Taking charge of his second Lilywhites game of the season, Geoff Eltringham will be the referee for our Boxing Day trip to Oakwell to take on Paul Heckingbottom’s Barnsley.
Having officiated our early season game at Derby County, Geoff also took charge of one North End game last season, the home clash with our same St Stephen’s Day opponents Barnsley, having also done one the previous season, the 1-0 home win over Reading.
The year prior to that he took charge of three PNE games, including the 2-0 home win over Peterborough United in March. The previous season he also took charge of North End twice, both of those at Deepdale - the 1-1 draw with Tranmere Rovers back in November 2013 and then the goalless draw with Sheffield United in March.
The County Durham official is an experienced referee who had taken charge of North End a number of times in the past including the very first game after the departure of Graham Westley, when John Dreyer took the team against an in-form Bournemouth side and ran out 2-0 winners.
He also looked after a thriller back in 2010, when North End overcame Crystal Palace 4-3 at Deepdale.
This will be the match official’s third Barnsley game of the season, he has already visited Oakwell for their 2-1 home defeat to Ipswich Town and a 1-1 draw with Queens Park Rangers and in his 16 games he has issued 52 cautions and just one red card, a fortnight ago in the Wolves-Leeds clash at Molineux.
For our penultimate game of the calendar year, the referee will be assisted by Nick Greenhalgh and James Mainwaring, whilst experienced official Andy Haines will act as the fourth official.