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Match officials confirmed for Brighton trip

Simon Hooper will referee Newcastle United’s penultimate Premier League game of the season at Brighton & Hove Albion on Monday night (6pm kick-off).

Steve Bruce’s men make their final trip of 2019/20 for the game at the Amex Stadium, with Swindon-born referee Hooper appointed for the fixture. He will be assisted by Derek Eaton and Mark Scholes.

It will be just the third time the 37-year-old has overseen a Magpies outing this term, with United yet to lose under his watch.

Hooper’s only visit to St. James’ Park this season came in December, when Miguel Almirón’s first goal for the club earned a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace. The Paraguayan went in the book along with Fabian Schär on that occasion.

The following month, Hooper was in the middle of the 2-2 draw at Everton, with Florian Lejeune’s last-gasp brace earning a point for Newcastle in a stunning finish at Goodison Park. Ciaran Clark was yellow-carded on Merseyside, along with the hosts’ Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Hooper was promoted to the Select Group of Referees in 2018, and has officiated in the top flight, Championship, League One, FA Cup and Carabao Cup this season, issuing 80 yellow cards and just two reds.

Gavin Ward will be the fourth official on the south coast, with Kevin Friend as the VAR and Simon Beck as the assistant VAR.

Mark Pottage is set to be the replacement official.

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