Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Gould decision expected this week

A decision about Johnathan Gould staying at Edgar Street is expected in the next few days. However unless the loan is made season long, he will only be able to stay for another two months. There is one other possibility, that is Preston releasing Gould from his contract allowing him to move to Edgar Street.

Gould has just two more games for Hereford United under his original deal with Preston North End. This Saturday he will face Halifax and next Saturday will make the long trip to Gravesend and Northfleet.

The Preston North End goalkeeper has already become a firm favourite with Bulls fans. He excelled himself with a penalty save in the game with Farnborough, and last Saturday kept the Bulls in the game at Northwich when the home team had several goal-bound shots saved in the first twenty minutes of the match.

"Hereford are an ambitious club and I would like to help them in every way I can,"Gould told Laurie Teague as reported in Bullseye.

"A permanent move is something I would consider very seriously. But I still have a year on my contract at Preston so it will be dictated by them."

Preston, currently mid-table in the Coca-Cola League, are looking to appoint a new manager.Craig Brown, recently sacked, has been replaced by caretaker manager Billy Davies.

Gould was signed by Brown in early 2003.

"I had a successful 18 months there but circumstances have changed as they often do in football."

The rules about loan players are complicated and are reproduced here thanks to Confguide (these are the rules as used last season, there are no updates as far as we are aware):

A summary of the regulations concerning loan players:

Loan of contract players is permitted from clubs in membership of the Premiership, Football League, Conference, and the three feeders to the Conference, subject also to the rules of those leagues of course.

Some limits apply:

2 - the maximum number of loans from one club at a given time

465 - the maximum number of 'loan days' per season

8 - maximum loan players per season

2 - maximum loan players allowed to play at any one time

2 - maximum number of loan players from one club per season

28 - mimumum number of days for a loan

93 - maximum number of days for a loan (see also 'long term loans' below)

Loans which are made 'permanent' do not count against a club's quota.

A loan transfer must be complete 24 hours before the scheduled kick-off if the loanee is to play.

If a loan period is extended, only the club for whom the player was originally registered can cancel the loan short of the agreed period. Players may not be recalled within the first 28 days, other than the special case of goalkeepers, where recall clauses are permitted.

To count as a single loan under the quota system, a loan must be continuous. If a player returns to his old club before being re-loaned, that counts twice against the quota.

long-term loans:

Players under 23 on June 30th may be taken on loan for the rest of the season if the loan starts before 31st December. Long-term loanees do not count against the 8-player quota, and can only be recalled early if they are goalkeepers.

-Bulls drop to Fifth

Hereford United have dropped to fifth place in the Conference after tonight's results.

Accrington Stanley jump to fourth place after defeating York 1-0.

In the other Conference game played this evening Halifax held Carlisle 2-2. All the goals came in the last twenty minutes of the game.

Halifax travel to Edgar Street on Saturday.

Ex Bulls meet again

Two of Hereford United's stars of last season come face to face this evening when Shrewsbury Town play hosts to Cheltenham Town. Steve Guinan, United's top scorer last season, knows all about Ben Smith of Shrewsbury and will try to use his knowledge of the attacking midfielder to help the Robins keep him quiet tonight.

"I still speak to Ben and I went to a wedding a few weeks ago and saw him there," said Guinan to the Western Daily Press."He's an attacking midfielder who scores a lot of goals and he has quite a few neat skills, which I'm sure he'll bring out and then remind me of later".

The Cheltenham man benefited greatly from Smith's skills last season, but knows that Smith could be a danger for Salop."He plays just behind the front two and can be very difficult to pick up, so we will have to be on our guard. If we just focus on the front two he could do us some damage. I have already told some of our defenders about him so they'll be aware of him".

"And he's got a little bit of mouth on him - I've told them to be aware of that as well!"

Guinan, who is yet to play a full ninety minutes for his new side, may struggle to even make the bench tonight as he is lacking fitness following injuries that caused him to miss most of pre season. He realises that when he gets a chance he will have to grab it with both hands though, as there is only a place for one of four strikers in the Cheltenham side.

If former Bull Guinan does get a game he may receive some stick from Shrewsbury fans, like he did when at Edgar Street, as he played for them a few seasons ago. "It was only a brief stay as I signed on deadline day," he said. "We were in the play-off places but we lost against Luton on the last day of the season and that killed us."

"But I have happy memories from there. It's a good club and the fans are very good there".

Monday, August 30, 2004

Stansfield unlucky not to score Hat-trick

Adam Stansfield was unlucky not to score a hat-trick this afternoon against Northwich.

"The ball came across from Pitman and I managed to strike it first time and it just squirmed underneath the keeper's dive," was how Stansfield described his first goal to BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"The second one was good work from Simon Travis down the wing. He checked back and whipped the cross in and I got my head on it over the keeper.

"I thought I'd scored again but the linesman ruled it offside."

Stansfield praised the contributions of both Ryan Green and Simon Travis with their pace down the wings.

"We know we can play good football when we get it down and pass it."

No Subs Today

Hereford United kept the same players on the pitch for the full ninety minutes against Northwich this afternoon.

And this time the Bulls did not concede a late goal, although supporters gasped when Tony James and Johnathan Gould appeared to misunderstand who was to clear a ball late in the game.

The opposition today were not as strong as Stevenage but despite that Northwich could have been a couple of goals ahead in the first fifteen minutes had Gould not been on top form. He certainly had more to do today than last Saturday.

The United defence did not get into stride until mid-way through the first half, but the midfield looked more confident with Ryan Green, who looked much fitter this afternoon, and Simon Travis in good form.

Both Jamie Pitmam and Craig Stanley played for the full ninety minutes. They appear to be Turners first choice in the center, as Hyde was not called upon today.

Despite having eight stitches on Saturday, Danny Williams was preferred to Rob Purdie and Mark Robinson was not even on the bench although he was at the game. It is unclear whether Robinson will stay at Edgar Street after his first month with the club comes to an end. Even if he fails to gain a regular place in the team, Robinson would be a useful squad member, probably better than several members last year.

It was good to see Adam Stansfield score twice. He and David Brown seem to be understanding each others play better. At present, it is difficult to see Lee Mills displacing either forward.

A better display from the Bulls, with some lovely passing football at times, will go a long way to make amends for the defeat last Saturday.

Buoyant Bulls back on track

Hereford United returned to winning ways this afternoon with a convincing 4-1 victory away at Northwich Victoria. The Bulls made one change from the side on Saturday, Simon Travis returned to the team in place of Mark Robinson who was left out.

An entertaining first half saw three goals in four minutes and plenty of opportunities for both sides. The Vics played some good football and should have taken the lead before United broke the deadlock. Doyle was booked for a late challenge and Danny Williams shot over from the free kick before Northwhich had three glorious chances to open the scoring.

A break from the midfield resulted in Mark Quayle having a shot rebound off the post, then a remarkable save from point blank range by Johnathan Gould from the rebound and finally, after Gould's save the ball fell to Quayle whose shot was deflected wide. Jamie Pitman forced a corner with a half volley for United but Quale should have netted once again after running onto a misplaced pass in the Hereford defence but Gould rushed out and denied the striker when one on one.

Hereford took a fourteenth minute lead thanks to attacker Adam Stansfield. Pitman split the defence with a through ball to Brown with the outside of his boot, and then Brown layed the ball off to his strike partner to finish low into the net from eight yards. Stansfield doubled Hereford's lead three minutes later with a powerful header from Travis' left wing cross. He missed a header moments earlier after excellent play between Pitman, Green and Williams on the right.

However, the two goal lead was short lived as Northwich hit back immediatly when Paul Brayson latched onto a pass from Steve Garley and netted in the bottom corner. Both sides tightened up after the third goal went in in nearly as many minutes and neither side created many too many clear chances until the second half. David Brown, however, flicked the ball off his heel for Travis to run onto but his shot from outside of the box was saved by Andy Ralph.

The second half didn't come to for around ten minutes when Tony James started off a brilliant move by the Bulls. The skipper played a one-two with Williams and then found Stansfield who rounded two defenders before centring for Williams who had his shot saved. Williams played a nice pass to Craig Stanley who hammered a shot against the post moments before the Bulls restored their two goal lead. Williams found Brown who got one on one with Ralph in the Vics goal, drew him out of his goal and squared the ball for Green who found the bottom corner with a powerful drive from the edge of the box.

