Stoke City v Manchester United


RH at 2017-09-09 19:40:25

The Refereeing talking points in this game were

  • Neil Swarbrick delivers a quality performance and rightly has no need to show any yellow cards
  • Superb technical performance in respect of Movement, Positioning and Recognition of offences
  • No controversy on a fixture that United have failed to win in five attempts

I blogged this at the start of the game;

‘Big game this for Neil Swarbrick, there are certain matches on the fixture list that you look out for, often because they represent a potential banana skin for the for a big name team, this is such a game, if Neil does well today it will be a massive boost for his confidence, and let’s face it, we all like to see a good guy do well don’t we!’

Well I’m pleased to report that the boy did indeed do well, Neil Swarbrick has come a long way in the past two seasons and on the basis of this performance he deserves to feature regularly on the Premier Match week appointments as the man in the middle. He read play well during the first half when for tactical reasons the game was congested in midfield and then coped well with counter attacking and the more open end to end second half. He got into great viewing positions and viewing range. His recognition of offences was excellent and the result was a confidence of his management of the game which was reflected rightly in the absence of any cautions, well done! Both Assistants looked sharp just the one hasty offside flag from Darren Cann against Choupo-Moting in the second half, but a word of praise to Scott Ledger for his inch perfect non offside flag as Lukaku scored United’s second. Well done guys a great team effort all round led by a Referee who is delivering quality performances these days!

RH at 2017-09-09 19:25:01

Full Time

Summary to follow


RH at 2017-09-09 19:24:36

Wimmer is grounded following that last United corner and the Referee rightly halts play with United in possession wide on the Stoke right, safety first Refereeing as the Neil Swarbrick attempts a drop ball as Stoke finally give United the possession after some messing about by the two competing players


RH at 2017-09-09 19:21:10

A minimum of three minutes additional time to be played


RH at 2017-09-09 19:20:31

Joe Allen grounds Mata as the Spaniard gets himself between opponent and ball, its rightly a free kick on the edge of the Stoke penalty area!

RH at 2017-09-09 19:17:50

We’ve got more great games for you on Refcam in this round of Premier League matches, join us for;

  • Tomorrow   @ 13.30 Burnley v Crystal Palace
  • Tomorrow  @ 16.00 Swansea City v Newcastle United
  • Monday     @ 20.00 West Ham United v Huddersfield Town


RH at 2017-09-09 19:17:25

Martial catches Zouma late but its careless in my view and the Referees warning is enough


RH at 2017-09-09 19:15:45

Neil Swarbrick has continued to read play well both when it was tight during the first and now as both teams counter attack, this is definitely an area of Neil’s game that he has worked on, he’s judging his involvement level superbly also!


RH at 2017-09-09 19:13:52

Pogba manhandles Joe Allen off the ball and I agree with the free kick that was awarded, Neil Swarbrick then has a word with Mark Hughes who seemed to take it in the spirit it was intended!


RH at 2017-09-09 19:10:32

Martial flattens Pieters right in front of Scott Ledger who obliges with a strong flag!


RH at 2017-09-09 19:09:07

Bailly hard in on Shaqiri Darren Cann was close enough and he didn’t have a problem with it!


RH at 2017-09-09 19:07:48

Pogba held or was it hugged by Pieters!


RH at 2017-09-09 19:02:51

Tactically the game is more open also at the moment, United pressed very high in the first half and with Stoke playing four in midfield meant that the game got bogged down, but those two late first half goals and two more this half have opened things up which has kept the spotlight off the Referee!


RH at 2017-09-09 19:00:11

Its no surprise that Neil Swarbrick is getting it right so far as his movement and positioning is getting him into ideal viewing range and together with his sound recognition of offences is looking good!


RH at 2017-09-09 18:56:05

In the lead up to that attacking Stoke phase of play Fletcher did catch Pogba with an arm as the two players contested the ball, Neil Swarbrick played on which I think on seeing it once was right

RH at 2017-09-09 18:54:11

GOAL!Choupo-Moting shows his strength by rising to draw Stoke level!

RH at 2017-09-09 18:51:50

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RH at 2017-09-09 18:50:59

Pogba holds Fletcher right in front on the Referee, any easy spot!


RH at 2017-09-09 18:49:16

TV pictures confirming what an excellent offside decision Scott Ledger made in not flagging Lukaku offside as received the ball

RH at 2017-09-09 18:47:57

GOAL!Lukaku puts United ahead at the second attempt!



RH at 2017-09-09 18:45:26

Diuoff going to ground but the contact looked legitimate and the Referee was right not to penalise


RH at 2017-09-09 18:43:44

I’m not so sure that Darren Cann was right to flag Choupo-Moting offside as it looked like Darmian was playing him on


RH at 2017-09-09 18:41:27

Scott Ledger spot on with that offside flag against  Mkhitaryan


RH at 2017-09-09 18:39:52

Lukakau late on Joe Allen, a word of warning is enough as the challenge wasn’t reckless


RH at 2017-09-09 18:37:56

United going short for that first corner but going more conventional for the second!

RH at 2017-09-09 18:35:17

The second half has commenced!

