Date: 26th August 2008 at 9:34am
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Andy Penn normally operates at a higher level to League Two and on Saturday it showed.

For a change the Bantams were fortunate to receive a match official at Valley Parade who understood the rules of the game and applied them, usually, in a fair and even-handed manner.

Of course this is helped by having seen my side run out 2-0 winners and the Rochdale fans were less impressed by his efforts.

For the visitors, the foul that led to the second goal was not a foul and the free kick should not have happened. As I seem to remember the referee taking the offending player over to one side and giving him quite a lecture that argument doesn’t hold much water for me. From where I was sitting I thought it was a worthy free kick but it did place under their noses so maybe the referee missed something.

They were also disappointed not to be awarded a penalty kick but if it is the incident I’m thinking of then such a claim is a bit hopeful. As the ‘handball’ claimed for followed a richochet rebounding onto a Bradford City player and taking them completely unawares.

The only speck in the ointment of an otherwise professional performance was his slight tolerance of Nathan Stanton. Who, despite having been given a lecture in the first half, continued in the same vein during the second and performed a reckless challenge on the flying Omar Daley that did not go as punished as it ought.

The assistant referees didn’t have a huge amount to do although I am puzzled by the current trend towards taking half an hour to raise an offside flag when it is obvious that that is the case.

Still, all in all a good performance from the Men in Black. Far better than that clown who took charge against Notts County a fortnight ago.