The match official for Saturday’s game at Deepdale is making his first trip to PR1 this season, but this is his second Lilywhites match of the campaign.
Experienced referee Geoff Eltringham will be in charge as of the clash with Huddersfield Town, having also officiated our 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest at the end of August.
The last time we saw the north east official here in Preston, was for the superb home win over Norwich City back in February, before which he also refereed our final game of 2018, when we took a point from a fine performance against Aston Villa.
Prior to that he was referee when the Lilywhites travelled to Ashton Gate and defeated Lee Johnson’s Bristol City in October 2018 and also North End’s trip to Elland Road back in September – making it four games in the 2018/19 campaign, having also officiated five games for Alex Neil’s side in the 2017/18 season!
In that season, having taken charge our early season game at Derby County, Geoff also took charge of the Boxing Day trip to Barnsley, our January win at Nottingham Forest and March’s victory over Bristol City at Deepdale and finally our goalless draw with Norwich City in mid-April.
He also refereed one North End game in 2016/17, the home clash with our 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. Back in the 2013/14 campaign 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 other 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.
For the game, the referee will be assisted by Jonathan Hunt and Shaun Hudson, whilst Matthew Donohue will act as the fourth official.
Geoff has so far taken charge of ten games this season, with 31 cautions and two red cards issued. He was the referee for the Terriers’ opening game of the season, when they lost 2-1 at home to Phillip Cocu’s Derby County.