Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Pitman pleased with result

Speaking to Trevor Owens of BBC Hereford and Worcester after last night's victory over Blackpool, Jamie Pitman was releived the game ended with no extra time and penalties.

"We're glad it didn't go into extra time because of the big game coming up on Saturday.

"We've got the squad to do it this year. We've got a great squad of players and we can chop and change with good players to come in.

"Everyone is fighting for their place which is nice."

Graham Turner commented that it is great to be in the semi-finals for the Northern area and that he is looking forward to the draw on Saturday morning.

The two draws for the last four in the northern section and in the southern section will take place during Sky Sports 1's Soccer AM show on Saturday morning, between 9:30am and 9:45am.

Presenters Tim Jovejoy and Helen Chamberlain will do their best to watch over the draw, picking the teams one-by-one from a deck of playing cards.

The four teams contesting the northern section are Hereford United, Oldham Athletic, Tranmere Rovers and Wrexham.

And in the southern section those involved are Bristol Rovers, Leyton Orient, Southend United and Swindon Town.

Bulls burst Blackpool's bubble

Blackpool's attempts to win the LDV Vans trophy three times within four season have been foiled by Hereford United at Edgar Street this evening. An open, attack minded game provided plenty of entertainment for the crowd of 2181 including the 159 travelling supporters in which Lee Mills popped up with a late winner for the hosts, meaning United progress to the area semi finals thanks to their 2-1 success.

Graham Turner made one forced change in which Tom Smith replaced the suspended skipper Tony James in Hereford's backline. Lee Mills and Graham Hyde were named amongst the substitutes as they were rested for the weekends F.A. Cup game. Jamie Pitman and Rob Purdie took their places.

A lively opening saw Danny Williams test 'keeper Lee Jones with a twenty yard free kick before David Brown took the ball on his chest and fired wide on the turn. Matthew Blinkhorn shot form outside the box and Craig Mawson gathered at the second attempt. Mark Robinson's ball over the top of the defence found Adam Stansfield who shot narrowly wide of the far post from eighteen yards. Stansfield was involved once again on fifthteen minutes when, after receiving a high ball from the midfield, he hooked a pass over his head into the path of Pitman. The stand in captain took the ball around a defender before firing in low from around six yards for the opener.

Simon Travis went close soon after and Purdie who impressed again ran a good thirty five yards before striking well over the bar. Travis crossed from the right for Stansfield who cusioned a header towards Williams, but Mark McGregor was able to clear for a corner. Craig Stanley shot from twenty five yards and the ball dipped just over the crossbar before Tamika Mkandawire was booked on the stroke of half time. Robert Edwards crossed from the free kick and Keith Southern headed over.

Colin Hendry decided to make three changes after fifty three minutes; Richie Wellens, Scott Taylor and Peter Clarke were all introduced and it was not long before the Tangerenes equalised. Purdie had hit a tame shot at Jones after good work by Stansfield just before Blackpool attacked down the left flank. A perfect cross found Blinkhorn at the far post who converted from six yards.

Brown headed a Pitman cross wide at the far post before he played Stansfield into a brilliant position with Purdie in support. They against one defender, Purdie took a pass from his team mate before seeing his low effort saved by the hand of the 'keeper. Hereford began to mount some pressure with two counter attacks in quick succession as the game moved from end to end. A first right wing cross was just beyond Purdie in the box and a second, delivered by Travis found Brown who headed inches wide.

Blinkhorn went close again with a header for Blackpool after Keigan Parker's delivery before Parker had a glorious chance to put his side in the lead. Travis was caught out on the right and a cross went through everyone in the box and fell twelve yards out to Parker who hammered wide. With this, Hereford made a double change to their attack. Lee Mills and Danny Carey-Bertram reaplaced Brown and Stansfield in what proved to be a very good piece of subbing by Graham Turner.

After a long range effort by Parker was caught by Mawson Carey-Bertram was fouled around twenty five yards from goal in the eighty sixth minute. Mark Robinson found man of the match Smith in the box who headed towards the far post where Mills was on hand to bundle the ball over the line and send Edgar Street wild. Graham Hyde replaced Pitman as United saw out the remainder of the game with no real threat from their oppenents.

Much like the previous LDV cup ties, there has been plenty of exciting, passing football on display. It seems that the superior opposition that United have challenged has allowed this style to occur more often than it would in the league at Edgar Street. The crowd certainly got good value for their money this evening. Having knocked out the champions, Graham Turner's side must now be confident that they have the ability to go on push for a place in the final in Cardiff.

HUFC Team: Mawson, Travis, Mkandawire, Smith, Robinson, Daniel Williams, Pitman, Stanley, Purdie, Stansfield, Brown. Subs: Tretton, Scott, Carey-Bertram, Hyde, Mills

BFC Team: Jones, Richardson, Doughty, McGregor, Edwards, Wiles, Grayson, Southern, Burns, Blinkhorn, Parker. Subs: Edge, Evans, Wellens, Taylor, Clarke.

Bulls put holders out of LDV

With Jamie Pitman scoring a captain's goal in the first half and Lee Mills adding a second late in the game, Hereford United put Blackpool out of the LDV tonight.

The Seasiders did reply early in the second half, but Hereford deserved their victory in front of a good gate of over 2,000.

Watkiss played for Hereford

The new Kidderminster manager, Stuart Watkiss, spent a spell at Edgar Street in the mid-nineties.

Stuart Watkiss was with Hereford for the latter part of 1995/96. An apprentice with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Watkiss dropped into non-league football before moving back up to the league with Walsall. After almost three years at the Bescot Stadium, Watkiss had a short spell with Hereford before linking up with Mansfield Town.

He played as a central-defender joining Hereford in February 1966 and played 19 games for the Bulls.

Pitman may play tonight

Jamie Pitman is expected to start for Hereford United this evening. Graham Turner told BBC Hereford and Worcester that Pitman could replace Graham Hyde.

Turner also told the Western Daily Press that Blackpool will be a challenge for the Bulls.

"It will be a fair old challenge for us to pit our wits against another League One club," said Turner.

"I am aware that some clubs have treated the competition with less respect by fielding weakened sides, but having enjoyed the prestige, financial rewards and a couple of great days at the Millennium Stadium, I know that Blackpool will be taking the game very seriously."

Meanwhile the Blackpool team bus arrived in Herefordshire at lunchtime. Perhaps they will have time for a spot of sight-seeing before the game this evening.

A Review from Blackpool

The following is from the Blackpool Rivals Site:

A load of Bull! Hereford Preview - "One Game too far?"

By The Editor

Date: 29/11/2004

A challenge for you - prioritise the next three games: 1. An LDV game in front of about 2,000 fans with little prize money and three more games before a 'lucrative' final. 2. An FA Cup game at home with the prize of a 'big name' draw. 3. A home league game which is a 'six pointer' against Torquay.

I'd be surprised if once you've put those matches in terms of imporance, you don't get a Ted Rodgers (ie 3-2-1!). The league has always got to come first, the FA Cup undoubtedly second and I'm afraid despite our success in it, the LDV Vans Trophy is still a poor third. I was talking to a 'big footie fan' the other day - season ticket holder at Highbury, follows England across the world and had a fairly decent knowledge of lower league football. When I was telling him about Blackpool and the LDV Vans Trophy he had to ask 'What's that for' - amazingly (or maybe not!) he'd never heard of the LDV Vans Trophy. Just as I couldn't tell you who won last year's FA Umbro Trophy or FA Vase, I think you'll find that few Premiership or even Championship fans will know who won last season's LDV Vans Trophy (if they know what it is at all!).

Not that this detracts in anyway what we have achieved in this competition over the last three years. However on this occasion, more than at any other time over the last few years, this game is probably one too many. Before anyone accuses me of being a kiljoy or 'not a fan' (that seems the en vogue criticism at the moment!), I'll still be making the pilgramage to Edgar Street tonight and hope that we win. However if Colin Hendry sends out the Bloomfield Road ball boys and the tea lady I wouldn't blame him. With so many injuries in the squad and Saturday's game against Port Vale on the horizon, I wouldn't risk anyone who is either not entirely fully fit or crucial to Saturday's game. So I'm hoping Clarke, Wellens and Taylor all get left behind and some of the kids find their way on to the coach.

