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Life President
Oct 28, 2003
There is a quite remarkable symmetry to matches between us and Bradford City.

The two clubs met 25 times in the 20th century and we did not manage a single win at their ground and they did not manage a single win at Roots Hall.

Since the turn of the century there has been another 12 matches, 6 home and 6 away.
Our record, and obviously theirs too, at Roots Hall reads W2 D2 L2.
Their record at Valley Parade, and again ours too, reads W2 D2 L2.

Another bit of symmetry I'd like to see - Bradford City was Phil Brown's first game.

Anyway on to refereeing matters; after one of the least experienced referees last Saturday, this week we get one of the most experienced.

Tomorrow, we have ex-Select Group referee, Keith Stroud from Gillingham in Dorset.

In his fourteenth season as a League referee he has risen through the ranks and was employed as a PGMO official for 2 years, although he was given no Premiership matches for the second of those years whilst they sorted out contractual issues. He is still a full-time referee, but now in SG2 predominantly doing Championship games.

His last Southend match was the home game against Wigan the season before last. Goalless and level on cards too; our three went to Atkinson, Mooney and Thompson.

The previous Southend match was an exceptional performance when he took charge of that away play-off match at Stevenage. Seven yellows (Bolger, Deegan, Corr and Worrall for us).

Before that was the home victory over Northampton 2014/15 when he sent off the visiting keeper when awarding a penalty which set us on our way to three points. Also three cautions for them and yellows for Prosser and Thompson for us.

Then came the excellent evening at Leyton Orient which set us up for our trip to Wembley. Kept the lid on a competitive match with 3 yellows apiece (Clohessey, Barker and Timlin before he went off).

Then the disappointing home defeat by Burton in 2012/13 back in the days of the embargo (or one of them) when he red-carded Spicer for a poor challenge.

Before that he previously refereed Southend in the JPT match at Dagenham which he and we cruised through without any problems. Prior to that it was the Barnet match also in the JPT in which he showed plenty of yellows, mainly to them, and a red to Mohsni. One of Patersons finest (few) moments in a Southend shirt.

Before those matches he had done Southend 6 times (2 w 2 l 2 d) the most notable being the vital end of season victory against Bristol City. The only previous away games were also in London - the 2-2 draw at Orient (Eastwood and Gray scoring) and, more recently, seven seasons ago at Millwall (1-1) when he booked 7 (4 of them theirs).

A somewhat short official who doesn't hesitate to produce cards if necessary but is right more often than wrong. He does appear to like being noticed.

He has shown a massive 59 yellows and 4 reds from just 12 games. Yes, 5 cards a match and way above average. Does this mean he overdoes the cards? Not necessarily. He is allocated many high profile matches, many derbies and many televised matches. He is viewed as a very safe pair of hands.

Assisting will be Londoner, Matt Foley and ex-Premiership "lino" John Flynn, an ex-Airman from Stratton St Margaret who was out of the game for 15 months after he claimed he was deliberately injured by referee Jon Moss in a training incident. Fourth Official is Paul Harris from Maidstone.