By James Grayson
Ten minutes to go at Radcliffe and the scores are tied at 2-2. Ryan Harrison exchanges a neat one-two with Gareth Grant and takes a touch inside the box which will open up a goal-scoring chance. That was when he was brought down by two (not just one) Radcliffe defenders. Or using a slang term – he was ‘banjoed’.
Now to the majority of people that is a straightforward penalty decision. But this referee decided it wasn’t and played on. It was absolutely shocking from any Farsley fan’s point of view.
When you look at how Sergio Aguero won his penalty against Leeds United a few weeks ago for a tiny bit of contact on his shoulder, how could the referee not give the foul on Ryan (pictured above). It was simply not good enough.
But it wasn’t just that key moment that the referee got wrong, he was very poor all afternoon. He was too far behind play throughout the 90 minutes. He wasn’t consistent with his yellow cards for both sides and his decision-making with certain types of fouls were inconsistent. A minor aerial challenge may have penalised one minute but then later, the same type of challenge went unpunished.
On a more serious note, due to his inability to follow the game properly, the referee missed a dangerous challenge which left Farsley defender Rob Etherington (pictured above) almost unconscious. The young lad could have easily ended up lying in intensive care. Rob went to win a header and was taken out by a ridiculous aerial challenge by Ben Wharton. Rob had to be substituted and quite how the referee failed to punish Wharton is incredible.
The referee was not the only person to have a very poor game. The linesman on the dug-out side in the second half had an interesting afternoon and his best moment was when he flagged Ryan Harrison offside in the last few minutes. Ryan’s corner was headed back to him by a Radcliffe defender, at which moment the linesman gave offside. I think I’ll check the rules on offside.
But while the draw was disappointing for Farsley, there were some good performances out there. Matty James (pictured above) returned from Bradford Park Avenue after four years away and he was impressive. His skill and trickery allowed him to roll the ball across for Adam Priestley to make the score 2-2 on the stroke of half-time.
Ryan Harrison, back in the starting line-up, was Farsley’s man of the match and he deserved his goal. Number one goalkeeper Tom Morgan was back with fine display after a five month absence due to injury.
But, there were negatives. At times, the centre midfielders were anonymous and this put the defence under unnecessary pressure. The midfield were mainly at fault for the second Radcliffe goal.
And a poor back-pass in the final moments nearly gifted Radcliffe the winner. Fortunately the miss of the season, which I’m sure will be soon appearing on YouTube, ensured a point was taken.
However, it could have been three, if only the penalty had been given.