Ref watch: Fleetwood Town (A)

If there’s one thing the weekend’s game against Charlton taught us, it’s that a referee doesn’t need to be ‘card happy’ to give out cards.

Both of the cards we saw were right in yet another competent display from Bobby Madley. Do we have the benefit of an equally as efficient official tomorrow night?

Assistants: Thomas Harty and Anthony Moore
Fourth Official: Paul Graham

Whenever I write about Peter Wright, I’m drawn to one moment. He gave one of the most famous penalties of Lincoln City’s modern era; the leveller at Gateshead back in 2017. We went into the final minutes 1-0 down, but Sean Long’s cross was handled and Peter Wright pointed to the spot for the second time in the game. Neither penalty could be disputed, and at the time if you’d told me he’d be taking charge of City in League One five years later, I’d have bitten your hand off!

He spent another year in the National League, before joining us in the EFL in our title-winning season. His first visit to Sincil Bank as a Football League referee came as we drew 1-1 with Port Vale on New Year’s Day 2019. On that occasion, he could have sent off Anthony Kay for them, but it wasn’t cut and dried, as I wrote: “There’s an argument he (Kay) could have seen red, but the referee chose two other targets and kept Kay on the field. It would have been harsh to dismiss him, but those with rose-tinted glasses might feel differently.” I’m certainly not averse to a referee who tries to keep the game 11v11, even if it is against us.

Imps v Huddersfield – Credit Graham Burrell

The following season we had Wright again, this time away at Huddersfield in the EFL Cup. I seem to recall another decent display, although beating the Terriers was enough in itself. I don’t think we spoke much about Mr Wright, and that’s the mark of a good ref, right? The following season, we didn’t get him last season at all, but he was at the Bank earlier this season, as we drew 1-1 with Rotherham.

He was due to take charge of the postponed game earlier in the season, and has kept the fixture for tomorrow night. Thus far this season, Wright has officiated 12 matches in League One, handing out 3.42 bookings per game. He lets the game flow, giving around 18 fouls per game, which makes him 53 out of the 60 officials, by far the fewest for a referee with more than ten games.