Ref-Watch: Blackburn (H)

Malcolm Couzens

Yet another returning referee on the cards (ha, ha) this weekend as GRAHAM SCOTT is back, and hopefully not with a vengeance: be warned, Reading fans, as the man from Oxfordshire has a penchant for bookings and dismissals alike.

Ah, Graham Scott. The disciplinary scourge of the Football League.

Not that followers of the Royals need telling that. Earlier in this campaign, when Reading entertained Brighton at the MadStad (if 'entertained' is the right word, with the match ending as a 0-0 bore draw), Scott twice fluttered his red card: first dismissing Pavel Pogrebnyak and then the Seagull's Argentine - and soul-patch-sporting - target man, Leonardo Ulloa.

In fact, Scott has sent off no less than TEN players across 23 matches. Combined with the 73 yellow cards he has touted in that time, it is clear we have a lean, mean, card-wielding machine on our hands.

Delving deeper into his record, some even more staggering statistics can be unearthed: for example, out of the 23 games Scott has officiated in all competitions, only one game contained no yellow cards - Burnley's 1-0 away win at Ipswich Town on the 19th of October.

Out of the six competitions Scott has featured in this season (all 3 tiers of the Football League, the FA Cup, League Cup, and Football League Trophy) the only one in which he has failed to award a penalty is the FLT: Scott was in charge as Newport County triumphed 3-0 over Portsmouth, and though he didn't point to the spot as mentioned, he DID manage to send off David Pipe in the 68th minute. How typical.

Last week, Scott was the man in the middle at Dean Court, as a 67th minute Danny Ings equaliser salvaged Burnley a point against mid-table Bournemouth. Uncharacteristically for Graham, he booked only two players, Cherries duo Kermorgant and Pitman, falling short of his average of just over 3 yellows per game.

If Scott decides to return to form this Saturday with his scattergun administration of cards, at least Royals fans can seek comfort in their team's newfound red-card-rescinding powers.

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