KEVIN Clancy will be the man in the middle for Dundee United’s Scottish Cup fourth round tie at Stranraer on Sunday.
The 31-year-old will take charge of the televised lunchtime kick-off as the Scottish Premiership side travel to Stair Park to face the current League One leaders (12:30 GMT on Sky Sports).
He will be assisted by linesmen Graeme Leslie and Stuart Hodge while the fourth official will be Euan Anderson.
It has been a busy start to 2015 for Fifa whistler Clancy, who received five referee appointments in January and was also the fourth official for the Edinburgh derby between Hearts and Hibs.
Among those matches were two Premiership matches involving Celtic and Dundee United’s 6-2 derby thrashing of Dundee at Tannadice on New Year’s Day.
His last encounter Stranraer came 12 months ago at this stage of the Scottish Cup when the Dumfries outfit held top-flight Inverness Caley Thistle to a 2-2 draw at home.
So far this season, Clancy has been the man in black for 13 Premiership games – including St Mirren’s 1-0 win at Partick Thistle last Friday night – as well as Celtic’s League Cup quarter-final thrashing of Glasgow neighbours Partick Thistle.
Kevin Clancy: Overall stats this season (2014/15) as of 3 February
Yellow cards: 83
Red cards: 4
He first took up the whistle in 2000 and was admitted to the Scottish FA five years later.
The Renfrewshire-based official was promoted to a Category One referee in 2009 and – having hugely impressed in the SFL – oversaw his first SPL match in April 2012.
Such was his fast progression, he was even recognised by Fifa – one of seven currently from Scotland on the list – before his promotion to the top-flight had been confirmed.
Clancy’s most high-profile appointments came last season when he officiated his only major final to date in the Ramsdens Cup at Easter Road as Raith Rovers shocked Rangers and the Championship play-off semi first leg between Hamilton Accies and Falkirk.
He was also the fourth official to Craig Thomson for the 2013 League Cup Final at Hampden Park when St Mirren beat Hearts 3-2 and was part of the same referee’s team as an additional assistant in last season’s Scottish Cup Final at Celtic Park.
Clancy has been at the helm for several low-key Europa League matches and been behind the goal as a member of Willie Collum’s Champions League group of officials.
He is widely regarded as a lenient and respectable referee who keeps control of games well and rarely attracts controversy.
Fourth-placed Dundee United are six points behind Premiership leaders Celtic – whom they will face in next month’s League Cup final after coming from behind to beat holders Aberdeen in last weekend’s semi-final.
Jackie McNamara’s side are seeking to win the Scottish Cup for the first time since 2010 and go one step better than last season when they were runners-up after their 2-0 loss to Tayside rivals St Johnstone in the final.
Stephen Aitken’s Stranraer – who are in their second season at third-tier level – are currently two points clear of second-placed Morton at the top of League One but the third oldest club in Scotland have never reached the Scottish Cup Final in their 145-year history.
Elsewhere this weekend, Celtic’s fourth-round tie against fellow Premiership opponents Dundee at Dens Park on Saturday lunchtime will be refereed by John Beaton.
And last season’s semi-finalists Rangers against Raith Rovers at Ibrox on Sunday will be handled by Bobby Madden.