Sunday, November 30, 2003

It's only the first day of December

It doesn't seem that Hereford United have already played 21 Conference games this season and so have reached the half-way point. After all its only the first day of December.

The Bulls have played every team in the league except Exeter and have completed their first double of the season by beating Farnborough twice.

So far the Bulls have found the net on 50 occasions, which gives them an average of 2.38 goals per game. That must be some sort of a record for a Conference side.

Other stats show that the Bulls are third in the 'cards' league with 29 yellows and 2 reds so far. Even better they have only been penalised for 208 fouls, the lowest in the Conference.

Steve Guinan is second top scorer with 14 Conference goals, three less than leader Giuliano Grazioli of Barnet.

The average attendance at Edgar Street to date is 3479 which is 51% over the reputed budget figure of 2300. Graham Turner will be pleased with that figure as it means that the income from the gates will be about £100,000 higher than predicted. Add to that extra sales of programmes and fresh advertising boards and the balance must look better than expected.

Chairman Graham Turner, however, will point out that he is having to pay the players higher bonuses and probably more importantly that there is no prospect of any more television income from the FA Cup this season. So at the half-way stage he may still feel reluctant to spend any more than really necessary.

Supporters still await last seasons final accounts which are likely to show a five figure profit. Much of that profit will have been spent simply paying bills that were outstanding.

Even at this stage it is difficult to be certain how high income from the turnstiles will be for the remainder of the campaign. For example gates from now on of 3000 might bring in an extra £50,000. There is also, hopefully, the probablity of income from play-off matches.

What the figures show is that there is the ability to take on a couple of extra players for the rest of the season without putting the club into a position where a loss is made this year.

Where was Jordan King?

Yesterday's substitute bench only contained one defender, Dean Craven, and three forwards, David Brown, Daniel Carey-Bertram and surprisingly perhaps Nick Harrhy. Jordan King, not reported as injured, was left off.

Luckily there were no problems with injuries during the game, but it was a reminder to supporters than Hereford United appear to be short of a defender/midfielder.

With the uncertainty about a return for Mkandawire to West Bromwich and Tretton out until well into the New Year, it looks increasingly likely that Graham Turner will bring in another player shortly.

The manager will also have on his mind that several players are close to five bookings. Turner will not want an under-strength team to face Exeter in the Xmas/New Year games. If a player on four bookings gets another against Tamworth on December 13th he would miss the New Year Day's game.

With no game for a fortnight Turner and O'Kelly should have plenty of time to look for a suitable player. It had been rumoured that Jake King, father of Jordan, was doing some scouting for the Bulls but little, if anything, seems to have come of that as yet.

Saturday, November 29, 2003

Pitman gets his first goal

Jamie Pitman scored his first goal of the season today with a simple tap and well deserved to be's man of the match.

Speaking after the game Pitman told BBC Hereford & Worcester that he thought the Bulls were a more resiliant and confident side this season.

"The younger lads have come on a year and are more experienced at playing at this level. It is showing at the moment because we pass the ball well. We make ourselves plenty of chances and the lads are taking their chances.

"We've got Ben Smith on 12 and Steve Guinan on 18 which is excellent for this stage of the season."

Describing his goal, Pitman said: "It was a good run by Paul Parry and it came off the post and I gambled really. It was a tap-in really."

He praised his team mate Ben Smith saying: "He's been outstanding this year. It's fanastic to get twelve goals before Christmas. He's got a knack of being in the right area at the right time. He's got that ability to pick those times out and he knows I will be covering for him."

Commenting on the game Vic Searle, the Farnborough chairman and manager, added: "In the first half we were magnificent, but in the end we got what we deserved."

A win in the end

It took Hereford United 69 minutes before they took the lead through Ben Smith this afternoon, and another 20 minutes before Jamie Pitman made sure of a win against Farnborough.

It finished 2-0, and Terry's report is here.

Game is on this afternoon

Although the forecast gave heavy rain and high winds, conditions have not been that bad and what rain there was has now moved out of the area, so the game is on this afternoon.

The pitch is unlikely to be badly affected as a drying wind has now set in.

Even the sun is out at HQ!

Friday, November 28, 2003

Avoid slip-ups says Smith

Although Hereford fired five past Farnborough during September's clash in which Ben Smith bagged a brace, that counts for nothing warns the ex-Yeovil man in today's Evening News.

"We were expected to beat Leigh and should have but we gave a terrible performance and came away with what we deserved which was nothing," said Smith. "It's important we keep our guard and don't waste the win against Halifax.

"If we can get on a run of seven or eight matches without defeat we can do ourselves a favour because it's so close at the top. There are five or six teams that are all taking points off each other so we can put a run together it could put us in a great position."

Smith says that the 7-1 win over Halifax was vital after the Shrewsbury game. "We were awful at Shrewsbury and it was especially disappointing for all the fans who made the trip over there," he said. "It was important we bounced back against Halifax. There's been a bit of doom and gloom but we're still in second position just a point behind the leaders.

"We're paying the price a little for starting like a train and people have got a bit disappointed because we'd been top but if we'd gradually moved up to the position we are in now everybody would be delighted.

"The manager wasn't happy with the display at Shrewsbury and asked for a big performance against Halifax and he got. I thought Halifax were quite a good side which makes the result even better."

Tretton will miss Xmas games

Andy Tretton will miss the two Christmas games against Exeter. Graham Turner has confirmed to BBC Hereford & Worcester that the defender will not be fit enough to take part.

"It's probably going to be in the New Year before he is fully fit. It's been a blow to us having him out for that long," said Turner.

The thigh muscle injury has taken longer to heal than initially thought and Turner suggested that whilst recovering at Lilleshall 'one or two things aggrevated it'.

"It's been a severe blow to us to miss a player of his quality for so long but it looks likely to be the New Year before he is going to be fit."

As regards Tamika Mkandawire, Turner said that as he is suspended for tomorrow's game and the fact that the Bulls do not play next weekend, no decision has been made as to whether he will continue at Edgar Street.

"I've spoken to Tam and I've spoken to West Brom. We would not rule out in a fortnight's time that he might be here for another month. But there is no certainty of that.

"I think that Tam himself felt that it might be time to go back to West Brom and be seen around the Hawthorns. But I pointed out to him that it's a great opportunity to be playing in a decent class of football. Better than West Brom reserves and I think he took that on-board and might reconsider.

"We will continue to try to get him to sign for another month," said Turner.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Youth team beat battling Hay

Hereford United youth team beat Hay-on-Wye Under 18s 9-0 to progress to the next round of the Herefordshire FA Under 18s Giantkillers Cup. Adam Kite scored five, Andy Williams and Paul Collins both netted two.

United led 5-0 at half time on a frosty pitch in Kington. Hay tried to pass the ball throughout but the gap in class was just too great for the Welsh side. The two teams were as follows:

Hay-on-Wye: Kristoffa Hubball, Roger Goodwin, Alex Howard, Phil Coombes, Tom Lloyd-Williams, Chris Howe, Joel Weale, Josh Davies, Sam Powell, Josh Wisniewski, David Evans, Gavin Williams (sub).

Hereford United: Adam Ding, James Lester, Simon Gwilliam, Lewis Jones, David Hart, Mark Smith, James Wood, Paul Collins, Paul Allen, Chris Mortlock, Adam Kite, Andy Williams, Dean Jordan, Matt Kurkas.

Planners say 'no' to Asda

The Hereford Times have reported that the planners have given the thumbs down to the proposed Asda developement close to the new river bridge. It will now be up to the full Council to decide next Monday whether to give the go-ahead.

Hereford MP, Paul Keetch, and Paul Lowe from Asda have both questioned the planners recommendations.

Keetch has accused the council of sending out wrong messages to potential investors.

He suggested: "Are they trying to scupper Asda's plans at Belmont in order to bump up the value of Edgar Street?"

Lowe thought: "It has been suggested some on the council take the view that we will be tempted to the cattle market site creating a bidding war between Tesco and Asda. We have looked at the potential developement in the Edgar Street Grid and, as far as we are concerned, it is non-exsistent - there will be no bidding war involving us."

The planners say that although the the land involved was sorely in need of regeneration, the Asda scheme did not meet the present criteria.

Interestingly Graham Turner, the Hereford United chairman, says in his column this week that he has had no recent contact with either of the parties to whom the club owes a substantial amount of money and from whom the club lease the football ground.

Maybe the Richardson/Carillion parnership are simply watching what goes on at the Asda site and feel no need to make any moves at present.

