The Man in the Middle – Wigan

I’m going to make a conscious effort to improve the pre-match offering on here, without stepping on the toes of my Match Day Live analysis.

There will be two ‘regular’ articles coming out before each game, this being one of them. We’ll have a short piece about referees (you’ll see the other later today), and anything notable about the other officials. For tonight’s game (kick-off 7 pm, available on iFollow), the appointment is

Assistants – Andrew Hendley and Oliver Bickle
Fourth Official – Carl Boyeson

Tonight’s official is Sam Purkiss, a second-year referee who ascended to the National League the year after we were promoted. One of his earliest decisions involving former Imps was to send off Jack Muldoon as Aldershot beat Fylde 2-1 in 2018/17.

His first League One game came last season as he oversaw Wimbledon beat Portsmouth 1-0, and across his 28 games, he showed 83 yellow cards and just two red.  We haven’t had him in charge of any of our games, but this season he has had five in our division, including Wimbledon v Blackpool in which he sent off two players, both for Blackpool.

In total this season, Purkiss has dished out 29 yellow cards in 13 games, with five reds.

The ‘big’ news, despite him not being able to influence the referee unduly, is the fourth official. Carl Boyeson has been a referee since 2002/03, and he isn’t one I’m a huge fan off. He gave Bristol Rovers’ penalty for Tom Nichols dive last season, and recently took charge of our EFL Trophy game against Manchester City.