Following the international break, Ref-Watch is back, but I’m afraid it’s not with a bang, as our official for the visit of Charlton is Rob Lewis, who is making his first appearance in the Championship this season.
It’s in fact only his seventh second tier fixture since he was appointed as a Football League ref in 2010, and his first since he took charge of Blackpool vs Huddersfield way back in March 2014. I feel like we should have some sort of celebration, but maybe that’s a bit weird.
It’s his career as a linesman that makes Lewis an interesting character to research. A quick Google search of his name and you’ll see many reports of Manchester United 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur in January 2005. The significance of this game? Lewis was the assistant referee that failed to spot the ball evidently cross the line after Red Devils keeper Roy Carroll spilled Pedro Mendes’ 50 yard strike before clawing it out. It’s probably in every goalkeeping error montage and every video that showcased the need for goal line technology. If you can’t remember it, here it is:
Back to the present, and in the seven games that the Shropshire ref has taken charge of so far this season, he has given 25 yellow cards, no reds and one penalty – which was missed by Port Vale’s Sam Foley.
He has never officiated a Reading fixture before, whilst the two previous Charlton matches he has been the man in the middle for have both ended in draws. However, he did send off two Addicks players against Bristol Rovers in 2011 and gave a penalty against the London side when they faced Scunthorpe in 2012. A good omen?
If Lewis does have a good game at the Mad Stad and awards Reading half a dozen spot-kicks and sends off a couple of Charlton players on the way to a 6-0 Royals win, please feel obliged to buy a signed Match Attax card of the official. They’re only £5 on EBay. Bargain.