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Ashley Praises Referee

Ashley Praises Referee

Ashley Young has joined Martin O'Neill in praising the actions of referee Steve Bennett in tonights match against Hull City.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, our match winning winger said:

'I didn't touch it with my hand, you can clearly see it was going over.

'The referee deserves a lot of credit. I was just seeing it out and we got our reward at the end of the day.

'It's clear, I think, that it's hit the bar and gone over. The referee has given the penalty then changed his mind and he deserves credit for that.'

It's not often thesedays you will see a referee change their mind, so often their word is final even if it's mind blowing obvious to the rest of the world they are wrong.

Steve Bennett doesn't often come out with praise from me. Normally I hold him in the same contempt as Uriah Rennie, Mark Halsey and other unmentionable so called professional referees but tonight credit where it's due.

Well actually, not that unmentionable considering I just named them, but you get the idea hopefully.

Watching the replay it wouldn't be unfair to say Ashley should learn not to put his arm up in future because at speed it's easy to see why Bennett thought it did strike his hand when it bounced off the bar. On a nice slow mo it's as clear as mud that no contact was made, but referee's for some stupid FA/Premiership nonsensical regulation don't have the advantage of slow mo's yet.

So credit where it's due, listening to the advice of his assistant and maybe even having doubts over the strength of forceful nature of the players protests he overturned his original decision. We aren't known as a team who hound referee's so seeing everyone surround him must have had some effect as it's just not something our players do often.

Seeing it, I thought oh Christ here we go, yellow cards for dissent for the lot of them but Steve redeemed himself tonight.

Maybe their is such a thing as Christmas Spirit.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Mike Field
Date:Wednesday December 31 2008
Time: 12:10AM


OK first up Mr Bennett had a crap game up until that point. Secondly why was the assistant referee holding his ear piece when the ref was stood next to him? Was he getting direction from someone who had access to a replay!?! Thirdly my initial reaction was that Ashley HAD handled it. Fortunately for the claret and blue army I was wrong.
Adam Deuce
31/12/2008 00:40:00
Ash shouldn't be on the line, he's small and if anyones going to handle the ball it shouldn't be him. We can't deal with a suspension to our winger at the moment. Tricky 3 points and again, we've been the ones to rob the game. If we can nick a couple more and play like we can in most of the other games we shouldn't have a problem getting 5th.
31/12/2008 10:09:00
Must admit, when watching the highlights I can now see where the confusion arose. At the time (we were up the other end) it looked obvious that the ball had struck the bar, not a hand, but when seeing the replays, you realise that Ash was mighty close to getting a touch on the ball.
06/01/2009 16:35:00
Most referee's, particularly Steve Bennett, wouldn't have sought their linesmans advice after making such a decision, so I guess we need to applaud Bennett for that.
06/01/2009 16:37:00
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