RUFC - Ref Watch v Bradford City
Darren has been refereeing since 1988 officiating firstly in the Northern Alliance League and Northern Premier League. In 1996 he became an Assistant Referee for the Football League and, two years later, he was appointed to the Premier League as an assistant there. In 2000 he became a FIFA Assistant Referee followed by becoming one of only three UK UEFA assistants in 2002. In 2004 he was appointed to the National List of Referees and caused a bit of a media stir three years later when he was sworn at in the car park at Valley Parade after the game by Dean Windass who then received a five match ban for his troubles.
This will be Darren's second time in charge of the Millers this season, the first being last month in our two-one home win against MK Dons. Chuks Aneke opened the scoring for the visitors on nine minutes but just over ten minutes later he scored again, but this time in his own net to make it one-all. A Will Vaulks goal and subsequent back-flip just before the half-hour mark saw the Millers get all three points in their last home game before Christmas. Semi Ajayi and Lee Frecklington saw yellow for the Millers with MK Dons having Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Conor McGrandles and Aneke booked.
We saw Darren before this in November 2015 when he was in the middle at the New York Stadium for our game with Ipswich Town. Town were three-up by half-time courtesy of goals from Brett Pitman, Jonathan Douglas and Daryl Murphy. Murphy made it four three minutes into the second half but goals from Brandon Barker (remember him?) and Matt Derbyshire got the Millers back into the game until Murphy got his hat-trick on seventy-two minutes making it five-two to Ipswich. The only player booked that day was the Millers' Harry Toffolo.
Darren was also in the middle of a game at the New York Stadium in January of the same year when the visitors were Bolton Wanderers. Ben Pringle put the Millers in front on just two minutes with Connor Salmon and Paul Green making it three before the break. Matt Derbyshire joined in the fun just before the hour mark but Liam Trotter and Matthew Mills scoring for the visitors made it a nervy last ten minutes for the hosts. Darren booked Ben Pringle and Bolton`s Jay Spearing.
Darren was also at the New York Stadium in August 2013 when our local rivals Sheffield Wednesday were the visitors for the Capital One Cup game. Ben Pringle put the Millers in front on ten minutes but thirteen minutes later Rhys McCabe equalised for the visitors. Seven minutes before half-time Lee Frecklington regained the lead for the Millers which set up a next round tie at Villa Park. On the seventy-eighth minute, just twenty minutes after coming on, Jermaine Johnson was shown a red card for head butting Ben Pringle.
The season before saw Darren in the middle for two Millers games. The first was in August at the Proact Stadium which ended one-all - Jordan Bowery opened the scoring for the hosts on three minutes with Kayode Odejayi equalising on fifty-one minutes. In the December the FA Cup brought Darren to the New York Stadium for our FA Cup draw with Notts County. Yoann Arquin scored for County just after the half-hour mark with a goal three minutes before half-time from Ben Pringle saw us have to replay at Bootham Crescent.
November 2010 saw Darren at Don Valley when Oxford were the visitors. The game saw three goals all of which came in the first half - two for Adam Le Fondre for the Millers with Simon Clist getting one for the O`s on the stroke of half-time. Ryan Taylor saw yellow that day along with two Oxford players.
In September 2008 Darren was in charge of our Don Valley game against Rochdale in League Two. Jordan Rhodes and Will Buckley gave the visitors a two-nil lead which was followed on sixty-nine minutes by Lee Thorpe seeing a red card just three minutes after coming off the subs bench to replace Adam Le Fondre for a two-footed challenge on Ian Sharps. An own goal from Rory McArdle saw the Millers get back into the game which was followed in injury time by a goal from Reuben Reid giving the Millers a share of the points.
Darlington were the visitors at Millmoor in September 2007 when goals from Pawel Abbott and Gregg Blundell gave the visitors all three points.
The season before goals from Justine Cochrane, Dave Hibbert and Will Hoskins gave the Millers a three-one win away at Vale Park with a seventy-fourth minute penalty from Leon Constantine giving Port Vale a consolation goal. That day saw Darren give yellow cards to Lee Williamson, Justine Cochrane and Will Hoskins and also to Vale's Stefan Moore.
The first time the Millers met Darren was in an FA Cup game on Bonfire night in 2005 which saw seven goals at Millmoor. The visitors drew first blood after twenty-eight minutes with a headed goal from Simon Brown. Just two minutes later, Millers midfielder Paul McLaren hit a cracking leveller from twenty-five yards past former Owls keeper Kevin Pressman. Then another header, this time from Giles Coke gave Mansfield back the lead but not to be outdone Rotherham hit back immediately as Paul McClaren claimed his second goal again from outside the box. This made it four goals in just ten minutes as the sides went in at half time level at two-two. Nine minutes into the second half and Rotherham took the lead for the first time that day as a Michael Keane corner found Deon Burton who made it three-two. The Millers held on until fifteen minutes from time, but former Millers favourite Richie Barker came back to haunt us with an equaliser. Darren had a very busy afternoon too as he booked seven players, then in the ninetieth minute he sent off Millers midfielder Michael Keane and Town's Gus Uhlenbeek after the pair locked horns in a tense finale. As injury time loomed Richie Barker struck again giving the Millers no time to reply and he sent his old club hurtling out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle.
This season Darren has shown eighty-two yellow cards and four red cards in the twenty-nine games he has been in the middle for.
Running the line on Tuesday night will be . . . .
Helen Byrne from Durham
Richard Wigglesworth from South Yorkshire
The Fourth Official will be . . . .
Paul Graham from Manchester