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England in charge of Villa visit - Referee
Tuesday, 14th Nov 2017 18:34 by Clive Whittingham

Rising referee star Darren England is the man in the middle for this weekend's home game against Aston Villa.

Referee >>> Darren England (Barnsley), better known as an assistant referee this is his third full season as the man in the middle.

Assistants >>> John Flynn (Oxfordshire) and Matt Foley (Hertfordshire)

Fourth Official >>> Craig Hicks (Surrey)


QPR 2 Cardiff City 1, Saturday March 4, 2017, Championship

Cardiff had much the better of things, led from the left by tricky wide man Kadeem Harris. A former Wycombe youth product who’s spent time on loan at Brentford and Barnsley, Harris’ purposeful and dangerous wing play vindicated Holloway’s decision to go with the more experienced Perch at right back rather than expose young Darnell Furlong – Perch had to work exceptionally hard just to hang onto his opponents’ coat tails and an eleventh minute cross shot from Harris nearly squirmed its way in. Fine tackles by first Bidwell on 15 minutes and then Perch, again on Harris, after 24 denied clear runs on the goal. Massimo Luongo was booked for a foul on former R Matt Connolly. Smithies saved splendidly from Ralls before half time and then, finally, the visitors did open the scoring on the stroke of the break when Grant Hall contrived to leave Sol Bamba, just about the most conspicuous and dangerous opposition presence we’ll have visiting our penalty box all season, completely free to power a header into the top corner.

Pilkington shot over from the lesser spotted well worked short corner routine, and James Perch received his weekly yellow card for a typical shin splitter on Junior Hoilett as QPR just about saw out the game.

QPR: Smithies 7; Perch 7, Onuoha 6, Lynch 6, Bidwell 6; Goss 6 (Ngbakoto 58, 7), Hall 6, Luongo 5 (Morrison 76, 4); Mackie 6 (Wszolek 81, -), Smith 6, Washington 6

Subs not used: Ingram, Furlong, Sylla, Manning

Goals: Ngbakoto 62 (assisted Mackie), Smith 83 (assisted Ngbakoto)

Bookings: Luongo 40 (foul), Perch 88 (standard Perch shin rattler)

Cardiff: McGregor 6; Connolly 5 (Bennett 86, -), Morrison 6, Bamba 6, Richards 6; Noone 6 (Pilkington 72, 6), Gunnarsson 6 (Halford 90, -), Ralls 6, Harris 8; Hoilett 6, Zohore 6

Subs not used: Whittingham, John, Murphy, Harris

Goals: Bamba 44 (assisted Noone)

Bookings: Morrison 66 (foul)

Referee – Darren England (Barnsley) 8 Very good. Impressive.


England, an experienced linesman at the highest level, made his Championship debut as a referee at QPR v Cardiff last season. In this his first full season in the second tier he’s shown 62 yellows and two reds in 15 games so far, led by the eight yellows shown at Norwich 0 Wolves 2 at the end of October. This is his first ever appointment with Aston Villa as a main referee.

England was fast tracked from local football in South Yorkshire onto the assistant referees list in the professional ranks at a relatively young age, and made his Premier League debut in QPR’s 3-2 win at Stoke City under Neil Warnock in 2011 aged just 24. He ran the line for the FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Aston Villa aged 29 two years ago before hanging his flag up to start moving up the ranks as a referee.

He started with a bang in 2015/16, his first full one on the Football League list, with ten yellow cards in just his second match – Accrington v Mansfield in League Two – and showed five red cards in his first 14 games but he’s calmed down considerably since then. He finished last season with 97 yellows and six reds in 30 appointments.

Other Listings

Championship >>> Keith Stroud not only back from a far too brief suspension, but also back into the big games at this level – Leeds v Middlesbrough on Sunday.

League One >>> Trevor Kettle has Peterborough v Blackpool.

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