Round Up

Apologies for not posting since my accident.  Bar a sore shoulder I was fine going in to following Saturdays game at Heath Rangers.   The game itself I felt went reasonably well.  I had a need to issue four cautions and really should/could have had two more.  One which is interesting and Ive talked about over on involved a player jumping for an aerial challenge but leading with his forearm.  For some reason and I cant say why I was caught cold gave the free kick but apart from a word nothing more.  The assessor though felt I could only have a world or issue a red card and that a caution wasn’t possible.  While it gave me something to consider and it has, I don’t agree with his logic that I can punish at either end of the spectrum but not in middle level.   

Tuesday was County Cup semi final night and I really really enjoyable game.  We had to go the distance with Leics Constabulary winning 2-1 on Penaltys after extra time finished 2-2.   It was interesting to Referee two sides from the Senior League having been away from that league all season. 

I was yesterday on the line for a contrib game.  I’m going to take the step of not actually naming the game I, purely to stop no doubt this post being picked up and spammed to death.  It was a eventful game and one with a few key incidents.  Ones though that will make some more interesting posts on there own.

One note from yesterday’s game I managed to sprain my left ankle (the one I badly injured last season).  I managed to complete the game but was in some pain during the game and last night was in discomfort in bed.   Its not swollen or bruised like last time however I think ive strained the ligaments on the inside of my leg.   I’m due to be at Hucknall on Tuesday night but I don’t think I will be fit.  This is a real kick in the guts to be honest.  As well as the contrib game on Tuesday and I also have a supply game on Thursday.  I think a trip to see the Physio near work is in order tomorrow.

Boxing Day

I trust everyone had a good Christmas and Santa brought you what you wanted.  Christmas for me was stupidly hectic and it had the extra element of a game on Boxing Day at Ilkeston for their match versus Matlock.

I had to do something during the game that I haven’t done now for a few seasons.  Operate right backs/left wings.  There arenta  lof of Referee’s who operate this diagonal and I believe from Conference up its now a directive that Referee’s have to operate Left Backs/Right wings.  Its not a big problem but everything feels a bit odd as your flagging with different hands and gets a few minutes to get used to.

The game was quite eventful with 6 cautions in the first half, two penalty’s, a bit of a mass confrontation, disallowed goal and a last minute equaliser that pulled the game back to 2-2.

From my point of view I had a bit of a mixed afternoon.   Id picked up a runner at the confrontation and also came in on one of the penalty’s but also made a couple of rickets.  I went the wrong way at a throw in.  I realised straight away id gone the wrong way and held my hand up and corrected it.  It was to obvious.   Also the only offside I flagged for, the assessor felt that he player was onside.

Overall a bit disappointed with how this panned out and I don’t have another line now for a few weeks.  Next game isn’t until the 10th Jan.  As has become a bit of tradition were clearing of for a few days at the start of Jan for a post Christmas break.


Todays game has been called of due to heavy rain.  No suprise really, and watching SkySports News seems theres a lot off.


Ive not had time to post so often in the last few months as I would like.  This is due to a lack of time.  Its got quite silly at times in the last 6 weeks and has actually impacted me more than I would like.   I always pride myself in being prepared when 3pm on Saturday comes.   However this busy period has led to me making some very basic mistakes!

– Contrib Meeting in Birmingham a few weeks back.  I was working in Leeds that day and worked out I had to leave by a time to get there for 7.30.   However having called someone I was going to pick up on the way through as I was pushing time. I found it was 7pm!  So no chance I was make that without walking in a looking a prat!

– While I wasn’t driving, I didn’t take any directions with me to Stamford.  Neither did the driver so 20 minutes driving around Stamford!  I always take directions & contact numbers even if Ive been there lots before.

– I sent cautions to Birmingham County FA for one game, when one side was registered with  Staffs!   I only realised my mistake when Birmingham sent the confirmation with one teams cautions on!

Luckily all the chaos has ended now and I have some free time again and a cleared head.  However bottom line is that I should have been better prepared.

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail – Benjamin Franklin

However different

I got to visit a ground I had never been to before at the weekend when I visited Castle Vale for their fixture vs Piklington.  Its always good to visit new grounds, and its a really impressive ground with a lot of potential there.  However its a shame that during Friday night someone decided to smash the dugouts up!!

The game got of to a busy start with 3 free kicks inside the first 50 seconds ( I know it was this because I had to look!).   The first caution came to a Pilkington player after 3 minutes, when he took a blatant swipe to trip a Castle Vale player.   I actually saw it as an Orange card, however thought about it a few seconds and went with the yellow.   Within a few minutes the same player gave a way a penalty to Castle Vale.   It was just a run of the mill foul and no need to issue a 2nd caution, although I did caution the goalkeeper for dissent. It turned out that the player I caution was substitute after 15 minutes, it was unclear if it was injury or tactical.