Man of the match Jamie Pitman was again involved when Hereford made it 4-1. The goalie cleared a ball upfield, but it fell straight to Pitman who quickly spotted Brown in space and played him through on goal and he netted in the far bottom corner to the delight of the 600 or so United fans.

Hereford should have scored more towards the end of the game but some good keeping by Ralph prevented more embarresment for the Vics. He tipped away a cross/shot from Travis and then Shaun Came blocked Stanley's shot and then Ralph came to the rescue when Brown got played one on one with him. Stansfield was searching for his hattrick, but his shot from the edger of the box following a good run was saved before Green and Pitman linked up to provide Stansfield a chance but Ralph prevented his third. Stansfield netted again late on after a quick free kick by Pitman, but it was ruled out for offside.

It would have been hard to beleive that it was the same Hereford side that lost two days ago against Stevenage for the Hereford fans in the crowd of 1132 . The Bulls played some fine passing football and dominated the game in most parts. The attack is looking sharp and is creating plenty of chances although the defence is not looking as solid as it did in pre-season. Hopefully, Hereford can put together another unbeaten run, similar to the one they had following their last defeat.

HUFC Team: Gould, Green, Tretton, Mkandawire, James (c), Travis, D. Williams, Stanley, Pitman, Brown, Stansfield. Subs: Smith, Scott, Purdie, Hyde, Mills.

NVFC Team: Ralph, Burke, Charnock, Came, Royle, Hadland, Devlin, Hunter, Garvey, Brayson, Quayle. Subs: Connet, McCarthy, McLachlan, Norris, Thompson.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

CVA Meeting in Two Weeks

Monday September 13th could be the day Hereford United comes out of its CVA.

A creditors meeting has been arranged for that day which will decide what happens to the CVA.

Graham Turner seems confident that the meeting will accept the lastest offer by the club to pay off the creditors. It is understood that the main creditors, the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise, have accepted the offer believed to be about, or just less than, 20p in the pound.

"We have made an offer to the Supervisor, who, having contacted the main creditors is confident that it will be accepted at a creditor's meeting on September 13th," Turner told Bullseye.

"In practical terms it may not have a big effect on the day to day operations but for me it is a hugh milestone in the recovery of the Club.

"Whatever happens in the immediate future, the stigma of the Club being in the CVA should be removed."

No one can doubt that Graham Turner has done a magnificent job in keeping Hereford United alive during his time at Edgar Street. To be able to finish with the restrictions of a CVA, which was the result of years of mismanagement at the Club under the previous regime, will give Turner, his fellow directors and everyone connected with Hereford United a great deal of satisfaction.

Bulls hope for backlash

After the dismal display yesterday, Hereford United will be looking to get back on track tomorrow when the Bulls visit Northwich Victoria. The Vics are currently in eighteenth place with two points from their opening four games.

Hereford's hosts were beaten 4-0 by Barnet at the Underhill yesterday and to make matters worse had Peter Handyside sent off. Under the discipline new rules he would miss the next game but as it is Bank Holiday may be able to play.

Steve Burr, the Northwich manager, will be without Richard Forsyth, the Vics captain, with a long-term knee injury and probably Mark Foran who limped off during yesterdays game at Barnet. Johnny Allen is another doubt. Frazer McLachlan has signed on a months loan from Stockport County for cover in the midfield. "This is an opportunity for him to hopefully do well for us and put himself back in Stockport's plans," said Burr.

Burr was not happy with the officials at the game."Nothing is going right for us. We've lost the two centre-halves in the space of five minutes, one through a sending-off which the ref's not given, the linesman's given. It's just unbelievable really, the rules of the game."

Hereford United will welcome Simon Travis back to the team in place of Ryan Green who isn't match fit as yet, but Danny Williams will miss the game after receiving eight stitches in a head wound yesterday. Rob Purdie could take William's place as he was did when Williams was replaced against Stevenage. Danny Carey-Bertram will be pushing for a place on the bench at least as he returns to fitness following a troublesome knee injury.

Tony James said after the game on BBC Hereford and Worcester that it was a good job there is a game on Monday. "We will hopefully put things right at Northwich with three points. Our game plan won't change. We will go there and try and do what we do best. Hopefully away from home, teams will have to try and break us down and that will create opportunities for us."

Turner disappointed with Display

Graham Turner was not happy with his teams display yesterday.

"We just didn't play," Turner told the Non League Paper.

"We know that sides are going to set up and make it difficult for us and that's exactly what Stevenage did.

"They were physical and very strong and we have to be bright enough to counter that.

"We never passed the ball at all, but having said that we shouldn't have lost the game. We were hit by a sucker punch right at the death where we haven't defended well.

"The worst we should have come away with is a goalless draw, sometimes a draw is not that bad a result.

"But players who I've seen doing really well in training have been a shadow of themselves out there today.

"We certainly didn't play anywhere near with the sharpness with which we've been playing on our first three games."

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Brickies wanted at Edgar Street

Hereford United are looking for a couple of bricklayers to work on the rebuilding of the dressing rooms at Edgar Street.

Graham Turner writing in Bullseye said that the rebuilding of the dressing rooms was the first improvements made on the ground for many years. He said that despite the club being financially more stable, it still needed to be careful with the pennies.

"We are saving thousands of pounds by carrying out the work in-house. The project is led by Stadium Manager Colin Oliver who has the expertise to do the job, but we do need a bricklayer or two.

"If anyone fancies a bit of extra work, then contact the main office." (Hereford 0143227666)

Williams has stiches in head wound

Danny Williams had stiches in a head wound after clashing with Jason Goodlife and may miss the Northwich game on Monday.

Tony James, the Hereford United captain, didn't know whether Williams would be fit when interviewed on BBC Hereford and Worcester after the game.

Of the game James admitted that Hereford did not deserve to win.

"It was a bit difficult really. Probably the worst game you will see at Edgar Street this season.

"A lot of the play in the air. No one really passing it. Just a dull boring match really."

Reminded that the Bulls had lost their unbeaten run James commented:" It's not nice. Not something we want to get used to either. It's lucky that we have a game on Monday."

All good runs come to an end

Hereford United had been unbeaten in Conference games since Feb 21st this year when the Bulls were defeated by Woking 1-0 at Edgar Street.

It has been an amazing run of form and had to end sometime but to have lost it when Stevenage snatched an injury time goal this afternoon was, to say the least, very disappointing.

And, although there should be a fair amount of discussion about the manner of the defeat at training tomorrow morning, it is only one game the Bulls have lost.

After the Woking defeat came the 9-0 hammering of Dagenham and Redbridge. History often repeats itself and it will be no surprise if the Bulls return to winning ways with a feast of goals, although probably not nine, against Northwich on Monday.

Two aspects of the teams performance this afternoon need to be addressed. Firstly who decided on the tactics today? It was fairly obvious from the start that high balls towards the attackers were unlikely to be won given the strength and height of the Stevenage defence. So why was this tactic not changed?

And who is deciding on which players are substituted? This afternoon Pitman was replaced by Hyde and if anything the midfielder became weaker.

It was also fairly noticable that Green was not fully fit. Could it have been better to have brought on Smith to replace him in the second half even if there had to be a little shuffling of positions. Smith looks as though he is being left out of the squad for some unknown reason. He looked very impressive both at the end of last season and in pre-season.

The Bulls have only conceded goals in the last few minutes of each game so far. Perhaps it is coincidence, but these goals have been scored when Hyde (except against Farnborough) and Mills have come on the pitch.

Boro snatch victory

Hereford United conceded a goal deep into injury time as they fell to their first defeat of the season at home against Stevenage Borough. The game looked set to finish as a boring 0-0 but in the third minute of stoppage time Michael Brough struck a low drive past Johnathan Gould and into the bottom corner.

The Bulls started well and had their first effort on goal within four minutes. Unfortunatly, it was one of very few efforts that United had. Jamie Pitman played the ball to the left where Mark Robinson knocked a pass down the touchline to Adam Stansfield. He found Craig Stanley who hit a shot after the ball had bounced but it was easily saved by Andy Woodman. Stevenage lofted the ball forwards to try and find an opening but the Hereford defence stood strong. Danny Williams took a blow to the head and was replaced by Rob Purdie early on before Jason Goodlife headed wide from a free kick on the left in a rare attempt at goal.

