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Sunday 19 November 2017

WATCH - Newcastle United referee apologises for bizarre penalty decision

Newcastle United's Matt Richie reacts angrily after scoring a penalty only for referee Keith Stroud to reverse the decision on giving the penalty during the Sky Bet Championship match at St James' Park
Newcastle United's Matt Richie reacts angrily after scoring a penalty only for referee Keith Stroud to reverse the decision on giving the penalty during the Sky Bet Championship match at St James' Park

Callum Davis

Referee Keith Shroud was booed from the pitch at half time in Newcastle's match with Burton Albion after a bizarre decision to disallow Matt Ritchie's penalty.

When Dwight Gayle was barged to the ground early in the first half Keith Shroud wasted no time in awarding the home side a penalty kick.

Midfielder Matt Ritchie stepped up and coolly slotted the ball into the bottom corner to seemingly give Newcastle the lead.

However, to the confusion of everyone in the ground and everyone on Twitter, Shroud blew his whistle to disallow the goal before awarding Burton Albion a free-kick.

Rafa Benitez joined his players in furiously remonstrating with the match officials, but to no avail as the match eventully restarted with a Burton free-kick.

Newcastle went on to win the game 1-0 but referee Keith Shroud admitted he had made a mistake in an official statement via Professional Game Match Officials Limited.

"In this evening's EFL Championship match between Newcastle United and Burton Albion, referee Keith Shroud awarded Newcastle a penalty in the 29th minute. As Matt Ritchie took the kick, Dwight Gayle encroached in the penalty area.

"An indirect free kick was awarded to Burton, but the Laws of the Game state that the penalty kick should have been retaken.

"Unfortunately the referee has misapplied the Law. Keith and his team and understandably upset at the lapse in concentration and apologise for the mistake," read a PGMOL statement.

Football League rules state that a penalty kick should be retaken if the attacking team are ruled to have encroached into the area - but Shroud failed to order the spot kick to be retaken.

The bizarre incident produced a confused response from Newcastle United's official Twitter account.

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