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Ref Watch ....... Plymouth (H)


Life President
Oct 28, 2003
All time head to head League matches against Plymouth could not be closer with 24 wins and 24 defeats with 23 draws. A draw Saturday would tidy it up even more, but, of course, we don’t draw matches.

Our best ever home win over them was the 4-1 back in 79/80, perversely a relegation year. Our best season against them was more recently in 97/98 where we scored three against them both home and away. A strange selection of goal scorers for those two matches: Aldridge, Maher, Jobson, N’Diaye, Clarke and an og. Those two matches came in the middle of a run of seven victories in a row over Plymouth.

On to the officials, the man in charge on Saturday is Graham Salisbury from Preston. The oldest and most experienced official, he is well into his fifties and in his 17th season on the list.

He has enjoyed a reputation as a steady journeyman official who was never going to make it to the top, but a safe pair of hands at Football League level. He is the older half of a father/son team of referees on the Football League list since his son, Michael was promoted a couple of years back.

He has refereed Southend just eleven times before. That important end of season game at Grimsby (1-1) in 2004/5 (which ended rather abruptly) and the match at Luton (lost 1-0) in 2007/8 when one of Luton's players cautioned was Anthony Grant. More recently he paid his first visit to Roots Hall in 2010/11 for the home defeat by Shrewsbury, marked by an unusually high level of tolerance. He did eventually caution Mohsni and Matt Harrold and another of theirs.

His fourth match went rather well on all counts. It was the 2011/12 away win at Rotherham when even Gilbert scored in a 4-0 victory. No cards were shown at all.

Then he did 2012/13 away 2-1 defeat at York with a caution for Cresswell and a couple of theirs and next the 2013/14 goalless draw at Bristol Rovers cautioning 3 of theirs and John White.

Next he did the 2014/15 late visit to Hartlepool when a rare Will Atkinson goal was enough to secure all 3 points. Cautions for Barratt and Worrall and one of theirs.

Then he took charge of our disappointing defeat at Chesterfield in 2015/16, where I thought he did okay. We were overwhelmed by a surprisingly good Chesterfield side. Surprising because that was their only win in a run of 12 home games. We were torn apart by Sylvan Ebanks-Blake. A caution for the Pig and a couple of theirs in that match.

Next was later in 2015/16 for the 4-2 defeat at Swindon when all four yellow cards came our way - Prosser, Thompson, Deegan and Atkinson.

Penultimately was the 2016/17 good 3-1 home victory over Millwall with a caution for McGlashan and two of theirs and, finally, last season’s home match against Gillingham when he booked Timlin and 5 of theirs and sent off their Lee Martin during our 4-0 victory.

It was widely thought that each of the last few seasons would be his last, but he is still going strong despite questions about his mobility. His card count has, by his standards, risen dramatically over the last couple of years and last year was a record for him. This year his 21 games have produced 75 yellows and 3 reds.

Assisting will be Gareth Viccars from Oldbrook, Milton Keynes and Stephen Brown from Ashford (Kent). David Rock from Hertford, who is a qualified coach in a variety of different sports (including football), completes the team as Fourth Official.