If the Asda scheme is rejected and Asda walk away, will the Edgar Street area be worth as much money if there is only one supermarket to bid for a place on it?

However, Asda may be bluffing and as it is aiming to keep up with Tesco it is unlikely not to want a store in Hereford area. They may be fearful that if/when Morrisons take over Safeway the competition in Hereford could hot up. But in the long term if the plans for revamping the Edgar Street area do get the go-ahead it seems highly unlikely that only Asda, of the big four supermarkets, will not have a store somewhere in the area.

Waitrose are also thought to be watching the situation. They are known to be looking to expand along the West Midlands/Welsh Boarder area and it is beleived that they could be interested in taking over either the exsisting Safeway or Morrison store in Shrewsbury. One or other will have to be sold on if/when Morrisons buy Safeway.

Turner is delighted that the football ground is featured in the Edgar Street project but is worried that it some years away. In the mean time the ground has to remain in reasonable condition and that costs money.

"What is the point of spending a lot of money on something which is going to be torn down not far into the future.

"We would like to know what is the time scale and how it will be financed," he asks.

The Hereford Council must get its act together and make some decisions about the future of Hereford. All this uncertainy isn't helpful.

Four from Hereford in Court

Four Herefordshire men today appeared in court charged with public disorder and disorderly behaviour offences in Shrewsbury last Saturday when Shrewsbury Town played Hereford United, reports the Shropshire Star.

They all appeared at Shrewsbury Magistrates' Court and each had their cases heard separately.

Peter Clarke, 34, of Golden Post, Hereford, and Paul Errington, 39, of Union Walk, Hereford, both denied using threatening or abusive behaviour which would cause people to fear that violence would be used. Both cases were adjourned until January 15th for a pre-trial review.

Andrew Tilby, 41, of Roman Road, Hereford, denied disorderly behaviour that would cause harassment, alarm or distress. His case was adjourned until January 15 for a pre-trial review.

And Gavin Lloyd, 26, of Kingstone, Hereford, denied a charge of disorderly behaviour which would cause harassment and alarm and a second charge or being drunk and disorderly on Wyle Cope. His case was adjourned until December 3.

All four were released on unconditional bail.

Teesdale in against league's bottom side

Hereford United will be without on-loan defender Tamika Mkandawire for Saturday's home match against Farnborough Town, kick off 3pm.

The West Bromwich Albion centre back will finish his loan spell at United after the game, unless manager Graham Turner can gain an extension on the deal. Richard Teesdale is likely to partner skipper Tony James for the game against the bottom-placed side, as Andy Tretton remains sidelined for a month.

United bounced back from a 4-1 defeat at Shrewsbury Town on Saturday with on overwhelming 7-1 win against Halifax Town on Tuesday night, much to the delight of the 1,875 crowd. However, that number should be increased on Saturday, as better weather and a potentially convincing performance will bring the fans back.

However, the Bulls know not to be complacent. Defeats against Leigh RMI and Accrington Stanley, as well as a draw with Gravesend & Northfleet, have dented confidence somewhat but this will have been boosted by Tuesday's victory.

Without Mkandawire and Tretton, United should not miss any other players, while Farnborough, who's home match against Margate was postponed on Tuesday night, have no fresh injury worries reported yet. Vic Searle's side are rock bottom with just ten points, and United won 5-0 at Cherrywood Road while they were under Tommy Taylor's stewardship earlier this season.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Fixture switch

Hereford United will now play their away match at Scarborough on Tuesday, February 3rd, report the Seadogs' Official Website.

Turner hopes for more support

"We have got a December where we have got a chance of taking good points if we play like we've done tonight," Graham Turner told BBC Hereford & Worcester last night.

There are two more home games, against Farnborough and Tamworth, before the pre-Christmas trip to Forest Green. Turner hopes that the crowds will return on Saturday for the Farnborough game as the attendance was only 1875 last night.

"You would hope that they realise that they missed a cracking game," he commented. Some great entertainment."

"It was the real die-hards that always support us that came out and they were rewarded with that sort of performance. So we hope we can get a few more through the turnstiles on Saturday to respond to the way the players have performed."

Meanwhile, Tamika Mkandawire has played his last game for the Bulls unless his loan period is extended. He came off to applause last night when he was replaced by Richard Teesdale in the second half.

Although his loan period extends to Saturday's game, he is suspended as a result of being sent-off against Margate.

His substitution was probably more to give Teesdale some practice than for any other reason as Mkandawire has shown himself to be a useful young player.

It is understood that Graham Turner is hoping that West Bromwich will extend his loan period as it seems likely that Andy Tretton will be out until the New Year.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Performance will restore confidence

A performance like that will restore confidence within the squad is how Graham Turner saw last night's 7-1 win over Halifax.

"They showed a lot of character, particually after going 1-0 down. For a team under pressure to recover like that from a goal down showed good character," Turner told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"I thought there were some tremendous individual performances and good team performance. The players got what they deserved, a good scoreline which will do their confidence a power of good."

Halifax Town boss Chris Wilder blasted his side's defending after the Shaymen were demolished 7-1 by Hereford United at Edgar Street.

Wilder told The Courier, as reported on the Nationwide website: "It seemed for a period of 15 to 20 minutes in the second half that every time Hereford went forward they scored.

"We defended very poorly. The centre-halves were all over the place. We made it easy for them and they took full advantage. We take the plaudits when we do well, so we have to take the stick when we get stuffed and we were well and truly stuffed.

"It was a terrible scoreline and I don't like losing 1-0 let alone 7-1."

Bulls hit seventh heaven

Hereford United silenced their critics by hammering Halifax Town 7-1 at Edgar Street tonight.

The goals came from Ben Smith (2), Steve Guinan (3), Rob Purdie and David Brown, while Lewis Killeen put the Shaymen ahead after two minutes.

With Chester City drawing 3-3 at the Deva Stadium against Accrington Stanley, and Barnet drawing 2-2 at Scarborough, the Cestrians remain top but Hereford are now just a points behind. They go up to second, two points ahead of fourth-placed Exeter City, who won 3-2 at Shrewsbury Town.

Aldershot vs Stevenage Borough was called off, as was Farnborough Town vs Margate.

Tonight's report, written by Brian, can be read here.

Quite impressed with Halifax

Halifax make the long journey to Edgar Street tonight with no injury worries apart from Adam Quinn.

And Hereford United are expected to have Micheal Rose back in the side after a one match suspension. Both Paul Parry and Tony James are also likely to play after picking up knocks on Saturday.

Richard O'Kelly saw the Shaymen in action last week and was reported to be quite impressed.

Meanwhile Court proceedings against several men from the Hereford area, who alledgedly took part in the disorder at Burton some weeks ago, are due to restart today.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Fourteen arrests after Shrewsbury clash

Fourteen arrests were made on Saturday as Hereford United and Shrewsbury Town followers clashed in the Shropshire city centre, reports the Shropshire Star.

Hereford and Shrewsbury police worked together to prevent further trouble, although the Yorkshire House pub sustained minor smoke damage when Shrewsbury fans set the building on fire to reach Hereford followers outside. Two people were arrested.

Police spokeswoman Sami Turner said today: "Officers were escorting the Hereford supporters to the railway station and they had to go past the pub.

"The landlord there agreed to not let anyone out of the pub until we had gone past. Someone made an attempt to set fire to the pub as a way of getting out."

Late this afternoon, it was confirmed that five of those arrested were from Hereford. Four were bailed and are due to appear at Shrewsbury Court this coming Thursday on public order type offences.

The fifth was released but has to return to Shrewsbury on January 14th for possible further questioning.

The total attendance at the game was 6,585, and no trouble was reported at the Gay Meadow itself.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Bulls bid to bounce back

After Saturday's capitulation at the Gay Meadow, Hereford United can get back to winning ways when they play Haifax Town at Edgar Street tomorrow night, kick off 7.45pm.

It will be a tough task for Graham Turner's Bulls to collect all three points though, as Halifax are a plucky side who beat United 1-0 at the Shay last term. Chris Wilder's men won 2-0 against Farnborough Town on Saturday, with both goals coming from Craig Midgley spot-kicks.

Midgley has now netted seven goals for the Shaymen this term, who lie in mid-table, ten points behind third-placed United, who have Michael Rose available again after suspension.

Andy Tretton, though, remains sidelined with his thigh injury, so Tamika Mkandawire and Tony James will play at left-back. Dean Craven could miss out to allow Rose in at left-back, and Turner faces a dilemma over his strike-force. Steve Guinan, Daniel Carey-Bertram, Rob Purdie and David Brown are all battling for places.