Final Suspension

So who does that leave and who'll be left? Well we can rule out Murphy, Bullock and Clare, probably Edwards and Evans and of course Danny Coid is suspended. So in will come Doughty at the back, probably Wiles on the right wing and Blinkhorn and Parker will have to start up front. The likes of Mangan, Whittaker, Paterson and Lawlor will probably find themselves on the bench unless Hendry decides to do as he did against Huddersfield and put some of his experienced pros like Wellens and Taylor on the bench just in case he feels he could use them later on in the game.

So to Hereford and other than carting a bull around Edgar Street before the start of matches, I have to confess I don't know that much about their team - let alone what they're doing in the Northern section of the LDV Vans Trophy! Hereford are a club who are prime for a Football League return but seem incapable of taking that extra step and progressing up to League Two. This season they were in touch with the top two until they went on a run of results that saw them fail to win in six matches. However a couple of wins against Canvey Island and Tamworth has put them back in fourth place in the Conference.

Hereford have already taken the scalps of Scunthorpe and Doncaster in this competition (both at home, both ended up 1-1 and they won both games on penalties!) and will be looking for their third tonight. Less than 1,400 turned up to those games so anywhere near 2,000 would be considered a good crowd at Edgar Street. The experienced Lee Mills leads the line for the Bulls and along with Adam Stansfield they've scored 18 goals already between them this season. Other than those two, none of the Hereford squad will be that familiar for 'Pool fans.

I'll be disappointed if we don't win (well let's face it you don't travel through Birmingham at 6pm on a weeknight if you're going to lose) but I'll confess if our names isn't in the hat for the next round I can't say it would ruin my week!

Monday, November 29, 2004

Bulls challenge Champions

Hereford United are just four games, three ties, away from a trip to the Millenium Stadium, Cardiff, in the LDV Vans Trophy final. However, current holders Blackpool will provide a stern test for United in the area quarter finals this evening at Edgar Street, kick off 7.45 p.m. Blackpool have been champions of the competition twice in the past two seasons and so they will not be taking this game against Hereford lightly.

Colin Hendry's side are currently twenty-second in League One thus confidence cannot be too high at Bloomfield Road. The Tangerine Army have been on some indifferent form lately, winning three and loosing three of their past six outings. Blackpool remain in the F.A. Cup however as they beat Tranmere earlier this month.

Hendry will have to make do without defender Rob Clare who injured his ankle during last weekends' 1-0 defeat at Barnsley and also has Joe Murphy, Martin Bullock and Gareth Evans out due to injury. Danny Coid is suspended for the game.

"We'll try and give some of the fringe players a run out on Tuesday evening, I feel we have enough in those players to more than compete with teams of a lower level than ourselves. However, there is no way we would travel to any club and show them any disrespect because there are banana skins in every cup competition," Hendry told his official site.

"We've beaten York and Tamworth from the Conference so far this season and we will prepare for the Hereford game in the same way as we would any other.

"I know that we must try and retain this trophy, but not at the expense of doing well in the league or even a good run in the FA Cup."

Graham Turner may choose to rest a couple of his players with the F.A. Cup game taking place at the weekend, but will not want to weaken the side too much. Tony James will certainly miss out as he serves his one match ban for a red card received on Saturday. It is expected that Tom Smith will take his place although Andy Tretton is close to fitness following his groin injury. Ryan Green is still sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Graham Hyde may be rested with Jamie Pitman ready to step into his place and also Lee Mills may only play a small part in the game. Rob Purdie is likely to be given more of a run out than he has been getting recently following a spell out injured.

Hereford's players will be able to test themselves against better opposition in the game which should prove good practice for the F.A. Cup second round tie against Boston next weekend. Neither side will want to be knocked out as the final stages begin to close in. The game is sure to be full of excitement and passion and, with a good United performace against a side struggling in League One, the Northern section semi-final is not too much of an unrealistic proposition.

Urgent need for new players

The Blackpool manager, Colin Hendry, continued his search for new players today after admitting the situation is becoming more "desperate" reports the Blackpool Gazette.

The Seasiders boss - who saw his side slump to a 1-0 defeat at Barnsley and drop to third bottom in the table - wants to bring in a striker and a midfielder as quickly as possible.And the need for new players has become increasingly urgent because of injury to a number of key players.John Murphy looks set to be out for at least another week with a gash to his foot while defender Rob Clare was on crutches following an ankle injury at Barnsley on Saturday.

Hendry has been trying for a variety of different players during the last few weeks but his frantic efforts to bring in reinforcements have so far been blocked.It is understood he tried for at least two strikers on Friday - both big targetmen - but neither deal came to fruition.Hendry has other players on his wanted list and the manager was at his desk first thing today to try and bring in a new face.

"It's a long-playing record this topic," said Hendry. "You go through all the different obstacles to try and obtain a player. The player has to want to come, the finance has to be right, the club has to want to let him out ... it is just obstacle after obstacle when you are trying to sign someone, especially with such a busy period coming up with Christmas and New Year. Most of the teams we are looking at obtaining players from are in a higher division. They have not even entered the FA Cup yet so it's difficult, but we will keep at it.

"I do think that if we were to get two or three players of quality in that would make the difference and we will be trying that from today onwards. We had people out at the weekend to watch players with a view to seeing how they got on and trying to do something.

"It becomes a bit more desperate the more injuries we get. But as you get a new injury, you hope that one of the lads already injured is ready to come back, a kind of rotation. You hope for a little bit of luck in that department ... because we're certainly not getting that on the pitch.

"But we are thin, very thin now, as you can see by the kids we had on the bench. They were second year scholars, younger lads, and it's not good when you have to do that.

"Martin Bullock will undergo further tests on his injured hamstring at a hospital in Preston today. The results will determine how close he is to a comeback."

With the FA Cup on Saturday it is just possible that Blackpool will field an under-strength side at Edgar Street tomorrow.

Bulls to travel to Stanley

Hereford United have been drawn away to Accrington Stanley in the third round of the FA Trophy.

The tie is due to take place on Saturday January 15th. Should a replay be required it will take place the following week.

Ten days later on January 25th Hereford United play in yet another another Cup competition when they travel to Burton Albion for a Conference Cup match.

Meanwhile Carlisle have drawn Redditch, who have several ex-Hereford United players in their side.

Several Cumbrians have already suggested that they really couldn't have had an easier draw and should cruise through. It seems highly likely therefore that the Conference game between the Bulls and Carlisle due to take place on February 5th will be postponed as the 4th round of the trophy is due to take place on that date.

James to miss LDV game only

It has been confirmed on that Tony James, the Hereford United captain, will only miss tomorrow's LDV game with Blackpool as a result of him being sent off last Saturday.

Boxing Day at Exeter.

Exeter City football club have confirmed details for the visit of Hereford United on Boxing Day.

The game will kick-off at 1pm, purely on Police say-so. The club have not requested this start time.

Admission will be £11 and £6 for concessions. There is no higher charge for a seat in the old grandstand.

As the game is all-ticket for Hereford United fans, details will be announced as to when tickets will be on sale. This should be well before Christmas.

Admission charges for LDV

Hereford United has announced that fans will be charged £12 to sit, with £9 for concessions for the LDV game tomorrow against Blackpool.

Entry to the Meadow End will be £10 and £6 for concessions.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Will James miss three matches?

Tony James, the Hereford United captain, was sent off yesterday and will miss Tuesday's LDV Cup tie with Blackpool at Edgar Street.

However until the referee's report on the game is considered it is not certain how many games James will miss. There are two laws which the sending-off could come under.

c) Players sent off Under Law 12 (4) and (5)

A player who is dismissed from the field of play for denying a goal or an obvious goal scoring opportunity by physical means or by handling the ball, will be suspended automatically from all approved first team matches commencing forthwith, until such time as his club's first team has completed its next match in an approved competition.

e) Players sent off under law 12 (1) + (2) and (3)

A player who is dismissed from the field of play for Violent Conduct, Serious Foul Play or spitting at an opponent or any other person, whether he has previously been cautioned in the match or not, will be suspended automatically from playing football in any match including non- First Team matches commencing forthwith and until such time as his Club's First Team has completed its next three matches in approved Competitions.

