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  1. Uncle Leo

    Rochester & Strood by-election

    A really interesting battle this. The betting has already flip-flopped a couple of times, with UKIP opening up as favourites, then the Conservatives being backed in, before a Survation poll put UKIP well in front. Betting wise though, the tide is slowly ebbing towards the boys in blue again...
  2. Ref Watch ....... JPT Brentford

    Tonight's match official is the experienced and normally very decent Mick Russell from St Albans. A steady official in his 9th season (although he missed most of last season with an injury), this will be his 12th Southend match and his 7th at Roots Hall. His first home Southend match was...
  3. Ref Watch ....... Swindon JPT

    Man in charge tonight is James Linington from Newport on the Isle of Wight. He is a highly rated referee in his fourth year having previously been a Select Group Assistant Referee. He has always looked pretty decent when I have seen him referee, but he will show an early card to set the scene...
  4. Ref Watch ....... Torquay

    Cards will not be in short supply tomorrow if Darren Deadman's last appearance at Roots Hall is anything to go by. Deadman, a civil servant from Cheshunt, showed 9 yellow cards in a staggering display of incompetence the season before last at home to Franchise FC. As it happens, we probably...
  5. Ref Watch ...... Plymouth

    The referee for tomorrow's match against what Sturrock describes as "dangerous opposition" will be Michael Naylor travelling down from Sheffield for his first Southend match. He is in his second season, his first passing without too much ado. He was given a couple of Championship matches so...
  6. Ref Watch ...... Hartlepool

    The man in charge of Saturday's rather important fixture is Phil Gibbs from Birmingham. He is employed as Assistant Headteacher at a boys' secondary school in Kings Heath. In his second year as a League referee, he has never refereed Southend before and Hartlepool only once (they lost away)...