Referee stretchered off at Swindon Town after getting hit by ball in the head as Charlie Austin scores on his debut

Referee stretchered off at Swindon Town after getting hit by ball in the head as Charlie Austin scores on his debut

Swindon Town’s League 2 clash with Grimsby saw plenty of action when the referee was sent off in the first half.

The Robins also remained five goals behind the Mariners with no response when former Premier League striker Charlie Austin scored the opener on his debut after re-signing for his old side.

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The referee received a standing ovation when he was sent off

The game was 0-0 when Swindon tried to clear his lines after a Grimsby foray into the first game in charge of caretaker Gavin Gunning and Steve Mildenhall.

But instead of bouncing the ball up the field, it hit referee Sam Purkiss square in the face.

The officer then landed on the grass and remained prone until Swindon’s medical team assisted him.

After treatment, a stretcher was brought out for Purkiss, who was applauded by both supporters as he was taken into the tunnel.

“Referee Sam Purkiss has now been taken off the stretcher and we will see a change of match official here…” Swindon Town wrote on Twitter.

“A really unfortunate incident. We hope it’s nothing serious and wish him a speedy recovery. The action is underway again.”

Swindon went to clear the ball

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Swindon went to clear the ball

And the referee went right in

twitter: @NolanSchuster4

And the referee went right in

Leaving him wiped out on the lawn

twitter: @NolanSchuster4

Leaving him wiped out on the lawn


Then, just five minutes after the restart and an official change later, Swindon’s January signing Austin headed home from close range to score his first goal for the Robins since his stint there from 2009-11.

Marcel Lavinier, Wales international Jonny Williams, Ronan Darcy and Saidou Khan all scored after the break to seal a 5-0 win over Grimsby.

The win puts the Robins – who lost manager Scott Lindsey and assistant Jamie Day to Crawley Town on Wednesday – in play-off spots sixth in the Second Division.

Austin got his start in life in Swindon with a flyer

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Austin got his start in life in Swindon with a flyer

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