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Watford 2 Reading, ummm, 2 (20/09/2008) 20/09/2008

Posted by Matt Rowson in Match reports.

Five thunks from the pantomime against Reading

1- Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. What a completely mental decision. Extraordinary that the linesman should think that John Eustace was standing inside the net rather than near side of the goalpost, but all the more extraordinary that the referee wasn’t paying attention enough to appreciate that the ball hadn’t been anywhere near the goal. Not, but the way, that this makes any kind of case for “goalline technology”. Play another record, and make it an interesting one for pity’s sake.

2- Despite point 1… perhaps it actually did us a favour. For all our fury and fervour post- the “goal”, Reading were well on top and made several chances. The incident got the crowd on their feet and bellowing, which hadn’t looked likely in the sunshine up to that point. We’d have taken a draw with both hands before the game…

3- Scott Loach. Well done that man. Lost in the lunacy that followed, a hugely encouraging first league showing in Watford colours for the big keeper.

4- Assuming that McAnuff is out – O’Toole’s failure to retreat to the dressing room suggests he might be OK – who the hell plays on Tuesday? With seven subs? Ummm Loach, Mariappa, Harley, Bromby, Demerit…. Eustace, O’Toole, Williamson, Smith, Ainsworth…. Hoskins… bench… ummmm ?Lee? or North, Bangura, Jenkins, Young presumably. And three more… Gibson? Avinel? Parkes? Yikes.

5- Reading. I dunno… clearly a good side, but…. kinda listless? Playing in a low, lazy gear? I’d have been annoyed if I’d been in the other stand, for all our spirit we should have been there for the taking.



1. Mike - 20/09/2008

Ok, so I can almost understand the “optical illusion” excuse from the lino, but when Noel Hunt hooked the ball back into play, didn’t it then strike him as odd that a Reading player was trying to clear the ball off the line? Wasn’t that a big enough clue that it wasn’t a goal?
Irritated too by Steven Hunt’s reaction when the ‘goal’ was given – jumping up and down like an excited puppy as if they had actually scored. I suppose it’s too much to expect the opposition to do the decent thing, but Reading’s players must be a bit embarrassed.
And as for John Madjeski taking his ego for a stroll around the pitch before kick-off, go easy on the Grecian 2000, old boy.

2. The Great Big O - 20/09/2008

The lino and ref have surely single-handedly destroyed the FA’s ‘Respect’ campaign.

How can any of us respect officials if they’re capable of decisions like that? And it’s not just individual officials’ decisions we can’t respect. How can we respect the wider system (the wireless communication, the fourth official, the match assessor) if it doesn’t stop such an astonishing error happening at the time?

The FA says of the ‘Respect’ campaign: “By tackling abuse towards match officials, we hope to reduce the stream of referees understandably leaving the game.”

After today there will, hopefully, be a torrent of one lino and one ref understandably leaving the game.

3. stephen hoffman - 20/09/2008

.that weren’t the only decision before that hanneman had clearly handled the ball outside the area

. for me ainsworth for all his inexperience looked better than mcanuff he was more hungry and yes some of his crosses were rubbish -yet so are mcanuff’s and ainsworth is pacier -and enthusiastic
. – bromby looked back to his usual self as did demerit -which is good .

. to be fair the ref was poor for both – reading had a clear penalty – which weren’t given – and then at the end we should have had a hand ball penalty -the guy just didn’t control the game

. as for the game – if you look at the stat’s -minus the corner it’s all pretty even – so i guess a draw is a fair result -the way in which it came about left a sour taste in the mouth -and as for hunt’s reaction -unsporting or what
. i also am enjoying the football more than last season we’re passing it more and it’s just more enjoyable to watch -sure we probably wont go up this season-im guessing mid table – but we’re building a platform -and actually giving fans something to watch .
. also did you hear ashikodi’s injured now as well

. meaning at the moment are only recognised striker is hoskins- who aint injured –

4. Monkfish - 20/09/2008

Steve Coppell said that most of his players didn’t know when the ball supposedly crossed the line and most assumed that either they’d missed something or that the header straight after the’goal’ had crossed the line.

