View Comments
Cheeseman appointed to second-leg final
Mathew Cheeseman

The eagle-eyed WA official who spotted Shane Smeltz's second goal against Melbourne Heart has been rewarded with an appointment for Sunday's A-League major semifinal second-leg match in Gosford.

Mathew Cheeseman, who was quick to signal that Smeltz's header had crossed the goal line in Perth Glory's 3-0 elimination final win last weekend, will fly across the country to officiate in only his second finals match.

The Football West referee coordinator had a memorable finals debut at nib Stadium on Sunday when he was correct in keeping down his flag, despite a suspicion of offside, for Smeltz's opener before his sharp eye noticed the Kiwi international's looping header had crossed the line for Glory's second goal.

"I'm pretty ecstatic to be getting a gig over east in the finals," Cheeseman told _ <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.thewest.com.au">www.thewest.com.au </a> _ today.

Heart goalkeeper Clint Bolton had complained about Cheeseman's goal-line decision but TV replays showed he was correct in signalling for a goal.

"From where I was I saw the ball completely pass the line while it was in the air before it hit the ground," said Cheeseman, who has won the Golden Whistle as the State League's best official for the past two years.

"When they started questioning it I did think I hope my eyes haven't deceived me. But if I wasn't convinced I wouldn't have raised the flag."

Last month, Cheeseman was named football official of the year by the Department of Sport and Recreation and wants to follow in the footsteps of Football West referee development manager Eddie Lennie, who officiated at the 1998 World Cup in France.

"My aim was always to officiate in a World Cup in whatever capacity," Cheeseman said.

He celebrated his 27th birthday yesterday by refereeing a game between a Glory XI and a visiting Singapore team.