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.
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…
West Brom 0-0 Millwall
Incident: Potential penalty (Millwall)
Decision: Penalty awarded (Millwall)
Foy says: Making a decision in a crowded penalty area where the corner is flicked on in an aerial challenge can be difficult, so this is a really good spot by the referee in real-time.
Both players are fairly jumping for the ball but at the last moment the left arm of the West Brom defender is clearly moved and raised above head height and makes clear contact with the ball. A positive and correct judgement to award the penalty kick.
Plymouth Argyle 6-2 Norwich City
Incident: Goal scored – potential offside (Plymouth Argyle)
Decision: Goal awarded (Plymouth Argyle)
Foy says: This decision relates to Argyle’s No 9 and the officials’ judgement around his potential impact on the Norwich City defender No 6.
There is no doubt that when the ball is initially headed forward, the Argyle No 9 is returning from an offside position. I believe his obvious action impacts Norwich City No 6’s ability to play or challenge for the ball, so he should be penalised for an offside offence. Therefore, I think the correct call would have been to disallow the goal for offside.
Cheltenham Town 0-3 Stevenage
Incident: Goal scored – potential offside (Stevenage)
Decision: Goal awarded (Stevenage)
Foy says: This is a really tight call with the decision made even more difficult for the assistant referee given the number of touches from different players inside the box.
We can use the six-yard box markings as a guide here, and it looks like the second last opponent (Cheltenham Town No 5) is on the half-turn and therefore slightly deeper than he would be standing front-on. Without the use of technology it’s difficult to judge with 100 per cent certainty, but it looks a really good call from the assistant to allow the goal.
Doncaster Rovers 2-1 Gillingham
Incident: Goal scored – awarding of an indirect free-kick (Doncaster Rovers)
Decision: Goal awarded (Doncaster Rovers)
Foy says: The referee has a very good view to see the Gillingham defender make a clear action to play the ball with his foot towards his own goalkeeper, therefore when the goalkeeper touches the ball with his hands he is penalised for what might be termed a ‘back pass’.
The correct decision was to award an indirect free-kick, which Doncaster Rovers then eventually score from. Not something you see too often nowadays so the referee had to be switched on to make this correct call.
Harrogate Town 3-2 Salford City
Incident: Potential penalty (Harrogate Town)
Decision: Penalty awarded (Harrogate Town)
Foy says: I think with this particular decision there is contact made in the challenge but I’m not sure it meets the high threshold to award a penalty kick.
From the footage I’ve seen, I would probably want to be more certain that the contact by the defender has consequence, and that a foul has been committed. This falls into the ‘subjective decision’ category which the referee does have a good position to judge.