For this game, probably more than any other game the attentions turn to the referee, and you just hope that the guy tasked with the job doesn’t get caught up in the emotion or moment of the game, it would be hard for either team to feel hard done by after some dodgy decision, so we put our faith in Ben Toner from Lancashire and I have wonderful snippet of info about Mr Toner, it is comedy gold, and I promise you this is 100% true, yes I know I have rolled this one out before but its too good not to roll it out at every opportunity.
A while back when Blackpool fans were in battle with Karl Oyston the owner of Blackpool FC, whereby they were accusing him of very dodgy dealings, including asset stripping, wrecking their club, non-payment of players and staff and god knows what else, someone at the FA made a faux pas to end them all by appointing Ben Toner as the ref on the day Seasiders fans planned a mass demonstration against Oyston in their home fixture against Portsmouth. It quickly became an internet sensation and went viral…well up North anyway…. until someone pointed out to the FA that Ben Toner looked very much like “Bent Owner” and it probably wasn’t fitting for Mr Toner to be officiating at Blackpool at such a tense time. Although the FA denied that was the reason Mr Toner was taken off that game and reassigned him to another fixture, you couldn’t make it up.
We digress, the last time we came into contact with Mr Toner was not that long ago when we beat Barnet 1-0 in the FA Cup at the Hive.
Mr Toner has officiated on 19 occasions this term and has dished out an impressive 55 yellow cards, 2 red cards, and given 3 penalties.
He is joined on the flags by Ravel Cheoslaua and Nicholas Cooper, with Paul Kelly on the 4th Official duties.