Sunderland v Middlesbrough


GB at 2016-08-21 15:37:14

That’s it from me today, but don’t forget to tune in again later when RefCam is back in the MLS


GB at 2016-08-21 15:35:53

The main points from this game from the officials perspective:

  • The referee’s game plan seemed to be to keep a low profile in a high profile local derby and he achieved this throughout.
  • Very good movement and proximity to some strong challenges in the early stages enhanced his recognition of fair and unfair play which was consistently adhered to and enabled him to gain the confidence of the players.
  • A very calm and confident body language was evident and the game remained totally under control without the officials ever having to raise their profiles.

As I said at half time, normal service has been resumed with that performance from all the officials, who will take up precisely zero columns in the reports of this game.

It was never feisty, but it was fast and furious. And if it never got near to even simmering, let alone boiling over, why shouldn’t the referee take some credit for that?

Martin Atkinson looked much more mobile than he did at the end of last season and this certainly helped him get close in when even a decision had to be made. A lot of those decision in this game were concerned more with not stopping play for strong challenges, but in order to use this tactic in a North East Derby, you need to be in a position to communicate with the players to sell your calls.

Only 2 cautions required in the game and no key match decision to discuss. A good day at the office for the Referee and in fact all the officials can feel very satisfied with their contribution to this game.

More RefCam to come

GB at 2016-08-21 15:23:28

My final summary will follow very shortly.

I trust you have enjoyed our RefCam coverage so far this weekend and please keep your views coming on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at

Tune in again later tonight when we are back to the MLS for DC United v NY Red Bulls 21st Aug, 8:00PM

Then we have 3 more Premier League games lined up for you over next weekend:

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool 27th Aug, 12:30PM

West Bromwich Albion v Middlesbrough 28th Aug, 1:30PM

Manchester City v West Ham United 28th Aug, 4:00PM

A full list of forthcoming RefCam games is always available at:


GB at 2016-08-21 15:22:29

Full Time

Sunderland 1 v 2 Middlesbrough


GB at 2016-08-21 15:21:09

uncharacteristic “messy” flag by Peter Kirkup then as he failed to get it into the hand he was going to signal with before he raised it for that throw-in.


GB at 2016-08-21 15:19:14

Good to see the referee pressing right in as the player tries to use up time by “messing about in the corner.

Minimum of 3 added minutes


GB at 2016-08-21 15:14:55

Good pro-active management of the position of the throw-in – attention to detail right to the end


GB at 2016-08-21 15:14:01

Concentration is the name of the game for the officials now. The last thing they want is to spoil all their great work by getting a big decision wrong right at the end


GB at 2016-08-21 15:10:49

Yellow Card Lynden Gooch (SUN 46) – reckless challenge from which advantage was played


GB at 2016-08-21 15:09:19

Time and again I am saying the same thing, but the referee was so close to the tangle in the centre which he played advantage from, he is able to really sell his decisions in this game.


GB at 2016-08-21 15:07:23

The atmosphere and the pressure on the officials inside the Stadium of Light is really increasing now so this is when they earn their money!


GB at 2016-08-21 15:06:02

Everything about the referees body language today looks calm and composed which is just what you want in the closing stages of this game which is likely to go up a notch or two in the last 10 minutes


GB at 2016-08-21 15:04:28

Good teamwork again then between Adam Nunn and the referee to make sure they did not cross on that last throw-in


GB at 2016-08-21 15:01:56

The referee continues to look sharp and on his toes as he focuses in on the play inside the Middlesbrough penalty area


GB at 2016-08-21 15:00:24

GOAL! Patrick van Aanholt (SUN 3)

That should increase he tempo!

Sunderland 1 v 2 Middlesbrough


GB at 2016-08-21 14:59:03

The referee will have “logged” the exchange of words between the players for that last foul in front of the technical areas


GB at 2016-08-21 14:57:17

There was yet another example of how the referees credible proximity to a strong challenge on the Middlesbrough player allowed him to sell his decision to play on and also communicate his decision.


GB at 2016-08-21 14:55:25

Martin Atkinson keeps the players “on side” by giving the “little” fouls they expect when required


GB at 2016-08-21 14:53:05

We cant see the referees lips at these Sunderland corners but his body language and that of the players as they turn to look at his seems to suggest he is communicating effectively about not holding before the ball comes into play


GB at 2016-08-21 14:51:03

As the excitement level in the game increases the referee’s presence and composure continues to remain at a high level


GB at 2016-08-21 14:49:19

No where near a foul challenge in the box then and once again the referee was well placed to sell an easy decision


GB at 2016-08-21 14:48:27

A goal scoring opportunity for Sunderland coming from a good advantage played by the referee then


GB at 2016-08-21 14:47:04

One of the most obvious improvements in the referees movement as compared to last year is his speed off the mark. This is the most difficult thing to do an explosive sprint start when you have a dodgy calf, so that seems to have certainly all healed up now.


