Cambridge United -v- Oxford United


TS at 2014-10-11 14:21:00

Game over – 6 goals and the officials have all come outlet the game with great credit. Law has been correctly applied and all decisions given consistently and correctly with the cautions being correctly issued to define the referee’s tolerance level. Join us tomorrow for the. Yorkshire Derby between Barnsley and Bradford . Good afternoon from the Saturday team at Yo Are The Ref and if you have any comments please contact us in the usual way. Contact us on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at

Thanks for your company and please spread the word!

TS at 2014-10-11 14:16:48

TS at 2014-10-11 14:16:33

Time Allowed of 5 minutes shown and the offside flag correctly raised again to demonstrate a good afternoon for the Assistants. Just one flag that I would have liked to see in support of the referee’s decision but one rainy day doesn’t spoil a summer. Well done guys!

TS at 2014-10-11 14:09:12

Time Allowed of 5 minutes shown and the offside flag correctly raised again to demonstrate a good afternoon for the Assistants. Just one flag that I would have liked to see in support of the referee’s decision but one rainy day doesn’t spoil a summer. Well done guys!

TS at 2014-10-11 14:05:53

Goal Cambridge from the corner by Simpson – who else!!

TS at 2014-10-11 14:04:55

Last few minutes and the referee and his team need to see the game to a safe conclusion. Added time will be interesting as the scoreline is unlikely to change the result of the game. A late injury to Rose has delayed the restart and should form part of the Time Allowed calculation.

TS at 2014-10-11 14:02:06

Collins immediately substituted which showed good management by Oxford to avoid any prospects of a second caution in an already ‘dead’ game as far as they are concerned. Corner Cambridge comes to nothing.

TS at 2014-10-11 13:59:58

Yellow CardA lunge by Collins earns him a caution and whilst there did not seem to be any malice in the challenge the referee decided it was reckless.

TS at 2014-10-11 13:56:00

More substitutions give everyone breathing time as we come to the last 10 minutes of the game.

TS at 2014-10-11 13:54:38

The referee has allowed the game to breath and with 5 goals already, the fans have had full value for their money. Andy D’Urso has looked cool, composed and his control of the game has never been in doubt. The cautions clearly defined his tolerance level to misconduct and were perfectly judged.

TS at 2014-10-11 13:51:02

Yellow CardSecond caution of the game for a reckless challenge by Whinge. Estimation of the 9.15 metres or 10 yards in old measurements is a vital skill at any level of the game. A good technique is demanded. Accurate placing of the ball – a signal to ensure everyone knows that it is a ‘formal kick’ – accurate pacing of the distance and making the players aware that they should not raise their arms in the defensive wall – adopting a position to view all eventualities in monitoring this important restart. Use of the vanishing spray is good to see on Premier / International games and I’m amazed that all levels of football in the UK are not using this wonderful aid to the art of refereeing! Why is it not being used in the Football League, the Vanarama Conference and at all levels down to local football? The referees at those levels want it, the players want it and yet the authorities are burying their heads in the sands of tradition! Come on folks – let’s move with the times and get into the real world! Good to see the players toeing the line when the vanishing spray is used.

TS at 2014-10-11 13:45:54

Twenty minutes to go and the challenge by Oxford seems to have faded as Cambridge coast to a well earned home win. Concentration by the officials is the most important aspect of their control. They do not want to ease up as they work hard to maintain the generally well judged control of the game.

TS at 2014-10-11 13:38:23

Another good offside judgement to add to the others by both AR’s in this game. Well done guys!

TS at 2014-10-11 13:36:13

More substitution on the way as Oliver Langford earns his fee! A 4th goal for Cambridge seals the win as Elliot’s header leaves Oxford with a massive ask in this game. Good judgement by AR1 with it being a close offside call.

TS at 2014-10-11 13:33:00

Goals change games and in the period of play after a goal has been scored there needs to be extra vigilance from all the officials. Substitutions for injured players do not normally sound alarm bells for the referee to raise their game, unlike tactical changes which can cause a temporary threat to control. The player entering the field of play, in Law, must not enter until his team mate has left and a good ploy for officials is to slow down the change over when the tempo has increased.

