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Life President
Oct 28, 2003
We have failed to beat Oldham in any of our last five home matches against them. Time for a change.

The referee for Saturday is relatively inexperienced in only his third season as a League referee. Mind you, our last three officials were all less experienced and did okay and, in one case, exceptionally well. He is Bristol-born Kevin Johnson from Weston-Super-Mare, a shaven-headed 40 year old who works in property maintenance.

The former Bristol Evening Post newspaper printer was promoted to the Football League National panel of referees at the start of the 2014/15 season following six seasons in the middle for Conference games.

He began officiating during his late teens in the Bristol and Suburban and Gloucestershire County Leagues before taking charge of Western League and Southern League fixtures. A little later he progressed up the ladder to assistant referee with the Conference National before being given an opportunity eight seasons ago to referee at that level. His hopes of further progression were hampered by a persistent calf muscle injury which affected him during 2010/12, a condition he appears to have shaken off for good.

His first two seasons in the League went reasonably well, with a few Championship appointments. His card count has been decidedly average throughout. Thus far this season his 28 games have seen 90 yellows and 3 reds. He has been okay, or better, when I've seen him.

This will be his third Southend match of the season.

The first was back in October at Roots Hall for the 1-0 win over Chesterfield (Thompson got the goal and Coker and Leonard got our two yellow cards - to their one). He had a decent game.

The second was the first match of this year, the away goalless draw at Swindon and he didn't attract too many comments favourable or otherwise. Thompson and Demetriou picked up yellows along with a couple of theirs.

Before that came the away game at Peterborough last season, also a goalless draw, when he was somewhat embarrassed by the incredible exhibition of semaphore flag waving by one of his assistants. That match saw yellows for Bolger and Hendrie but no home players.

Previously came two more home games. Firstly, 2014/15's home match against Shrewsbury when we won, and all the cards (4 yellows and a red) were shown to the visitors. Unsurprisingly there were few complaints.

Then last season he took charge of our home win over Scunthorpe, again few complaints with our only yellow going to Deegan and three for the visitors. So an unbeaten record with Mr Johnson.

One Assistant will be Tranmere Rovers supporter and ex-semipro player for Newtown (in the Welsh League), Anthony Da Costa, now from Cambridge. The other Assistant will provide supporters (probably those in the West Stand) with the opportunity to share with him their opinion of his performance at Gillingham recently, where he appeared to gift the game to the home team. He is ginger haired psychology teacher from Ipswich, Carl Fitch-Jackson.

Fourth official is the decent non-league referee from London, black official Dave Bushell.