5. Dave Hart - 20/09/2008

I wonder if the kids (what’s left of them) will be given their chance again in the cup game. With Poom injured, I wonder if Richard Lee will start.

We do have one striker left in our youth team who is capable of beating a centre half to a header, Ewen Clarke. Whether he is anywhere near ready for the first team is questionable, but I would expect him to be at least on the bench for Tuesday, although it sounds as though Gibson might have recovered in time. Clarke has been compared to Teddy Sheringham.

Parkes must surely get his chance. Not playing him in previous rounds was a mistake, in my opinion. Ginving the kids games in the cup is the perfect chance to expose them to first team football without risking losing valuable points. Sadler’s injury could have been avoided.

6. Tim Turner - 20/09/2008

Re point 4, I hate to disappoint you, but I’m pretty sure the WO said that Billy Gibson is currently injured as well. Of the players listed on the back of the programme, I reckon only 17 are currently fit (and that’s including Richard Lee) – so no, we can’t name a full bench without dipping even further into the reserves.

7. Matt Rowson - 20/09/2008

In fairness, much as it’s not ideal, I don’t suppose that there’s anything stopping us from naming injured players on the bench, Theo for example. We don’t need to use him and it’s not as if 7 subs isn’t overkill as it is.

8. my only chance? - 20/09/2008

“One in one out” policy? – forget it. Auction off places on the bench for Tuesday instead. Having said that, a fit me may still not be a better option than a knackered pro.

9. stephen hoffman - 21/09/2008

what about the argentinian midfielder aloi ? whatever happened to him

10. Nigel - 21/09/2008

A fairly ordinary match with no notable incidents was my view

Nigel Bannister

11. Dan - 21/09/2008

Reading should have let us score an equaliser. No matter what Steve Coppell says, if the match assessor was apologising at half time then they would have known by that point that the officials had made a cock-up of extraordinary proportions. I was much less of a Coppell fan that the rest of the world apparently is before this game, and I have no time for him now.

Steven Hunt, meanwhile, proved three things yesterday:

1. He’s a cock
2. He’s not as good as he thinks he is
3. He’s a complete cock

12. Ian Lay - 21/09/2008

Well I maybe 36 now but I did have a fairly good record for WIFC a few years back, when it came to putting the ball in the back of the neck. Maybe I should drop Aidy an e-mail.

Only problem… I’ve got a slight knee injury and a chest infection and haven’t kicked a ball in 3 months. Bugger that rules me out as well! 🙂

13. Ian Lay - 21/09/2008

Ooops.. Maybe that should be “the back of the net”, not back of the neck. I could be a pain in the neck at times though… 🙂

14. Tapps - 21/09/2008

A 25 year old is as ready to referee a Championship game as a 25 year old Prime Minister is ready to run the country….mind you it doesn’t help when you’ve got David Blunkett running the line.

Leigh Bromby, the new John McClelland? Thought he was excellent yesterday and has been on most of his WFC appearances.

15. Lesley-Anne - 21/09/2008

Every time this has been discussed on TV all they say is what will happen to the officials. What concerns me is what are they going to do for our club!!

This is not a case of a goal being scored that has wrongly been disallowed, this NEVER was a goal yet it stands!!!!! Steve Coppell is quoted in one of the papers as saying that Noel Hunt told him at half time that it was not a goal. If that is the case there was the opportunity to put it right in the 2nd half and give us a goal immediately after kick off. They did not do that, in fact they went all out in attack.

I actually feel that at the time of the incident the Reading players should have said that it was not a goal. Steve Coppell says it is not up to the players to right a wrong. Why not? Earlier today I was watching a Davis Cup tennis match between Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick. Roddick served what he thought was an ace but it was called out. Nadal said that it had been good and Roddick got the point. That’s good sportmanship; why can’t we have that in football?

I’m not saying the players should give up every wrong decision, like corners that get given instead of goal kicks (though maybe it would be nice if they did!!!) but for something as important as this, that affects the result of the game and possibly where we finish at the end of the season, I think the players should be honest enough to own up to the truth.

