It was Matt Ritchie again who scored the winner for Newcastle United last night after 68 minutes – this time against Burton Albion and that’s two home wins in a row for us.
But it was an embarrassing officiating error by referee Keith Stroud in the first half that will get all the headlines in this game.
We have seen some very poor officiating in the Championship this season and most of the decisions have gone against Newcastle.
Farcical refereeing in action last night
That happened again last night when a penalty scored by Ritchie after 30 minutes was disallowed for encroachment – something that is very rare these days, since encroachment happens on almost every penalty but is hardly ever called.
But rather than having the penalty retaken, Stroud awarded Burton a free-kick in the penalty area.
🙁 🙁 🙁
You talk about being incompetent and biased against Newcastle United at the same time – and it doesn’t give people much confidence in the referees when ridiculous errors like this are made.
Professional Game Match Officials had to issue a statement that the kick should have indeed been retaken – the ordinary fans know that – but apparently this referees did not.
This is what the statement said:
“In this evening’s EFL Championship game between Newcastle United and Burton Albion, referee Keith Stroud awarded Newcastle a penalty in the 29th minute.”
“As Matt Ritchie took the kick, Dwight Gayle encroached in the penalty area. An indirect free kick was awarded to Burton, but the Laws of the Game state that that the penalty kick should have been retaken.”
“Unfortunately the referee has misapplied the Law. Keith and his team are understandably upset at the lapse in concentration and apologise for the mistake.”
As Ritchie converted the penalty he was rightly celebrating when referee Stroud amazingly awarded a free-kick in the penalty box to Burton Albion and Rafa Benitez and the crowd went berserk – and rightly so.
Keith Stroud has apologised for his blunder but one question we have is how come the linesmen or the fourth official didn’t point out the error to Stroud?
They mustn’t know the laws of the game either?
To get back to the game, manager Benitez had started Chancel Mbemba in place of Grant Hanley in central defense and Mo Diame started in central midfield in place of jack Colback.
Christian Atsu got a start on the left wing in place of Yoan Gouffran and Ayoze Perez came in to fill the number 10 role vacated by Diame.
After the antics of the first half Newcastle were on top again in the second half and it was Matt Ritchie who scored the winner after 68 minutes.
That was his 15th goal of the season and he’s been in great form this year for the Magpies.
Newcastle had carved out nearly all the chances in this game, but it’s good that Matt scored again because otherwise we could have dropped 2 points because of the referee error.
That would have been much like when we lost all 3 points at Nottingham Forest because of a terrible display by the referee in that game.
But hey – we now have two wins in the mini-league of the eight remaining games and we have to keep winning games – even if the referees seem to be against us.
And talking about bias, congratulations go to Sky Sports pundit David Prutton who got this one right – and even forecast the correct score for the game.
It will be interesting to see if anything is done against Stroud for one of the most embarrassing refereeing errors we have ever seen.
Bottom line – the lads got the job done again last night and that’s two successive home wins in a short five days.
And Rafa will like the clean sheet.
Howay The Bonnie Lads!!
Newcastle: Darlow; Anita, Lascelles, Mbemba, Dummett; Shelvey, Diame; Ritchie, Perez, Atsu (Ameobi, 89); Gayle (Murphy, 90).
Subs not used: Elliot, Gamez, Haidara, Hanley, Gouffran.
Burton: McLaughlin, Brayford, Turner, Flanagan, Mousinho, Christensen (Kightly, 70), Murphy, Irvine, Sordell (Woodrow, 85), Akins (Dyer, 80), Varney.
Subs not used: Bywater, McFadzean, McCrory, Naylor.
Referee: Keith Stroud (Bournemouth)