Plymouth Argyle v Portsmouth


GB at 2014-11-15 15:06:19

Thanks for your company today and don’t forget to login to Ref Cam again next  weekend for one of the top games of the season – Arsenal v Man United at 5.30pm on Saturday 22nd November, followed by the first England Women’s international fixture at the rebuilt Wembley Stadium – England v Germany at 3.00pm on Sunday 23rd November.

A list of all the big games coming up on YATR is always available at:

GB at 2014-11-15 15:05:27

Andy Madley clearly gained the respect of the players very early in this game. He only had one big decision to make with the penalty in the first half which was generally accepted with little or no discussion. From then on he went about his duties with confidence and assurance. There were no surprises in anything he did and it was refreshing to witness a whole game at this level without a single caution.

This was a game which did not need the referee to become overly involved with the proceedings and he did particularly well to keep control without becoming the centre of attention, by demonstrating a sound empathy with the spirit in which the game was played.

The backbone of this solid performance was the way Andy used his fitness well and had the maturity to move right into the play whenever his presence was required. This meant that he did not miss a thing and the players were always aware that he was right on top of them.

There was no controversy to talk about today and Andy has hardly been noticed throughout the game.

The same goes for the assistants, a good solid game all round for the officials. Well done!

GB at 2014-11-15 14:56:38

Full Time


GB at 2014-11-15 14:55:42

Once again AM show good awareness as he moves right into that final challenge

GB at 2014-11-15 14:53:35

3 minutes of added time – keep focussed now gents

GB at 2014-11-15 14:51:14

Not sure I agreed with that hand ball – it may have hit both of his hands but is was hardly deliberate.

GB at 2014-11-15 14:48:50

As we move into the last 5 minutes the officials will be determined to remain focussed right to the end. You don’t get many games as quiet as this each season so they won’t want to spoil it now

GB at 2014-11-15 14:46:15

Great to see AM moving right onto the goal-line then to make sure he was breathing down the players necks as them competed for the ball.

GB at 2014-11-15 14:44:36

Did you see the way AM moved sharply to his left then to get the best angle with the play in the Penalty Area?

GB at 2014-11-15 14:42:08

If this was a boxing match I think the referee would have stopped it by now!

GB at 2014-11-15 14:40:40

AM just making sure that the players appreciate that he still has a job to do. Very sensible handling of the players – “don’t spoil it now gent” – that’s all that was needed to be said

GB at 2014-11-15 14:36:54

Great sprinting there by AM as he comes into the frame as the play enters the Penalty Area

GB at 2014-11-15 14:35:45

Last throw of the dice by Pompey as they send on their last substitute

GB at 2014-11-15 14:34:44

The free kicks are getting closer together now as AM ensures that he does not waste all the good work he has done so far to keep a firm grip on the game

GB at 2014-11-15 14:33:22

AM right there again and continues to give everything he sees

GB at 2014-11-15 14:31:57

AM right there again and continues to give everything he sees

GB at 2014-11-15 14:30:54

Good flag there from SF. It is important for assistants to flag when the offence is so close to them

GB at 2014-11-15 14:26:27

I just get the feeling Pompey players may be about to up the anti – I hope the officials do not relax

GB at 2014-11-15 14:25:16

Half an hour to go and it is still a quiet day at the office for AM

GB at 2014-11-15 14:24:16

Lets see if the officials need to adapt to the substitutions

GB at 2014-11-15 14:22:38

Good off-side decision there from SF as the player came back from an off side position

GB at 2014-11-15 14:21:39

It might look like AM is walking a lot, but he is reading the game very well so he does not need to run all over the place like a rabbit.

GB at 2014-11-15 14:19:59

AM just letting the players know that his saw that rash challenge – which missed everything

GB at 2014-11-15 14:17:05

AM has been very consistent with his handling of the midfield tussles and holding

GB at 2014-11-15 14:16:00

AM is constantly adjusting his position as the play goes on around him to ensure he always has an optimum angle

GB at 2014-11-15 14:11:38

The players are certainly showing respect to each other so far which obviously makes the official’s jobs so much easier, but it only takes one poor challenge for everything to change

GB at 2014-11-15 14:10:08

Pompey are certainly going to need those chimes to be loader than that to help them get back into this game

GB at 2014-11-15 14:08:22

What a treat to see a whole 45 minutes without a yellow card – and not even the hint of one.

