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Ref Watch Behind Closed Doors Refwatch ........ Crawley (H)


Life President
Oct 28, 2003
If we could choose our opponents for Saturday surely Crawley would be near the top of our list. One of half a dozen or so clubs with no feasible chance of going up or down, they are in poor form. Conversely, we have never beaten them in the League.

Perhaps we’d also choose the referee who took charge of that 6-2 victory over them in the Cup?

Saturday’s man in charge will be the familiar figure of Charles Breakspear from Walton-on-Thames, a shaven headed clone whose game, in my opinion, rarely rises above adequate.

He has refereed sixteen Southend matches previously and in the first two he sent off an opposing player. Sadly we only got a defeat and a draw (and subsequent penalty shoot-out defeat) to show for our numerical advantages. The next fourteen we did somewhat better picking up six wins and four draws and a good number of cards !

He is in his eighth season as a League referee and, for me, he is greatly over-rated, too often making the matches all about him. He has had a high card count throughout his League career and last season he was the leader in the red card stakes with 12 from his first 24 games. He finished with 140 yellows and 12 reds from 32 matches. This season’s matches have produced a slightly lower 106 yellows and 6 reds from 28 matches – still well above average.

Those previous matches were, firstly, our 3-1 home defeat to Morecambe in 2013/14. Their sub got a red just 7 minutes after coming on and there was a yellow apiece (Timlin for us) and in 2014/15 he presided over the JPT match at Wimbledon where unusually all four cards (3 yellows and a red) went to the home team.

His next Southend match was his unconvincing performance in 2014/15's 0-0 home draw with Burton - a yellow for Prosser and three of theirs. This match came at the beginning of that dire run of 6 hours football without a goal from either team at Roots Hall.

This was followed by 2015/16 home match against Barnsley which we won 2-1. We also won the bookings 4-2 (Bentley, White, Wordsworth and Piggott) and he gave them a penalty.

Then comes his appearance, as a late and wholly inadequate replacement, at home to Crewe in the same season. This match we drew 1-1 and we smashed them on bookings 5-1 (Coker, Bolger, Wordsworth, Barnett and Worrall). He gave us not one but two penalties. Barnett missed his but Jack Payne put his away for a stoppage time equalizer.

A more recent Southend match was the comfortable 3-0 win at MK Dons early 2016/17 when his performance did not attract any adverse criticism (other than his again rather haphazard measuring of defensive wall distances!). A caution for Coker and three of theirs.

Next, in the same season, were the two attempts to get the Bolton match played. His performance in the eventual game was unimpressive with Ranger and a couple of theirs cautioned.

Then, in 2017/18, the 3-3 draw at Gillingham, plenty of goals but even more cards with our 4 going to Demetriou, Hendrie, Timlin and Robinson. They only managed 3.

Then in the same season he refereed our 2-0 win over Oldham to his usual unsatisfactory standard. Demetriou, McLaughlin and one of theirs picked up yellows.

Next, and still in 2017/18, the match at home to Walsall last March when the efforts to clear the pitch of snow were rewarded with an abject performance from the team and a 3-0 defeat, all goals to Oztumer. This was not a hard game to referee and his performance was probably the best I've seen from him - damned with faint praise maybe. A card apiece; ours to Yearwood.

An early match in 2018/19 followed - the 1-0 home victory over Fleetwood. Standard Breakspear fare – a red card (to them), plenty of yellows and a lot of baffling and inconsistent decisions. Our yellow went to Cox.

Then, a couple of months later, he refereed our 6-2 away victory over Crawley in a Cup replay. More goals than cards for once, our two yellows going to Bunn and Hyam. They got four.

Next was our home defeat against Accrington last season which saw a red card for Ralph along with yellows for a couple of theirs.

Then one of our better results, the 2-2 home draw last season with League leaders Rotherham. Plenty of cards – Goodship for us and 5 for them.

Also last season that 2-1 home victory over Lincoln in February when a late, late Elvis goal gave us the points. Plenty of yellows: Demetriou, Milligan and Phillips for us and a couple for them including Cian Bolger.

Finally this season’s 1-2 home defeat by Morecambe. Yellow cards two apiece, Taylor and Demetriou for us.

He will be assisted by Joseph Stokes from Canterbury and Conor Farrell whose location is listed variously as “Whitechapel” and “Hampshire” who actually got to referee half a League match at Oxford a couple of years back. Regular visitor, Paul Yates from Maidstone, will be doing the Fourth Official stuff.