FOOTBALL: THAT WAS THE WEEKEND THAT WAS - CARD CHECK

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The Independent Online
Inconsistency among referees? As the Premiership went about a weekend of matches missing 10 players through suspension, the suspicion that stricter standards are applied in the top flight will have been fuelled by a count of only 15 cards shown in Saturday's 11-match Nationwide First Division games, which included five fixtures in which no player was cautioned.

Coincidence? Perhaps. But it is a tempting theory, especially when the records of individual officials are examined. Take, for example, Terry Heilbron who controlled the potentially explosive Sheffield United v Huddersfield match without recourse to his cards. He has booked no-one in eight of his 14 matches, issuing only 10 yellows and no reds. Meanwhile, Premiership players continue to rack up disciplinary points. The caution of West Ham's John Moncur at Leeds was his sixth of the season, in addition to the red he received at Coventry; Lee Bowyer, of Leeds, meanwhile, collected his eighth.

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