5th February 1997- FA Cup Fourth Round, Manchester City 3 Watford 1

Then came the moment of crass stupidity that changed the game in Man City’s favour. Palmer who had been following Kin-what’s-his-face wherever he went was obstructed by Lomas. Palmer wasn’t very pleased with this and seemed to slightly push Lomas ( and I do mean slightly ). He then turned to the referee and complained about the obstruction. The ref stopped the game and I thought we were going to get a free kick. Imagine my surprise when the ref reached into his pocket and produced a red card for Palmer. This was pure over-reaction. I don’t think anybody in the whole ground including the Man City fans could really understand why. The official line seems to be that Palmer “struck” Lomas. It was ridiculous. I know I was a lot further away from the incident than Palmer, but it wasn’t as if Lomas fell to the floor, rolling over and over with his hand on his face because he didn’t !! It wasn’t as if the all Man City fans were shouting “off off off” at the top of their voices because they weren’t. I think the only person in the whole Stadium who agreed with the sending off was the ref. Now I’m not saying we would have gone on to draw or win the game if Palmer had not been sent off. But at the time the game was very even and we were creating chances.


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