Edinburgh City win is first SPFL game refereed by woman

Lorraine Watson was the referee as Edinburgh City beat Berwick Rangers on Saturday. Pic: Alistair Linford
Lorraine Watson was the referee as Edinburgh City beat Berwick Rangers on Saturday. Pic: Alistair Linford
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Edinburgh City’s 1-0 win over Berwick Rangers on Saturday was the first SPFL match to be refereed by a woman.

After taking charge of the League Two game, Lorraine Watson revealed she hopes her progression into the senior set-up will inspire young female referees.

“The more it happens, the more normal it will become,” said 32-year-old Watson.

“The more people see it, the more chance we have of young ones coming through and maybe aiming that bit higher than they ever had before.”

Watson says the players at Ainslie Park, where Ashley Grimes’ scored the only goal, did not make an issue of her debut.

“It was brilliant. There was absolutely no reaction, they just treated me the same as they would any other referee,” she said.

“When they disagreed [with decisions], they shouted at me just the same as if it was a male in the middle.

“As a referee, it doesn’t matter if you’re male, female or any other difference in you, if the teams and supporters aren’t happy with your decisions, they will pick up on something – and unfortunately if you happen to be a female, that’s generally what they pick up on first – and they’ll make comments regarding that.

“But it all goes back to the decisions made on the field. If you’re there and have a good game, you’re going to get minimum dissent, just the same as any male would.”

Watson, from Thornton in Fife, was an assistant referee for a Rangers v Berwick Rangers clash in 2013 and officiated at the Women’s Under-19 European Championships. She has also taken charge of games in the Women’s Champions League.

• For full reaction from Saturday’s match, log on to www.edinburghnews.com on Monday morning.