James Adcock might be the closest thing the Football League has to Howard Webb, as he has refereed an international final. Whilst the now retired Webb took charge of the 2010 World Cup Final, Adcock was the man in the middle for the showpiece event at the 2014 Nordic Under-17 Tournament. No, I’ve never heard of it either, but it is an international competition none the less – and one that, despite its name, England compete in and are the most successful team in its 41 year history.
The Nottinghamshire whistle-blower is also one of the youngest on the Football League’s list aged 32 years old, but has been refereeing at this level since 2011-12. Since then, he has been the man in the middle in four previous Reading fixtures (W2 D1 L1). The most recent of those matches was the 3-0 defeat at Huddersfield almost a year ago.
So far this campaign, Adcock has taken charge of 20 games in all competitions, handing out 52 yellow cards. However he has awarded just one penalty, and that was way back in August, and no red cards. The last time he gave a player an early bath was in January last year, when he produced his red card three games in a row.
But it has stayed firmly in his pocket ever since, but wouldn’t it just be a Reading thing to do to end that run? My money is on Deniss Rakels to get sent off on his first start…
The assistant referees in Berkshire will be Ashvin Degnarain and Matt Corlett, whilst on fourth official duty is Craig Hicks.