Football: That was the weekend that was: CARD CHECK

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The Independent Online
IN ADDITION to enjoying their most pleasing result of the season, for once Sunderland failed to add to their tally of yellow cards. The most-cautioned side in the Premiership have clocked up 50 yellow cards, with at least one player incurring the referee's wrath in all bar three matches. All three have been at the Stadium of Light where, curiously, their disciplinary record is considerably better than they can boast on the travels. Sunderland have had 17 bookings at home, compared with 33 plus three sendings-off away. A case of homer refereeing?

A study of individual referees' records this season shows that most will issue more cards to the visiting team, although not necessarily by much. Paul Alcock, for example, has booked 11 home players against 33 away, Jeff Winter 17 against 27, Graham Poll 18 against 30. Steven Lodge, with 27 home to 21 away, is the only one among the 10 busiest officials to buck the pattern. The most even-handed appear to be Andy D'Urso (26-28) and, no doubt to the surprise of some, Mike Reed (28-32).

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