Monday, February 14, 2011

We haven't featured much non-league stuff in the blog recently, so we'll change that today.

Refereeing decisions, controversy and football are all unhappy bedfellows. Every level, at pitches up and down the country and across the world, every weekend. Someone, somewhere is screaming at a referee because he's got it wrong.

I always wonder just what makes someone want to be a referee. Never come up with an answer that fully satisfies me!

As neutrals, we all love the controversy and seeing the ref and the officials get it wrong. When it happens to your team though, you're lucky not to have a coronary.

We found this great balls-up from the FA Trophy 3rd Round match between Blyth Spartans and Droylsden at the start of this month.

Unbelievable Jeff.

I know it's not big and it's not clever to abuse the officials (ahem) but the look of fear on these guys faces is priceless. I thought the lino was going to shit himself! I particularly love the shaking of the tunnel, which of course no-one at AFTN would ever do or condone!

The fact that Droylsden's Ciaran Kilheeney punched away Michael Tait's goalbound header and then went on to score the equalising goal is the kind of thing you wouldn't believe in a TV drama. Justice was served in the replay though with Blyth Spartans running out 4-0 winners.

It all got me thinking what was the worst refereeing decision I've seen. Apart from Don McVicar's seven minutes of stoppage time against Dundee United in 1991, I can't think right now what the worst decision I've seen in person has been. Please jog my memory or share yours.

Most comical wrong decision was Scotland hero Mauricio Espinosa's decision not to award England that goal in South Africa last summer. Still chuckle at the mere thought.

I think I have to go with this refereeing decision as my all time favourite worst one. To some, it will be the first time of you seeing this. To others, you already know it as an all-time classic. It comes at 1 minute and 15 seconds in:

All these years later and I still have to laugh. Even if you don't award Dundee United the goal, it's at least a penalty! The guy hands the ball back to the goalie!

Good old Les Mottram, your refereeing spirit clearly lives on today.

Happy Valentine's Day to refs everywhere. We love to hate you.


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