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Wycombe player gets booked for drying the ball on a steward’s jacket prior to taking a throw-in

Wycombe Wanderers player Luke Leahy gets booked for drying the ball on a Bradford City steward’s jacket prior to taking a throw-in.

It came in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy semi-final on Wednesday night of which his team won 1-0 to secure a place in the final.

Matt Butcher’s goal in added time during the second half secured the win for the South Coast side, earning them a spot in Wembley on the 7th of April.

However, an unexpected incident came 85 minutes into the game as Leahy prepared to take a throw-in, but used a steward’s coat to wipe the ball, resulting in him receiving a yellow card for his actions.

This act violated the rules, which prohibit the use of any material or drying garment to wipe the ball before a throw-in, as it is considered an unfair advantage for the team.

The EFL put this rule in place at the start of the season, along with the introduction of a multi-ball system in all competitions to increase the pace of the game.

The said at the beginning of the season: “The EFL will introduce a multiball system in all its competitions for the 2023/24 season.

“Match balls will be placed on cones in designated areas at pitch side to help increase the time of the ball being in play.

“Meanwhile, Clubs will no longer be permitted to use towels or other articles, including items obtained from spectators to dry footballs during matches.”

Wycombe boss Matt Bloomfield, who marked exactly a year as manager with the win, said as per Telegraph & Argus: “You have to take the rough with the smooth in this game so nights like tonight you have to enjoy.

“I knew they would be more used to the pitch than us and we didn’t perform to our levels but we defended well and came up with a great moment at the end.

“It’s the stuff dreams are made of. I was into my 30s before I got to Wembley and managed to go twice so to now go as a manager, I feel extremely fortunate.”

He told the Free Press and BBC Three Counties: “I got a call from the referee telling me that the game was in doubt because of the pitch, but I felt as the leader, there was no doubt we wanted to play.

“I didn’t want to give any of my players doubts, so I told them we were ready to play but in the back of my mind, I knew there would be challenges with the pitch.

“At Adams Park, we have one of the best pitches in the league, but here, we knew gritty and messy but we got through it, even though we didn’t perform to the level that I know we can be at.

“On the flip side, we showed some brilliant resilience, Max made some great saves and we got through it.

“A few of the lads have told me that they didn’t play to the best of what they can do usually, but I believe in this group.

“Graham Alexander is a brilliant man and I thought Bradford were fantastic.

“They were very good when we played them in the FA Cup in November, they were better tonight as they played to their strengths, played on the pitch a lot better than what we did, created some good chances and we rode our luck.

“There have been times during the season when we had played well but didn’t get the results, but today, it was the flipside as we got the win.”

Bradford boss Graham Alexander: “Heartbreaking is a good way to put it.

“The players were fantastic, the fans were brilliant, for 93 minutes it was a fantastic night inside Valley Parade.

“I cannot say anything negative about my side tonight, we were dominant and in control, just could not find that golden touch in front of goal.

“I am proud of this side. We have been hit hard with injuries within the squad. Whoever has stepped in has risen to the standards we set.

“Tonight they stayed in the game, they continued to plug away, and they got their goal. I could not have asked more from my team after the game.

“All credit to our players.

“We had assertiveness in possession, we had control, we had a confidence with the ball. Against a League One side, we were the better side.

“This hurts everybody, but we cannot let this affect us going forward and we cannot let our heads drop after this.

“We can use this game as fuel. We have to show that on Saturday – these players have it within them to bounce back in a good way.

“We cannot let ourselves feel sorry for ourselves and feel sorry for whatever comes you way. We have to turn this negative into a positive.”

Twitter users reacted after a Wycombe player gets booked for drying the ball on a steward’s jacket prior to taking a throw-in…

@ffsConor: Deserved. No place in football for this sort of behaviour.

@jimmermordy: Example number 160 of the games absolutely gone

@Martinf683: It’s actually quite disrespectful to the steward. I’d have sent him off for being a two hat.

@SBeaverss: Why are they complaining it’s literally the rules

@thehamletfan: What the fuck 🤣🤣🤣🤣

@connor_mh: The rule was added in to stop time wasting as players would take ages drying a ball before throws, Leahy done this during a sub so no time was ever wasted…what a awful new rule😂refs are keen to give yellows like this out but can’t seem to get easy decisions right though 🥱

@UnbeatenStryjek: Game has well and truly gone

@AdamskiAfc: the FA must of really needed that £12

@shanyloublog: I’m sorry… what… since when has that been a rule?! 🤣

@Prestonoldham51: Act like a prick get treated like a prick . Not sure what point you are trying to make other than your man is an idiot and should have a bit more respect for people.

@LeeHall1977: Absolutely shocking. Should have been a straight red and 25 match ban…

@JackHud372727: I love football

@benji_wafc: Games in the mud man

@ScottMoreton5: Wrexham fan in peace. At the start of the season I know the FA said towels could not be used and I seemed to remember that it said using other things such as fan supplied towels etc in wasn’t permitted. Obviously this effected our own Ben Tozer throws

@Salop_Nathan: Fuckin love @lukeleahy. Last season it was a Bolton fans flag this season it’s a stewards jacket 😂😂

@DookesCastillo: And you want to add “blue cards” to this madness

@tomdorey03: Players are now genuinely being booked simply for drying a football Yeah, this sport is well and truly dead if you are being booked for that, pathetic!

@AdamEllison83: Let’s be honest. The yellow was because he is a cunt! Not because he is shit at drying up!

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