It is the Hoops Derby after all this weekend, so the Football League have put one of their most experienced referees in charge. Unfortunately, Mike Dean is still celebrating Tottenham goals and giving Crystal Palace penalties left, right and centre, Craig Pawson and Anthony Taylor are on FA Cup semi-final duty (ah, memories), whilst Jon Moss……the less said about him the better.
So we’ll have to settle for Keith Hill instead. ‘Pfffft’ you say, experienced? I’ve never heard of him! Well that may be the case, but in fact Hertfordshire whistle-blower has been officiating in the Football League for 18 years. Sorry to make you feel old, but that’s as long as I’ve been on this planet…
In that time, he has been the man in the middle for 19 previous Reading fixtures (W4 D5 L10). That includes two games this season, the 2-1 defeat to Everton in the League Cup and the 3-1 loss to Nottingham Forest. He even sent off Forest’s Jack Hobbs in that game at the City Ground but Reading still couldn’t get a point.
Overall in 2015-16, Hill has reffed 33 games, showing 136 yellow cards and five red cards – including to QPR keeper Rob Green in September. He has also awarded six penalties this campaign.
FUN FACT: Hill is the official that has been featured the most in Ref-Watch since I began writing this feature in November 2014.
The assistant referees at Loftus Road will be Lee Venamore and Anthony Serrano, whilst on fourth official duty is Stuart Attwell.