Ref Watch: Charlton Athletic (H)

Assistants: Alan Clayton and Oliver Bickle
Fourth Official: Steve Durnall

Daniel Middleton is a first-year referee who has been an official at Sincil Bank this season, acting as the fourth official as we drew 1-1 with Carlisle. He’s been a National League referee since the 2017/18 season, and one who likes a red – in 114 games, he showed 30, including three in Barnet’s Boxing Day win against Boreham Wood. One of those was for former Imp Bruno Andrade – Middleton has also sent off Sam Slocombe and Chris Bush in his time.

Credit Graham Burrell

Has he calmed down in his first season as an EFL official? Almost. He showed a red card every four matches in the National League, and in the Football League, he’s shown one every five matches. His two dismissals this season were Jordan Turnbull in the Tranmere and Wimbledon game and Jahmai Simpson-Pusey in the first half of Grimsby’s 2-2 draw with Manchester City Under 21s. He’s only officiated one League One match, Oxford’s 3-0 win against Exeter, in which he awarded two penalties to the home side.

He’s not exactly a stickler either – he’s 29/40 for fouls per game in League Two, making him one of the more lenient officials. From his five matches at that level, he’s also 29/40 for fouls per tackle and 31/40 for yellows per game. Whilst his previous numbers suggest a card-happy, incident-loving referee, the reality may be a little different.

Only time will tell.