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Behind the Whistle: Former Premier League referee Chris Foy explains the latest EFL decisions

Former Premier League referee Chris Foy examines decisions from the Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two; Norwich 1-0 Ipswich, Leicester 2-1 Birmingham, Stoke 2-2 West Brom, Bristol Rovers 0-2 Bolton, Accrington 0-0 Crewe and Notts County 3-0 Harrogate all analysed

Chris Foy explains some of the latest key decisions in the EFL
Image: Chris Foy explains some of the latest key decisions in the EFL

In Behind the Whistle, former Premier League referee Chris Foy goes through a selection of key match decisions from the latest action in 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…   

Sky Bet Championship

Norwich City 1-0 Ipswich Town

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Should Ipswich midfielder Sam Morsey have seen red in the East Anglian derby v Norwich for denying Josh Sargent a goalscoring opportunity?

Incident: Possible Denial of a Clear Goalscoring Opportunity- DOGSO- (Ipswich Town)

Decision: Play on and no DOGSO red card (Ipswich Town)

Foy says: "This is an excellent decision as it highlights several factors being taken into consideration in not awarding a free-kick in a possible DOGSO situation.

"Although on initial viewing it appears like a clear foul by Ipswich Town No 5, the Norwich No 9 actually puts his leg in front of his opponent and initiates the contact.

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"Assessing the defender's actions and the attacker's motivations, the referee applies the high threshold for penalising contact and correctly allows play to continue, in my view. If a foul is awarded, this would result in a free-kick and a red card."

Leicester City 2-1 Birmingham City

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Was it the correct decision to allow Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall's goal against Birmingham at the weekend to stand?

Incident: Possible offside (Leicester City)

Decision: Goal awarded (Leicester City)

Foy says: "The decision to allow Leicester City's opening goal to stand was an incorrect one as there was an offside offence in the build-up to the goal by a player returning from an offside position to play the ball.

"Reverse crossovers can be difficult for assistant referees to spot because of the changing picture from an attacker moving back towards the halfway line who very quickly moves into an onside position, but as you can see, Leicester's No 20 is in an offside position when the ball is last played by a team-mate.

"The ball is played by the Leicester No 18 who is on the ground and then played by Leicester No 20 after he moves from an offside position so the correct decision would be to put the flag up and subsequently disallow the goal."

Stoke City 2-2 West Bromwich Albion

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Was the referee correct to award Stoke a penalty for Yan M'Vila's challenge on Tyrese Campbell and should he have perhaps seen red?

Incident: Possible penalty (Stoke City)

Decision: Penalty awarded (Stoke City)

Foy says: "As soon as the West Brom No 22 raises his foot to challenge an opponent inside the penalty area, he inherits the risk of potentially giving away a penalty kick.

"There is clear contact made from the high foot to the back of the opponent and the referee has no doubt that it is foul. Having correctly identified that the point of contact was inside the penalty area, a spot-kick is rightly awarded.

"He then needs to decide whether or not it is a red card for serious foul play or just a caution for a reckless challenge. Because the boot does not make contact with the head and there is no excessive force or brutality in the challenge the referee makes another correct decision in cautioning the player, showing him a yellow card."

Sky Bet League One

Bristol Rovers 0-2 Bolton Wanderers

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Aaron Collins goal for Bolton in their 2-0 win at Bristol Rovers stands after it is ruled he was not in an offside position

Incident: Possible offside (Bolton Wanderers)

Decision: Goal awarded (Bolton Wanderers)

Foy says: "This was a difficult decision for the assistant referee to make and one that he gets spot on in what was a quickly developing attacking phase of play.

"From the original camera angle, it looks as if Bolton's No 28 may be in an offside position, but when the footage is reviewed from a different angle, it highlights how good the decision is.

"Despite starting in a position several yards ahead of any Bristol Rovers defender when the ball is picked up by the Bolton No 4, Bolton's No 28 drops back while Bristol Rovers' No 17 retreats several yards.

"As the ball then comes through into the path of No 28, it shows that he is marginally onside and he times his run perfectly, so the correct decision was made here."

Sky Bet League Two

Accrington Stanley 0-0 Crewe Alexandra

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Alex Henderson is shown a yellow card in Accrington Stanley's 0-0 draw with Crewe Alexandra - but should it have been red?

Incident: Possible red card - violent conduct (Accrington Stanley)

Decision: No red card (Accrington Stanley)

Foy says: "Accrington Stanley's No 30 was fortunate to just be shown a yellow card as he makes a very late challenge on Crewe Alexandra's No 5.

"As the ball is cleared down the line, the contact from the Accrington player could be deemed as violent conduct, with no intention to play the ball and a high degree of force.

"If he had gone into the player with his feet initiating the contact, there could be an argument made that there is ambition to play the ball.

"However, there is use of the arm which makes forceful contact into the opponent at speed and with high levels of intensity. As such, in my view and on balance, there is excessive force and brutality in this action and therefore the correct decision would have been to show a straight red card."

Notts County 3-0 Harrogate Town

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Did the referee get it right in awarding a penalty to Harrogate in their 3-0 defeat at Notts County

Incident: Possible penalty (Harrogate Town)

Decision: Penalty awarded (Harrogate Town)

Foy says: "Although this may appear to be a straightforward penalty decision on review of the footage, it is one which highlights good judgement from the referee.

"Just because a foot is raised, it doesn't necessarily mean that a penalty has to be awarded, but in this case, it is correct to do so.

"As Harrogate's No 9 attempts to win the ball, he is caught by the Notts County No 15 with a high foot that does not play the ball.

"As the referee picks up a good position, he correctly identifies the point of contact and awards a penalty kick."

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