GB at 2014-11-15 14:07:35

For those of you who have just joined us for the second half, todays officials are:

Referee: Andrew Madley (AM)

AR1: Stephen Finch (SF)

AR2: Robert Massey-Ellis (RME)

4th Official: Kevin Johnson (KJ)

GB at 2014-11-15 14:03:56

This week’s triple decked Episode 12 of The Ref Show which was posted at  on Wednesday, highlighted the first signs of “green shoots” in the overall performances of our officials on the Premier League this season. Look out for Episode 13 next week which promises to be a cracker containing highlights from tomorrow’s You Are The Ref Question Time event at The Stoddart Theatre, Sheffield Hallam University.

All the previous episodes of these frank weekly debates are still available at where you can also find lots of other articles and interviews on all matters concerning refereeing from both home and abroad.

GB at 2014-11-15 14:03:09

Don’t forget to login to Ref Cam again next  weekend for one of the top games of the season – Arsenal v Man United at 5.30pm on Saturday 22nd November, followed by the first England Women’s international fixture at the rebuilt Wembley Stadium – England v Germany at 3.00pm.

A list of all the big games coming up on YATR is always available at:

GB at 2014-11-15 14:01:55

In his regular weekly blog for You Are The Ref, Keith Hackett’s expressed his concerns about the levels of CONCENTRATION being displayed amongst our top officials so far this season, both with regards to Referees and Assistants Referee.

In the first half today, we have today we had a great example of why you need to hit the ground running with that early penalty.

If you haven’t read it yet, catch up with the “big man’s” suggestions on what is required to sharpen up the performances of all the officials at the National level at

GB at 2014-11-15 13:59:53

Andy has certainly proved himself to be fully switched on in this game so far. He was gifted with an ideal opportunity to stamp his authority on the game in the 4th minute by giving a penalty, which I am pleased to say he reacted to appropriately. He was perfectly placed to adjudge that major decision and has maintained his tolerance level throughout the rest of the half.

Andy has utilised his excellent fitness level to particularly good effect so far which has enabled him to always be within a credible distance of the play when the important decisions have needed to be made. His long legs make his movement and mobility look deceptive as he seems to glide around with minimum effort, but when he needs to put in a sprint he explodes into his stride.

Ok, so that may not have been the most difficult half he has refereed, but you can only deal with what is put in front of you and so far Andy’s calm controlled style is working very well for him.

It has been a quiet half for the assistants as well so far but I am sure the team of officials will not be relaxing in the second half.

So far so good!

GB at 2014-11-15 13:53:35

Half Time


GB at 2014-11-15 13:52:57

1 minute of added time

GB at 2014-11-15 13:52:40

AM just drifting into the Penalty Area there, to be close as the defender shielded the ball across the goal-line

GB at 2014-11-15 13:51:26

Safe refereeing there – JUST GIVE IT – well done AM

GB at 2014-11-15 13:50:31

Well into the last 5 minutes of the half and AM will be keen to bring this half to a safe conclusion

GB at 2014-11-15 13:49:21

RME gets into the action with a routine off side call

GB at 2014-11-15 13:47:28

Despite the score line, the game has yet to really come alive. The officials will not be to bothered about that though!

GB at 2014-11-15 13:45:09

First opportunity for AM to show his personality. Did well to calm the players down then and not to over react


GB at 2014-11-15 13:41:06

What do you think about the ball touching that balloon? Contact us on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at


GB at 2014-11-15 13:39:20

There we go … what did I tell you? The ball hit the balloon in the build up to the goal. Technically that should have been a drop ball because of interference from an outside agent!

GB at 2014-11-15 13:37:41

GOAL! 3 – 0


GB at 2014-11-15 13:36:27

Won’t be long until we see the spray in the Football League. At last!

