One thing which confused me about Reading’s second goal against Wigan last weekend, was that when the players returned to the centre circle for the resultant kick-off, the Wigan players noisily surrounded the referee with an appeal against the goal, which seemed hard to understand.

Only when I watched the television replay, I realised it was because of one the most innocuous features in football, a dropped-ball.

This is simply a way the referee can restart the game, after he has stopped it without any offence having been committed.

What has become the norm these days at a dropped ball, is for a player to kick the ball back to the opposing goalkeeper.

You can sometimes see the referee pointing in the direction they wish the ball to be kicked. However, that isn’t what is intended at a dropped-ball.

The Law says ‘any number of players may CONTEST a dropped ball (including the goalkeeper)’ and goes on to say, ‘the referee cannot decide who may contest a dropped ball or its outcome’.

In the Reading/Wigan game, the referee had stopped the game for some reason within the centre circle and then restarted by dropping the ball between a player of either side.

The Wigan player knocked the ball on to a Reading player, perhaps expecting him to kick it back to the Wigan goalkeeper.

Instead he decided to pass it forward towards the Wigan goal.

It was from there Mo Barrow began his run that finished with a beautiful 25-yard strike.

When they changed the Law some time ago to say that a goal could not be scored from a dropped-ball, I asked my contact at the International FA Board, if this was because they wanted the ball to be kicked back to the goalkeeper in future.

I was told this was not the case – they still expected them to be contested.

Although it was a little messy, it seemed Wigan players were caught out by a referee who decided to conduct a dropped-ball, as it was intended.