Nobody had a notion what was going on at St. James' Park earlier tonight, and indeed still don't, after Newcastle United saw a Matt Ritchie penalty disallowed and a free-kick awarded to Burton.
Ritchie slotted his penalty home and wheeled away in celebration before the referee blew he and his teammates back, arm outstretched pointing back towards the centre circle.
No goal. Free-kick. Cue absolute bedlam.
The ref in the Newcastle v Burton game disallowed Matt Ritchie's penalty and gave a freekick the other way. Absolutely bizarre. pic.twitter.com/IXlu0nvL32
— Andy Ha (@_AndyHa) April 5, 2017
— Newcastle Fans TV (@NewcastleFansTV) April 5, 2017
At a glance, it would appear the referee disallowed the penalty due to Newcastle striker Dwight Gayle encroaching on the area before the ball was kicked. If this was indeed the referee's reason, however, he's made an absolute dog's bollocks of it.
Current penalty rules are as follows:
If a penalty is scored but attacking players encroach on the area, as was presumably the case at St. James' the goal is disallowed and the penalty is retaken.
If a penalty is missed and attacking players encroach on the area, it's a free-kick to the defending team. If a penalty is missed and defensive players have encroached, the penalty is retaken.
On the Newcastle penalty incident. This is up to date laws of the game in relation to infringements / fouls during penalty kicks. pic.twitter.com/859rSQ6ej7
— Richard Conway (@richard_conway) April 5, 2017
Newcastle's Twitter account joined Rafa Benitez in other befuddlement and indignation, while the rest of the football world tried to piece together what on Earth had gone on.
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) April 5, 2017
Newcastle, however, have since scored, and at the time of writing lead Burton 1-0, which will keep them top of the Championship table.
More to follow, surely.