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Burnley’s game against Preston tonight will be refereed by select group official Kevin Friend from Leicestershire. It will be his third Burnley game of the season having previously taken charge of our opening day draw at Leeds and the home defeat against tonight’s opponents back in December.

He’s another who has refereed us a good number of times and tonight’s game will be his fifteenth Burnley fixture which all started back in 2005 when he refereed our home game against West Ham.

He’s had his moments, no doubt about that, particularly with three away games in under twelve months from a 2-1 defeat at Wolves in 2007 to the 4-2 win at QPR when Andrew Cole scored a hat trick. He had poor games both times and the 2-1 win at Watford in between, Owen Coyle’s first away game in charge.

Darren Ferguson will still blame him for us turning things round against Preston back in 2010 after he sent off Billy Jones with them leading 3-1, but the second yellow was a correct decision and it was more Ferguson’s team’s inability to defend a two goal advantage for ten minutes with ten men that cost them.

More recently he’s been much better. We might question the two penalty shouts at Leeds on the opening day and Manchester City will wonder how we got that goal at the Etihad to spark the comeback last season, although that was the assistant’s fault for missing the offside.

Friend is now in his thirteenth season as a league referee. He kicked off in League Two in August 2003 with a Division Three (now League Two) game between Scunthorpe and Bristol Rovers with his only Division One (Championship) game that season coming at Norwich who were beaten 1-0 by Bradford City.

Wolves v Fulham in 2009 was his first Premier League game and that’s where he predominantly referees now. That, of course, is when he’s not being dropped for games because of a potential clash of interest as he was recently. A decision was made to withdraw him from a Spurs game because he’s based in Leicester and watches them, but in truth he’s a Bristolian and supports Bristol City. He has refereed two Tottenham games this season and it doesn’t seem to have done them much harm. Both were away, at Southampton and Norwich, and both were won. Neil Swarbrick is the Preston supporting Premier League referee so we are safe on that score tonight.

Friend has refereed 298 games this season in which there have been 86 yellow and six red cards. Of those yellows, 40 have gone to home team players and 46 to away team players. Two of the red cards came in his last Championship game when he dismissed Rotherham’s Matt Derbyshire and then Leeds goalkeeper Marco Silvestri in Rotherham’s 2-1 win.

His last game was the 1-1 draw between Newcastle and Manchester City last Tuesday which ended in a 1-1 draw. Newcastle had three players yellow carded in that game with City getting two yellow cards.

Kevin Friend is currently 31at in RATE THE REF with a rating of 61.28 out of 100.

The assistant referees are Richard West (East Riding) and Marc Perry (West Midlands). The fourth official is Andy Madley (West Yorkshire) who has refereed three Burnley games this season, the last of which was the 1-0 home win against Nottingham Forest.

Previous Burnley Games

SeasonOpponentsVResYRBurnley Players Carded
2004/05West Hamh0-130Y: Camara
2006/07Wolvesa1-220Y: Duff, Gudjonsson
2007/08Watforda2-110Y: Akinbiyi
2007/08QPRa4-210Y: Varga
2007/08Crystal Palacea0-511Y: Alexander R: Carlisle
2008/09Readinga1-341Y: Caldwell, Jordan, Paterson R: Jordan
2008/09Norwicha1-110Y: Duff
2010/11Prestonh4-341Y: Elliott
2014/15West Hamh1-310
2014/15Manchester Citya2-250Y: Mee
2014/15Manchester Uniteda1-370Y: Kightly, Mee, Arfield
2015/16Leedsa1-130Y: Arfield, Kightly
2015/16Prestonh0-250Y: Barton, Lowton
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