Officials for the League Two match between Yeovil Town and Tranmere Rovers have been published by the Football League. The match takes place on Saturday 20th October 2018, with a 3.00p.m. kick-off at Huish Park. The man in charge of the fixture will be referee Christopher Sarginson (Staffordshire).
Mr Sarginson was promoted to the Football League's referee list in the summer of 2008. We had him twice during that 2008-09 season - the first being a November 2008 0-1 home defeat against Peterborough United where we felt he contributed to the game becoming a bit scrappy and tetchy by not taking better early control of the fixture, ultimately leading to six bookings. Later that same season, we had him for a home match against Milton Keynes Dons where his presence was a lot less obvious, bar the fact that he awarded us a fairly clear-cut penalty. Sadly, we didn't convert it. During the following season, he was present for the August 2009 Tuesday night match against Exeter City that ended up in a 1-1 draw at St James Park. Just the one booking that night, which we had no complaints about, and a good unfussy performance.
After that, he took charge of the October 2011 2-2 draw against Colchester United. Here he did us a bit of a favour - chalking off a goal for the home side after Steven Gillespie was ruled to have fouled Glovers keeper Jed Steer when putting the ball into the net. Not too surprisingly, the Essex club were less than delighted about the decision; Gillespie said after the game: "Keepers get protection, everyone knows that. I had a bit of leverage with the arms, but I thought it was a goal. I was up and away to celebrate. Even a couple of their lads after the game said they didnít see anything wrong with that." The Western Gazette had a somewhat different view of Mr Sarginson's performance, saying that their main grumble was the six yellow cards - four against Yeovil - that he dished out saying that he "gave a number of soft free kicks and yellow cards but was largely spot on with his decisions."
Our paths crossed in December 2011, when we managed a 0-0 draw against Rochdale up at Spotland. This was a decidedly dull game where the biggest incident involved a red card given to Kerrea Gilbert. Partly because the midfielder was already on a yellow card, there seemed to be a bit of confusion over whether he'd been given a second yellow or a straight red. But in terms of the actual incident, it wasn't one that we made a big fuss about either way - an over-the-top tackle. The Western Gazette said of Mr Sarginson's contribution to the afternoon: "Neither side can have complaints about his competent afternoon."
The December 2013 meeting involving him though was a corker that will live long in the memories of Yeovil Town supporters - although Paul Ince will be doing the best to blot it out of his mind. That match seemed to be heading towards a relatively normal 1-0 win for the Glovers until Blackpool seemed to lose the plot in the closing minutes. Kirk Broadfoot, Ricardo Fuller and Gary MacKenzie all got their marching orders in the 90th minute - two for a pair of yellow cards in quick succession, whilst Fuller got his for lamping Luke Ayling.
Sometimes you can blame a referee for losing control of the match, and sometimes the responsibility has to come firmly onto the players. This was a case of the latter, as the Tangerines ended the game with just eight men, and Ince endured what he described a bit of a crap night - amongst other things! Ince's team ended up with eight players sent off before Christmas, and himself given a five match ban in another match, but denied his side had a disciplinary problem and instead blamed the officials and the fixture computer. Which is a bit 'crap' really. Like ourselves, the Western Gazette felt the referee was given little choice in the matter saying "the referee was having a perfectly straightforward night until someone in the Blackpool dugout pressed the self-destruct button. He had no option but to send off three visitors in an unnecessarily fiery finale."
Having dealt with such a 'crap' game, Mr Sarginson would probably have been glad to have had a much quieter match for our January 2015 away match against Preston North End. A couple of late bookings was about his only impact in a 1-1 draw. No complaints. We then had him twice during the 2015-16 season - firstly for the October 2015 match against Cambridge United, where we had a horrible first half performance, followed by a decent second period - but all of our own making. We can't recall him playing too big a part in that game, even if he brought his yellow card out four times. Just over a month later, he took charge of our 1-0 victory over Stevenage in the FA Cup. Aside from turning down a strong Stevenage penalty appeal - which we won't argue about! - he had a quiet game.
We had him three times during the 2016-17 season. The first was for the 1-0 victory over Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road - another quiet match with just one booking. He then took charge of the December 2016 match against Portsmouth - we've not really got a clue as to how good or bad a night he had there, as the game was much too foggy for anyone to be able to see! He handed out just one 90th minute booking, so maybe he couldn't see any fouls out there either!
