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Ref-Watch: Brighton (A)

The excellently named FREDERICK GRAHAM is on officiating duty for this weekend's crucial clash with the Seasiders. Let's give the chap from Stanford-Le-Hope the full-blown Ref-Watch treatment, as the Royals *hope* to bring 3-points back from Brighton on Saturday.

The back of Fred's head, booking a Northampton fellow earlier in this campaign
The back of Fred's head, booking a Northampton fellow earlier in this campaign
Pete Norton

See what I did there? No? Oh fine then.

Fred shares a couple of similarities with last week's ref, Mr Mathieson. Both men are 50 and have now officiated 24 matches each this season.

Active in the Football League since 2004, in the 2013/2014 season Graham has produced 80 yellow cards, in striking contrast to just 1 red: in the run-up to Christmas, Wycombe midfielder Josh Scowen collected a double booking within three minutes, leaving his side with an uphill task in order to snatch a 97th minute equaliser against Scunthorpe United. The League Two matchup ended one goal apiece, and represents the only occasion where a player has been given marching orders by Graham this term. He is still yet to show a straight red in any competition.

On the flip side of the coin, Fred has fewer reservations when it comes to the business of awarding penalties: he's pointed to the spot a far from frugal 7 times this year. None of those 7 penalties, however, have come in Championship matches.

In the past, Graham has overseen a total 5 Reading games in the Championship, 4 of those at the Madejski Stadium. The most recent Royal clash he took charge of was our 3-1 home win over Blackpool on the 24th of March 2011 (almost exactly 3 years ago). In that match he only booked a single player, Seasiders' fullback Alex Baptiste, whilst the match was still goalless. Shortly after, the floodgates opened and goals from Ian Harte, Alex Pearce, and finally Mikele Leigertwood sealed the 3 points.

Let's pick up where we last left off under Fred Graham and nab a vital win tomorrow.