Boro used their strength and power to their advantage in attack but they certainly didn't hold back in the challenges. Brough, Goodlife and Hocking all recieved bookings in the first half for late challenges. Ryan Green, starting his first game of the season in place of the absent Simon Travis, linked up well with David Brown and Purdie and found Craig Stanley whose shot was parried away by Woodman. The ball fell to Stansfield who poked the ball goalwards but there was a defender on the line to prevent an opener. On the stroke of half time Anthony Elding broke and struck a low effort but Gould was equal to it.

Elding shot over in the first chance of the second half before Green broke down the Hereford right but his cross was deflected over by Goodlife. Graham Turner replaced Stansfield with Lee Mills to give United another option up front. Joe Flack was subbed on for Elding and looked lively up front for the visitors. He shot wide from close range but did well to get on the end of Dino Maamria's cross. Minutes before, Brough had a good effort from long range saved well by Gould. Both sides made changes as they searched for an opening, Graham Hyde replaced Pitman and Boyd Maamria for Boro.

Both sides looked to try and net a late winner but the game looked set to finish equal. Tamika Mkandawire led a United break and found Purdie who crossed for Brown. The attack went dead before Brown or Mkandawire could get a effort on goal. Brown did manage to get a shot on goal late on but after Robinson had crossed for him, he could only hit a weak effort on the turn. Richie Hanlon forced a good save out of Gould from long range before Brough's injury time effort devestated the majority of 3616 at Edgar Street.

Stevenage inflicted Hereford's first defeat since late February but did not really deserve all three points, although Hereford did not do anywhere near enough to win themselves. The Bulls failed to get their passing game together too often and certainly did not create enough chances in front of goal. Hereford will have to get the defeat out of their minds as soon as possible as they begin to prepare for their bank holiday Monday trip to Northwich Victoria

HUFC: Gould, Green, Robinson, Tretton, James, Mkandawire, Pitman, Stanley, Williams, Brown, Stansfield. Subs: Smith, Scott, Hyde, Purdie, Mills

SBFC: Woodman, Goodlife, Laker, Brough, Maamria, Hocking, Bullman, Rogers, Hanlon, Gregory, Elding. Subs: Croudson, Quinn, Brady, Boyd, Flack

Hereford to meet Scunthorpe in LDV

Hereford United have been drawn at home to Scunthorne United in the first round of the LDV.

Scunthorpe are currently in second position in Division Two.

Full List of Matches in Northern Section:

bradford city v accrington stanley

port vale v barnsley

york city v blackpool

mansfield town v darlington

macclesfield v chesterfield

sheff wed v chester city

stockport county v bury

rochdale v scarborough

lincoln city v doncaster rovers

hereford united v scunthorpe united

hartlepool united v hull city

huddersfield town v morecambe

notts county v wrexham

carlisle united v grimsby town

Ties to be played week commencing 27 September.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Seven Goals from Six Players

Hereford United have scored seven goals in their first three Conference games and six different players have been on the score sheet.

The team is beginning to gel says Bulls manager, Graham Turner, who realises that todays game against Stevenage could be the most difficult so far.

If the team can keep up the current strike rate, Hereford United will score around 98 goals this season.

Meanwhile Ian Rush, former Welsh International and Liverpool star, has been appointed manager of Chester City.

He takes over from Mark Wright who parted company from the club just before the start of the season.

It will be his first managerial appointment.

Ray Mathias, who has been caretaker manager since Wright left, has been appointed director of football at the Deva Stadium.

Northwich ask for extra time at Wincham

Northwich Victoria have asked the Conference chiefs for permission to play more of this seasons fixtures at Wincham Park as their new stadium is still not completed.

One of the reasons put forward for the delay is that the club are waiting to hear whether they are to be taken over by businessman Mike Connett.

It is hoped he will kick-start their ground development again. The club has been granted £500,000 from the Football Foundation towards the cost of their new Stadium.

"I know I have said it before, but I expect the takeover to happen soon," said chairman Dave Stone.

"The Conference management committee don't want us to keep going back to them with another date, but we could be in our new ground around Christmas time."

Meanwhile a post on the Offical Hereford United Website says that Northwich "declared themselves bust yesterday".

Two weeks ago it was reported that because of problems over the construction of their new ground, Northwich Victoria had been forced to deny rumours that the club was about to go into liquidation.

Following a hoax statement on the club's website that Northwich were in such deep financial trouble they were unlikely to begin the new Nationwide Conference season, the club were quick to deny the story.

Hereford United visit Northwich on Monday.

Full squad for Turner

Hereford United boss Graham Turner will have a full squad to choose from for the first time this season when the Bulls host Stevenage Borough at Edgar Street tommorow, kick off 3 pm. Recent meetings between the two sides at Edgar Street have been very close; last season United netted a late winner thanks to Paul Parry in his last game for the club. In the previous season Hereford's Ian Wright headed an equaliser seven minutes into injury time in what was Graham Westley's first game in charge of Boro.

Stevenage notched up their first points of the season last weekend with a superb 5-0 victory at home against Accrington Stanley, who had won both of their previous games. Westley's side have a few injury doubts for the game but have Dino Maamria back from suspension. Andy Woodman, Michael Warner, Rob Quinn, Brian Quailey, Craig McAlister and Rob Burch could miss out with various injuries. It is expected that Stevenage will want to name an unchanged sqaud from last weekend, although Brian Quailey faces a battle to be fit in time for tomorrow.

United have a full squad to choose from for the first time this season. Ryan Green and Danny Carey-Bertram are both back in full training but may not get a starting place this weekend, due to lack of fitness and the good form of the players currently in the starting eleven. Simon Travis is expected to continue in front of Green against his former club. When they do return to match fitness Graham Turner will have a huge selection headache, but he will not be complaining about it.

Graham Turner told BBC H&W that the Bulls back line will have to be very strong if they want to keep a powerful Stevenage side out. "This game on Saturday will be a very different test. I think they are a very powerful side. The reports that we have had suggest that against Accrington last week, when they won 5-0, there was a lot of aerial balls going in and big powerful lads, so the three central defenders will have to be at their best against Stevenage for us to get victory over them".

Stevenage will be full of confidence following their terrific result against a good Accrington side last week and will hope to pick up at least a point at Edgar Street. However, they will know that they will have to put in a similar performance to get anything from Hereford on their home turf. A win for Hereford could see them go to the top of the table, depending on the result at the Victoria Road where Dag & Red play hosts to Woking.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Betts to Forest Green

Robert Betts has signed for Forest Green Rovers for a month with the possibility of a season long deal. It is understood that an injury crisis at the Lawn has meant that the club have signed three new players today.

22 year-old Betts joined Hereford United towards the end of last season, playing in seven games for the Bulls including the two play-off games against Aldershot.

A midfielder, Betts joined the Bulls after being released by Kidderminster but was not on Graham Turner's retained list in May.

No New Injury Concerns

Speaking earlier today, Graham Turner told BBC Hereford and Worcester that there are no new injury concerns for Saturday's home game with Stevenage.

However Turner said that his side would have to perform extra well against the visitors who scored five goals in their last game against Accrington Stanley.

Although thought unlikely to start either of this weekend's games, both Ryan Green and Daniel Carey-Bertram, who have been injured, played a part in a reserves fixture at Nuneaton (which the Bulls lost 2-0) in mid-week.

Turner feels two games in three days will show how far the Bulls have progressed this season so far.

"The improvement has been gradual over the three matches," he said.

"Solid against Farnborough, improved a little bit again against Crawley,and then at York on Saturday was a very good performance. Solid, strong, we looked good when we had the ball and created a lot of good chances."

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Accusations left me fuming

Accusations that our supporters were being abusive and racist at our opening match against Farnborough left me fuming says Graham Turner, the Hereford United manager, in the Hereford Times.

He has used his weekly column to react to last weeks story in the HT about the alledged verbal abuse of a Farnborough player. Turner says that the club have done everything possible to support the "Kick Racism Out of Football" campaign.

He asks why Peter Baines, who made the allegation in the article, hadn't spoken to the club before slating supporters.

"I have to admit that my first reaction to the story was political correctness gone mad. I am not prepared to see all Hereford United fans portrayed as abusive and racist before coming to their defence," said Turner.

Turner commented that the team and supporters are often subjected to chants such as "You're Welsh and you know you are"

"It begs the question is it offensive to the Welsh nation or to us as an English city, or both?

