Ref Watch: Doncaster Rovers (H)

Whilst we haven’t had a referee who has directly influenced the outcome of the game since maybe Crewe away, they have created a few talking points.

On Saturday, Ollie Yates didn’t delight home fans with what was perceived to be some unjust decisions, although personally, I didn’t think he had a bad game. Are we in for more of the same tomorrow night?

Assistants: Daniel Woodward and Marc Wilson
Fourth Official: David Hunt

Ben Speedie is a second-year referee who has only officiated in two of our matches; the first being the 1-0 win at Crewe last season. He certainly impressed me on that occasion, when I wrote: “David Artell won’t be lamenting a referee either, I think there was one booking all game in a match that flowed really well. Nope, no blame, no excuses, just a really, really good Lincoln City performance.” Sadly, the same cannot be said of his second, game involving us, a visit to the Bank.

Ben Speedie – Credit Graham Burrell
No, he didn’t impress me quite as much at the Bank earlier this year, when he allowed a goal from Ipswich Town striker Macauley Bonne which came from a blatant push in the back on TJ Eyoma. He later ruled out our goal in that game, which I wasn’t impressed with at the time.  “A good Bramall cross saw Regan Poole steaming in from the right and slamming the ball home, only for the referee to rule it out for offside,” I wrote. “Replays are inconclusive, but It was tight, very tight. Two decisions, both against us, which meant it remained 1-0 to them, not 1-0 to us. Literally, that was the difference between the two sides, calls from the referee. After the game, Michael called Speedie arrogant, and whilst I haven’t met the man, for Michael to be so incensed is unusual. Those in line with the ball say Poole might have been marginally off when the ball arrived, but not so when played.”

There’s no misunderstanding of the offside rule there, is there?

This season, Speedie has officiated 28 games and handed out 85 yellow cards, which means three per game, a good average. He’s dismissed three players, the most recent of which was Scott Robertson for Crewe as they went down 2-0 against Rotherham. He’s awarded two penalties all season, both of those to away sides and both in League Two.