Officials for Saturday's Championship home match between Yeovil Town and AFC Bournemouth have been published by the Football League. The match takes place on Saturday 12th April 2014, at Huish Park. The game will kick-off at 3.07p.m. following a minute's silence to recognise the 96 victims of the Hillsborough Stadium disaster, which happened 25 years ago tomorrow.
The man in charge of the fixture will be referee Robert Madley (West Yorkshire). Robert is not to be confused with Andrew Madley, who we had for our recent match against Leicester City. Andrew is also from the same County - inevitably leading to some confusion and contradiction across the internet between the pair. That seems to be settling down now, given that Robert was co-opted onto the Premier League referees list in the summer of 2013, meaning that he has a much higher profile within the game.
Robert Madley is a former Leeds United and Barnsley academy player, who was released at the age of 16 and had to retire from football after breaking his wrist eight times, whilst playing for the two Yorkshire clubs' youth sides. He turned to refereeing instead, and five years later he was one of the first officials to be present at the new Wembley Stadium, as an assistant referee at an England U16 vs Spain U16 match in 2007, aged just 21 years old. His habit of appearing at Wembley continued in 2009 as an assistant at the FA Vase Final, whilst he was the Fourth Official a year later for the Conference play-off final. He made the move onto the Football League's lists in the summer of 2010.
Mr Madley has taken charge of three Yeovil Town matches, with two of them being in the FA Cup. He looked after the 2010-11 FA Cup exit at the hands of Hartlepool United. Not that we can blame him for going out of the competition - the only controversial thing on the night was Yeovil's defending as they threw away a two goal lead to lose 4-2.
He also took charge of Yeovil Town's 2011-12 FA Cup match against Fleetwood Town at their Highbury Stadium. As such, it was his decision to award the Lancashire club a late penalty for a foul by Ed Upson on Kieran Charnock - described in our match report as a 'generous' decision - we felt that Mr Charnock took a tumble a little too easily, fooling the match referee, but then again we would think that. Other than that one decision, Mr Madley had a fairly tidy game - just one Fleetwood booking.
Most recently he was in charge of the March 2012 home match against Walsall that was won thanks to a brace from Andy Williams in a 2-1 win. Despite the victory we weren't overly happy with the referee's performance - we had a couple of penalty appeals turned down, whilst in the second half, as Walsall tried to get back into the match, he frustrated us a little bit by blowing for 'invisible' free kicks - thankfully we held out for the win.
So far this season he's managed a top-heavy 10 red cards across just 24 matches, with 86 yellow cards raised during that time. On top of that last October he sent off Rotherham United manager Steve Evans, shortly after dismissing Rotherham's Michael O'Connor for a professional foul that resulted in a penalty for their opponents MK Dons. Evans got dismissed for abuse shouted at Mr Madley on the half time whistle, leaving Evans mouthing off about it after the match - last week Evans implicitly brought up the incident six months later in a general whine about Premier League referees taking charge of Football League matches. We're starting to warm to tomorrow's referee by this stage.
Mr Madley will be assisted by Richard West (East Yorkshire) and Mark Pottage (Dorset). The Fourth Official will be Rob Lewis (Shropshire).
Link: December 2010 : Hartlepool United 4 Yeovil Town 2.
Link: December 2011 : Fleetwood Town 2 Yeovil Town 2.
Link: March 2012 : Yeovil Town 2 Walsall 1.
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