And his Roy­als

Fog de­scends to thwart Stam

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Ben Adams

READ­ING boss Jaap Stam re­fused to crit­i­cise the of­fi­cials af­ter their clash with Ful­ham was called off due to the fog af­ter a goal­less first half.

Vis­i­bil­ity was poor through­out the first pe­riod at the Made­jski Sta­dium and ref­eree James Lin­ing­ton even­tu­ally took the de­ci­sion to call the game off.

He twice stopped the game in the first half to dis­cuss with both Stam and Ful­ham head coach Slav­isa Jokanovic be­fore opt­ing to con­tinue.

The best chance of the half came in first-half in­jury time with Cal­lum Har­riott forc­ing a good save from David But­ton in the Ful­ham goal but in­jur­ing him­self in the process.

But that was the end of the ac­tion as Lin­ing­ton called the game off with the game to be re­ar­ranged later in 2017.

“We wanted to play on, but in some way I can un­der­stand the de­ci­sion,” said Stam.

“The lines­man over­ruled the ref­eree be­cause they couldn’t see the other side of the pitch.

“The ref­eree said that on the pitch they could see ev­ery­thing, but on the side­lines it was dif­fi­cult for his as­sis­tants.

“They didn’t want to take the risk of mak­ing the wrong de­ci­sion if there had been an off­side or a tackle on the other side of the pitch that they couldn’t see prop­erly so they called us in at half time.

“We started ag­gres­sively and we cre­ated a cou­ple of very good chances.

“But we go home dis­ap­pointed, be­cause you want to have a re­sult rather than play again in the next cou­ple of weeks or when­ever – be­cause it’s a busy sched­ule al­ready!

“And I can un­der­stand the fans go­ing home dis­ap­pointed too, be­cause they wanted to see us play as well.”

It was the sec­ond of Fri­day’s four Cham­pi­onship fix­tures to fall foul of the weather, Brighton against Cardiff also post­poned be­fore a ball was kicked.

“It’s a shame for our sup­port­ers who trav­elled to watch the game, but in the end I can un­der­stand this de­ci­sion,” said Jokanovic.

“They said they couldn’t see the op­po­site side, and they de­cided to can­cel the game.

“It’s not in my hands. I’m not the guy who can stop the game, who can make this kind of de­ci­sion.

“I’m not in­volved in this but, like I say, I am so sorry for all our sup­port­ers. We play foot­ball for them.

“The lines­men ex­plained to us that they could not do their job. So we’re go­ing to play an­other day, and that’s it.”

MIST CHANCE: Ref­eree James Lin­ing­ton con­sults Slav­isa Jokanovic

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