Ref Watch: Doncaster Rovers (EFL Cup)

Assistants: Graeme Fyvie and Oliver Bickle
Fourth Official: Jacob Miles

Tonight we travel to the Keepmoat for our Carabao Cup game, a repeat of the Aug 14 2007 game, which saw us hammered 4-1. Hopefully, we can begin to erase memories of that, and every other defeat they’ve inflicted on us of late. Anthony Backhouse will be the man in charge tonight, but what can we expect of him?

Backhouse first took charge of an Imps game back in our National League days, as we beat Tamworth 2-1. I remember the game well, Lee Hendrie played for them, and it was a win that pushed us into the final game away at Hyde and ultimately survival for the second year in a row. Going into the game was perhaps the nadir of our National League days after that, Gary Simpson began the turnaround, and we weren’t seriously in relegation trouble again.

We were pumped 5-1 at Halifax on December 28th the following season, which could well be described as a low of sorts. Backhouse was in charge, and he sent off Alan Power after 12 minutes, rightly so, before our late capitulation. Other notable non-league games he took charge of included the 2-1 win against Tranmere, where Andy Mangan dived to win a penalty, and our televised 2-0 win against Dagenham and Redbridge.

Credit Graham Burrell

He has been in control of seven matches of ours in the Football League, one of the more notable our 2-1 win at Stevenage during which Matt Green was sent off for two bookings. They were both spot-on, one for encroaching on the kick-off and another for kicking the ball away. However, he also gave the penalty from which Ollie Palmer netted the winner.

More recently, he officiated the 6-0 home reverse against Oxford, in which the only abhorrent displays were from our players, and in the 2020/21 season, he was in charge for our 0-0 draw with Fleetwood. In that game, he could have dismissed Alex Palmer for a challenge on Harvey Saunders, and a more enthusiastic referee may have done. Instead, he controlled the game relatively well, I felt, despite it being a bit competitive in places. The last time we had him officiating one of our games was last season, as we beat Northampton 2-1. Once again, he did very little to concern Imps supporters. Since then, he’s reffed two Imps games, both 2-1 home wins. One was Northampton when crowds were locked out due to Covid, and the most recent our 2-1 win against Morecambe on a freezing cold night earlier this year.

This season he’s officiated two matches, both in League One. He oversaw Derby beating Oxford 1-0, and Sheff Weds beating MK Dons by the same margin. He’s booked ten players in total and awarded a single penalty.