Hull City 2 Barnsley 0: Dubious decision turned game, bemoans disgruntled Robins

WHEN speaking to the Yorkshire Post last October ahead of Hull City's visit to Oakwell, Mark Robins scoffed at the suggestion that a meeting with the East Riding club could be classed as a 'derby'.

The Barnsley manager's explanation was that it would take him more than an hour to drive to the KC Stadium so, he asked, how could that mean local pride was at stake?

It was a fair point and a view that, following Saturday's all-Yorkshire affair on the banks of the Humber, is clearly shared by the body

responsible for appointing referees in the Football League.

Certainly, it is difficult to believe the refereeing powers-that-be would appoint a Championship rookie to, say, a game between the Reds and Doncaster Rovers. Or, for that matter, a meeting of the Uniteds of Leeds and Sheffield.

Taking a risk by asking an inexperienced official to keep a lid on the passion often generated by such derby games just would not be considered.

For Barnsley's visit to Hull City, however, such reasoning clearly did not apply with Peter Quinn being handed control of his first game in the second tier.

Come the final whistle, the upshot of the decision to appoint someone in only their second season on the League list was Robins being left incandescent with rage at what he perceived to be several "dubious" calls and even Hull counterpart Nigel Pearson admitting the Cleveland official had been "inconsistent".

Robins's fury was caused by the awarding of the 66th-minute penalty that set Hull on their way to a fourth win in six league outings and then the subsequent red cards shown to both Stephen Foster and Jason Shackell.

The Reds chief said: "The game turned on a dubious decision by a referee refereeing his first game in the Championship.

"It appears that week-in, week-out we are getting massive game-changing decisions that go against us.

"We had one last week at West Ham (in the FA Cup) when a stonewall penalty, a blatant penalty, was waved away. I'll say it again: why do we get a referee that has never refereed in the Championship before this week?"

Pearson, for his part, admitted to having sympathy for his Barnsley counterpart – though the Tigers manager also felt his side deserved the points.

He said: "There will always be different viewpoints on the key decisions but what you have got to look at is that there were inconsistencies throughout.

"I feel for Mark because he is a good manager and they are a good side.

"I know he feels he has been on the receiving end of some tough decisions and I have sympathy in that respect.

"But I do think we were the side who knocked on the door more often.

"If I am honest, I felt we deserved to win. The scoreline was a fair reflection of the game but, unfortunately, you get these key decisions that can affect both teams.

"We have had our fair share of the ones that haven't gone our way."

That the performance of the referee was the main talking point come the final whistle said much about the preceding 90 minutes as neither side showed their true capabilities.

A scrappy first half that was perhaps best summed up by the total mess Nolberto Solano and Robert Koren made of a training ground free-kick routine will certainly not live long in the memory of the 21,222 crowd.

Of the few attacking moves of merit, the majority belonged to Hull with Luke Steele twice being called into action to deny Solano and Matty Fryatt.

Matters, mercifully, improved after the break with Jacob Butterfield shooting wide early on and Adam Hammill having a shot blocked by debutant James Chester.

At the other end, Koren unleashed a powerful shot that struck a post before the moment that left Robins so furious arrived on 66 minutes when Foster was adjudged to have impeded Fryatt and Quinn pointed to the spot.

With the Hull striker having been through on goal, Foster was dismissed for a professional foul. Once the inevitable protests that included a booking for Shackell had died down, Fryatt calmly drilled the penalty under Steele.

Buoyed by the goal, Hull poured forward and Steele had to save smartly from Fryatt, Aaron Mclean and Koren.

In stoppage time, Shackell then became the second visiting player to see red after kicking out at Anthony Gerrard in frustration.

Clearly, there was no way back for nine-man Barnsley and Hull duly took advantage when Koren was afforded sufficient space in the penalty area to pick his spot in the roof of the net.

Pearson, whose side moved into the top half of the table for the first time since August courtesy of the win, said: "Barnsley are a decent side who make it hard for you.

"But we looked dangerous and although we didn't always look fluent, we played some good football in patches and we were worthy winners.

"The next month or so is going to be vital for us if we are going to keep in touch.

"We are six points off the play-offs at the minute but it's still tight below us.

"Because of the start we had, the margin of error is very small but we have made a bit of progress."

MATCH FOCUS

Hero: Matty Fryatt

A striker Nigel Pearson knew all about before signing earlier this month due to their days together at Leicester, Fryatt looks like having the quality to fire the Tigers up the table.

Villain: Peter Quinn

Certainly the villain in the eyes of anyone in the East Riding on Saturday whose loyalties lay with Barnsley.

Key moment

66th minute. Hull had been looking the more likely side to break the deadlock but until Matty Fryatt's penalty it seemed like they would be frustrated.

Ref Watch: Peter Quinn

Got some decisions right but, far too often, he failed to be consistent with both Nolberto Solano and Ian Ashbee committing offences worthy of a second yellow card after having already been booked.

Verdict

A scrappy and untidy affair that is unlikely to live long in the memory. Hull got the points, while for Barnsley a disappointing day was made worse by Adam Hammill seemingly saying 'goodbye' by throwing his shirt into the crowd at the end.

Quote of the day

The significance is it will cost him 100.

– Mark Robins was clearly not amused by Adam Hammill's post-match gesture of giving his shirt away to one lucky Reds fan.

Next game

Championship, Saturday, Reading v Hull City and Barnsley v Swansea City.