Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Tigers update: Hull City robbed thanks to hopeless refereeing

Hull City were robbed of at least a draw tonight thanks to an incompetent team of officials.

The Tigers lost 2-1 to Leeds at the KC Stadium during a scrappy relegation battle.

After equalising just before half time through Nicky Forster, City had the ball in the back of the net for a second time just after the break but the goal was disallowed because of offside. Jon Parkin was miles onside when he took a brilliant through ball and put it sweetly in the bottom right hand corner. But at least 5 seconds after receiving the pass, Mr Smith, the assistant referee on the nearside, but his flag up for offside. It was to be one of numerous ridiculous decisions by both him and the referee, Mr P Joslin.

Before the game, the referee seemed very pally with Leeds manager Dennis Wise. Is there a case here of, “Oh dear, we can’t have Leeds going down another division etc”. I wouldn’t rule it out. The City faithful were incensed at the poor way the game was refereed.

To be fair, both sides looked fairly average and it was generally a scrappy affair. Alan Thompson’s free kick, which turned out to be the winner, was a great strike but there were even question marks over whether the free kick should have been given.

For the first time, I was critical of new manager Phil Brown’s tactics. Jon Parkin clearly isn’t in form. His fitness is appalling and he generally looks lazy. I was amazed he stayed on until the last ten minutes.

Ryan France, City’s in-form midfielder, continued to shine although he doesn’t perform as well on the left wing as on the right. But he was first to be substituted, which was a bit baffling.

After booing the referee and his assistants of the field and listening to that sickening sound of Leeds United fans celebrating, I came out the ground to find two coppers on horseback dealing with a crowd of Hull scallies. It nearly kicked off, with riot police out in force. But it was a case of Hull chavs v Humberside Police as opposed to Hull v Leeds fans. More importantly, however, I came out to find my bike on the floor with the lock broken. Someone had tried to nick it but obviously got disturbed. I was lucky.

A few guys nearby were really annoyed with the police as one of them was apparently bending down to tie his shoelace when a copper came up and whacked him with a baton. If it’s true, there’s no need for it. The police are far too aggressive up north and once their adrenaline gets pumping, some coppers are up for a confrontation even with those not even involved. The lads said they had spotted the number of the policeman concerned and were going to make an official complaint. Good on `em.

The situation outside the ground eventually passed without any serious incident, except a couple of distressed elderly and disabled fans, and a man who I think got slightly injured.

There’s really no need for even isolated hooliganism to start. But from what I’ve seen over the years I’ve concluded that a lot of it is down to how the police handle the situation.

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