On paper, United should win. They have won six of their nine home matches, while Halifax's away form is poor, having won just one in nine. However, the Yorkshiremen have drawn four of those outings.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

We will have to perform on Tuesday

It isn't a case a doom and gloom, but the Bulls will have to perform on Tuesday against Halifax, said Richard O'Kelly after the defeat this afternoon.

"It will knock us back if we do not get a favourable result," O'Kelly told BBC Hereford & Worcester.

Defending the Bulls against criticism that other clubs have sussed out Hereford tactics, he said: "If you move the ball around you will create chances, but today we had opportunities to pull the trigger at times or deliver a cross in there or to get a body in there. We did not do it."

Meanwhile, Shrewsbury manager Jimmy Quinn thought that the Shrews deserved to win the game. But he did think that Hereford "will be there or there abouts (the top of the league) at the end of the season."

He said: "Hereford are a decent side but it's our best performance this season."

The crowd at the Gay Meadow of 6,585 was the highest this season in the Conference with about 2000 from Hereford in attendance.

Shrewsbury played well

Graham Turner could have little complaint about the scoreline but he was critical of the referee's decision not to award the Bulls a penalty near the start of the game.

"Shrewsbury played well and probably outbattled us. They were more determined than us," said Turner, talking to BBC Radio Shropshire. "I thought cast-iron penalty at no goals for us. I think the difficulty for the referee was that he would have had to send the lad off but he didn't give it and Shrewsbury went down the other end with a wicked deflection for the first goal.

"Sometimes decisions like that do change games and I felt that was the case. That's not being wise after a 4-1 defeat. I don't complain too much about referees but that decision I could not understand.

"That knocked us down a notch or two. After that I have to say that Shrewsbury looked a good side and caused us problems. We were out-muscled and out-fought", he said.

"I thought we started to pass the ball well just before Shrewsbury scored and got into some good areas but the goal gave them a lift at home and the crowd got behind them. And then they got another one fairly quickly and if you can't play well when you're 2-0 up then there is something wrong.

"They will be in contention at the end of the season. It's been an embarrassing scoreline. I feel for our supporters. We brought up a terrific following here," Turner remarked.

Local derby result

Hereford United lost 4-1 to Shrewsbury Town at the Gay Meadow today, with the Bulls' goal coming two minutes from time through Tamika Mkandawire.

Terry's report from the encounter is here.

It's the big one today

Hereford United travel up the A49 to Shrewsbury for today's game hopeful that they come back with at least a point. The game should provide a real test between the two rival clubs and although the bookies appear to have gone with Shrewsbury, there is little doubt that the Bulls will be hoping to be back to top form.

So far this season, Hereford have drawn at top of the table Chester and at fourth placed Barnet. They defeated third placed Aldershot at home and won at home against Exeter, currently fifth, in a LDV game.

And Graham Turner will want to see his team do well against a club which he managed back in the eighties. He has seem the Shrews play on several occasions this season and has fond memories of his time there. But he says that he loyalty is now firmly with Hereford United and he will be very pleased if the Bulls come away with three points.

Full coverage of the game is available on the BBC Hereford & Worcester website (see earlier article) and there will be the usual coverage on both local radio stations.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Shrews official site predicts a draw

The official Shrewsbury Town website is predicting a 2-2 draw in the local derby with Hereford United tomorrow. The draw at Leigh RMI last Tuesday has given the Shrews cause for concern and it says that Jimmy Quinn is "facing the sternest test of his managerial credentials since arriving at the club".

Quinn appears to have fallen out with Luke Rodgers, the Shrews highly-rated striker. "His handling of Rodgers has come under the microscope with the once prolific marksman cutting an increasingly forlorn figure," reads the site. "We are told that he is now injured ahead of the Bulls clash and must take that claim at face value. But the truth of the matter is that Town lack a cutting edge without him."

On the Bulls it points out that: "Graham Turner will need no introduction to the Meadow faithful. The man is a living legend at Shrewsbury for his exploits in guiding the club to the old Division Two. He is showing once again that he has something of the Midas touch about him as he steers a financially poor Hereford towards the Football League."

In comments about the Hereford players they mention both Steve Guinan and Dean Craven as being ex-Shrews players. "Guinan has certainly filled his boots and Darren Tinson will have to be at his most alert to stop him," and as for Craven: "he was a surprise summer signing from Bridgnorth but has recently forced himself into the starting line-up in recent weeks."

They also wrote that others to watch out for include Paul Parry and Ben Smith. "The flying winger (Parry) has attracted much interest from league clubs and has a keen eye for goal. Pint-size midfielder Ben Smith has also caught the eye this season with a string of goals."

Meanwhile Jimmy Quinn thinks that tomorrow should be a good game. "Hereford's style of play should suit us as both sides try to play decent football," he commented.

Tight Conference finish predicts Turner

The following article appeared in today's Shropshire Star.

Shrewsbury legend and Hereford supremo Graham Turner is predicting the tightest Conference race in years as the two clubs closest to his Turner is patently aware that Salop could go to within two points of the Bulls with a game in hand if his former club win tomorrow's eagerly awaited derby as things tighten up at the top of the table.

He said: When you look through the sides it might be an accurate forecast to say it's going to be one of the closest Conference championship races in years because of the quality of the clubs in there.

"Yeovil were by far the best Conference side I'd seen when they won it last year and I don't see anybody this year doing the same as Yeovil did and getting away from everybody else.

"I think the gap has closed this year because a lot of clubs have improved and although its obviously two up and two down now the task of getting out is becoming harder by the season."

The Edgar Street supremo believes Shrewsbury's ability to splash the cash and attract experienced players will see them challenge for the title.

"I've seen them twice against Tamworth and at Leigh and they've got a lot of experience in there like the two lads at the back Tinson and Ridler and the two up front Darby and Cramb and you look at the strength on the bench," he said.

"When I saw the teamsheet at Leigh the other night I thought they'd got the reserves out with Rodgers and Quinn on the bench but I suppose at his age he's got to have a breather now and again!"

"The big spenders will be up there at the end of the season. I don't mean that necessarily in terms of transfers fees but the big wage payers like Chester and Shrewsbury."

In stark contrast, Turner is relying on youth and enthusiasm to give his cash-strapped club a chance of the championship and keeping his fingers crossed that they can hold their nerve.

"The likes of us and Barnet have got to hope that enthusiasm, good organisation and some useful young players, which is what we've got, will be enough to get us up there at the end of the season," he said.

"I think we've got enough about us to challenge but with such a young group of players they have to be able to handle the pressure when it starts to get into the last two or three months of the season when every point is vital.

"That's when we find out if we've got enough strength of character to pull it off."

Turner says Hereford's former Meadow contingent are relishing their return to the riverside ground tomorrow as Shrewsbury was the first fixture they looked out for at the start of the season.

He said: "I think there's a great interest in the game, not only from a personal point of view in going back to the Meadow but we've got one or two in our squad like Steve Guinan, Andy Tretton and Dean Craven who are looking forward to going back.

"We're delighted that there's a derby in store because it just adds a little bit of spice to the season and makes things more exciting locally."

Nicky on the run

Nicola Goodwin, the BBC Hereford and Worcester sports presenter, is this lunchtime half way through her run from Worcester to Hereford to raise for BBC Children in Need.

The ultra-fit Nicola left Worcester at 9.00am this morning and after a break at Froomes Hill hopes to arrive at Hereford at 3.00pm. will give a donation to Children in Need in appreciation of Nicky's efforts and will DOUBLE the amount if Hereford beat Shrewsbury tomorrow.

Donations can be sent to BBC Hereford and Worcester, Hylton Road, Worcester, WR2 5WW.

Guinan and Craven get chance to shine

Graham Turner has said that tomorrow's match at Shrewsbury will give several players the chance to make a point against their former club. He noted that it was unfortunate that former Shrews player Andy Tretton is out injured but for two others there will be a chance to shine.

"It will add a bit of spice for someone like Steve Guinan who has come here and done very well for us with his goals and the manner of his performances," said Turner. "So I think he will go back there wanting to prove something, as will Dean Craven."

Two Hereford "rejects" could feature for the Shrews tomorrow. Both Jimmy Quinn, best remembered for a missed penalty, and Jake Sedgemore had spells at Edgar Street.

Meanwhile Graham Turner has confirmed that Andy Tretton still faces sometime out of the game to allow his injury to heal.

