February 28, 2021

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Referee Darren Drysdale slammed for squaring up to Ipswich player in shocking scenes

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Referee Darren Drysdale clashed with Ipswich’s Alan Judge at Portman Road (Picture: MatchDay Images Limited)

There was an extraordinary moment in League One last night as referee Darren Drysdale appeared to lock heads with Ipswich Town’s Alan Judge during the side’s clash with Northampton Town – and former official Mark Halsey has called for a full investigation into the incident.

Words were exchanged between Drysdale and Judge after the latter was pulled up for simulation in the dying moments of the game and what happened next stunned viewers and overshadowed the goalless draw at Portman Road.

Drysdale, seemingly enraged by the reaction to his decision, moved his head towards Judge before players from both teams jumped in to diffuse the situation and the Ipswich midfielder was booked.

The unsavoury scenes continued in stoppage time as Ipswich’s Flynn Downes was sent off for violent conduct. In total, one red and five yellow cards were brandished across the bad-tempered match.

Ex-Premier League referee Halsey was shocked by the incident and expects the PGMOL to launch an investigation to deduce what exactly happened to provoke such a reaction from Drysdale.

‘Darren Drysdale showed a lack of self-control when he squared up to Ipswich’s Alan Judge,’ Halsey told The Sun.

‘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.

‘I’m sure the PGMOL will conduct an investigation into what happened and it will be interesting to see if Ipswich now make a complaint to the EFL.’

Halsey has criticised Drysdale’s behaviour and expects a PGMOL investigation (Picture: Getty)

Ipswich manager Paul Lambert was adamant Northampton defender Peter Kioso caught Judge with a trailing leg and approached Drysdale on the pitch to dispute the decision at the full-time whistle.

‘I thought we should have had a penalty with Judgey’s one,’ a frustrated Lambert later told reporters.

‘I’ve seen it back and I think he gets caught with the trailing leg.’

The result leaves the Tractor Boys just four points off the playoff spots in 11th place, while Northampton remain in the relegation zone in 21st.

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