Lee Mason banished to the touchline after dismal refereeing display

Mason was criticised for a number of errors in Southampton's 2-1 win at Stoke City on Saturday.

Lee Mason will not referee a top flight fixture this weekend, having been assigned fourth official duties instead by the Premier League.

The Lancashire ref twice felt the wrath of Southampton's supporters during the Saints' 2-1 win at Stoke City on Saturday, after failing to award Dusan Tadic a penalty for what looked to be a foul by Jack Butland, before sending off Sadio Mane following an aerial challenge with Erik Pieters.

Saints boss Ronald Koeman told the BBC afterwards that Pieters had admitted to him "there was nothing" in his collision with Mane, while the Dutchman's Potters' counterpart Mark Hughes said he was "as surprised as anybody" at the decision.

"I don't think that he has caught him. I think he has challenged for the ball. He hasn't thrown an arm or anything," Hughes added.

The BBC report that Southampton have since appealed Mane's red card, and the South Coast side will no doubt be encouraged by the FA's initial response to Mason's performance.

Mason, who's been a Select Group referee since 2006, has taken charge of 17 top-flight matches this season, and four in the Championship.

But he'll be banished to the touchline at Stamford Bridge on Saturday - joining Robert Madley and his assistants Marc Perry and Simon Long for Chelsea versus West Ham United.

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