"It looks as though it's a bit more serious than just muscle damage. It has gone on for eight weeks and I'm disappointed as I thought the maximum he would have been out was for six weeks," he told BBC Hereford & Worcester. "It doesn't look as though it is any closer to being sorted out. So that's a disappointment to us, but the rest of the lads are okay," he said.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Mkandawire out for one game

Hereford United have confirmed that Tamika Mkandawire will only serve a one match suspension for being sent-off last Saturday against Margate. He will miss the home game against Farnborough on November 29th.

Graham Turner admitted that their initial fears were that the ban might have been for three games. He is said to be releived that Mkandawire was given the minimum punishment. It is thought that the Bulls are hoping to extend his stay at Edgar Street.

Meanwhile Turner has told BBC Hereford & Worcester that there are no major injury worries ahead of Saturday's Shrewsbury game apart from Andy Tretton.

It is understood that Tretton will have another scan to determine how recovery from his injury is progressing on Saturday.

Stern warning ahead of big derby match

Hereford United miss left-back Michael Rose for Saturday's crunch derby at the Gay Meadow against Shrewsbury Town, kick off 3pm.

Rose's one-match suspension means Dean Craven, once of the Shrews, will play at left-back, while Tamika Mkandawire will continue to fill Andy Tretton's boots at the heart of defence. Jamie Pitman, though, will return in midfield alongside Ben Smith, if Graham Turner decides to maintain the heart of the side that beat Margate 2-1 last weekend.

Shrewsbury Town have been hit by the news that star striker Luke Rodgers will miss Saturday's game.

The Shropshire Star reports that Rodgers has a hamstring injury and manager Jimmy Quinn does not want to rush him back. He said: "Luke Rodgers has got a problem with his hamstring attachment which he's been carrying for a little while now. He's persevered with it because he didn't want to stop training in case it affected his chances of getting back into the team.

"He's very sore and he's likely to miss Saturday because we've got another big game on Tuesday (against Exeter) and we want him right for that rather than make it worse."

Darren Tinson, the club skipper, has a neck injury, so Quinn will have to find a replacement if he is not fit, and winger Sam Aiston is suspended.

One fear is that of potential trouble at the game, but over one hundred police officers will be in attendance on Saturday, according to the Shropshire Star. Football intelligence chiefs will monitor hooligans travelling by cacr and train, and also keep a look out over potential hotspots in the Shropshire city.

The report reads: Dog handlers, mobile CCTV units and officers armed with hand-held video cameras will all be mobilised across Shrewsbury in a bid to make sure the top-of-the table Conference clash goes ahead without trouble.

The crowd is expected to be around 8,000, with 2,000 away fans, according to DCI Martin Whitelegg, who added: "Come to Shrewsbury, enjoy the football but if you cause trouble you will be locked up. Both clubs have some history of disorder and this match has potential for disorder in Shrewsbury.

"Our policing operation will be put into place to prevent that and we're putting other measures in place to prevent people coming into Shrewsbury on that day. If they are intent on travelling, we'll legitimately be able to detain them.

"It isn't a spontaneous thing. It's pre-planned disorder. They are not supporters, they're trouble-makers from both towns. Our job is to make sure the genuine supporters can come to Shrewsbury."

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Edgar Street area meeting

Hereford United followers living close to the city will have the chance to listen to Geoff Hughes, Herefordshire Council's head of development, about how the Edgar Street area plans are shaping next week.

A public meeting has been set for next Wednesday, November 26th, at the Shire Hall by the Hereford Civic Society at 7.30pm. The general public will be given the opportunity to ask questions about the redevelopment.

Meanwhile, the Hereford District Council have announced that the public will be able to view the Edgar Street Grid Masterplan-A Twenty Year Vision exhibition at various locations in the county from November 24th to December 5th. The first location is in the Atrium, Maylord Orchards, in Hereford. They are looking for comments from the public by Monday December 8th.

The "Vision" suggests that the existing football stadium will be rebuilt and redesigned onsite.

Copies of the proposals can be obtained by post from Geoff Hughes, Head of Community and Economic Development, PO Box 44, Leominster, HR6 8ZD, or by telephoning 01432 260695.

2000 to go to Shrewsbury

Graham Turner says that Hereford United will be taking around 2000 supporters to watch the local derby at Shrewsbury on Saturday.

But, as he told the Hereford Times, he is surprised how the Shrews have handled the ticket arrangements. "We were led to beleive that it would be an all-ticket match and only found out that it wasn't, it's just all-ticket for the Hereford fans, when we were informed by our supporters," he said. "I think you have to be very careful with that scenario."

Last week Turner saw videos of trouble that occured earlier in the season at Burton and Tamworth when Hereford 'fans' were involved in violence. He hopes that the sixteen arrests that have been made will have a calming influence on the fringe elements.

Whilst always looking at the Shrews results with interest as a former player and manager, there's only one place Turner's loyalty lies. "We must make sure that the three points come back to Edgar Street with us." he remarked.

Live commentary from Shrewsbury

BBC Hereford & Worcester aim to provide live commentary from the Gay Meadow on Saturday as Hereford United play Shrewsbury Town in the Nationwide Conference.

Yours truly will be covering the game, providing all the action from just before kick-off on, as well as covering all the pre-match build-up and post-match reaction live on BBC Hereford & Worcester's regular frequencies of 104, 104.6 and 94.7FM.

This is the first Hereford United internet commentary from a Saturday match, although several evening games have been covered by the station.

Meanwhile, tonight's reserve team match has been postponed.

Quinn unhappy with his side

Jimmy Quinn, the Shrewsbury manager, has told of his disappointment with his team's performance at Leigh last night.

"Our defending at the back was nothing short of abysmal. We gave away too much possession and didn't produce enough quality into the box."

Dave Tinson, the Shrews defender, cricked his neck in the game and may be a doubt for Saturday's game with Hereford. Both highly rated striker Luke Rogers and manager Quinn were on the bench last night. Rogers did come on for a short spell towards the end of the game, but Quinn is beleived to be suffering from a slight hamstring injury.

Meanwhile it has been confirmed that Sam Aiston, the Shrewsbury midfielder, will miss the match as he is suspended.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Leigh hold Shrews

Leigh RMI have held Shrewsbury to a 2-2 draw this evening.

Shrewsbury stay in sixth place in the Conference having played 17 games for 32 points, while Hereford are second with 37 points from 18 games, two points behind Chester City.

It is understood that Graham Turner, the Hereford United manager, watched the match.

Baker set to reach 100 starts

Matt Baker is set to make his 100th Conference start for Hereford United this coming Saturday against Shrewsbury Town. He is now regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the Conference and has played for the English National Game XI side on several occasions.

Baker, who was born in Wetherby, North Yorkshire, was signed by Hereford United in August 2000 from Hull City. He had been released at the end of the previous season and signed for United as reserve goalkeeper. At that time Scott Cooksey was the first choice so Baker had just two chances to prove his worth to the side in his first season. He made his debut against Southport in a 1-1 draw, a game in which he played very competently. He played just one more match that season, a 1-0 home defeat by Woking.

After Scott Cooksey's unfortunate injury in the summer of 2001, Baker played 2001/02 as first choice goalkeeper when he became recognised as a highly competent individual. He started in 38 games and let in 47 goals that year but fans will remember him being sent off at Nuneaton in August when he was adjudged to have fouled an opponent. Later that season he was injuried and Stuart Jones was brought in to cover for him only for Jones to be injuried in a game at Chester and Baker having to come on whilst not quite match-fit.

Last year he started 42 times and only 51 goals were scored against him. So far this year he has made 17 starts and 21 goals have got past him.

Perhaps one of Baker's best remembered performances was against Wrexham in the FA Cup in November 2001.The match report from noted: "Baker was quite simply keeping Hereford in the game. He was outstanding."

Any goalkeeper needs a strong defence to help keep out the goals and Baker has been lucky that those playing in front of him have included several of todays Hereford squad such as Tony James and past Bulls favourites like Ian Wright. But to have an average of only letting in 121 goals in 99 starts is commendable. This equates to only 1.22 goals per game.

At the beginning of this season Baker told that he was disappointed United had missed out on the play-offs. "We've had a long break to reflect on what happened last year and hopefully this season we'll finish one place higher. We've got to be looking to get promoted," he said.

Saturday will be a stern test for Baker. A clean sheet would be a great way to celebrate his 100th Conference start for the Bulls.

Tretton faces new scan

Andy Tretton, the Hereford United centre back, has suffered another setback with the news he requires a scan on his troublesome thigh, reports the Evening News.

He was hoping to be fit enough to have played a part in the local derby with his former club Shrewsbury, where he was captain for a spell, next Saturday but he now faces a hospital appointment.

