Kevin Friend from Leicestershire will take charge of QPR’s trip to Crystal Palace this weekend.
The select list official is the second in two games to drop down to the Championship, and R’s fans will be hoping he fares better than Mr Probert after his poor display against Millwall on Tuesday night.
He was promoted to Premier League duties in 2009 and after his officiating team infuriated then Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock in a Carling Cup defeat against Aston Villa, it will add some spice what should be a fairly heated affair.
So far this campaign Mr Friend has dished out 14 yellows and two reds in just three games, giving him a card average of 5.33 cards per game.
This weekend he will be assisted by Simon Burt (Northamptonshire) and Stephen Child (Kent) – with the fourth official being National List referee Graham Horwood (Bedfordshire).
Mr Friend first took charge of the R’s at Meadow Lane, as Kevin Gallen snatched a much-needed point but Paul Heffernan’s hatrick stole the show for the Magpies. He booked three Rangers players in the process.
Later that year there was an even more important draw, where as Notts County was a point gained, the Stockport County fixture was certainly two points dropped, in a 1-1 draw. Were it not for Bristol City hitting the buffers on the same day, Rangers would have been chasing that second spot they ultimately claimed in 2004.
Having been promoted the R’s faced tough opposition in Derby County, and somehow claimed a draw at Pride Park under the eyes of Mr Friend. Inigo Idiakez whistled several set pieces narrowly over Simon Royce’s cross bar as the R’s clung onto a point.
Gary Waddock’s men travelled in more trepidation that hope to Bramall Lane as they faced Sheffield United, but somehow Rangers battled to an impressive 3-2 win, Furlong slamming home the winner. Two own goals, a Nygaard strike and five bookings in a match that had everything. Ultimately it was the only remaining joy the R’s would have that season as they slumped to fourth bottom.
Once again Mr Friend saw last gasp drama as Shabazz Baidoo slotted home against Leeds United to secure a 2-2 draw at Loftus Road. On the day where Zesh Rehman was paraded around Loftus Road as the R’s latest capture Rangers plugged away but looked second best throughout, before a penalty levelled matters and Baidoo was on hand to peg United back once more.
Mr Friend presided over the R’s first defeat when Birmingham City beat Rangers 2-1 at St Andrews on Boxing Day, despite an excellent Lee Cook effort to draw matters level at one stage.
Fast forward to February 2008, and Rangers were riding the crest of a wave, 2-0 up against Burnley at home and looking unstoppable under Luigi De Canio. Andy Cole had different ideas, a hatrick from the ex-Manchester United and Newcastle United forward put the R`s to the sword in a 4-2 defeat.
Mr Friend oversaw the R’s demolition of Southampton, as former Saint Dexter Blackstock bagged a brace in a 4-1 win. Young defender Oliver Lancashire was given his marching orders by the official for an over-zealous challenge on Damien Delaney.
The official hasn’t taken charge of Rangers since December 2008 when Plymouth Argyle held Gareth Ainsworth’s QPR to a 1-1 draw at Home Park. Heidar Helguson had opened the scoring before Steve MacLean equalised late on.
Mr Friend & Queens Park Rangers
Notts County 3-3 QPR – 26-12-2003
Goals: Paul Heffernan 6, 28, 72pen; Palmer 3, Richardson 10og, Gallen 90.
Booked: Tony Barrass; Marc Bircham, Clarke Carlisle, Martin Rowlands.
QPR 1-1 Stockport County – 17-04-2004
Goals: Martin Rowlands 3; Rob Clare 58.
Booked: Marcus Bean, Matthew Rose; Jim Goodwin.
Derby County 0-0 QPR – 16-03-2005
Booked: Lee Cook.
Sheffield United 2-3 QPR – 25-02-2006
Goals: Ade Akinbiyi 21, Marc Bircham 29og; Marc Nygaard 6, Chris Morgan 56og, Paul Furlong 74.
Booked: Michael Tonge; Richard Langley, Steve Lomas, Marc Nygaard, Danny Shittu.
QPR 2-2 Leeds United – 08-08-2006
Goals: Martin Rowlands 81pen, Shabazz Baidoo 90; Eddie Lewis 65, Geoff Horsfield 82.
Booked: Damion Stewart; Stephen Crainey, Shaun Derry, Matthew Kilgallon, Tony Warner.
Birmingham City 2-1 QPR – 26-12-2006
Goals: Matthew Upson 22, Cameron Jerome 62; Lee Cook 31.
Booked: Nicklas Bendtner; Mauro Milanese.
QPR 2-4 Burnley – 12-02-2008
Goals: Gavin Mahon 14, Patrick Agyemang 30; Andy Cole 41, 56, 86, Ade Akinbiyi 77.
Booked: Mikele Leigertwood; Stanislav Varga.
QPR 4-1 Southampton – 14-09-2008
Goals: Dexter Blackstock 1, 77, Damion Stewart 63, Patrick Agyemang 90; Adam Lallana 53.
Booked: Damien Delaney, Mikele Leigertwood; Lloyd Dyer, Morgan Schneiderlin.
Sent Off: Oliver Lancashire
Plymouth Argyle 1-1 QPR – 13-12-2008
Goals: Steve MacLean 83; Heidar Helguson 16
Booked: Simon Walton; Heidar Helguson, Peter Ramage
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