The game had started very hectically and it was an uphill battle to get any grip on it.  I gave a free kick, i was asked to let it flow.  I let it flow and were looking for the kick.   I just had to stick to getting control of the game and being stubborn if need be.    Midway through the 1st half I cautioned a Castle Vale player for taking a throw in that wasn’t his to take.  He argued that he didnt know it wasn’t his side’s throw.  He may have been telling the truth, however it was visible and with the context of the game and the mood I wasn’t going to let it pass, so it was another caution for a delayed restart!   Another caution came then to Castle Vale for a text book challenge from behind.

Then came a incident Ive never had before.  Caslte Vale player “simulates” looking for a penalty, Ive seen it ball the ball has broken away for the defence, so I decided to come back and let them attack.  However he then gets up and takes the man out.  I decide caution, and take you pick on the office.   However having issued the caution the same player continuities to show dissent.  So I issued a 2nd caution and dismissed him from the field of play.  Queue “you cant do that!” 

I’m thinking at half time this is going to be a long second half.  However its completely different the two teams are getting on with the game and with about 20 minutes to go there are some great bits of attacking play that allow me to play advantage to keep it flowing.   There was only one caution issued which was to a Castle Vale player for dissent.  However even after I cautioned him, he seemed to want me to issue a 2nd caution.    I did also have to ask the Castle Vale manager to leave the technical area for a comment that was bellowed across the pitch.

It really was a game of two halves to use a cliche.  It was a bit dissapointing not to have been asseseed as I would have been interested from an external point of view what was thought of the game.  What was pleasing was an official from Pilkington felt the decisions were made for me and I coudlnt do a great deal about them.  It was nice to get a ballanced view like that, especialy as his side had lost 3-1.

Next game is Saturday in the MFA when I go to Oadby who are struggling against Market Drayton who are top.

Out of Sorts

Not sure if it was the cold yesterday or just one of those days.  I was assistant referee yesterday at Stamford for their fixture vs Loughborugh Dynamo in the Northern Premier League.   The day didn’t get of to best start when we spent 20 minutes driving around Stamford having come of at the wrong exit. Then the other assistant who was driving drove in to the school next door and not the ground!

I didn’t have a great deal to do again, think 4 offsides and 1 foul was all I needed to come in on.  However I had four tight ball in/out of play calls to make.   This was probably as well to be honest as while there wasn’t anything wrong I felt off form.  Twice I flagged with the wrong hand at an offside, while a small thing its wrong and if I we had an assesor it would have been picked up.

Something that got me during the game and possibly highlighted why the respect campaign isn’t going to solve all our problems.  Half time and im checking the nets.  Young lad behind the goal offers me a chip, I said id love one but better not. However if he can get me a hot drink and hot dog during the 2nd half ill take it off him.  With the young lad was I guess his parents and another lad, possibly 14.   Fifteen minutes to go and free kick and the Ref has a word.  The young lad of 14 starts shouting “Ref your a f***ing knob, you want f***ing respect.  I’m not sure if he was with his parents or not but they must be so proud!

I don’t have another line now until the 20th December.  I’m not really sure as to why things didn’t quite click today, but they happen.  The main thing is there wasn’t anything incorrectly given in law and I didn’t hamper the referee’s control.

My next game is next Saturday when I referee two new teams to me.  Caslte Vale and Pilkington XXX in the Midland Combination.

Trip to the Seaside

Yesterday was the longest I have traveled to referee a game.  I left my house at 2.05 PM, drove just short of 270miles and arrived home just past midnight.   This was for a Midland Floodlit youth cup game Grimsby Town vs Walsall.

Show me the way to Blundell Park Show me the way to Blundell Park

This all started a few weeks ago when I was asked by the Supply League Referee’s Appointments Officer If i could do the game.  I thought at first he must have meant Walsall vs Grimsby but he was right first time around.

I went to Blundell Park many years ago when visiting family, I remember they played Mansfield and drew 0-0.  I also remember the ammount of stick that the Mansfield Goalie got, all stuff I never understood at the age of 11.

Last night turned out to be a good game of Football, Grimsby looked really impressive and ran out 5-1 winners.  With leading 3-0 at half time it was never really in doubt.  Walsall felt that the first goal may have been offside and were unhappy that at the throwin that led to the 3rd goal that they though the player had pinched some distance.

I had need to issue 3 cautions for challenges, the first I would have called an orange card.  However reaction of the players involved made me settle for yellow which everyone seemed fine with.   During the 2nd half though we had a need for a stretcher.  As the defender came through to challenge and head away the ball with the Walsall captain he seemed to catch him wrong in his back and he ended up being stretcherd off.  After we got the player off I had a chat with the defender, however the outcome of the injury cant effect the action you take.  It was a strong challenge, but nothing you wouldnt see week in week out in the Northern Premier etc.