Referee Nick Walsh set for first Scottish Premiership game

Referee Nick Walsh will take charge of his first Scottish Premiership match in Dingwall this weekend in only his third season as a senior official.

Nick Walsh in action (Hibernian v Alloa)
Card happy: Only Craig Thomson has handed out more cards this season in Scotland than Nick Walsh (Picture from Sky Sports)

REFEREE Nick Walsh is set for the biggest game of his short officiating career so far after being appointed to his first match in the Scottish Premiership.

The 30-year-old is only in his third season as a senior official but has been chosen by the SPFL to take charge of Ross County v Partick Thistle at the Global Energy Stadium on Saturday (KO 15:00 BST).

Walsh – a Category One Development official from Stirling – has issued the most red cards among Scotland’s referees this season with 12 in 27 matches in all competitions.

The last of which came in his most recent match on March 26 to Livingston’s Jackson Longridge late on in their surprise 2-1 win at Falkirk2-1 win at Falkirk in the Championship.

Walsh has handled nine second-tier matches, all of which have been this season and two were televised.

He has also overseen 10 in League One and three in League Two in 2015-16 but has experienced the top-flight as fourth official for seven Premiership games – including Celtic’s 3-1 win over Hearts last weekend.

In February, the Glasgow-born whistler was in charge of an U17 International Challenge Match between Scotland and Iceland at Morton’s Cappielow.

He will be ably assisted in Dingwall by the experienced Graham Chambers and Alan Mulvanny and fourth official Kevin Graham, while Alan Freeland will keep an eager eye on proceedings as his observer.

With the sides seventh and eighth respectively, there is a lot riding on this final game before the split as both can still realistically finish in the top six – so Walsh will be under pressure to perform.

He will certainly want to stay under the radar but impress enough to show he is worthy of future Premiership games and, maybe, promotion to Category One status.

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