Referee's badgeThe body that regulates referees says it will be examining the ‘ghost’ goal awarded to Reading against Watford at the weekend.

The Professional Game Match Officials Board (PGMOB) says it will review the decision by referee Stuart Atwell to award a goal even though the ball was, at the time, four yards wide of the post.

It was the assistant referee Nigel Bannister who advised Atwell that a goal had been scored and despite seemingly being in a better position and having to run the gauntlet of Watford’s protests, Atwell took his advice and gave the goal which put Reading 1 up. The game eventually finished level at 2 – 2.

Speaking to the Watford web site, PGMOA assistant referee’s manager Paul Rejer said: “It appears a mistake has been made.

“It will be reviewed by us. If it is a serious error, he will regret it.

“It was the assistant referee who gave the goal and from his position and angle it appeared the ball had crossed the line for a goal. He has made a human error.

“The referee has no way of knowing for definite; he was relying on his assistant referee to make that decision.

“Performances by referees and assistant referees are reviewed after every game, both on the day and by DVD.”

The ‘goal’ was registered as an own goal by Watford’s John Eustace.

Watford boss Aidy Boothroyd confirmed that he spoke to the officials after the match and that Bannister said it had been an ‘optical illusion’.

See the incident for yourself on the Highlights Player on the Footy Boots home page.

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