The FA Cup is back! Will we go on another under the radar run to Wembley? I wouldn’t get your hopes up, but I said that at the same stage last year, as Reading prepared to visit Huddersfield Town in the third round. It’s the same journey up the M1 for Reading fans this time around, and the referee for the game will be Jeremy Simpson.
The Lancashire official took charge of the second round tie between Hartlepool United and the class of 92’s Salford City, which the League Two side won 2-0. It was one of 20 games Simpson has officiated so far this season (77 yellow cards, two red cards and three penalties), another being Reading’s 1-1 draw at Rotherham, when Nick Blackman did this:
Any excuse to show that goal again!
That was Simpson’s first ever game that involved Reading, whilst Huddersfield haven’t won a game under his control in five attempts, losing four of those. That includes their 2-1 defeat to Notts County earlier this campaign, which saw them bow out of the Capital One Cup. Is another cup exit on the cards for the Terriers?
In 2014-15, the list of referees to officiate a Reading FC FA Cup tie was six men long (seven if you include Lee Mason who called in sick). Will Mr Simpson be the first of many this season?*
*That’s three questions I’ve managed to fit into this week’s Ref-Watch, with the answer to all of them most likely to be no. I know, I’m a pessimistic kind of guy, or in other words, a Reading fan.
The assistant referees in Yorkshire will be Paul Marsden & Matthew Parry, whilst the fourth official will be Anthony Backhouse.