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Life President
Oct 28, 2003
An injury to Graham Horwood has brought about a late change and a hastily thrown together refwatch.

Tomorrow's referee is a bald man from the armed forces, which will not please everybody! However he's not the worst example of that ilk (damned with faint praise?).

Man in charge will be 46 year old, Darren Drysdale from Lincolnshire. A sergeant in the RAF, on the human resources side, he began refereeing in 1988, officiating in the Northern Alliance and Northern Premier League, became an assistant referee for the Football League in 1996, and in 1997 progressed to being a Conference North referee. In 1998 he was appointed as an assistant referee for the Premier League, and two years later was given the honour of being an assistant referee to Graham Poll in the 2000 FA Cup Final, he also became a FIFA assistant referee in the same year. In 2002, he became a UEFA assistant referee, one of only three from the UK at the time. He was appointed to the Football League List of referees in 2004.

He attracted some media attention in 2007 after Bradford City's Dean Windass received a five-match ban for swearing at him in the car park after a home game against Brentford. He was dropped from the list a couple of years later and is now in his second spell as a League referee. Apparently he used to drive a top of the range Bentley with personalised number plates.

He made the headlines earlier this season for a better reason when he assisted a player who had swallowed his tongue in the match at Morecambe.

We have seen little of him over his 13 years; just nine matches the last of which went okay. This season's win at Walsall when he booked four of theirs and the game's only goalscorer, Cox.

Before that was the disappointing home defeat against Chesterfield in 2015/16. A yellow for Coker and 2 of theirs. Phil Brown "slammed" the referee for a penalty decision. Others, including Adam Barrett, slammed Phil Brown for his tactics.

The one before that was far from his best. It was the 2014/15 home draw with Bury when he cautioned Prosser, Worrall, Payne and Binnon-Williams along with 3 of theirs.

Prior to that, the most recent match was 2013/14's Friday night 3-0 victory over Mansfield which also turned into a bit of a cardfest with a red for Clifford and two reds and three yellows for them. A difficult match to referee and he did what he had to do reasonably well.

Previously it was the unforgettable Cup replay at Brentford, when he (and Smith) did rather well. One caution for Prosser. He rushed to congratulate Smith at the final whistle.

Before that it was the 3-2 away win at Bristol Rovers in 2012/13 when any criticism would have centred on a slightly soft penalty. He sent off one of theirs and booked Tomlin and Phillips. Before that he brought the curtain down on the season before with the home play-off match against Crewe which, of course, we drew 2-2. Four cautions - one for us (Grant) and 3 for them including a controversial one for simulation.

Previously, it was a 3-2 home defeat by Coventry in 2006/7 (2 yellows apiece; Maher & Guttridge) and the 2-1 win at Port Vale the following season when Macca got the winner (we shaded the yellows 3-2; Clarke, Bailey and Macca).

Card count remains below average this season with 4 reds and 66 yellows from 25 games.

Assistants are Dan Cook a ship building welder from Portsmouth and Marc Wilson from Cambridge. fourth Official is Paul Kelly from Gillingham.