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Life President
Oct 28, 2003
Well here's the first of (hopefully) three refwatches we didn't want.

Last week's one was derailed somewhat. I advised that we were due to get a young and promising referee; instead we got an old and very unpromising one! James Adcock became unavailable and Andy Haines was taken off 4th official duties at Bolton to do our game.

On Sunday, we have ex-Select Group referee, Keith Stroud from Gillingham in Dorset.

In his eleventh season as a League referee he has risen through the ranks and was employed as a PGMO official for 2 years, although he was given no Premiership matches for the second of those years whilst they sorted out contractual issues.

His last Southend match was the home victory over Northampton this season when he sent off the visiting keeper when awarding a penalty which set us on our way to three points. Also three cautions for them and yellows for Prosser and Thompson for us.

Before that was the excellent evening at Leyton Orient which set us up for our trip to Wembley. Kept the lid on a competitive match with 3 yellows apiece (Clohessey, Barker and Timlin before he went off).

Then the disappointing home defeat by Burton in 2012/13 back in the days of the embargo (or one of them) when he red-carded Spicer for a poor challenge.

Before that he previously refereed Southend in the JPT match at Dagenham which he and we cruised through without any problems. Prior to that it was the Barnet match also in the JPT in which he showed plenty of yellows, mainly to them, and a red to Mohsni. One of Patersons finest (few) moments in a Southend shirt.

Before those matches he had done Southend 6 times (2 w 2 l 2 d) the most notable being the vital end of season victory against Bristol City. The only previous away games were also in London - the 2-2 draw at Orient (Eastwood and Gray scoring) and, more recently, six seasons ago at Millwall (1-1) when he booked 7 (4 of them theirs).

A somewhat short official who doesn't hesitate to produce cards if necessary but is right more often than wrong. He does appear to like being noticed. His card count was high for the last two seasons, but this season it has changed; now it is sky high !

He has shown 171 yellows and 6 reds from 39 games. Yes, over 4 cards a match and way above average. Does this mean he is a card wielding maniac? No. He is allocated many high profile matches, many derbies and many televised matches. He is viewed as a very safe pair of hands. He comes to Stevenage straight from presiding over Colchester's great escape against Preston.

The rest of the team will be doing well out of the travel expenses: Assistants are Michael Denton from Todmorden in West Yorkshire and Paul Marsden from Preston. Fourth Official is Football League referee David Webb from Sunderland.