TS at 2014-10-11 13:31:02

Pressure by Oxford is mounting as they search for an equaliser. But a break away results in Cambridge getting that all important 3 rd goal.

TS at 2014-10-11 13:26:46

Advantage wrongly played in mid-field for Oxford which resulted in them losing the ball and almost being punished with another goal. Give the free-kick in those mid-field areas.

TS at 2014-10-11 13:24:28

Good to see the referee support the assistant with throw-in direction instead of this silly so called subtle signal which was introduced in the south a few years ago. Bang it out and show the fan on Row Z that you are making decisions!

TS at 2014-10-11 13:21:05

Second half under way. What changes will the managers have made to their tactical formations? Adjustments to the referee’s positioning might be necessary as he watches to see what changes have been made by the managers. Remember that the tactical formations of the teams  have different positional requirements for the referee to get the best viewing angles without being in the way of play. It’s important that the first cautionable, reckless challenge is punished with the appropriate sanction as it was today. Players see any less action as a weakness of the referee. Correct decision making from simple awards to the major ‘big five’ is a vital skill for a referee. Breaking down decision making into three clear categories helps to simplify the thought process. Law application has been good in the first half and my only advice to Andy would be to add some ‘Sparkle’ to his performance. He could watch Clattenburg to see how it is done! Referees should beg, steal or borrow better practice from the top officials.

TS at 2014-10-11 13:07:42

Half time whistle goes. Here’s what Keith said about grappling. Please add your comments to the debate whilst I have my cuppa – Yorkshire tea of course!

Look at Keith Hackett’s article on this subject – GRAPPLING IS BACK THANKS TO WEAK REFEREEING

Keith said, – We are only a few weeks back into the season and grappling is back with a vengeance in the Premier League. The World Cup set a wonderful example, with referees taking firm action when any sign of grappling was visible, and to their credit players responded in a positive manner. Holding, pulling, blocking offences in the penalty area disappeared in Brazil and the image of the game improved. It is so important for the group of professional referees operating in the Premier League to be instructed to take a more pro-active control and to focus on applying the law on foul play.

If penalty kicks have to be awarded then so be it, until every manager/coach, player gets the message that grappling will not be tolerated by our referees. Weak refereeing currently is allowing these offences to take place without appropriate punishment with the result that they are escalating, damaging the image of the Premier League games that are viewed in over 211 territories around the world. We are also beginning to see a trend where players who get away with the offences in the penalty area are now committing them in other areas of the field in open play.

Keith added – I am not in favour of clampdowns, the law needs to be applied in a consistent manner across the group of professional referees so that all stakeholders in the game have a clear understanding of what is acceptable or not. We all want players to challenge for the ball in a fair manner.


TS at 2014-10-11 13:05:11

Corner Oxford as they hit the post. Not too much holding and grappling in the game today but give us your views at half time about what Keith Hackett calls a ‘cancer in the game’. How do you rate this referee? Contact us on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at

TS at 2014-10-11 13:01:37

Goal Cambridge to end an evenly balanced first 45 minutes as we enter the period of 4 minutes added time. Appiah is the difference with 2 great goals for Cambridge.

TS at 2014-10-11 12:57:44

Fantastic goal for Cambridge great strike by Appiah into the top corner. Goals change games!

TS at 2014-10-11 12:56:20

Five minutes to the break and it needs seeing to a safe conclusion before half time. I’d expect at least 4 minutes added with the injuries in the first half. Let us see!

TS at 2014-10-11 12:54:32

Chadwick goes down on the edge of the area with the referee 15 yards adrift and I’d like to see him get closer in these areas by injecting some pace in the midfield area. To his credit, his decision making and law application have been well displayed.

TS at 2014-10-11 12:52:24

First offside of the game accurately given by AR2 before Oxford test the Cambridge keeper again.

TS at 2014-10-11 12:49:27

Collision with the Cambridge keeper results in another injury which may involve blood. Cambridge break and another good chance wasted.

TS at 2014-10-11 12:47:24

The indications of a tempo increase in the game are apparent and there should be a response by the officials to tighten control. Let’s see if it develops.