"In a politically correct world should we both cite racial abuse to the authorities?"

Stevenage fear Travis

Stevenage Borough who travel to Edgar Street on Saturday are suggesting that Simon Travis could prove a handful for the Borough team.

Their match preview picks out Travis as the key opposition man.

After Travis left Boro' for pastures new, Hereford United were eager to snap the right-back up for their promotion battle. Although demonstrating his midfield credentials, there is a potential to be a thorn in the side for Boro' on Saturday, and Graham Westley will hope he doesn't come back to haunt his former side.

Whilst at Stevenage Travis made 60 appearances for the club scoring one goal. He joined Hereford in February 2004 days after his release from the Borough. The experienced midfielder also considered offers from Woking and Barnet, but opted for a switch to Edgar Street as he lives in the West Midlands.

He is also an England semi-professional international, making his debut in 2002 against the USA at his then home-ground, Stevenage's Broadhall Way.

When Travis joined Hereford United Graham Turner commented:

"He's a player that I've known for a long time with Telford and Forest Green. I've always thought he could play the game and when the list came round from Stevenage, I contacted him and we agreed a deal.

"I think the boy can play, I think he has a lot of composure. He fits into our pattern of play because he has ability as a full-back to play right or left side and he can play wide."

Odds drop for Hereford

The odds available for Hereford United to win the Conference have dropped at most bookies.

Whereas a couple of weeks ago, the Bulls were as high as 9-1 at Coral and as recently as early last week could be found at 8-1 at both Coral and Skybet, those offers have ended.

SportingBet has Hereford at 9-2 to win the Conference this week and, amidst others, Skybet is offering 4-1 which seems to be the general price.

Although the Bulls have gained seven points out of a possible nine so far, it seems a little early for the odds to drop as much as they have.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Vics still at Witton

Hereford United travel to Northwich in Cheshire for their next away game on August Bank Holiday Monday.

Northwich Victoria currently play at Witton Albion. The Vics moved out of Northwich two years ago and started to build a new stadium but delays have not allowed them to move in yet.

Directions to Wincham Park (Witton Albion):

Leave the M6 at Jct 19 and follow A556 for Chester for approx. 5 miles. At first roundabout fork right on to the A559 (Manchester Road) for Northwich. At first traffic lights turn right on to Hall Lane (still A559). Follow for half a mile to cross roads at Black Greyhound pub, turn left on to minor road (Wincham Lane) past the Renault Garage to the canal bridge. Cross the bridge and take first turning left to Wincham Park (signposted).

Or for those travelling up the A49, take the A556 right turning, signed for Northwich, at the cross-roads by the Shell garage. After approx 1.6 miles join A559 into Northwich. Continue for approx 3.7 miles then join B5075 (New Warrington Road)shortly after bridge. Continue for 0.7 miles and turn right for Chapel Street. Stadium is on the right.

There is ample car parking at the ground.

Ticket Prices are very reasonable:

Standing £8 for adults and £6 for consessions

Seated £9-50 and £7 for consessions

HUISA are running coaches to Northwich next Monday. Bookings must be made by Friday at the latest to ensure seat availability. The cost of a seat is £12.

No Pitch Invasions says FA

Farnborough Town fans have been banned by both the FA and the Conference from staging any more pitch invasions before, during or after any game, for safety reasons.

Farnborough were allowed to parade around Edgar Street in support of Tony Theo recently without any problems.

Also according to the Farnborough News and Mail, the club has not paid a £60,000 bill to the Inland Revenue. It now has just three weeks to settle up or face the prospect of going into liquidation.

Meanwhile Daniel March, who was on trial at Hereford for several weeks, has moved to Aberystwyth.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Conference TV at Edgar Street

The first live match of the season to be shown on the Football Conference's official broadband website, has been announced.

Live coverage of the Nationwide Conference game between Hereford United and Aldershot Town at Edgar Street on Tuesday 21st September will be screened on the site for all broadband users to see.

The game kicks-off at 7:45pm, and for anyone who can't make it to the match - or would prefer to view the game online - simply log on to, and watch it from the comfort of your own PC.

The full 90 minutes will be broadcast for free as a taster of things to come on the video-based website, which has already proved very popular among Conference football fans.

There will be two cameras following the action and capturing the atmosphere at Hereford, as two of the big names in non-league football do battle, and the live transmission will give fans an easily-accessible window on the game, as it happens.

Fans will also be able to register for further games, which will be shown throughout the season on a pay-per-view basis, with the schedule yet to be confirmed, while supporters can vote now on which match they would like to see highlights from this weekend.

A Visit to York

Below is an extract from Glynis's diary which normally covers all things West Brom, but last Saturday decided to look at Hereford United as the Baggies did not have a game.

The above link comes from and is the latest of a 3 year long series called Glynis's Diary. Here "the Boss" describes her recent footballing and other moments. There's quite long coverage of York. There are references in the latter to Terry "Old Fart" Wills, who at 70 is probably the oldest fanzine co-editor in the country. We persuaded him to join us yesterday because "it's not boring like watching Albion."

Earlier today, I had the good fortune to witness at a football ground one of the funniest sights I've clapped eyes on this side of 1980, and it's all down to a very familiar former Baggie person. Hands up all those who remember the elegant, the lovely, but totally talentless Paul Crichton? You do? And you were wondering what happened to him once he left the environs of the Black Country for pastures new? Well, still your beating hearts, dear readers, because today, he and I came into close proximity once more, he being York City's custodian versus Hereford United, and Bootham Cresecent being the venue for today's Conference game between the two. Being Baggies of ancient vintage, of course, 'Im Indoors, The Fart and myself knew all too well what Crichton could be like, but it wasn't until about 5 minutes into the second half (when Hereford were 2-0 in the lead, and cruising comfortably) before our hero's "talents" really began to come to the fore. And, it has to be said, what he did in the space of those few seconds certainly made up for the remainder of the time he'd merely merged into the background!

So what happened, then? Simple. Just after the restart, a Hereford attack broke down, and our man was left with the ball at his feet, which he then dribbled a tad further upfield, but out of the box. A fairly safe manoeuvre for most keepers, but we are talking Crichton, here, remember. Unfortunately for him, he failed to fully appreciate the full extent of the velocity of the by-now rapidly-approaching Hereford player, he couldn't pick the ball up of course! then, his assailant almost on him by now, he suddenly panicked, and belted the ball for all it was worth. Sadly, rather than soaring in a parabolic arc out of the York danger-zone, then bouncing nicely into Minster territory as intended, the wretched bladder dropped straight to the feet of the onrushing Bull instead and it was the simplest of tasks for the lad to bang the ball into what was by now an invitingly-empty net from about 25 yards! Oh whoops!

Actually, that Hereford win rounded off nicely what had been a rather civilised day for us Dick Eds. After a pleasant stroll around the city, we parked up not far from York's ground, and as we did so, giggled greatly at the comment from a couple of old dears nearby (The Fart was, as ever, wearing his Albion shirt), "Oooh, I didn't know West Brom were playing here today!" £13 admission, still Football League prices, to stand on an open terrace, but no charge to transfer to the stand. Just as well, really; as we went in, the heavens opened! To our left, from where we sat, was the David Longhurst Stand, so named in memory of a York City favourite who collapsed and died during a game some years ago, the structure was paid for by the supporters themselves, via bucket collections and so forth. The unfortunate Crichton apart, there were oodles of Albion connections; Tucka Trewick, Tam Mkandawire, Jonathan Gould, Son Of The Lunatic, and Tony James; appearing for the home side was our old mucker Paul Groves. Not playing because of injury, sadly, were Danny Carey-Bertram (both barrels!), and Kevin Donovan. Thanks to Crichton's superb gaffe, the final score was 3-0 to The Bulls, and a deserved win it was, too, and, to be fair, the visitors could (and should) have managed six. As for York, oh dear!

"Welcome to the Conference!" sang the Hereford supporters, somewhat unkindly, during the second 45.

"That's wicked!" commented a sympathetic Fart, watching Conference football for the first time today.

"It's good, though!" replied this column, long-endowed with a sadistic streak! Oh, and one more treat for spectators at that game, albeit it unintentional; The Red Arrows, star-billing at a nearby air show, laid on a buckshee performance above the ground late in the second half!

Still Problems at Farnborough

Problems continue at Farnborough over the ownership of the club. This morning The Times reviews the situation.

