Referee Mick Russell is awaiting his fate this morning after the Football Association and Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) launched separate investigations into his failure to send off Sheffield Wednesday player Jeremy Helan – despite cautioning him twice.
The controversy marred the Yorkshire derby at Huddersfield Town on Saturday, which ended 0-0, with the Hertfordshire-based official dropping his clanger in the first half.
Russell booked Helan for a second time after his 26th-minute foul on Adam Hammill, 17 minutes after cautioning him for a dive. But he failed to show Helan a red card – much to the incredulity of Town manager Simon Grayson, his players and the home fans in the 17,494 crowd.
Leeds United were brought back down to earth with a bump after they were thumped 2-0 by Hull City to see an end to their recent good form.
Steve Bruce’s side dominated a one-sided Yorkshire derby and collected three points with a brace of finishes in the space of three minutes.
Hull’s first-half dominance continued immediately after half-time and it took a low, one-handed save from Paddy Kenny to deny Meyler on 48 minutes.
Sone Aluko pulled a shot narrowly wide moments later as Meyler slid in at the far post but City took the lead on 52 minutes when Evans latched onto Aluko’s through ball and slipped the ball inside Kenny’s far post.
City consolidated their lead three minutes later when Meyler met Robbie Brady’s corner with a clinical header which flew into the top corner of the net Kenny denied Hull a third goal by diving to parry Stephen Quinn’s curling effort and a tired-looking Leeds side struggled to create any chance of note in reply.
Manager Phil Parkinson promised a positive response after Bradford City were deservedly beaten following an extraordinary first half which produced six goals.
Rochdale, with only one win in their previous six matches, were sharper, quicker to the ball and defended resolutely to ensure there was no comeback by the League Cup semi-finalists as they ran out 4-2 winners.
Promotion contenders Bradford had been unbeaten in their previous five league matches, but Parkinson admitted: “We were second best. I have got to hold my hands up as well – the balance of the team was not right.
“We didn’t get the ball down and play and we lacked intensity in all departments.
“Rochdale were sharper than we were, but we will respond to that – we have got make sure it is a one-off.”
City face Villa at Valley Parade a week on Tuesday, but City’s defence is unlikely to be bolstered by the return of Andrew Davies, who is still recovering following the knee injury he picked up in October.