On Saturday afternoon the match official for our clash with Paul Lambert's Ipswich Town at Portman Road will be experienced referee Andy Woolmer.
It is only Andy's sixth game of the season and his first North End game since the final day of 2016, when we drew 1-1 with Sheffield Wednesday at Deepdale.
That was one of four games that Woolmer took charge of a PNE game in the first half of the 2016/17 season; as well as overseeing the points being shared with the Owls, the Northamptonshire-based official also took charge of our EFL Cup win over Hartlepool United early in the campaign, late September's 2-2 draw at Birmingham City and November’s 3-1 win at Rotherham United that year.
His early season visit to PR1 for the EFL Cup tie was the referee's seventh visit to Deepdale in his 13th year on the EFL lists, meaning the Wednesday game was his eighth.
The season prior to that he took charge of PNE twice, the clash again between North End and Sheffield Wednesday, at Hillsborough in October 2015, and then in March of 2016, the 1-1 draw at home to Queens Park Rangers.
His first game in charge of the Lilywhites was way back in January 2005, when he was the referee for our 2-1 victory over Crewe Alexandra and he was also referee on Good Friday 2015 for a win over Rochdale, preceded by the 2013 home win over Stevenage, when Lee Holmes and Will Hayhurst were on target for then manager Simon Grayson’s men.
His last trip to Portman Road was also back in the 2016/17 season, when the Tractor Boys overcame Queens Park Rangers in November 2016.
So far this season he has only officiated five games, issuing 14 cautions and two red cards. This Saturday he will be assisted by Andrew Fox and Mark Jones, whilst Alan Young will act as the fourth official.