Andy Madley to ref League One Play-Off Final 2015

Andy Madley will referee the 2015 SkyBet League One Play-Off Final between Preston North End and Swindon Town on Sunday, May 24.

Lenient: Madley - who has sent a player off in his last eight games - has never issued more than four red cards in a single season (Picture from Sky Sports)
Lenient: Madley – who has not sent a player off in his last nine games – has never issued more than four red cards in a single season (Picture from Sky Sports)

ANDY Madley will referee the 2015 SkyBet League One Play-Off Final between Preston North End and Swindon Town on Sunday, May 24.

It will be a quick return to Wembley for the 32-year-old and his two linesmen Daniel Cook (Hampshire) and Wade Norcott (Essex) after they handled the FA Vase Final last weekend as North Shields beat Glossop North End 2-1 in extra-time.

Mark Haywood (West Yorkshire) has been assigned fourth official duties and Shaun Hudson (Tyne & Wear) will act as the reserve assistant.

Madley was due to take charge of Thursday’s League Two play-off semi-final second leg between Southend and Stevenage at Roots Hall but was replaced by Oxfordshire’s Graham Scott – who was pencilled in for the play-off final but is ineligible to officiate Swindon.

The West Yorkshire whistler – the brother of Premier League referee Robert – has officiated 39 games in all competitions this term including five live televised matches.

He oversaw 13 Championship fixtures, 13 in League One and seven in League Two as well as five Premier League fourth official assignments.

Madley has brandished 116 yellow cards, sending off only three players and awarding seven penalties in total.

He has encountered Preston twice this term – in their 4-0 win at Scunthorpe back in August and most recently a 1-1 draw away to Lancashire rivals Fleetwood at the end of March.

Madley’s only Swindon game came in mid-March as he oversaw their 1-0 victory at Port Vale.

In his fourth season in the Football League, the Wakefield-based official is highly rated among refereeing circles and was in charge of the first match of the 2014-15 campaign as Blackburn drew with Cardiff in the second-tier back in August.

Madley was also at the helm for the notoriously fiesty East Midlands derby between Derby and Nottingham Forest at the iPro Stadium in January and put in a competent performance.

He has handled several Premier League teams in cup competitions including West Bromwich Albion’s 7-0 win over Conference Premier side Gateshead in the FA Cup third round this term.

Madley is considered part of the so-called “Talent Group” of Football League referees who are deemed worthy of being promoted to the Select Group of full-time Premier League officials.

He started out in his local divisions in Heavy Woollen and began to progress through the supply lines from 2004 before becoming a Premier League linesman in 2009.

One of his career high-points was running the line for the League One play-off final as Millwall edged past Swindon Town in 2010 at Wembley.

Madley joined the National List of Football League referees in 2011 with his first game coming on the opening day of the 2011-12 season as Morecambe faced Barnet at the Globe Arena in League Two.

He was also the man in black for the League Two play-off semi-final tie between Northampton and Cheltenham Town in May 2013.

Like any other official, Madley hasn’t avoided controversy during his 16-year career thus far.

The Ossett-born referee mistakenly sent off Preston midfielder Neil Kilkenny against Port Vale in League One last season and incurred the wrath of Millwall boss Ian Holloway for sending off young defender Sid Nelson against Reading this term.

Simon Grayson’s Preston – who narrowly missed out on automatic promotion on the final day – comfortably saw off Chesterfield 4-0 on aggregate in the semi-finals.

Swindon Town – who finished fourth under Mark Cooper – overcame Sheffield United 7-6 on aggregate after a dramatic 5-5 draw in the semi-final second leg.

Last year, the League One Play-Off Final was overseen by David Coote as Rotherham United beat Leyton Orient on penalties after an entertaining 2-2 draw.

Meanwhile, Simon Hooper (Wiltshire) will take charge of the League Two Play-Off Final between Southend and Wycombe on May 23.

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