Tranmere’s FA Cup Third Round tie at home to Tottenham on Friday night will be refereed by Andre Marriner, only the fifth time that the West Midlands official has been the man in the middle for a Tranmere game.
Marriner is on the select list of referees meaning that he primarily officiates in the Premier League. In fact, it’s nearly 11 years to the day since he last took charge of a Tranmere match.
That game saw Rovers on the end of a 3-0 defeat at Leyton Orient on 8th January, 2008, in which defender Shane Sherriff was red carded. Sean Thornton also scored for Orient on what was a nightmare afternoon for the SWA.
You have to go all the way back to 18th September, 2004, for the last time that Marriner refereed a game at Prenton Park. That was another memorable game in which he sent a Tranmere player off.
Wrexham were the visitors in a bad tempered game which finished 1-1. Mike Jackson – now Assistant Manager at Tranmere – was given his marching orders in the 80th minute after a run-in with Wrexham’s Chris Armstrong who also saw red. Armstrong is of course best known for his playing days at Tottenham.
Later in that same season (2nd April, 2005) Marriner took charge of Tranmere’s league match away to Sheffield Wednesday and the theme continues. A red card and a memorable game. This time it was memorable for the right reasons. Despie Chris Brunt giving Wednesday the lead with a penalty, Rovers won 2-1 thanks to goals from Mike Jackson and Iain Hume, while Owls defender Zigor Aranalde was sent off.
He’s only reffed one other Tranmere game, a 6-0 defeat at Plymouth in 2003.
Marriner has officiated one Spurs game this season, that was a 2-1 defeat at Watford in September.
His stats for the season show him as having reffed 17 matches, showing 51 yellow cards and 2 reds.
He will be assisted by Edward Smart and Marc Perry, while Paul Tierney is the Fourth Official. Coincidentally, both linesmen have hit the headlines for high-profile decisions which have benefitted Spurs within the last year or so.
Smart was the linesman in the Premier League match between Liverpool and Spurs at Anfield last season when he controversially (but correctly) awarded Spurs a late penalty in a 2-2 draw. He awarded the penalty for a foul by Van Dijk on Lamela.
Perry awarded Tottenham a goal against Swansea in January 2018 despite the scorer, Fernando Llorente, being in an offside position. He later apologised to Swansea boss Carlos Carvalhal after Spurs ran out 2-0 victors.