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.
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!