Tretton suffered a thigh injury at Burton in September and despite lengthy treatment, including some time at Lilleshall, faces several more weeks without being able to play for the Bulls.

West Bromwich Albion defender Tamika Mkandawire, who is standing in for Tretton, has another week and a half left on his loan spell. This ends after the Farnborough Town match at Edgar Street on 29th November.

However, unless there has been an appeal by Hereford United, it is expected that Mkandwire will miss this game after being sent-off during the Margate game last Saturday.

Meanwhile former Hereford United defender Chris Lane has been transfer listed by Morecambe. Lane joined Southport from Edgar Street but moved to Morecambe at the start of this season.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Where is the Gay Meadow?

For those who have never been to the Gay Meadow, the home of Shrewsbury Town football club, we print some information which may be helpful.

The Ground lies close to the River Severn and is approached from Abbey Foregate.

From Hereford or the South take the A49 to Shrewsbury and follow the signs for Shrewsbury Town Centre. At the end of Coleman Head turn right into Abbey Forgate. The ground is close-by.

From the east it is advisable to travel on the M54 which turns into the A5 close to Telford. On reaching the outskirts of Shrewsbury there is a roundabout. Take the first exit. At the next roundabout take the fourth exit marked town centre. Follow the road past Shrewsbury college and up to another island. Take the third exit into Abbey Forgate.

Away supporters have 500 seated places, which are between the Shrewsbury family stand and the standing area for away fans, which can hold 2,000 fans. The capacity of the ground is 8,000.

As regards car parking there is limited parking at the ground (200 spaces) but they go quickly so if you want a space get there early. Opposite the Abbey by the ground is another large car park (200 spaces).

On the approach from the A49 down Old Potts Way there is a Cineworld, park there and walk down (5 mins). There is also a Safeways, but this is not really recommended as they tend to clamp on match days.

The other option is to park at the Shirehall which is up by the Column, 200 foot column with a statue on the top, this is about a 10-15 minute walk to the ground.

Arriving by rail, Gay Meadow is a brisk walk from the station. On leaving the station go to the main road and turn left up the hill. Go past the castle and into the center of the town. Follow the road to the left past Barclays Bank and to the traffic lights then turn left into Wyre Cop and go down the hill. Go over the bridge and the ground is on the left.

We will update this information if needed.

Chester still firm favourites

Chester City are still firm favourites to win the Conference this season. They are now quoted as low as 5-4 by Victor Chandler.

The lowest quotes for the other four likely contenders are as follows: Hereford 2-1 at Bet Direct, Shrewsbury 7-2 at Bet Direct and Stanleybet, Barnet 6-1 at Ladbrokes, UK Betting and Totalbet, and Aldershot also at 6-1 but only at Ladbrokes.

Taking an approximate average of nine leading bookmakers prices are as follows: Chester 3-2, Hereford 15-4, Shrewsbury 17-4, Barnet 7-1 and Aldershot 19-2.

The price for Chester has eased over the past few weeks, but Hereford's price has hardened slightly, no doubt because of poorer performances.

Still some Shrewsbury tickets left

Hereford United go to Shrewsbury Town on Saturday hopefully that they will have a large following backing the team.

Reports suggest that over 1,000 tickets have been sold to away fans, and there are still a few available, reports the official newsboard.

The club have said that tickets are only available until Wednesday afternoon, and they are priced as follows: Seating - £14 for adults, £9 concessions; Standing - £12 and £7 respectively.

The Bulls go into the game without defender Michael Rose, who is suspended. Dean Craven is likely to deputise.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

More anger towards referee's performance

Chris Kinnear, the Margate boss, told BBC Radio Kent that the referee was a disgrace after yesterday's 2-1 defeat at Hereford United.

"All of a sudden every time there was a tackle it was a booking. It was quite embarrassing," he said.

Referee Mr. Mullarkey of Exeter cautioned six Margate players, and also dismissed a player from each side.

"Every time we went near them they fell over," added Kinnear. "The players were frightened to tackle because they were wary of being sent off but there were no injuries. Not one of their players had to be treated for long and they seemed to jump up and run on after every booking."

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Referees and consistency

Graham Turner's notes in 'Bullseye' today included a few tongue in cheek words about referees. In particular he noted the performance of the Peterborough cup game referee who he suggested had made a complete laughing stock of himself.

What he thought of Mr Mullarkey, today's referee who sent Tamika Mkandawire off the pitch, has not been revealed yet, but he must be wondering where the consistency has gone.

The incidents at both games were quite similar. But whereas one player gets a yellow, another gets a red. At least Mr Mullarkey did not spend several minutes consulting his assistant and then change his mind.

In Bullseye, Turner reveals that during a walk with his dog last Sunday morning, his thoughts turned to the previous days events: "I began to have strange ideas of what happens to Referees when they qualify. Could it be that, as well as the certificate, the FA also presents them with a special Referee's brain to be packed in their bags along with the kit and whistle to be inserted on arrival at the ground.

"The brain would be specially programmed to be devoid of common courtsey, reduced communication skills, slightly deminished eyesight (no,disregard that one), total removal of the ability to use common sense, an unhealthy fear of the assessor and Paul Daniels type magic way of producing a yellow card out of nothing and just at the moment you expect him to produce a yellow one he mysteriously turns it into a red one."

Turner says that it is frustrating that whilst managers send in reports on referees, they never see the assessor's reports. "It would be constructive to know his views to see if we are on the same wavelength," he wrote.

And going back to the referee at Peterborough and his moment of hilarity when placing and replacing the ball following his change of mind about the penalty, Turner wrote that the Referee repeatedly moved the ball a couple of inches and booked Danny Williams telling him that: "the ball must be in the precise position."

"Bearing in mind that he had consulted an assistant who was fifty yards from the incident before changing his mind from penalty to free-kick, I wonder just how he concluded that position of the ball was so precise," Turner wrote.

The spectators were mystified as well!

Smith looks forward to Shrewsbury

Ben Smith is looking forward to next Saturday's local derby at Shrewsbury after Hereford got back to winning ways today.

He said: "When they scored, especially being down to ten men (Mkandawire was sent off in the first half), I thought here we go again. It's going to be another week where we drop back into the pack but luckily today we showed a lot of character. Every one worked really hard and it was good for us that we scored within five minutes of them scoring. Paul scored an excellent goal."

"And then after that they had a player sent off so it evened it up. Then it was end to end stuff and I think we shaded it."

Smith, talking to BBC Hereford and Worcester, was asked about the next game for the Bulls, away at Shrewsbury Town next Saturday. "Obviously it's going to be a massive game," he said. "I think the fans will look forward to it. It will be the first time we have played Shrewsbury for a few years and I know they are expecting a big gate.

"They are going to be one of our contenders near the end of the season so it will be good for us if we can take points off them."

Hereford manager Graham Turner commented added: "Sometimes there are games which are turning points in the season and we've just had 11 days in which everything we did has gone wrong."

Tony James also made his 200th appearance for the Bulls this afternoon, so he will be pleased that the team recorded a win.

Back up to second

Hereford United moved back up to second place with a deserved 2-1 victory over Margate in front of a disappointing crowd at Edgar Street this afternoon.

The game was full of incident with two sending-offs and an own goal. Paul Parry scored for the Bulls early in the second period after Margate had gone ahead and away defender Danny Murphy netted into his own goal after sustained Hereford pressure.

Terry's report is here.

Turner hopes to put things right

The sun is shining on Herefordshire this morning after the wind and rain of yesterday and Graham Turner will be hoping that the Bulls can get back to winning ways against Margate this afternoon.

He is quoted in the Western Daily Press as saying: "We've got to make sure we put things right against Margate.

"It's a big game and it is important that we respond to the setbacks we have had.

"We've only picked up two points out of 12, but are still only two off the top.

"If we can get up and running again then, with a bit of luck, our recent run will not have cost us too much in terms of staying in touch with the other clubs at the top of the table."

Friday, November 14, 2003

On the lookout for new signings

Hereford United are looking for new players but they have to be up to required standard, Graham Turner told BBC Hereford & Worcester today.

"I think there are a number of players that are made available you have a good look at. Richard O'Kelly and I went to a reserve match on Wednesday afternoon. You have got to look and you have got to be confident that the players you are going to bring in are better than what you have got.

"And I have to say that in some cases we have been disappointed with what we have seen and that is one of the reasons why we have not strengthened the squad at the moment. They have to be better than what is in the side already before we take them"

Turner also said that he thought the Bulls had been fortunate with injuries. "Sometimes when you get younger players they tend to either recover from injuries a lot quicker or be that little more supple and don't pick up so many injuries," he commented. "So that's the advantage in some ways of having a younger squad. But we have just hit the mark now where we have a number of players on four bookings and we will have to be able to handle it."

