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Life President
Oct 28, 2003
Tomorrow sees a tricky looking away fixture at a ground where our last six matches have produced FIVE red cards (four to us) and who do they send to referee ? Trevor Kettle. Mind you we've managed two wins and two draws from those six matches.

Yes, tomorrow's man in charge is the loose cannon that is Trevor Kettle. Or, rather, ex Wing Commander Trevor Kettle who used to work for the RAF and Ministry of Defence. His Armed Forces days are behind him and he now works as the Sales Director for a firm of precision engineers in Melton Mowbray.

His “LinkedIn” profile states “I am a task-driven and team focused individual who thrives of delivering a quality output whatever the scenario. My strengths are my inter-personnel, simplifying complex matters and providing clear guidance to ensure successful output.” Hmmm.....

Hr brought the curtain down on 2015/16 when (on the advice of an Assistant) he awarded a contentious, but not necessarily wrong, match-winning penalty in the last minute of the last match of last season. A couple of yellows, Worrall and Mooney, and a trip to the stands for Phil Brown.

Before that his most recent Southend match was last season's defeat at Burton when a solitary Prosser o.g. produced our first ever defeat with Kettle in charge. Two yellows apiece, ours went to Leonard and Wordsworth.

Previously it was the season before's comfortable home win (2-0) against Carlisle; a bit of an anti-climax on the Kettle front with just one yellow card for them.

Before that his last two visits to the Hall were co-incidentally both against Cheltenham. Firstly when he was good enough to send off one of theirs early on in our 4-0 win in 2011/12 (that was, until last season v Bury, the last time we scored 4 goals at home in a League match – helped more than a little by Jack Butland) and more recently 2013/14 last when a late, late penalty earned Cheltenham a point. Yellows for Prosser, Corr and Straker and one of theirs.

This is his 14th season as a League referee and his matches have been littered with controversy and condemnation throughout. I am sure there is not the slightest truth in the rumour that he only obtained and retained his position by virtue of his marriage to the daughter of the man who used to be in charge of Football League referees (Mr Ashworth). A referee noted for extreme over-reactions and maverick decisions. His general decision making varies between random and perverse.

This is his 21st Southend match and we have a good overall record with him in charge (won 13, drawn 5, lost 2), although the two defeats were the last two matches.

However his matches have not been uneventful and include:

11/12 Cheltenham H – sent off one of theirs
11/12 AFC Wimbledon A - sent off one of theirs
10/11 Barnet A - not great - booked Hall & Easton
09/10 Brentford H - not great - booked Macca
09/10 Orient H decent game - booked Macca
08/09 Stockport H - sent off Harding
07/08 Oxford H - 8 yellows
07/08 Oldham A - sent off Richards (successfully appealed)
06/07 WBA H - 7 yellows
05/06 Bradford A - sent off one of theirs
05/06 Bournemouth H - sent off one of theirs
03/04 Canvey H - 5 yellows
03/04 Canvey A - 8 yellows and sent off Warren
03/04 Carlisle H - just 2 yellows but it was one of his first matches

He has actually had a couple of reasonable matches, especially a couple of seasons ago, when I have seen him, but needless to say these have been few and far between. His most recent away games before Burton were 2012/13 win at Aldershot (4 yellows, only Straker for us) and, in the same season our win at Wycombe in which he cautioned both of our forward pairing of Corr and Assombalonga.

He started this season slightly late but has raced to 30 yellows and 2 reds from 7 games. His last 5 matches have seen 6, 5, 4, 3 and 2 yellow cards. Hopes for that sequence to be continued are optimistic.

Of his last match the angelic Darren Ferguson said "I have to say about the referee, and normally I wouldn't do it, the behaviour and language he was using against my players was out of order,"

Assistants are Richard Bartlett, a Civil Engineering Consultant from Sale and Barry Cropp (yes, that's an "o") from St Annes, Blackpool. Fourth Official is a National League referee for some reason - in fact the oldest one. It's Nigel Miller from Durham, who let us down so badly in our first Wembley appearance against Crewe. This is his first Southend appointment in the three plus years since.