Ref Watch: Doncaster Rovers (H) EFL Trophy

Assistants: Paul Stonier and Johnathon Bickerdike
Fourth Official: Ruebyn Ricardo

Last week, due to heading off to the registry office, I omitted my usual ref watch piece. We had Tom Nield, a ref I haven’t had much cause to dislike over the las couple of years, and he did a solid job. In fact, the penalty he awarded us was perhaps a bit soft, but otherwise, he had a good game.

This week we have another new face, as we did against Derby County, On that occasion, a first-year referee handled a raucous fixture with balance and consideration, but tomorrow night’s game won’t have the same atmosphere. A half-empty stadium with a friendly feel will mean Adam Herczeg will hopefully not have a lot of pressure to deal with.

One of two penalties we’ve had in the last two matches – Credit Graham Burrell

He appeared in the National League in 202/21, and had a decent season. He only sent off two players, both against Chesterfield at the Proact Stadium in front of a big crowd. The following season he didn’t issue a red card and stepped up to the Football League. He’s had six matches so far, four in League Two and one in the EFL Trophy and EFL Cup. In those matches, he’s sent off two players; Stockport’s Ashley Palmer and Burton’s Quevin De Castro, both in the final stages of the games.

He is in the top six for fouls per game in League Two (26.25), although he’s only 19th for fouls per tackle, which suggests he’s had some tough games to officiate. He is also 40 out of 48 for yellow cards per game, which suggests a referee who will blow for fouls, but lets quite a few go unpunished. How that manifests itself on a glorified friendly game (worth £10k) remains to be seen.