If the latter rule is used James will also miss the FA Cup game with Boston and the Conference game against Forest Green Rovers. However there has to be some doubt whether the sending off was for serious foul play. Hopefully the referee will have judged it to be the lesser offence.

Meanwhile Hereford United's opponents on Tuesday, Blackpool, were recently fined £5,000 and reprimanded after trouble in a League game.

The Seasiders' midfielder Danny Coid was handed a three game suspension for his part in the brawl which marred the 1-1 draw with Colchester United last month.

The versatile 23-year-old will miss the LDV Vans Trophy clash at Hereford.

Under 18's lose Cup Game

Hereford United's under 18's were beaten 4-0 by a strong Portsmouth side yesterday.

The game which took place at the Wellington Sports Ground was a second round Alliance Youth Cup tie.

Pompy were two up by half time and scored two more on the hour.

The Hereford side were said to be unable to match the strength of their opponents.

Turner happy with three points

Hereford United manager, Graham Turner, was happy with three points from yesterday's game with Tamworth.

"I thought we showed a lot of character to hang on to that, particularly after the goal they scored," Turner told the Non-League Paper.

"It was a careless mistake but a finish of the highest quality. There are not many players about who can do that, especially at this level.

"You could see that the goal gave Tamworth a real boost but we stuck to the task and did alright. we didn't let them get back into the game after the sending-off and had two good chances ourselves.

"Danny Williams was close to reaching his and Craig Stanley's been scoring for fun in training from chances like he had out there today.

"It was hard to see from the dug-out whether Tony James was the laast man for the sending-off but if referee decides that he was then he's got no alternastive but to send him off."

Meanwhile the attendance of 2714 yesterday was higher than for the corresponding game last season when Farnborough were the visitors. That game had a gate of 2630 even though it came just four days after the Bulls had defeated Halifax 7-1 at Edgar Street.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Ref sends Tamworth manager to the stands

Referee Bob Desmond sent the Tamworth manager to the stands this afternoon at Edgar Street after a discussion about an incident.

Mark Cooper, who has been in charge of the Lambs since last May, appeared to lose his rag after Lee Mills was charged down by Matt Redmile after the big Tamworth player missed a header.

Redmile was given a yellow card.

Meanwhile before the game commenced, stewards was thought to be looking for someone who had entered the ground whilst banned. It is beleived that a supporter recognised the man and reported his presence to a steward.

Bulls hold out against Lambs

Hereford United's two first half goals were enough to claim all three points in their Conference encounter against Tamworth this afternoon at Edgar Street. The Lambs rarely troubled United but for a fifthteen minute spell in the second half following the dismissal of skipper Tony James.

As expected, Graham Turner kept his winning side and only made one change to the subs bench. Fit again centre back Tom Smith was named in place of Andy Williams.

Hereford started the stronger and their first attempt resulted in the opening goal. Man of the match Tamika Mkandawire collected a long ball from the once again impressive Graham Hyde and won a corner on the right. Danny Williams swung it into the near post where Mkandawire was on hand to nod into the ground and the ball bounced into the net. Despite the massive presence of Matthew Redmile, Hereford's best chances were coming in the air. After fourteen minutes Mills headed Adam Stansfield's left wing cross wide at the far post.

The Bulls two striker's linked up well when Mills returned Stansfield's pass but 'keeper Ryan Price narrowly beat Stansfield to the through ball. Mills then struck a second long range effort over the bar as he spinned away from his marker before he doubled United's advantage. Two Tamworth players collided when challenging for the same ball as it fell to Williams on the right. One of the players remained on the ground, appearing to hold his head but the ref allowed the game to continue. Williams' pin point cross was headed into the top corner by Mill's for 2-0 after thirty one minutes.

David Brown had a good run and a shot wide from twenty yards as Hereford continued with their total domination. However, following a sequence of passes by Hereford Tony James misjudged a Mark Robinson pass and allowed Taylor to find the back of the net with an absolute screamer from fourty yards or so. Craig Mawson was well off his line and Taylor showed incredible vision to spot this, and executed the shot perfectly. The remaining seven minutes of the half were played out without much incident; the score at half time was 2-1.

Tamworth started the second period with a renewed confidence and started to attack a little more. A long ball was knocked down by Taylor and his striker partner Dean Curtis shot wide from twenty yards. Then came some hefty challenges, particulaly by Matt Redmile and his Tamworth team mates, and the referee risked loosing control of the game. It was not a player he sent off with about ten minutes of the half gone, but Tamworth boss Mark Cooper who had previously been warned about his conduct. Mr. Bob Desmond ordered Cooper away from the dugout.

Tony James caught Bob Taylor on the edge of the box as he attempted to clear the ball, but was beaten to it by the striker. After consulting his assistant, the referee showed a red card to the captain as he was judged to be the last man and a free kick was awarded on the edge of the box. The defensive wall did it's job though, and the ball was deflected for a corner. Graham Turner made a change then, Smith was bought on in defence and Brown was sacrificed. This change was shortly followed by Stansfield being replaced by Rob Purdie who will not be on the bench for much longer if he keeps up his current performaces.

Curtis carried the main threat to Mawson's goal for the Lambs; Simon Travis got in the way of his powerful goal bound effort before he smashed the frame of the goal from a very tight angle on the right. He was replaced soon after by James Francis and the massive Matt Redmile was sent up front as Tamworth looked to take advantage of their extra man. This was not succesful however, as United came back into the game and started to look the stronger again.

Purdie had an excellent run from inside his own half, skinning three players on the way, before Adie Smith made a good challenge as the last man. Purdie, Craig Stanley and Lee Mills combined well on the left flank and Purdie delivered a perfect cross for Williams to put the game beyond doubt. However, Williams who stretched a leg towards the ball was just inches away from turning it into the net. Hyde set Travis up on the right but he struck over from the edge of the box and Mills found Stanley unmarked in the area, but he sliced his volley wide.

Tamworth won a free kick in the second minute of five added at the end of the game. Redmile was pushed right on the edge of the box but once again Hereford's wall did its job as Scott Stamps hit the ball against them and won a corner. 'Keeper Price was up for the corner but it was caught by Mawson. He hammered the ball out of his hands goal bound but Smith was back to collect it in his own box.

Watched by a crowd of 2714, 151 away supporters, Hereford performed very well and had it not been for a touch of sloppy play that let Taylor equalise and had James not been sent off, United could well have matched the score line that they beat Caney Island by last week. The home players worked their socks off and got the result they deserved. The gap has now been closed on Carlisle who lost at York today, but Barnet remain top after a good 3-2 win at Aldershot.

HUFC Team: Mawson, Travis, Robinson, James, Mkandawire, Brown, Hyde, Stanley, Williams, Stansfield, Mills. Subs: Smith, Scott, Pitman, Purdie, Carey-Bertram.

TFC: Price, Smith, Culkin, Redmile, Ebdon, Curtis, Simpson, Stamps, Turner, Robinson, Taylor, Subs: Francis, Smith, Cooper, Storer, Whitman

James disappointed with sending-off

Hereford United's Tony James told of his disappointment at being dismissed in today's 2-1 win over Tamworth at Edgar Street

Speaking to BBC Hereford & Worcester's Peter McMillan, the United skipper said: "I'm not sure what ban I get but I think it does start on Tuesday so I'll miss the LDV game against Blackpool."

"This game was the important one, to begin with," James added, as Hereford play four matches at Edgar Street in eleven days. "To get three points was important, and with two good cup games, we'll be looking forward to getting some wins in them too."

Of a Conference title challenge, James acknowledges that it is an uphill task for the Bulls: "We'll just keep plugging away. You'll hope Barnet will slip up a bit but with Carlisle, if we can keep up with them, we won't be far off."

Bulls victorious over Lambs

Hereford United won 2-1 over Tamworth at Edgar Street this afternoon.

Tamika Mkandawire put United into the lead after just five minutes, and Lee Mills doubled the advantage on the half-hour mark. However, seven minutes before half time, Bob Taylor pulled a goal back, and Hereford had skipper Tony James sent off after the restart. Nevertheless, Graham Turner's men held on for victory.

