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Ref Watch ....... Burton (H)

Mick

Life President
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
9,709
A double over Burton last season left us standing at six regular League wins apiece in head-to-head matches. Our point there back in December when O’Toole was sent off was the third draw.

On to the referee – a man who for the second season running officiated our opening match of the season back in August. It is Craig Hicks from Sutton, or possibly Epsom of late.

Having been a regular visitor to Roots Hall as Fourth Official or Assistant Referee over the previous 4 years, he refereed his first Roots Hall match on the day that Chris Powell made his managerial Roots Hall debut. Unlike Powell, Mr Hicks showed himself to be way out of his depth in that match against Scunthorpe the season before last when a late, late Turner goal gave us a 3-2 victory. Hopper got their first goal. Yellows for Turner and McLaughlin and three yellows for them (including Hopper), one of which turned into a red right at the end.

His second match at Roots Hall was last season's curtain raiser against Doncaster. A reasonable first half was followed by a poor second and the words "out of his depth" surfaced once again. This time we lost 3-2 with yellows for Turner, Hopper and five of theirs.

Then came last season's 0-0 draw against Oxford. Yellow for Demetriou and two of theirs. Poor, especially second half.

A third visit to Roots Hall last season followed for the Checkatrade fiasco when a very strong team was humiliated by Portsmouth’s reserves. It came to something when a team of officials led by Craig Hicks was not the worst of the three teams involved. No cards in this one.

Before those home matches he had taken charge of just the one Southend away match – the rather poor, customary, first round Cup defeat the season before last at Yeovil. A penalty to win the game and I don't think the referee impressed too many, Three yellow cards in that game, our one to Kightly.

This season’s first Southend match was another away game at St Andrews, which turned out to be surprisingly close, considering the way the season has panned out. They scored the only goal of the game which had a yellow apiece; ours to Lennon. Not too much criticism.

Not too much criticism either (perhaps he's getting better) in his second Southend match of the season on New Year’s day at Wimbledon not least because he awarded us a very late penalty which gave us a point from a 1-1 draw. Yellows for their McLoughlin and our Hopper and Kelman.

He is one of the numerous County FA cronies who predominate, along with teachers, in the ranks of the non full-time officials in League One and Two. His 25 matches this season have produced a decidedly average 76 yellow cards and 4 reds. Don’t expect too much from this third year referee and you might not be disappointed.

Assistant Referees are landscape gardener and horticulturist, Leigh Crowhurst from Uckfield in East Sussex (whose last Southend match was at Dover) and Michael Webb from Woking. Fourth Official is poor non-league referee from Maidstone, Stuart Butler.
 
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