Ref Watch: Accrington Stanley (A)

We’re into the season’s penultimate game, and for the second time in four years, it comes away at Accrington Stanley.

That game saw a penalty, and Accrington wrapped up the League Two title. There’s nothing at stake, for either team, but we’ll still have a look at the referee.

Referee: MARC EDWARDS
Assistant: Peter Gooch and Gary Hilton
Fourth Official: Andrew Kitchen

Edwards is in his third year on the EFL roster, having ascended from the National League in 2018/19. As such, there have been very few occasions where we have seen him first hand, but I’ll tell you this – don’t bank on a red card. In his four seasons, a career spanning some 125 matches, he has shown a red card on just seven occasions, and only twice this season. Ominously, one of those came in the Morecambe Accrington game earlier in the season; the Shrimpers’ Shane McLoughlin was dismissed in the 38th minute, and Stanley had already had a penalty.

Credit Graham Burrell

One of his previous red cards, his first in the EFL, came in the final minute of our 2-0 defeat against Peterborough in Michael first season in charge. That was the only occasion he officiated us during 19/20, but he was later given the League Two play-off semi-final between Northampton and Cheltenham, such is his reputation.

Last season, Richards caused a bit of controversy at Sincil Bank when he allowed Jorge Grant’s penalty to stand in our 2-0 win against Charlton. Lee Bowyer was incensed, but we enjoyed the three points immensely. He also officiated our 2-2 draw with Blackpool, a game which turned around our post-Christmas form, and he didn’t have a bad game. He was also in charge as we beat Bowers and Pitsea in the FA Cup earlier this season.

He does give the odd penalty, on average one in four in all competitions (and not in either of his last two matches), and one in two in his League One matches (13 in total). That’s not to say he’s whistle happy; he only awards a foul every 0.46 tackles, which is low, with around 20 fouls per game in League One matches.