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Life President
Oct 28, 2003
We have a good record against Rochdale at home; their last win here was over 30 years ago and other than a good spell they had in the late 60s, early 70s when they won three in a row, we've had by far the better of things. We even recovered from a 3-0 half-time deficit 17 years ago.

Anyway, on to the match officials. Saturday's referee has achieved something that no other referee in the world has managed - he has presided over a Southend win against Morecambe !

The man in charge is Rob Lewis, from Shrewsbury. This is the seventh season of his second spell as a League referee, having lost his place in 2008 probably primarily due to injury. In fact he's not had the best of luck with injuries as he missed most of 2014/15 and started this season at the beginning of December.

Another one of our shorter officials, his most recent Southend match was the last of the games he did do in 2014/15 when we beat Newport 2-0 in a cardless match and a decent performance from him.

Before that he oversaw our comfortable Cup win at Morecambe 2013/14 - 6 yellows, Leonard and Atkinson for us and 4 for them. He was also in charge of our opening game of that season against Plymouth when we won 1-0 (Corr) and he again did pretty well; just a couple of cautions for them. Co-incidentally he also did the final game of the previous season, doubly co-incidentally against Morecambe. We, and he, did less well in that game losing by the only goal, Hurst's yellow being the only card shown.

His first visit to the Hall was for the 2-0 home victory over Luton (Bailey and a late goal from Walker) in 2007/8. Previously he had refereed our 3-0 defeat at Derby in the Championship the season before (five cautions in that match; unusually four to the home side - ours went to Gary Hooper).

More recently he presided over the dreadful 0-0 with Aldershot towards the end of the 2010/11 season. His performance, whilst only average, was rather better than that of the players. He cautioned Grant and Corr and one of theirs.

His other previous home game came on a Friday night 2012/13, when 3 second half goals gave us the 3 points against Chesterfield. No cards.

Mr Lewis' main claim to fame is the fact that he was the assistant referee involved in the incredible decision when Tottenham's Pedro Mendes' long shot at Old Trafford was about two yards over the line but no goal was given.

As already stated, this season he has started late through injury and has officiated in just 7 matches showing a slightly below average 19 yellow but no red cards.

Not to be confused with famous referee R. Lewis from Great Bookham, who refereed the Hillsborough tragedy match (and our 4-4 draw with Northampton .......and a couple of matches at which I was a linesman!).

The rest of the team are all regular visitors to Roots Hall. Ginger haired psychology teacher from Ipswich, Carl Fitch-Jackson was here as assistant to Mr Lewis for that Newport game (before he changed his name by deed poll and was then simply Carl Fitch) and black Londoner, Dave Bushell will be running the lines and outstanding refereeing prospect Chris Pollard from Stowmarket will be fourth official. His father was a linesman at the 1999 League Cup Final at Wembley and Pollard jnr had a good match recently at East Thurrock v Concord Rangers.
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