Ref Watch: Leyton Orient (H)

Assistants: Daniel Cook and Danny Guest
Fourth Official: Marc Wilson

The referee dominated the headlines against Bristol Rovers; even if we did win 5-0, his decision to send off Ethan Erhahon has left us depleted for tomorrow. That may have been correct (I’m not sure), but the penalty was not. Have we got a good one for tomorrow, a game in which we perhaps need a strong official with a lot on the line?

We haven’t seen a lot of Carl Brook, but the last time we did wasn’t a happy time – he was in the middle of our FA Cup reverse at Chippenham. Before that, he took charge of our 2021/22 trip to Charlton and the same season’s trip to Wimbledon that more or less confirmed our safety. The first game he officiated involving us was back in the 2016/17 season when we lost 2-0 to Boreham Wood.

Credit Graham Burrell

Mr Brook was not promoted at the same time as us, but the following season, he showed a red card nine times in just 22 matches; that’s well above average. He remained in the National League in 2018/19, where he showed eight reds in just 26 matches, which is still one every three games. He used to like a red card here and there but has calmed down, issuing just two this season.

He’s pretty middle of the road when it comes to the stats – 28/61 for fouls per game, 37/61 for fouls per tackle, and 24/61 for yellows per game. Whilst Chuck Berry was quite right when he sang You Never Can Tell, the numbers indicate our referee tomorrow will be unremarkable, which is the best setting for a ref. Let’s hope that’s the case!