Date: 8th November 2008 at 9:02am
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As we all know, the match officials for our first season back in the Championship have so far been a little suspect in terms of their abilities. Today may be see a change from the usual dross, as Premiership ref Phil Dowd, from Staffordshire takes centre stage for the game with Birmingham City.

Phil Dowd has had his fair share of critics in his time, but is seen as one of the less flamboyant officials. The Porn Star Paul Jewell wouldn’t agree with that though, as he was issued with a heavy fine for criticising Dowd, during his time at Wigan. But we live in hope.

So far this season Dowd has taken charge of 13 games, in which he’s dished out 40 yellow cards and 3 red. The last time he had the privelege of refereeing a game involving the Reds’, was the 0-0 draw with Rotherham back in 2005. He booked five players that day.

Special attention should be paid to the linesmen today, as non other than Mr. N. Bannister is amongst them. He was part of the comedy double act that gifted Reading the mysterious ‘ghost goal’ at Watford, along with the now infamous Stuart Attwell. The other linesman today, is Mr. A. Halliday. He has no previous misdemeanours to report. The fourth official is Mr. C. Pawson.