Experienced Paul Tierney, a safe pair of hands, took control of the Leicester City v Manchester City Community Shield game and he and his team of officials will have been satisfied with their performances, avoiding any controversial incidents.
Fifty-one-year-old Keith Stroud took charge of the Fulham v Middlesbrough game in the first game of his 21st season on the league list, and he reached into his pocket 45 seconds from the start to correctly yellow card Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic for an illegal aerial challenge on Boro captain Jonny Howson.
Later in the game after a disagreement in the Technical Area, Stroud showed yellow cards to members of the coaching staff of both teams.
That game ended in a 1-1 draw and both sets of spectators will have left the ground discussing chances that were missed,
I watched Coventry City v Nottingham Forest with referee James Linnington in charge. James lives on the Isle of Wight and is now one of the leagues most experienced officials and a member of the Select Group Two referees appointed to Championship games on a regular basis.
I do feel that with the lack of churn in the promotion of referees at the top level he is rather unfortunate not to have been given the chance of officiating at the Premier League level.
With the score at one goal each it looked that the match would end in a draw, however the home team had different ideas and scored the winner in the sixth minute of added time at the end of the match.
My advice to James would be that he needs to work on his proximity to play for at times he allowed the gap to be too large leaving some of his decisions awarded from too large a distance which lacked credibility in the eyes of the supporters despite been generally accurate.
His management of the players was with a smile and he rightly gained their respect.
So, bring on next week when we see the opening of the Premier League and I will be watching closely at the promise that boss Mike Riley has made to EPL clubs.
• A lighter touch avoiding awarding soft penalty kicks
• Broader lines when reviewing offside decisions.
• Accurate application of the new handball law
Is this going to be sustained throughout the season or will it be binned and forgotten after six weeks.
My best wishes to Jarred Gillett, John Brooks, Michael Salisbury and Tony Harrington. You have earned your promotion to the elite list of Select Group One referees so let’s hope that you are appointed to games quickly.