Former Premier League and International Referee Keith Hackett gives his view on the controversy surrounding Guiseley’s fixture against Braintree Town

Many spectators and players left the Vanarama League game between Guiseley and Braintree bemused by a goal scored by the home team.

Braintree had a player lying injured in midfield when his colleague decided to bring proceedings to a halt by kicking the ball out of play close by the halfway line.

The referee having signaled for the throw-in also instructed the Braintree Physio to enter
BTREEthe field of play to attend to the injured player.

The Braintree player having received treatment for his injury left the field of play in accordance with law in order for the game to restart with a throw in to Guiseley. 

Now at this point there is an expectation in the game that Guiseley will return the ball to their opponents. So with Braintree players standing aside the throw in was taken and was thrown straight to a Guiseley player who kicked it towards the Braintree goalkeeper, the ball flying over the goalkeepers head straight into the goal.

Guiseley celebrated a goal, whilst Braintree looked shocked and started to complain to the referee.

The match referee consulted with his Assistant referee and signaled confirmation that the goal would stand.

This is correct in law, however the coaching tip for this official is to be proactive and to ensure that the goalkeeper is on his line and he makes everyone aware that the game is about to start and what the expected outcome is going to be to prevent this type of problem that he experienced in this game.

The problem at Guiesley was caused by the players and of course there really is no obligation on the home team to agree to play the game again.

ARSENALSome years ago in a game between Arsenal and Sheffield United there was almost an identical incident and on that day Peter Jones a FIFA referee also allowed the goal.

Arsenal took the view after debate in the media that they would be willing to replay the game not wanting to have the tag of been an unsporting team.

Perhaps Guiseley might decide to do the same.

Guiseley have not broken the laws of the game but certainly have put into the question the spirit in which our great game is played.

When I was General Manager of the Professional Game Match Officials it was agreed with the Premier League that when a player is injured, players would refrain from kicking the ball out of play but await the referee stopping the game.

At all re starts the opposing team would at the drop ball or throw in return the ball to the opposition kicking it towards the goalkeeper and I am pleased to say that it as worked well.

I will await with interest to see if this game will be replayed.

Article: Keith Hackett (

Images: Action Images





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