Darren Drysdale: what happened between referee and player Alan Judge during Ipswich Town vs Northampton Town?

Darren Drysdale was involved in a bizarre confrontation with an Ipswich Town player
Darren Drysdale was officiating Ipswich Town vs Northampton Town (Getty Images)Darren Drysdale was officiating Ipswich Town vs Northampton Town (Getty Images)
Darren Drysdale was officiating Ipswich Town vs Northampton Town (Getty Images)

A League One referee has been criticised after he engaged in a confrontation with a footballer.

Darren Drysdale butted heads with Ipswich Town player Alan Judge during a fiery encounter between the Norfolk side and Northampton Town. Judge had approached the referee after he had been yellow carded for simulation in the Northampton Town box.

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Footage of the incident, which has gone viral, appeared to show a riled Drysdale move his head towards Judge, before Ipswich’s Flynn Downes and Jack Lankester and Northampton defender Lloyd Jones defused the situation.

The FA has been made aware of the incident, while Ipswich Town has said that they will take no action against the referee.

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Reaction to the incident

Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has criticised Drysdale for the loss of temper.

He told The Sun: “Darren Drysdale showed a lack of self-control when he squared up to Ipswich's Alan Judge.

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“Irrespective of what has gone before in the match, referees should never put themselves in that position.

“Discipline is vital for an official and the footage and pictures from Portman Road did not look good as players from both teams ushered the experienced Drysdale away.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert suggested in his post-match press conference that “The aftermath of that incident needs to be looked at.”

Blogger The Stacey West was one of many fans on social media who leapt to Drysdale’s defence.

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They wrote: “We complain when a referee wilts under pressure, so Darren Drysdale squaring up to Alan Judge is definitely the sort of thing I can get behind.”

Who is Darren Drysdale?

Darren Drysdale, 49, has been refereeing since 1988.

He has officiated games in the Northern Alliance, Northern Premier League, Conference North and the Football League. He also served as an assistant referee in the premier League from 1998 to 2004.

Drysdale is an RAF sergeant who serves at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire.