Championship Play-off Final: Huddersfield Town Vs Reading



DM at 2017-05-29 17:56:45

Full Time Summary

In what is billed as the £170million pound game, Neil Swarbrick will be pleased that there were no controversial moments that will be focused upon for days after and his performance will largely not be commented on.  Neil has had an excellent season and this appointment was thoroughly deserved.  That said, this was not one of his better games and at times he looked hesitant, unsure and his position from play was detached as he became central in his patrol.  Neil is an excellent man-manager and he used this well today but at times there were clear reckless challenges that went unpunished and although I applaud him for trying to give the benefit of the doubt to the players in such an important game, there is a fine line and I think he let too much go today.  Neil struggled at times to manage the tempo of the game and he didn’t award the simple free-kicks which led to periods of frustration.  Darren Cann will be very pleased with his contribution today as he supported the referee very well and he judged one outstanding offside where the player was offside by centimetres.  Jake Collin had an indifferent afternoon, he failed to spot a couple of clear offences in front of him but his judgement of offside was sound.  Congratulations to Huddersfield on their promotion to the Premier League and thank you for joining me on ref cam.

DM at 2017-05-29 17:52:52

Full Time


DM at 2017-05-29 17:52:30

GOAL! 3-4 Huddersfield win


DM at 2017-05-29 17:51:46


DM at 2017-05-29 17:50:51

GOAL! 3-3


DM at 2017-05-29 17:50:10


DM at 2017-05-29 17:49:47

GOAL! 3-2 Reading


DM at 2017-05-29 17:49:13

GOAL! 3-1 Reading


DM at 2017-05-29 17:48:31



DM at 2017-05-29 17:47:42

GOAL! 2-1 Reading

DM at 2017-05-29 17:47:04

GOAL! 1-1


DM at 2017-05-29 17:46:16

GOAL! 1-0 Reading


DM at 2017-05-29 17:45:47

Neil Swarbrick tossed for the taking of the kicks and Reading win the toss and select to go first.

DM at 2017-05-29 17:41:06

Now we go to Kicks from the Penalty Mark to decide a winner, full-time summary will follow that.

DM at 2017-05-29 17:40:06

Full Time



DM at 2017-05-29 17:39:32

Foul by R6 results in a free-kick to Huddersfield, could be the last chance of the match


DM at 2017-05-29 17:36:22

Good non-flag from AR Jake Collin


DM at 2017-05-29 17:35:13

H6 trips R2 and Neil Swarbrick correctly awards a free-kick.  The referee has a word with the Huddersfield player and warns him as to his future conduct.  In the context of what the referee has allowed, there is no way this was a caution.


DM at 2017-05-29 17:31:12

Outstanding decision by AR Cann as the Reading player was marginally offside.


DM at 2017-05-29 17:30:16

I am not sure Neil Swarbrick was going to give that free-kick to Reading, the H6 player stood with his hands out so the referee gave what was expected.  A clear foul and again another reckless challenge that has gone unpunished.

DM at 2017-05-29 17:24:49

Neil Swarbrick gets the second period of extra time underway

DM at 2017-05-29 17:23:43

Better period for Neil Swarbrick, as the tempo has dropped and the reduction in pace has suited the referee far more.  He needs to keep this going now until the end.

DM at 2017-05-29 17:22:10

Half Time



DM at 2017-05-29 17:21:49

Good advantage played by Neil Swarbrick as H10 fouls his opponent on the halfway line


DM at 2017-05-29 17:20:12

Yellow CardReading 11 Obita for unsporting behaviour


DM at 2017-05-29 17:18:22

Not sure why the referee restarted with a throw-in as he had blew his whistle before the ball left the field of play.


DM at 2017-05-29 17:17:15

Clash of heads results in the game being stopped by the referee so that H44 can receive treatment.  Play will restart with a dropped ball.


DM at 2017-05-29 17:14:35

Reading sub 8 off, 38 on


DM at 2017-05-29 17:12:49

Huddersfield Sub 37 off, 45 on

DM at 2017-05-29 17:05:19

Referee Neil Swarbrick starts extra time and the game is underway

DM at 2017-05-29 17:03:12

I fear that the referee will struggle during extra-time.  He has not had a great second half and throughout the match he has not done the basics well and awarded simple free-kicks.  In added time he missed a clear foul that fortunately for him did not lead to anything but this suggests physical and mental fatigue.  He has also not took the appropriate action for clear cautionable offences and he is not squeezing play close to the touchline.  He will have to use this period to fully replenish with fluids and some energy intake so that he can focus and perform for the next 30 minutes.