Young side needs encouragement

Criticising the squad is the last thing on Graham Turner's mind at present.

"We've had a bad month, there is no doubt about that and I suppose you could condense it into a bad eleven days with exits from two cup competitions and the defeats by Leigh and Accrington," he told BBC Hereford & Worcester. "But we have to take the positives. We have a young side who need encouragement now. They don't need flogging at the moment because they are as down as everybody else with the recent results."

Meanwhile, Leon Jeanne, who told the Welsh media he might be coming to Hereford, has signed for bottom-of-the-table Welsh Premiership side Barry Town.

Turner aims to get Margate early

Hereford United manager Graham Turner has told his side to bounce back in tomorrow's Nationwide Conference match against Margate, kick off 3pm.

Despite missing midfielder Jamie Pitman through suspension, Turner told the Evening News: "It's a big one and we need to get back to the level of performance we have come to expect this season."

Of the recent poor results, Turner continued: "Without making excuses it's been a hard programme lately with extra-time and penalties against Northampton and a difficult cup match at Peterborough, both matches where we thought we deserved better.

"The physical and mental effects of two real setbacks can't be underestimated and it effects your confidence but now we've got to recover."

Margate will miss Jake Leberl, who is also banned, while midfielder Adrian Clarke has an ankle injury. Greg Oakes is also a doubt.

"Margate will come to defend in numbers and we know they play with two markers and a sweeper," added Turner. "They will shore it up at the back but we have to be bright enough, particularly early in the game, to break them down."

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Loan players from Walsall

With a small squad, suspensions and injuries, Hereford United are said to be looking out for a couple of loan players.

Currently the Bulls only have Andy Tretton injured, but will miss Jamie Pitman this Saturday and Micheal Rose next Saturday through suspension. And there are several other players with three or four yellow cards at present so more suspensions are likely soon.

Help may be close by as Walsall boss Colin Lee has made four fringe players available for loan in an effort to secure the quartet regular first-team football.

Stefan Oakes, a free transfer from Leicester City during the close season, has been named as one of the group alongside fellow midfielders Mark Wright and Mick Smith plus striker Andy Bishop.

Bishop has already spent a two-month loan at Kidderminster this season while defender Matt Carbon is currently with Lincoln.

Midfielder Craig Stanley and frontman Karl Hawley, who had a spell at Edgar Street towards the end of last season, are the other Saddlers players out on loan, with the pair currently plying their trade north of the border with Raith Rovers.

As Walsall is relatively close to Hereford, may be a loan from that club is a distinct possibility especially as Richard O'Kelly is likely to know the players well.

Police investigate Edgar Street fire

The Hereford Times reports that arsonists started a fire inside Legends, the bar attached to Hereford United's football ground, late last Sunday.

The intruders smashed a window and set fire to some curtains. Luckily two fire engines were quickly on the scene, and two officers with breathing apparatus put out the flames.

Hereford Police have appealed to anyone with information to contact PC Daren Riley on 08457 444888.

Meanwhile PC Steve Thomas, well known to Hereford United fans as the Bulls' football intelligence officer has been awarded a Divisional Commendation for "continuous good work" in his role.

Legal challenge launched by Isthmian League

The Isthmian Ryman League have launched legal action against the Football Conference, the Northern Premier League and the Southern League regarding the re-structuring of the pyramid, set to be implemented next season.

Under the new regime, two leagues would feed the Conference instead of the existing three, and then there would be four leagues below the new Conference 'North' and 'South' divisions.

A Southern League press release reads: The Football Conference, The Northern Premier League and The Southern Football League are disappointed the Isthmian League seeks the destruction of the Alliance, which has achieved so much since March this year. With the full support of the 69 eligible clubs, and the majority support from the rest of football, the Alliance is complying with the FA's decision, which is intended to implement a fair and just structure for the benefit of the 205 current clubs in the national leagues system. Furthermore, an additional 15 clubs will be eligible for promotion to the new structure.

Whatever the outcome of the Isthmian League's action's, significant legal costs will be incurred, which indirectly will have to be funded by member clubs. Costs incurred will have to be funded at the very time when football is seeking to preserve its income, and progress the game at all levels in the national leagues.

In other news, a Nationwide Conference statement has been released reporting that, the company responsible for providing broadband highlights of matches on the internet, has been unable to continue its obligation. The Conference has gone 'in-house', using the clubs' digitally-recorded highlights to make a weekly programme available on-line for free.

The new show will be shown on every Tuesday after midday and will consist of highlights from 4 matches selected each week, with the latest transfer news, stats and a weekly interview feature, reads the statement. The Nationwide Conference, who have not received any funds from TFFC, will continue to work with TFFC to endeavour to secure refunds for those subscribers who have paid for 6 and 12 months subscriptions.

Bulls need to bounce back

Hereford United need to win at Edgar Street against Margate on Saturday to stop the rot, kick off 3pm.

The Bulls dropped to fourth in the Nationwide Conference after Tuesday's 2-0 defeat at Accrington Stanley, and they haven't won a league game for over a month. Their last success was a 5-1 win at Northwich Victoria, and since then they have draw with Chester City, the current leaders, and Dagenham & Redbridge, and been overturned by Leigh RMI and Accrington Stanley. Graham Turner's men have also exited the FA Cup and LDV Vans Trophy.

It will, though, be a tough job against Margate. They were hammered 4-0 at Dagenham a month ago, but since then have won at Scarborough and beaten Leigh, as well as picking up an impressive point at Morecambe. Their last match, on Tuesday night, resulted in a 2-1 defeat against Woking, but the 16th placed side have lost just twice on their travels.

After the match at Accrington, United director of football Graham Turner told BBC Hereford & Worcester: "We've got to make sure that we put things right against Margate.

"It is a big game, and it is important that we respond to the set-backs that we have had."

Hereford miss Jamie Pitman for the game, who serves a one match ban, but Ben Smith is set to return after flu. Andy Tretton is again likely to be missing, but he hopes to have recovered sufficiently for the Shrewsbury game a week on Saturday.

The Hereford Times reports that 1,700 tickets have already been sold for the match at the Gay Meadow.

They will hope to be without the club's small minority of hooligan followers - the reason Turner and club secretary Joan Fennessy were summoned to a police inquiry on Monday after trouble at Burton and Tamworth this season.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Suspension list

Today's suspension list on lists two Hereford United players as follows:

JAMIE ROY PITMAN Suspended from ALL FOOTBALL until the Club have completed 1 FIRST TEAM MATCH from 15/11/2003 for a Sending Off.

MICHAEL CHARLES ROSE Suspended from ALL FOOTBALL until the Club have completed 1 FIRST TEAM MATCH from 18/11/2003 for 5 Cautions.

This confirms that Pitman will miss next Saturday's game against Margate and Rose will miss the away game at Shrewsbury a week later.

Back to basics

Questions are being asked by supporters of Hereford United after another below-par performance by the Bulls at Accrington Stanley last night. Fans want to know what has gone wrong and whether the dip is form can be quickly rectified.

Graham Turner, the Bulls manager, acknowledged that his team had not played well. He told BBC Hereford & Worcester of his disappointment.

"There was a bit more desire about the Accrington side. We had a chat in the dressing room about things and possibly we have to go back to some of the basics.

"We were firing early season. We were working hard as a side. We were playing quite well. A lot of that has now gone. The fluency has gone out of the side and we have probably got to steer our way back into doing the basics right, defending right, starting to keep a few clean sheets and then using that as a base to go from."

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Bulls drop down to fourth

Hereford United were unable to produce the goods at Accrington Stanley tonight when they were well beaten 2-0. They have dropped to fourth position on 34 points as the other high-positioned clubs all won.

Top of the Conference tonight are Chester, followed by Aldershot and Barnet. All have 36 points from 17 games.

Terry's report can be read here.

After the match, Accrington boss John Coleman said: "It was a great win for us, especially after Sunday's game. It has been a great week for us and now we have just got to carry this on to the end of the season."

Reports from Accrington

As well as internet coverage, (details in previous article) the whole of the second-half of tonight's match at Accrington Stanley will be broadcast live on BBC Hereford and Worcester's 94.7 FM.

Trevor Owens and Terry Goodwin are expected to be the commentators and coverage will start just before kick-off (7.45pm) on the internet and at about 8.40pm on 94.7 FM.

