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Life President
Oct 28, 2003
Weather and pitch permitting, the man in charge tomorrow evening is Iain Williamson from Berkshire who is in his 8th season as a League referee. Played non-league for Walton & Hersham until injury forced him into refereeing. He did absolutely no games at all the season before last which would have been a relief to many after his one-man cardfest the season before when he topped the tables with 138 yellows from 30 games.

We have seen quite a lot of him, this being his twelth Southend match in charge. Nine of the previous eleven have been home games, the odd ones out being the dreadful performance at Burton last season (ours not his - although he wasn't great cautioning 4 of ours and 1 of theirs) and our early season defeat at QPR a few years ago. Coincidentally the Burton match came right after a period of heavy snow and the match was subject to a couple of pitch inspections; in the event, conditions were perfect - unlike our play.

Home games include a Drewe dismissal against Oxford, the Freddy Eastwood frivolous appeal match against Southampton in the League Cup, the 1-0 home defeat against Derby and more recently the Cup replay against Telford. His eleven matches have produced just 18 goals and a multitude of bookings and needless interuptions. His most recent home game was the 1-1 draw with Stockport last season, with just the 7 yellows shared fairly equally (well as equal as you can with an odd number).

However, for us his most memorable appearance at Roots Hall was just a few eventful years ago when, as 4th official, he held up the numbers board at our historic victory over Manchester United.

Last season his card count was at its customary high level, but something has happened this season and he is now no worse than average, although he is still attracting criticism for inconsistent performances. He has just 64 yellows and 2 reds from 21 games. He is a referee I would always much rather see on home games than away ones.

The two assistants will be regular visitors Dave Margetts from Harlow and Ashley Slaughter from Brighton. Fourth Official is Adam Crysell from Braintree.

The assessor will be better known than all the other officials, especially to Paolo di Canio. Paul Alcock will be leaving the Shopping Mall he manages in Maidstone early to run a watchful eye over Mr Williamson. Hope he can keep his feet in the car park.