Ref Watch: Plymouth Argyle (H)

Credit Graham Burrel

We’re looking forwards, not backwards on the site this week, so attention turns to Plymouth Argyle.

I thought they might have a tough season, but that’s not proving to be the case. The last time they were at the Bank, there was outrage at a penalty we won. Will there be the same under these officials?

Assistants: Mark Dwyer and Michael George
Fourth Official: Garreth Rhodes

We could refer to Andy Woolmer as something of an old friend; he’s been coming to Sincil Bank for longer than some of our supporters. His first visit was in 2004/05, when he took charge of a routine 2-0 Imps win over Shrewsbury Town. Oddly, his second trip here was for the same game, a 1-1 draw in 2005/06, with Nat Brown bagging for us. By that time, he was already officiating across all three divisions.

In 2007/08, we saw him at the City Ground as we lost 3-1 to Forest in the FA Cup, and again later in the season as Jamie Forrester and Danny Hone gave us a 2-1 win against Rochdale. Rochdale were the opponents the next time he officiated one of our games, but it was a 3-1 defeat for City at the Bank under Chris Sutton, albeit with a Chris Herd wondergoal for us to enjoy. He was back in 2010/11, reffing one of the few home games we won, 1-0 against Port Vale.

City at Forest in 2007/08, with Andy Woolmer in charge – Credit LCFC

Once we returned to the Football League, we started seeing Mr Woolmer again, and he was in charge as we went down 1-0 to AFC Wimbledon in 2017/18. I remember that game well; I thought he had a bit of a shocker, There was a clear penalty on Matt Green not given: “Green was then hauled down in the box, a clear penalty all day long but one that wasn’t given,” I wrote. “Maybe he should have gone down quicker, maybe he is too honest, but for whatever reason it wasn’t given.” That was the last time our paths crossed, until Saturday.

He used to love a red card – in his debut season he showed 11 in 16 matches, and in his first Football League campaign in 2004/05, he flashed seven in 29. He’s calmed down of late, showing just one in 35 games in 2014/15, and this season he hasn’t shown any, so far. He’s also only awarded a single penalty this season, coming as West Brom drew 1-1 with Millwall.