Officials for Yeovil Town's opening competitive game of the 2012-13 season have been published by the Football League. Due to the London 2012 Olympics, the season opens with a League Cup First Round match against Colchester United which will take place on Tuesday 14th August 2012 at Huish Park, with a 7.45p.m. kick-off.
The referee in charge of the game will be Simon Hooper (Wiltshire). Mr Hooper was promoted to the Football League in the summer of 2008, and we've had him six times as the man in the middle.
The earliest occasion was October 2008, when a 0-0 draw with Leyton Orient saw him a little too trigger-happy in terms of stopping the game and failing to play advantage for both teams. We also weren't too happy about him missing a fairly blatant penalty shout for an off the ball foul on striker Scott Rendell. That was his first match at League One level, so some allowances should be made for his lack of experience at that time.
Next up was the August 2009 trip to play Huddersfield Town, where he was a late replacement as referee. He awarded us a penalty that day, and although we went on to lose the game, anyone who awards a spot kick to an away team at a stadium the size of the Galpharm deserves credit for a brave decision.
The third encounter was the November 2009 1-1 draw against Charlton Athletic. In a game played in atrocious weather conditions, Mr Hooper sent off Charlton's Sam Sodje half an hour into the game for a professional foul. Another brave decision, but to our (biased) eyes, the correct one. We had no other comments about his handling of the match.
Mr Hooper was at Huish Park for the September 2010 game against Southampton and we were a little less enthused about his brave decision-making. To be fair he had a decent game overall, and did give us one penalty for a trip on Gavin Williams, but it was his earlier decision to not award a spot kick for a foul on Andy Williams in the box that had us grumbling during the game.
Moving on to January 2011, he took charge of the home match against Milton Keynes Dons. During this match, he sent off Jean-Paul Kalala for an off the ball incident involving ex-Glover Michael McIndoe. No complaints about the Kalala decision, although our (extremely biased) opinion was that McIndoe should have walked with him. However, we did feel that the whole situation that had been brewing for the previous 84 minutes was partly the responsibility of a referee who wasn't doing enough to diffuse situations.
Mr Hooper's most recent visit to Huish Park was for manager Gary Johnson's first 'proper' game in charge for his second spell, having returned to the club at the start of that week. No complaints here about Mr Hooper's performance ... except that he failed to finish the match! He suffered a second half hamstring injury and had to leave the field.
Mr Hooper will be assisted by Robert Ellis (West Midlands) and Andrew Bennett (Devon). The Fourth Official will be Derek Eaton (Gloucestershire).
Link: October 2008 : Yeovil Town 0 Leyton Orient 0.
Link: August 2009 : Huddersfield Town 2 Yeovil Town 1.
Link: November 2009 : Yeovil Town 1 Charlton Athletic 1.
Link: September 2010 : Yeovil Town 1 Southampton 1.
Link: January 2011 : Yeovil Town 1 Milton Keynes Dons 0.
Link: January 2012 : Yeovil Town 2 Tranmere Rovers 1.
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