By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
Kevin Friend will take charge of Newcastle's Premier League fixture away at Cardiff City on Saturday (3pm kick-off).
It is the first time this season the Leicestershire-based official has overseen a Magpies' match, but in total during the 2013/14 campaign, Friend has refereed five games across the Premier League and Capital One Cup.
In that time he has handed out 18 yellow cards, no reds and awarded two penalties.
The 42-year-old officiated in the Leicestershire Senior League and Midland Football Alliance before being promoted to the National List of Referees, and later to the Select Group of Referees ahead of the 2009/10 campagin.
And Friend refereed his first top flight fixture in September 2009, as Wolverhampton Wanderers beat Fulham.
He was the man in the middle of the 2012 Community Shield, which saw Manchester City triumph 3-2 over Chelsea in a thriller at Villa Park, and also given the top job in the 2013 Capital One Cup final, where Swansea beat Bradford City.
On Saturday, Friend will be assisted by Darren Cann and Harry Lennard, with James Adcock the game's fourth official.