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The Ref: A victory for the ‘honest’ striker

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It’s not often managers and pundits will praise referees but Phil Dowd seems to be on the receiving end of these welcomed comments.

Dowd was in charge of Sunderland and Cardiff on Sunday in the “win or die” relegation battle. In the 45th minute Connor Wickham was tugged back by Cardiff’s Spanish defender Cala.

Why was this such a great decision?

1. If you listen to the match of the day commentator he will tell you it’s never a penalty – “it was outside the box”! The laws of the game are very clear with regards to shirt pulls. If a player pulls an opponent and that continues into the penalty area then he should be sanctioned with a penalty.

2. Dowd allowed the advantage law to be played to allow Cala the opportunity to play his last couple of matches in the 2014 Barclays premier league.  Dowd would have been hoping Wickham would slot the ball home to save him having to award the penalty and give the Spaniard his marching orders. That wasn’t to be and Dowd was correct and brave to call it back.

3. The decision was a victory for the ‘honest striker’ Wickham could very easily slumped to the ground, instead, he opted to stay on his feet and disprove the myth you have to go down to get anything.

Well done Mr Dowd!

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