Nigel Miller of County Durham will take charge of QPR’s massive trip to Crystal Palace this weekend.
Promoted to the Football League referee’s list in 2003 Mr Miller has remained in the Football League despite some improved displays in recent seasons.
There are some games that leap out when discussing the pros and cons of the official, notably the debacle at Hull a few years ago, but since then he has proven competent.
This weekend he presides over a key game as Rangers travel to Palace and he will be assisted by Mr Michael McCoy (W Sussex) and Mr Andrew Rodda (Devon) with the fourth official Mr Keith Yeo (Essex).
This season Mr Miller has taken charge of 31 games dishing out 79 yellow cards and ten reds – giving him an average of 2.87 cards per game.
His journey with QPR began back in the Championship in October 2004 as the R’s – under the guidance of Ian Holloway – were looking comfortable in their first season back in the Championship. They took on Burnley at Loftus Road and dismantled their opponents in a trailblazing first period.
Kevin Gallen’s penalty and Georges Santos put the R’s two goals to the good before Paul Furlong took advantage of some dire goalkeeping by Danny Coyne to slot home for Rangers third. Coyne was subsequently stretchered off with a case of the blushes.
Mr Miller met the R’s again at the beginning of the 2005/06 season, as they travelled to Wolves. Rangers were blown away courtesy of arch-nemesis Carl Cort. A hatrick from the forward cancelled out Kevin Gallen’s earlier equaliser in a 3-1 win.
Controversy then ensued the following season as Rangers travelled to the Kingston Communication Stadium against Hull City. Mr Miller oversaw Dexter Blackstock handing Rangers the lead against Hull, before mayhem ensued in the relegation clash.
The game got to the last five minutes and Stuart Elliott was introduced for the hosts. He managed to bag a goal from an offside position to break the R’s resistance. That came before Rangers went down the other end and saw Lee Cook hacked down in the box, the referee not only gave nothing, he gave Lee Cook his second yellow card for his protestations.
In predictable fashion Hull grabbed a last minute winner, from another suspiciously offside position, but fortunately for Mr Miller, both sides escaped the drop.
Just after the turn of the year Mr Miller oversaw a rejuvenated Rangers away at Sheffield United. Rangers had the lead in the first half as Patrick Agyemang hit his first for the R’s, embarking on a magical scoring run.
In the second half, Rangers never showed up and were subsequently punished with Damion Stewart putting through his own net, and Matthew Connolly allowing Lee Hendrie to place home from close range.
Earlier on last season QPR had the pleasure of Mr Miller once more as they travelled to Sheffield for the third time in 2008. In what was a fairly drab spectacle, the referee handed Rangers a penalty which Martin Rowlands duly spurned to compound their away woes.
To rub salt into the wounds former Rangers loanee Leon Clarke sewed the game up for the Owls with a goal that was cunning in its simplicity.
In the final home fixture of 2008-09 the official took charge of the R’s against Plymouth Argyle, and in an equally dour fixture that ended goalless Gareth Ainsworth’s QPR rounded off the season at Loftus Road.
There was a pick up in form under the guidance of Jim Magilton as Mr Miller oversaw the R’s solid 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough. Jay Simpson and Kaspars Gorkss had goals sandwiching a Jermaine Johnson effort.
Mr Miller & Queens Park Rangers
QPR 3-0 Burnley – 30-10-2004.
Goals: Kevin Gallen 13pen, Georges Santos 15, Paul Furlong 24.
Yellow Cards: Marcus Bignot; Robbie Blake, Michael Duff, John McGreal, Frank Sinclair.
Wolves 3-1 QPR – 30-08-2005.
Goals: Carl Cort 8, 24, 90; Kevin Gallen 12.
Yellow Cards: Lee Naylor.
Hull City 2-1 QPR – 13-01-2007.
Goals: Stuart Elliott 85, 90; Dexter Blackstock 45.
Yellow Cards: Ian Ashbee, David Livermore, Jon Parkin; Dexter Blackstock, Lee Cook, Steve Lomas, Sampsa Timoska.
Sent Off: Lee Cook
Sheffield Unted 2-1 QPR – 12-01-2008.
Goals: Damion Stewart 64og, Lee Hendrie 69; Patrick Agyemang 45.
Yellow Cards: Lee Hendrie; Dexter Blackstock.
Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 QPR – 09-12-2008
Goals: Leon Clarke 75
Yellow Cards: Lee Grant
QPR 0-0 Plymouth Argyle – 25-04-2009
Yellow Cards: Carl Fletcher, Alan Judge
Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 QPR – 07-11-2009
Goals: Jermaine Johnson 13; Jay Simpson 10, Kaspars Gorkss 82
Yellow Cards: NONE
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