RH at 2017-09-09 18:31:39

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RH at 2017-09-09 18:27:56

Not too much to report on Refereeing wise on the first half except to say that Neil Swarbrick and his two Assistants have judged their involvement level well and have looked alert. Some great non flags by Scott Ledger and Darren Cann have added to the quality of what has ben on show so far. Neil Swarbrick has moved around well with his long striding running action coping well with counter attacking. Not much of any note has been missed and Neil has kept his powder dry as those two late goals will have fired the participants up after a quiet first 43 minutes. He has a strong hand to play from a match control viewpoint in the second half as there were no contentious issues from the first period

RH at 2017-09-09 18:19:14

Half Time



RH at 2017-09-09 18:18:58

Choupo-Moting shoves Valencia for the final free kick of the first half


RH at 2017-09-09 18:17:19

GOAL!Rashford gets the final touch to level it for United!


RH at 2017-09-09 18:16:13

a minimum of two minutes additional time to be played

RH at 2017-09-09 18:14:15

GOAL!Choupo-Moting open’s his Stoke account with a great finish!

RH at 2017-09-09 18:10:56

We’ve got more great games for you on Refcam in this round of Premier League matches, join us for;

  • Tomorrow   @ 13.30 Burnley v Crystal Palace
  • Tomorrow  @ 16.00 Swansea City v Newcastle United
  • Monday     @ 20.00 West Ham United v Huddersfield Town


RH at 2017-09-09 18:10:27

Darmian grounds Shaqiri who didn’t need much encouragement to go to ground


RH at 2017-09-09 18:08:57

Darren Cann flagging a careless challenge by Fletcher, he needs to be careful as he’s totting up the free kicks!


RH at 2017-09-09 18:05:20

Again Valencia crosses from wide right and as before Darren Cann well placed to judge that the United player was onside


RH at 2017-09-09 18:03:31

In the build up to that United corner its worth noting the excellent non offside flag from Darren Cann as Valencia received the ball to cross


RH at 2017-09-09 17:58:49

Great delayed flag there from Darren Cann as Lukaku chased the ball after Butland parried!


RH at 2017-09-09 17:57:07

Neil Swarbrick judging his involvement level well in this opening half hour, that midfield advantage in favour of Bailly being a good example


RH at 2017-09-09 17:55:24

Fletcher grounds Lukaku for on obvious free kick


RH at 2017-09-09 17:54:24

Scott Ledger’s technical game is superb, movement, poise and signalling, a great example in the art of being an Assistant Referee!

RH at 2017-09-09 17:51:35

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RH at 2017-09-09 17:49:22

Herrera with a rash challenge on Choupo-Moting which I’m sure would receive a sanction if repeated


RH at 2017-09-09 17:47:58

Stoke’s 3-4-3 and United 4-3-3 resulting in a number of players in midfield, looks like width could be the answer so again the Referees positioning needs to reflect this


RH at 2017-09-09 17:44:15

Fletcher being penalised for a straight forward hand ball offence


RH at 2017-09-09 17:43:13

After a frenetic start the game has settled down and the Referee just needs to track the play without getting in the way in the attacking channels

RH at 2017-09-09 17:38:55

Big game this for Neil Swarbrick, there are certain matches on the fixture list that you look out for, often because they represent a potential banana skin for the for a big name team, this is such a game, if Neil does well today it will be a massive boost for his confidence, and let’s face it, we all like to see a good guy do well don’t we!


RH at 2017-09-09 17:36:17

The second United corner resulting in less rough and tumble as the first one did!


RH at 2017-09-09 17:34:08

Pogba concedes the first free kick with a careless challenge


RH at 2017-09-09 17:33:10

Good offside call there from Scott Ledger as Bailly played the attacker on

RH at 2017-09-09 17:31:46

If you are watching the game on TV, Scott Ledger is operating on the far side and the other Assistant Darren Cann is running the nearside touch line.

RH at 2017-09-09 17:30:51

Our match Referee Neil Swarbrick gets us underway!

RH at 2017-09-09 17:27:44

The teams and Match Officials have entered the field of play!

RH at 2017-09-09 17:20:07

The following is an extract from the ‘Premier League Referees in Week#’ feature that appears on the You are The Ref website ahead of each Premier League Weeks action!

Stoke City v Manchester United

NEIL SWARBRICK Assistants: D Cann & S Ledger Fourth official: Stuart Attwell

Last season: 1-1

Stoke boss Mark Hughes predicted that Wayne Rooney’s record of 253 goals for today’s visitors will never be surpassed, and while he is as qualified as any to offer such an opinion, wouldn’t it be just like Jose Mourinho to re-invent it as an insult with which to motivate one of Monday’s England scorers, Marcus Rashford?

Lou Macari is one of many further connections, and a game featured in the unmissable BBC biopic Marvellous was the 1993 League Cup 2nd round, first leg win secured by Mark Stein’s two goals for Macari’s side against his former employers. As Delilah rang around a rampant Victoria Ground, there was barely a dry eye left in the house.

This will be Neil Swarbrick’s first trial by TV this season, so it may be his turn to adjudicate whether Jack Butland moves too early or not to deny Romelu Lukaku from the penalty spot!

All you need to know about Neil Swarbrick:

Matches in 2017/18: 2 (0 on TV) Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 2

Reds: 0 Yellows: 6

RH at 2017-09-09 17:15:33

Today’s Match Referee is Neil Swarbrick, His Assistant Referees are Darren Cann and Scott Ledger. The Fourth Official is Stuart Atwell

RH at 2017-09-09 17:12:12

This is always one of those games that the home team really do relish and also always acts as a barometer as to how United’s season is going. Factor in that the Britannia Stadium is always regarded as a fortress and that the visitors are flying these days and what we have here is classic English Premier League contest!