He had a greater impact on the game in his third 2016-17 visit. For the 0-0 draw against Mansfield Town, he had to make a fifth minute decision that could have changed the course of the game, when Kevin Dawson's lobbed shot was obviously handled by goalkeeper Scott Shearer outside his box. Whilst many were expecting a red card, for denying a goalscoring opportunity, Mr Sarginson raised only a yellow. It looked a very dodgy decision - unfortunately the video camera showed the lob from the wrong angle, meaning we couldn't be certain the ball was travelling towards goal when it was handled. But not too surprisingly manager Darren Way wasn't happy with the decision, saying after the game:
"It was a clear sending off. I thought the referee's decision was poor. But I don't want to be a manager that makes excuses. But if I have to be honest, if that wasn't in the first five minutes then he would clearly have to go, because the ball was carrying momentum towards goal, and quite clearly he lifted his hand. It would have changed things."
For the 2017-18 season, Mr Sarginson took charge of the August 2017 home match against Accrington Stanley. That one was a quiet one from his point of view, but he had far more impact on the October 2017 Stevenage game that followed. It was a good job we were 3-0 up by the time he dismissed Olufela Olomola and Francois Zoko in separate incidents, whilst also red carding Kevin Toner in the aftermath of the Olomola situation. After the game, manager Darren Way was critical of Sarginson, claiming that he'd got the Olomola decision 'wrong' and also suggesting that the official should have blown up long before the Glovers striker and Stevenage's Joe Martin got in a spot of WWE on the floor:
"I thought on the first sending off, he should have given a foul earlier. He just let that happen. Unfortunately when you get sendings off, a lot of them happen on the touchline, just because there are numbers here. I think it was one of those situations where he's got in a tussle, the referee decides not to blow the whistle, and it goes on, and then before you know it you've got two players on the ground and everyone running at them. But I think if you give that (foul) a little bit earlier, you don't see those scenes. I was more disappointed that you had a lot of staff, certainly from an officials point of view, as you had the fourth official, you had the linesman and you had the referee, and they still got it wrong."
Yeovil appealed against the Olomola red card, but were unsuccessful with that. In all honesty, having slowed the video down, we couldn't see an awful lot wrong with the two Glovers dismissals, and were rather surprised when Way chose to appeal. If the match official got anything wrong, it was that he could have easily produced more reds out of the melee that resulted. The incident itself took a long time to resolve, with Toner's dismissal happening two or three minutes after Olomola's, and so felt a bit dragged out, but of the one that Way was specifically complaining about, there appeared to be a back-kick into Martin's stomach.
Our most recent meeting involving Mr Sarginson came at Whaddon Road, where Yeovil Town beat Cheltenham Town by a 2-0 scoreline. Whilst we won the match, we did find his performance on the day to be very erratic. We'll give him the benefit of the doubt that he was playing a cunning advantage when Jordan Green was brought down inside the penalty box, given that two seconds later Omar Sowunmi scored the opening goal, but he didn't look like a referee that was considering blowing up. He also denied Cheltenham their own penalty decision when Kevin Dawson appeared to be brought down, with bad positioning from the official appearing to contribute to him not being able to give it. However, there wasn't a lot he could do about some of Cheltenham's ill-discipline late on in the game, where the home side picked up a few late bookings due to petulance.
Mr Sarginson will be assisted by Marvyn Amphlett (Worcestershire) and Samuel Ogles (Hampshire). The Fourth Official will be Michael Webb (Surrey).
Link: December 2017 : Cheltenham Town 0 Yeovil Town 2.
Link: October 2017 : Yeovil Town 3 Stevenage 0.
Link: August 2017 : Yeovil Town 3 Accrington Stanley 2.
Link: February 2017 : Yeovil Town 0 Mansfield Town 0.
Link: December 2016 : Yeovil Town 0 Portsmouth 0.
Link: October 2016 : Crewe Alexandra 0 Yeovil Town 1.
Link: December 2015 : Yeovil Town 1 Stevenage 0.
Link: October 2015 : Yeovil Town 2 Cambridge United 3.
Link: January 2015 : Preston North End 1 Yeovil Town 1.
Link: December 2013 : Yeovil Town 1 Blackpool 0.
Link: December 2011 : Rochdale 0 Yeovil Town 0.
Link: October 2011 : Colchester United 2 Yeovil Town 2.
Link: August 2009 : Exeter City 1 Yeovil Town 1.
Link: March 2009 : Yeovil Town 0 Milton Keynes Dons 0.
Link: November 2008 : Yeovil Town 0 Peterborough United 1.
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