DM at 2017-05-29 17:01:18

There will now be extra time played

DM at 2017-05-29 17:00:52

Full Time



DM at 2017-05-29 17:00:36

Good advantage played after a foul on H37.


DM at 2017-05-29 16:55:22

That would have been a very controversial moment as H17 was clearly fouled on the halfway line.  Again the referee takes an unnecessary risk and plays on, despite the Reading player who committed the foul stopping himself.


DM at 2017-05-29 16:52:49

Minimum of 7 minutes added time


DM at 2017-05-29 16:50:37

Huddersfield sub 2 off, 14 on


DM at 2017-05-29 16:45:32

AR Darren Cann steps in front of the corner-kick to stop the Reading player taking it.  He does this as the referee is speaking to players in the penalty area.  Very proactive officiating as the last thing you want is the corner being taken, a goal being scored and then disallowed because the referee was not ready.

DM at 2017-05-29 16:43:56

The referee has established a very high tolerance level in this second half and that approach may come back to bite.  He should punish reckless challenges wherever and whenever they occur.


DM at 2017-05-29 16:42:03

H44 stops a promising attack by tripping R12.  The referee correctly awards a free-kick but in my opinion he should have cautioned the Huddersfield player for unsporting behaviour.


DM at 2017-05-29 16:38:18

Yellow CardH2 Smith cautioned for tripping an opponent as he stops a promising attack



DM at 2017-05-29 16:37:06

Reading sub 50 off, 12 on


DM at 2017-05-29 16:36:03

Reading are unhappy as it appeared that R50 was fouled by H44 but the referee played on.  It looked a foul to me but the referee was well positioned and immediately gestured that the ball had been won.


DM at 2017-05-29 16:33:20

During these last 20 minutes the referee needs to award the simple free-kicks and not take any unnecessary risks.  This reinforces my message at half-time but becomes even more important in these closing stages.


DM at 2017-05-29 16:31:16

H21 Wells is very fortunate not to receive a caution for simulation as he goes to ground under absolutely no contact.  Considering the plaudits Anthony Taylor received yesterday, I am surprised Neil Swarbrick did not take the same course of action today.


DM at 2017-05-29 16:28:55

Reading sub 4 off, 11 on


DM at 2017-05-29 16:28:09

H2 takes a huge gamble as he holds his opponent in the area.  The referee had no chance of seeing this off the ball incident but AR Jake Collin had a clear view and once again offered no advice to the referee. That should have been a penalty to Reading.


DM at 2017-05-29 16:26:39

Good decision not to award a penalty to Huddersfield following a challenge by R4 on H44.  The Huddersfield player went to ground but the challenge was fair.


DM at 2017-05-29 16:24:35

Yellow CardH9 Kachunga correctly cautioned for dissent after his reaction to the Assistant after the award of the Reading goal-kick


DM at 2017-05-29 16:22:59

Confusion as Neil Swabrick belatedly awards a free-kick for a foul by H9 on R24.  Not sure why the referee delayed the award but he needs to squeeze play close to the touchline, he appears to be less confident in his decisions in these areas as he is too far away.


DM at 2017-05-29 16:19:00

R8 Swift deliberately holds his opponent and prevents his opponent from getting away.  I am surprised Neil Swarbrick has not reached for his pocket there.


DM at 2017-05-29 16:18:39

H21 Wells trips an opponent right in front of AR Jake Collin who again does not signal.  Thankfully the referee awards the free-kick.


DM at 2017-05-29 16:16:16

H9 Kachunga was pulled back on the edge of the area and the AR Jake Collin did not signal any infringement.  I think the Huddersfield player should have been awarded a free-kick there and R4 Van Den Berg could have received his second caution in the match.  The Assistant has to get involved and support the referee.


DM at 2017-05-29 16:14:21

R23 Williams fouls his opponent, although he may have got some of the ball, it was a challenge from behind and the Reading player is fortunate not to be cautioned.


DM at 2017-05-29 16:13:20

Although R4 Van Den Berg challenged his opponent in the penalty area and got the ball, his second and trailing leg made contact with the Huddersfield player and they are unfortunate not to have been awarded a penalty kick.


DM at 2017-05-29 16:09:46

Clear trip by H17 Van La Parra on the halfway line.  Neil Swarbrick on the spot and awards a free-kick.

