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We’ve all been disappointed with some of the refereeing decisions this season. And I think that disappointment has been compounded by the discovery that our expectations of better quality refereeing in the Championship have so far not been fulfilled. Hardy perennials like Gavin Ward and Trevor Stroud were never particularly highly regarded in Leagues 1 and 2. I suspect I am far from alone in being surprised that they are still plying their trade in the Championship

Is that all about to change, at least temporarily this week ? Josh Smith, who is due to referee our game on Wednesday, was promoted from the United Counties League to the National League about three years ago and then to the Football League last year, aged 26. On 24 October (this year) he refereed his first Championship match, between Huddersfield and Preston. He issued 8 (eight) yellow cards and one red. Maybe, just maybe, he can make history by acknowledging that shirt pulling is a foul (especially of course when it’s Bayo’s shirt and he’s in the opposition box!)


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