clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

FA Cup Ref-Watch: Bradford City (H)

MIKE JONES could be blowing his whistle quite a few times this evening if Reading vs Bradford goes all the way to penalties. Our FA Cup destiny is in his hands...

Christopher Lee/Getty Images

In the original Bradford vs Reading tie, Lee Mason completely scuppered my Ref-Watch, as he "didn't feel quite right in the morning", so was replaced by Neil Swarbrick just before kick-off.

So for the replay, barring any late changes, it will be experienced ref Mike Jones who will take charge at the Madjeski.

The majority of the 46 year old's 25 games this season have come in the Premier League, but he has dropped down to the Championship a few times, including when Fulham visited the Madjeski Stadium in September when Cottagers striker Matt Smith was shown the red card on his debut.

That game was Jones' 100th in the Championship and 16th previous Reading game, and out of those, half have been draws. Looks like this game could be heading all the way then.

So far in 2014-15, the Chester based official has shown 87 yellow cards and six red cards, averaging out at a fairly high 3.72 cards per game.

He's also given six penalties this season, even pointing to the spot twice for Liverpool in their 2-2 draw with Leicester on New Years' Day, with one of the decisions causing outrage after the ball clearly struck Foxes defender Wes Morgan's face and not his hand.

As with any long-serving official, Mike has had his fair share on controversies, and his most high-profile one again involves Liverpool.

Jones was the official in charge when Darren Bent scored against the Reds for Sunderland in 2009, yet his shot went into the net via a deflection off a beach ball. He deemed the goal legal - despite the laws of the game suggesting he should have awarded a dropped ball.

Mike has only been in charge of one previous FA Cup game this season, overseeing the exit of 'cup shock team' Blyth Spartans at the hands of Birmingham in round three. He could now end fellow giant killers Bradford's cup dream.

Hopefully. Please.