DM at 2017-05-29 16:08:09

Neil Swarbrick gets the second half underway

DM at 2017-05-29 16:00:40

Don’t forget to tune in to the @youaretheref Ref Show, where Glenn Turner and Mark Lawrenson join Alan Biggs to discuss the weekend’s action

DM at 2017-05-29 15:58:28


Half-Time Summary

The first half has been a physical encounter played at high speed. The officials have not had anything controversial to deal with and on the whole they have done well.  However, one area the referee must address if he is to finish the match with 22 players, is his tempo management of the game.  The referee on two occasions has allowed play to continue following a foul challenge and within a second or two a secondary, more serious foul has then taken place, resulting in both R4 and H6 being cautioned.  The referee should penalise the simple fouls and not take any unnecessary risks with his match control.  The Assistants have judged their level of involvement and have performed their duties well.

DM at 2017-05-29 15:54:22

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DM at 2017-05-29 15:53:51

Half-Time summary to follow

DM at 2017-05-29 15:53:09

Half Time



DM at 2017-05-29 15:52:27

H21 Wells does not feel he is getting the rub of the green with decisions after he is penalised for a foul on the halfway line, he half-heartedly kicks the ball away.  The referee has a quiet word with him and he will need to have a presence and manage him as the game progresses if he is to avoid having to issue a caution.


DM at 2017-05-29 15:49:53

Minimum of 2 minutes added time


DM at 2017-05-29 15:48:32

After a short delay Neil Swarbrick awards a free-kick to H17 Van La Parra.  Replays show no contact and the referee gets this one wrong. Unfortunately, it was right in front of the Reading technical area so they will know this as well.  In such crucial areas, the referee should squeeze play so he is confident in what he sees, the hesitation and delay suggests he was not.


DM at 2017-05-29 15:44:03

Silly foul by R50 Grabban as he pushes H6 Hogg right in front of the referee.  Correct decision to penalise the Reading player and award Huddersfield a free-kick.


DM at 2017-05-29 15:38:52

The challenge from behind by H10 Mooy is correctly penalised by Neil Swarbrick and Reading are awarded a free-kick.


DM at 2017-05-29 15:36:49

It looked as though R4 Van Den Berg fouled H21 Wells by tripping him from behind.  The referee waves play on and Wells expresses his frustration at the decision.  Neil Swarbrick must tempo manage this game and ensure it does not get out of control.

DM at 2017-05-29 15:35:26

I spoke after the first caution that the referee could perhaps have awarded the first foul and thus prevented the second.  This was definitely the case in the Hogg caution.  There was the opportunity to award a foul on Brown moments before.  Tempo management in this game will be key and I think Neil Swarbrick should not take any unnecessary risks, allowing play to continue if there is a risk of a secondary foul taking place in close proximity.


DM at 2017-05-29 15:33:37

Yellow CardH6 Hogg cautioned for a reckless challenge



DM at 2017-05-29 15:32:53

H37 Brown charges in to R23 and referee Swarbrick correctly awards a free-kick.  The Reading player applauded the decision, I do not think he was doing it to be sarcastic, it was more a public show of congratulations for the decision.


DM at 2017-05-29 15:31:08

AR Cann judges his level of involvement very well and confidently awards a throw-in to Reading, despite the protests for a free-kick.  A positive stance and flag signal adds confidence to the decision.


DM at 2017-05-29 15:28:53

Officials appointed as fourth official should not take their duties lightly. Good to see Stuart Attwell being proactive and assisting the referee with the return of the player who left the field for treatment.

DM at 2017-05-29 15:26:18

Although Kermorgant’s challenge was not pretty, the referee was correct to interpret it as reckless.  The leg was stretched and the challenge was mistimed.  It was not made with excessive force.

DM at 2017-05-29 15:25:15

Van Den Berg’s caution was correct but I think Neil Swarbrick could have penalised the first foul by the Reading player so the second one did not happen.

DM at 2017-05-29 15:22:40

Yellow Card18 Kermorgant cautioned for a reckless challenge


DM at 2017-05-29 15:21:00

Yellow Card4 Van Den Berg cautioned for a reckless challenge



DM at 2017-05-29 15:20:19

R20 Ilori penalised for a holding offence close to the technical areas.  The referee communicates the decision well.


DM at 2017-05-29 15:17:53

The referee would have been better advised to have awarded a free-kick to Huddersfield after the foul on the touchline.  He hesitated and eventually showed an advantage signal but it was merely possession.

DM at 2017-05-29 15:16:51

The opening 10 minutes has been entertaining and it has a frantic pace which is not surprising.  The officials have started well, showing focus, concentration and confidence.


