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Life President
Oct 28, 2003
Saturday brings the 114th competitive match between Southend and Northampton including league games, play offs and various cups. Currently the aggregate score is tied at 183-183.

Their last 3 visits to Roots Hall have all seen matches producing a red card. Is Saturday's referee a man to bring that run to an end ?

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

In his eleventh 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.

His last Southend match was 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).

His last Roots Hall match was 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, six 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. His card count was high for the last two seasons, but this season it has changed; now it is very high !

He has shown 85 yellows and 2 reds from 17 games. Yes, 5 cards a match and nearly 70% above average. Does this mean he is a card wielding maniac? No. He is allocated many high profile matches, many derbies and many televised matches. He is viewed as a very safe pair of hands.

A couple of new Assistants to Roots Hall. Firstly ex-Aston Villa ballgirl and one time mascot at the 1999 UEFA Cup Winners Cup Final between Lazio and Mallorca, Lisa Rachid from Birmingham. Just so as you'll be able to distinquish between the two, here's a picture:


The other assistant is Rob Smith from Letchworth who was awarded the Hertford FA Referee Achiever of the Year award last year. In the interests of equality I was going to post a picture of Rob but I couldn't find one (didn't look too hard to be honest) so here's another picture of Lisa instead:


Fourth Official is Ian Rathbone from the strangely named Semilong in Northamptonshire (!!)