Meanwhile, the court case against nine Herefordshire men who allegedly took place in the half-time violence at Burton when Hereford United were the visitors, continues today.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Bulls aim to bounce back

Hereford United make the trip north to Accrington Stanley as they attempt to get back on form following two cup exits in five days.

Graham Turner's side have no new injury problems to contend with, leaving just Andy Tretton sidelined for the match against an Accrington side who eliminated Huddersfield Town from the FA Cup on Sunday. United midfielder Jamie Pitman will play his last match before starting a ban for his sending off against Leigh RMI just over a week ago.

Looking ahead to the game, United midfielder Ben Smith told BBC Hereford & Worcester: "They've come up and done really well and our league form has been a bit patchy lately.

"They will only had forty-eight hours rest so if we can get into them, we can get the result that we need."

Accrington boss John Coleman had attempted to move the game because of the close proximity to their FA Cup tie, and told their official website: "We asked if we could get the game switched to Wednesday but they declined. It would have been ideal to have another day but we can't so we just have to get on with it."

Stanley could miss defender Peter Cavanagh with a knee injury although Andy Gouck, who scored a last minute winner as a substitute in Sunday's 1-0 FA Cup win over Huddersfield Town, could return to the starting eleven.

There will be live commentary of the match at the Interlink Express Stadium on BBC Hereford & Worcester's website. Coverage starts just before kick-off at

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Smith aggrieved with penalty error

Hereford United midfielder Ben Smith was angry with the way his side had a penalty taken away in the first half of yesterday's 2-0 FA Cup defeat at Peterborough United.

Paul Parry was fouled, and a penalty awarded, before the referee changed his mind and gave a free-kick. Smith told BBC Hereford & Worcester: "It was clearly a yard or two outside the box but he fell inside the box. The referee gave a penalty straight away, then the linesman called him over, and we weren't too happy with the free-kick."

Of the game, he added: "There was a fifteen minute spell in the second half when they scored two goals but apart from that, it was pretty even."

Manager Graham Turner echoed Smith's views regarding the penalties: Turner said: "It was an incredible situation.

"What concerns me is he has pointed to the penalty spot when he should go to the linesman before anything else.

"I am not sure whether Paul Parry was through on goal, but the worst part of the lot was the booking for Danny Williams. The referee has kicked the ball and put his foot on it, but surely the player taking the free-kick has the right to tee the ball up. He wasn't moving it anywhere and don't forget the referee didn't know where the kick was from because he had to ask the linesman about it.

"To book Danny Williams for that was ludicrous and I thought our players got through that episode quite well and kept their focus on the game. His whole handling of that situation was poor."

Back to reality

It's back to reality on Tuesday for Hereford United with the long trip to Accrington Stanley, which is close to twenty miles due north of Manchester.

The Bulls will be looking to get back to winning ways after the last league game when they were surprisingly beaten by Leigh RMI.

Yesterday both Paul Parry and Danny Williams returned to the starting squad, and all those who took part appeared to come through the game without injury. So, apart from Andy Tretton, Graham Turner should have a full compliment to pick from.

Accrington have an FA Cup game again Huddersfield Town this afternoon so the Bulls will have a good idea how they play as the game is on television. And whatever happens Accrington will only have just over 48 hours to recover before meeting Hereford.

Meanwhile, the Bulls will be without a game on Saturday December 6th as Scarborough have a second round FA Cup match.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Indecision by referee

Whether the original decision to give Hereford United a penalty this afternoon at Peterborough would, if scored, have made any difference to the final result will never be known. But the intervention of the assistant referee will be talked about for sometime to come.

The incident occured just after the half hour when Paul Parry looked to be fouled in the box after breaking free of his marker Christopher Kanu. The referee pointed to the spot but changed his mind after the intervention of his assistant.

As the action took place at the opposite end of the pitch, many Bulls fans will not have had a clear view but the referee was much closer to the play than the linesman who was on the "far" side of the penalty area when the incident took place. Tony James was even placing the ball on the spot when the referee suddenly ran to talk to his assistant. At this stage he had already booked Kanu.

Barry Fry, the Posh manager, told the media after the game: "To be quite honest he (the referee) made a decision to give a penalty and all our players surrounded him. They did not think there was any contact anyway and it's debatable if there was. He (Kanu) might have got a red card instead of a yellow. I thought Chris (Kanu) looked very nervous all the game and he did get booked but my players begged the referee to go and see the linesman and thank God the linesman said it was clearly outside the box. So the right decision was given in the end. "

However it seems that as the defender, Kanu, was the last man and he had contact with Parry so even if the contact was outside the box he should have received a red card. In many ways Hereford were punished three times for an incident that was not of their making.

Firstly the penalty was changed to a free-kick, secondly the defender was only given a yellow card and then Danny Williams was given a yellow card when he appeared to move the ball before taking the free-kick.

No wonder referees get some stick.

Penalty palaver as United crash out

A six minute spell in the second period ended Hereford United's hopes of a lucrative FA Cup run this season, as they lost out 2-0 at Peterborough United.

Today's report is here.

Pitman working towards degree

Combative midfielder Jamie Pitman is gearing up for a career in physiotherapy when he finally hangs up his boots, reports the Evening News.

The Hereford United is currently juggling the twin demands of education and the Conference as he prepares for life after football.

Pitman, set to start at Peterborough United in today's FA Cup first round clash, has embarked on a four year chartered physiotherapy degree with a view to eventually working in the NHS.

In the meantime Pitman opponents left writhing in agony on the floor following the midfielder's tackles can at least be sure of a helping and expert hand.

"I've always been interested in the subject and it's progressed over the last few years," revealed Pitman.

"I've been doing different courses and this degree course is the final stop because you need the qualification to be recognised in the industry."

But with Hereford flying high in the Nationwide Conference and Pitman still only 27 it's football that is still occupies the ex-Woking and Yeovil player's thoughts.

"I'm a player first and foremost," said Pitman. "I do two days a week at college on a Monday and Thursday and despite Thursday being a big day in training it hasn't been too bad combining the both."

Pitman's commitment to the Bulls' cause earned him a dismissal for two bookable offences against Leigh last weekend but the standard of refereeing in the Conference is a bone of contention for the midfielder.

"It's frustrating but there's no point appealing and I'm going to miss the Margate game," added Pitman.

"The standard of refereeing has not progressed to the level that the football in the Conference has. Against Northampton we had an outstanding Football League referee which illustrated the gulf between the two."

Friday, November 07, 2003

Key game for Posh

Barry Fry, the Peterborough manager, has today been talking about the Cup game.

"This is a key game for three major reasons. We need a confidence boost, we fancy a match or two against a big club and we need the money," said Fry. "Reaching the third round can be like winning the lottery if we draw the right opposition and that has to be our immediate aim. It will also be Hereford's aim and I can assure everyone they are a good side who will take some beating.

"It's a classic cup tie, but it will only be memorable for us if we win. I believe we will win if we maintain our standards of the last few games when I believe we have been playing very well."

And Peterborough have picked out both Paul Parry and Steve Guinan as the Hereford players to watch.

Parry, they regard as one of the best midfielders in the Conference and Guinan they suggest that: "he holds the ball up well and is a big threat from set-pieces, this front man is a major threat and is expected to lead the goal scoring charts at the end of the campaign."

Several doubts for Posh

It is not yet certain how many Peterborough players will miss tomorrow's Cup clash with Hereford United.

Andy Clarke is not expected to be fit with a groan strain, and Leon McKenzie has a slight thigh strain and is rated as doubtful, according to the Official Posh site this morning.

McKenzie has been the subject of transfer speculation recently. The striker,who scored twice against Brentford last Tuesday, has been linked with Wigan.

Also not available is Sagi Burton who is serving a three match ban.

Meanwhile Steve Guinan has been telling BBC Hereford & Worcester that he would settle for one goal tomorrow if it was the only one. "We all know that there is not going to be that many goals in it and if we have to scrap and it's going to be a last minute winner, even if it's not off me then great.

"We know we've got a tough task ahead of us but the FA Cup has been full of shocks over the years. If we catch them on an off day and we're flying high and everyone's playing well then we could cause an up-set."

Pitman backs the Bulls

Midfielder Jamie Pitman is among those backing the Bulls to knock out the Posh.

"I don't see why not," he told the Evening News. "We feel we are capable of going anywhere and doing well and hopefully that is the case at London Road.

"I don't think it would be a massive upset if we did win, mind you with the expectation levels from our fans they'll probably expect us to not only win but by four or five goals," he added. "I definitely think we have got a chance especially when you consider their home record and our away record.