More later.

Tamika has been consistent

Adam Stansfield has told the Evening News that the centre-half partnership of Tony James and Tamika Mkandawire has contributed to the recent run of better results for Hereford United.

"We have certainly improved over the last few weeks. The defence has been awesome, Tamika and Tony have been really solid and put in some excellent performances. When they play so well, it gives the whole team a lift and it just leaves you to worry about your own game.

"Tamika has been the consistent one, while Tony has come back well after a dip in form. Every team has got their club captain that everybody idolises and respects, and that's the same with the players when Tony is there."

Stansfield scored two late goals at Canvey Island last Saturday to take his Conference tally this season to nine.

"It was a good result at Canvey. The main thing was just to get our league form back on track. After now winning our two cup games and winning in the league, we feel as though we've turned the corner."

The striker also said that the club is very excited about playing Boston United in the FA Cup next Saturday.

"It will be the icing on the cake for us if we can make it to the third round. It's a lot of fun to still be involved in the competition and I know our fans are really excited about it.

"When I was at Yeovil, they managed to draw Liverpool in the third round last season but I was on the bench. If we did get through, I would like us to get Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.

"My dad and bigger brother were supporters of Forest and they used to take me there when I was younger."

Friday, November 26, 2004

Bans at Aldershot

Three men have been banned from all football grounds for five years after violence erupted following a match reports Shotsweb.

A crowd of around 50 poeple confronted police outside the Recreation Ground following Aldershot's league match with Carlisle on September 25. Some of the group also tried to attack Carlisle fans as they boarded a train.

The football club helped police trap some of the culprits and CCTV images of the suspects were published in the local paper.

Three men have already been dealt with at Alton Magistrates Court after they admitted public order offences.

Danny O'Shea, 21, of Yeomans Close, Tongham was jailed for three months and banned from attending matches for five years.

Norman Breakspeare, 36, of Greyhound Close, Ash was fined £580 and banned from attending matches for five years.

Andrew McKenna, 31, of Perowne Street, Aldershot was fined £380 and banned from attending matches for five years.

Gareth Stone, 24, of Gloucester Road Aldershot was remanded in custody to reappear before Alton magistrates today (Fri 26th).

Hampshire Police's football intelligence unit, said: "This is a clear message to all those who may wish to involve themselves in football disorder".

"The sentences passed show that the police and the courts will not tolerate this type of violent behaviour at football matches."

No repeat of last year

Graham Turner is hoping that there will be no repeat of last year tomorrow when Tamworth visited Edgar Street and took three points home with them.

"It wasn't just the Tamworth game where we dropped points last season. We dropped them against Leigh RMI, Burton Albion and Woking. What we have got to do is make sure we don't let that happen again," Turner told the Evening News.

"We've hit a little bit of form again and winning is a habit. There is a feel-good factor about the place and there is a belief that we can now put a string of results together in the league.

"We were starting to slip beneath the teams at the top and it was important to get back up there. We played very well at Canvey Island, it was a comprehensive result.

"The way we passed the ball and the amount of chances we created really pleased me."

Meanwhile Tamworth manager Mark Cooper's men know they face a tough test at Hereford United's Edgar Street.

The official Tamworth site reports that Tamworth will be looking to continue their good run in the league and push on and up the table but Cooper is playing down all talk of a play off place.

"We have set ourselves a target of points by Christmas and are on target at the moment. We are not specifically aiming for the play offs, but obviously we will not be that far away if we continue to play well and continue to chalk up the points.

Tamworth will be without David Bampton who has failed to recover in time after limping off with a thigh strain before half-time against Gravesend last week.

But Scott Stamps, who suffered a dead-leg late on in the same game, is available for selection.

Player-manager Mark Cooper will also return after sitting out the Gravesend game due to a one-match ban.

Cooper said: "We're looking forward to the game. It will be tough for us against probably the best footballing team in the league, but we're on a roll and we'll be looking to keep that going."

One player who will not feature tomorrow is Chad Sheppard who has gone on a months loan to Redditch United.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Bulls face tough Tamworth test

Hereford United will play the first of four home games in eleven days against Tamworth tomorrow afternoon. Two league games and two cup games mean that the Bulls will be kept busy over the next week or so as they look to hit a winning streak. Hereford, fourth in the league, will be hoping for a repeat of last Saturdays stunning performace at Canvey. However, Tamworth, who shocked everyone with a 1-0 victory at Edgar Street last season, may prove more of a test. They are currently the form side in the Conference.

Tamworth have won their last four league games most recently away at Gravesend and Northfleet so confidence will certainly be no problem for the Lambs. Player manager Mark Cooper has ex-Baggie Bob Taylor on hot form up front so United's defensive partnership of Tamika Mkandawire and Tony James may well have a challenge in keeping him quiet. The giant Matt Redmile will start in Tamworth defence too. Having played against Hereford for Scarborough and Barnet last season the Bulls will remember him well when he returns to Edgar Street with his new side. The other name that may interest some at Hereford is Mark Turner, son of the Bulls boss Graham.

Graham Turner is expected to name an unchanged squad from the one that demolished Canvey Island last weekend. The Bulls have no new injury worries but Andy Tretton and Ryan Green are both remain sidelined with hamstring injuries. Green is currently undergoing rehabilitation for his problem at Lilleshall. Tom Smith will be in contention for a place having completed a full weeks training following his ankle injury. He may well make the bench however it is very unlikely that he will be starting due to the solid performance from James and Mkandawire in recent weeks.

A victory would see the Bulls go a fifth game unbeaten in all competitions and would possibly see them move up one place in the league. Hereford haven't been beaten at Edgar Street since the visit of Halifax Town at the start of September. Should United avoid defeat tomorrow they will have gone nine home games without defeat.

Better Pies at Boston

In the unlikely event of an FA Cup replay at Boston on December 14th, Hereford United's connoisseurs of stadium food will be delighted to know that the Lincolnshire club has won an award for its catering.

According to the Official Boston site, Dunmore Butchers, the official matchday caterer of Boston United, have won a prestigious national award at an event staged in Birmingham.

Sally Dunmore and her company have been selected by visiting supporters as the winners of the away fans' choice of League Two caterer of the year in the Football Hospitality Awards 2004.

They were shortlisted for the award alongside Mansfield Town, Northampton Town, Notts County and Scunthorpe United, and were duly named winners at the Villa Park event, home of Aston Villa FC.

As yet Bulls News have not heard of an award involving catering at Conference clubs.

Turner pleased with Mawson signing

Craig Mawson is good value for his contract says Graham Turner, the Hereford United manager.

The ex Oldham and Morecambe goalkeeper has stepped into Johnathan Gould's shoes as the Scottish International has returned to Preston.

Originally signed for a month, Mawson was offered a rest of the season contract a week ago.

"He's done well and we're very pleased with that signing. It looked as though there would be a big hole left when Gould left to go back to Preston and almost went straight back into the Preston side," Turner told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"Craig has come in and filled the bill more than adequately."

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Turner trains as Brickie

Graham Turner has taken time off football to help with the construction of the dressing room extension at Edgar Street this week.

The Hereford United manager and his coach, John Trewick, are pictured in this mornings Hereford Times with both a hammer and brick in their hands.

Stadium manager, Colin Oliver, is in charge of the project and outside brickies are currently helping him.

Anyone who wishes to have a name of an individual or companies on a brick can do so by paying £25. Contact the club on 01432276666 for further details.

Derby instead of Stoke for Conference play-off?

It is being reported this morning by this is Derbyshire that Pride Park could be hosting this season's Conference play-off.

Derby County's Pride Park Stadium has emerged as a strong favourite to stage the Nationwide Conference play-off final in May.

Pride Park or Stoke City's Britannia Stadium will be handed the fixture and a decision could be made next week.

Stoke have hosted the final in the past two seasons but Conference officials are looking at a possible change.

They have already had "very productive" meetings with Derby.

"We had no problems staging the first two finals at Stoke City and they were very successful but it is good to look at alternatives," said Conference chief executive John Moules.

