Ref Watch: Ipswich Town (H)

The Imps welcome Ipswich Town to Sincil Bank this weekend, in a game that has proven interesting for referees in the past.

We’ve had penalties, contentious incidents and last season, a justified (and welcomed) red card for Jon Nolan. Paul Lambert wasn’t happy after that game as we got a rather soft penalty, but will Paul Cook be lamenting his luck after this weekend, blasting these officials in the process?

Referee: Ben Speedie
Assistants: Geoffrey Russell and Steven Rushton
Fourth Official: Oliver Bickle

Ben Speedie is a second-year referee who has only officiated in one of our matches; the 1-0 win at Crewe last season. He certainly impressed me on that occasion, when I wrote: “David Artell won’t be lamenting a referee either, I think there was one booking all game in a match that flowed really well. Nope, no blame, no excuses, just a really, really good Lincoln City performance.” It would be nice to be writing something similar, albeit about Paul Cook, on Sunday morning.

City at Crewe – Courtesy Graham Burrell

This season, Speedie has officiated eight games and handed out 24 yellow cards, which means three per game, a good average. He hasn’t sent anyone off, and as yet, he hasn’t awarded a penalty either. It might be an odd quirk, but he hasn’t taken charge of a draw in that time, and in his eight games only one has seen fewer than three goals. Are we in for a goal-fest this weekend? Let’s hope so – four of his last five matches have seen the home side win to nil, with three of those being 3-0 home wins.

I’d take that this weekend. hell, I’d take a clean sheet whatever happened at the other end!