The match official for Saturday’s trip to the KCOM Stadium to face Hull City is experienced referee Gavin Ward.
Gavin, from Surrey, is in his 12th season on the EFL lists, although he has never refereed at Deepdale. In those 12 seasons he has also taken charge of North End on six previous occasions, including our early season trip to Carrow Road to face Norwich City.
Prior to our trip to Norfolk, the last game he officiated was at Elland Road against Leeds United in December 2015, when Jordan Pickford was sent off, only to have the card rescinded on appeal – Mathew Hudson that day making his debut for the Lilywhites.
His other games in charge of PNE were at Brentford and in 2010 at Leicester City, and his first two in the space of a few months back in early 2010, at Bristol City and a 1-1 draw with Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena.
He has refereed the Tigers on three previous occasions, all away from home, so this is his first game in charge at the home of City, his other three games have been at Brentford, Leyton Orient and Nottingham Forest.
This will be his 13th game of the season, having so far issued 33 yellow cards and no red cards in his 12 previous games, the last of which being Portsmouth’s 1-0 win at Crawley Town in the Checkatrade Trophy last Tuesday night.
On Saturday afternoon Billy Smallwood and Michael George will be the match official’s assistants, whilst the fourth official will be Ollie Yates.