"We have been delighted with the discussions we've had with Derby County and Pride Park is a magnificent stadium and a very strong candidate.

"At this stage of the season we do not know who the finalists will be in May and so the venue needs to be somewhere appropriate for a national competition."

The Conference play-off final was introduced in 2002-03. Both have been held at Stoke and televised live on Sky.

A crowd of 19,216 watched Shrewsbury Town book a place in the Football League by beating Aldershot Town on penalties earlier this year.

In May 2003, Doncaster Rovers defeated Dagenham & Redbridge in front of 13,092.

Moules said the Conference had been delighted by the success of the play-offs.

"They have realised everything we hoped they would," he added.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Date for Morecambe game

The Hereford United/ Morecambe away game which has been postponed because of the FA Cup match against Boston is now to take place on Tuesday February 22nd.

The kick-off will be at 7.45pm.

Bulls at 10-1 to win Conference

The odds against Hereford United winning the Conference have moved outwards during the past few weeks. Two bookmakers are now offering 10-1, most others are at 8-1.

The best price comes from Totesport and Premierbet.

Carlisle are now outright favourites to win at around 5-4 with Barnet close behind at 7-4.

Despite being joint fourth in the Conference table, Hereford's price is lower than all the other clubs around them. Halifax who are third are available at about 16-1 and Accrington, Aldershot and Stevenage, all of whom have the same number of points as Hereford are at 33-1, 17-1 and 18-1 respectively.

The following prices can be found for winning the Conference Cup: Carlisle (8/1), Hereford (8/1), Aldershot (10/1), Barnet (12/1), Morecambe (12/1), Canvey Island (14/1).

For the FA Cup, Hereford United are available at 1000-1 at Stan James, and for the LDV, the Bulls are at 25-1 at Bet 365 and 33-1 at Skybet

243 at Canvey

Bulls News has been told by Canvey Island football club this morning that 243 Hereford United supporters made the game in Essex last Saturday.

This is a very good turnout of Bulls fans considering the long distance from Herefordshire.

The Canvey club also suggested that Hereford United were " by far the best team we have played so far this season and you never let us play. (We certainly aren't that poor normally)."

Monday, November 22, 2004

Bulls miss Sky at New Year

Hereford United have not been chosen by Sky to feature in their three match New Year coverage of Conference football.

Sky will cover two games on January 2nd. They are Barnet against Stevenage with a 12.15pm start and Carlisle against Morecambe with a 2.15pm start.

The following day Sky will cover Hailfax against Accrington with a 12.05pm start.

Hereford United are due to play Exeter at Edgar Street on Saturday January 1st with a 3pm kick-off, but that may be subject to change.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Calm before the Storm

Hereford United have a clear week before their next fixture but then play five games, four of which are at home, in a fortnight. And if the FA Cup game is drawn then it could mean seven games in three weeks.

The action starts next Saturday with a Conference game against improving Tamworth at Edgar Street. The following Tuesday evening sees the Bulls take on Blackpool in a LDV Northern Area quarter final match. This game has to have a winner on the night so could go to extra time with penalties if not decided. Both previous LDV games have gone to penalties.

The following Saturday, December 4th, sees second round FA Cup action at Edgar Street when Boston are the visitors. Should a replay be needed this is expected to take place on December 14th.

Forest Green Rovers are the visitors on Tuesday December 7th for an evening Conference League fixture and finally the Bulls are due to make the long trip to Scarborough on the following Saturday for another Conference game.

To add to the fixture list will be a new date for the visit of Hereford to Morecambe which has been postponed as it was due to take place on December 4th, FA Cup day.

Should the Bulls lose the LDV game they will receive £8,000 and should the Bulls win the FA Cup game the prize money is £24,000 with the possibility of £13,000 if televised highlights are shown.

At present virtually all the Hereford squad are fit. Only Andy Tretton and Ryan Green missed yesterday's match at Canvey through injury and neither are thought to be far from fit.

Thankfully, Hereford should not be troubled for now with suspensions as they have only three players with more than one yellow card. Captain Tony James, Lee Mills and Danny Williams are on two yellows, whilst Tretton, Green, Hyde, Smith, Robinson, Stanley and Pitman have collected one yellow card each. The other three cards Hereford have collected this season were all given to Johnathan Gould who has returned to Preston.

An appreciation of Edgar Street

Grounds Tour is a collection of information about football grounds both in the Conference and other leagues written by Steve Johnson. He visited Edgar Street last season and below are his views about Hereford and its ground.

With me about to change jobs, I was having a leaving night-out on the Friday, so decided that it was probably best not to venture to far afield on the Saturday. Feeling considerably the worse for wear, I left home around 9am to catch a train to Liverpool Lime Street. I caught a train from there to Crewe, then changed for the Cardiff-bound Wales & Border service to Hereford. It was like an Indian summer, with clear blue skies and soaring temperatures. As the train pulled into Hereford station, the floodlights of the ground were clearly visible in the distance, but I grabbed some lunch in a cafe by the station before heading for the ground around 1:15pm.

The town centre of Hereford was a hive of activity and it seemed like quite a charming, thriving place. There were extensive signposts for pedestrians around the town centre, but few indicating the route for the football ground. However, I knew the rough direction I needed to be heading in and it wasn't long before the stadium and the adjacent cattle market were in sight. Unlike at Scarborough the previous Saturday, there already seemed to be lots going on around the ground, with queues formed outside some of the turnstiles.

Edgar Street was clearly showing its age from the outside, but at the same time was far from being in a state of disrepair and appeared to be well maintained. I thought the matchday programme was very poor, however, with the limited number of pages littered with adverts and offering very few articles at all. The floodlights in the ground looked unusual, with their outline a similar shape to the Eiffel Tower, with frames at the top to hold the actual lights. There were very few lights actually attached, however, giving the towers a somewhat odd appearance, eccentuated by the presence of mobile phone masts. The turnstiles for the Meadow terrace also stood out, with access gained via steps to the rear of this stand. There was ample parking behind this end of the ground in a large pay-and-display car park, with other off-street parking also in plentiful supply in the vicinity.

The turnstiles opened shortly before 2pm. After taking a brief look inside the Legends bar in the Merton Stand, I made my way through the turnstiles into this stand and was surprised to receive a ticket stub from the gateman. I had seen relatively few pictures of Edgar Street and it hadn't been possible to view much of the ground from the outside, so I wasn't sure what to expect inside the stadium. The appearance of Edgar Street certainly didn't meet with my vague pre-conceptions, however, as whilst the stadium was hardly modern, it did not look dated as I had expected. All four stands had an attractive, charming appearance and it was refreshing to see a delightful, traditional venue still in excellent condition.

My ticket was for an unreserved seat in the Merton Stand. This ran the length of the pitch, with the seating raised a good height above the playing surface. To the front of this stand was a low roof, with offices and the club bar overlooking the pitch below. On the roof of these offices and the bar were a series of pots with flowers, hardly a sight you expect to see at the side of a football pitch, but a nice touch nonetheless. The Merton Stand had a steep rake and offered unrestricted views of the pitch, with ample leg room. A gym was located in the stand whilst another unusual feature were the umpteen flights of steps. The stand was accessed by a walkway in front of the seating area, but it was not possible to walk the full length of the stand along this walkway, with steps leading down to the turnstiles and exit gates and a separate set of steps having to be climbed to get back on the walkway and continue along the stand. Whilst several seats were marked for season ticket holders, I was able to pick an excellent vantage point towards the Meadow terrace, on the front row of the stand.

Opposite the Merton Stand was the Len Weston Stand. This was a narrow double-decker stand that also ran the full length of the pitch and was split equally between home and away fans. The top tier contained a few rows of seating, with a small terrace below. This stand was of a similar height to the Merton Stand although the seated capacity of the latter was far greater. The Len Weston Stand, as with the Merton Stand, was able to offer spectators unrestricted views of the playing surface.

