Officials for the League Two fixture between Grimsby Town and Yeovil Town have been published by the Football League. The match takes place on Saturday 22nd April 2017, with a 3.00p.m. kick-off at Blundell Park. The man in charge of the fixture will be referee Eddie Ilderton (Tyne and Wear).
Clearly we don't get referees from the far North-East too often, but even bearing that in mind, the fact that we've only had him three times since February 2007 is unusual, particularly given that he was a reasonable regular during our early Football League days.
The first occasion we had him was at Moss Rose for a game against Macclesfield Town in 2003 and it didn't take long to spot he was one of the poorest officials on the circuit. Unfortunately Yeovil Town were even poorer that day, although we weren't helped by him denying Adam Lockwood a clear penalty - Locky was stamped on which provoked a melee, but he ended up booking the Glovers defender for it, and an entirely random Macclesfield player who wasn't even the one who kicked (literally) the whole thing off.
Later that season, we had him again, for an away match against Boston United. His performance at York Street on a Bank Holiday Monday 2004, won't be forgotten in a hurry by the 400 Glovers fans there: shambolic is too kind a word. The Glovers bench got into a steaming row with him when he forced an injured Darren Way to leave the field of play, but for reasons only known to himself wouldn't let us make the substitution - Way's absence allowed the very man he had been marking the chance to score unmarked 15 seconds later. Ilderton should have claimed an assist. He was also involved in Boston's second goal, gifting them a free kick after Paul Terry's ball-winning tackle, with future Glover David Noble netting from it.
Ilderton then chalked off a successful Gavin Williams penalty, claiming that he'd not blown his whistle for it to be taken despite there being no reason for him to need play to be delayed in any way - Gavin's second attempt was saved. His final contribution to a stinker of a game was to allow Boston's winning goal to stand, even though in fairness his linesman should have been able to give it - a ball over the top that looked an obvious offside saw both linesman and referee leave the decision to each other, giving Boston a 90th minute winner, and Mr Ilderton and his merry men a hand in all three of the home side's goals. Unsurprisingly after one of the worst refereeing performances we've witnessed, Gary Johnson wasn't too impressed, saying of Way's injury for the opening goal:
"That has to be the worst decision that a referee has ever made. The reason why is because he told Darren Way to get up. Darren Way was injured and he told him to get up and get off. If Darren Way stays down and has his treatment then we can make our substitution anyway. Nick was ready anyway. But he told him to get up and get off and then wouldn't allow us to bring Nick Crittenden on. Obviously the goal came during that 30 seconds. We thought that was really poor and we also thought that the handling of the penalty was really poor. Gavin waited for ages to take that penalty and when he put it in, the referee said that he didn't blow his whistle, and then he changed his mind later and told them that one of them was encroaching."
Thankfully, two of Mr Ilderton's other matches he's dealt with at Football League level have been a great deal more anonymous. He was back at Moss Rose in 2005, although without a repeat of the issues we'd had with him on his first visit there. Then in February 2007, he took charge of our 4-1 win over Carlisle United - we had a few grumbles about his performance that day, but nothing on the scale of his Boston horror show.
Of the more recent meetings, one came during February 2013. We were critical of his observational skills on the day, in a 1-1 draw against Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium. He seemed to miss a large number of incidents during the match - James Hayter had a penalty appeal turned down during the second half. Having made the decision not to award a spot kick you'd think Mr Ilderton would be conscious of the Glovers striker lying prone on the deck, but he let play go on, and on, and on, with only Doncaster's good sportsmanship ensuring that Hayter got treatment and was able to be helped off the pitch. Late on, we were grateful that Mr Ilderton seemed to be watching another game - a rather dubious challenge by Marek Stech on Donny subsitute David Syers got ignored again - just as well given that it was inside the box.
Back in March 2015, again we were left grumbling about Mr Ilderton's observational skills. Although he did award us one penalty during that game - after a poor backpass saw James Hayter intercept the ball, and then be brought down by Rochdale keeper (and former Glovers trialist) Jamie Jones, we felt the keeper should have walked for the foul - instead he got a yellow. Still on the pitch, the keeper saved the spot kick, but when Gozie Ugwu was brought down inside the box later in that half we should have had a second spot kick. This one wasn't given at all.
We've already had Mr Ilderton this season. In February 2017 he was at Meadow Lane for our League Two match against Notts County. This was a real stinker of a game. One of those matches that was going to end 0-0 even if both sides played until midnight. As we recall, the match officials didn't have a huge impact on the game, but minor things tended to contribute to the stuttering nature of the match. We groaned at him, but also groaned at the way both sides were playing the match.
Mr Ilderton's main claim to infamy is that he was the referee in charge of the November 2006 FA Cup tie between Barrow and Bristol Rovers. As far as the referee was concerned, this was a booking-free game, with no need for him to reach for his cards. However, the match became notorious for James Cotterill's punch that left Rovers striker Sean Rigg with a double fracture of the jaw and the need to spend the rest of his life with two metal plates inserted into his mouth. Cotterill was jailed for four months after pleading guilty to causing grievous bodily harm, thanks to the Match of the Day cameras picking up the act of thuggery, with the FA banning him from football in between the offence and the court case.
Mr Ilderton will be assisted by Danny Gratton (Staffordshire) and Neil Sharp (Cleveland). The Fourth Official will be Mark Dwyer (West Yorkshire).
Link: August 2003 : Macclesfield Town 4 Yeovil Town 1.
Link: April 2004 : Boston United 3 Yeovil Town 2.
Link: February 2005 : Macclesfield Town 3 Yeovil Town 1.
Link: February 2007 : Carlisle United 1 Yeovil Town 4.
Link: February 2013 : Doncaster Rovers 1 Yeovil Town 1.
Link: March 2015 : Rochdale 2 Yeovil Town 1.
Link: February 2017 : Notts County 0 Yeovil Town 0.
Comment on this News Item on Facebook
or Go back to Top of Page