Oli Hawkins: Refereeing mistakes could have been so costly for Portsmouth

A fifth-straight triumph for rejuvenated Pompey during an increasingly-intriguing pursuit of the final automatic promotion spot.

Monday, 8th April 2019, 6:30 am
Updated Monday, 8th April 2019, 11:08 am
Oli Hawkins tries to get the better of Wycombe's Anthony Stewart in Saturday's 3-2 success. Picture: Carl Thomas
Oli Hawkins tries to get the better of Wycombe's Anthony Stewart in Saturday's 3-2 success. Picture: Carl Thomas

Yet Oli Hawkins felt the Blues’ latest win was impeded by referee John Busby at Adams Park.

Kenny Jackett’s side ran out 3-2 winners against Wycombe in a match not without its controversy.

The Chairboys were trailing 2-0 when handed a 54th-minute lifeline by the Oxfordshire-based official.

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Pompey’s players were adamant Marcus Bean was in an off-side position when he turned home Nick Freeman’s pass from close range.

Eventually the linesman raised his flag – only to be overruled by Busby following consultation.

According to Hawkins, the referee believed it was an own goal, thereby allowing it to stand.

And the towering striker was disappointed with Busby’s overall performance during the fixture.

He said: ‘I didn’t agree with the ref’s decisions, I didn’t think he was very good.

‘For their first goal, I was the one who headed it down in the area, then their player flicked it onto the guy who was offside, who tapped it in.

‘The lino said it was offside, but didn’t know a guy touched it onto him (Bean). The ref then awarded it because he thought it was an own goal.

‘Clearly the guy tapped it in and ran off celebrating. He made a mistake there and if that doesn't go in maybe it’s 2-0 or 3-0 to us.

‘The linesman knew the guy was offside – but didn’t know whether he touched it or not, so the referee made the decision.

‘As for me, I keep joking around that all the boys had a 90-minute football game and I had a 90-minute rugby game!

‘Maybe I won one free-kick, but I can’t think of it.’

Hawkins was recalled to the Blues’ side in place of Omar Bogle following his impressive Wembley cameo.

Yet he was given some rough Adams Park treatment by centre-half Adam El-Abd.

He added: ‘Sometimes it’s my job to try to cause havoc, to win free-kicks, hold it up as much as I can.

‘The first half I felt we did well it quite well at times, playing to my strengths, and at the start of the second we looked the same.

‘But then it was just tough, the ref made it tough, he wasn’t giving us a lot of free-kicks really, whereas he was giving a lot of Wycombe free-kicks.

‘I always say to the ref before the game, make it 50/50 because that's the way I play.

‘I want to have a battle with the centre-halves and, if he’s fair, give me some and give the defenders some, then that's a good game.

‘But on Saturday I thought it was 95 per cent to them.’