'Distraught' referee Keith Stroud pays penalty for Newcastle error

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Keith Stroud has been taken off duty this weekend following his blunder against Newcastle United.

Stroud was forced to issue an apology after wrongly awarding Burton Albion a free-kick after Dwight Gayle encroached into the box before Matt Ritchie struck a first-half penalty.

The Bournemouth official should have ordered the spot kick to be retaken.

Ritchie netted after the break to give Newcastle a 1-0 win and send the club back to the top of the Championship.

The decision infuriated Benitez and his players, though United's manager chose his words carefully after the game.

Stroud consulted Hartlepool-based fourth official Tony Harrington in the minutes after his initial decision, which was greeted by incredulity by Ritchie and his team-mates.

And Sky Sports are now reporting that Stroud will not officiate at Gillingham this weekend in the wake of the error.