Matthew Walker 0

Petition to award David Bentley his goal against Wigan

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On the 22nd of November, 2009 Tottenham Hotspur recorded a record victory at White Hart Lane over Wigan Athletic. In the 87th minute, with Spurs 7-1 up already, David Bentley won himself a free-kick some 25 yards out. He stepped up and struck the ball perfectly and it flew towards the top corner, the Wigan goalkeeper at full-stretch trying to keep it out. The keeper, Chris Kirkland, succeeded on getting his fingertips to it and push it onto the crossbar but the ball only rebounded out to hit Kirkland on the back of his head and then into the goal. Initially it was deemed that Kirkland got the final, decisive touch and therefore it would be marked down as an own-goal. That is a massive injustice to David Bentley. It was a superbly taken free-kick and Chris Kirkland was the only reason it did not go directly into the top corner, not the only reason that it went in at all. It would be different if the shot was noticeably off target or even if Kirkland had not got his fingertips to it to begin with but that goal had nothing to do with Kirkland's flaws as a goalkeeper and everything to do with the quality of Bentley's strike. The point is that the strike was so good that, no matter what Kirkland could do, he could not stop it going into the goal. It was a physical impossibility, such was the accuracy & pace on the ball, for Kirkland to get anything more than his fingertips to it and touch it onto the bar. Also, Kirkland could do nothing to prevent the ball bouncing back off him into the net. The Dubious Goals Committee convenes several times over a season to decide on who such goals should be awarded to. Sky have marked it down as an Own-Goal for Kirkland which is a huge injustice to both players. There is no official criteria involved in the process but the Premier League have said the following: "As a rule, if the initial attempt is goalbound it is credited to the player making the goal attempt. However if the deflection means that a wayward effort results in a goal then it is attributed to the player who had the last definitive touch of the ball." The initial attempt was goal-bound and could never be described as "wayward", so by their own definition it should be Bentley's goal. David Bentley has suffered with low confidence recently and he deserves to be given that goal as it really was a sublime strike of a football. If you look at the incident from the angle, as Sky have done, that the ball had come off the crossbar & only gone in the goal because it hit Kirkland, then the committee will have to put the goal down as an Own-Goal but, if you look at it from the angle that the shot was already going in and Kirkland, despite every effort to keep it out, still could not stop it, then it has to belong to Bentley. By signing this petition I am hoping to make the committee aware of the latter opinion. As the committee meet at irregular intervals, this petition will be completed and sent to them as soon as possible in order that it can be received in time to be considered. Therefore all signatures need to be completed by the 14th December 2009.


All fans of Tottenham Hotspur

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