Halsey Not Planning 'U' Turn Over Cohen Red Card
Two days after the event and the dust has yet to settle in the aftermath of the 4-1 defeat to Leeds United at Elland Road on Saturday. Referee Mark Halsey has come in for some severe criticism following his performance, not just for the incident involving Cohen, but for a catalogue of errors that the majority of Forest fans and a fair few neutrals, say cost us the game
(We're not bitter....honest).
Nottingham Forest are to appeal the decision made by Halsey, in which he issued Chris Cohen with a straight red card for a challenge on George McCartney after only 36 minutes of the game. TV replays showed that both players went for the ball with both feet off the ground and also showed that Cohen won the ball cleanly, despite the theatricals from McCartney and the Leeds United bench afterwards. Following the protests from the home dugout and a fair bit of encouragement from the Elland Road faithful, Halsey took the advice of his lineman and sent Cohen off.
According to journalist Danny Taylor's twitter page, referee Mark Halsey is showing no signs of changing his mind over his decision, declaring the referee thinks it was justified. Unfortunately for Halsey, it wasn't the only decision he got wrong on the day, at least in the eyes of Forest fans.
Other errors in the game, included a penalty claim from the Reds', when Snodgrass handled in the area. Halsey awarded a free kick to the home side, saying Tudgay impeded his man. United's first goal was earned from a dubious free kick, given against Morgan, when Halsey was conned....again by Snodgrass. The second Leeds goal saw Camp hauled to the ground by Becchio, but Halsey failed to see it and allowed play to go on, only for Becchio to put the ball in the net. The third goal came from a similar dubious foul, where Gradel was successful in buying a free kick. All this in a game that saw Paul Anderson leave the field after only 30 minutes, with what could turn out to be a broken rib from one of many Leeds United tackles that went unpunished on the day. Add to this, the fact that he booked 5 Forest players, to the Leeds' 1 and you'd be forgiven from asking just who's side Halsey was on.
Good luck to Forest in pursuing their appeal, but I wouldn't hold your breath for a positive outcome. The Football League have a tendency to bottle it when it comes to doing the right thing and rarely go against the referee. It would be nice if Halsey could do the honourable thing and admit to making a mistake, however that doesn't look like happening, if Danny Taylor has it right.