Ref Watch: Rotherham United (A)

Disclaimer: Despite being listed on the EFL site as Sarginson, the referee for the game is now Andy Haines.

After having one of the most card happy referees in League One this weekend, we’re going to be officiated by a familiar face on Tuesday.

Assistants: Christopher Ward and Darren Williams
Fourth Official: Ian Smedley

We’ve been getting Mr Sarginson for a few years now; in fact, his first Imps game was back in 2008. His first red card in a City game came in the same season; he correctly sent off Anthony Elding as we drew at the Bank with Bury. After officiating a 2-2 draw at Wycombe in 2010/11, he made one of the most significant sending off of a generation.

On March 15th, 2011 he was in charge at Moss Rose as we travelled to Macclesfield. Who remembers that game? A win would have left us all but safe, and going into the 90th minute we led 1-0. The trouble was we only had nine men on the field, Delroy Facey had been injured and Ben Hutchinson had been dismissed by none other than tomorrow’s referee.

Of course, just as in the case of Anthony Elding, he was absolutely right to do so. Hutchinson was booked for a foul and then, just after the hour, he petulantly kicked the ball away after a decision went against him. He was shown a second yellow and went off down the tunnel. If he’d stayed on, would he have picked up the unmarked Sam Wedgebury for their injury-time leveller? Knowing Hutchinson’s work rate, probably not.

Credit Graham Burrell

Ten days later, he sent yet another Lincoln City player off, Pat Kanyucka, as we lost 6-0 to none other than Rotherham United. Again, he was fully justified in going so, and he brought a welcome and premature end to Kanyucka’s Imps career. Since then, we’ve had him a few times, notably in EFL Trophy games against Accrington (which we won 4-0) and Man Utd U21s this season, which we won 3-2. In that game, he dismissed Hannibal Mejbri in the final minutes. Correctly, again. Incidentally, he was at Sincil Bank last weekend as we beat Sheffield Wednesday, as the fourth official.

Him and Michael do have a little more in common; he was the official in 2017 when Michael’s Oxford were beaten in the EFL Trophy final by Coventry City.

This season, he’s sent off just three players, one of them Mejbri. The other two both came in the same game, Colchester’s 1-1 draw with Swindon. That leaves him 60th out of 60 in terms of reds per game in League One; he’s not shown a single one in his 12 matches at this level. He has shown 41 yellows in his 12 League One games, making him 27th out of 60 for bookings at this level. He’s also middle of the road for pens (1.7 per game, 28th) and fouls per game (22.8, 30th).