As one approaches the newly whitewashed clubhouse at Cherrywood Road, the posters plastered over the windows bear evidence of the lock-in that saw staff and supporters join Tony Theo, the man they back in an unholy ownership wrangle, staying put for four days. That impasse was broken when a High Court injunction ruled that Ron Higgins and Tony Turberville, the rival contenders for ownership of the Nationwide Conference club, could not be prevented from entering the premises. Yet the fight is far from over.

Vince Williams, the secretary, and the voluntary staff have made it plain that they will walk out if Higgins and Turberville, the men to whom Vic Searle, the previous owner, unexpectedly sold his shares three weeks ago, take over. The supporters took to the pitch at half-time on Saturday to show they, too, are solidly behind Theo.

Turberville has made conciliatory noises but was nowhere to be seen; Higgins, after two inconclusive meetings with Theo last week, flew off on holiday. Theo is still ruling the roost, but admits a speedy resolution is essential. The side, managed by Dean Austin, needs strengthening but players are unwilling to commit themselves when Theo cannot offer contracts. "Whatever's best for the football club I'll do," he said. "If that means walking away, I'll walk away. If that means they have to walk away, then I think they should walk away."

Theo believes he occupies the moral high ground. "They have not put a penny into the club," he said. "They've taken us to court, which will cost us £10,000 in legal bills. I'm still putting the money in. Their chequebook is firmly out of sight.

"If our 500 core supporters are not going to turn up to games, if they lose all the voluntary assistance, it'll end up with a situation where it won't be viable to run the football club. It will cost them half a million pounds a year and what's the point?"

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Supporters complain about the Burgers

Stevenage supporters have complained about the quality of the burgers being sold at their ground and so the club has changed the brand.

Chairman Phil Wallace said "We've taste panelled several different supplies, but the winning burger was head and shoulders above the others."

Originally the burgers were made locally but now a national company has the contract.

Stevenage defeated Accrington 5-0 yesterday. It is not known whether the chance of burgers had anything to do with their better form. Stevenage lost their first two games of the season.

Hereford United's opponents next Saturday at Edgar Street are Stevenage.

James enjoys being Captain

Tony James enjoys being captain of Hereford United and he hopes that he can lead the Bulls to the top of the Conference.

"As a captain I'm not a shouter and a bawler, I just try and lead by example and hope players react to what I'm doing," James told the Evening News last week.

"I quite enjoy being captain. I've done it for two years now and I've not got a bad record."

With most of last years squad still at Edgar Street, James thinks the few newcomers will benefit the side.

"The team has not changed an awful lot from last year so we all know that we can do it and be the top side in the league."

24 year-old James became a father earlier in the summer.

"I was fortunate really that he was born in pre-season so there was plenty of time to get used to it. And we are fortunate that we can take him to his grandparents the night before a game."

Gould is here to help

Johnathan Gould has plenty of league experience which will surely prove beneficial to his understudy Ben Scott. Scott played in all of United's pre-season friendlies but there were some doubts to whether the youngster would have the experience to cope with first team football this season.

Gould, who is on loan for at least a month, has been told by the Bulls manager Graham Turner that he would like the Scottish international to help coach Scott and develope his game. "I am more experience now (than when I started off in non-league), of course," Gould told the NLP, "and I know Graham would like me to help bring on young Ben Scott, who really is a good prospect. I intend to give everything I possibly can to Hereford and help them back to where they belong".

Gould currently has two weeks left on his loan contract with United, but it is thought that Turner is in talks with Preston North End over a deal that will see Gould stay at Edgar Street for the rest of the season. There is no doubting his ability and he seems to have won over the supporters of Hereford United with some good displays in his first three games.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Travis salutes the fans

The 459 Hereford fans gave the lads such a lift said Simon Travis after today's win at York.

Interviewed by Terry Goodwin for BBC Hereford and Worcester, Travis said;" It's a twelfth man for us. It's a long way to travel. They're dedicated and we appreciate it more than they will ever know."

Travis, in particular, noticed some of the songs that the Hereford supporters came up with this afternoon. One about York had him visible smiling and acknowledging the fans.

Talking about the game Travis said that after the Bulls had weathered the storm of the first five or ten minutes they got into the game.He then spoke about the first goal.

"The ball went wide and it was cut back in and Danny (Williams) had a good first-time finish into the far corner. A very good goal."

He also recalled the third goal.

"I think the keeper just got the ball tangled at his feet. Brown did ever so well to track back and win the ball off him and produced a great chip into an empty net. It was a very good finish."

Meanwhile Chris Brass, the York player/manager, praised Hereford performance this afternoon.

"You have to give Hereford a hell of a lot of credit. They're a very good side. I'm sure they will continue to cause problems this year," Brass told BBC Radio York.

"They are going to be there or thereabouts, as will Aldershot, at the end of the season.

"Graham has brought in one or two welcome additions but you can see that the nucleus of the side has played together for a while.

"You have to match them in the workrate and committment, but today Hereford bettered us.

"Two of their goals came from our mistakes and the third (the middle one) from my free-kick. All of their goals could have been stopped."

United cruise to victory

Hereford United kept their unbeaten start to the season intact with a 3-0 victory over York City at Bootham Cresent this afternoon. The result sees Hereford jump two places up the table into second position. Dagenham & Redbridge lead the table and are the only team with a 100% record.

Graham Turner named the same squad to the one that claimed a point in midweek at Crawley Town. The Bulls took the lead thirteen minutes into the game, although York City had started the brighter and were unlucky not to score in the fifth minute. Paul Robinson powered a header goalwards from sixteen yards but Johnathan Gould dived to his left and tipped the ball over. Danny Williams scored with what was Hereford's first notable attempt on goal. Adam Stansfield skinned the left back and cut the ball back to Williams, who was on hand to power into the top corner from little more than six yards.

Craig Stanley went close from twenty five yards minutes later and was again involved in a nice move with Stansfield that resulted in a late sliding challenge by player-manager Chris Brass who was punished with a booking. The resulting free kick was taken by Williams who crossed for David Brown, who headed United's second on the half hour mark. Stansfield had a glorious chance to make it three before half time after 'keeper Paul Crichton spilt a long range effort from Mark Robinson. However, Stansfield volleyed over from inside the six yard box. Stansfield then turned provider for Brown, but this time his shot was deflected for a corner two minutes before half time.

United started the second half much brighter than they did the first. Simon Travis played Stansfield in on goal but as the goalkeeper rushed out the ex-Yeovil attacker chipped inches wide. On fourty nine minutes Brown grabbed his second and Hereford's third. Crichton, in goal for York, rushed out of his box to clear but took a touch on his chest and was unaware of Brown approaching from behind. Brown stuck a foot in, disposessed the goalie and chipped into an open net.

Stansfield then forced a corner with a powerful effort from a tight angle after fifty minutes. United's then chances came in numbers, Tamika Mkandawire had a header saved from a Williams corner before Brown and Stansfield had a chance for a fourth.

As the half wore on, the Bulls started to take their foot off the gas. Graham Hyde and Lee Mills were introduced for the impressive Williams and man of the match Brown. The two subs combined to see Mills head just wide from a Hyde corner. The Minstermen rarely threatened Gould's goal as when they had chances they were off target. Andy Bishop had the best opportunity when the ball fell to him in a one on one position with United's 'keeper, but he dragged his shot inches wide.

Hereford's overall performance was brilliant and York will have to improve significantly if they want to push for a play off position. United should have scored more than they did; the finishing let them down on occasions. The total of twenty four goal attempts for the Bulls reflects this. However, neither Graham Turner nor the 459 Hereford fans in a crowd of 2602 will not be dissapointed with an away victory of 3-0.

HUFC Team: Gould, Travis, Tretton, James, Mkandawire, Robinson, Williams, Pitman, Stanley, Stansfield, Brown. Subs: Smith, Scott, Purdie, Hyde, Mills.

Browns double helps to seal victory

Two goals either side of half time from David Brown and one from Danny Williams was enough to see Hereford's unbeaten run extended. It was a convincing victory for Graham Turners side and the away following of 495 will be happy to see the Bulls stroll to another Conference victory.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Injury problems at York

York City will be lacking the services of at least two members of their first team squad, with Kevin Donovan (ankle) only just returning to training and fellow newcomer Gary Pearson serving the second of a three-match suspension following his sending-off at Aldershot last weekend reports

Meanwhile player-coach Lee Nogan is rated doubtful after suffering a knee injury in the reserves' 4-1 defeat at Huddersfield Town on Wednesday. The former Welsh international netted the visitors consolation strike.

