Ref Watch: Exeter City (H)

Assistants: Mark Jones and Paul Stonier
Fourth Official: Elliott Swallow

For the opening fixture of the weekend against Exeter City, we welcome Andy Haines to the LNER Stadium (thatll keep Liam happy for a bit).

Haines is a very experienced referee with 17 years of experience behind him. We first saw him on Boxing Day in 2007, on an away trip to Bradford City which we lost 2-1 (Barry Conlon got the winner, a player who once split my lip). He took charge of us plenty during our final years as a Football League team, including the opening day of the 2008/09 season, where we lost 1-0 at Rotherham.

He was also in charge of a dour 0-0 draw at Shrewsbury. He’s reffed us in the League Cup too, we went down 1-0 at home to Barnsley just before Jacko was sacked. The first red card he showed a Lincoln player came in 2010, when Davide Somma was sent off on his final Imps outing. The following season, our annus horribilis, he officiated as we won 2-1 at Bradford (they must have been awful), and as we went down 4-0 at home to Gillingham.

Credit Graham Burrell

Since coming back into the league, he has been to Sincil Bank (sorry Liam) a few times, as we won 3-1 against Port Vale in 2017, and as we hammered Southend 4-0 in 2019. In between those games, he sent off James Norwood as we went down 1-0 against Tranmere. He also officiated our 1-0 FA Cup defeat against Ipswich. T

Towards the end of the 2019/20 season he took charge of our 1-1 draw at Shrewsbury, awarding a penalty to both sides. In 2020/21 we had him just once, he dismissed Sean McConville in our 0-0 daw with Accrington, a game in which I felt we would have benefitted from a few kinder decisions. We had him just once in 2021/22 as well, Shrewsbury (again) in the EFL Trophy, where we won 4-1.

Last season, no prizes for guessing which game he reffed; yep, Shrewsbury away in the EFL Cup, where he showed precisely zero cards. To be fair, he was also in charge as we lost at Rotherham, and he didn’t have a terrible game if I recall.