The man in charge of our first game of 2017 will be . . . .
STEPHEN MARTIN from Staffordshire
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.
Stephen will be familiar with the Millers having reffed them less than a month ago at 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.
Last season 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 at Brunton Park. West 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.
In the nineteen games Stephen has been in charge of this season he has shown forty-eight yellow cards and two red cards
Running the line at Elland Road will be . . . .
Andrew Fox from Warwickshire
Mark Jones from Nottinghamshire
The Fourth Official will be . . . .
Geoff Eltringham from Tyne and Wear