Ref steals limelight in Eredivisie

Tom van Sichem called a temporary halt to proceedings 10 minutes

from the end because of abusive chants aimed at him from the home

crowd. Play eventually resumed after Utrecht boss Ton du Chatinier

pleaded with the fans over the public address system to stop, but

neither side could force a breakthrough. Away from that game Ola

Toivonen grabbed the only goal 13 minutes into the second half as

PSV Eindhoven re-established their three-point advantage at the top

of the table with a hard-fought win at Heracles Almelo. Heracles

have been one of the surprise packages in the Dutch top flight this

term and they pushed Fred Rutten’s men all the way until Swedish

striker Toivonen struck to move his side clear of second-placed FC

Twente. The hosts remain in contention for a place in next season’s

Europa League but will have to improve their form in Almelo if they

are to play continental football in 2010-11. A goal by Joshua John

after just 44 seconds set Sparta Rotterdam on their way to victory

over VVV-Venlo as they climbed out of the relegation zone. Sparta’s

lead was doubled after 32 minutes by Edouard Duplan’s header as

they leapfrogged ADO Den Haag, whose win yesterday had seen them

move out of the relegation places. However, it was not all good

news for Sparta as they had Donovan Slijngard sent off after 52

minutes for a tackle from behind. RKC Waalwijk remain marooned at

the foot of the table after they suffered their fifth consecutive

defeat since the winter break at Groningen. Goals from Swedish

defensive duo Fredrik Stenman and Andreas Granqvist paved the way

for the home side’s victory and ensured Derk Boerrigter’s

88th-minute strike was only consolation.