At either end of the ground was partially covered terracing, given a unique character through curving away from the pitch behind each goal. The terraces were similar in size, with the Blackfriars Street End closed for this match. Looking at this terrace, it appeared that this must previously have been allocated partly to away fans as the terrace was split into two sections, with a "no-man's land" in between. It struck me as unusual to see the issue of segregating fans clearly being taken into consideration when designing the terrace, thus making the standard netting usually needed to separate spectators redundant. A scoreboard was situated under the roof of this stand. Edgar Street struck me as a venue that really needs to be seen "in the flesh" - pictures of the ground don't seem to do it justice and whilst new grounds may be an impressive sight, few come anywhere near matching venues such as Hereford United's home for character and genuine warmth.

With the appearance of Edgar Street making such a good impression on me, I knew that if the game did not disappoint, I would have enjoyed excellent value for money at Hereford United. As kick-off approached, it was obvious a large crowd was gathering. With the Blackfriars Street End closed and half of both tiers of the Len Weston Stand given over to the 35 or so Scarborough fans, there were only two and a half sides of the stadium left for home supporters. It was announced around 2:50pm that the Merton Stand was completely sold out, whilst space on the Meadow terrace also seemed to be at a premium. There was room for a few more in the home section of the Len Weston Stand but this was still very well populated. The Blackfriars Street End seemed to be closed through choice rather than necessity and with such a large crowd gathered at Edgar Street, I was puzzled why the whole of the ground wasn't open. A total crowd approaching 5000 would indicate the club certainly has the fanbase to go with an excellent stadium that would make a return to the '92' most welcome.

Most of the atmosphere during the game came from the home fans on the Meadow terrace, although the Hereford fans in other parts of the ground did join in on a few occasions. The two Hereford goals brought scenes of delerium as the home supporters went wild. There were a lot of families sat in the Merton Stand and plenty of characters, including one young girl who screamed at the referee that she could do a better job than him! The ground rarely fell silent and watching the game from the Merton Stand was certainly enjoyable. I moved slightly further back in the stand for the 2nd half to escape the warm glare of the sun, but finding available seats was something of a challenge! Hereford's bull mascot kept the fans entertained and seemed just as popular with the parents as their children!

The train journey back home went smoothly and as the fans filtered out of the ground at the final whistle, I was sad to be leaving Edgar Street. With friendly, welcoming supporters, a traditional ground with decent facilities and what looks like an excellent team on the pitch, Edgar Street is amongst the best football grounds I have visited. A particularly appealing aspect of a trip to Hereford United must also be the fact that, like Northampton Town, the club has a sizeable following of very attractive female supporters! I have heard much about the activities at the ground for an FA Cup tie, with a prize bull led around the ground and the blessing of the swede. I would certainly welcome the chance to return to the stadium for an FA Cup tie. There are few venues remaining like Edgar Street and football grounds such as the home of Hereford United should be cherished. Every aspect of a trip to Edgar Street is superb.

For much more please visit

Well worth the hassle of the M 25

To watch Hereford United put on a display of football in line with their best away performamces last season made the trip to Canvey so worthwhile, even if most of the Hereford area based supporters had a nightmare journey back home.

With severe congestion on the M25, some supporters took alternative routes. But few returned home without some delay.

It was disappointing not to see a larger home following at the match. The gate was given as 921, but at the end of the game there were probably more Hereford fans in the ground as a fair proportion of Canvey supporters had left early.

After the game Canvey manager, Jeff King, that his side had been well beaten.

"Hereford looked a very good side, probably the best we've faced in the league this season," King told the Non-League Paper.

John Trewick, the Hereford United coach, was delighted with the result.

"We fully deserved our success today and it was a good all-round team effort.

"We were very dominant in the opening half and should have led by more than 2-0 at the interval. They changed the way they were playing at half-time without really troubling us.

"But we'll settle for four and look to build on this after our recent bad run in the Conference."

Danny Williams also spoke about the game to BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"A good result. Everybody has played their part. Superb goal from Millsy.

Describing his goal Williams continued: "Stansfield came down the right and put it on a plate for me. Good finish, good goal.

Talking about Adam Stansfield's part in the game Williams said: "He could have had a hatrick today.

"He had a couple of chances before he scored and he's done well in the end to get his goals."

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Bulls from last year return

Hereford United claimed their first victory in seven league games this afternoon at Park Lane where Canvey Island were the hosts. The Bulls won convincingly and showed some of the form that they produced in last years' superb campaign. The attacking style and fluency had returned to the United side as they demolished the Gulls 4-0.

Ryan Green, Andy Tretton and Tom Smith were Hereford's three abenstees as they named an unchanged starting eleven from last weeks F.A. Cup success at Southport. Tony James played despite pre-match doubts about his fitness and David Brown, who was replaced with a calf injury early in the game last week, started in the midfield once again.

Ollie Berquez shot wide of the far post before Lee Mills had the first of many shots in the afternoon. Tamika Mkandawire played a ball onto Mills' chest and the attacker turned and struck a twenty five yarder just over the bar. Simon Travis, who caused the Canvey defence problems all match with his runs from right back, crossed for Brown who set up Graham Hyde to volley against Gavin Cowan.

Mills opened the scoring after thirteen minutes with a wonderful finish in the top corner from just outside of the box. Travis passed to the target man who turned and unleashed thunderous shot beyond the reach of 'keeper Danny Potter. Jeff Minton played a ball over the top and an attacker got a shot away although James blocked it for a corner. Soon after United had doubled their advantage.

Adam Stansfield chased what seemed to be a lost cause, as an overhit ball fell close to the corner flag, and managed to skin his marker before crossing low from the byline into the front post. Danny Williams slid in to divert the ball into the back of the net. Mills shot again from distance, this time the ball just flew wide of the bottom corner. Craig Stanley was on the end of Mills' cross just before half time, but his volley was wide. The confidence in a side that hadn't won in six league games was incredible, and the brilliant passages of passing made this evident.

Canvey's half time sub saw the introduction of Matthew Joseph who had little impact on the game. Stansfield caused the centre halves plenty of trouble; he passed Cowan with ease but his cross was deflected into the grateful arms of the goalie. Williams crossed after a free kick for Mills, but his near post header went across goal and inches wide as Hereford pushed for a third. The Gull's best chance came after a cross from the left flank and following a scramble in the six yard box, man of the match Mkandawire seemed to block a shot and divert it out for a corner.

Williams chipped a pass into Mills on the edge of the D, and his flick header found Stansfield in on goal. A delightful back heel had the 'keeper beaten but Cowan recovered to prevent the ball from crossing the line. Another passing move saw a quick switch in play and finally a cross from the left met Mill's head, but Potter caught well. Stansfield was provided with a perfect chance to grab a second when Mills played his strike partner in behind the defence but Stansfield fired over the bar with just the 'keeper in his way.

Mills won the free kick that led to the third goal when he was pushed just outside of the penatly area. Williams swung the cross in and Lee Mills headed in across the goalie from the far post. Graham Turner made his only change when Canvey won a free kick twenty five yards from goal. Jamie Pitman replaced Craig Stanley. The Hereford wall blocked the shot and Brown broke away at pace to start a counter attack. Travis received a pass and took the ball onto the edge of the box where he slid a pass to his left where Stansfield was on hand to drill low past Potter to complete the rout with five minutes remaining.

The Bulls played out the remainder of the game with their supporters cheering every pass, and there were plenty of them. The Bulls fans in the crowd of 921 were reminded of the type of football that was on display last season. Hereford have shown that they can perform in that manner, and now must begin to do it week in, week out if they want to better their current position of fourth in the table.

HUFC Team: Mawson, Travis, Mkandawire, James, Robinson, Williams, Hyde, Stanley, Brown, Mills, Stansfield.

Subs: Scott, Pitman, A.Williams, Purdie, Carey-Bertram.

CVFC Team: Potter, Ward, Cowan, Sterling, Kennedy, Williamson, Duffy, Minton, Berquez, Gregory, Hallet. Subs: Smith, Joseph, Keeling, Harison, Sedgemore.

Massive game today says Mills

Lee Mills has told the Evening News that Hereford need to win at Canvey today.

"It's a massive game for us at Canvey. I always think the most important game is the next one but it really is this time because of our recent league form.

"We have not won any of our last six league games and we have got to put a stop to that.

"We can enjoy the FA Cup and LDV Trophy success all we like, but we need to get back to the bread and butter and register a league win.

