I try and avoid doing two football related post on the same day, as that isn't the main thrust of my blog, but today I do feel justified in making an exception.
Is this the face of the dirtiest player or just the unluckiest player in Scottish football? The stats for Murray Davidson's first team games makes poor reading. 2 starts, 2 yellow cards, 2 red cards. That is the bear facts. He has also twice received two standing ovations by the visiting supporters, as he has yet to play a home game for the first team, because on both occasions the fans felt that he was harshly treated.
His first game a start was against Dundee. Where he received his first yellow after it appeared that his opponent had stood on the ball. He did appear to talk to the ref so it may have been for dissent rather than the actual non-challenge that this card was given. But having stood in the middle myself you have to learn to give a little slack and let the players air their point providing it is done and dusting very quickly. Otherwise you could end up booking everyone on the park.
The second yellow card offence, allegedly simulation was fortunately captured on camera that night. Yes it was inside the box, yes Murray went over. The Dundee player was the last man. So quite possibly a red card should have been shown, if you look at that second pick you can see the Dundee player is totally shocked at the referee's decision as well. This may well have been the turning point in that game from then for most of the second half we had to make do with only 10 men on the park.
Yesterday, we'd already been questioning a few of the referees decisions but were close to celebrating a point earned, which could so easily have been the full three when yet again, Murray Davidson was shown red. He come on when Steven Craig was unable to carry on early in the second half having gone over while taking a shot late in the first half.
Murray had played a blinder he had gone for every challenge and if he'd not won kept after it to try and win it on the second or third bite of the cherry. The challenge that let to his stats looking so ugly happened in the centre circle both players Murray and Kevin Finlayson for Morton, both were committed and both slid in for the challenge. They'd been having that sort of tussle in the middle tough and fair all the second half. Davidson got up ready to carry on playing looking for the ball and there may have been a foot out from Finlayson which caused the lad to stumble.
However, there was stunned silence when the ref called play back and produced a straight red card. As Murray walked off even the Morton manager Davie Irons consoled him. This was in the 89th minute but a minute later the ref reached again straight for red for another challenge on the half way line, this time for Allan Walker.
It is refereeing like this can can turn the most pleasant of games into a hot bed. The same happened with two quick reds in the first half for us against Airdrie United last year. The ref had to face a full barrage for the second half that day. I in hindsight did feel sorry for the Airdrie fans that day sat 5 seats away from the away support. This time the ref had seconds remaining but our support for our team and wrath for the ref were made clear. There has been talk this week of referees deserving respect from players and fans following the Ashley Cole incident with Chelsea. However, they have to earn it same as anyone else. Sadly this season I've seen too many poor refereeing decisions, too many assistants not fit enough to keep up with play, it makes me wonder how they expect to make decisions that are right.
Davie Iron told the press that he thought both red card decisions were very harsh, and has offered Livingston the video footage of the game to take to the SFA to appeal these decisions.