The man in charge of the FA Cup match between Peterborough United and Exeter City is GRAHAM SALISBURY.
Salisbury is an experienced referee who is in his thirteenth year as a Football League official although he had to have two attempts to earn promotion from Football League assistant to Football League referee.
Looking back at his failed attempt to become a Football League official, Salisbury recalled: “When I got the letter, I think I must have thrown my bag about three fields away. The news was a real kick in the teeth, I felt awful. No one likes to be told that they’re no good. To be that close and not to get it was very difficult to accept.
“But I chatted it through with my family and eventually got it all in perspective. You either pack it in or try to prove people that they have made an error. I saw it as a challenge and, as in any profession, it is how you deal with the setbacks that counts. And I wanted to prove people wrong.”
That is just what he has done. He passed his promotion test at the second attempt, the following season, and has gone on to prove his point.
A Preston-based engineer in the aerospace industry, Salisbury was selected as the man in the middle for the 2011 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final between Brentford and Carlisle United. It was a match to remember but maybe not for former Posh midfielder Toumani “Dave” Diagouraga.
“Dave” [pictured below] received his marching orders from Salisbury after the Brentford midfielder committed a second bookable offence in the 87th minute. Salisbury had no hesitation in brandishing a red card which was the first dismissal in the final in the 28-year history of the competition.
It didn`t affect the outcome as Carlisle were already winning 1-0 victory but Salisbury reflected on the decision: “To be the first referee to send off someone in the final is not something you really want to shout about. It’s not the sort of claim to fame anyone would want.
“It had to be someone, though, and I suppose it goes with the territory. Two mistimed challenges in a short space of time and that was it. You are bound by the Laws of the game. I don’t think I could have handled it in any other way and I don’t think the lad could have any complaints.”
Salisbury was happy with his performance though: “I was quite happy with the way it went, as an individual and for the team of officials,’ he said.
“Wembley is such a phenomenal venue. I got the first tingles when arriving in reception, seeing all the players suited and booted, and walking out of the tunnel really makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. You definitely know it’s time to get into game mode. The match itself just goes so quickly, it’s a bit of a blur, but it went well.”
Posh last encountered Salisbury towards the end of last season when they travelled up to the Riverside Stadium to battle out a goalless draw with Middlesbrough. No cards were shown at all during the match.
Exeter also had Salisbury officiate them last season and it came two weeks before the Posh clash with Middlesbrough. The Grecians beat Bradford City, who went on to win the League Two play-offs, by four goals to one! A Matt Duke own goal set Exeter on their way to victory before Lawson D`Ath doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time. Kyel Reid did reduce the deficit but two goals in the final ten minutes from Scott Bennett and John O`Flyn sealed an emphatic win. Four yellow cards were issued in that match with three of them going to Exeter.
This season, Salisbury has officiated 11 matches issuing 33 yellow cards and just one red cards which went to Middlesbroughs Rhys Williams in their 3-3 draw with Bournemouth. Three of those 11 matches have been in the Championship, four in League One, three in League Two and one Capital One Cup match.
His last match came last weekend in the League Two match between Hartlepool United and Dagenham & Redbridge. The home side won 2-1 while 5 yellow cards were issued; four to Hartlepool.
The assistant referees for this match will be David Plowright and Ian Rathbone. The fourth official is Grant Taylor.
Peterborough United v Exeter City
Location: London Road
Date: 9th November, 2013
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