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Dean Whitestone, from Northamptonshire, will referee our game against Fulham tonight at Craven Cottage. It will be a second Burnley game of the season for him having previously refereed our 0-0 draw at Derby back in September.

He had an excellent game that night, keeping his cards in his pocket throughout and his performance was widely praised. That’s not always been the case when he’s taken charge of one of our games.

That Derby game was his seventh Burnley game. Generally he’s done well enough but two games stand out as very poor games for him. The first was against Watford in 2008 when he allowed Aidy Boothroyd’s team to get away with all manner of rule breaking, including a number of, shall we say, aerial challenges from Darius Henderson.

More recently, close to the end of the 2013/14 promotion season, he had a very disappointing game when Middlesbrough came to the Turf and won 1-0. Again, he let them get away with just about everything and then, in the final few minutes, he started to take some action which led to Daniel Ayala receiving two late yellow cards.

Other than that, he’s been fine. He’s currently 42nd in RATE THE REF with a rating of 53.70 out of 100, a figure that would be much higher but for those Watford and Middlesbrough games.

Whitestone is now in his 11th season as a Football League referee, his first match coming at Notts County in October 2005 and almost a year later, in September 2006, he refereed in the Championship for the first time in a game between Barnsley and Luton at Oakwell.

He’s still employed more often in the lower divisions and this season he’s refereed just eight Championship games in his total of 30 games. In those games there have been 90 yellow cards and two red cards.

Of those yellows, 44 have gone to home team players and 46 to away team players. Both red cards came in the same game and we hope he doesn’t repeat that tonight. On that occasion he sent off two visiting players at Craven Cottage. They were Sheffield United’s Jose Baxter and Kieran Wallace in a 3-0 Capital One Cup defeat against Fulham.

His last game was a week ago tonight, a 1-1 League One draw between Southend and Crewe at Roots Hall. There were five yellow cards in that game. He carded Ben Coker, Anthony Wordsworth, Tyrone Barnett and David Worrall of Southend along with Crewe’s Tom Hitchcock.

I’ve no real concerns over Whitestone, provided we don’t get a Watford or Middlesbrough performance.

The assistant referees are Alan Dale and Darren Blunden. The fourth official is Football League referee Iain Williamson. He’s the referee who sent off Ade Akinbiyi on his Burnley debut but he hasn’t refereed a Burnley game since a 0-0 draw at Cardiff almost four years ago.

Previous Burnley Games

SeasonOpponentsVResYRBurnley Players Carded
2007/08Watfordh2-240Y: Akinbiyi, Caldwell, Cole
2008/09Nottingham Foresth5-020
2011/12Crystal Palaceh1-141Y: Duff, Marney
2012/13Leicestera1-240Y: Paterson
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