The Championship is unfamiliar territory for Brendan Malone, who has only taken charge of 11 games in the division since the start of the 2012-13 season. This is in fact his first match in the second tier this campaign so I suppose we should feel honoured.
So far in 2015-16, Malone has officiated 11 games – awarding 24 yellow cards, two red cards and three penalties. Reading youngster Craig Tanner scored for Plymouth when Malone was the man in the middle as the Pilgrims beat Exeter 2-0 in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
The 47 year old official has only taken charge of two games involving Reading in the past, the 2-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday back in January and the 2-1 defeat to Barnsley in August 2011. He has awarded the Royals four penalties across the two games, and we have worryingly scored just one of them.
If you do want to take your anger out on Malone tonight, just remember that he will probably be getting up at 4am on Wednesday morning to go to the post office, where he is a duty clerk by day. He also spends his Sunday mornings at local youth football, assessing up and coming referees in his home county of Wiltshire. That is one busy schedule!
The assistant referees will be John Busby and Justin Amey, whilst Lee Collins is the fourth official.