This game was a tough fixture and I was aware going in as the teams had a reputation of going at each other. I joined my colleague who was assigned with me as my Assistant Referee; this was the first time we were working together. We met an hour before kick-off and travelled to the field in Cambridge.
We arrived in good time and pre-game preparations went quite well with a field inspection, warm-up and collecting gamesheets and fees on time. By the time I blew the whistle, it was a minute passed the published kick-off time.
The game was quite eventful with six yellow cards (all for unsporting behaviour) and eight goals. One goal-line decision. Two penalty kicks. There was also an absurd number of times that the ball made contact with players’ hands. Some deliberate and some not so I waved away multitudes of appeals including a few in the penalty area much to the annoyance of both teams.
One potential DOGSO. An attacker tripped just outside the area by a defender and yelling for a red card ensued. I blew the whistle and ran to the spot. I beckoned to the offending player to join me closer to the touchline as I backed in that direction. I leaned back slightly to ask my AR what he saw from his angle. “Last man?”, “No, yellow”.
It was definitely a good game to practice awareness and alertness as there was plenty going on. 6/20. 30% there.