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Ref-Watch: Norwich (H)

There is a familiar face in charge against Norwich on Sunday. Look away now Alex Pearce...

Stu Forster/Getty Images

Just when Alex Pearce thought his year was ending on a high after being named as captain in Steve Clarke's first two games in charge, the return of the most devilish of enemies will ruin send him crashing down to earth.

No, I'm not recounting what happened in the Doctor Who Christmas special (although it was rather good), instead looking back to Pearce's nightmare game at Cardiff earlier in the season, when referee James Linington was left with little choice to send the centre-back off and point to the penalty spot.

So yes, you've guessed it, Linington is the man taking charge of our final game of 2014, at home to Norwich City.

The Isle of Wight ref has been on the Football League list since the start of the 2008/09 season, and has officiated seven Reading games since, including two this season: the aforementioned Cardiff game and our 3-1 win over Newport County in the League Cup back in August. Overall, with Linington in charge, Reading have won three times, drawn twice and lost twice.

So far in 2014-15, he has refereed 21 games, including eight Championship fixtures, showing 56 yellows and six reds in all competitions, brandishing two red cards in one game to Giuseppe Bellusci and Sam Byram in Watford’s 4-1 win over Leeds in August.

Linington has also given a penalty five times this season, pulling out the red card at the same time three times (another Cardiff reference, sorry Alex).

But surely lightning can't strike twice can it? Just don't be so gung-ho Pearcey, everyone likes a bit of passion, but this ref will certainly be weary of you...

The FA Cup returns next weekend (yay!), and we're visiting Huddersfield Town for our third round tie (boring!). Do you want a Ref-Watch for the game?