This weekend we’re finally back in league action, with Doncaster Rovers the destination.
It hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for us in recent years, our last win there came in 2004, when I wore a younger man’s clothes. Hopefully, we can put that right this weekend, but will we do so with the benefit of a decent official?
Referee: ROBERT LEWIS
Assistants: Danny Gratton and Peter Gooch
Fourth Official: Paul Graham
Lewis is a referee we have had a couple of times before, either side of our stint in the National League. He spent five years in the Conference at the turn of the century, before stepping up in 2004/05. He first officiated one of our games in 2005/06, a 3-2 win at Stockport in which a young Lee Frecklington scored his first league goal. Yup, this is an experienced official. Since then he has watched over clashes with Macclesfield (2007), Chesterfield (2011), Carlisle and Port Vale (2018) and Manchester United Under 21s in 2019/20.
Last season, we had him just once, for our 4-0 win at Northampton. In that game, he missed a shocking elbow from their player Ricky Korboa, who clearly smashed an elbow into Lewis Montsma’s face. Unbelievably, the referee waved play on, then stopped the game when the home side had the ball. It made me mad at the time, but it was the only major decision he got wrong.
He has only once dismissed a player in a game featuring Lincoln, with Mike Jones getting his marching orders as we beat Carlisle 1-0 over Easter in 2018. This season, he’s sent off one player in 12 games; Alfie Kilgour for Bristol Rovers.