Former Premier League referee explains why Leyton Orient's equaliser against Cobblers was correctly disallowed

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The officials eventually reached the right decision after much deliberation

Former Premier League referee Chris Foy has confirmed that Leyton Orient’s equaliser against the Cobblers at Sixfields on Monday was correctly ruled out for offside.

Nine minutes after Ben Fox had stabbed Northampton into the lead, Omar Beckles appeared to have levelled when tapping in from a free-kick. The goal was initially awarded before being disallowed after referee Chris Pollard spoke at length with his linesman.

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Charlie Kelman was clearly stationed in an offside position when the ball broke to him before his shot rebounded back to Beckles, but the question was whether or not Tom James’ earlier effort had taken a deliberate touch off a Northampton player on the way through. Now, we have an answer.

Chris Pollard was at the centre of attention during Monday's tetchy affair.Chris Pollard was at the centre of attention during Monday's tetchy affair.
Chris Pollard was at the centre of attention during Monday's tetchy affair.

In a new feature branded ‘Behind the Whistle’ on the EFL website, Foy will go through a selection of key match decisions from the action across the Championship, League One and League Two.

While many decisions made on the field of play are of a subjective nature, Behind the Whistle will give supporters of EFL clubs an insight into the decision-making considerations and also clarification of certain decisions to provide an understanding of how the laws of the game are interpreted.

Foy, who refereed in the Premier League between 2001 and 2015, analysed five incidents this week, one of which was Orient’s disallowed goal. He said: “As the Leyton Orient free kick is taken, Leyton Orient 23 is clearly in an offside position.

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“With the ball deflecting off the Northampton Town wall – as opposed to being deliberately played – it is correctly adjudged to be offside once the player becomes active by playing the ball.”

Cobblers fan and BBC Radio Northampton summariser Peter Walton, who reffed in the Premier League at the same time as Foy, also explained in similar terms why the correct decision was eventually reached.