Brighton and Hove Albion ran out a 2-0 win against Barnsley on the weekend. Sam Baldock scored both goals. However, Baldock was booked for simulation during the game, after falling in the penalty area.
Five minutes into the first half of the game, Sam Baldock raced into the box between two defenders. However, as he came through the two defenders he fell into the Barnsley penalty area. The Brighton fans were calling for a penalty.
Referee David Coote blew his whistle, but gave the Tyles a direct free kick instead, and went onto book Baldock for simulation as it seemed he was trying to fool the referee for a penalty.
From video replays, it seemed that there was no contact between the two Barnsley defenders and Baldock. After the match, Baldock spoke to the Argus and had the following to say:
“He came across me. I’m not sure how much contact there was to be honest. I felt like a foul was coming. With hindsight I probably should have stayed on my feet and seen if I could have got a shot off.
“I’d probably say it was fair enough in this situation. The referee had a decision to make and, fair play, he gave it. I’ve got no complaints about it.”
Simulation is a habit which has plagued the game for as long as football has existed. There have been several situations when referees have been fooled by simulation and as a result, teams have been punished unjustly. However, Baldock coming out and admitting the referee booked him “fairly” is admirable. I can imagine that Chris Hughton would not have been pleased with the act so early on in the game.