Ref Watch: Everton Under 21s (H) Papa John’s Trophy

Credit Graham Burrell

Referee: Andrew Kitchen
Assistant Referee: Conor Brown, Graeme Fyvie,
Fourth Official: Ross Joyce

Andrew Kitchen is a second-year referee, which usually means there’s very little for us to draw upon. However, he has reffed a few of our matches, the first being our 3-0 win against Bradford in the EFL Trophy last season. I don’t recall anything particularly bad from him during that game, which meant I wasn’t overly worried when he popped up as the official for the visit of Cambridge to the Bank.

He really impressed me in that game (the one we lost 1-0), to a point where I felt we’d got away with a few bits. “I actually thought we got away with quite a bit in terms of pulling and fouling; referee Andrew Kitchen let the game flow, allowed some fouls to slip by, but not to a point where the game got overly tasty,” I wrote.

“Until one key moment, which I’ll come to, he was a 10/10 referee. As a first-year official, I sense big things for him in the future.” That key moment was their goal, where I felt a free-kick had been awarded wrongly for a foul of TJ Eyoma. However, one decision certainly didn’t make me question the official, as it wasn’t clear-cut.

He was also in charge of our final day victory over Crewe, Michael Appleton’s final game in charge, and it didn’t stand out (although it was more like a friendly).

Credit Graham Burrell

It shouldn’t be a tough game to manage; even if it were, Kitchen is the man to do it. He’s 49/55 for fouls awarded per game in League One, just 18.25, and he gives the fewest fouls per tackle than any referee; he’s the least picky referee out there. He’s 47/55 for yellows per game as well, so there will be no drama tonight, maybe a couple of yellows at best.