The scoreline was almost certain after Newcastle were reduced to nine men in the 45th minute, a harsh red in what wasn’t a feisty clash at the City Ground. Newcastle fans will rightfully be frustrated with particular decisions by referee Stephen Martin. A man who hadn’t given a red card all season had given two in 20 minutes meaning three points was slipping away from Newcastle. They did well to take the lead with ten men, Matt Ritchie with the goal, but then after Paul Dummett’s straight red, the game got a whole lot harder for the ‘Toon Army’.

Forest eventually came out on top, after missing the two penalties, they were awarded they took the lead in the 87th minute with an own goal from Newcastle’s Jamaal Lascelles which rounded off a brilliant away trip for Newcastle fans.

The result would frustrate anyone. Not just the Newcastle faithful but a majority of football fans in general, a game dominated by poor refereeing decisions throughout. Martin’s inconsistency somewhat ruined what could’ve been a brilliant competitive fixture.

Ciaran Clark of Newcastle was obstructed in the box being thrown onto the floor as he was looking to finish a chance from an in-swinging cross, with the defender in question not even looking at the ball. Nothing was given.

No more than five minutes later Clark did put the ball in the net, only for it to be ruled out for a push on a Forest defender. It wasn’t just Newcastle feeling the pinch; Forest fans regarded Martin as being a clown after a few players got away with dangerous challenges, while others were punished for good challenges.

Watching the game from a mutual perspective, it looked like around 90% of the decisions made by the man with the whistle were wrong. My question is how long can poor refereeing go on. If you put it in perspective with if the game happened again.

Another referee may have booked both Jonjo Shelvey and Henri Lansbury for their coming together in the box; no penalty was given. Lansbury then appeared to dive for the second penalty, another yellow, no penalty, Forest would then be 0-1 down and playing with ten men.

Not once have I defended Shelvey or Dummett, but both red cards could’ve been avoided if another referee was in charge and could take control of the game.

How long is it going to be before referees realise that most ‘fouls’ don’t require a yellow card? Grappling in the box should always be punished to eradicate the problem. Whether that’s with a red or yellow to attacker or defender something should be given, in every incident.

Football is a huge business, bringing in billions, yet the technology used is still stone age. A referee can’t see and give everything. He can’t get every decision right, obviously. So get video replay, take time with decisions which could cost a team game, which could lead to their relegation or prevent them from winning the title, or narrowly missing the playoffs. Refereeing is a huge responsibility, so why don’t we give them the best chance possible to get things right with the help of technology? If anything it’ll avoid them getting a slating like I’ve just given! Things need to change fast, as referees do cost games, when it really shouldn’t be that way and doesn’t need to be.

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