For the third time this season, Jeremy Simpson will officiate a Reading away game against a Yorkshire side. I bet he’ll be bragging about that at the end of the season referee meeting where I presume they discuss anything but officiating!
Simpson was the man in the middle for the 1-1 draw at Rotherham in October that was the beginning of the end for Steve Clarke, as well as January’s FA Cup fixture at Huddersfield Town which finished 2-2. You’ll remember that in the latter he gave the Terriers a penalty in the dying seconds of the game that Nahki Wells (who else?) scored to send the tie to a replay.
The Lancashire whistle-blower has reffed a total of 31 games so far in 2015-16, showing 105 yellow cards and five red cards. One of those early baths perhaps pushes the word ‘early’ to the limit, as Simpson sent off Carlisle United’s Jabo Ibehre after just 34 seconds against Accrington. He’s also awarded four penalties this season.
The assistant referees at Elland Road will be Matthew McGrath and Joseph Johnson, whilst on fourth official duty is Andy Haines.