I would just love to see Alex Ferguson’s reaction if this happened to Man Utd and possibly cost them the title!!!!!!!!!!!!! Given that points are now deducted from clubs for administration etc, why can’t they give us 2 points due to bungling officials?!! The bookings of Hoskins and McAnuff should definitely be rescinded too. Feel sorry for John Eustace, it must be bad enough to score an own goal but to get credited with one that never went in the net must be galling.

16. Back from Hammerau - 21/09/2008

Scott Loach – very uncertain first half, seemed very reluctant to come for crosses, but improved in the second half.

The significance of the ‘goal’ is such that TalkSport were discussing something that happened in a Championship game rather than something that happened in the Premiership. (Would’ve been better if they’d got their facts straight, but you can’t have everything.)

Having said that, it really lifted the atmosphere. There’s nothing better than having a hate figure to abuse when it comes to getting the crowd going.

Will some of the ex-players on the coaching staff be quickly re-registered to be eligible for Tuesday.

And what about Graham Simpson? What better way for him to silence some of the critics than by coming off the bench to score the winner? (Or am I being silly now?)

17. nick - 21/09/2008

I was as confused and miffed as anyone at the time but the thing that really disappointed me was Reading after half time. You see by then EVERYBODY knew what had happened so why didn’t their manager / skipper / anyone for fcuks sake suggest evening things up from the 2nd half kick off? This was the only opportunity to really make ammends and give us an even contest played out over the 2nd 45 minutes. Alternatively had Watford refused to restart the game or not come out for the 2nd half that would have forced some common sense to have been applied.
So from me its “boo” to the officials for an appallig but honest mistake but “BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” to Reading FC for being in full possession of the facts and choosing not to redress the status quo.

18. Sequel - 21/09/2008

Memo to Mr Atwell: The attacking side will always let you know when the ball has crossed the line.

19. Matt Lovett - 21/09/2008

Enough incident to fill a whole season really, what with the ‘goal’, the injuries, all the other bizarre refereeing decisions etc. What a rollicking good game though. Perhaps that’s what Watford v Reading needs bearing mind the tedium of the past 4 encounters! As for Tuesday night, I suspect it will be Watford Youth vs W Ham reserves. Perhaps it would have been an idea to reserve the Borehamwood ground for the evening…

20. Matt Rowson - 21/09/2008

Stephen – Aloi was only ever on loan and this arrangement was not extended/pursued (I think the stock phrase was “he returns with our best wishes”).

re. Reading… well yes, maybe they ought to have done something but much as it provides some fuel for what, as we discussed on leaving the ground, is currently a largely baseless and indefensible dislike of Reading we’re kidding ourselves if we think Watford would have done differently if the situations had been reversed. As Boothroyd concedes, effectively.

21. DM - 21/09/2008

nick – There was no call whatsoever for Reading to do anything of the sort. The only people with any case to answer here are the linesman, who I can only assume must be on hardcore drugs to have seen a goal, and the referee. They have made an unbeleivably poor decision between them and the bottom Line, neither should officiate at another professional game again. We have better referees in the Sunday League I play in.

22. GraemeB - 22/09/2008

Stuart Attwell has been appointed to the elite group of referees at the age 25 and after just one season as a football league referee. He had only taken charge of five games in the Championship. What on earth was Keith Hackett thinking of? While youth may be a good thing, surely you also need experience to officiate at the highest level. The crazy thing about Saturday’s incident is that Attwell was perfectly placed to see what happened. One must assume that when the linesman told him the ball had crossed the line, Attwell assumed he meant it had crossed the line when Loach “saved” it and that it had not crossed the line after striking Eustace (or the linesman would have flagged for a corner). However, an experienced referee would have asked his linesman to clarify this. He would also have been suspicious that no Reading players were claiming a goal. So in my view this referee is just as much to blame as the linesman.
Attwell may talk the talk. He may even be a good prospect. But he should have served a proper apprenticeship in the lower leagues. One cannot help but think that the appointment was about a macho Hackett deciding he wanted to appoint a kid, and then looking around for one. By all accounts Attwell’s two Prem matches to date have been far from sound performances. I can almost hear good solid league refs like Graham Laws and Clive Penton chuckling to themselves about the latest fiasco. How do they feel about being passed over in favour of a youth who makes a howler like this?
Let’s see what games Attwell gets over the next few week. Oh the politics of football!

