Ref Watch: Charlton Atheltic (H)

Assistants: Richard Woodward and Bradley Hall
Fourth Official: Abbas Khan

Robert Lewis is a referee we have had a couple of times before either side of our stint in the National League. He spent five years in the Conference at the turn of the century before stepping up in 2004/05.

He first officiated one of our games in 2005/06, a 3-2 win at Stockport in which a young Lee Frecklington scored his first league goal; this is an experienced official. Since then, he has watched over clashes with Macclesfield (2007), Chesterfield (2011), Carlisle and Port Vale (2018) and Manchester United Under 21s in 2019/20.

Credit Graham Burrell

In our play-off season, we had him just once, for our 4-0 win at Northampton. In that game, he missed a shocking offence from their player Ricky Korboa, who clearly smashed an elbow into Lewis Montsma’s face. Unbelievably, the referee waved play on, then stopped the game when the home side had the ball. It made me mad at the time, but it was the only major decision he got wrong. Last season he officiated our less-than-thrilling 0-0 draw at Doncaster, whilst he was also the fourth official the night we lost at Crewe, a game in which we conceded two penalties and had TJ Eyoma (rightly) sent off.

He has only once dismissed a player in a game featuring Lincoln, with Mike Jones getting his marching orders as we beat Carlisle 1-0 over Easter in 2018. This season, he’s had nine games in all competitions and flashed just a single red card to Donovan Wilson of Sutton. He’s 14th for fouls per game in League One with 24; the highest is 28 and the lowest 15, so he is on the pickier side. However, he’s fourth in fouls per tackle, which suggests he’s unlikely to let much go (unless it’s a blatant elbow, right?).  He’s 25th for yellow cards per game, which suggests that despite liking the sound of his whistle, he won’t put his hand in his pocket unless absolutely necessary.

Sounds a bit like my mate Dave.