Referee: MARTIN WOODS
Assistants: Stephen Wade and Ollie Williams
Fourth Official: Declan Brown
Referees are taking centre stage, for a change, with the recent rule changes. Plenty of managers had a moan this weekend about the excess added time, and it’s only going to continue.
Will we be getting irate tomorrow night, playing on beyond 10 pm? Possibly, and if we are, we’ll be directing it at Martin Woods, a second-year referee who we have had once. He was inc charge last season as we hammered Barnsley in the EFL Trophy, where James Norwood was sent off for his elbow on young Jay Benn. That’s all we’ve seen of him, and as he was mainly in League Two last season, he is still something of an unknown quantity.
In terms of time added on, he was in charge of Newport and Accrington this weekend, a game that finished 3-0 to Stanley on their return to the basement division. That game featured eight minutes of injury time in the first half and 12 in the second. The final goal for Accrington came in the seventh minute of second-half injury time. Of course, that’s no reflection on the referee, he’s only enforcing the new laws as implemented by the FA, but it is bound to be controversial.
One other thing to be aware of – Mr Woods had the highest fouls per game total of any referee to take more than ten matches in League Two last season, averaging more than 26 fouls per game. He awarded 25 on Saturday, with just two yellow cards. Expect a stop/start game.