It can be reffing hell in charge of Canaries

PUBLISHED: 18:18 14 February 2009 | UPDATED: 16:04 10 September 2010

David Cuffley

The latest Norwich City controversy involving referee Andy D'Urso was resolved in the club's favour when Gary Doherty's red card against Bristol City last Saturday was overturned by an FA commission studying video evidence.

The latest Norwich City controversy involving referee Andy D'Urso was resolved in the club's favour when Gary Doherty's red card against Bristol City last Saturday was overturned by an FA commission studying video evidence.

It was at least the fourth time Billericay official D'Urso's handling of a City match had caused consternation.

Back in 1997, he disallowed two Norwich goals in a 4-0 home defeat by Charlton, one of them for “ungentlemanly conduct” when the ball struck defender Rob Newman on the back and went into the net.

Two more examples are listed below as we look at 10 of the most famous - or infamous - refereeing incidents in games involving the Canaries. And sometimes it's the man in black who is the innocent party, on the receiving end. Yes, it's reffing hell . . .

t Salmon leaps to conclusion: The Canaries were hanging on for a 1-0 victory against Birmingham at Carrow Road when Hadley Wood official Ken Salmon miscalculated by blowing for full time two minutes early. He then had to recall the players for two further minutes, re-starting the game with a drop-ball on the halfway line while many of the crowd were on their way out of the stadium (Norwich 1 Birmingham 0, Sep 4, 1976)

t Beyond our Kev: Referee Peter Richardson was given a rough ride after a bizarre incident involving City goalkeeper Kevin Keelan. Believing he had been caught by the studs of Leeds' Paul Hart and anticipating a free-kick, Keelan threw the ball on the ground in order to try to confront Hart, and had to be restrained by team-mate Phil Hoadley, only for striker John Hawley to knock the ball into the empty net. The goal was given. “Bad refereeing just promotes trouble,” said Keelan (Norwich 2 Leeds 2, Oct 21, 1978)

t Hev Yew Gotta Loight, Boi? Kettering official Brian Hill was struck on the ear by a cigarette lighter thrown from the Barclay Stand in a controversial game against QPR. The incident prompted City chairman Sir Arthur South to label the troublemakers “scum” and fine mesh netting was hung behind the goal at the next home game to try to stop further missiles. (Norwich 0 QPR 1, Feb 27, 1982)

t Here's to you, Mr Robinson: How was it that an FA Cup quarter-final at Brighton was awarded to a referee from Waterlooville, just 45 miles away? Alan Robinson enraged City's 8,000 travelling fans by allowing Jimmy Case's second-half goal to stand after his linesman raised his flag, then put it down again. It could have been offside, a foul on Paul Haylock, or handball. Or maybe the linesman was signalling for a foul by Haylock. We shall never know. Robinson, meanwhile, went on to ref the 1986 FA Cup final between Everton and Liverpool. (Brighton 1 Norwich 0, Mar 12, 1983)

t Spinning off his Axcell: Southend official David Axcell appeared to be a shoved to the ground by Charlton full-back Mark Reid amid angry protests, after he ruled that Wayne Biggins' effort had crossed the line for a City goal. The ref was so dazed he could take no part in the last 15 minutes of the game, but he was in forgiving mood the next day when he dismissed the whole episode as an accident and Reid escaped any punishment. “If I had thought it was a deliberate assault I would have dismissed the player and may well have pressed charges, too,” said Axcell (Norwich 1 Charlton 1, Jan 3, 1987)

t Tyson refs a fight: It was labelled the “Highbury brawl” after 21 players, including two of City's current management team, had a major pushing and shoving match after Lee Dixon's controversial stoppage-time winner for Arsenal in a seven-goal thriller. Norwich were fined £50,000 by the FA and Arsenal fined £20,000, but there was no official dissatisfaction with the performance of referee George Tyson (Arsenal 4 Norwich 3, Nov 4, 1989)

t City hopes go West: Referee Trevor West reduced City to nine men in a League Cup tie against Oxford by sending off Robert Fleck for retaliation and Darren Eadie for two yellow cards, the first of which was awarded for the heinous crime of kicking the ball in the air and catching it again, and the second for a foul on Mike Ford. Two extra-time goals gave Oxford victory and there were unseemly scuffles as the teams left the field (Norwich 2 Oxford 3, Sept 4, 1996)

t D'Urso vain (I bet he thinks this one is about him): Four red cards and nine yellows in City's 2-0 win over Huddersfield included a sequence of seven bookings in 18 minutes by referee Andy D'Urso. Huddersfield skipper Tom Cowan departed for a second yellow, City's Kevin Scott and Town's Andy Payton were dismissed after a shoving match and City's Darren Eadie saw red for a rugged challenge late on. “In my playing days there wouldn't have been a single booking out there,” said Huddersfield boss Brian Horton. (Norwich 2 Huddersfield 0, Mar 1, 1997)

t Lauren Bad-call: Referee Graham Poll incensed City fans by showing only a yellow card to Arsenal defender Lauren when, as last man, he felled Darren Huckerby in a televised Premiership game. Poll afterwards explained that he had penalised an offence further up the field rather than the trip on the edge of the area. Said Poll: “The assistant has flagged and there is a buzzer in his flag but as he has buzzed the flag has slipped out of his hand. At that stage nobody could say it was a clear goalscoring opportunity. So play has gone on and there has been another foul, which was a clear goalscoring opportunity. We have penalised the first opportunity.” (Norwich 1 Arsenal 4, Aug 28, 2004)

t D'Urso vain (re-release): It was the incident that brought Glenn Roeder and Lee Clark in front of the FA for their reaction to a D'Urso decision in near the end of the match. Lee Croft was penalised for hand-ball when the offence appeared to be committed by Bristol City's Jamie McCombe. The resulting free-kick led to the Robins' winner by Steve Brooker. “I have never ever, in all my life, remonstrated with a referee straight after a game by walking on to the pitch,” said Roeder. Of course, the furore that followed made it common sense that the referee would not get another Norwich v Bristol City game in a hurry . . . (Bristol City 2 Norwich 1, Mar 29, 2008)

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