Date: 1st January 2010 at 8:11pm
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We must sound like broken records, like supporters constantly whinging about the performance of those dressed in black. Week after week we witness games ruined by referees who are not up to the job.

Tomorrow’s official is Craig Pawson. In 2008 he was appointed to the National List of Referees and the game against Cheltenham Town represents his second visit to Valley Parade.

Last year he took charge of our 2-1 defeat at the hands of Leyton Orient in the FA Cup. For our visitors it will be the first time they have come across Mr Pawson.

So far this season he’s handled 17 games across 5 competitions. Games in the FA Cup, the League Cup, the Championship as well as Leagues One and Two. It has been a busy one jumping about the divisions and has seen 51 yellow cards and 2 reds.

In total during his career this marks his 54th game. With 20 home wins, 17 away wins and 16 draws there’s little predictable about Craig Pawson from the form books.

Having been an official for three years he has yet to earn himself a Wikipedia entry, or a negative press trail elsewhere on the Internet which can only be a good thing. But then Peter Quinn, Monday’s rookie hadn’t either of those things either but still ruined our afternoons.

Hopefully Craig Pawson, and his assistants on the line Darren England and Nicholas Greenhalgh with Ryan Newman in the dugout, will leave us talking about the players rather than the officials.

New year, new hope?