Date: 24th September 2009 at 12:46pm
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Fans of Birmingham City should be buoyed by news that Steve ‘Gordon` Bennett will be refereeing the match at St Andrews against Bolton Wanderers. Bennett is no friend to the visitors.

In January 2005 El Hadji Diouf made a fool of him, winning a penalty at Blackburn with a zany comedy dive that features regularly in the top ten acts of simulation. The Oaf from Orpington has borne a grudge ever since.

A few weeks later, he took revenge on the Senegal spitter, sending him off in an FA cup tie against Arsenal at the Reebok, after a handbags at dawn incident with Jens Lehman. Shortly after, he refereed a closely fought game at Anfield between Bolton and Liverpool. He gave five fouls against Liverpool, seventeen against Bolton. A similar pattern followed in a game at Old Trafford. Manchester United committed nine transgressions, Bolton 23. Bennett is only marginally behind the now (thankfully) retired Rob Styles, when it comes to Sky Four bias.

Some match officials take account of the fact that football is a contact sport. Bennett isn`t one of them. Look at an opponent in a funny way and you`re bound to concede a free kick. He`s so fond of the whistle that you suspect he wears the bloody thing around his neck, even when not in charge of games, so he can blow up at passing pedestrians.

Since Diouf won the spot kick, and high marks for artistic impression, at Ewood Park, Bolton have won only one game with Bennett in charge. There seems little hope on Saturday. Perhaps Gary Megson can mention that the dastardly El Hadji now plays for someone else. It`s doubtful that the most witless referee in English football has noticed yet.


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