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Burnley’s home game against Cardiff tonight will be refereed by English football’s number one card man Keith Stroud. It will be his second Burnley game of the season having previously refereed our East Lancs derby win against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park last October.

There were no cards in that Blackburn game. It was a surprise given the way the game was played and even more of a surprise given the referee.  Amazingly, in his next game, a Capital One Cup tie between Southampton and Aston Villa, he also kept his cards in his pocket but he certainly hasn’t done since.

Once again he leads the way this season and in 39 games he’s already handed out 168 yellow cards and eleven red cards. Of the yellow cards, 80 have gone to home team players with 88 to away team players. Seven of the players he has sent off have been in Championship games including two in Rotherham’s 2-1 win at Leeds in November. His most recent red card was that of Fernando Forestieri in Sheffield Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat at Preston in February.

He’s an experienced referee having joined the Football League for the 2004/05 season, refereeing his first game in League Two between Cheltenham and Scunthorpe. His first Championship game came in January of that season when he yellow carded six players in Brighton’s 2-1 home win against Watford.

As the cards piled up, he got his first Premier League game at Blackburn just over a year later and was, for a time, a Select Group official, although he’s now back on the National Group but does occasionally take charge of a Premier League game.

He’s always been keen to make use of his cards and he’s approaching 1,650 yellow cards in his 12 seasons to add to the 86 players he’s sent off and two of those players he’s sent off have been Burnley players.

He dismissed Steven Caldwell on our glorious Carling Cup night at Chelsea in 2008 and two seasons later got it very wrong when he sent off Clarke Carlisle after just seven minutes at Millwall while missing the nasty elbow from Steve Morison that saw Andre Bikey substituted with less than quarter of an hour gone.

That Millwall game, along with his first Burnley game at Plymouth back in 2005, were probably his only disappointing games refereeing us, but, prior to the Blackburn game, there have been plenty of cards.

There were just two in his last game which was Exeter’s 2-1 home win against Plymouth three days ago. The players to receive yellow cards were Jake Taylor of Exeter and Plymouth’s Jordan Forster.

Keith Stroud is 22nd in RATE THE REF with a rating of 67.18 out of 100. That reflects his Burnley game performances but I would very much doubt whether we will get another card free game from him tonight.

The assistant referees are Christopher Akers (South Yorkshire) and Alf Greenwood (North Yorkshire) and the fourth official is Football League referee Ross Joyce (Cleveland) who is still to take charge of a Burnley game.

Previous Burnley Games

SeasonOpponentsVResYRBurnley Players Carded
2005/06Plymoutha0-170Y: Duff, Harley
2005/06QPRa1-120Y: McGreal, Sinclair
2008/09Chelseaa1-141Y: Akinbiyi, Eagles R: Caldwell
2008/09Birminghama1-140Y: Kalvenes, Thompson
2010/11Millwalla1-131Y: Eagles R: Carlisle
2013/14Millwallh3-130Y: Ings
2013/14Wiganh2-060Y: Barnes, Mee
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