"We are able to play a little bit more away from home where we've scored a lot of goals.

Hereford's speed on the breaks could be a decisive factor argues Pitman.

"If they start putting us under pressure we have to soak it up but, as we showed the other night against Northampton, we have the ability to hit sides on the break and that's a key area we could exploit against them," he said.

For Pitman the FA Cup remains a source of excitement and tension but also the chance for non-league players to impress on a wider stage.

"A good cup display can help a lot of the younger players to progress either within the club or elsewhere," he said.

"Everybody wants to do well and it's the chance for Conference clubs to land one of the biggest Premiership sides in the third round. That's something every Conference side and lower league club wants to do."

Guinan presented with award

Steve Guinan has been presented with the FA Cup player of the round award ahead of tomorrow's first-round tie at Peterborough United.

Guinan won the award for scoring a hat-trick in Hereford's 6-1 fourth qualifying round win over Harrow Borough.

The 27-year-old, who has scored 15 league and cup goals this season, was presented with an engraved salver and an Umbro player kit package including boots and training kit yesterday reports the Western Daily Press.

Guinan also won £1,000 of sporting equipment which he has donated to St Mary's School, Lugwardine, in Herefordshire.

He explained that he picked St Mary's School as he has known the games teacher there, Paul Shannon, for a number of years.

"He taught me when I was at school and as he is in Herefordshire now I thought the award should stay in the Herefordshire area and hopefully the school can make good use out of it."

Guinan has also remarked that he would like to thank the supporters who voted for him on the FA website.

Meanwhile Graham Turner has said that his side "will be rareing to go at Peterborough" and that preparations have been good for the match tomorrow.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Guinan leads the chorus

Hereford United have stoked up the pressure ahead of Saturday's FA Cup tie with Peterborough by insisting: "We have nothing to fear."

Star striker Steve Guinan led the confident chorus from the Conference leaders as they attempt to become only the second non-league team in 43 years to win an FA Cup tie at London Road reports the Posh Microsite.

Posh's lowly league position and poor home form has convinced the Hereford camp that they will pull off one of the shock results of the first round.

Guinan, who has scored 15 goals this season, said: "None of our boys are fazed by going to Peterborough. I'm sure they must be an OK side, but they are not exactly setting the Second Division alight and you never know what might happen in the FA Cup."

Posh are set to be without six-goal striker Andy Clarke who is not expected to recover from a groin strain, but the rest of the squad are available for selection.

That includes in-form forward Leon McKenzie who attracted several scouts to London Road for the LDV Vans Trophy win over Brentford this week.

We can't plan ahead

Graham Turner's column in today's Hereford Times reveals how difficult it is for Hereford United to plan ahead. Only last week there was a regular safety meeting at the ground and the Council's representative asked: "Are there any developments on the developments?"

Turner's reply was: "You read the Hereford Times, so you know as much as I do!"

The annual structural report at Edgar Street has revealed no major problems but in five years time major work will have to be carried out at the ground and a six-figure amount will have to be spent.

"So the lack of news about where the future of the club lies presents real difficulties. If we knew for sure where the club was going to be for the next fourty to fifty years, then we could start planning accordingly.

"I am well aware that the planning process is a bit long-winded but this seems to be going on forever without any real information being forthcoming," Turner continued.

There has been a cut in the ground's capacity from 8,700 to 7,700 but there is no problem in holding a big cup-tie at Edgar Street. Turner also confirmed that neither the capacity of the ground nor the continuation of the CVA would affect a return to Division Three.

Should Hereford United progress to the third round of the Cup and a chance of a tie with one of the big clubs, the attendant publicity could not be purchased by the Council's tourist department.

"We are doing our best here to keep on top of the situation but we really need to know what is happening so that we can make plans for the future," concluded Turner.

Meanwhile a quote from Council Leader, Roger Phillips, backs up Turner's thoughts that progress on redevelopment is slow. Phillips said that his council "was starting to actively seek potential sites" for a new livestock market.

Surely that search was started by the last council when Terry James was leader? It just proves how slow councils work.

Both bosses expecting tough tests

It's going to be tough, but Hereford United must produce their best football if they are to beat Peterborough United at London Road on Saturday in the first round of this season's FA Cup, kick off 3pm.

The second division side are unbeaten in their last five matches while Hereford have lost their last two - against Leigh RMI and Northampton Town - but will be boosted by the inclusion of Tamika Mkandawire in defence. The on-loan centre back has been given permission to play by West Bromwich Albion, reports the Hereford Times. As expected Paul Parry is set to return to the starting eleven, leaving just Andy Tretton on the sidelines.

If Graham Turner is expecting a difficult time, so is Posh boss Barry Fry. Speaking to their official website at, he said: "I don't normally look for the cup games and get excited about them, but it is different this year because of confidence and financial reasons, but Hereford are a very good side and will provide us with a tough preposition. I know they have had a tough week with two defeats, but they will come here full of confidence and with nothing to lose.

"Hereford have been scoring a lot of goals and have chalked up some impressive results so far this term. They are an attack-minded side away from home and have a lot of pace in their team, so it is sure to be an entertaining encounter."

He added: "I am sure they will bring a healthy following with them and the Posh fans will hopefully be out in force, so it should be a good atmosphere. We go into the game on the back of a win in the LDV Vans and are doing OK with the cup competitions."

Peterborough face an anxious wait over the fitness of former Wimbledon striker Andy Clarke, who is battling to overcome a groin strain.

There will be highlights from all of the first round matches on BBC1's Match of the Day from 12am on Sunday (Saturday evening).

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Tam could feature on Saturday

Tamika Mkandawire may feature in Graham Turner's squad on Saturday against Peterborough after all.

It had been thought that the on-loan youngster had been stopped by West Bromwich for playing for Hereford but there appears to have been second thoughts.

Last Monday reported: "There were rumours at the weekend that West Bromwich might still be persuaded to allow Tamika Mkandawire to play in the Cup match but Turner appears to have ruled that out ."

"I would have liked to have persuaded them to allow him to play in the FA Cup but so far they have not budged on that," said Turner.

There are now suggestions that his request has been accepted.

Turner praises Harrhy

Graham Turner was pleased with substitute Nick Harrhy's spell on the pitch last night. Harrhy came on after 103 minutes when Turner withdrew Rob Purdie.

Speaking on BBC Hereford & Worcester, Graham Turner said that Harrhy had been with the club before.

"He was with us for a short time 14 months ago and then he went out to Australia and played out there and he's turned up again and asked if he join in training. To be fair he's done quite well in training.

"It's been a problem getting his international clearance from his club in Australia but we got that through. I thought he did quite well up front. He was very lively and had one or two good efforts at goal. Might have covered himself in glory (had his penalty gone in)."

Good preparation for Saturday

Last night's clash with Northampton was good preparation for the Peterborough FA Cup match on Saturday, said Graham Turner speaking to BBC Hereford & Worcester.

"It was good preparation for Saturday's game against Peterborough. We played against a league side with plenty of pace, but obviously we didn't envisage it going to extra-time and then penalities.

"So that's taken a lot out of the players. But we have a few days to recover and being a young side, they will recover by Saturday.

Turner revealed that both Danny Williams and Daniel Carey-Bertram could have played last night but both were suffering a little bit so he has got them ready to come in if he needs them on Saturday.

He also thought that one or two of the team would have felt their legs this morning but they had a day off today before training at Ludlow tomorrow. On Friday the team will travel to Peterborough and stay overnight courtesy of HUISA.

"It will be good preparation," Turner commented. " By Saturday we will be wound up again"

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Praise for Bulls from Colin

Northampton Town manager Colin Calderwood was delighted with the outcome of last night's game at Edgar Street, as his side beat Hereford United on penalties in the LDV Vans Trophy second round.

The game was tied at 1-1 going into extra time, and eventually the Cobblers emerged 4-3 victors in the penalty shoot-out.

"It was a very long night," said Calderwood, talking to the official Northampton Town website. "I felt we deserved the win. We created a number of chances but so did Hereford and both sides contributed to an exciting game.

"This has been a very good work out for us. I felt both sides deserved credit. We were as creative as we have been for a very long time and you can see why Hereford are top of the Conference."

Graham Turner seemed pleased with his team's performance: "We played better than we have done of late. I thought we passed the ball about very well. One or two players have had a sticky spell of late, came through that and it's just a sad way to go out.

"But we knew the rules before the game started and having gone 3-1 up with the penalties you would have hoped to have gone through. But there you are, that's over." Turner told BBC Hereford & Worcester.