Ref Watch: Ipswich Town (A)

Assistants: Rob Smith and James Wilson
Fourth Official: Neil Hair

This weekend we travel to Portman Road and will be graced with another experienced official.

Andy Davies has been around for a while and is a Championship referee. This season alone, he’s taken control of five games at that level, including QPR and Blackpool, as well as Huddersfield and West Brom. He’s been on the Football League list since 2012/13 and was almost solely on second-tier games by the time we came back to the Football League in 2017/18. Like most big-name officials, he does get lower-league matches, meaning we’ve seen him twice.

In 2018/19, he took charge of our 2-1 win at Forest Green and awarded a penalty for a foul on Bruno Andrade, which was the right call. In 2020/21 he was at Sincil Bank as we beat Oxford 2-0 on the opening day of the league season. I remember Karl Robinson having a good old moan after that game, but that’s a bit like saying, ‘I remember the sun coming up’ – it happens every day. In that game, I felt Davies only made one decision I didn’t agree with, which usually means he had a good game.

City beating Oxford – Credit Graham Burrell

I think we’re in safe hands tomorrow. Davies is 29/30 for fouls per game, just 17 per match in his five Championship matches. He’s 22nd out of 30 for fouls per tackle as well, another indicator of a referee who likes to let games flow. He’s 27/30 for yellows per game (just 3 on average), but don’t think he’s a pushover – he sent off Wigan’s Joe Bennett after ten minutes of their trip to Birmingham for a (justified) professional foul.

I’m pretty confident that tomorrow, we won’t be talking about the referee at full-time.

As an aside, if we were to see the referee injured again, the fourth official is Neil Hair, a referee we’ve seen before.