"We are trying not to panic but the longer it goes on without a win, the more desperate the situation becomes. But we don't want to be getting too far ahead of ourselves.

"At least we are in a position to make a move. The last thing we want is the position I was in last year at Telford. They were ready to make a push in the league, but by the time it came round to January and February completely lost touch."

Mills has recovered from his recent illness.

"I had the illness for about three days and it really set me back. It's taken a while for me to get back to fitness," he commented.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Under 18's at Edgar Street

With the first team away at Canvey Island, Hereford United's under 18's are playing at Edgar Street this morning.

They have a league game against Rushden and Diamonds in the Football League Youth Alliance South Central Conference with a 11am start.

Meanwhile Wrexham Supporters are asking all football fans to wear red when visiting games today in support of their current difficulties at the Racecourse.

Lastly because of the long journey time to and from Essex, the Bulls News report on the Canvey game will not be posted until later this evening.

Trewick wants to win

Hereford United coach John Trewick has told the Evening News that the Bulls need to win tomorrow against Canvey Island to keep in touch with the Conference leaders.

"The league is important to us. It's still very, very tight near the top of the table and there is just three points separating five or six teams behind Barnet and Carlisle.

"It's not absolutely critical that we win at Canvey but we want to win every match. We need to stay in a position where we can stay in touch with the top one or two spots.

"Confidence has never been a problem with the players. It's just that we are going through a blip and, hopefully, we will remedy that sooner or later.

"We've picked up three points in our last six matches which is not enough. In terms of performances, they have generally been encouraging and there are games where we should not have dropped points, like against Woking and Barnet.

"We've had Canvey watched and we've done a little bit of background on them. It's not going to be easy, it never is at these places."

Defensive doubts for Saturday

Hereford United, who have dropped to eighth position in the Conference National table, are in desperate need of a first win in seven league games when they visit Canvey Island tomorrow afternoon. Canvey can go equal on points with the Bulls should they claim all three when the two sides clash at Park Lane.

Canvey have drawn their last three league games, the most recent a credible away 0-0 draw at Carlisle. However last Saturday they were dumped out of the F.A. Cup by Aldershot Town 4-0. Lee Boylan is the top scorer for Canvey. The prolific striker has netted seven times, all in the league, this season.

United have a few injury problems, especially in their defence. Ryan Green has a problem with his hamstring, Tony James is doubtful with a calf strain and Tom Smith may be unavaliable with an ankle injury. Should all of these players be out of the game Graham Turner will only have four fit defenders. It is expected that Andy Tretton would regain his place in the starting eleven alongside Tamika Mkandawire. David Brown should be fit to play however. He was replaced early on at Southport last week due to a heavy blow to the calf.

"There's certainly one or two people who have come back into the side recently, Graham Hyde is an example, playing extremely well. If you get decent performances from the player collectivly I'm sure that we are capable of taking the three points and we need to now. We need to make sure that we don't slip further behind the leaders." Said manager Graham Turner on BBC H&W.

Meanwhile Hereford United old boy Scott Goodwin will meet up with his former side. The tenacious midfielder signed for Canvey in September. He came on as a sub last weekend against Aldershot.

Their squad for the game is: Potter, A Harrison, Kennedy, Duffy, Chenery, Ward, Cowan, Sterling, Smith, McGhee, Joseph, Minton, Sedgemore, Goodwin, Williamson, Midgley, Keeling, Berquez, Gregory and Hallet.

Luckily for Hereford top scorer Lee Boylan is injured.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Frolics in Southport

Our good friends from West Bromwich were without a game last Saturday so decided to watch Hereford United at Southport. The following is an edited account of their day. The original can be found at

Our Southport saga began around ten this morning, when we headed on out, after a short pit-stop to get Steino, of West Brom Market fame, stocked up with Dicks galore - so if you haven't got one, you live in that area, and aren't going to tomorrow's game, then I'm sure he'll oblige willingly come Monday. Handing out fanzines, that is - what else did you think I meant? That small matter sorted, it was then onto the gloriously sunny M6, and the long trundle to Lancashire. No Noise today - I'm sure Jayne had him fully occupied doing other things than talk ten to the dozen - but we did have the pleasure of The Fart's company for the long trek to the coast.

As we bowled along the slow lane towards Lancashire, one thought in particular struck me; it was remarkable the numbers of people who managed to end up getting their cars pranged on that motorway today. Nothing serious. Just shunts, as far as I could tell - but I'm still quite mystified as to how that sorry stare of affairs came about in the first place. Visibility perfect; strong sunlight, no fog, no ice, the temperature outside was a tad on the low side, but no more than that - and there was still around four accidents that I saw after the event. I really do wonder sometimes. Still, the resultant delays didn't impinge too much on our travelling time. Oh - an apology is called for; im Indoors tells me the last one resulted in a car ending upside down. Trouble was, I was asleep! The queues were mostly caused by rubberneckers, as far as I could see, and once past the scene of the various crashes, the traffic density simply melted away, which meant we made landfall on the outskirts of Southport around half-twelve.

Right then. Hands up all those readers who have visited that seaside town at some stage or another. That many? Blimey, what a sophisticated and well-travelled lot you are! You'll know what I'm about to relate, but for the benefit of those who haven't, here's a thumbnail sketch of the place. Firstly, as I said yesterday, it's the sort of seaside town that is very much living on its former glories; the shopping area, every store complete with a (presumably) Victorian wrought-iron canopy above its entrance, tries to be genteel, but doesn't quite succeed. Take the coast road, however, and you enter a world of closed-down pleasure beaches, funfair rides and similar summery detritus. It's also the world of The Mall - those American-style retail abominations one generally finds on the outskirts of towns - not slap-bang in the middle, next to the tourist stuff. Oh - and there's a "Lawnmower Museum" there! Don't ask me, I saw the signs and I couldn't figure it out either! Still, the sun was shining fit to bust, the wind wasn't all that much a nuisance, so having ditched the Dickmobile in a nearby car-park, we decided to take a walk along the nearby pier.

The last time I'd trod those boards in earnest was when I was about ten, so it was a testimony of sorts to the people who run the place now that I instantly recognised just about everything on there. Even the train, which now charged a rip-off couple of quid for the dubious privilege of riding to the end in comfort, tootling busily along in the opposite direction as we made our way back again. But that's getting a little ahead of myself. Back, then, to the outward journey. I'd already warned both Im Indoors and The Fart beforehand that they probably wouldn't see the sea and I was spot-on. Loads of sand, but of the old sodium choride in strong solution, there was not a whisper. At least you could still see Blackpool Tower from the end, just like forty years ago.

Also at the finish of the pier was a curious building; half café, half amusement arcade, with a soupcon of souvenir shop thrown in for good measure - when the staff could be sufficiently arsed to man it, that is - but with a curious twist indeed. Go inside, and you quickly discovered all the amusement machines on display were of a vintage that wouldn't disgrace the average museum. And, what's more, they were all in working order. What you had to do was change a normal post-decimal coin in the machine provided - 50p, say, for the sake of argument - and you'd get all your change in genuine old pennies, which was the proper currency all these antiques were built for. There were even some "What The Butler Saw" machines there, which must have been at least 90 years old - what really amazed me, though, was their timeless ability to pull in the customers, four or five generations down the line. Every time I looked, there was a clutch of giggling, shrieking teenagers having a crafty dekko at the saucy contents, in a manner that would have got great grandmother incandescent with fury, were she not pushing up the daisies right now. Surely the subject matter wouldn't raise even a hint of a blush on the face of a maiden aunt these days? Er - would it?

Even better, though, was the distant ancestor of those bar football machines you used to see everywhere. No plastic to be found on these babies, just hand-painted wooden figures, dressed in hand-knitted little woollen "shirts", one "team" red and white striped, and the other similarly clad but in blue and white, with little metal knobs outside to control them with. And the backdrop? Look at any photograph of Twenties or Thirties football terraces, and you'll see similar; the difference was, this had also been lovingly painted by hand, all those little cloth-capped and muffler-ed figures. Reet nostalgic, it were, lad! While The Fart went in search of someone to flog him a fridge magnet, we had a punt at the sweet-grabbing crane thingy nearby. Pretty successful, too, was my other half; three goes, three sweets. At the far end of the building was a section that narrated the history of both the pier and the beach itself; the former had been torched at least three times in recent years - arsonists, of course - while the beach itself, its expanse of sand running for miles, made it an ideal surface for early aviation ventures. Apparently, in 1910, every activity in the town came to a juddering half the day a certain Claude Graham-White put his "stringbag" machine down on those expansive sands, and an airfield of sorts existed there as recently as 1961.