23. Back from Hammerau - 22/09/2008

Why, under “Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)”, is there a link to “Rodents as a food source”?

24. Dan - 22/09/2008

Watford may not have done any different if the situation had been reversed, but then we would have been equally as wrong as Coppell and Reading. The comparisons that have been made to batsmen not walking in cricket are inaccurate. In the case of a batsman who nicks it but does not walk, he knows that he might very well be given out next time on something he has not touched. In other words, there is a chance that things will even out over time – the same applies to goal kicks that should have been corners, dodgy penalties etc. In this instance, a decision that bad is highly unlikely to ever happen again – and certainly not to the teams involved – and a similar one-off gesture of sportsmanship would have been the most appropriate response.

25. Matt Rowson - 22/09/2008

GraemeB – Attwell was fourth official for the West Brom-Villa match yesterday I think. The Five Live commentator suggested that he might be wanting to keep a low profile.

Back from Hammerau – I have no idea.

26. Old Git - 22/09/2008

We should have been warned when the ref showed he was incapable of sticking a corner flag back in its little hole without a grown-up coming on to help him.
And what’s all this nonsense about Assistant Referees? They are bloody LINESMEN!
They run up and down the line, waving a little flag around, doing stupid things and we shout abuse at them. That’s why God made them. Assistant Referees, my arse.
That said, I do believe that Mr Bannister is unique and should be cherished. Immediate promotion to Premier Lague duty is the only sensible course of action.

27. Mick G. - 22/09/2008

As I re-call, there was quite a protacted debate here over the sequence of scoring following the Ipswich match.
So, can anyone tell me when we last drew a game having scored more goals than the opposition??

28. Andy - 22/09/2008

Wow…even though a draw seemed inevitable going into the last 20 minutes, I enjoyed that game. It had everything, mysterious goals, penalties, disallowed goals. Blimey, even the guy next to me made my shouts seem like a whimper, go on the crowd! I enjoyed Hoskins play, he was really getting stuck in and I though that ball to O’Toole to smack home was pretty much inch perfect. Harley was pretty much done everytime on the left wing though but I enjoyed Mariappa putting cockney-rhyming slang Hunt in his pocket.

Problem with goalline technology is how could lower league clubs afford it? It has to be consistent across all the football leagues if it were to go ahead. Look at that “goal” for Spurs a couple of seasons ago that cost them Champions League footie (I think), Carroll pretty much scooped the ball out of his net.

29. Esp - 22/09/2008

Dan and Lesley-Anne are absolutely right to bring up both the tennis and cricket analogies to claim that Reading should have acted like true sportsmen and argued with the referees’ woeful decision

I was on Setanta Sports last night and Steve Claridge asked me what I though should happen and my initial thought was for the officials to void the match. As Reading did not kick the ball into their own net to level things up I think a replay is the only fair course of action. A precedent must be set because afaik this is a unique incident

I cannot see why Matt and DM can claim that just because Watford would have done the same it makes Coppell and the Reading players actions correct…in any case how do they know that, has Aidy actually said it?

If (having known that the ball didn’t go in) Hunt or the Reading captain had told the referee he was WRONG and the goal was not given HOW on earth could Coppell (or the Reading fans) then have been outraged with the (honest) Reading players?

I agree the buck stops with the referee (and he should be punished)but it is obvious to most of the crowd (both home and away) and TV viewers that the Reading players were just as culpable.

Ignoring the likes of Fergie and Wenger who of course are particulary myopic I would far rather that OUR league be populated by good sportsmen and referees prepared to reverse a poor decision or is that too much to ask?

Finally the two matches against Ipswich and Reading were brilliant, incident packed rollicking affairs and the team does not deserve to run out to rows of empty seats; call on your mates to come along – with the exception of the Plymouth match I think the home crowd has been served up some thoroughly entertaining games so far this season and I suspect that we are in for a trat on Tuesday night too!

