Controversial Pawson to referee Blackburn game
Craig Pawson will referee his fourth Burnley first team game tomorrow when local rivals Blackburn Rovers come calling, but it won't be the first time he's refereed an East Lancs derby.
Pawson, from South Yorkshire, was the referee when we met in the FA Youth Cup semi-final second leg at Turf Moor two seasons ago. By then he'd already refereed our first time with controversial decisions in both.
In the first of those games he turned a Carling Cup tie Burnley's way against Burton with a poor penalty award and just a few months later was the referee who so upset Gus Poyet when he sent off two Brighton players in the early part of a game we went on to win 1-0 with a Kieran Trippier goal.
If Poyet that day then former Burnley manager Eddie Howe was livid with his performance at home against Millwall last season. He refused us what looked to be two clear penalties for handball and then came the decision that Howe believed turned the game against us.
Pawson had awarded us a goal scored by Junior Stanislas which gave us a 3-1 lead, or should have. With the players ready to restart the game he went over to his assistant, an assistant who had not previously flagged. After a short discussion the flag went up, the goal was disallowed and Millwall went on to score a late equaliser.
"I am not a happy man tonight," Howe said. "I think we have been dealt a cruel hand and should have won the game comfortably. "The two penalties in the first half I can't get my head around because they were blatant handballs, especially the first one, where his hands were above his head.
"As for the disallowed goal, it may well have been offside, but the fact the flag didn't go up and the goal was given means the crowd are celebrating, the players are celebrating and we're getting ready for the kick off. The, for whatever reason the linesman has decided to get involved. I don't understand it.
"The delay absolutely killed our players and it was a huge psychological barrier for our players to deal with because quite rightly we thought we were 3-1 up and had a cushion and it was game over.
The poor performance certainly didn't hold Pawson back and in March this year he refereed a Premier League game for the first ever time, that between Swansea and Newcastle at the Liberty Stadium.
It is his only game at the top level to date although, along with Roger East and Bobby Madley, he has been promoted to the Select Group of referees this year.
The 2013/14 season has been a quiet one for him with only two games refereed after a late start to the season. The first of them was Wigan's 2-1 home win against Nottingham Forest in the Championship.
There were three yellow cards in that game but he handed out six in his next game, the 0-0 draw between Tranmere and Stevenage at Prenton Park last Saturday. Six of those yellow cards so far have gone to away team players with the other three to home team players.
What can we expect? There is no doubt at all that all three of his previous Burnley first team games have included controversial decisions. At least David Dunn won't be playing so we won't have an assistant who can't spot him being yards offside.
The assistant referees are Lee Betts (Norfolk) and David Bryan (Lincolnshire). The fourth official is Football League referee Phil Gibbs (West Midlands) who last refereed Burnley in last season's 1-1 home draw against Watford.
Previous Burnley GamesSeason Opponents V Res Y R Burnley Players Carded 2011/12 BURTON h 6-3 4 0 n Grant, Elliott 2011/12 BRIGHTON a 1-0 3 2 n Edgar, Paterson 2012/13 MILLWALL h 2-2 8 0 n Marney, Mee, Wallace, Vokes
Source: Clarets Mad
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