Smith to referee both Brentford and Burnley for first time
Tomorrow’s game at Brentford will be refereed by Select Group 2 official Josh Smith who hasn’t previously taken charge of a game involving either Brentford or Burnley.
It’s been a rapid rise for Smith who started refereeing as a 14-year-old back in 2006 in the Peterborough and District Junior Alliance. He progressed and became a Football League assistant referee in 2015, a role he carried out for three years.
His first league game was in League Two between Plymouth and Walsall at Home Park in August 2019; his first Championship game was in October of the following year, a 2-1 win for Preston at Huddersfield that saw Huddersfield’s Naby Sarr receive a straight red.
He was one of the Select Group 2 officials not to be allocated a Burnley game last season. He remains on that group but received a shock elevation to the Premier League right at the end of last season and then again last month when he took charge of Luton’s home game against Wolves. It was a controversial game with Luton’s goal in the 1-1 draw coming from a penalty for handball that no one could quite believe. He also left Wolves to play with ten men for over half the game when he dismissed Jean-Ricner Bellegarde. The Wolves player had been fouled by Tom Lockyer but appeared to kick the Luton captain where it hurts with the two on the ground but he strenuously denied it. His first Premier League game came on the final day of last season when he refereed the Fulham v Crystal Palace game in which there were three yellow cards but no controversial decisions.
Smith is one of two Select Group 2 referees to have been used this season in the Premier League, the other being Sam Barrott, which suggests they could be set for a promotion next season and tomorrow will be Smith’s second game in the top flight.
To add to that game at Luton, he’s also refereed eight Championship games this season along with one in League One and two in the League Cup. In those twelve games there have been forty yellow cards and just that one red card. Twenty of those yellow cards have gone to home team players and twenty to away team players.
There were four yellow cards in his last game which came two weeks ago when Blackburn won 4-0 at QPR. The home side had both Jake Clarke-Salter and Paul Smyth carded along with visiting pair Sammie Szmodics and Zak Gilsenan.
The fourth official tomorrow is Darren England who is returning after being left out for the last Premier League games following his VAR error in the Spurs v Liverpool game. Burnley fans continue to believe he should have suffered the same when he persuaded match referee Robert Jones to disallow Lyle Foster’s goal at Nottingham Forest. England had previously refereed our home defeat against Spurs, one of only two Premier League games he’s been allocated this season.
Stuart Attwell is on VAR duty. Once our regular VAR man; he was referee for our most recent game against Chelsea.
Referee: Josh Smith
Assistant Referees: Harry Lennard & Nick Hopton
Fourth Official: Darren England
VAR: Stuart Attwell
Assistant VAR: Mark Scholes
Share this page :