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Rochdale 0 v 3 Hull City
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 17th October 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Refwatch: Rochdale v Hull City
Friday, 16th Oct 2020 09:00 by TVOS

Gavin Ward will make his Spotland debut on Saturday when he referees Dale’s home fixture with Hull City.

The Surrey whistler has been refereeing in the EFL since 2007 and has overseen 11 previous Dale matches, but this is his first visit to this part of the country.

We last saw Gavin in October 2017 when he was in the middle for Dale’s 1-1 draw at Plymouth, which came just six weeks after he had refereed a 3-2 loss at MK Dons.

Since then Mr Ward has refereed the League Two play-off final (Coventry v Notts County, May 2018) and has twice been involved in the League One play-offs.

He is also in his third season as a Select Group 2 referee, which means he mainly officiates in the Championship.

Indeed, Gavin’s three previous appointments this season have all been in that division – Bournemouth v Blackburn, Swansea v Birmingham and Reading v Watford.

Prior to his Dale double early in 2017/18, we had previously seen Mr Ward in action at Swindon in October 2016, a game the home side won 3-0.

Ian Henderson missed a penalty for Dale when the score was 2-0, while Joe Bunney was later sent-off, although that red card was subsequently rescinded on appeal to the football people!

Other notable Dale games refereed by Gavin include the 2-1 win at Bradford in January 2015 in which Calvin Andrew scored one of his famous last-minute winners.

Bradford boss at the time Phil Parkinson, a southerner managing in Yorkshire, moaned about the referee, saying: “They have dragged him all the way up from Surrey for this match.”

Parkinson’s main gripe was the early dismissal of his goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford, for bringing down Matt Done in an incident that led to a penalty from which Dale eventually took the lead.

Fans may remember Henderson chipped his spot-kick against the bar, but Peter Vincenti slammed in the rebound.

Before that game, we had previously seen Ward at Cheltenham in October 2013 where two late Henderson goals helped Dale come from behind to record a crucial 2-1 win on their way to promotion.

Gavin was also in charge at Wycombe in January 2008 when he awarded Dale an injury time penalty converted by Tom Kennedy to clinch a 1-0 win.

The full list of his Dale appointments is:

Jan 2008 v Wycombe (a), W 1-0
Mar 2009 v Barnet (a), L 1-2
May 2011 v Bournemouth (a), W 2-1
Oct 2011 v Bournemouth (a), D 1-1
Aug 2012 v Torquay (a), L 2-4
Oct 2013 v Cheltenham (a), W 2-1
Jan 2015 v Bradford (a), W 2-1
Apr 2015 v Doncaster (a), D 1-1
Oct 2016 v Swindon (a), L 0-3
Sep 2017 v MK Dons (a), L 2-3
Oct 2017 v Plymouth (a), D 1-1

Photo: Action Images

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