So, after watching about 56 foul throws on Match of the Day on Saturday night (it’s a sore point after I was pulled up for taking a foul throw in a charity match – yeah, I know, a charity match) I decided to log into Mariners Player and watch Podge’s penalty that won us the match against Dover. I pretended I hadn’t already seen it, twice, on two different Periscope feeds. And then I noticed this:
Now, I’m no expert, and I’m certainly no referee (sod that), but I’m pretty sure that no one is allowed in the penalty area until after the player has kicked the ball.
If so, that’s some impressive encroachment.
I can only surmise that the two Dover players who are practically level with Amond as he takes the spot kick don’t know the rule, or they don’t give a toss. Same goes for the Town player.
It’s like when defenders stick their hands in the air to appeal for offside when the goalscorer was onside by about two miles. It makes me wonder if players even know the rules sometimes. And I wonder about referees too – I mean, would he have had the balls to award a retake had the keeper saved it?
But who cares (apart from me, obviously)? Amond rolled it in, so we’ll never know.
However, I think it represents a wider issue – like the foul throws. Players seem to be given the freedom to plant their front foot wherever the hell they like these days. The white paint has clearly evolved to become a guideline, not a touchline.
Even though the ball hit the back of the net, this level of encroachment is not an anomaly. Just keep your eyes peeled the next time there’s a spot kick.