Controversial Lee Probert set to referee Newcastle United's FA Cup clash at Blackburn Rovers

Controversial Lee Probert set to referee Newcastle United's FA Cup clash at Blackburn Rovers
Controversial Lee Probert set to referee Newcastle United's FA Cup clash at Blackburn Rovers

Lee Probert is set to referee Newcastle United's FA Cup visit to Blackburn Rovers this evening - days after his Stadium of Light controversy.

The 46-year-old, a Premier League accredited referee since 2007, was assigned to Sunderland's top-of-the-table clash with Luton Town in League One, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

However, his 12-years worth of experience at the top level was questioned on Saturday as Black Cats boss Jack Ross felt he got some big decisions wrong.

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Probert awarded a debatable penalty to Luton following Tom Flanagan's challenge on Danny Hylton before Hatters' striker and Cats winger Chris Maguire saw red in the closing 20 minutes.

Ross suggested their was a foul on Maguire in a build-up to the visitors' equaliser from the penalty spot and believes neither deserved to be a red card.

"I don’t think either of them were a red card," said the Sunderland boss.

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"I don’t think Danny Hylton’s was a red, if anything I thought the challenge that James Collins was later cautioned for was worse.

"I’m not saying he should have been sent off, I just thought Hylton should have been cautioned.

"Chris Maguire, the fourth official tells me he was sent off for a stamp, which he didn’t do.

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"The penalty kick was debatable but there is a foul on Maguire in the build up that is a free-kick."

Probert is no stranger to Newcastle matches this term having refereed them on two occasions so far.

The South Gloucestershire official oversaw the Magpies' 2-1 home defeat to Arsenal in September before returning to St James's Park a month later.

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On that occasion, Rafa Benitez's side grabbed their second win of the season - their last win at on home soil since - over AFC Bournemouth.

And Benitez and co were perhaps a bit fortunate too, as Probert, dismissed a Cherries penalty appeal following a contentious tackle from Federico Fernandez on David Brooks.