30. Paul - 22/09/2008

I think the rodent link may well have been a reference to Stephen Hunt.

31. Harefield Hornet - 22/09/2008

It would be extremely useful if the attitude displayed by the players following the ludicrous award of the Reading score-sheet alteration (sorry I cant even force myself to call it a goal) could be bottled and stored for future games.

Coppell is (originally I think) a Scouser – so to expect Reading to give the goal back is like expecting some thieving bastard to return your car to your drive a few hours after stealing it.

Scott Loach – you have masses of potential son, but get off that bloody line a bit quicker! (admittedly you did a bit more in the 2nd half)

Steve Hunt is an even nastier little piece of Sh*t than I had previously thought.

JJOT – how you can score goals like that while impersonating shaggy from Scooby Doo is completely beyond me!

Why OH Why, and this hasn’t been mentioned much if at all elsewhere, did we have to go and hand them a point with a few minutes to go by conceding such a needless bloody penalty?. The guy was going absolutely nowhere with it before he was upended!
Actually, on second thoughts – apologies to JE – you’ve had enough trauma to deal with for one day!

32. DW - 22/09/2008

1. From my vantage point, Reading should have had a penalty in the first 5 minutes, after Demerit appeared to deliberately prevent a diving header from crossing the line with his hands.

2. The gamesmanship that Watford has frequently engaged in over the past 3 years leaves us with little moral superiority to suggest how Reading should have responded.

3. Unlike Dan, I have always liked Coppell but him offering to replay the game is probably as much to do with his disappointment at not taking all 3 points as it is to do the “right thing”

4. I am a wishy washy liberal who believes everyone deserves a second chance but the ref and assistant ref should never officiate in the professional leagues again.

5. 3 years. My guess as to the number of years we have to wait before we appear on “what happens next”.

33. bob - 22/09/2008

possibly the most bizzare thing i have ever witnessed at a game of football. right said fred playing at half time against preston was just embarrrassing for the club and issa being dropped from the stretcher is up there too. any one else have a ‘strange football moment’ to beat saturday?

for what its worth, on the strength of saturday, i think lionel, loach and mariappa all deserve a start on tuesday night regardless of the fitness of others.

34. Matt Rowson - 22/09/2008

esp- yes, Boothroyd has said it, indirectly, by exonerating Reading of any responsibility. Plus, anyone who’s watched Watford over the last few years will have seen plenty less gracious incidents of gamesmanship than not owning up in Saturday’s circumstances (see point 2 from DW); yes it does matter that we wouldn’t have behaved chivalrously if the roles had been reversed.

As for the right course of action now, I don’t agree with your conclusion. It was a bizarre decision, admittedly, but mistakes are often made by officials and the fact that this was particularly blatant doesn’t make a rerun any more appropriate. If it happens it will be to satisfy bleating clamour, to be seen to be doing something, rather than it being the correct outcome.

The goal happened, the course of the game was changed and probably to our benefit (though that’s irrelevant), and as you rightly say we ended up seeing a brilliant game of football when what went before was somewhat one-sided. We live with it and move on. And take the piss as much as possible at the Madejski in January.

Mick G – Charlton away last season. O’Toole and Shittu for us, Ambrose and, um, Shittu for them.

DW – agree wholeheartedly with points 2 and 3.

35. Clutching at Straws - 22/09/2008

I agree Matt, I think WFC just have to take this one on the chin and move on. I don’t want a replay as we could well lose it and with our small and crocked squad the last thing we need is another game!

36. Esp - 22/09/2008

Matt wrote “but mistakes are often made by officials and the fact that this was particularly blatant doesn’t make a rerun any more appropriate. If it happens it will be to satisfy bleating clamour”

Well I will be i the minority Matt and speak up for the “bleating clamour” which now included Steve Coppell saying he would be happy to replay the game

OK so many WFC fans fear we will possible lose an unprecedented replay but at least a sense of justice will prevail rather than the huge sense of injustice that I would argue MOST fans feel

“Move on….” simply isn’t good enough imho and if the only course of action is that the officials are punished how on earth is that going to help us?

