The referee on my roster was happy to see me. But when we met, he admitted not feeling too well. A headache hit him in the morning but duty was calling and he read on his portal I was to mentor him. So he made the trip, hoping the meds would do their job.
We suggested a 15min game start delay to allow him to warm-up in a relaxed way. It worked well, but I noticed he was holding back at moments, clearly not to trigger his headache. During half time we discussed some issues to pay attention to. Such as a fouls that could lead to repercussions. Make sure you run to the foul spot and prevent players from possibly lashing-back.
And it indeed happened shortly into second half. A home team player was fouled and picked up the ball for his free kick, moving it quickly, teasingly, into his opponent’s face. Not touching him, but close enough for a ref to pull a card or at least warning him publicly. He didn’t and kept his distance.
At another moment few minutes later, an attacking player was stopped by a defender without the intention to play the ball. A clear yellow card to me, but is wasn’t issued, much to my shagrin. But the ref seemed to realize he was starting to allow too many fouls and blew the whistle for a similar foul on the opposing team. The balance was struck.
He eventually blew the final whistle and left the pitch with a smile. He had managed the game well and could expect a good report. Hopefully no more headaches to battle with in future games.