GB at 2016-08-21 14:44:18

10 minutes into the second half and I really hope I am not about to put the “mockers on” the referee, but he really is taking this one in his stride so far


GB at 2016-08-21 14:41:33

Good to see AN carrying on the good work and communicating with the players in his vicinity


GB at 2016-08-21 14:39:23

First big call of the second half and Atkinson was perfectly placed to judge that no offence had been committed by the defender on Jermain Defoe (SUN 18) in the Middlesbrough penalty area


GB at 2016-08-21 14:37:27

From a technical point – watch the difference in the signalling between this referee and Clattenburg for throw-ins. Martin prefers a “limp” crooked arm when giving throw-ins some times where as his colleague is always so much more positive with a straight arm out from his hip.


GB at 2016-08-21 14:36:30

Once again a definite lack of holding in the penalty area at that last free kick


GB at 2016-08-21 14:34:48

Straight away the referee has come out of the blocks for the second half and given that first free kick which keeps his grip on the game in the same vein as the first half


GB at 2016-08-21 14:33:23

second half underway


GB at 2016-08-21 14:24:04

After all the fuss yesterday when a number of games resulted in the officials being centre of attention, I am sure the powers that be will be as happy as Martin Atkinson that normal service has been resumed with that first half performance.

No surprises and a fast competitive encounter has been allowed to blossom with the minimum of intervention, whilst ensuring that the challenges are never allowed to cross the line.

One timely caution for the only reckless challenge in the game set the referee’s tolerance level and the players have responded really well.

All the officials can feel very satisfied with their contribution to this fixture so far.

GB at 2016-08-21 14:18:26

The topic of a fair pay deal for top flight officials in England was recently highlighted by You Are The Ref’s headline blogger Keith Hackett and the debate is picking up pace – catch up with the latest here: Referee Pay

As always, YATR values your opinions on all the points raised by out experts via Twitter @youaretheref or email us at

Don’t miss Monday’s edition of Ref Show in which our panel of experts will be running the rule over all the big decisions and discussion topics from Week 2. This one certainly already has no shortage of incidents to discuss from yesterdays games. You can always catch up with all the previous editions here at any time videos

The You Are The Ref Facebook page is also proving to be a great place to keep track on what’s new and is well work a “like” at


GB at 2016-08-21 14:17:56

Half Time

Sunderland 0 v 2 Middlesbrough


GB at 2016-08-21 14:16:20

minimum of 2 added minutes


GB at 2016-08-21 14:15:50

GOAL!  Christian Stuani (MID 18)

Sunderland 0 v 2 Middlesbrough


GB at 2016-08-21 14:12:40

Martin Atkinson is definitely looking very nimble on his feet in this game so far


GB at 2016-08-21 14:09:47

Excellent example there of the assistant keeping his focus into the field of play when giving a throw-in “down the line” from him and not looking across the field of play.


GB at 2016-08-21 14:08:27

It should be said that although there is a lot of physical contact at these corners again today, the players are stopping short of holding as much as we saw last season – will that last I wonder?


GB at 2016-08-21 14:05:27

Good teamwork there as Adam Nunn made sure the referee agreed with him using excellent eye-contact before giving his throw-in direction


GB at 2016-08-21 14:03:02

The referee has been very consistent with his recognition of fair and unfair challenges in the opening 30 minutes and the players are generally reacting very well to what he is trying to do


GB at 2016-08-21 14:01:35

Concentration and alertness demonstrated again as PK talks to the thrower and then drops anchor in line with where the next free kick must be taken to assist the referee with his control of this game


GB at 2016-08-21 14:00:05

First routine off-side goes to Peter Kirkup who picks that one off easily


GB at 2016-08-21 13:59:13

Once again the referee is sticking to his game plan and no tover-reacting to that petty squabble on the touch-line but got in quick with a quiet firm word or two


GB at 2016-08-21 13:57:56

The first yellow card was always going to be a very important bench mark in this game and the referee did not disappoint.


GB at 2016-08-21 13:56:55

Yellow Card Adam Clayton (MID 8)

A very timely opportunity not let by for the referee just to let everyone know he is still in charge!


GB at 2016-08-21 13:55:36

A clear shirt pull then and PK did well to “hold his flag” as the Sunderland player shrugged it off. This is an important skill for an assistant to judge the referees tolerance level and mirror it from the sideline. The referee is letting the players get on with it so the last thing he needs is a “busy” Assistant.


