Whilst Seb Stockbridge didn’t have fans clapping in delight this weekend, he did keep up his record of sending players off in games involving Lincoln; that’s four since 2017, and only one Imp.
What can we expect from the officials this evening as we take what I suspect might be our last trip to the Stadium of Light for some time?
Referee: JEREMY SIMPSON
Assistants: James Wilson and Geoffrey Liddle
Fourth Official: Simon Mather
Simpson is an old-school referee, who has been blowing the whistle since 2009. In his second match ever, he sent of Imps legend Alan Marriott, albeit whilst he was playing for Mansfield in the Blue Square Premier. His first game involving the Imps came in 2011/12, as we went down 1-0 to Cambridge, with Tom Shaw scoring for them. At the end of that season, Simpson moved up to the Football League. We didn’t.
Since then he’s mainly been reffing Championship games, although he was in the middle for our 2-2 draw with Stevenage, where Ilias Chair bagged twice in three mad final minutes. He was also the ref that sent off Adam Jackson as we went down 2-1 to Bristol Rovers last season, and although I moaned about a penalty that wasn’t given in the first half of that game, there were no complaints about the one that was given.
This season, Simpson has almost exclusively been a Championship referee, bar one League One game at Sunderland, which they drew 1-1 with Oxford United. He’s sent off three players in 17 matches, and awarded 64 yellow cards, which is about average. Hopefully, given his experience and standing as a Championship referee, there should be no cause for concern this evening.