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The Payne game: Fans lose out when wasting time wins

Stoppages: Ainsworth


DON’T expect to make a quick getaway if you are at Adams Park for Wycombe’s game with Bradford tomorrow.

Each of the Chairboys’ last seven fixtures has featured between six and nine minutes of injury-time.

Coincidence? Probably not. Gareth Ainsworth’s side may be doing well in League One — they are ninth — but they are also gaining an unsavoury reputation for time-wasting.

Plymouth manager Derek Adams reckoned his team were frustrated for the whole afternoon during last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Wycombe, claiming the nine minutes added on counted for nothing when the flow of the game was constantly being disrupted by stoppages.

‘I don’t see how you can come here as a football supporter,’ moaned Adams.

Wycombe are far from the only offenders but the action taken by referees to tackle the issue is inconsistent at best and at worst appears loaded in favour of the time-wasters.

How often have we seen a side aiming to run down the clock suddenly have a succession of head injuries in the last ten minutes?

Referees are damned if they stop the game but, due to the obvious safety concerns, are actually left with no option, whether or not they feel they are being duped.

Surely, if the concern over a head injury is genuine, any player who goes down holding their head should be made to leave the pitch for treatment, as they are required to for any other kind of injury.

Fans are being short-changed, even if they may still be watching football past 5pm.