York chief Chris Brass will be hoping that his charges can continue to build on the foundations laid down against Tamworth, which saw the continuing emergence of the Minstermen's highly-rated strike duo of Paul Robinson and Andy Bishop.

Brass has also openly praised the contributions of midfielders Paul Groves and Darren Dunning, claiming that the former Blackburn Rovers star's latest performance was one of his best ever in a City shirt.

With centre-backs Steve Davis and Chris Clarke forming a solid defensive barrier, the Minstermen supremo believes that he already has a resourceful spine running through the centre of his reshaped side.

Meanwhile three clubs currently defend a 100% record and today sees each of them on the road.

Leaders Dagenham & Redbridge travel to Burton Albion, while second place Accrington Stanley face Stevenage Borough, who remain pointless following their first two games.

Aldershot Town, currently in third place, face a difficult trip to newcomers Crawley Town.

Bottom club Forest Green Rovers, who have already conceded seven goals in their opening two encounters, host title favourites Carlisle United.

Bulls in Northern area for LDV

The draw for Round 1 of the LDV Vans Trophy 2004/05 will take place live on Sky Sports' Soccer AM programme on Saturday, August 28.

As with previous LDV Vans Trophy competitions two clubs in the Northern and Southern Sections will receive byes through to Round 2. The draw to see who receives the byes will be carried out at The Football League Operations Centre shortly before the live draw.

Below is a list of those teams in the Northen Section:




Bradford City


Chester City



Doncaster Rovers

Grimsby Town

Hartlepool United

Huddersfield Town

Hull City

Lincoln City

Macclesfield Town

Mansfield Town

Notts County

Oldham Athletic

Port Vale


Scunthorpe United

Sheffield Wednesday

Stockport County

Tranmere Rovers


Plus from the Conference

Accrington Stanley

Carlisle United

Hereford United



York City

In the Southern section from the Conference are Aldershot Town, Barnet, Dagenham and Redbridge, Exeter City, Stevenage Borough and Woking.

Because of the way the sections are split Shrewsbury Town are in the Southern group.

Dictate the Pace says Turner

Hereford United should dictate the pace at which games are played says Graham Turner.

The Bulls manager told BBC Hereford and Worcester that he thought his side should have taken all three points from the Crawley game but is still satisfied with the start to the season.

"We've got some very good athletes in the side as well as good players and so we have to play at a high tempo.

"When we let the tempo drop then it allows the opposition to take a breather. It allows them to come into the game.

"We are a fit side and we have got to use that mobility and pace that we have got and that means keeping up the high tempo."

Meanwhile despite all the heavy rain in the York area recently, it looks as though it should be dry for the game tomorrow.

Green out for visit to York

Hereford United have a long trip to face York City in their third league game of the season tomorrow afternoon, kick off 3 p.m. The Bulls will be looking to register their first away league win of the season following a 1-1 draw at Crawley Town in midweek. York, who finished bottom of Division Three last season, will be glad to have finally broken a run of twenty league games without a victory in midweek with a win over Tamworth.

York City have Gary Pearson out suspended while winger Kevin Donovan is a doubt with an ankle injury. He is back in training but manager Chris Brass doesn't want to rush him back. "Fingers crossed we'll test him and see where he's at. We only have a small squad and can't afford to take any risks, but he's not a million miles away," he said at the post match press conference following the Tamworth game. Assistant Manager Lee Nogan is also doubtful for the game. He faces a late fitness test on a knee injury.

Hereford manager Graham Turner has no new injury worries following the midweek match at Crawley. Danny Carey-Bertram is expected to miss out again as is Ryan Green. Green was hoping to be fit for the game following a back injury, but coach John Trewick told the Evening News that the game has come a bit to soon for the Welshman. "Ryan is struggling. This game may have come a little too soon for him although we want a player with Ryan's ability and experience back in the side as quickly as possible. He is a quality player and the sooner he gets fit the better," said Trewick.

Trewick went on to say that United have had scouts watching the Minstermen and hopes that this will benefit the Bulls. "We had both Farnborough and Crawley watched but then they changed their system when they played us. We hope York won't change from their 4-4-2 but we will be prepared just in case they do."

York will certainly be no push over for Hereford. The Minstermen have home advantage which could prove vital for them. They won their first home game midweek against Tamworth 2-0. The Bulls fans are again expected to be out in force as they hope to see their team get back to winning ways and push up the table.

A Draw Away is not a Disaster

This article by Nicholas Harling appears in todays Daily Telegraph:

The misery of missing out on promotion from the Nationwide Conference lasted well into the close season for Graham Turner, who put a brave face on Hereford's latest failure to brush off inferior opposition.

"A draw away from home is not a disaster," said Hereford's manager after a comical own goal had ruined his team's chances of extending their 100 per cent start to the season. The Bulls had to be content with a 1-1 draw at Crawley on Tuesday after dominating the game against their newly-promoted hosts.

"We let ourselves down," admitted Turner, who had to recover from the agony of seeing his Conference runners-up lose to Aldershot in last season's play-off semi-final. They had scored 103 goals, 18 more than any other team.

Not all the players shared Turner's dejection. "Some of them moved on," he said. "There are several new faces. What happened last season won't mean anything to them."

Victory looked Hereford's for the taking when one of Turner's newcomers, Adam Stansfield, headed them into a 42nd-minute lead. The final outcome, the consequence of an intended clearance by Simon Travis ricocheting in off on-loan goalkeeper Jonathan Gould, was as much a surprise to Crawley's manager Francis Vines as it was to Turner.

"We were getting run ragged," conceded Vines. "But we could even have sneaked it at the end."

Gould speaks about loan move

Johnathan Gould has told about his move to Hereford United that has seen him drop from the Scottish international squad for a Euro 2004 qualifier against Holland last Novemeber to playing Conference outfits such as Leigh RMI and Northwich Victoria.

The thirty-six year old, who started out at Halifax Town, didn't mind dropping down a few leagues as he just wants to play football. "It was well publicised that I was available to go out on loan and when I heard that Graham Turner was interested I really pushed for the move to happen."

"I was in the Scotland squad to play against Holland last year, but I had no qualms about dropping into the Conference as I started out at Halifax. That is the way your career can change and it happens to lots of people. I just want to be successful at whatever level I play at."

Gould realises that he has probably seen the last of his international caps due to his loan move to Edgar Street. "I can't see Berti Vogts coming to watch a game at Edgar Street - can you?" he added. "You can never close the door on it but it is highly unlikely now. I just want to concentrate on helping Hereford to promotion."

Edgar Street is not totally new to the veteran stopper. He has memories from when he was a child at Edgar Street. "I used to come here and watch dad play when I was about 14 and to be honest the place hasn't changed one jot," added Gould laughing. "It is a great club with a really good family atmosphere and I know Graham spoke to my dad about the possibility of me coming to Hereford."

"But once I knew of their interest I made my own decision. They went desperately close to gaining promotion back to the Football League last year and that is the ambition again this season. If I didn't think it was possible then I wouldn't have entertained the idea of signing for Hereford."

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Reflections on the Crawley game

Simon Wright from Grorty Dick reflects on the Crawley game.

Being promotion favourites or "Non-league elite" (copyright Crawley) brings with it additional pressures. Pressures that last season were partly off-set by momentum, belief and some excellent players. With United cherry-picked over the summer, a new squad has to live with the old squad's issues. Exactly what you don't need is these circumstances is introducing new squadmembers just days before the season starts. They've had little or no pre-season and just don't know their team mates.

Just how big a part the newbies issues played at the Broadmeadow Stadium is up for debate but think on. Can you imagine a Scottish International keeper not having got his defenders where he wanted them for a set-piece otherwise? At this level, Gould Junior is a class act. It's not his fault his Dad is a raving lunatic. And similarly, one hopes that with more time and confidence, young Robinson will contribute more on the left side. The Bulls need crosses from their wide men (remember how the goal was scored) and on Tuesday night there was precious few. Travis had marking duties so his forays were limited but surely there must be space behind for a midfielder to move into.

