Officials for Tuesday night's League One match between Southampton and Yeovil Town have been announced. The match takes place at St Mary's Stadium, on Tuesday 8th March 2011 with a 7.45p.m. kick-off. The man in charge will be referee Keith Hill (Hertfordshire). We've had Mr Hill three times as a Football League club, although oddly only once whilst we've been a League One club, with the other two coming in our League Two days.
The one and only time in League One came during a home match against Southend United, and there's little doubt that Mr Hill took centre stage. Raising his yellow card six times and his red card twice, the Hertfordshire official finally lost the plot, in a game he'd never had a grip on, in the last minute when he dished out a straight red card to Danny Schofield for an excellent sliding challenge. In the aftermath, Gary Roberts described to Mr Hill precisely what he thought of his decision-making and was also dismissed. The Glovers, who at that point had been putting the Shrimpers under sustained pressure with a late comeback goal, were down to nine men on the back of an excellent tackle, and the game was over.
After the match manager Russell Slade labelled Hill as 'arrogant' for refusing to review the sending off on the video, and the Football Association called him up to explain himself. At the same time, the FA's own Appeals Panel were agreeing with Russell that Mr Hill had got the decision wrong, overturning the red card, meaning that by the time the Yeovil boss reached FA Headquarters he was merely warned as to his future conduct.
Aside from that mess, Mr Hill took charge of two home League Two matches - one against Macclesfield Town and another against Lincoln City. The Macclesfield defeat saw him go largely unmentioned in the match report. We were slightly more irritated by him in the March 2003 fixture against Lincoln, but that was because the home support did not like his unwillingness to clamp down on some gamesmanship and physical play from an Imps side playing the long-ball game.
Mr Hill has continued to do Football League matches on a regular basis since those days, but given how often we get officials coming down from the Hertfordshire area, it is surprising that we have not crossed swords since. Based upon his Southend performance, maybe that's for the best.
His record during the 2010-11 season points to more of the same - his 118 yellow cards and 5 record cards are by far the most that have been raised in the Football League this season, with only two other officials (Iain Williamson on 107 and Lee Mason on 100) having broken through the century mark for yellow cards this season.
Saints fans already have experience of him from this season, with the St Mary's Stadium match against Bolton Wanderers back in August 2010 seeing him produce six yellow cards, evenly spread across both sides.
Mr Hill will be assisted by Ian Cooper (Kent) and Kevin Johnson (Weston-super-Mare). The Fourth Official will be Derek Eaton (Gloucestershire).
Link: October 2008 : Yeovil Town 1 Southend United 2.
Link: October 2004 : Yeovil Town 1 Macclesfield Town 2.
Link: November 2003 : Yeovil Town 3 Lincoln City 1.
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Link: Ticketing For Southampton vs Yeovil Town.
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