FA Cup semi-final; Crystal Palace v Watford


GT at 2016-04-24 18:15:42

Thanks for joining us for this crucial cup-tie.

We now know the line up for the 2016 FA Cup final, where Crystal Palace will play Manchester United.

A game which will, of course, be covered by us here on YATR Refcam.

We know the teams, but not the officials.

Who do you think deserves to referee the Final?

Surely, our number one referee, Mark Clattenburg should get the nod.

But what do you think The FA will do?

Let us know what you think by contacting us on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at info@you-are-the-ref.com

GT at 2016-04-24 18:08:45

Stay with us here on YATR for more live commentary later on Refcam, as we bring you MLS action as SJ Earthquakes entertain Sporting Kansas City.

Then Monday sees a return to Premier League action with the crucial fixture Tottenham Hotspur v WBA.

Then on Tuesday I’m delighted to be back with you for the massive Champions League clash between Manchester City and Real Madrid.

We also offer you great content on our website including the really popular ‘Ref Show’ where experts from within the game review the weekend’s action and talking points.

There is a must-see article by David Moyes, who speaks candidly to YATR about his experiences in Spain and the English Premier League.

Add to that the superb ‘Hackett’s Blog’ where the former top referee and General Manager of the PGMOL tells it straight, and it is clear why YATR followers know this is the place for all referees to improve their knowledge, understanding and performance.

Keep it here on www.you-are-the-ref.com

GT at 2016-04-24 18:08:01

It is all over at The King Power Stadium too, as Leicester City thrash Swansea City 4-0 to reinstate their 8-point lead over Spurs.

GT at 2016-04-24 18:05:42

As for our referees…

Craig Pawson applied his usual low-key approach, and it worked for him.

After a nervy-looking opening 15 minutes the Sheffield referee settled down and grew in confidence as the game wore on.

Too many times this season we have seen referees affect the outcome of games, but Craig and his team can leave Wembley safe in the knowledge they did not influence the outcome of this one.

Well done Craig, no one should be talking about you and your performance after that one…and that should be the aim of every referee.

GT at 2016-04-24 18:01:50

After a slow start this semi-final burst into life, just as yesterday’s did.

Palace deserved their win….just.

Watford threw everything at them as they tried to get back level, but the Eagles’ defence held firm.

Goals from Bolasie and Wickham were enough to see them bring about a repeat of the 1990 FA Cup Final.

GT at 2016-04-24 17:57:39

Before the summary of the game, a quick Premier League update….

Leicester City still lead Swansea City but it is now 4-0, with just 5 minutes to go

GT at 2016-04-24 17:56:10

…and that’s it

Full Time

Palace are through to the FA Cup Final, where they will meet Manchester United

GT at 2016-04-24 17:55:20

We are in the fifth minute of added time

GT at 2016-04-24 17:53:34

Palace are defending with The Bible in one hand (!) as Craig Pawson sensibly stays out of the action and lets the players get on with it

GT at 2016-04-24 17:52:25

Guediora goes close for Watford as they try everything at getting the equaliser

GT at 2016-04-24 17:51:07

5 additional minutes to play…

89 minutes

GT at 2016-04-24 17:50:49

Yellow Cardfor Troy Deeney who uses an arm on Jedinak

Good decision referee

GT at 2016-04-24 17:49:34

Watford try to claim handball against Zaha, but Craig had no chance of seeing that as a free kcik

GT at 2016-04-24 17:48:07

There are just 3 minutes of the regular 90 remaining in this semi-final…

Can Watford get back into it?

85 minutes

GT at 2016-04-24 17:45:57

Palace make their final change with Adebayor replacing Connor Wickham, the man whose goal may well be taking Palace to the final in May

GT at 2016-04-24 17:43:09

Anya comes on for Nyom as Watford chase this equaliser

81 minutes

GT at 2016-04-24 17:42:08

Sako replaces Puncheon as Palace make another change

GT at 2016-04-24 17:41:37

Just 10 minutes remain in this semi-final.

Can Palace hold on to this slender lead, or will Watford come back at them again?

80 minutes

GT at 2016-04-24 17:40:24

….and indeed he does.

Well done referee.

Mario Suarez (4: Watford) sees yellow Yellow Card

GT at 2016-04-24 17:39:31

Fabulous advantage played by Craig as Zaha bursts down the wing and into the penalty area.

When play breaks down please go back and caution the Watford defender

GT at 2016-04-24 17:36:38


Leicester City 3-0 Swansea City

An hour has been played.

GT at 2016-04-24 17:35:43

Deeney clips the heels of Delaney and Mike Mullarkey correctly leads Craig into a free kick to Palace

74 minutes

GT at 2016-04-24 17:34:26

Palace make a change with James McArthur coming on in place of the opening goal scorer Bolasie

GT at 2016-04-24 17:32:13

20 minutes to go in this semi-final tie

GT at 2016-04-24 17:30:50

Correct, but somewhat unnecessary, intervention by Lee Betts who made the Watford ‘keeper pull the ball back no more than 5 yards for a free kick.