GB at 2014-11-15 13:32:55

AM very quick to move in then after giving that free kick, just in case there was any retaliation – good refereeing

GB at 2014-11-15 13:28:16

Good solid start for all the officials. Calm and controlled performance so far

GB at 2014-11-15 13:27:51

GOAL! 2 – 0

GB at 2014-11-15 13:26:15

Good “crabbing” technique demonstrated there by SF on the line

GB at 2014-11-15 13:24:14

AM has a wonderful physique for a referee

GB at 2014-11-15 13:23:48

Great non-off-side call by RME then with the Plymouth player not becoming active as the ball was played towards him

GB at 2014-11-15 13:20:56

AM well placed again to monitor any grappling at that corner

GB at 2014-11-15 13:18:31

I don’t like to see those balloons on the field of play. They caused a major problem for the referee in a Premier League game some years ago when the ball hit one

GB at 2014-11-15 13:16:47

Following the success of the trials with the vanishing spray in the Johnstones Paint Trophy this season, the Football League announced yesterday that it will be used by all their referees from 1st January next year.

GB at 2014-11-15 13:16:08

Any thoughts on that big decision? Do you think the officials got it right? Let us know on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at

GB at 2014-11-15 13:15:40

Great positioning from AM to spot that

GB at 2014-11-15 13:14:02

GOAL! 1-0 Game on


GB at 2014-11-15 13:13:43

Great positioning from AM to spot that

GB at 2014-11-15 13:13:15

First big call PENALTY

GB at 2014-11-15 13:11:46

Yes just a “little trip” there – but they all count!

GB at 2014-11-15 13:08:15

Nice early chance for AM to make his mark!

GB at 2014-11-15 13:07:42

Plymouth have won the toss so it will be Portsmouth to kick off.

Good luck to all the officials and may the ball run kindly for you!

Feel free to interact with me during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or email at

GB at 2014-11-15 13:04:43

With all the recent talk on the You Are The Ref site of inconsistency and poor decision making by our elite group of referees in Premier League games, this is the chance for a group of officials just below the top flight to put in a decent shift on Ref Cam. I can assure you that all the officials selected for Live Football League games are never just “picked out of the hat”, so I am really looking forward to these lads showing us what they can do!

GB at 2014-11-15 13:01:31

Keith Hackett’s blog this week on the role of the 4th Official is well worth a read

I am sure Kevin Johnson will be hoping for a quiet afternoon holding up the board today. With the technical areas so far apart at Home Park, the 4th Official can normally remain focussed on being the extra pair of eyes for the active officials, rather than being distracted by any histrionics flying between the benches. That said, I can still vividly remember a particular 4th official appointment some years ago when I had to “referee” Ian Holloway and Denise Wise, respective managers of Plymouth and Millwall at the time, when the teams met here. By the time we all got back in the dressing room I felt mentally and physically drained and there was more sweat coming out of me than the referee!

GB at 2014-11-15 13:00:50

Today’s officials are:

Referee: Andrew Madley (AM)

AR1: Stephen Finch (SF)

AR2: Robert Massey-Ellis (RME)

4th Official: Kevin Johnson (KJ)

Andrew was promoted onto the National Group Referees list at the beginning of season 2011/12 (one year after his younger brother Robert had arrived on the scene) and has over 114 professional games under his belt. In the 14 games he has refereed so far this season he has issued 44 Yellow cards and has only needed to administer the ultimate sanction on one occasion.

GB at 2014-11-15 12:55:04

It would be stretching it a bit to call this a “Local Derby” as there is 170 miles between the two Cities, but I can assure you (having been actively involved in quite a few), every time two teams from the South Coast meet, tensions always run high as there are a lot of “bragging rights” at stake.

GB at 2014-11-15 12:50:32

Both the meetings of these teams last season ended in draws, with the score being 1 – 1 in October at Home Park, followed by a pulsating 3 -3 encounter at Fratton Park last May, in which The Pilgrims trailed 3 -1 before they recovered and snatched a last minute equaliser. This last game was refereed by Stewart Attwell who recently returned to Premier League duties a few weeks ago in the game between Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion.

GB at 2014-11-15 12:47:18

Looking back at the history of this match, Plymouth hold the honours at Home Park with 10 wins to Pompey’s 7, with 6 draws in the 23 various League encounters since the teams first met in the West Country back in 1921. Taking all League games into consideration, there has not been much between the two sides over the years, with Plymouth just having the edge with 19 wins to Portsmouth’s 18, and 9 draws.

GB at 2014-11-15 12:44:54


20 minutes to go and welcome to this lunchtime’s live Ref Cam extravaganza coverage of the battle between the two South Coast “Royal Naval Dockyard teams”. Anyone who has ever refereed two rival services squads will tell you that this could well be a feisty affair, so let’s hope today’s officials are up for the challenge!