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Life President
Oct 28, 2003
We have a slight edge over Oxford in League games with 17 wins to their 16 and we haven't lost to them at home since Drewe Broughton was sent off and Mark Rawle scored their winner in 2003.

Tomorrow's referee is the rapidly balding Graham Horwood from Luton, in his 8th year as a League referee and refereeing his 11th Southend game.

His seven and a bit years of League service are either side of a two year gap when he was demoted for performance reasons. Even now some years after his return, for me, he falls in to the "lucky to still be there" category.

His last visit to Southend was for last season's victory over Blackpool where despite just one yellow card (to the visitors) he was unconvincing.

The previous season there were three matches. Firstly, his first visit to Roots Hall to preside over the start and end of our Cup run. That shocking Chester match saw a hefty number of yellows, 4 a piece. Ours went to Binnom-Williams, Sokolik, White and Timlin. Towards the end of that season he refereed our 1-0 home win over Tranmere, on their way out of the League. Yellow for Bolger and 3 of theirs. In between those matches he was in charge of our game at Wycombe, where we were very much second best. The sending off of Binnom-Williams was probably correct. Yellows went to O'Toole and Deegan and a couple of theirs.

His only other Southend match since his re-instatement was the pre-Christmas, Friday night game 2013/14 against Rochdale which finished 1-1. It was 1-1 on yellow cards too - Leonard got ours and ex-blue Lund, theirs. He did okay.

During his period of de-selection he appeared in Southend matches on a couple of occasions as an Assistant. Before that, his previous four visits to Roots Hall as a referee weren't too bad. The most recent was the final home game of 2008/9 against Cheltenham. The other three were Hereford in the same season and Rochdale in the cup and Bournemouth in the League the year before that. So, Chester apart, we have a very decent home record with this official. The only match of these with a significant number of cards was the Rochdale Cup game where they had 4 yellows to our one. Le Fondre scored for them; Bailey and Harrold for us.

Since those he refereed the 1-0 defeat at Aldershot 2010/11 when we shaded the yellows 3-2.

A referee who will never rise above the level of those making up the numbers, he started last season late and finished it early. This season he's done 6 matches and produced a high 24 yellows and 2 reds, the most recent of which was a very harsh second yellow to an Accrington player on Saturday.

Don't expect too much and you might not be disappointed - our home record with him in League games is good.

Assistants will be Gavin Muge from Bedford and Rob Smith from Letchworth. Lee Venamore from Maidstone will be doing the 4th official stuff.