Preston North End on red alert when Keith Stroud referees their matches

Keith Stroud pulling out the red cards in Preston North End’s draw at Coventry City could almost be seen as a return to normality.

By Dave Seddon
Friday, 4th March 2022, 12:30 pm

The Hampshire official sent-off PNE defender Liam Lindsay and Sky Blues wing-back Fankaty Dabo during an eventful finale to the Championship clash at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

Lindsay was dismissed after being booked twice, while it was a straight red for Dabo a couple of minutes later for denying Emil Riis a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Mr Stroud has previous for red cards in North End games, with him showing them nine times – this was the third time he sent-off two players in a match involving PNE.

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Referee Keith Stroud sends-off Preston North End defender Liam Lindsay in the 1-1 draw against Coventry City

Back in January 2008, Youl Mawene and Chris Browne were red-carded in a clash with West Bromwich Albion at Deepdale.

Despite finishing the game with nine men, the Lilywhites ran out 2-1 winners.

In February 2016, it was the opposition who finished a man shy at Deepdale after Mr Stroud sent-off Sheffield Wednesday striker Fernando Forestieri.

Eight minutes after Forestieri went for his early bath, Joe Garner headed PNE’s winner.

Coventry substitute Fankaty Dabo is shown the red card by referee Keith Stroud against Preston North End

Wind the clock forward to January 2019 and it was North End left-back Josh Earl’s turn to see red from Mr Stroud in a 1-1 draw with Swansea City at Deepdale.

Two months later Middlesbrough defender Daniel Ayala was sent-off in the Lilywhites’ 2-1 win at the Riverside Stadium. However, Boro appealed the red card which was given for a foul on Preston loan winger Brandon Barker and were successful in getting it overturned.

Another two card trick from Mr Stroud came when North End played Fulham at Deepdale in December 2019.

First he dismissed the Cottagers’ Denis Odoi for a challenge on Patrick Bauer, then later in the first half PNE’s Joe Rafferty was sent for an early bath for a lunge at Joe Bryan.

In fairness to Mr Stroud, the next five Preston games he took charge of featured no red cards – he was in the middle for Ryan Lowe’s first game in charge against Barnsley in December and January’s 2-0 win at West Bromwich Albion.

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Lindsay was the third North End player to be sent-off this season, Alan Browne and Andrew Hughes the other two.

Browne went in stoppage-time of the derby defeat at Blackpool in October for two yellows, Hughes seeing red after conceding a penalty against Sheffield United at Deepdale in January.

With Lindsay walking for two cautions, there was no right of appeal against his sending-off.

On the discipline front, 70 yellow cards have been shown to PNE players this season, 65 of them in the Championship and five in the Carabao Cup.

Ben Whiteman is the biggest sinner on that score, having been booked eight times, with Ched Evans getting six yellows.

Patrick Bauer, Sepp van den Berg, Daniel Johnson and Ryan Ledson have had five cautions apiece.

Whiteman is the only player at risk of a two-game suspension for 10 yellow cards.

The cut-off for that is after the 37th game of the season – North End reach that next Saturday at Cardiff City.