TS at 2014-10-11 12:45:57

Yellow CardStupid challenge by Howard of Oxford as the ball was going out for a goal kick. First caution of the game on 29 minutes.

TS at 2014-10-11 12:43:44

Injury enables the players to take on water and the officials should be encouraged to do the same. 4th Official Langford did well servicing the re-entry.

TS at 2014-10-11 12:42:07

Corner to Cambridge cleared for a throw and good to see AR2 encouraging the thrower to take it quicker. Good communication.

TS at 2014-10-11 12:39:31

Midway through the first half and the game is evenly contested. The referee has maintained a low profile but he could have been more dynamic with his movement and added that bit more sparkle to his performance.

TS at 2014-10-11 12:36:26

Free kick awarded to Cambridge when Mullins won the ball. Seemed harsh to me! Delivering accurate decisions by the referee to the expectation and perception of the players is an important skill which if successfully carried out negates dissent following the award.

TS at 2014-10-11 12:34:05

A challenge by Collins there was worthy of a word rather than just the free kick. The referee could have moved closer from his position to add his physical presence to the occasion.

TS at 2014-10-11 12:30:46

All a bit scrappy but another free kick to Cambridge following a close challenge in the penalty area which was rightly judged by the referee.

TS at 2014-10-11 12:28:33

Neither Assistant have neede to be involved so far but as the referee awards a free-kick close to AR2, a supportive flag would have been of benifit.

TS at 2014-10-11 12:26:39

Oxford lucky there as Cambridge hit the bar with a shot from 30 yards. What a fantastic strike!

TS at 2014-10-11 12:25:09

Goal Oxford with a close range header on 9 minutes.

TS at 2014-10-11 12:24:10

First impressions of the referee are that he’s conserving energy as he jogs along with the game. He may need to inject some pace into the final third as the game progresses.

TS at 2014-10-11 12:21:28

One foul by each team in first 5 minutes and a corner to Cambridge headed wide.

TS at 2014-10-11 12:18:48

First foul by Luke Chadwick after 3 minutes rightly awarded.

TS at 2014-10-11 12:15:53

Referee D’URSO blows his whistle and we’re underway. Correction- Oxford have not won away!

TS at 2014-10-11 12:13:56

Richard Money will be keen to get the Abbey Habit at this home game today as Cambridge have not won away this season.Cambridge narrowly beat Halifax in the Conference Play-off game at the end of last season. Game on!

TS at 2014-10-11 12:11:46

The teams are in the tunnel as the Assistants carry out the equipment checks prior to kick- off.

TS at 2014-10-11 12:07:21

With Oxford in 20th position on 10 points and Cambridge on 16th with 14 points it should be a contested game as both teams will want to climb the table. The hosts have scored 18 goals so far and conceded 14, whilst the visitors have only scored 10 goals in 11 games and conceded 13. The referee will have done his homework on all these statistics in preparation for the game.

TS at 2014-10-11 11:59:08

Referee Andy D’Urso has Premier League experience but was removed for the Select Group listing several years ago. He has since established himself as one of the National List referees who can be trusted by the management to see most games at this level to a satisfactory conclusion. The last time that I was officially involved in one of his games, he performed to a reasonably high standard with my only concern being his communication ability in talking to players. He tended to be dismissive rather than having empathy for situations which resulted in his level of respect falling below the expected standard. Something to watch for today!
I have not been involved in games with either Assistant Referee and so the slate is clean as we look for their skill set to be positively displayed today. Fourth Official Oliver Langford is an experienced guy at this level and I had the opportunity to work with him several years ago for the two week duration of the Dallas Cup in Texas. He performed there with full credit and on his return established himself as a tried and trusted official at Football League level.

TS at 2014-10-11 11:46:15

Cambridge United -v- Oxford United

Saturday October 11th 2014

Referee – Andy D’Urso
Assistant referee 1 – Darren Blunden
Assistant referee 2 – Robert Merchant
Fourth Official – Oliver Langford

University Challenge takes on a whole new meaning with this game as both teams aim to gain a degree of success with first class honours. Only Art Students will be happy with a draw as both teams aim to get the three points on offer from today’s game.