Okay, I got caught out a bit last week.
I plan to do a written preview for each game this season, and a referee article, and somehow the first game got here and I’d done neither. That’s going to change today, with my first referee article of the new season.
Assistant Referees: Adam Ricketts and Matthew Smith
Haines is a very experienced referee with fifteen years of experience behind him. We first saw him on Boxing Day in 2007, on an away trip to Bradford City which we lost 2-1 (Barry Conlon got the winner, much to my ire). We then saw him plenty during our final years as a Football League team, including the opening day of the 2008/09 season, where we lost 1-0 to Rotherham, and in a dour 0-0 draw at Shrewsbury. He’s reffed us in the League Cup too, we went down 1-0 at home to Barnsley just before Jacko was sacked.
The first red card he showed a Lincoln player came in 2010, when Davide Somma was sent off on his final Imps outing. The following season, our annus horribilis, he officiated as we won 2-1 at Bradford (they must have been awful), and as we went down 4-0 at home to Gillingham. Since coming back into the league, he has been to Sincil Bank a few times, as we won 3-1 against Port Vale in 2017, and as we hammered Southend 4-0 in 2019. In between those games, he sent off James Norwood as we went down 1-0 against Tranmere. He also officiated our 1-0 FA Cup defeat against Ipswich.
Towards the end of the 2019/20 season he took charge of our 1-1 draw at Shrewsbury, awarding a penalty to both sides. Last season we had him just once, he dimissed Sean McConville in our 0-0 daw with Accrington, a game in which i felt we would have benefitted from a few kinder decisions. Tomorrow night will be his first game of the current season.