Stephen Hunt is quoted on the BBC website as saying “We can’t do anything about it. It’s not our mistake, but what can you do? You can’t say ‘no ref, it wasn’t in’.”

My answer is “Oh yes you can!” – and will BHaPPY contributors who feel that “moving on” or ignnoring the incident is OK feel the same way when we miss out on the play offs by 2 points?

“Bleating” Esp

37. Old Git - 22/09/2008

A replay on the grounds of an incorrect decision? There would be a lot of replays each week……
Coppell’s just playing a game called ‘look at me, I’m so fair-minded.’
Would he have been quite so generous had Reading won?
Referees and linesmen are self-important idiots, by definition. Would we want it any other way?

38. Simmo - 22/09/2008

Matt and DW – There is a distinction between gamesmanship and sportsmanship! By using the rules to our advantage to run down the clock is allowed unless the ref does something about it. Ultimately the result doesn’t depend on how long a throw in or goal kick takes. However for any team to allow a goal to stand in the circumstances that occurred on Saturday is bad sportsmanship. Had Watford been awarded the goal in a similar situation then I would be equally irate.

There is precedent of sorts in the League Cup going back a few years when I recall Yeovil scored a goal when they should have given back possession after an injury. They then let the opposition score unopposed. Why could Yeovil do it but you feel Watford wouldn’t.

Aidy may have alluded to the fact he had sympathy with Reading’s position but he also said in the same interview that “ref’s make mistakes which you have to accept”. He has to say these things or he gets fined. My guess is he was not impressed with the ref or Reading’s reaction and it is totally presumptuous to say that Watford under Aidy would not have corrected the “wrong”. I have never seen a situation like it and doubt I ever will again. Therefore we will never know how Watford would react but please do not be so dismissive that Watford would have done the same thing as Reading.

However putting the incident aside and the surreal feel to the afternoon that followed, if we have games like that I will not complain about the results regardless of where it leaves us in the league. Maybe we should now be giving Ainsworth a run in the team to give him confidence. With Ainsworth what we lose defensively we gain going forward. However this was the same with Ash at the beginning and we may just have another gem if he can be shown how to work for the team.

39. Big Tone - 22/09/2008

Is it just me, or is it this sort of travesty that makes football so simply fan chuffing tastic?

Goal line camera?, video for refs? Pah, hogwash and humbug.

It’s this sort of high drama and lunatic decisions that fuel endless pub debate and banter and I for one am all for it. It’s what makes it so great to watch and this game was worth £25 quid of anyones money.

Yes, it’s unfair. Yes, Aidy wil be hopping – but come on – what a great game. I’m so enjoying this season!!

Bring on the hammers.

40. East Stand Man Expat - 22/09/2008

About 4 seasons ago I saw Watford get beaten at the Madjeski Mall. It was one all with 2 minutes to go Reading were attacking and their player pushed the ball past our defender and it went about a yard past the dead ball line. He hooked it across and it was side footed in for the winning goal. The lino and referee completely missed the offence. Reading were promoted and we struggled to survive. Is that bizarre or what?

Reverting to Saturdays game I really enjoyed it. It seems years since I shouted so much and went totally mental when JohnJoe scored the winning goal (I know I missed the Ipswich game). Other points to note, Harley for all his skills is too lightweight for a full back. Their winger skinned him too many times. Hoskins slowly came onto his game and after he had set up the JJ goal started to look a useful acquisition.

It is also so much more enjoyable to watch Watford passing the ball thean the long ball hoof. This season is one of transition and hopefully when the East Stand is rebuilt we will be in a postion to have another crack at the Prem.

Replaying the Reading game is just not on. If we lose it’s a double whammy but maybe we should keep our options open by stating that we need a replay at the end of the season if we are in a relegation postion or just outside the top two or the playoffs and the two points tip the scales. Fat chance it happening but that is what if I was in WFC I would be angling for

Should we lay bets on the East Stand Offical Opening Day

41. Dan - 22/09/2008

You can make the case that Aidy has said what he has in order to avoid fanning the flames and being portrayed as having attacked Reading and Coppell – imagine the headlines if he had said that he disagreed with their response. I don’t think it matters either way, the most appropriate response would have been to let us score – that is what any team in those circumstances *should* have done. We have never seen Watford in that position, and probably never will, so we will never know what we would have done.

