Ref Watch: Burton Albion (A)

Referee: BEN TONER
Assistants: Anthony Moore and Ravel Cheosiaua
Fourth Official: Alex Gray

Ben Toner is a familiar face for the Imps – we’ve already had him at the Bank this season, in the recent tie with Newcastle Under 21s in the Papa John’s Trophy.

Last season he looked after our 2-0 defeat at Morecambe, a woeful outing for City, and the first signs things were not going to go our way under MA. We had him three times in 2020/21; he officiated the 4-1 win against Shrewsbury, the 3-1 victory over Mansfield and our EFL Trophy semi-final against Sunderland. He was also in charge of one of our games back in 2017/18 when we won the Trophy, that being our 1-0 win away at Rochdale in the second round.

Courtesy Graham Burrell

In 2018/19, he sent off just six players in 38 matches, two of which were Imps. He took charge of the 2-2 draw with Swindon in which Jason Shackell and Bruno Andrade were dismissed, neither of which we could complain too much about. He also sent off Ishmael Miller in our 1-1 draw with Oldham earlier that season, again a decision that was hard to argue. Other notable games he has officiated include our 1-0 FA Cup win against Ipswich in 2016/17, as well as the 2-0 win at Burton in 2019/20 and 2-0 defeat at home to Portsmouth, handing out a hefty 13 yellow cards across the two ties.

This season, Toner has officiated six games in our division. He 34/55 for fouls per game, meaning he isn’t one to let everything go, but you shouldn’t hear his whistle too much. He’s 22nd for fouls per tackle and 39th for yellows per game. He’s going to be middle of the road, and as long as the game is played in good spirits, I don’t see a reason for concern. Plus, he’s a referee who doesn’t have VAR every week, so he won’t be afraid to make a decision, say, a handball in the area.

Don’t expect a red card, by the way – he’s not flashed a red in 22 games across all competitions this season. In fact, he hasn’t shown a red to an away player since September 2021, a run of 48 matches.

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