GB at 2016-08-21 13:52:29

Martin Atkinson continues to settle into this game very comfortably and already seems to have the confidence of the players as he has allowed them to compete strongly but fairly


GB at 2016-08-21 13:49:42

Good turn or pace displayed by Adam Nunn AR2 on the far side


GB at 2016-08-21 13:48:36

The referee continues to get right in close to give all his decisions which could reflect the improvement in his fitness which was recognised by our experts last week


GB at 2016-08-21 13:46:26

Good to see PK communicating with the player to tell him where to take the throw-in from


GB at 2016-08-21 13:44:09

GOAL!  Christian Stuani (MID 19)

Game on

Sunderland 0 v 1 Middlesbrough


GB at 2016-08-21 13:42:19

We can expect the cameras to be really focused on the players at every corner this season, but to be fair to the officials they cant see everything at once and it will always look worse than it really was when a holding offence is picked up inslow motion


GB at 2016-08-21 13:40:21

A very steady start in the first 10 minutes from this experienced referee who has managed to keep a low profile in the fast and furious opening, which is just how he would have planned it.


GB at 2016-08-21 13:39:57

Safe refereeing with that careless challenge on the touchline. So important to set the tolerance level early  in these local derbys


GB at 2016-08-21 13:36:53

The referee is making sure he is as close as possible to the action in the centre as he will be keen to sell all of his decisions in these early stages whether it is to stop play or allow it to continue.


GB at 2016-08-21 13:34:35

I think it is already clear that there will be no quarter given in this one. It will be interesting to see how long Martin Atkinson can keep his tinder dry as the challenges get stronger and stronger.


GB at 2016-08-21 13:32:48

first clash in the centre looked totally accidental to me and the referee was very close to it. Yes there was contact but the Sunderland player seemed to be protecting himself. That said, it sets this one up already

GB at 2016-08-21 13:30:42

AR1: Peter Kirkup (PK) is patrolling the touchline in front of the technical areas.


GB at 2016-08-21 13:30:13

Sunderland won the toss so it will be Middlesbrough 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 e-mail at

GB at 2016-08-21 13:25:29

Not long to go now as the players and officials prepare to leave the tunnel


GB at 2016-08-21 13:22:04

Referee: Martin Atkinson (MA)

AR1: Peter Kirkup (PK)

AR2: Adam Nunn (AN)

4th Official: Robert Madley (RM)Martin Atkinson

The second of this weekend’s RefCams also sees the second of England’s representatives at this summer’s Euros coming back to home ground. Martin Atkinson gets his second run out of the season with this juicy North East derby which he certainly has the experience to take in his stride. His improved fitness displayed in his first game last week certainly impressed the panel on last Monday’s Ref Show,  so I hope we see plenty more of that today in the penultimate game of a very frenetic round of fixtures from the officials perspective.

Here are the starting line-ups for this game:

GB at 2016-08-21 13:19:47



Vito Mannone (SUN 1)

Patrick van Aanholt (SUN 3)

Papy Dilobodji (SUN 5)

Jack Rodwell (SUN 8)

Duncan Watmore (SUN 14)

John O’Shea (SUN 16)

Jermain Defoe (SUN 18)

Paddy McNair (SUN 19)

Donald Love (SUN 22)

Adnan Januzaj (SUN 44)

Lynden Gooch (SUN 46)


Wahbi Khazri (SUN 10)

Jordan Pickford (SUN 13)

Jeremain Lens (SUN 17)

Steven Pienaar (SUN 20)

Joel Asoro (SUN 29)

Tom Robson (SUN 34)

Josh Robson (SUN 45)



Brad Guzan (MID 12)

George Friend (MID 3)

Ben Gibson (MID 6)

Adam Clayton (MID 8)

Álvaro Negredo (MID 10)

Antonio Barragán (MID 17)

Christian Stuani (MID 18)

Christian Stuani (MID 19)

Gastón Ramírez (MID 21)

Emilio Nsue (MID 24)

Adam Forshaw (MID 34)


Dimitrios Konstantopoulos (MID 1)

Daniel Ayala (MID 4)

Viktor Fischer (MID 11)

Alex John-Baptiste (MID 15)

Julian de Sart (MID 23)

Albert Adomah (MID 27)

David Nugent (MID 35)


GB at 2016-08-21 13:16:43

North East derbies are never the place for the faint hearted, and there is no reason to believe that this will be any less lively than usual. Middlesbrough would probably have settled for a draw in their first game back in the top flight last week, but will be hoping for better against the Black Cats today. Sunderland on the other hand will be looking to get some points on the board as soon as possible so they are not playing catch-up again this time around.


GB at 2016-08-21 13:14:19

Welcome to this lunchtime’s RefCam coverage of the premier League game between Sunderland and Middlesbrough.

Feel free to interact with me at any time during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at