Leeds United: Controversial assistant Mainwaring back at Elland Road

EFL linesman James Mainwaring
EFL linesman James Mainwaring
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EFL linesman James Mainwaring will be back at Elland Road for Leeds United’s clash with Norwich City – four weeks after incurring the wrath of the crowd with a controversial penalty decision during the club’s win over Middlesbrough.

Mainwaring is one of two assistants chosen with referee Darren England to officiate Norwich’s trip to Leeds on Saturday, despite the fall-out from his controversial call last month.

Boro were awarded a late penalty in a 2-1 defeat to Leeds after Mainwaring advised referee Keith Stroud to punish a trip by United right-back Luke Ayling on Daniel Ayala.

Mainwaring failed to spot Ayala dragging Ayling to the ground first as United defended a corner and was pelted by objects thrown from Elland Road’s South Stand while Boro striker Britt Assombalonga prepared to convert the penalty.

The 77th-minute incident – awarded with Leeds 2-0 to the good – failed to change the outcome of the game but the Football Association launched an investigation into the missiles aimed at Mainwaring. The objects included some of the 20,000 flags distributed by Leeds inside their stadium prior to kick-off.

The club are yet to be hit with any charges or punishment by the FA.

England, meanwhile, is set to officiate at Elland Road for the first time. The official was promoted to Championship level at the start of this season.

Willian scored one and made two others as Chelsea finally turned in a display worthy of Premier League champions to win 3-1 at Huddersfield.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte declared his side’s title defence was over after Saturday’s defeat at West Ham, but his players responded and goals from Tiemoue Bakayoko, Willian and Pedro secured them victory at a canter before Town substitute Laurent Depoitre headed home a fine consolation goal deep in stoppage time.