Officials for the League Two match between Port Vale and Yeovil Town have been published by the Football League. The match takes place on Tuesday 12th March 2019, with a 7.45p.m. kick-off at Vale Park. The man in charge of the fixture will be referee Geoff Eltringham (Tyne and Wear).
Given his home is in the North-East, it's no big surprise to find that we've rarely experienced his refereeing, with all five past meetings coming away from home. Another reason more recently is that he's been promoted into the Select Group 2 set of professional referees for the Championship division, meaning that we have not seen him for nearly five years.
The earliest meeting came in April 2010, when we visited Edgeley Park and relegated Stockport County in a 3-1 win - one of our best performances of that season. In that match we still have time for a grumble about Mr Eltringham's officiating, accusing him of playing to the home crowd somewhat, but this was a happy day for the Glovers so we weren't too down about him once the final whistle blew.
More noteworthy was his contribution to our March 2011 visit to Leyton Orient. Just 14 minutes into that match he red-carded Matthew Spring for a dangerous tackle on Andy Welsh. One of those "coming together" sort of tackles where both players were committed, and Welshy came off the worst. Orient appealed against the dismissal, but lost their claim. Mr Eltringham later gave us a fairly generous penalty award for handball, and so by this stage the home fans were rather outraged. Given we were on our way to a 5-1 win, we were rather content with his performance! The game had far worse tackles in it than Spring's early one, and so we would admit that the referee made a rod for his own back by his early decision.
We also got the rub of the green in our March 2013 visit to Carlisle United. Matters could have been rather horrendous when Marek Stech appeared to collide with Carlisle striker Lee Miller inside the box with only eight minutes gone. The video replays suggested Mr Eltringham had been rather charitable to Marek - even more so given that it would have almost certainly been deemed as a professional foul, leaving us with 82 minutes playing without our main goalkeeper. Thankfully that didn't happen, and we came out with a 3-3 draw.
We saw him once during our 2013-14 Championship season, when he took charge of the match against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough. During this match he involved himself in two controversial decisions - one was a red card issued to Byron Webster after he got into a tangle with Owls striker Atdhe Nuhiu. On viewing the video footage, it became clear that the Webster dismissal was justified, as he threw a punch whilst both players were on the deck - but the man he hit was probably a little fortunate to escape with a yellow.
With the other decision we were less impressed. Atdhe Nuhiu was the player involved again - he ran clean through on goal and up went the linesman's flag. The Glovers defence stopped dead, but referee Eltringham let play carry on, overruling his assistant and deciding that a different player, standing in an offside position, was the one interfering. Television replays showed that Nuhie was the player in the most advanced position - the referee should have let his assistant do his job. We did force an equaliser with our ten men, but understandably manager Gary Johnson was not impressed with that decision.
The most recent encounter involving him was all the way back in September 2014 when we played Bradford City in a League One match at Valley Parade. We won the match by a 3-1 scoreline, and Mr Eltringham only got involved with a single booking and not too much else to speak about. As such it was only the football that was talked about after the game.
Mr Eltringham will be assisted by James Wilson (Cheshire) and Jonathan Hunt (Merseyside). The Fourth Official will be Matthew Donohue (Manchester).
Link: September 2014 : Bradford City 1 Yeovil Town 3.
Link: September 2013 : Sheffield Wednesday 1 Yeovil Town 1.
Link: March 2013 : Carlisle United 3 Yeovil Town 3.
Link: March 2011 : Leyton Orient 1 Yeovil Town 5.
Link: April 2010 : Stockport County 1 Yeovil Town 3.
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