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Monday, December 6, 2021
Home First Team Match Reports Swansea City 1-1 Blackpool - Incompetent Referee Stroud contributes towards visitors point

Swansea City 1-1 Blackpool – Incompetent Referee Stroud contributes towards visitors point

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An incredibly incompetent display of refereeing ruined what could have been a very interesting and entertaining encounter at the Swansea.com stadium as a late Blackpool goal earned the visitors a point on an afternoon where the officials decisions will remain the main talking point.

It was not a case of ignoring one blatant penalty but the Swans seemed to have justified claim for maybe as many as four on an afternoon where Keith Stroud showed all levels of his incompetence in one ninety minute display.

It has been mentioned before just what does Ethan Laird have to do to earn himself a penalty kick and he should have had two today that looked as clear as any decision that needed to be made today.  Twice he had the legs taken from underneath him as he closed in on goal and you have to wonder what went through the referee (and all officials minds) when he decided that neither was worthy of a penalty kick.

The first as a classic example must have been because he believed the defender took the ball at which point it had to be a corner.   And if he didnt believe the defender took the ball then he should be classing it as a dive and booking Laird for it.  But incompetence means that you do none of the above and give a goal kick ignoring the obvious in front of him.

The second should be discussed long and hard for weeks as to how a referee with no blockages in his line of vision can miss a defender taking an attackers legs from underneath him as the attacker (in this case) Laird creates the space to shoot at goal.   Yet again the wrath of the home support was aimed at the referee as he waved away the protests from a whole Swansea squad (bar Laird who was injured by the “non foul”)

Add to that reasonable shouts from Piroe and Paterson for fouls on themselves in the area and you have a large reason why the Swans were not able to win this game this afternoon – we simply should have been out of sight by the time the Seasiders equalised had we been given the rewards by way of penalty that our play was deserving.

We can look back on a match where we has very few shots on target but when you are up against a Blackpool side who seem to have free reign in the penalty areato do what they wanted then chances were always going to be restricted.

It wasn’t just penalties that were missed – a free kick was awarded against Laird in the first half for the foul of winning the ball cleanly whilst an early corner to Blackpool was one of the most obvious goal kicks you will ever see.  It seemed that it was not just Stroud that was incompetent but all three officials.

I dread to think what the conversation between Russell Martin and the fourth official would have been at times and the Swans boss must have been incredulous at the decisions not going for his team.

Onto the rest of the match.  Piroe’s goal was the work of a man over flowing with confidence and one of the best signings of any Championship club this summer.   To watch him bend a shot into the corner of the net past a keeper who could only watch with admiration was a moment of sheer brilliance and elation as the home fans marvelled in his brilliance.

It was a high point in a game where the Swans were confident again in their passing but unable to break down a Blackpool side who pressured us well on the times when they managed to do it legitimately.

Ntcham managed our only other shot on target which was saved well and he was part of a midfield three that included Matt Grimes and his new contract extension and the overly impressive Flynn Downes who would get my vote as man of the match for a commanding display which highlights another superb piece of summer business.

Indeed if you add in the performance of Laird and Paterson as other summer signings and it brings much optimism for what we could do in the January window to strengthen this squad for a real assault on promotion in the second half of the season.

If Piroe’s goal was the high spot then (obviously) Blackpool’s equaliser was one of the low spots of the game.   I want to see it back but I cant help but think that Hamer made the wrong decision with choosing to punch the ball and it was whipped back into the net as it fell at the feet of a Blackpool player.   Was it a goal that they deserved?  I would have to say no but I firmly believe that when it hit the back of the net there was a little man in black who supported a smile knowing that his work must have just about been done at that point.

The Swans did try to push forward in the closing stages following the equaliser but chances for Naughton and Grimes sailed over the bar and the game ended with a fracas in the stand and the scoreline tied at 1-1 on an afternoon where Blackpool will have breathed a sigh of relief and be glad with the point that they take back to the North West.

It is difficult not to just though remember some of the weakest refereeing decisions I have seen for some time after a game like that and we can only hope that Keith Stroud never gets to referee a Swansea City game again.   Or, after that level of incompetence, maybe never a football match again.

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Phil Sumblerhttp://www.planetswans.co.uk
Been watching the Swans since the very late 1970s and running the Planet Swans website (in all its current and previous guises since the summer of 2001 As it stood JackArmy.net was right at the forefront of some of the activity against Tony Petty back in 2001, breaking many of the stories of the day as fans stood against the actions where the local media failed. Was involved with the Swans Supporters Trust from 2005, for the large part as Chairman before standing down in the summer of 2020.

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