Once the youngest referee ever to officiate in the Premier League (at 25), it would be fair to say Attwell's career has taken a dip as of late. Demoted from his top-flight duties in February 2012 after a string of dubious decisions, he's since dropped down the divisions, and now takes charge of our Sky Bet Championship clash this evening.
Stuart has overseen 15 matches in the 2013/2014 season so far, with only 6 of those being Championship ties. In the Championship this season, he has produced 18 yellows and 2 reds, serving up a sizable 49 yellows and 5 reds across all competitions in total.
One of those red cards came in Attwell's last match, between Doncaster and Yeovil, where he dismissed Doncaster's South African international Dean Furman in the 80th minute for committing a second bookable offence. Against the odds, Doncaster went on to steal a 2-1 home win with 10 men.
Both (of the 2) penalties Attwell has given in the Championship this season came in his first 2 matches. First, Derby's Johnny Russell opened the scoring from the spot against Blackburn on the first day of the season, and in Atwell's second match, Andy Keogh of Millwall snatched a 2-2 draw from a penalty in the 87th minute, away at Sheffield Wednesday.
The last Royals match Stuart officiated was Middlesborough vs Reading on the 25th of February 2012, just 9 days after he was stripped of his Premier League refereeing credentials. In a match largely (and blissfully) free of any controversy, recently departed Royals Noel Hunt and Ian Harte both found the back of the net. Thanks to their goals, we went on to win 2-0 at the Riverside: a fifth consecutive victory that kept us firmly in the race for automatic promotion.
Whilst that seems like a long time ago, a 3-point haul at the City Ground tonight would go a long way to aiding this season's promotion push. Under the watch of Stuart Attwell, another ghost goal, as opposed to a Chris Gunter-esque penalty decision, would not go amiss.