SEBASTIAN Stockbridge will referee Swindon Town's League Two play-off semi-final second leg against Port Vale on Thursday.

Town travel to Vale Park with a slender lead having won 2-1 at the County Ground in the first leg on Sunday.

A brace from top goalscorer Harry McKirdy gave the Robins a commanding lead, although they arguably should have been out of sight.

James Wilson pulled a goal back for Vale seven minutes from time to set up a tense clash on Thursday night.

Stockbridge has officiated 36 games this season in all competitions, dishing out 112 yellow cards and five red cards. He has only pointed to the spot on three occassions, however.

In one game, the match official booked nine players when he refereed Sheffield Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Fleetwood Town back in August.

The Tyne-based official has only issued one red card while in charge of a League Two match - that came in the 1-1 draw between Harrogate Town and Exeter City.

Stockbridge has not refereed a Swindon game this term, but he has held the whistle for one Vale match - a 3-0 victory at home to Colchester United back in October.

Town head coach Ben Garner has called on the match officials to be a lot stronger on Thursday night.

Garner was fuming after Louis Reed and Josh Davison were booked by referee Ross Joyce while only one Vale player, Harry Charsley, was booked despite their aggressive style of play.

Speaking at Town's pre-match press conference, Garner said: “When we're trying to play into feet and you’re constantly getting fouled and it’s not being managed well, it does affect you.

"We need the officials to be better, in my opinion, on Thursday in terms of managing that.

“I would really hope that he (Stockbridge) would be stronger than the official was on Sunday.

"I can’t believe we got two bookings and they got one, it baffles me.

“We need officials that can manage the game, allow the players to play and for the game to be decided by football.”

Stockbridge will be the man in the middle for Swindon’s biggest game in years.

He will be assisted by Hristo Karaivanov and Lisa Rashid, with Martin Coy being the fourth official.

The game kicks off at 7:45 pm with the game being shown live on Sky Sports. Adver Sport will also be providing in-depth coverage of the match.