Referee Drysdale issues apology to Ipswich Town and Alan Judge

Referee Darren Drysdale appeared to square up to Ipswich Town's Alan Judge this evening

Referee Darren Drysdale squared up to Ipswich Town's Alan Judge during the game with Northampton - Credit: Steve Waller

Referee Darren Drysdale has issued an apology to Ipswich Town and Alan Judge after squaring up to the latter during the closing stages of last night's 0-0 draw against Northampton Town at Portman Road.

Judge went down under a challenge in the box, with Drysdale ruling it was simulation. Judge then marched over to angrily protest the decision, with Drysdale reacting by butting his head towards the Irishman.

Flynn Downes was soon dismissed for two quickfire yellow cards and will now be suspended for upcoming games against Oxford United and Hull.

Drysdale has now released a statement in conjunction with the PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Board).

It reads: "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.

"As the FA are now investigating the incident in line with their usual disciplinary procedures it would not be appropriate to make any further comments."

Town manager Paul Lambert waves his finger at referee Darren Drysdale as he has words after the matc

Town manager Paul Lambert waves his finger at referee Darren Drysdale as he has words after the match. - Credit: Photo: Steve Waller

Speaking about the incident on TalkSPORT earlier, Blues boss Paul Lambert said: "I've texted Mike Jones (EFL head of referees) this morning to say 'have a look at the footage of the head thing'.

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"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."

Drysdale is in line to take charge of Southend's League Two match with Bolton this weekend, though the official's involvement in the game is now in doubt.

The 49-year-old is an RAF Sergeant veteran who was previously stationed in Iraq, Libya and Cyprus.

He became a Football League referee in 1996 and officiated in the top-flight two years later, going on to be a linesman for the 2000 FA Cup final between Chelsea and Aston Villa.

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