying to liven things up, or make a name for himself perhaps? Just plain crazy, and not to put too fine a point on it, just plain bad officiating. Specsavers beckons, my old son……
And I’m afraid we’ve seen an increase in bad officiating this season where the Swans are concerned. Are more rooky refs being let loose on League One? The only consolation is, as Roberto said, it evens out over the season. We had a soft penalty given for us last Friday. Unfortunately, we didn’t take advantage.
Anyway, it’s a break from the serious business of getting promotion on Saturday. A chance to bring a bit of excitement to a small outpost of football in Essex, and a chance maybe for some of our ‘second string’ to step up.
I’d be looking for starts for OTJ, Joe Allen, Orlandi and maybe Bauza at least. But have some big guns on the bench in case it starts to go pear shaped. The romance of the cup is one thing, but we don’t want to be the laughing stock of the cup.
There’s big excitement in this part of the world as the mighty Leeds come to town tomorrow night. Good luck, Hereford, get stuck in and let’s hope you put another spanner in Dennis Wise’s wheel.