Still, the defence with its high line and powerful look generally offer reassuring security. The Southern League Champions had nothing to offer other than long high balls. Likewise, Brown and Stansfield for me did everything expected of them. They made good use of the ball and tackled gallantly without it. To the David Brown critic behind him in the WestStand, I'd say that if Brown really did score as many goals as you expect, he wouldn't be at Edgar Street. He'd be out the door a la Guinan. Enjoy the positives - Brownie's is a cute cookie at this level.

But the midfield - oh dear. For all the delightful bursts of HarlemGlobetrotter football, I'm not yet convinced by United's new look central players. I question just how fit Danny Williams is and whether Craig Stanleyis anywhere near being a Smith or a Rose. It's just one game of course it is, but the pressure's already on. Once United get behind the pace, will they be able to make up the gap? Think Chester. I hoped for a bit more from Hyde given his experience in the game. His first touch was an exquisite curved pass but after that I didn't really notice him. I'll accept that it's early days. I'd suggest, based on my admittedly scanty evidence, that perhaps the middle should be built around Hyde. It's going to get very hot and sweaty in the engine room and an old hand is vital. This Saturday, York have a veteran in Paul Groves running their midfield. He won't be easily put off by chants of "Albion Reject". Keeper Paul Crichton will but that's another story.

It's one game, it's August. Nothing to worry about yet but some fine tuning would pay benefits. I'd imagine Tucks wishes he could get out there and do it himself. In his day, he was a tidy midfielder who could slip into just about any top Division club.

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Brass fears the Bulls

Chris Brass, player-manager of York City, was pleased that his club broke their record breaking sequence of no wins on Tuesday against Tamworth.

The Minstermen made club history by finishing 2003/04 without a victory in 20 matches and extended that sequence with Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Aldershot Town. But Tuesday night's 2-0 victory over Tamworth, secured by debut goals from Paul Groves and Paul Robinson, means the statistic will now be consigned to the record books.

Brass told This is York : "Everybody has been harping on about it and it did snowball at the end of last season. I think though that the losing mentality had already been put behind us by the fact that we brought in eight new additions to the side but I'm still glad to have laid the ghost."

Brass has now called on his players to use Tuesday's victory as a platform for the rest of the Conference season and maintain the standards set against Tamworth.

"You have to turn up and win against the likes of Tamworth on a Tuesday night and pressure comes with that but I know we will come up against stronger sides, starting with Hereford United on Saturday, who I think, like Aldershot, will be up there at the end of the season."

Housing named after John Charles

John Charles is to have some new housing named after him. The football legend who died last February was probably the best known player ever to turn out for Hereford United.

A bock of flats being built in Canal Road, close to Edgar Street, will be called the Charles Flats according to the Hereford Times.

Meanwhile another of Hereford's sporting legends is also having something named after him.

Jack Sharp played with Hereford Thistle. It has been suggested that the new road to the Edgar Street Grid could be called the Jack Sharp Road.

There is a feature article on this story in todays Hereford Times.

More CCTV Cameras at Edgar Street

Extra CCTV cameras are to be installed at Edgar Street because of repeated criminal damage around the ground.

"It's at the point where we're going to have to invest in further CCTV cameras because although it's minor damage it still have to be repaired and somebody has to take time to do it," Graham Turner told the Hereford Times.

"A lot of it is just devilment with people having a few drinks on a Saturday night and thinking that they will kick a door in while at other times it's a break in to steal whatever they can.

"But if anybody is breaking in on Saturday, thinking there are takings at the ground, then there are not."

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

It's Bootham Crescent on Saturday

Hereford United travel to York on Saturday for the first fixture between the two clubs for 12 seasons.York City Football Club play at Bootham Crescent, and isn't the easiest place to reach according to the Red and Blue York City site.

If travelling by car it is advisable to avoid the busy City centre. If for any reason you should find these details of how to reach Bootham Crescent inaccurate and of little use then we recommend that you try the RAC who run an excellent route mapping service which is available online.

(NB: When travelling to the Crescent, be sure to allow plenty of time to find yourself a parking space)

BY CAR:From the South (A1-A64): Exit A64 at signpost 'Leeds, York A64' and at the roundabout turn right onto the A64. Exit A64 after 9.3 miles (signposted York (North) A1237, Harrogate) onto the A1237. Go straight on, remaining on the A1237 for 5.2 miles, over three roundabouts and over River Ouse, to fourth roundabout. Here, turn right (signposted York A19) onto the A19 Shipton Road. At lights after 1.6 miles by village green, go straight on (signposted City Centre). After 0.2 miles turn left by 'The Burton Stone''pub into Burton Stone Lane. You'll see the ground on your right.

PARKING:Parking in the area in and around Bootham Crescent is often very difficult. For Saturday games you should consider using the City's Park and Ride scheme on the outskirts of town to avoid the hassles of looking for a parking space. The bus will drop you off at York Station where you can go on to make your own way to Bootham Crescent (see below). If you choose to park around Bootham Crescent then you can use the small 'Mecca Bingo' car park on Burton Stone Lane. You can also use Union Terrace, a little further away from the ground, just off Clarence Street, which will cost you £3.90 for 3 hours. Marygate is not far from the ground at the same price. Other than that it's all, more or less, street parking. Your car will be safe virtually anywhere around the ground although in the area surrounding the ground, parking is restricted to residents-only.

FROM YORK RAILWAY STATION:Bootham Crescent is about a 15 minute walk from York Railway Station. If you don't fancy the walk then you can travel by taxi for between £2.80 and £3.80. Alternative methods of transport from York Station include bus - take the short walk to Rougier Street and then use 'First York' number 14 which departs Rougier Street at 1415 and arrives Burton Stone Lane 1425 (for a Saturday 3pm KO. No service for night games). Alternatively you can get the number 1 (every 10 mins) from the Rail station to Wigginton Road, which is a 5 minute walk along the pedestrian only Bridge Lane through the Hospital grounds to the football ground.

If you're happy to take the short walk, then turn left out of the station into Station Road, past the Royal York Hotel. Take the 1st left (signposted towards the National Railway Museum). Follow the road round to the left, passing the Royal Mail depot on your right. Just before the railway bridge, turn right along pathway (this pathway is difficult to spot!) and take the footbridge (Scarborough Bridge) over the river. Once over the river turn left and take the path between railway and Marygate car park. At end of car park turn left through an underpass (under the railway line) and once under the railway turn right into Bootham Terrace. At Main Road turn left, cross over using the Pedestrian crossing provided and take the 2nd right into Bootham Crescent, leading directly to the ground.

AT THE GROUND:Inside the ground, the bulk of visiting fans are accommodated on the uncovered Grosvenor Road Terrace. The capacity of the Grosvenor Road End is 1,970 whilst travelling fans are allocated up to 990 additional seats.

COST OF TICKETS:GROSVENOR ROAD TERRACING (Away terracing) Adults (16 and over) £13.00 Over 65s / Under 16s / Students £8.00

THE POPULAR STAND:(Part available for Away Fans) Adults (16 and over) £14.00 Over 65s / Under 16s / Students £9.00

Good Facilities at Crawley

It was a long journey for those Hereford United supporters who live in or around the county to Crawley yesterday, but despite the result of the game, Bulls fans appeared to have enjoyed their stay at the Sussex ground.

The Broadfield Stadium has to be one of the best in the Conference. Covered on three sides at present, it looks as though it won't be long before the last side will have a roof on it. An easy stadium to find, car parking was next to the ground although with only one exit it was a little slow leaving after the game

The pitch looked green, lush and most importantly level.

Most of all away supporters were made to feel most welcome.

The programme, which was 48 pages, made comment that the last time the two clubs had met was in the 1969/70 season and Hereford were victorious on both occasions.

It also noted:

"We have the privilege of hosting Hereford United as our first visitors in the Conference, and we could not have asked for a bigger match. Hereford are a team steeped in history and tradition, only last week watching the TV programme celebrating 40 years of Match of the Day, saw highlights of the epic FA Cup tie when Hereford put Newcastle to the sword, with that memorable goal from Ronnie Raford the icing on the cake."

The only unfortunate error in the programme was that against a profile of youngster Andy Williams was a photo of Danny Williams.

Crawley deserve to do well in the Conference. It looks like a well run club and their team wasn't that bad either!

