Rotherham United welcome Nottingham Forest to the New York Stadium on Saturday when Stephen Martin from Staffordshire will be in the middle.
With both Steve’s Father and Grandfather being EFL Officials it was probably a given that he would follow in their footsteps. He began reffing in 2002 and rose quickly appointed to the EFL Assistant Referee list in and National League Referee list in 2008.
The Millers and Stephen last met at Carrow Road in December last year when Richie Towell put the visitors in front on eleven minutes but second half goals from Todd Cantwell, Maximillian Aarons and Teemu Pukki gave the Canaries a three-one win.
The time before that we saw Stephen in charge of a Millers game was in March 2017 when Aston Villa were the visitors to the New York Stadium. Villa won the game two-nil with an own goal from Will Vaulks and a Jonathan Kodjia goal three minutes from time.
That season Stephen was also in the middle for our December trip to Craven Cottage. Rotherham went ahead with a Joe Newell goal but Stefan Johanson pulled one back thirteen minutes later for Fulham. On fifty-four minutes Floyd Ayite got a second for the hosts giving them all three points. And also at Elland Road a month later with three second half goals from Kyle Bartley and Chris Wood (2) giving Leeds United the win. Joe Mattock saw yellow that afternoon for the Millers alongside Leeds’ Pontus Jansson.
The season before Steve was in the middle for two games involving the Millers. The first was at Portman Road when a goal a minute from half-time from Leon Best gave the Millers all three points. The following month, April, saw Steve at the New York Stadium when Blackburn were in town. Again just one goal separated the teams this time giving the visitors the three points when Shane Duffy scored on six minutes.
The time before that was in August 2014 for our Capital One Cup at the Liberty Stadium against Premier League side Swansea City. The game was a one-nil win for the Swans with the goal coming on the twenty-second minute from Bafetimbi Gomis. Kirk Broadfoot, Craig Morgan, Kari Arnason and Richard Brindley saw yellow for the Millers that night.
Stephen has twice been in charge of Millers games before that night – the first being on a Tuesday night and saw us lose our one hundred per cent record at the New York Stadium. Rochdale were the visitors and on the stroke of half-time Dele Adebola put ‘Dale in front with Alex Revell equalising fifteen minutes into the second half. A Daniel Nardiello strike on sixty five minutes gave the home side the lead but when Jason Kennedy went down in the area under a challenge from Revell, Mr Martin pointed to the spot and the resulting penalty was scored by Robert Grant. Four minutes later a curling effort from Kevin McIntyre found the bottom corner of the net to give Rochdale a three-two win.
The only other time Stephen has been in the middle for a Rotherham game was in February 2014 at Brunton Park. Wes Thomas put the Millers in front on twenty-four minutes but a goal just before the break from Lee Millers saw Carlisle draw level. In the final minute of the game the visitors got all three points when Kieran Agard made it two-one to Rotherham. That day yellow cards were shown to Claude Davis and Kari Arnason of the Millers and Courtney Meppen-Walters of Carlisle.
This season Stephen has shown seventy-four yellow cards and three red cards in the twenty-eight games he has been in the middle for.
Running the line at the New York Stadium we have Jonathan Hunt and Adrian Waters with the Fourth Official being Robert Jones* who was in the middle for this corresponding game at the City Ground in September.
*change of Fourth Official – now <b>Scott Ledger</b> who was recently running the line for the first game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.