Ref Watch: Crewe Alexandra (A)

Tomorrow night sees us head off the Gresty Road, hopefully, free of the shackles of playing at home, which is a real struggle.

Do you know, we’ve only been beaten in 90 minutes three times this season, as opposed to three times in ten days at home. We haven’t lost on our travels since September 28, when we surrendered at Morecambe. So, who will be in charge when we visit the Railwaymen?

Assistants: Conor Brown and Kenwyn Hughes
Fourth Official: Robert Lewis

Declan Bourne is a second-year referee who served two years in the National League after we left it in 2016/17. He’s not fond of his red card by the way, in four seasons he has shown just seven, two of those in the same match after a 90th-minute brawl. In 13 games this campaign, he has shown 54 yellow cards, so an average of around four per game, above average. That does include ten in the Scunthorpe and Forest Green game, which perhaps skews his figures somewhat. If only those two teams could behave themsevles! He does like a penalty too; he’s awarded four in his last five matches. Fingers crossed, we might be able to score from 12-yards, completely unopposed.

He’s reffed one game of ours, the 2-2 draw with Swindon Town last season that was nothing to write home about. His performance was decent enough, our best chance in the first half came after the ball hit him! Bourne was the fourth official when the Imps met Sunderland last season as well.

I think we have a decent ref, as we did this weekend with Bobby Madley, but I guess it really doesn’t matter if we’re not getting in positions to score, where penalties might be given. We’re not putting in many crunching, blood-curdling tackles either, so his yellow isn;t likely to be troubled!