Scott Mathieson will take charge of the London derby as Rangers host Crystal Palace this weekend.
An experienced official, Mathieson of Cheshire has been an official at this level since 1994 making him one of the longest serving on the circuit.
His first encounter with Queens Park Rangers came way back in August 1997 as Rangers went down 2-1 to Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park. Gavin Peacock`s 90th minute consolation wasn`t enough as David Kelly and Lee Jones struck for the Whites.
Later on that season he saw the R`s victorious over Bradford City, in his first clash at Loftus Road. Gavin Peacock struck again this time from the penalty spot to secure the R`s a vital win on home turf.
Into 1998 and Mr Mathieson prescided over the R`s away trip to local side Watford, a tie that was ultimately fruitless for Rangers. Hope sprang eternal when Steve Slade equalised a Keith Millen effort with just over 15 minutes remaining, but Allan Smart finished the R`s off with five minutes to go.
In that season he oversaw a pulsating fixture in W12 as Sunderland snatched a last minute equaliser despite being down to ten men. Perennial dangerman Kevin Phillips had put the Black Cats ahead before they were pegged back by a Danny Maddix effort.
Kevin Ball was given his marching orders by Mr Mathieson before half time, and Kevin Gallen struck to hand Rangers a lead. The prowess of veteran forward Niall Quinn was not to be denied as he ghosted in to score a crucial equaliser with seconds remaining.
Into 1999/00 and a trailblazing opening eventually saw Wolves home at Molineux against the R`s despite a spirited fight back. Three goals in seven minutes from Steve Sedgley, Michael Branch and Ade Akinbiyi looked like condemning the R`s to defeat.
However hope was given to the travelling faithful when Gavin Peacock and Steve Slade bagged a goal a piece to make things interesting. It wasn`t to be as the hosts ran out eventual victors in an entertaining clash.
Wolves` rivals West Bromwich Albion didn`t fare as well as they made the trip to W12 under the watchful eye of Mr Mathieson. The game ended in a stalemate – not a good point for either side in their respective battles in Division One.
Into the following season and Albion came calling again, this time at the Hawthornes. The result was much different despite early signs of promise from the R`s. Chris Kiwomya had handed them a lead just before the half hour mark before Jason Van Blerk struck moments after half time.
Lee Hughes settled the contest with seven minutes left on the clock as Rangers fate was writ large for all to see. They went on to be relegated from the First Division along with Tranmere Rovers and Huddersfield Town.
The R`s managed to avoid Mr Mathieson for a season despite the official taking charge of several Division Two clashes. He next presided over Rangers in what was to be a defining moment in the R`s season.
Rangers were drawn against minnows Vauxhall Motors in the FA Cup First Round and failed to score against them at Chester`s Deva Stadium. In fact the non-league side could have taken the tie had Peter Cumiskey not placed wide from close range. The R`s were eventually dumped out of the replay on penalties – they think it`s all nova – it is now!
The R`s promotion campaign appeared to hit the buffers at Dean Court as Rangers were humbled by Bournemouth. Danny Shittu played through the pain barrier with ligament damage but it was his slip that let in Northern Ireland international Warren Feeney to score shortly before the hour mark. That paled into insignificance as the R`s achieved promotion on the final day.
Surprisingly enough Mr Mathieson has yet to referee Rangers since as his Championship influence appears to be dwindling and his refereeing career draws to a close.
So far this season Mr Mathieson has taken charge of 33 fixtures, dishing out 75 yellow cards and five reds. That gives him a good average of 2.42 cards per game.
Mr Mathieson & Queens Park Rangers
Tranmere Rovers 2-1 QPR – 15-08-97
Goals: David Kelly 40, Lee Jones 72; Gavin Peacock 90.
Yellow Cards: David Kelly; Steve Morrow.
QPR 1-0 Bradford City – 21-12-97
Goals: Gavin Peacock 27pen.
Yellow Cards: Mike Sheron; Andy O`Brien.
Watford 2-1 QPR – 12-09-98
Goals: Keith Millen 5, Allan Smart 85, Steve Slade 73.
Yellow Cards: Ian Baraclough, Vinny Jones, Gavin Peacock.
QPR 2-2 Sunderland – 09-01-99
Goals: Danny Maddix 43, Kevin Gallen 51; Kevin Phillips 32, Niall Quinn 90.
Yellow Cards: Darren Williams.
Wolves 3-2 QPR – 22-01-00
Goals: Steve Sedgley 22, Michael Branch 23, Ade Akinbiyi 29; Gavin Peacock 79, Steve Slade 89.
Yellow Cards: None
QPR 0-0 West Bromwich Albion – 29-04-00
Yellow Cards: Daryl Burgess, Richard Sneekes, Jason Van Blerk.
West Bromwich Albion 2-1 QPR – 28-08-00
Goals: Jason Van Blerk 46, Lee Hughes 83; Chris Kiwomya 28.
Yellow Cards: Lee Hughes; Clark Carlisle, Chris Kiwomya, Richard Langley.
Vauxhall Motors 0-0 QPR – 16-11-02
Yellow Cards: Peter Cumiskey; Tommy Williams.
AFC Bournemouth 1-0 QPR – 24-01-04
Goals: Warren Feeney 58.
Yellow Cards: James Hayter; Steve Palmer.