Despite 18 years on the lists as a match official in the professional game, Tuesday’s referee will be in the middle for the first time at Deepdale.
Premier League referee Lee Mason will take charge of the tie with Pep Guardiola’s side in what will be his fourth game of the season, having so far issued nine cautions and one red card, in his last game, Southampton’s 1-0 win over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
Whilst this is his first time in charge of PNE at Deepdale, he has done two of our games on the road, both at Turf Moor against Burnley.
They came in consecutive seasons with results at the opposite end of the spectrum. In December 2007 the Lilywhites triumphed 3-2 against the Clarets; goals from Chris Sedgwick, Neil Mellor and Simon Whaley giving Alan Irvine’s side the win, with McCann and Gudjonsson seeing red for the hosts.
The following year it was North End who saw red, with Callum Davidson sent off and the visitors losing 3-1 despite Barry Nicholson’s goal.
The season of the 3-2 win was also the first year Lee took charge of City, in fact he did twice that year, their first home game – a 1-0 win over Derby and then a week after doing PNE he refereed City’s 1-1 draw at Aston Villa, just three days before Christmas.
The rest of the officials’ team for Tuesday night see Marc Perry and Nick Hopton as assistants, whilst experienced Championship official Tony Harrington will be the fourth official.