Referee charged with misconduct after confrontation with Ipswich player

Referee Darren Drysdale goes head to head with Ipswich player Alan Judge Credit: Matchday Images

Another bad night at the office for Ipswich Town and their beleaguered manager Paul Lambert ended with a bizarre twist as match referee Darren Drysdale appeared to square up to Town player Alan Judge towards the end of the nil-nil draw with Northampton.

Drysdale is seen confronting Judge after turning down his penalty appeal. He then appears to lean his head into the Republic of Ireland international.

Paul Lambert Credit: PA

Today Lambert has texted Mike Jones the EFL head of referees about the incident asking him to look at the footage.

To me, in my opinion, 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.

Paul Lambert, Manager Ipswich Town FC

Ipswich pair Flynn Downes and Jack Lankester and Northampton defender Lloyd Jones stepped in and calmed the situation before Drysdale booked Judge.

Drysdale has now apologised for what happened. In a statement issued in conjunction with the PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Board) he says

I fully understand that 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 last night and I can only apologise to Alan and Ipswich Town.

Darren Drysdale

But despite that apology the FA have now charged the official with improper conduct. Drysdale has been given until March the 4th to respond.

  • Ipswich Town fan Joe Fairs talks to ITV News Anglia's Andy Ward about the referee incident and Paul Lambert's future


Darren Drysdale appointed a referee. Has also been a FIFA and UEFA assistant referee

As for the rest of the game it was another night to forget for Ipswich as their play-off hopes continue to fade and the fans call for Paul Lambert to be sacked get louder.

He seems to be at the end of his tether admitting the performances in recent weeks haven't been good enough adding 'I'm not the only one to blame. I've accepted that in the past but not anymore'

Ipswich are at home again on Saturday when they face Oxford United.