The Man in the Middle – Shrewsbury Town

It only seems like a week since I last wrote those words….

After comprehensively seeing off the Shrews in the Papa John’s Trophy last week, we face them in League One action this Tuesday looking to cement our place amongst the promotion challengers. On paper, it looks like a good opportunity to do so, but we shall see.

The match referee is a familiar face and an official who followed us from the National League and into the Football League in 2017.

Referee – CRAIG HICKS
Assistant Referees – Marc Wilson and Geoffrey Russell
Fourth Official – Andrew Dallison

We first encountered Hicks in 2013/14 when he officiated our 2-1 win at Salisbury. In 2016/17, he took charge of our 0-0 draw with Aldershot and the 2-1 win at Torquay early in the season, where he awarded us a second-minute penalty. He was promoted to the Football League in the summer of 2017 (who wasn’t, right?) and was in charge as we lost 1-0 to Exeter City He has been good to us since then, overseeing our 4-1 win at Crewe in 2017/18 and the 3-0 win at Crawley during our title-winning season.

There was some controversy last season as he failed to award us a ‘stonewall’ penalty in the defeat at Doncaster, with then-manager Danny Colwey feeling we should have had three. However, he has generally proved to be a sound referee who lets football flow and who keeps his red cards in his pocket. This season, he has sent just two players off in 16 matches, and has had two games where he didn’t produce a single yellow card.