I agree with Matt that you should not replay the game – though it would not be precedent setting given what happened in the Arsenal v Sheff Utd FA cup tie a few years ago. I would say that this is far more deserving of a replay than in that instance, although of course the nature of cup competitions meant that Sheff Utd had less to lose than we do.

42. Simon - 22/09/2008

The problem with the replay idea is that there are incidents every year where goals are given when clearly wrong or denied when clearly right. The fact that this error was quite so glaring doesn’t change the ultimate effect. If you replay this then there is a clear case that all games in which a clear error is made resulting in a goal could be replayed (by this I don’t mean “errors” as in there is a debate about whether a foul should be given but incidents where the ball is clearly shown in replays to have not crossed the line when a goal is given or when the goalscorer is clearly 5 yards off-side and the goal is given anyway).

That’s unfortunately why we have to accept it and move on. The lino should certainly not officiate another professional match, however, and the ref is also massively culpable, despite the “it was all the lino’s fault” line from the FA. His conversation with the lino should immediately have let him know that the lino was referring to the initial incident and not the follow up and so couldn’t possibly have gone in.

Where this incident was possibly different was the lack of sportsmanship shown at the time. If we’re giving the Reading players the benefit of the doubt they may have thought the ball had gone in from the follow up but my suspicion is they knew perfectly weel at the time that the ball hadn’t gone in and so should have said something. Sadly, I’m not convinced we’d have done anything different to Reading but that doesn’t make it right.

43. GraemeB - 22/09/2008

Judging from what Coppell has said, it may be that if Aidy had gone to see him at half time and suggested that his team allow us to score on the restart, he would have gone along with it.
I must say that in terms of sportsmanship, Aidy does not come out of this too badly. Once he had cooled down, he did not castigate either referee or linesman, but seemed to accept that however serious the mistake, it was simply a case of human error. He was also gracious enough to accept that if this had happened at the other end, the Watford players would have acted not differently to Reading’s. I’m afraid this is just about as sporting as you get in the modern game.
I wonder what Ferguson would have said if Man U had ended up on the wrong side of such a decision….

44. Johnny Boy - 23/09/2008

You go away for a couple of days and suddenly there are 43 blogs – well done B Happy. Couple of thoughts
– If Reading had given us a goal say at the beginning of the second half would they have not recieved the best ovation ever for a visiting team and made the ref and lino feel such twits ( remove the w if you wish)
– Reading, just down from the premiership and some peoples tip to go back up, didn’t look that good. One ‘-‘ and a penalty is all they got against a depleted, transitional Watford – hey, maybe we are not that bad.

45. straightnochaser - 23/09/2008

Anyone noticed we have been allocated Peter Walton as referee for the Carling Cup tie tonight, he of the Chris Powell ‘handball’ penalty at Goodison 2 years ago (although I grant you the lino had a big hand in that decision also). What impeccable timing that appointment is!!

46. Simon in Oz - 23/09/2008

Most of us are familiar with the hoary old urban myth regarding the Russian linesman who flagged Hurst’s crucial second goal in the ’66 World Cup Final. When, years later, he is (allegedly) asked why he was so adamant that Sir Geoff’s shot had entered the German goal, he says just one word. “Stalingrad.”
May we assume that Saturday’s lino, in years gone by, may have, perhaps, been cuckholded by a man from Watford?
Any loopy explanation such as this sits better with me than “optical illusion.”
Only highlights here in Oz this week. I would love to have seen the whole thing. It seems like a gutsy display; real grit and spirit that we will need if, given the injuries, we end up playing with the Club Shop Manager playing up front.
By the way, does anyone have Gary Plumley’s number?

47. Old Git - 23/09/2008

Yes. according to wikipedia, he is now an Estate Agent in Newport.
This must be him.

48. duds - 25/09/2008

hey check this out

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