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Life President
Oct 28, 2003
As we head northwards for a fixture which has produced far more than its share of red cards in the recent past, 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 (worrying thought for those who've seen him referee). His Armed Forces days are behind him and he now works as the Sales Director for a firm of precision engineers in Melton Mowbray. He referees this fixture for the second season running.

Last season he did three Southend matches starting with that match at Bradford for our midweek 1-1 draw booking our goalscorer, Wordsworth and a couple of theirs. Then came our 1-1 home draw with Oxford in that ever so low key Checkatrade match - caution for Timlin and 2 of theirs.

Then came his most recent match, the 2-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers where he cautioned one of theirs and Ferdinand, Atkinson, Demetriou and Cox.

He 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 those his most recent Southend match was 2015/16 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 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 15th 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 24th Southend match and we have a good overall record with him in charge (won 13, drawn 7, lost 3), although all three defeats were relatively recently.

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.

His card count, obviously, remains well above average with 130 yellows and 5 reds from 36 matches.

Assistants are Peter Gooch from Wigan and Darren Strain from Runcorn with Michael Denton from Todmorden, West Yorkshire standing by as Fourth Official.