August 31, 2013 by bluenosebible
Cricket, Tennis and both codes of Rugby almost always abide by the unwritten rules of sportsmanlike conduct, so why is football again in the news for a player taking an unfair advantage?
Before the game it was great to see a real community spirit around the stadium with everybody socialising, friendly staff and a general buzz of excitement due to their local side being in the second tier for the first time in the club’s history. The Glovers’ fans took this into the game and the ones in the terraced sectioned created a fantastic atmosphere during the match
Then came the incident.
Dan Burn, one of the players in our squad that seems to be a good guy and a hero at Yeovil for scoring their play-off final winner in May, went down holding his head after an aerial challenge with Kieffer Moore. Colin Doyle then kicked the ball out so Burn could get treatment if required, but should the referee have already stopped the game anyway for a head injury?
What the highlights show haven’t shown is the length of time between Doyle kicking the ball out and the restart of play. Burn was down for at least 30 seconds and the referee actually came over to check the defender. For some reason the Yeovil players involved, Joe Edwards and Byron Webster, took it into their own hands to decide that the defender wasn’t injured (despite the player stating on Twitter that he did not fake an injury). The competitive streak of the Yeovil captain Webster meant he forgot about doing the right thing and lobbed the ball over Doyle for a late equaliser. Everyone involved with Birmingham City were furious and rightly so, but once it happened there was nothing referee Sheldrake could do except award the goal.
The atmosphere completely changed around the ground with both sets of supporters ‘pumped up’ by the events, creating a very hostile atmosphere. It was even worse on the pitch with some big aggressive tackles that might have been attempted by the Blues’ players had it not been for the goal. Luckily Tom Adeyemi’s winning penalty in the shootout sent us through to the next round to play Swansea, but it didn’t end there.
On the way back from the game I was personally still disgusted with Yeovil’s actions and listened to talkSPORT, hoping to hear what some apologetic home fans had to say about the incident, however, I didn’t expect what was to come.
“Byron Webster was correct to do what he did.”
“Dan Burn disgraced himself back at Huish Park.”
“It was a complete time wasting tactic.”
Just some of the comments made by Yeovil fans on the phone in.
It didn’t just affect the match; however, as there were many fans in the away end, including myself, that were affected by the game going into extra time. The additional 45 minutes that were required to determine a winner in the match meant that my dad and I didn’t get home until 3AM. I understand that when you go to Capital One Cup matches you have to accept it could go to penalties, but we conceded a late goal due to a player taking the law into his own hands. No fan should have to accept that.
Even manager Gary Johnson got in on the act by using silly ‘Mourinho-like’ tactics in his post-match interviews. By claiming that he told the players to “keep the ball” Johnson is trying to take the blame away from his players. They’ve got important fixtures in their relegation battle and the last thing he wants is for his key players to be under the microscope in the next few matches and at St. Andrews in January.
Lee Clark did well to keep his cool during the game as it was clear after the game the Blues’ manager was livid and he has now decided to submit a complaint to the FA. All I can say is what a waste of time and effort! Does he really expect to get a worthwhile reply or a change in the rules to stop this happening again?
Football has always been the sport looked down upon by people not interested in sport and other sport lovers whether it is for hooliganism, discrimination towards particulars groups of people and cheating. In these situations, it just doesn’t help itself.
By Oliver Osborn (The Bluenose Bible)