• .... Rochdale A - again

    The main officials are as per the original appointments back in mid-January, so I'll just reproduce what I wrote then with a couple of updates:

    Starting with a bit of Rochdale nostalgia, I paid my first visit to Spotland, or the Crown Oil Arena as it has been so charmingly re-named, 51 years ago. A cold December day with snow still on the ground, we were 6th they were 20th in League Division Four. Despite the World Cup win earlier in the year stimulating interest in English football the crowd was just 1,733. Goals from Colin Flatt and Mel Slack gave us a 2-1 victory. I returned just over a year later, this time a cold February day. We were again 6th and they had improved to 18th and the crowd had increased by 5 or 6 hundred. This time a solitary John McKinven goal was enough for another win. Fast forward another year and it was a late December visit between Christmas and New Year and, yes, it was cold and snowy. So much so that it was postponed and we diverted to the Bury 5 Fulham 1 match a couple of divisions higher. The second attempt to play that Rochdale match was also postponed when we were half way between Euston and Manchester and it was finally played as one of those three “dead” away matches after the end of the season, an unfortunate end to a stunning, albeit unsuccessful, campaign.

    We have beaten Rochdale 23 times in the League with 13 defeats and 13 draws.

    Tuesday's referee will be Eddie Ilderton from Tyne and Wear. He is in his 14th season as a League referee but really it's his 13th as he missed all of one season through injury. He works in the building industry.

    He has refereed Southend just seven times before, all away, most recently in the match at Fleetwood last season. A 1-1 draw with Timlin, Thompson and Atkinson picking up yellows along with a couple of theirs. Wordsworth got our goal and they got a late, late equaliser.

    Before that it was at Bury in 2013/14. They got another late equaliser just after Coker was sent off for a second yellow in the 87th minute. One yellow for them and also one for Atkinson. I saw that match and seem to recall the Assistant had more than a little to do with the dismissal.

    Prior to that was the game at Bradford when Clohessy and Benyon were sent off (the latter again on the say so of one of his Assistants). Previously at Leeds 2009/10 (2 yellows apiece, Christophe and Laurent for us). Before that the away defeat at Huddersfield in the same season (no cautions). Before that he had not refereed a Southend match for over 5 years when co-incidentally he officiated in our 1-0 defeat at Huddersfield in 2003/4 when he cautioned Drewe. Then finally our 2-0 defeat at York in 2002/3 with one of Saturday’s managers and Bramble getting yellows.

    This will be the 24th Rochdale match that he has refereed and they have an exceptional record at home with him in charge!

    He is a steady official and has a reputation of being one of the better Football League referees. His 23 matches this season have produced an average-ish 68 yellows and 7 reds.

    He will be assisted by Ken Haycock from Keighley and Steve Rushton the demoted ex-League referee from Stafford whose father was also a League referee. He had refereed us 5 times before being kicked off the list at the end of the 2013/14 season.

    The only change is the Fourth Official who will be Michael D'Aguilar from Stafford, one of the disproportionately low number of black officials on the League list. His last two Southend matches were both at Bury. Here's a clip here of him enjoying himself at Wigan a while back.

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