Referee Darren Drysdale confronts Ipswich midfielder Alan Judge

Ollie Irish

17th, February 2021

Referee Darren Drysdale was involved in a remarkable incident with Ipswich Town midfielder Alan Judge in a League One match on Tuesday evening.

It happened during the closing stages of Ipswich’s 0-0 draw against Northampton at Portman Road. After Judge had been shown a yellow card, the Ipswich player approached the ref.

A brief confrontation between the two ensued, with Drysdale appearing to move his head towards Judge, before other players stepped in to calm the situation. Drysdale then walked away.

In the third minute of stoppage time, Ipswich’s Flynn Downes was sent off for violent conduct in what was an ugly end to the game. There will be repercussions, surely.

Watch the incident:

Ipswich boss Paul Lambert wants the EFL to investigate the incident.

“I’ve texted Mike Jones [the EFL’s head of refs] this morning to say have a look at the footage of the head thing,” Lambert said.

“It looks as if the referee went in there and I said to him after the game, ‘Did you put your head in my player?’

“He couldn’t answer it and that’s the reason I spoke to Mike. I haven’t seen that in a long, long while.”

Drysdale: the hardest ref in England? With his bald pate and beard, he certainly looks the part.


In a statement made by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), Drysdale admitted he “did not maintain his composure”.

“I can only apologise to Alan and Ipswich Town,” Drysdale said.

“I fully understand it is important for us as referees to maintain our composure throughout the game and always engage with players in a professional manner.

“I’m sorry that I did not do that.”

Posted in Football League, Hardmen

Share this article: Email

Leave a Reply