Paul Wheelock column: Blackburn Rovers being made to pay the penalty

Rovers striker Rudy Gestede battles for possession on Tuesday

Rovers striker Rudy Gestede battles for possession on Tuesday

First published in Sport
Last updated
This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , Blackburn Rovers reporter

YOU are always at risk of being accused of sour grapes when you complain about officials after a defeat.

So, first things first, let me state that Norwich deserved their victory at Carrow Road on Tuesday night.

Bar from Leicester at the King Power last season they are the best team I have seen, certainly from an attacking point of view, in the 12 months I have covered Rovers in the Championship.

In the end their pace, power and movement proved too good for Gary Bowyer’s boys and in the likes of Wes Hoolahan they have players who simply should be operating at Premier League level.

However it is impossible not to look back at the match and lament the penalty incidents that had such a massive bearing on its final outcome.

Referee Graham Scott had two big decisions to make and he got them both badly wrong.

How he and his assistants failed to spot Steven Whittaker’s clear handball in the box, just two minutes after Tom Cairney had opening the scoring inside 41 seconds, is beyond me.

A spot-kick and – let’s face it given Jordan Rhodes’ reliability from 12 yards – a second goal for Rovers then would have gone a long way to killing the spirit of a partisan and vociferous Canaries crowd which will help win their side plenty of points this season.

That Scott got that one incorrect was bad enough.

But for him to then rule Jason Lowe had handled the ball inside his own area, when it was clear he had his arm down by his side, and award Norwich a spot-kick was scarcely believable.

Or was it?

For too long now Rovers have not been given the rub of the green when it comes to penalties.

They had another absolutely stonewall spot-kick turned down in the big opener at home to Cardiff and of the 11 they conceded last season, all of which were away from home, a number were debatable.

So what can they do?

Very little other than dust themselves and go again against Bournemouth, the last team before Norwich to beat Rovers way back on March 12.

As I say as heartbreaking and frustrating as Tuesday’s result was ultimately they were beaten by the better team on the night.

But you cannot take away anything from the resilience they displayed to defend the 14-game unbeaten league run that they were clearly proud of.

And with rivals left, right and centre flashing the cash Rovers are going to need more of the same – plus the kind of quality they showed in those blistering first 10 minutes against the Canaries – if they are going to remain in the promotion hunt throughout the campaign.

That and some help from the officials of course.

Comments (3)

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4:27pm Thu 21 Aug 14

J.C - Rishton says...

That and keeping our 25 goal a season striker - without him how can we even think about being in the shake up at the end of the season.

Venkys must refuse Hulls offer and keep Jordan, at least until the end of the season
That and keeping our 25 goal a season striker - without him how can we even think about being in the shake up at the end of the season. Venkys must refuse Hulls offer and keep Jordan, at least until the end of the season J.C - Rishton
  • Score: 1

4:30pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Its Only a game boy says...

Can we have a headline story about how the match officials were against the b....ds at Norwich please?
Can we have a headline story about how the match officials were against the b....ds at Norwich please? Its Only a game boy
  • Score: -8

4:38pm Thu 21 Aug 14

dinglecrusher says...

Same old story. Last season it was won one, drew one and lost one over and over again until the last three months or so. The same stats this time will leave us in the same boast and that takes no account of the offer made for JR by Hull. I only hope the Venkys turn it down and insist he is not for sale but that may be out of their hands with FFP looming large. The other possibility is that he has a release clause in his contract and Hull simply need to trigger it to be able to talk to him. Early season optimism on the part of some may evaporate quickly in the not too distant future.
Same old story. Last season it was won one, drew one and lost one over and over again until the last three months or so. The same stats this time will leave us in the same boast and that takes no account of the offer made for JR by Hull. I only hope the Venkys turn it down and insist he is not for sale but that may be out of their hands with FFP looming large. The other possibility is that he has a release clause in his contract and Hull simply need to trigger it to be able to talk to him. Early season optimism on the part of some may evaporate quickly in the not too distant future. dinglecrusher
  • Score: -2
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