Ref Watch: Burton Albion (H)

Assistants: Danny Gratton and Ryan Whitaker
Fourth Official: Mark Jones

Edwards is in his fourth season on the EFL roster, ascending from the National League in 2018/19. As such, there have been very few occasions where we have seen him first-hand. Last time we had him, against Accrington last season, I said don’t bank on a red card, as in a career spanning some 125 matches, he had shown a red card on just seven occasions. What happened? He sent off their keeper, and we still lost 2-1.

Credit Graham Burrell

One of his previous red cards, his first in the EFL, came in the final minute of our 2-0 defeat against Peterborough in Michael’s first season in charge. That was the only occasion he officiated us during 19/20, but he was later given the League Two play-off semi-final between Northampton and Cheltenham; such is his reputation.

Two seasons back, Richards caused a bit of controversy at Sincil Bank when he allowed Jorge Grant’s penalty to stand in our 2-0 win against Charlton. Lee Bowyer was incensed, but we enjoyed the three points immensely. He also officiated our 2-2 draw with Blackpool, a game which turned around our post-Christmas form, and he didn’t have a bad game. He was also in charge as we beat Bowers and Pitsea in the FA Cup last season. I can’t recall thinking anything negative of him in all of those games.

This season Edwards hasn’t dished out a red as yet, and much of his officiating has been in League Two. He has awarded three penalties in his matches, one in the League Two clash between Walsall and Bradford, and the other two in Morecambe and Derby. Curiously, all three were missed.

In terms of his stats, he’s 22/56 for fouls per game in League Two, 23/56 for fouls per tackle and 18/56 for yellows. That’s pretty much as you’d expect, as his ratios are all more or less the same. Curiously, in his four League One fixtures, he’s 52/57 for fouls per game, 52/57 for fouls per tackles and 41/57 for yellows per game. If anything, he seems a little more able to let games flow at our level, and he does seem to err slightly on the side of a yellow card rather than completely leniency, but there’s nothing in the stats to suggest I’ll be talking about him on Sunday morning.