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Former official Keith Hackett: Referee 'guessed' for West Brom penalty

By Luke Hatfield | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Former Premier League referee Keith Hackett believes the official who awarded West Brom a controversial late penalty against Preston 'guessed' regarding the challenge on Kyle Edwards.

Preston North End goalkeeper Declan Rudd challenges West Bromwich Albion's Kyle Edwards resulting in a penalty

Edwards was deemed to have been fouled by Preston goalkeeper Declan Rudd in the box by referee Oliver Langford in the dying moments of the game with the scores level at 0-0. But replays showed minimal contact between the players.

Charlie Austin stepped up to convert from the spot, earning Albion their fifth successive win and guiding them back atop the Championship table.

Former referee Hackett believes that Langford guessed regarding the decision and ultimately 'got it wrong'.

"In refereeing you cannot guess." Hackett said on Twitter.

"I harp on about the fitness and movement of referees on the field of play. [Howard] Webb, [Pierluigi] Collina and [Mark] Clattenburg set the benchmark.

"The game needs more athletic officials. [The] ref was detached from play and guessed and got it wrong."

Should the FA consider the challenge a dive, Edwards could receive retrospective action for 'successful deception of a match official'.

Albion fans saw Dwight Gayle receive a two-game ban last season under the rule, after he was deemed to have dived to win the Baggies a spot kick in the 2-2 draw with Nottingham Forest, which Jay Rodriguez scored in the 89th minute.

Luke Hatfield

By Luke Hatfield
Digital Sports Journalist - @LHatfield_Star

Digital Sports Journalist based in Wolverhampton working on the Express & Star and Shropshire Star.

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