JAMES Adcock has been appointed by the Football League to take charge of the key clash between Bolton Wanderers and Queens Park Rangers in the SkyBet Championship this weekend.
The 29-year-old will be in the middle for Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off in Lancashire as Dougie Freedman’s Trotters search for their first victory of the new season against Harry Redknapp’s relegated Rangers, who have begun the campaign in buoyant mood with two wins from three so far.
It could prove a pivotal early-season contest in the promotion shake-up with Bolton tipped for a sustained play-off push having narrowly missed out last season while QPR, with a squad packed with Premier League experience, will be expected to make an immediate top-flight return.
The two sides meet for the first time since Bolton’s controversial 2-1 win at the Reebok Stadium in March 2012 in the Premier League when Clint Hill’s header crossed the line but wasn’t given and Djibril Cisse scored from an offside position, prior to Ivan Klasnic’s late goal to seal a crucial three points.
It will be Adcock’s third appointment of the season, and his third in the Championship, after overseeing Leeds’ 2-1 home win over Brighton on the opening day – with four yellow cards – and Watford’s 6-1 thrashing of promoted Bournemouth at Vicarage Road a fortnight ago, in which he awarded the hosts a penalty and dished out three yellow cards.
The Long Belper-based referee has risen significantly over the past 12 months since promotion to the National List at the beginning of 2011-12, after becoming a mainstay in the Conference, and recently spoke of his dream to be promoted to the Select Group having tasted Premier League action as a fourth official on numerous occasions.
He took his refereeing course in 2000 at the age of 16 and is now the third youngest official in the Football League behind Andy Madley and Geoff Eltringham.
The Nottinghamshire official – who took charge of eight second-tier matches last term – enjoyed a busy season last term which included a League Two play-off semi-final. He took charge of Burton Albion’s 3-2 victory over Bradford in the first leg at Valley Parade at the beginning of May and kept a low profile with just three yellow cards handed out.
Adcock, who was fourth official for Norwich’s Premier League draw with Everton on Saturday, last officiated a Bolton match in their 2-1 league defeat at Watford in February, awarding the Trotters a penalty converted by Marvin Sordell, however he is yet to oversee a game involving QPR.
Overall, he refereed 33 games in all competitions in 2012-13, brandishing 94 yellow cards and five red card whilst awarding five penalties.
He will be assisted at the Reebok Stadium by linesmen Rob Merchant (Staffordshire) and Steven Meredith (Nottinghamshire), while Lancashire official Paul Tierney will be the fourth official.
The match will be broadcasted live on Sky Sports as part of their new re-arranged time slot for SkyBet Football League action during its 150th anniversary year this Saturday, August 24, kicking off at 12:15 BST.