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Why setting off a smoke bomb could cost your team a goal

Fans of Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea have all been seen setting off smoke bombs in recent months - with some incidents creating more of a half-arsed moral panic than others - but from the Skrill Premier comes a warning as to why it may prove a costly endeavour.

In the dying minutes of Saturday evening's fixture between Barnet and Cambridge, with the score 2-2, Jack Saville’s header was hacked off the line straight up into the air. Unfortunately, some Barnet fans had just chosen to set off a smoke bomb behind the goal, on the terrace all of a few feet from the pitch.

As the ball got lost in the smoke, Bees forward George Sykes didn’t notice as it came down, deflected off the crossbar and hit him, rebounding into the net.

The 19-year-old thought he'd scored his first goal for Barnet, but the linesman cut the celebrations short, ruling that the whole of the ball had, somehow disobeying all known laws of physics, gone out of play during its brief journey upwards, before travelling back in and hitting the crossbar. Hard to say – because the ball had been lost amid the smoke.

Said Cambridge manager Richard Money after the game, “If the linesman [ruled out the goal] because the smoke caused wasn’t our fans who let it off.”

Clearly the lino has had what the youth call ‘a mare’, but the smoke-happy Barnet fans should remember that had they not intervened, their team would have claimed a vital win over the league leaders.

Oh well...