STEADY ED­DIE GETS IT RIGHT IN THE END

The Football League Paper - - CHRIS DUNLAVY -

WELL done to ref Ed­die Ilder­ton, who re­versed his de­ci­sion to give a penalty and red card in Tues­day’s 0-0 draw be­tween Sh­effield United and Brent­ford. Blades de­fender Kieron Free­man made a per­fect last-ditch tackle on Mar­cello Trotta, only for Ilder­ton to point to the spot and bran­dish a red card.

How­ever, af­ter a fu­ri­ous re­ac­tion from United staff, Ilder­ton was com­pelled to con­sult his as­sis­tant, who con­firmed the chal­lenge was clean. The card was re­scinded and the game restarted with a drop ball – much to the cha­grin of Bees boss Mark War­bur­ton.

“My first im­pres­sion was that it was a good tackle,” he ad­mit­ted. “But at the end of the day, he’s shown a red card and pointed to the spot. Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

You can un­der­stand War­bur­ton’s anger. It is one thing to be de­nied a de­ci­sion, but an­other to have a penalty snatched away. His play­ers were un­nec­es­sar­ily riled. It’s also true that Ilder­ton should have taken a few sec­onds to pon­der his de­ci­sion be­fore blow­ing up, not af­ter.

But when all is said and done, he made the right call. For a ref­eree, that is the pri­mary ob­jec­tive.

There is noth­ing more lu­di­crous than a ref run­ning around the pitch know­ing full well he made a mis­take.

The fans know it, the play­ers know it, mil­lions of people at home know it. Just be­cause he put a whis­tle to his lips, there is seem­ingly no go­ing back. Ilder­ton’s brave de­ci­sion shows that should never be the case.

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