DM at 2017-05-29 15:13:35

H21 Wells goes to ground on the edge of the penalty area but Neil Swarbrick waves play on.  The Huddersfield player certainly went to ground easily and it is good to see the referee setting his stall out early on and not giving any debatable decisions that could have repercussions.


DM at 2017-05-29 15:09:32

Having praised the referee for the decision in the 2nd minute, I think he has got that wrong.  It looks as though R2 Gunter was pulled to the ground by the Huddersfield player and the free-kick should have gone the other way.


DM at 2017-05-29 15:08:03

Very good spot by Referee Neil Swarbrick as R50 Grabban pulls the hand of H44 Hefele.  It would have been easy to give the free-kick the wrong way there but the referee spotted the actions of the Reading player.


DM at 2017-05-29 15:06:04

AR Jake Collin shows early focus and concentration as he correctly flags R50 Grabban offside

DM at 2017-05-29 15:04:05

Neil Swarbrick gets the game underway

DM at 2017-05-29 14:54:38

Neil Swarbrick has had an excellent season and this appointment is fully deserved.  Coming in to this match, Neil Swarbrick has refereed 33 matches this season, showing 120 yellow cards and dismissing 3 players.  Jake Collin and Darren Cann are experienced international Assistants and they have both officiated at major European finals, they are excellent choices for today’s encounter.  Stuart Attwell will be managing the technical areas and he could have an interesting afternoon with two passionate and fiery managers to control.

DM at 2017-05-29 14:51:41

Offside is an important area to review prior to today’s game as officials in playoff finals are encouraged to manage the occasion and to consider the big picture in relation to the decisions they make.  Offside is a very complicated Law and the revised wording has not helped officials interpret it more successfully for the benefit of the game.  Let’s hope that the decisions today are less controversial and subjective.

DM at 2017-05-29 14:49:08

The point I am making here is that the Laws of the Game were revised in 2016 with the strapline ‘what the game wants and expects’.  There is no doubt that an increased knowledge of tactical awareness would benefit Assistant Referee’s.  They are often robotic in their interpretation and the coaching they receive is focused on an element of play, rather than the whole passage and big picture.  This is where the PGMOL are sadly missing Paul Rejer, he was excellent at encouraging officials to not only focus on Law but also the spirit of Law.

DM at 2017-05-29 14:47:56

There is no doubt that Ramsey turned and ran towards the ball, he only stopped short of the ball and raised his hands after receiving a shout from his colleague.  The Chelsea goalkeeper started to run off his line and when he saw Ramsey move towards the ball, he stopped, probably believing he would not be able to get to it before the Arsenal player.  However, if Ramsey had not made that movement and Sanchez had simply ran through, the Chelsea goalkeeper would have had an increased chance of getting the ball and in my opinion he would not have stopped or hesitated.  This is the impact that Ramsey had in his movement.

DM at 2017-05-29 14:46:33

The common consensus among the elite refereeing circle is that Ramsey’s actions did not have an impact on the opponents and that the goal was correctly awarded.  However, it is my view that Assistant Referee coaching needs a complete overhaul as this view shows a lack of tactical awareness and even more concerning it shows a robotic approach to implementing Law 11.

DM at 2017-05-29 14:43:25

This weekend has seen two Wembley Finals already.  The League Two Playoff Final was refereed very well by Darren England and his team and there were no contentious decisions.  This was in contrast to The FA Cup Final, where as early as the 4th minute Anthony Taylor and his team had a key match incident to judge, with Arsenal’s first goal.  There is no doubt that handball occurred and if the referee had seen this fully, I am sure he would have disallowed the goal.  Ahead of the Championship Playoff Final, I want to review the offside decision and flag up my concern about the focus of Assistant Referee Coaching.

DM at 2017-05-29 14:40:33


Referee – Neil Swarbrick

Assistants – Jake Collin and Darren Cann

4th official – Stuart Attwell

5th official – Derek Eaton

DM at 2017-05-29 14:38:19

The referee this afternoon is Neil Swarbrick and his Assistants are Jake Collin (technical area side) and Darren Cann (far side), with Stuart Attwell holding the boards as fourth official.  Should there be an injury to any of the Assistants, there is a reserve Assistant Referee, in effect the 5th official and that is Derek Eaton.

DM at 2017-05-29 14:36:35

Welcome to this afternoon’s ref cam as Huddersfield play Reading in the EFL Championship Playoff Final at Wembley Stadium.  The game is worth somewhere in the region of £170million for the winners, with the additional TV revenue and prize money on offer in the Premier League this is the richest club football match in the world.