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Mick

Life President
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
10,178
Man in charge of our 1,500th game at Roots Hall is Iain Williamson from Berkshire who is in his 9th season as a League referee. Played non-league for Walton & Hersham until injury forced him into refereeing.

We have seen quite a lot of him, this being his fourteenth Southend match in charge. Eleven of the previous thirteen have been home games, the odd ones out being the dreadful performance at Burton the season before last (ours not his - although he wasn't great cautioning 4 of ours and 1 of theirs) and our early season defeat at QPR a few years ago.

This is his second visit of the season having presided over our comeback against Exeter with two scoring substitutes (Eastwood and Corr) giving us a victory right at the death. Just the one caution for one of theirs.

Before that the most recent home match was deep into last season against Rotherham when we lost 2-0. Both bookings were theirs and Cresswell was an unused sub.

Other home games include a Drewe dismissal against Oxford, the Freddy Eastwood frivolous appeal match against Southampton in the League Cup, the 1-0 home defeat against Derby and more recently the Cup replay against Telford. His thirteen matches have produced just 23 goals and a multitude of bookings and needless interuptions although he is less fussy and unpredictable these days.

However, for us his most memorable appearance at Roots Hall was just a few eventful years ago when, as 4th official, he held up the numbers board at our historic victory over Manchester United.

Last season his card count was at its lowest throughout his career and after a lively start this time round he has levelled off to a very average 28 yellows and two reds from 9 matches. He is a referee I would always much rather see on home games than away ones.

The two assistants will be Richard Kendall from Luton and Matt Foley from London with Dan Robathan from Dorking doing the 4th Official stuff.

The assessor is Michael Thorpe a relatively recent Football League referee from Ipswich.

Elsewhere in the Cup, Kettle is on duty for the Met Police against Crawley and two matches (between 2 non-league sides) are being refereed by Japanese referees (Kimura and Lida) on some sort of exchange trip. One of those is Blair Sturrock's match at Bishop's Stortford.
 

Fish

Manager
Joined
May 14, 2005
Messages
1,414
Location
Witham
Why do we equate a higher number of cards with a ref having a bad game? Why do the players never get the blame?!?
 

Mick

Life President
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
10,178
Why do we equate a higher number of cards with a ref having a bad game? Why do the players never get the blame?!?

We don't. Any referee on a certain day will get a match where he has to show more than the average number of cards. However if you look at referees' averages over a decent period they will be a good indication of those who can manage a game without any unnecessary cards .... and those that can't. Unnecessary cards, especially when shown early on have a detrimental effect on the match with players unable to fully commit for the rest of the game in case a slightly mistimed tackle sees them sent off. Most yellow cards are shown for fouls and many of those are not bad challenges at all but made to look worse than they are by players simulating injury. It's difficult for referees with players cheating so much.
 

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
36,399
Location
London
Why do we equate a higher number of cards with a ref having a bad game? Why do the players never get the blame?!?

On an one-off basis it's likely to be the players, but if a referee consistently produces a higher than average card count it suggests he loses control of the game on a too frequent basis.

I thought the ref on Saturday had an exceptional game, particularly first half. No point in diving because he wasn't going to be conned. A couple of times he talked to the players, calmed them down and let them know that they had overstepped the mark and they must not do so again. As a result the game didn't boil over, players didn't get frustrated with his inconsistency, they didn't feel they had to take the law into their own hands.
 

Rayleigh Weir

Not just a roundabout⭐
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Messages
1,192
On an one-off basis it's likely to be the players, but if a referee consistently produces a higher than average card count it suggests he loses control of the game on a too frequent basis.

I thought the ref on Saturday had an exceptional game, particularly first half. No point in diving because he wasn't going to be conned. A couple of times he talked to the players, calmed them down and let them know that they had overstepped the mark and they must not do so again. As a result the game didn't boil over, players didn't get frustrated with his inconsistency, they didn't feel they had to take the law into their own hands.

...and it was as dull as ****...
 

Mick

Life President
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
10,178
...and it was as dull as ****...

If you want referees to "liven up" proceedings with random, perverse and maverick decisions, Imber Court is probably the place for you Saturday.

If you find our current offerings boring, don't blame the match official. Look no further than the man in the tartan waistcoat !
 

Fish

Manager
Joined
May 14, 2005
Messages
1,414
Location
Witham
Unnecessary cards, especially when shown early on have a detrimental effect on the match with players unable to fully commit for the rest of the game in case a slightly mistimed tackle sees them sent off. Most yellow cards are shown for fouls and many of those are not bad challenges at all but made to look worse than they are by players simulating injury. It's difficult for referees with players cheating so much.

I agree with you about the simulation, but yellow cards for fouls are not judged purely on how much they hurt the other player. There's also the effect on the game that a foul has. A cynical trip that stops a quick breakaway is just as worthy of a yellow card as a well-intentioned but bruising lunge that leaves a player needing treatment. And often at our level, refs don't give those cards, they seem to either fail to see, or worse still 'ignore' the bigger picture.

If they gave them more, yes, we'd have more cards but I don't accept it would 'spoil' the game. What spoils the game more is skillful players being illegally stopped in their tracks by a 'small' foul which enables the defending team to get back. If players got more consistently carded for 'mis-timing' tackling, they'd soon have to start working on getting their timing better. Tackling is just as much a skill as beating a player with a swivel of the hips or a drop of the shoulder. Also, if skillful players had more protection from being cynically fouled, then we'#d have more goals, more excitement and less frustration.

So I'd be willing to pay the price of a few weeks or months with 9v10 most weeks if it meant at the end of it we had a more watchable sport, in the absence of bringing in temporary suspensions.
 

Mick

Life President
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
10,178
I agree with you about the simulation, but yellow cards for fouls are not judged purely on how much they hurt the other player. There's also the effect on the game that a foul has. A cynical trip that stops a quick breakaway is just as worthy of a yellow card as a well-intentioned but bruising lunge that leaves a player needing treatment. And often at our level, refs don't give those cards, they seem to either fail to see, or worse still 'ignore' the bigger picture.

If they gave them more, yes, we'd have more cards but I don't accept it would 'spoil' the game. What spoils the game more is skillful players being illegally stopped in their tracks by a 'small' foul which enables the defending team to get back. If players got more consistently carded for 'mis-timing' tackling, they'd soon have to start working on getting their timing better. Tackling is just as much a skill as beating a player with a swivel of the hips or a drop of the shoulder. Also, if skillful players had more protection from being cynically fouled, then we'#d have more goals, more excitement and less frustration.

So I'd be willing to pay the price of a few weeks or months with 9v10 most weeks if it meant at the end of it we had a more watchable sport, in the absence of bringing in temporary suspensions.

Well, I must be watching different football matches to you. The "cynical trip" that stops a quick breakaway is pretty much always cautioned and rightly so. These are comparatively easy to spot.

The real issue is that, given the speed that the game is played at and the increasing tendancy of players to attempt to win free kicks (especially at the top level), it is nigh on impossible for referees to be able to tell what is a foul and what is not much of the time. Until there is a change in the culture of football and a willingness by the authorities to clamp down (retrospectively) on cheating, this will remain a problem.

If, as I think you are suggesting, we ask referees to clamp down on foul tackles with ever more cards, they would simply get more and more wrong and the reward for cheating will get greater and players would continue to enhance their skills of deception.

The answer lies with the authorities, the coaches, the managers and the players not the referees.
 
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