Officials for the League Two fixture between Exeter City and Yeovil Town have been announced by the Football League. The match takes place on Wednesday 26th December 2018, with a 1.00p.m. kick-off. The man in charge of the fixture is referee Graham Salisbury (Lancashire).
If you're thinking the name of a referee called Salisbury seems familiar, then it's worth noting that Michael Salisbury is also a regular Football League referee - Graham is his father - meaning that it's easy to get the two mixed up - we had Michael earlier this month for the home match against Forest Green Rovers. Unsurprisingly given Mr Salisbury's home address, meetings involving himself have been scarce, although oddly the last four have all been at Huish Park, whilst this one sees him head even further down the M5 and into Devon.
He last turned up for a September 2017 League Two match against Port Vale. There he was a very busy man, with seven yellow cards, and ultimately an eighth turning into a dismissal for Vale's James Gibbons. Although eight bookings is generally fairly excessive, the Gibbons dismissal couldn't really be argued with, given that he committed two bad fouls close to the touchline, with the second one resulting in a bit of a tangle with Otis Khan. Both players were correctly booked, which meant the Vale youngster had to walk.
One year previously, in September 2016, he was at Huish Park for the 4-2 win over Cheltenham Town. Although he booked five players, it's mainly the football that we remember it for, with Gary Johnson's side having a particularly torrid time down the flanks as Otis Khan and Ryan Hedges had possibly their best game of the season. With six goals there wasn't a lot of focus upon the refereeing.
The same was true for his visit in December 2015, which gave us a 2-2 draw against Barnet. This was another game that was all about the football, with the visitors dominating the first half, whilst we came back in the second. No visibility of any refereeing influence - there were a few grumbles about Barnet's second goal being possibly offside, but the match video was entirely inconclusive. He was also present for our May 2014 home match against Middlesbrough - our final match at Championship level. We were easily outclassed on the day against a Boro team that were ultimately going to do well during the following season, and so no complaints about the result or the referee's performance. With us already down, it had a bit of an end-of-season feel to it all.
You then have to go all the way back in February 2010 for his next match, when we took on Milton Keynes Dons, winning the game 1-0. Of course after the game, Franchise boss Karl Robinson moaned and moaned although on this occasion not at the referee, who booked six players but we can't see too much evidence of him having caused too much controversy on the day.
Earlier that same season, he took charge of the previous month's away fixture at Tranmere Rovers that saw the Glovers lose 2-1 at Prenton Park. He was also the referee that inspected the pitch on Friday 15th January when the original fixture got called off due to a waterlogged pitch, so was quite busy with Glovers matches during 2010. Photos of Tranmere's Prenton Park pitch were published on the day of that postponement; his decision was a fairly easy one to make. Neither the postponement, nor the match when it got eventually played attracted any controversy.
The experience of Mr Salisbury in Yeovil Town matches has been on the whole a good one. He was present for the 3-2 win over Swindon Town in December 2008, which was an emotional occasion for all the wrong reasons, as the club played its first football match following the road traffic accident that Darren Way had been involved in during that month. We did grumble about Mr Salisbury's decision to book Lee Peltier for revealing a tribute to Darren under his shirt when he scored Yeovil's second, but in truth this is a problem for the footballing authorities to resolve - the referee was merely acting under instructions.
A December 2007 match against Bradford City saw no complaints about his actions, whilst the April 2006 tie against Bristol City saw us praise him for standing strong against a vociferous home crowd. Finally an away match at Northampton Town in March 2005, saw Mr Salisbury's actions help the Glovers gain their goal in a 1-1 draw, allowing a free kick to be taken quickly, whilst Cobblers players were caught out of position.
Mr Salisbury will be assisted by Ronald Ganfield (Somerset) and Ben Cobb (Dorset). The Fourth Official will be Sam Allison (Wiltshire).
Link: September 2017 : Yeovil Town 1 Port Vale 1.
Link: September 2016 : Yeovil Town 4 Cheltenham Town 2.
Link: December 2015 : Yeovil Town 2 Barnet 2.
Link: May 2014 : Yeovil Town 1 Middlesbrough 4.
Link: February 2010 : Yeovil Town 1 Milton Keynes Dons 0.
Link: January 2010 : Tranmere Rovers 2 Yeovil Town 1.
Link: December 2008 : Swindon Town 2 Yeovil Town 3.
Link: January 2007 : Bradford City 0 Yeovil Town 2.
Link: April 2006 : Bristol City 2 Yeovil Town 1.
Link: March 2005 : Northampton Town 1 Yeovil Town 1.
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