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Ref Watch ....... Fleetwood (H)


Life President
Oct 28, 2003
We lead Fleetwood 3-2 in head-to-head League matches with the majority (7) having been draws. Although we are unbeaten there in 6 away games, our home matches have been more even with 2 wins, 2 draws and 2 defeats.

The referee will be John Busby, from Wallingford in South Oxfordshire, refereeing his eighth Southend match in this, his fourth season as a League referee.

He was fast-tracked through the system spending just one season at Conference level before being promoted at the beginning of 2016/17.

His first Southend match went well with early goals from Ranger and Leonard giving us a 2-0 victory at Coventry back in March 2017. The only card was a yellow shown to one of theirs.

His second Southend match, in the 2017/18 season, also had only one card - this time a red for McGlashan at Wigan in our 3-0 defeat.

The third was the low key Checkatrade match at Peterborough when we lost 2-0. Demetriou picked up a yellow along with three of theirs.

Then came the first match of 2018 at Wimbledon. A wretched match, it was my first viewing of Mr Busby and I thought he did just fine. Wasn't fooled by a few early collapses by players of both teams and generally let what football there was flow. He seemed very willing to talk to the players, amicably, about his decisions. An awful 2-0 defeat and no cards at all.

His fifth Southend match was the 1-1 draw at Plymouth early last season. White was booked for us and two yellows for them including one for Ryan Taylor which could/should have been red. Both managers were shown red cards on the direction of the Fourth Official.

Then came Gillingham away last season when he again did well. It's not often that fixture finishes cardless.

Finally last year’s Checkatrade at home against a surprisingly poor and physical young Southampton side. A 3-0 win and all four yellows to them.

So overall much more good than bad from him!

His 8 matches this season have produced a highish (for him) 27 yellows and 2 reds.

Assisting will be Carl Fitch-Jackson, a ginger haired psychology teacher from Ipswich who had a wretched match at Gillingham three years ago when a number of extreme and baffling decisions, strangely all favouring Gillingham, resulted in, amongst other things, Ryan Inniss being dismissed. The other Assistant is Louis Marks previously from Waterlooville but now employed as a manager at Bedfordshire FA.

The team is completed by Londoner, Ryan Atkin doing the Fourth Official stuff.