Officials for Saturday's Championship home match between Yeovil Town and Bolton Wanderers have been published by the Football League. The match takes place on Saturday 22nd March 2014, with a 3.00p.m. kick-off. The man in charge of the fixture will be referee Darren Deadman (Cambridgeshire).
Mr Deadman is a very familiar name whose experience in refereeing stretches back to our non-league days. He was promoted to the Football League's lists two seasons after we were, yet despite that he's not a referee we've had on a large number of occasions since entering the league - just three meetings so far, with two of those in the same calendar year.
Both of the 2008 meetings came on the road. He took charge of the League One match against Gillingham at Priestfield where he did wind up the locals by denying them a couple of penalty decisions in a 0-0 draw. In the middle of that, he gave midfielder Stephen Maher an unfortunate afternoon - red-carding him within four minutes of him landing in the pitch for what was deemed to be an overly aggressive tackle. We thought Mr Deadman was a little impetuous in the way he raced in with his red card to placate the baying Gills crowd, who had got a bit hysterical over some of his decisions leading up to that. But then conversely we then saw the more obvious of the two penalty appeals against us waved away, and we wondered if he had that Maher sending off on his mind as he did so.
Five months later we came across Mr Deadman in an away match against Hereford United. Although games against the Bulls tend to be fairly feisty affairs, he handled this one relatively well, even if we had some quibbles about him allowing Hereford's goal to stand with our (biased) view that Asmir Begovic had the ball kicked out of his hands. Two minutes after the 82nd minute goal that pulled the game back to 2-1, we had two players booked for timewasting - guessing the circumstances you can probably work out what was going on!
Most recently we had him for the September 2013 Championship meeting against Ipswich Town at Portman Road. He managed to get through a booking-free night, and we don't recall him upsetting anyone, even though we lost the game by a 2-1 scoreline. The Western Gazette said he had "a quiet evening and [was] faultless in his decisions" and given his anonymity on the night, we can't disagree with that.
Overall Mr Deadman does have a bit of a reputation across the Football League as being one of the more heavy-handed referees, with cards a-plenty - in one recent season he managed to raise over 200 yellow cards and obviously that attracts attention amongst football supporters and media personnel. This season he's been rather more modest - 95 yellows and five red cards across 28 matches - just over three cards per game which is probably par for the course these days.
Mr Deadman will be assisted by Keith Lawson (South Humberside) and Mark Derrien (Dorset). The Fourth Official will be Charles Breakspear (Surrey).
Link: September 2013 : Ipswich Town 2 Yeovil Town 1.
Link: August 2008 : Hereford United 1 Yeovil Town 2.
Link: March 2008 : Gillingham 0 Yeovil Town 0.
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