Ref Watch: AFC Wimbledon (H)

Another week, another poor referee. 

It’s been three-in-a-row hasn’t it? Ipswich and the Bonne goal, then the Plymouth clown who reports things he hasn’t punished players for, and now David Webb, the man who thinks a corner is where an attacker kicks the ball out. I’ve been so disappointed because last season, I thought the standard was alright. I do wonder, is it a crowd that makes them crumble? Who knows. The big question is, who do we have Tuesday evening?

Referee: PAUL HOWARD
Assistants: Alan Clayton and Wayne Grunnill
Fourth Official: Trevor Kettle

Howard is one I don’t recognise instantly, which I’m sure is a good thing. He’s relatively new, and he hasn’t taken charge of an Imps game before. He joined the National League in 2018/19, He had a decent record with cards, just three reds in 20 games (two in one game) and 64 yellows, just over three per game. He stayed in the National League for another year, but took charge of one Scottish League Cup game, and one of the conference play-off games, between Boreham Wood and Halifax Town.

That made last season his first in the Football League, and we didn’t see him at all; he did get League One games quite quickly though, his first being Peterborough’s 2-2 draw with Burton in October. In 29 games, he only sent off three players, two of which were for Mansfield Town in different games! He booked 81, fewer than three per game, which means he seemingly likes to keep his cards in his pocket, if he can.

This season he’s shown two red cards (both to Mansfield players, he really doesn’t like the Stags!) and 30 yellows in ten games. He’s already had four League One matches, Shrewsbury v Plymouth, Cheltenham v Oxford, Crewe v Morecambe and Cambridge v Fleetwood. In his most recent game, Swindon v Forest Green, he was described as ‘having a mare‘ by the home press, but criticism of him is very hard to find. He also awarded his only penalty of the season so far in that game.

Here’s hoping he has a bit more to offer than David Webb and Andy Woolmer, who have both been poor recently.