- Referee Kevin Johnson collided with Plymouth striker Jimmy Spencer
- After struggling to regain his balance the official was treated on the pitch for 10 minutes before being carried off on a stretcher and taken to hospital
- The Argyle club doctor said the referee suffered a neck hyper-extension
A freak accident saw referee Kevin Johnson carried off on a stretcher and taken to hospital during Plymouth Argyle’s 2-1 win over Colchester.
Johnson collided with Argyle forward Jimmy Spencer and struggled to get to his feet after hitting the deck.
Initially it appeared the official had been knocked out but he was conscious enough to try to stand up, before going to ground again. At the insistence of Argyle’s David Fox and Yann Songo’o both teams’ physios were quick on the scene to treat Johnson.
The medical teams attended to Johnson for the best part of 10 minutes on the Home Park turf.
Eventually Johnson was carried off in a neck brace and taken by ambulance to Derriford Hospital. Assistant Simon Knapp took over whistle duties, with fourth official Andrew Tranter running the line.
Post-match Argyle club doctor Paul Giles was asked by the referee’s assessor to give an update to the media on Johnson after the game.
Giles told the Plymouth Herald: ‘As we saw, it was an accidental collision and he was struck in the back and had a hyper-extension injury to his neck.
‘He heard a click from his neck. He was alert, he was orientated and he didn’t lose consciousness.
‘He was alert and talking right throughout the entire incident. It was probably an over-reaction on our part.
‘But it’s part of our protocols that if anyone complains of a neck or back injury we treat them on a spinal board.’
Argyle maintained their lead at the top of League Two as Craig Tanner and Ryan Donaldson fired them to a 2-1 win.