So much will be written about this week's Melbourne City versus Central Coast Mariners A-League game.
Mariners fans constantly feel aggrieved by A-League decisions that go against them.
Think back to the game against Adelaide last year – three penalty decisions – all of them arguably wrong.
There have been god knows how many other terrible decisions which fuel the conspiracy theories in favour of big clubs / against the small clubs… but tonight just took the cake.
First there was the decision against Kye Rowles at the end of the first half – clearly a good metre outside the box. Somehow a penalty was given and somehow (sigh…) the penalty was upheld despite numerous views.
That was bad enough.
But, after the studio commentators had unanimously insisted that was never a penalty, you’d think Shaun Evans would be keen to be circumspect at the least, and generous at the most when it came to evening up. Surely he’d heard about the reactions at half time and it’s only human nature to want to at least look fair.
And yes! He got his opportunity to even up at the very end of normal time when Matt Leckie stamped on Lewis Miller’s ankle in the box.
“No penalty!” he cried, but the VAR insisted he go and look at replays.
Cue desolation on the faces of the City team when they saw the replays and knew, without the slightest shadow of a doubt, that a penalty would be given.
Not only that, Matt Leckie on a yellow was very likely to see a second and therefore red – Mariners coming home with a wet sail.
As the replays went on, and on, and on, I started to wonder whether it might somehow be possible for Evans not to give the penalty?
No! Surely not!
Every time they showed the replay IT WAS SO OBVIOUSLY A PENALTY!!!
Whatever went through Shaun Evans’ mind, he needs to explain himself. Not just to the Mariners fans but to all fans.
We are in a death struggle for audience numbers and when the appearance (I’m not suggesting the reality) but the appearance of referee bias ruins a match (and potentially a season for the losing team) fans will turn off in droves.
We need answers Mr Evans.
Two clearly wrong decisions which absolutely changed the result of a match.
Adrian's books can be purchased at any good bookstore or through ebook alchemy. His first sci-fi novel will be published by Hague Publishing in 2022.
The full A-League Men's schedule can be found using this link.