Birmingham City 1 Norwich City 1
27th November 2004 at 15:00
Rate The Ref
Poll started off with confidence and seemed to have the measure of the game. He spotted most infringements and dealt with them accordingly. But, after 15 minutes, he appeared to have a nervous breakdown. Blues complained because Heskey had been fouled deep in the Norwich half. Poll waved the players away but Melchiot was yellow-carded for dissent after leading the protests.
In our first game of the first season in the Premier League, Cisse got sent off for a tackle on Ashley Cole. Cole faked it and got Cisse the red cared. The Blues fans burst into "Oh Ashley Cole, is a ...." you know the rest. This song was adapted for the man in the middle as the Blues fans vented their anger. Soon to follow was the all too familiar "you don't know what you're doing".
The early protests seemed to unnerve Poll who missed a couple of late tackles. Shoves on players started to beome commonplace and this lead to both sides getting niggly, particulary in the second half. Most worryingly was his insistance to wave play on when it was clear that the team in possession had no where to go.
Poll is usually a decent ref. Card happy maybe but usually competent. The fact that Blues dared question his judgment seemed to unsettle him and this led to an erratic display.
Ref rating - 5/10
Melchiot - Dissent (Birmingham)
Dunn - Unsporting Conduct (Birmingham)
Bentley - Unsporting Conduct (Norwich)