JOHN Beaton will be the referee for Rangers’ fourth Scottish League Cup first-round group game against Stranraer on Monday night.
The 34-year-old from Lanarkshire takes charge of the televised tie as Mark Warburton’s men seek to maintain their 100% record in the revamped competition against the League One outfit at Ibrox (KO 19:45 BST, live on BT Sport).
He will be ably assisted for the Group F encounter by Alasdair Ross and Daniel McFarlaine, with Gavin Ross in control of fourth official duties.
It’s a second trip to Glasgow in three days for Beaton, who handled Celtic’s 1-1 friendly draw with Leicester City in the International Champions Cup on Saturday evening at Parkhead.
But he hasn’t visited the home of the Gers since they beat Hibernian 2-1 in the Challenge Cup first round almost two years ago – in which Hibs forward Danny Handling was contentiously sent off for a challenge on David Templeton.
Beaton has overseen two League Cup matches so far – Kilmarnock’s 2-1 win over Clyde and St Mirren’s 1-0 victory against Ayr. He has brandished five yellow cards and awarded a penalty in each but is yet to send a player off.
The Motherwell whistler – who first became a referee in 1997 – has officiated the 2015 Ramsdens Cup Final, two League Cup semi-finals, two Scottish Cup semis including one last season, and been an additional assistant referee for two Scottish Cup Finals.
A Category One official since 2009, he has established himself as a regular in the Scottish Premiership since his first game in 2012 and is one of seven Scottish referees on Fifa’s international list.
Beaton, whose cousin Steven Nicholls is also a referee, hit the headlines last year when he was headbutted during a volatile derby in Saudi Arabia between Al Hilal and Al Nasr – during which he issued three red cards.
He didn’t visit Ibrox at all last season and oversaw both sides just once each – Rangers’ 2-1 defeat at Hibernian in November and Stranraer’s 5-2 win over Livingston in their Championship play-off semi-final first leg.
Outside of football, Beaton is a communications officer at the University of Strathclyde and had aspirations to be a journalist, including a three-year stint in Public Relations at Strathclyde Police.
Rangers’ previous League Cup ties were refereed by Steven McLean (Motherwell), Euan Anderson (Annan Athletic) and Crawford Allan (East Stirlingshire).
Brian’s Reid Stranraer, who lost out to Ayr United on penalties in the Championship play-off final last season, have beaten both Annan and East Stirling so far.
Click here for a full list of match official appointments for Tuesday and Wednesday’s League Cup games.