For the second time the season, our match official for Friday night’s live TV encounter at the Cardiff City Stadium, sees Isle of Wight official James Linington taking charge of North End.
His first PNE game of this season was the Lilywhites’ 2-1 win at Hull City back in September and overall this season he has refereed 24 games, issuing 78 cautions and five red cards, having also overseen Cardiff City once, in their goalless draw with Derby County back in September.
Last season the referee made his first visit ever to Deepdale for the clash with Wolves back in November and was then the referee in the away game at Derby County back in March.
The season before he was referee of the PNE game at Ashton Gate, when Greg Cunningham scored the winner against his former club and that was his third game in charge of PNE.
The other time he refereed North End was another game in the south of England, when the Lilywhites won 1-0 at Gillingham in the League One promotion season, courtesy of Paul Huntington’s goal in his first start of the season.
James will be assisted by Neil Davies and Steven Meredith, with Brett Huxtable the fourth official.