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Life President
Oct 28, 2003
We hold a narrow lead in head to head League matches against Peterborough - 20 wins against 19 defeats with 10 draws. We haven't lost in the League at Peterborough this century; our last League defeat coming in 1999 when we lost 1-0 home and away in the space of 4 weeks.

Saturday's referee is the usually very decent Dean Whitestone from Northampton, in his twelfth season as a Football League referee. He is a referee we have seen a lot of at Roots Hall but not that much away from home. A goalkeeper in his playing days, he works for the Metropolitan Police.

This will be his third Southend match this season and also I, and 3,399 others, watched him referee the Billericay v Leatherhead Cup replay very competently. Leatherhead were worthy winners and the penalty and red card that helped them on their way were not contentious.

Anyway back to his Southend matches, both of this season's finished 1-1.

Most recently was the home match with Oxford when he did just fine, booking Timlin and a couple of theirs. A few close calls from the "lino" in that one.

Before that, again at Roots Hall against Plymouth back in August. Again Timlin got our yellow card and again they got two.

I emphasised the word "usually" above as his previous Southend match was a bit of a disaster. Last year's defeat at Gillingham where all 5 yellows (two to Ryan Inniss) and a number of strange decisions went against Southend. Even if the Assistant was a major contributory factor, it was a performance well short of his normal standards. The others cautioned were Coker, Timlin and Leonard.

That was his his third Southend match of last season. Before that was the first of the two Gillingham games at the start of the season. A 3-1 defeat and both yellow cards going to the visitors. For the second one, we reversed that score against Coventry with all three cards again going to the visitors. (So all 10 cards he showed in those three matches last year were to away players.)

Prior to that, his last visit to Roots Hall was back in March last year against Gillingham. A reasonable performance cautioning 4 Gills and Ben Coker (on the say so of an Assistant). Some thought he was somewhat generous to their no 11, McGlashan, who was eventually subbed after receiving an overdue caution.

His last match before that at Roots Hall was not his best. It was 2015/16 home defeat against Shrewsbury when he cautioned Rea and three of theirs. Main talking point was whether a red card should have been shown for DOGSO, I wouldn't say he got it wrong.

Before that, his last Southend appointment was a first rate performance in the televised match against Oxford in 2013/14. He let the game flow well, no cards, gave us a penalty and we won 3-0 .... what more could you want?

The previous Southend match was the away match back in January of the same season, the first match in our winless run of twelve League matches, when we drew 1-1 at Dagenham. A yellow for Prosser and three of theirs. Having started our winless League run, he did the decent thing and ended it too with that Oxford game.

Before that he was at Roots Hall for the match in 2012/13 when the fans helped clear snow from the pitch and were rewarded with an abject 3-1 home defeat against Wimbledon. He did fine though with, once again, a yellow for Prosser and three of theirs.

Then another excellent performance in the home Cup game against Brentford. Just the one yellow for Woodyard.

Previously, came the game at Shrewsbury in 2011/12, a match which for me, more than any other, cost us promotion that season. A match that was there for the taking after an early home dismissal. He also cautioned Timlin and Dickinson and their keeper in a strong refereeing performance.

Other matches at Roots Hall include two visits in 2010/11 for the league win against Torquay and the Cup replay with Macclesfield (just 2 and 3 cautions respectively). The season before that saw two visits also. Firstly, the Friday night 0-0 draw with Millwall, when he did pretty well in the face of some uncompromising football from the visitors; he cautioned 5 of theirs and a couple of ours. He also did the home 1-1 draw with Wycombe, cautioning 3 of theirs and one of ours.

Prior to that were in 2008/9 for the opening game win over Peterborough (when three visitors were cautioned) and later that season against Tranmere when we won 2-1 (again three visitors were cautioned). Before that was the 1-0 defeat against Carlisle the previous season in which his performance was probably better than the 8 cautions might imply. His other visit was in 2006/7 when he officiated in the Leicester home draw in which he sent off Richie Foran. Previously to that, in the same season, he was in charge of the away draw at Coventry which I believe he refereed reasonably well.

He had a spell in the "talent group" and used to get plenty of Championship appointments before the full-time SG2 referees were introduced. His card count is usually the right side of average, as it this season with 69 yellows and 3 reds from 26 games.

Assisting Mr Whitestone, hopefully rather better than Carl Fitch-Jackson did at Gillingham, will be Paul Yates from Maidstone (as he was in that last Whitestone match against Oxford) and Ian Rathbone from the whimsically named Semilong in Northamptonshire.

Fourth Official is Nick Cooper from Ipswich.


Life President
Oct 28, 2003
Late change: Assistant Rathbone has defected, as opposed to detected, and is replaced by Declan Ford, a military man from Lincoln.


Jan 11, 2006
Was slated by McCann for disallowing (in his opinion) 2 perfectly good "goals"


55 years as a supporter!⭐
Jan 20, 2007
Essex of course!
The first was offside, the second? Can't tell, to be honest but I was oop t'other end!


Lord of the Reedy River
Aug 7, 2010
Bewildering! Sometimes I thought "Eh?"! It's not often the referee gets booed by the fans of a winning team!


Happened last week, as well.

Maybe there's a trend here!

Maidstone Shrimper

Old Fella⭐
Jan 26, 2007
At least he seems to have been unbiased. Both lots of fans think he was rubbish and didn't make the right decisions, ie in favour of their team. Grant McCann slated him saying he's always at fault when he refs them. He reckoned he disallowed two perfectly good goals, well he could have overridden the linos couldn't he. Yeah, right.