Ref Watch: Leyton Orient (A)

Assistants: Mark Russell and Lee Venamore
Fourth Official: Carl Brook

When doing these articles, I confess the first thing I do is search the site for the ref’s name to see if we’ve had them before. When Stephen Martin didn’t pop up, I thought we might have another first-year referee, like Ben Atkinson, on Saturday. How wrong I was! Mr Martin and Lincoln City have been crossing paths since 2011/12, the years of Tilson, Holdsworth, and such others.

He first officiated one of our games in November 2011, as we beat Ebbsfleet 3-0 at the Bank. Conal Platt, Simon Russell, and John Nutter scored for us, with Yano Mambo sent off for the visitors on 80 minutes. Later that season, he was also in charge of our 1-1 draw at Kidderminster when Steve Guinan got a 90th-minute leveller for them. Happy days, right?

Imps v Ebbsfleet – Credit Graham Burrell

Unlike us, he was promoted that season, and by the time we joined him, he had already got to the Championship. That means he’s rarely seen at a League One game, but he did take charge of our 2-0 win against Fleetwood in the final days of Danny Cowley. I didn’t have a lot to say about him then, either.

This season there are not really enough stats to form a solid opinion of him; he’s done four matches, two in the Championship, a League Cup game, and a League One game. His most recent outing was in the Hull and Leeds fixture, where he flashed his first red card of the season to Joe Rodon for a second bookable offence.

Martin in charge as City beat Fleetwood – Courtesy Graham Burrell

He is the son of a former Premier League referee, Andy Martin, and has taken charge of more than 330 games. in 2016, he was the fourth official at the League One Play-Off Final between Barnsley and Millwall. There’s an Imps connection – Nick Townsend was on the bench for the Tykes, alongside Ivan Toney.

One would imagine coming from regular Championship football, Mr Martin will be comfortable with the game on Tuesday and referee with some common sense and consistency.