Mike Riley displayed an almost Graham Pollesque level of inconsistency at Villa Park today, helping West Ham United to their first FA Cup Final in 26 years.

Two huge Riley mistakes turned the game, which saw more elbows flying than the first day of the Next January sales. But it seemed that anyone in the famed white (? – Ed) of West Ham was absolved of any wrongdoing, while those in red, saw yellow.

Dean Ashton's 40th minute right armed "challenge" on Boro's Mark Schwarzer looks to have ended the keeper's season.Ashton escaped any punishment for the elbow and subsequent cheekbone fracture sustained by Schwarzer, which instead allowed him to get booked mid way through the second half for a later tackle on his stand-in, Brad Jones.

But questions have to be asked about Marlon "Peanuthead" Harewood's elbow-first "challenge" on Gareth Southgate and how he escaped ANY punishment for it. He then went on the score the winner (beautifully finished, by the way) but to be honest, he wouldn't have been able to have scored from the changing room, now would he?

Between these two incidents, Riley showed his true colours by booking Boro's Rochemback for holding off midget Reo-Coker – "with his elbow".

So once again, a potentially wonderful game of football, the dreams of tens of thousands of fans and a route into Europe is decided by the errors of an official. I wonder if he's going to tell us where he went wrong? I doubt it.

Gotta love football, ain'tcha???

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