Ref Watch: Port Vale (A)

Credit Graham Burrell

Assistant: Darren Wilding and Marvyn Amphlett
Fourth Official: Christopher Husband

We had a good solid referee at Barnsley in James Oldham, and got a game that flowed freely and was easy to enjoy. Will the same be the case this weekend?

Our official will be Sunny Gill, a referee we have not had prior to our trip to Vale Park. He’s the son of a referee himself, one you’ll doubtless all remember; Jarnail Singh.

Gill is a first-year official who has taken control of just one League One match this season – Burton’s 3-2 win against Forest Green. In that match, he dismissed a player and awarded a penalty, but on second watch, both were justified decisions.

Dad Jarnail officiates Imps and Rushden in 2005/06 – Credit LCFC

Because Gill has only had one League One game, I’m going to look at his position in the League Two lists as guidance to the type of referee he might be. He’s officiated seven matches, and has an average of 20.43 fouls per game; that’s 36th out of the 53 referees who have appeared at that level. Given he’s had the joint-highest number of games, that’s not a bad total in terms of game flow.

He’s 38th in fouls per tackle, which is an indication of pickiness, I guess. The higher up you are in the table, the more fouls you give per tackles, and it suggests he does try to let the game flow as much as possible. Of the 29 referees in League Two who have awarded a penalty, Gill has the lowest average, with one in his seven matches, but he is 16/53 for yellow cards per game. He might be one who tries to let the game flow, but he does like a yellow.

What does this tell us? I think it points to a decent young ref who, when a game begins to get out of control, is not afraid to get a couple of yellow in and stamp a bit of authority on proceedings. Let’s hope so; I recall having a certain Huxtable at Port Vale one year, who allowed an assault on Lee Frecklington and gave the home side a soft penalty. We don’t want that again, although a repeat of that result (6-2 City) would be nice.