Let the game go, Lee, when the free kick is so deep in the defensive third of the field of play

69 minutes

GT at 2016-04-24 17:29:15

Good work by Craig as Suarez fouls Wickham.

he looked for an advantage, nothing was on, so he brought play back for a free kick.

GT at 2016-04-24 17:27:09

Ighalo is fouled yet again by Scott Dann.

My guess is that Craig would have cautioned him for that ordinarily, but is reluctant to show a second yellow card for that.

I can go with that, but I’d like to see him give Dann a very strong and public rebuke

GT at 2016-04-24 17:25:07

It’s more like the Alamo than Wembley, as there are bodies all over the place!

Palace players are throwing themselves in front of every attempt Watford make on goal.

GT at 2016-04-24 17:23:21

Connor Wickham gets power into a header and guides it right into the bottom corner.

We really have got  a cracking cup tie on our hands now…

61 minutes

GT at 2016-04-24 17:21:53

GOAL! Wickham

GT at 2016-04-24 17:21:24

It has taken an hour, but just like yesterday’s semi-final, this one has kicked into life in the second half.

Who will go on to win it?

Let us know what you think and give us your views by contacting us either on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at Info@you-are-the-ref.com

GT at 2016-04-24 17:19:06

God work from Lee Betts to get down to the corner flag quickly to judge the ball  not out of play, despite Zaha’s protests!

GT at 2016-04-24 17:17:33

Watford also make a change with Abdi being replaced by Adlène Guédioura

GT at 2016-04-24 17:16:12

The game bursts into life as the Watford captain heads home from a corner kick.

Here we go…

54 minutes

GT at 2016-04-24 17:15:20

GOAL! Troy Deeney


53 minutes

GT at 2016-04-24 17:14:46

Craig’s patience finally runs out with Scott Dann, who fouls Ighalo yet again.

Caution for the Palace defender.

Correct decision, referee.

Yellow Card

GT at 2016-04-24 17:12:54

Craig awaits for assistant referee Lee Betts to help him out with the award of a corner kick to Palace, but that’s strange move by the referee as the corner was on the opposite side to the assistant.

Those are usually called by the referee

GT at 2016-04-24 17:10:46


Souare has his ankle trodden on , but there was no intention in the contact.

GT at 2016-04-24 17:09:44

Cabaye fouls Deeney with a high challenge, and correctly spoken to by Craig Pawson.

GT at 2016-04-24 17:08:52

Whilst it’s a big weekend of FA Cup action here on YATR, there is also a huge Premier League game taking place this afternoon which we shall keep you updated on.

At half-time the score from The King Power Stadium is…

Leicester City 2-0 Swansea City

GT at 2016-04-24 17:07:19

…and just 20 seconds in there is a big call for Craig to make.

He calls no foul following a challenge on Connor Wickham

GT at 2016-04-24 17:06:00

The second half gets going, with Watford taking the kick-off.

GT at 2016-04-24 16:51:28

We predicted this one would be tight, and that’s how it has panned out in that first half.

Just one goal, and one real chance created all half.

Palace will be happy with more of the same in the second half.

Whereas, Watford need to find a way through this resolute Palace defence.

As for our referees…a steady, if unspectacular first 45 minutes from Craig Pawson, who looked nervy in the opening 15 minutes, but has grown in confidence as the half wore on.

GT at 2016-04-24 16:50:07

Half Time

GT at 2016-04-24 16:46:39

Offside given correctly by Mullarkey as we enter 4 minutes of added time

GT at 2016-04-24 16:46:05

Jurado needs to take more care than he did in that challenge.

the Watford man is already on a caution…

43 minutes

GT at 2016-04-24 16:44:59

Zaha appeals for a penalty (handball) but Ake’s hand is by his side, in a totally natural position.

No penalty for me.

Well done the officials.

GT at 2016-04-24 16:41:45

We are in the final 5 minutes of the regular 45

GT at 2016-04-24 16:40:36

Nyom is really pushing his luck with the referee.

Every time a decision is made against him he is remonstrating with the official.

He cannot be too far away from a caution if he carries on with those antics

GT at 2016-04-24 16:38:04

Delaney goes to ground after bravely heading clear a Jurado pile-driver.

Craig sensibly allows the Palace man time to get back to his feet

35 minutes

GT at 2016-04-24 16:36:04

Good spot by Craig as Watson has his shirt pulled.

Free kick to Watford

GT at 2016-04-24 16:33:56

Ake fouls Zaha, and Craig correctly awards the free kick

30 minutes

GT at 2016-04-24 16:31:40

Indeed, Watford make the substitution as Mario Suarez takes over  from the injured Capoue

GT at 2016-04-24 16:30:41

Capoue has tried to play on but has gone to ground again after playing a pass.

