D'Urso handed City opener

Michael Bailey Norwich management duo Glenn Roeder and Lee Clark will have to be on their best behaviour on Saturday after Andy D'Urso was appointed referee of City's season opener.

Michael Bailey

Norwich management duo Glenn Roeder and Lee Clark will have to be on their best behaviour on Saturday after Andy D'Urso was appointed referee for City's season opener.

The Canaries kick-off their Coca-Cola Championship campaign at Coventry City this weekend with Roeder's new look side, but the City boss may find it hard to forget his last run in with the Billericay official.

Roeder piled the blame on referee Andy D'Urso for City's 2-1 defeat at Bristol City in March after his injury time decision to penalise Norwich's Lee Croft for handball, when it appeared the culprit was a home player.


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That was, claimed Roeder, despite being told by fourth official Danny Roberts that D'Urso had got it wrong.

Moments later Steve Brooker scored a dramatic winner for Bristol City, which left Roeder storming on to the pitch at the final whistle to remonstrate with the referee, and his assistant manager Lee Clark livid.

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The pair's actions earned them a charge of improper conduct from the FA, who found them guilty last month after a personal hearing. Clark will serve his one-match touchline ban at the Ricoh on Saturday, while Roeder was handed a suspended two-match ban.

Roeder said after the defeat last season: “I am not pleased with myself at all but that was how strong I felt about D'Urso's performance, particularly the incident that led to their winning goal.

“He even actually came over before the free kick was taken and the fourth official told him it was a Bristol City player that handled the ball - mind you he'd gone by then, his lights had gone out. He wouldn't listen and the ball ends up in the back of the net.

“If a referee got that wrong on a Sunday morning pitch, he'd be cried down. If D'Urso can't get those simple decisions right, my God, where's he going?

“The fourth official was consistently telling Lee Clark 'look Lee. there is nothing I can do about it. I can clearly see that a Bristol City player's handled the ball, knocked it forward. D'Urso's got it badly wrong there is nothing I can do'.”

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