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Life President
Oct 28, 2003
We actually have a pretty decent record against Wigan at home with 5 wins and a draw from 8 matches. And we've never lost to them at home on a Saturday!

The referee for Saturday's match is the very experienced Andy Woolmer from Northampton. This short referee with even shorter hair had the capacity to be slightly officious but he is usually reasonably steady - a safe pair of hands.

Aged 51, he was a postman by profession until he became a full-time referee as part of Select Group 2 a year and a half ago.

He finished last season early and started this season late due to injury and for some reason, although he's still on a full-time SG2 contract, he's not been given any Championship games (maybe there is a more stringent fitness test for that level?) this season.

He is in his 14th year as a League referee and has refereed Southend on very many occasions. Two games in quick succession last year; firstly the very poor game against Orient in the Checkatrade. (For the avoidance of doubt he wasn't poor, he was pretty good !) Just two yellows, Fortune and one of theirs. This was followed shortly after by the 3-0 home win over Bradford City. No cards whatsoever, although some would say there should have been.

Before that he officiated at Roots Hall twice the season before last, firstly presiding over our home defeat to Swindon with two cautions each (Timlin and Coker). His next most recent visit was that season's JPT match against Bristol Rovers when a rare John White goal, combined with a slightly controversially (but correctly) ruled out goal, clinched a 1-0 victory. Plenty of yellows in this one (Barrett, Atkinson, Pigott and Payne and a couple of theirs).

Before that it was the 2014/15 inevitable home defeat by Morecambe, one-nil to an early goal. Caution for Deegan and two of theirs.

Then it was the 2013/14 Friday home match against Fleetwood which we won 2-0 thanks in part to a generous penalty. Leonard and Phillips were the game's only cautions and he did fine (not just for the penalty!)

Then it was that very memorable evening a while back when we qualified for Wembley with a 2-2 draw against Orient. A good performance by him in a highly charged match. Cautions for Phillips and Prosser and three of theirs.

Prior to that was the first match of 2013 at home to Gillingham. He cautioned just one of theirs in the 1-0 defeat and the biggest criticism seemed to be not enough stoppage time. The previous two were 2011/12; firstly our comfortable win at Barnet (7 yellows and one of theirs sent off) and then the 1-0 home win against Crewe when Mohsni scored the only goal (Kalala and a couple of theirs were cautioned). Before that Wycombe at home the year before that when he wasn't too bad. Prior to that it was the same season when we lost 0-2 to Crewe. He wasn't great; nor were we.

His first visit to Roots Hall however is somewhat more memorable as it was the Boston match when he sent off Darryl and heralded the appearance of Tes the Cat (...... his name is Tes the Cat, he plays for Montserrat).

His card count this season is very low with 26 yellows from 13 games, with just 2 reds. And half of those yellows came in just two matches.

The two assistants are regular visitor Nigel Lugg from Coulsdon and black official, Akil Howson from Leicester. Mr Howson was also here at Roots Hall for that Bradford game. Fourth Official is controversial non-league referee David Spain from Sussex, who once made a name (not a good one) for himself when he sent off Dorchester's Ashley Vickers for physically restraining a semi-naked pitch invader at Havant.