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Mason in the middle for Everton visit

Lee Mason will referee Newcastle United’s final fixture of 2019 against Everton on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

The 48-year-old has been appointed for the fixture at St. James’ Park, which sees the Magpies bring the curtain down on the calendar year with the visit of the Toffees, who recently installed Carlo Ancelotti as their new boss.

It will be just the second time Mason has overseen a Newcastle fixture this term, following United’s 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa last month, and his 14th outing in all competitions.

The Lancashire-affiliated official has taken charge of games in the Premier League, Championship and Carabao Cup so far this season, dishing out 39 yellow cards and one red in the process.

In 2018/19, of the 32 games refereed by Mason, just two involved the Magpies. Both league fixtures against Everton were officiated by Portsmouth-born Mason, who showed five yellows in the 1-1 draw at Goodison Park in December 2018 and four in United’s 3-2 win over the Toffees in March of this year.

He will be aided by assistant referees Mark Scholes and Scott Ledger at the weekend, while Tony Harrington will be the fourth official.

VAR, meanwhile, will be operated by Craig Pawson, who will be assisted by Peter Kirkup.

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