Behind the Whistle: West Brom, Charlton and other EFL decisions explained

Behind the Whistle is back, with former Premier League referee Chris Foy going through a selection of key match decisions from the weekend’s Championship, Sky Bet 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…

Leeds 1-1 West Brom

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West Brom forward Thomas-Asante scored for his side against Leeds, despite Jayson Molumby’s shot ricocheting onto his hand and into the back of the net.

Incident: Goal scored – potential handball (West Brom)

Decision: Goal awarded (West Brom)

Foy says: The shot goalwards has taken a deflection inside a crowded penalty area which makes this situation extremely difficult to judge in real time, there are also players in the line of vision of the referee.

The correct decision would have been to disallow the goal, as there is an accidental handball by the attacker that enters the goal after the ball had hit the arm.

I believe the team will be disappointed not to have collectively come to the correct decision given the very high standards they work to, however it’s a tough call in real time to be certain that the ball makes contact with the arm before entering the goal.

Plymouth 1-2 Southampton

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Plymouth were denied a potential penalty against Southampton with Ryan Hardie getting a yellow card for simulation.

Incident: Potential penalty (Plymouth)

Decision: No penalty awarded – yellow card for simulation (Plymouth)

Foy says: I think this incident is very similar to one we’ll be reviewing in League One below – and it’s an excellent real-time judgement by the referee.

The goalkeeper actually identifies that he is arriving a little too late to win the ball and makes an effort to pull out of the challenge, as a result there is no contact instigated with the Argyle attacker by the goalkeeper, rather the attacker ‘drags’ his left leg which creates minimal contact and is correctly cautioned. For me, an act of simulation.

Charlton Athletic 2-3 Port Vale

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Charlton were awarded a penalty after Port Vale goalkeeper Connor Ripley brought down Daniel Kanu.

Incident: Potential penalty (Charlton)

Decision: Penalty awarded (Charlton)

Foy says: Similar to the incident at Plymouth Argyle, the goalkeeper is clearly taking action to avoid making contact with the attacker in the challenge.

It appears there may have been some contact, however, it is difficult to establish who initiates this contact. Regardless of this, the contact is minimal and does not, in my opinion, meet the threshold for penalising.

Reading 2-0 Stevenage

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Watch as Stevenage defender Nathan Thompson was sent off for a second bookable offence early on against Reading.

Incident: Potential red card – second caution (Stevenage)

Decision: Red card awarded – second caution (Stevenage)

Foy says: There may be a little sympathy for the Stevenage defender here given I don’t think he intended to make a challenge.

However, he has got the wrong side of the attacking player and once that happens you always run the risk of making careless contact when trying to recover.

Given the defenders actions are carless and the foul directly stopped a promising attack, it was the correct decision to show a yellow card, and therefore issue a second caution.

Crawley Town 0-1 Gillingham

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Crawley were awarded a penalty after Gillingham full-back Cheye Alexander handled the ball in his own box.

Incident: Potential penalty (Crawley)

Decision: Penalty awarded (Crawley)

Foy says: Although there isn’t much distance between the defender and the attacker when the ball is played, the arm is clearly extended away from the body and in an unnatural position – making his body bigger.

There is also a clear movement of the arm towards the ball from the defender, leaving the referee with not much choice but to award a penalty here.

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