In Behind the Whistle, former Premier League referee Chris Foy goes through a selection of key match decisions from the Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two.
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, starting with the below.
Sky Bet Championship
Huddersfield Town 0-1 Leicester City
Incident: Potential penalty (Huddersfield Town)
Decision: No penalty awarded (Huddersfield Town)
Foy says: I think this is nothing more than a good battle between the attacker and the defender, with both engaging in similar actions, guilty of a little bit of shirt pulling or grabbing of the arm.
After the initial contact, the actual challenge made by the defender is a well-timed one with the ball clearly won. I think the referee has got himself into a good position and has made the correct call for this decision as contact is part of football and this falls below the high threshold for penalising.
Southampton 4-4 Norwich City
Incident: Potential penalty (Southampton)
Decision: Penalty awarded (Southampton)
Foy says: Whilst there is contact, it is initiated by the attacker, who steps into the space of the oncoming defender.
In weighing up the actions of the defender and motivation of the attacker, I don’t believe the defender is attempting to make a challenge, so therefore the expected outcome here would have been no penalty and play continuing.
Sky Bet League One
Bristol Rovers 1-1 Barnsley
Incident: Potential offside (Bristol Rovers)
Decision: Onside – goal awarded (Bristol Rovers)
Foy says: This is a really tight decision that requires the assistant referee to judge firstly whether either of the attackers who make similar runs are in an offside position, and if so does an offside offence take place.
For me, the official got it spot on – not only is the Bristol Rovers No 9 level with the second-last opponent, so onside, he would not have been considered to be involved in active play even if he was offside, as he does not touch the ball or impact the ability of any defender to play the ball.
The eventual goal scorer is clearly onside and therefore the correct decision has been made to award the goal.
Lincoln City 3-0 Wycombe Wanderers
Incident: Potential goal scored (Wycombe Wanderers)
Decision: Foul given – no goal awarded (Wycombe Wanderers)
Foy says: In real-time, the referee penalises Wycombe Wanderers’ No 6 for holding the Lincoln City defender on the edge of the box.
I think to reach the threshold for a foul in these circumstances there needs to be a clear and sustained action by the attacker and have a material impact, and it looks like both parties are grappling. ‘Six of one, half a dozen of the other’, so to speak.
Having the benefit of a replay, I think the better course of action would have been to allow the goal to stand.
Sky Bet League Two
AFC Wimbledon 1-1 Wrexham
Incident: Potential penalty (AFC Wimbledon)
Decision: Penalty awarded (AFC Wimbledon)
Foy says: There is no denying that there is contact between the players here, so the referee has had to make a judgment if this met the required threshold for a foul to be given.
Given the attacker is in a position to clearly challenge for the header and the defender does seem to place his hands on the back of the attacker and push forwards, impacting the ability of the attacker to head the ball, the awarding of a penalty for a push is something I agree with.