The match official for Saturday’s clash with Daniel Stendel’s Barnsley at Deepdale is experienced referee Gavin Ward.
Gavin, from Surrey, is in his 13th season on the EFL lists, and although he has officiated the Lilywhites on eight previous occasions, although this is only his second at Deepdale.
As mentioned, in those 12 seasons he has also taken charge of North End on eight previous occasions, including our late draw at Hull City in October 2018, our early season trip to Carrow Road to face Norwich City and our home clash with Sheffield United in April.
Prior to our trip to Norfolk early last season, 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was at Elland Road against Leeds United in December 2015, when Jordan Pickford was sent off, only to have the card rescinded on appeal – Mathew Hudson that day making his debut for the Lilywhites.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.
This will be his eighth game of the season, having so far issued 24 yellow cards and three red cards in his seven previous games, the last of which being Luton Town’s 2-1 win at Blackburn Rovers last weekend.
On Saturday afternoon Richard Wild and Nik Barnard will be the match official’s assistants, whilst the fourth official will be Benjamin Speedie.