Football - Darren impresses in Championship debut

PUBLISHED: 12:08 23 January 2006 | UPDATED: 21:37 28 May 2010

CHATTERIS referee Darren Deadman has faced his toughest test yet and passed with flying colours. Deadman, 32, officiated his first Championship game earlier this month and his fine performance at the game has been rewarded with another Championship match

CHATTERIS referee Darren Deadman has faced his toughest test yet and passed with flying colours.Deadman, 32, officiated his first Championship game earlier this month and his fine performance at the game has been rewarded with another Championship match next month.The experience of refereeing Derby's 5-1 win over Crewe at Pride Park has certainly whetted Deadman's appetite and he is eager to take on more Championship matches. He said: "I was quite nervous before the game but as soon as we got going I was fine. It was a pleasure to referee and it was much easier to control than matches at a lower level."He added: "Both sides were very well disciplined and I only gave 10 free kicks in the whole match."The patterns of play are much easier to read at this level and it is easier to play advantage because the players tend to get on with the game rather than react to fouls."Deadman said: "Appearing in front of 23,000 fans at Pride Park was fantastic and I received excellent feedback from the match assessor following the game."However, the match was not without incident. Crewe's Adie Moses, sliding in to the area to intercept a cross, was adjudged to have passed back to the keeper, and from the resultant free kick, Inigo Idiakez rifled in Derby's fifth from eight yards.Deadman said: "At the end of the game, the assessor disagreed with my decision. It was a bit deflating to hear that but having watched the match video, both myself and my coach are happy with the decision."Since then, another FA assessor has reviewed the incident and said that I made the correct decision."Deadman's fine performance at such a high level was rewarded this week, when he was informed that he will be in charge of the Ipswich v Burnley match on February 11.Deadman's rise through the leagues, in only his first season as a Football League referee, has been startling and he hopes to continue his progress.He said: "Hopefully, I will be taking charge of more Championship games as the season progresses. My aim is to make it in to the Development Group, where referees are prepared for Premiership matches, within the next two years."Deadman has already had a taste of the top flight, acting as fourth official at Stamford Bridge for the FA Cup tie between Chelsea and Huddersfield.However, he knows that the coming months will provide a stern test. He said: "A referee is only as good as his last game and although the higher level matches are in some ways easier to referee, there is much more pressure on individual decisions.

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