Rotherham United play in their first cup competition on Tuesday when they welcome a Manchester United U23 side to the New York Stadium for the first game of the EFL Trophy.
The man in charge of this game is Graham Salisbury from Lancashire who started refereeing in 1985 progressing through the West Lancashire and Northern Premier Leagues to reach National List status thirteen years later being promoted to the Referees’ List in 2001.
The Millers and Graham have met quite a few times before, the last time being in a League One clash at the New York Stadium which was a one-nil win for visiting Rochdale. That same season he was at the Banks’s Stadium when the Millers were taking on Walsall. A first minute goal from Semi Ajayi put the visitors in front but eleven minutes later Joe Edwards equalised but a second-half goal from David Ball gave Rotherham all three points.
The time before that Graham was in charge of a Millers game was in April 2015 in the Championship which saw Reading at the New York Stadium. Matt Derbyshire and Lee Frecklington made it two-nil to the Millers in the second half with Oliver Norwood getting a consolation for the visitors in the final three minutes. Matt Derbyshire was the only booking of the evening. Earlier that season Graham was again at the New York Stadium for our one-nil win against Wolves with Ryan Hall scoring the goal fourteen minutes from time. Graham showed five yellow cards that afternoon one to Kirk Broadfoot, Craig Morgan and Ben Pringle for the Millers with Scott Golbourne and Danny Batth getting carded for the visitors.
April 2014 saw Graham in charge of our home game against MK Dons when Matthew Kennedy put the visitors in front on nine minutes. A few minutes into the second half Kieran Agard got the ball down the right and was pushed and pulled all the way by Brendon Galloway who eventually hauled the Millers striker down just outside the area. Mr Salisbury showed Galloway a second yellow and he went for an early bath. On the seventy-second minute the visitors doubled their lead after Izale McLeod chipped Adam Collin. Michael O’Connor made it two-one seven minutes later and an Alex Revell goal in time added on gave the home side a point from the game.
Graham was in charge of many Rotherham games before including a game in September 2004 at Millmoor that saw five goals when Crewe were the visitors in the Championship. Mark Burchill opened the scoring on seventeen minutes but Dean Ashton got an equaliser two minutes later from the penalty spot. Kenny Lunt put the visitors ahead just after the hour mark with Ashton getting his second and Crewe`s third ten minutes later. Shaun Barker scored three minutes from time to make it an interesting last few minutes but Crewe went home with all three points. New Year`s Eve 2005 saw Doncaster Rovers visiting Millmoor and Graham officiating. Paul Heffernan received his marching orders for a second yellow card on sixty-eight minutes and a last gasp goal from Lee Williamson gave Rotherham the win.
November 2007 saw Rotherham travel to Brunton Park which ended one-one. Delroy Facey had put the visitors in front on twenty-one minutes but Kevin Gray equalised mid-way through the second half. Graham booked Paul Hurst from Rotherham and Carlisle`s Chris Billy that day. Graham was also in charge of our game the following season at Millmoor against Chester which also ended one-all. Chris O`Grady put the hosts in front on fifty-seven minutes but a goal fourteen minutes later from Kevin Roberts gave the visitors a point.
In October 2008 Rotherham entertained Barnet at Don Valley and it was a game that, for a neutral, had everything in it with seven goals, a red card and penalties. Nick Fenton opened the scoring for the Millers but Luke Medley found an equaliser with his first goal of the season. Ten minutes later Alex Rhodes received a fantastic ball from Mickey Cummins and as he was about to take aim and shoot he was knocked to the ground by Max Porter who Mr Salisbury sent for an early bath. Mark Hudson took the resulting spot-kick but fluffed his lines and hit it straight at Harrison in the Bees` goal. The Millers were made to pay for that miss six minutes later when Albert Adomah put the visitors in front. The second half saw ten-men Barnet further their lead when Cliff Akurang made it three-one then four-one after he latched onto a terrible back-pass from Fenton and stuck it into the net. Ian Sharps pulled one back for Rotherham before Reuben Reid got himself into the box in the eightieth minute and after being pulled back the hosts got their second penalty of the afternoon which Mark Burchill took and scored to make the final score four-three to Barnet. Later on in that same season Graham was in charge of our one-nil win, thanks to a Micky Cummins goal, at Lincoln.
The 2009/10 season saw Graham twice referee the Millers. The first time was our two-one win against Grimsby at Blundell Park when an Adam Le Fondre penalty and Micky Cummins got the Rotherham goals and later in the season at Don Valley when goals from Danny Harrison, Adam Le Fondre (penalty) and Drewe Broughton gave the Millers a three-one win over Macclesfield. He was also in the middle for two of our games the following season – and saw some goals! Our game against Burton at Don Valley ended three-all with the host`s goals scored by Kevin Ellison, Ryan Cresswell and Adam Le Fondre in the first thirty-eight minutes while Shaun Harrad got a second-half hat-trick for the visitors. Graham was at Don Valley again on New Years Day when goals from Nicky Law, Will Atkinson, Mark Randall and two from Ryan Taylor saw the Millers win five-nil. Stuart Tomlinson, Vale`s ‘keeper, saw red in the first half.
There are more games where the Millers and Graham met with the first time being at Millmoor in January 2002 when Grimsby Town were the visitors. Rob Taylor put the visitors ahead ten minutes from the end of the first half with Alan Lee getting an equaliser for the Millers ten minutes from time.
Running the line at the New York Stadium we have Barry Gordon and Billy Smallwood while the Fourth Official is Robert Atkin.