It looks like his Wembley experience is over for today as the stretcher is called for

27 minutes

GT at 2016-04-24 16:27:40

Capoue and Bolasie collide off-the-ball.

There was absolutely no intention from either player, but the Watford man is in some obvious discomfort.

GT at 2016-04-24 16:26:13

Nyom’s frustrations at that free kick from a couple of minutes ago show, as he brings down Bolasie.

He needs to be careful now as the referee is seeing too much of him.

GT at 2016-04-24 16:24:36

Fortunately for our referee, nothing comes from the free kick

23 minutes

GT at 2016-04-24 16:23:58

Puncheon is fortunate to get a free kick as he runs into Nyom.

There wasn’t a lot the Watford defender could have done to avoid that contact.

GT at 2016-04-24 16:21:48

There have been three challenges from behind by the Watford defenders which all looked like fouls.

Craig hasn’t seen or given any one of them, and it’s down to his shallow positioning.

He needs to carry on his runs by another 10-15 metres, and get more side-on so he can better judge those challenges

GT at 2016-04-24 16:17:56

More advantage played by Craig…

He’s beginning to look more settled now.

GT at 2016-04-24 16:16:25

That’s much better…

Capoue has his ankles nibbled twice by Zaha, but Craig tries to keep the play moving.

No advantage came, so he awards a free kick to Watford.

Good refereeing.

GT at 2016-04-24 16:14:34

Puncheon has his shirt pulled but wriggles free.

Craig awards a free kick when an advantage to Palace would have been better.

More signs of his nerves, perhaps?

GT at 2016-04-24 16:11:59

Craig is very quiet in these early stages.

It could be his game plan not to get amongst the players, or he could be nervous of the occasion.

How does it look to you?

GT at 2016-04-24 16:08:43

Naughty challenge by Scott Dann on Ighalo.

Craig keeps his cards in his pocket this time, but the Palace man will be lucky to escape another one like that

5 minutes

GT at 2016-04-24 16:07:32

GOAL! and how important it was that he saw that corner kick award, as Palace score from it.

Goal by Bolasie


GT at 2016-04-24 16:06:22

More good positioning and movement from Craig sees him in a good position to correctly award a corner kick to Palace

GT at 2016-04-24 16:04:43

A couple of foul challenges take place as the ball is flighted in from a corner.

Craig picks them up, and correctly awards a free kick to Watford.

GT at 2016-04-24 16:02:43

Good movement from Craig, making up ground well as Palace play the ball from ‘keeper to centre forward

GT at 2016-04-24 16:00:52

Here we go…

Crystal Palace take the kick-off and get us underway…

GT at 2016-04-24 15:54:43

It’s almost time for kick-off at Wembley Stadium.

GT at 2016-04-24 15:35:19

As for our officials today…

Craig Pawson leads out a team of five today for this semi-final.

The Sheffield-based official has enjoyed a reasonable season as a Select group referee, taking control of twenty five games in the top flight.

Seen as a face-for-the-future, Pawson will be keen to impress, especially in the knowledge that the following year’s referee for the FA Cup Final is usually chosen from one of those who controlled one of the previous year’s semi-finals.

Indeed, he returns to Wembley Stadium today twelve months after being fourth official for last year’s Final between Aston Villa and Arsenal.

He is joined by the experienced Mike Mullarkey on one line and Lee Betts on the other.

Fourth official today is Michael Oliver, whilst we have the luxury of a reserve assistant referee too, in Ian Hussain.

Winner-takes-all in this one today, and everyone at YATR wishes the officials very best of luck.

Hopefully the game runs smoothly, and the team which makes the Final is there on merit rather than refereeing error.

This should be a fascinating clash.

Don’t go anywhere…follow the big match here on YATR.

GT at 2016-04-24 15:17:42

Hi everyone, and welcome to the first of today’s live Refcam commentary games, and the second FA Cup semi-final tie of the weekend.

Following yesterday’s clash between Everton and Manchester United, we bring for you the tie which will confirm the line-up for the Final in May.

Wembley Stadium hosts Crystal Palace v Watford in a game which offers both sides their only chance of a trophy this season and entry into European competition for 2016/17.

Neither side comes into this as clear favourites as they are each struggling for league form since the turn of the year.

Palace have managed just one win in their last fifteen fixtures, and Watford only three.

Their league clashes this season offer no clearer picture of who may emerge victorious this afternoon either, as both games were won by the away side.

The tie does however take us back to that memorable Play-Off Final of three seasons ago, which Palace won by a single strike following extra-time (a penalty scored by Kevin Phillips).

So, it should be another tight and fascinating clash between two evenly matched sides at the national home of football.

Who do you think will win?

Let us know which side you believe will be back for the Final by contacting us either on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at info@you-are-the-ref.com