Chester Statement on Wright

For some months Bulls News has been following the going-ons at Chester City. Some of the stories we covered included suggestions that the club is £3m in debt. Now the club has issued a statement about Mark Wright leaving the club.

The following article appeared in the Chester Evening Leader;

Wright unexpectedly resigned on Friday, August 6, the eve of City's first game back in the Football League.The reasons for his departure have been unclear, with the club insisting it was due to non-football related matters.But now its board of directors have issued a detailed statement, with claims that will shock City fans.They include claims that Wright:

Admitted moving in with former player Wayne Hatswell's ex-partner, the pair having been spotted together by a former City player on a trip to Dubai this summer.

Demanded that her attendance at home matches be a condition of his signing an improved three-year deal at the start of this season.

Was warned by the chairman in April 2004 not to speak to other clubs, after allegedly being interviewed by Tranmere Rovers.

Over-committed the budget for this season, pursuing additional signings and promising players contacts without board permission.

Wanted to sell leading scorer Daryl Clare, against the wishes of the board or player.Mark Wright could not be contacted this morning to respond to the allegations.

The club's statement comes in response to a column in Sunday's Non League Paper by Weymouth manager Steve Claridge.Claridge said he had spoken to Wright, claiming he had left after refusing to play chairman Stephen Vaughan's son in City's opening game.Denying the allegation, director Dave Burford immediately stated the club's intention to take legal action against both Claridge and the newspaper.

Chairman of the Chester City Supporters Club, Barrie Hipkiss, said: "It will be interesting to see what Mark Wright has to say about this. I think most fans appreciate what Stephen Vaughan has done for the club, so we have to support him as far as we can if we want Chester City to survive. What we want is for the club to return to stability again and for fans to give Stephen Vaughan and Ray Mathias their support."

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Vines praises Bulls

Francis Vine, the Crawley Town manager, gave Hereford United some praise after last night's game at the Broadfield Stadium but was delighted with his teams draw.

"Hereford are the best footballing side in the Conference. They are a joy to watch but I wish they would do it against someone else!

"You could see the benefits of full-time training. They were sharp and fit and play the game at another level to what we were used to last season.

"There is a gap between us and them at the moment, but we have some talented players, a team of 24-and-unders, and it was great to see them competing against a side like Hereford.

"I was delighted with the character we showed. We said at half-time that we had been run ragged but if we hung in there and gave nothing more away we would get a chance."

Vines, couldn't see Charlie Mapes' dramatic late equaliser, but was thrilled by the young midfielder's quick thinking.

"Charlie is very sharp. He has taken a couple of quick free-kicks in pre-season and if the ref says it's okay to take it he is very alive to the opportunity.

"I didn't actually see it go in but I don't care what it hit on the way as long as it got there!"


Bulls suffer late setback

Hereford United conceded their second late goal in as many games yesterday evening as they drew 1-1 with Crawley Town at the Broadfield Stadium. The Bulls were unchanged from the side that beat Farnborough last Saturday, but Graham Hyde replaced Andrew Williams on the subs bench.

United started the brighter and had two chances in the opening six minutes. Adam Stansfield had a good effort saved before Craig Stanley's shot was deflected for a corner. Then Mark Robinson found himself in a great position fifthteen yards out but failed to hit the target with a low drive. Stansfield was again denied by 'keeper Andy Little when his goal bound header was well caught by Crawley stopper. Crawley's best chance of the half came following a corner that was headed goal bound, but Johnathan Gould tipped the ball onto the post and Tony James cleared.

David Brown almost opened the scoring after thirty eight minutes, but he glanced a header just wide of the far post from Simon Travis' cross. Four minutes later, United got a deserved goal. Travis got the ball on the right from Stanley and crossed to the near post where Stansfield was on hand to head across goal and into the far bottom corner.

Charlie McDonald forced a good save out of Gould from the edge of the box ten minutes into the second half before Charlie Mapes sliced over from 16 yards. In the sixty sixth minute Danny Williams tackled Ian Simpemba in the Crawley box and layed the ball off to Brown, whose shot was deflected well over the bar.

Crawley were looking for an equaliser and started to press Hereford a lot more which forced Graham Turner to make changes. A double sub in the seventieth minute saw Lee Mills and Hyde replace Stansfield and Stanley. Rob Purdie replaced Brown with ten minutes to go. Just four minutes from full time Crawley were awarded a questionable free kick on the edge of the area. Before United had time to arrange their wall Mapes swung in a shot that beat Gould low to his left, but Travis was on the line to hack clear, although the ball rebounded off Gould who had dived to make a save and into the back of the net.

United performed well in the first half and were rarely troubled by their opponents, who will be delighted with the point. However, the Bulls failed to impress their away following, of around 500 in a crowd of 2533, in the second half . Hereford currently lie fourth in the table, two points off the teams at the top.

Hereford United: Gould, Travis, Tretton, James, Danny Williams, Mkandawire, Robinson, Pitman, Stanley (Mills 69), Stansfield (Hyde 69), Brown (Purdie 82). Subs Not Used: Smith, Scott.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Injury Problems at Crawley

Since our preview of the Crawley game was published yesterday there are suggestions that two Crawley players could miss tonights game with Hereford United.

The Crawley Fans Forum is reporting that Mo Harkin was taken to hospital last night with a suspected broken ankle following a training ground accident. Danny Davidson, who once played for the Bulls, faces a late fitness test as he is suffering with a calf injury.

Turner's selection headache

Hereford United will aim to continue their tremendous run of form as they take on Crawley Town in their first away game of the season. United will hope to have similar away form to last season when they only lost three games. However, Crawley who were promoted last season will still be on a high from their championship victory and will also take confidence from their 2-1 victory away at Leigh RMI on Saturday.

Crawley's only doubt for the game is Nick Roddis who is struggling with a knock other than Paul Armstrong and Robert Smith who are long term absentees for the game. Everyone else came through the Leigh game unscathed and left-back Sean Hankin is available again after a toe injury. "It's going to be an exciting night as it's our first home game in the Conference," Manager Francis Vines said about the game. "We're all fit and fired up and hopefully we can expect a 3,000-plus crowd watching us."

United have a few doubts. Danny Carey-Bertram looks certain to miss out with a knee injury but Ryan Green, who resumed training last Thursday, will be hoping for a place in the side. He may find it difficult though, because of the brilliant performance that Simon Travis put in against Farnborough. Rob Purdie will also be pushing to regain his place in the side as he was left on the substitute bench on the weekend after he sustained an ankle injury in training last week. Tony James had to have stitches for a cut to his head after the game on Saturday, but he is not a doubt fot the game.

United also have Graham Hyde back from suspension so he will be competing for a place in the side. Tom Smith, who didn't look very happy sat on the bench for too long on Saurday, might also have to stay on the bench again as the competition for places is better than ever at Hereford. Lee Mills impressed greatly as a sub on Saturday but looks set to start on the bench again. It is thought that David Brown and Adam Stansfield will lead the Bulls attack.

The first away game of the season traditionally sees a good Bulls following, but as the game is midweek and the distance is also quite long it may not be as high as past first away games of the season have been. However, there are at least two HUISA coaches travelling and some unofficial buses. The United fans should be out in force and able to give great vocal support which could help the team to victory.

The game is not all ticket for away supporters as previously reported.

Vaughan says the side is a shambles

Chester City could be without a chairman and financial backer if Stephen Vaughan decides to quit.

According to the Chester Chronicle, Vaughan, who has invested £3m into the club was annoyed to hear remarks directed at his son during Saturday's 3-0 home defeat against Mansfield Town and about the ongoing murmurings surrounding Mark Wright's departure from the club.

Vaughan said: "I'm considering my own position at the club. I'm just not prepared to take the blame for something I had nothing to do with. I don't care how we play as long as we win. Our problems aren't about Ray Mathias, it's all about the way Mark Wright walked out on his job. It's that simple, they are all his players.

"The side is a shambles, the squad is a shambles. The money we've spent is an absolute embarrassment to me. I'm not prepared to buy any more players after the response I've received in our last two games. I'm not prepared to put another penny into the job.

"I was very disappointed with our crowd on Saturday. It was disappointing as a parent to hear the crowd booing my son, but why were they booing him? I thought he had a decent 90 minutes.I'm not the manager, at the end of the day the manager walked out and I was left with no alternative to find a replacement."

Chester City topped the Conference last season by just one point from Hereford United, but have so far had a dismal start to life in a higher league.