Referee: JAMES OLDHAM
Assistants: Damith Bandara and Daniel Bonneywell
Fourth Official: Kevin Howick
James Oldham is an official we’ve had once this season, away at Barnsley when we won 1-0. I had no reason to notice him in the game, which bodes well.
In fact, the Imps games he has officiated have been relatively drama free, which would be nice after the last two! Prior to this season, he was in charge of our 2-1 win against Fleetwood, the first home match of last season. Before that, it was against Ipswich in 2020/21, a game we drew 1-1.
Prior to Covid, he was last at Sincil Bank as we drew 1-1- with Scunthorpe in the EFL Trophy, but don’t worry; he doesn’t only preside over our draws. He took charge of our 5-3 win against Ipswich in 2019/20 and our 3-0 victory against Rotherham in the same season.
This season, he’s enjoyed a red in all competitions – he’s shown six in 18 matches, including one which angered Joey Barton in the EFL Trophy. He’s not officiated a match yet this year and had three in December, one of which saw Forest Green Rovers’ Corey O’Keeffe sent off after his side had won a controversial last-minute penalty against Cambridge, which they scored to win the game.
He’s a middle-of-the-road official when it comes to fouls per game, 31st out of 57 in League One this season. That said, his fouls per tackle is ninth in the division, which suggests he hasn’t had tough matches, but he still likes his whistle when there are fouls. He’s issued 25 yellows in six matches, leaving him 17th-most card-happy in the division, with four reds in his six League One matches. Unbelievably, despite showing a red every 145 minutes, he’s only the third-most eager referee to send a player off, behind Sam Purkiss.