The Man in the Middle – Accrington

As the dust settles from last night, time waits for no man.

We turn our attention to the weekend, with the officials now announced for yet another big game, this time against Accrington Stanley. They haven’;t won at Sincil Bank since 1947, will they do it this weekend? These are the officials who will take charge of their 13th attempt in a row to get the better of us at home.

Referee: Martin Coy
Assistant Referee: Stephen Wade, Grant Taylor
Fourth Official: James Oldham

Like many of the lower league officials, Martin Coy first crossed our path back in the days of the National League. He was in charge the day Darrell Clarke’s Salisbury side beat us 1-0 at the Bank, and again as we beat Hyde 4-3 later in the year, with Tom Miller getting the last-gasp winner. He remained in the National League until 2016/17, overseeing a 1-1 draw with Macclesfield and 3-2 defeat at Dover, as well as our thumping 4-1 win against Barnet. In our title-winning season, he was the official for our 1-0 victory at Tranmere, and the controversial 3-3 draw with Aldershot in which Matt Rhead got a last-minute leveller.

Continuing our decent run of form when Mr Coy is in charge, his first visit to Sincil Bank as a Football league referee saw us turn Forest Green over, 2-1 at Christmas 2017.  Our title-winning season saw our paths cross once again, and this time it produced the first red card in games of ours he has refereed. He sent James Wilson off as we drew 1-1 in the Checkatrade Trophy at Scunthorpe. He was then also in charge as we beat Morecambe 2-0 with an Andrade double later in the campaign.

Finally, after starting off his relationship with us with a 1-0 home defeat, he last came to the Bank for another home defeat, this time as we lost to Rotherham 1-0 in February. That game was Anthony Scully’s debut and despite the loss, it hinted at the style of play we have now come to accept as normal.

This season, Mr Coy has officiated 19 matches, giving 44 yellows cards (a little over two per game) and just four reds (one every five games). His last red card came at Hull City, sending off Darren Prattley during their 2-0 win over Charlton.