Referee Darren Drysdale has been charged with improper conduct over his confrontation with Ipswich midfielder Alan Judge.

The 49-year-old Lincolnshire official, pencilled in to take charge of Wanderers’ trip to Southend on Saturday, appeared to square up to Judge and lean his head into the Republic of Ireland international after the midfielder’s appeal for a penalty had been turned down during Ipswich’s goalless draw with Northampton on Tuesday evening.

Drysdale apologised to both Judge and Ipswich for his actions on Wednesday afternoon but the FA has now charged him with breach of improper conduct.

An FA statement read: “Darren Drysdale has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E3 following last night’s EFL League One game between Ipswich Town FC and Northampton Town FC.

“It is alleged that the match official’s behaviour during the 90th minute of the game amounts to improper conduct and he has until Thursday 4 March 2021 to provide a response.”

Drysdale had earlier released a statement through the Professional Game Match Officials Limited.

“I fully understand that it is important for us as referees to maintain our composure throughout the game and always engage with players in a professional manner,” it read.

“I’m sorry that I did not do that last night and I can only apologise to Alan and Ipswich Town.”

The incident occurred towards the end of the goalless draw at Portman Road.

Ipswich pair Flynn Downes and Jack Lankester and Northampton defender Lloyd Jones stepped in and calmed the situation before Drysdale booked Judge.

Drysdale, who was appointed to the National List of referees covering EFL games in 2004, has also been a FIFA and UEFA assistant referee and was an assistant referee at the 2000 FA Cup final.

He has taken charge of one Wanderers game this season, the 2-0 win over Salford at the UniBol back in November.

Drysdale is however no stranger to controversy with Bolton though, Neil Lennon fined £3,500 by the FA back in October 2015 having accused the official of bias after a 4-3 defeat against Queens Park Rangers.

A 94th-minute goal from Jay Emmanuel-Thomas secured victory for the Hoops and Lennon labelled Drysdale’s performance “an absolute disgrace” and added: “I have not seen a more biased performance from a referee in a long, long time. He gave QPR everything he possibly could."