STEADY EDDIE GETS IT RIGHT IN THE END
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 The card was rescinded and the game restarted with a drop ball – much to the chagrin of Bees boss Mark Warburton.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.