Paul Tierney in charge of East Anglian derby

Lancashire referee Paul Tierney has been appointed to the East Anglian derby between Norwich City and Ipswich Town at Carrow Road this weekend.

Paul Tierney referee (Bradford v MK Dons - 9th February 2015)
On the up: Tierney has been tipped for promotion to the Premier League next season after being handed a trial game earlier this campaign

REFEREE Paul Tierney has been appointed to the East Anglian derby between Norwich City and Ipswich Town at Carrow Road this weekend.

The 35-year-old will take charge of the second meeting this season between the two promotion-chasing teams in the SkyBet Championship on Sunday (KO 2:05pm live on Sky Sports).

He will be assisted by Jake Hillier (Hertfordshire) and Stephen Ross (Lincolnshire) while the fourth official will be Carl Berry (Surrey) – whose performance in Norwich’s 3-0 win at Watford last weekend was widely criticised.

Tierney – from Lancashire – officiated his first Premier League match last August when Swansea beat West Bromwich Albion 3-0 at the Liberty Stadium – handing out only three yellow cards in an incident-free game.

He has also overseen top-flight teams West Bromwich Albion and Manchester City in the Capital One Cup this term.

The Wigan-based whistler – who is a hairdresser by trade – has been a National List referee since the start of the 2008/09 season having previously served as a Premier League linesman.

Although allowing the game to flow as much as possible and largely avoiding controversy, he has built a reputation as a card-happy official in his four previous seasons in the Football League and is a mainstay in the Championship.

On the spot: Tierney awarded a penalty against Norwich when last refereeing the Canaries in their last match before Christmas at the iPro
On the spot: Tierney awarded a penalty against Norwich when last refereeing the Canaries in their final match before Christmas at the iPro Stadium

His career highlights include taking charge of the 2014 League Two play-off semi-final second leg between Southend and Burton Albion, and in the same season he officiated the JPT Southern Final second leg between Peterborough and Swindon .

Tierney also boasts two Wembley appearances on his CV as he was the assistant referee in Chelsea’s 2009 FA Cup semi-final victory over Arsenal and the fourth official in the 2014 FA Vase final between Sholing and West Auckland Town.

It will be his 12th Championship match of the season and the first time he will officate the Old Farm derby having overseen his maiden East Midlands derby between fierce rivals Nottingham Forest and Derby back in September.

Overall this season, Tierney has brandished 100 yellow cards in 27 games in all competitions, sending off six players and awarding 11 penalties.

Having impressed assessors on numerous occasions, it is widely expected that Tierney will be promoted to the Select Group of referees at the end of this season.

The reverse fixture – Norwich’s 1-0 win at Portman Road back in August – was handled by experienced Football League official Keith Stroud.

Tierney last encountered Norwich in December in their 2-2 draw at Derby while it will be his first Ipswich match of the season.

Just one point separates the two teams, who are both currently in the play-offs heading into the weekend with Ipswich third and Norwich sixth.

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