Back to the Dickmobile, then, and to the ground, which we'd spotted on our way in earlier. Bathed in golden sunlight, its small size belied the fact that up until comparatively recently, League football had been played there. Not that they're anywhere near that standard any more; they were in the Conference proper, but got relegated again a few years back. Their games these days are played in a league below the Conference, where it bifurcates into a "North" and a "South" version; Southport are in the northern half, as you might expect. They might not enjoy League status these days, but what they do have is a cracking little social club, which is about par for the course at this level; in fact, its fair to say that a goodly chunk of clubs income at that level comes in via the "demon drink". Needless to say, we popped in for a small pre-match wetting of the old lips.

Out, then, about 15 minutes before the start, and through the turnstiles, the seated admission charge just nine quid, with quite a sizable reduction (£5.50) for Old Farts. Once inside, it was into the main stand where our Hereford-supporting chums were hanging out. Three of them, female, follow the Bulls both home and away; what makes this all the more remarkable is the fact that one of them, Mavis's mate, is in her eighties, yet still travels by coach week in, week out, rain, hail or shine. I reckon the nearest Albion equivalent is Vic Stirrup, who also attends both home and away, despite being of a similar age, and having not long had both hips replaced. I wonder if today's telly-reared lot will be as enthusiastic about the beautiful game when they finally collect their bus passes? Somehow, I doubt it.

As we settled into our seats, I spotted a delightfully-retro touch; a Southport follower, sporting a genuine rosette! Blimey. I'd though that sort of thing went out of fashion around the time of Johnny Giles and Willie Johnson; quite a nostalgia injection for both The Fart and myself to see someone actually wearing one once more. And, talking of our Crimean War veteran, just before the start, a verbal classic from him: "You know, this is the first FA Cup Round One game I've ever seen"... I can only assume time's healing balm had ensured The Fart's memories of our two seasons in the old Third Division were thoroughly scabbed over, then! And, to be fair, when I pointed out the mistake, Tel did agree with me!

On paper, the tie, with 20 grand or so up for grabs, should have been a Hereford shoe-in. The visitors, one division up, and currently residing at the "right" end of the table, were theoretically too strong for the home side. Mind you, there was an Albion connection about the game. Not just the presence of former Albion reserve players Tam Mkandawire, and Carey-Bertram, all his barrels, that is - the Southport side boasted the presence in their ranks of none other than Kevin Kilbane's brother! Goes by the name of Farrell Kilbane, he does. And they also had in their ranks a Jimmy Somerville look-alike; the Hereford lads took great delight in pointing out the similarity every single time he had the ball!

No "O Worship The Swede" ceremony (which involves a "team" of supporters kicking one the entire length of the pitch before banging it into the back of the net, pre-kick-off!) before the start, sadly! Digressing slightly, I have it on good authority that Malcolm Boyden, now working for BBC Hereford And Worcester, has promised to ensure the Swede is thoroughly worshipped should The Bulls get as far as the Third Round and get The Baggies. $p As for the game itself, which kicked off in perfect sunlight, the opening manoeuvres were conducted in typical Cup-tie style; 100 mph football, with errors on both sides. But, as the game progressed, it was the Bulls who looked the more likely to open their account. And should have done but a couple of minutes before they actually did - the errant Bull, Stansfield, their top scorer, had done the difficult stuff, the goalkeeper was floundering like a freshly-caught plaice, all it needed was a bit of judicious heading into an empty net - and the silly sod managed to head just wide instead! That was but a temporary reprieve for the home side, though. With 29 minutes on the clock, Hereford took the lead, and deservedly so, the goal coming courtesy of Lee Mills - yes, THAT Lee Mills! - who nutted, unmarked, into the net, following an inch-perfect cross from the left. We had to wait until the second half for the Bulls' second, though. A strange one, that; from where we were, the defender appeared to belt it from off the line, and away to safety. Wrong! Furious waving from the alert lino suddenly halted proceedings, the ref then consulted his agitated colleague - and gave the goal instead! I reckon the Fart must have second sight. How come? Simple: just moments before the incident, his very words to me were: "Another goal will settle this!" Blimey, with a gift like that, I wish he'd choose my lottery numbers for me!

And it wasn't long before Hereford struck again, with around 20 minutes of the half gone. All done and dusted, then? Not quite: the visitors changed formation, and brought on a couple of substitutes, the net effect being not dissimilar to that of such tactics on our own defence recently. In other words, everyone went deep, hung back, what passed for a strikeforce wasn't being given the ball any more, and the result was predictable. With about 20 minutes to go, Southport pulled one back, making it 3-1.

This made the last 15 somewhat hairy for The Bulls, not to mention their followers; had the home side managed to get it to two, then I think panic might have set in. Fortunately - more by luck than judgement, I reckon - Southport couldn't capitalise further, so the score stayed like that until the final whistle blew. Great for Hereford, though - they're well and truly in the draw for the second round, and should they get decent opposition this time, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see the game featured live on Sky. And it wouldn't surprise me either to hear the sound of many a League side lamenting loudly should they be the ones unfortunate enough to have to meet the cider-slurpers in mortal combat next time. They have already put two decent League sides out of the Mickey Mouse Cup. And one other thought - on our way back to The Dickmobile, yet another "retro" touch; the sight of police horses and foot coppers belting hell for leather through the gathering winter gloom in the direction of some incident or another. Much to my amusement a couple of minutes later, it seemed to be the local chippie where it all kicked off between those naughty Bulls and their Lancashire counterparts. Could it be that they both got a battering in there? Sorry.

Written by Glynis Wright.

Long term deal for Parry

Paul Parry, the ex-Hereford United winger, has signed a long term deal at Ninian Park.

Cardiff City have issued the following statement:

We are delighted to announce that Paul Parry has extended his contract. The Welsh International has put pen to paper and has secured his long term future with the Bluebirds.

Paul joined us from Hereford United in early 2004 and has made 32 league appearances scoring four goals in the process. The talented midfielder has also broken into the senior Wales squad and has gained five caps with one goal against Canada in the summer.

We wish Paul well in the future and hope he has more success in the blue shirt of Cardiff City.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Mawson agrees deal

Craig Mawson has agreed terms to stay at Edgar Street for the rest of the season according to the Hereford Times this morning.

The Ex Oldham and Morecambe keeper has impressed Graham Turner so much that the manager was keen to keep him to Hereford.

Since Mawson joined Hereford, the Edgar Street club have defeated Doncaster in the LDV, drawn with Barnet in the Conference and defeated Southport in the FA Cup.

Blackpool player to miss LDV clash

Danny Coid, the Blackpool right-back, will miss the LDV game against Hereford United.

Coid has been suspended for three games following "unsavoury scenes" in a recent game.

The referee for the game will be Phil Joslin.

Meanwhile Hereford United's David Brown is a doubt for Saturday's game at Canvey. He was subbed during the first half of last Saturday's cup match at Southport after receiving a bad knock to his ankle.

Boston to sign Clare

Boston United are close to signing Daryl Clare from Chester.

According to Sky Sports, 26 year-old Clare is set to move on after Boston pushed through a deal, thought to be worth about £75,000, following an injury to leading striker Andy Kirk who is expected to be out for six weeks.

"I have agreed terms with my opposite chairman and I have passed the situation on to James Rodwell [director of football] and Steve Evans [manager] respectively," said Boston chairman Jon Sotnick.

Non-league Carlisle United had been leading the chase for Clare, but he now looks to be heading back to York Street where he enjoyed a 14-month spell before moving to Chester in 2002.

It is thought that Clare will not be able to play for Boston Against Hereford United in the forthcoming FA Cup game but this is yet not confirmed. Clare played for Chester in their Cup game against Stafford Rangers last Saturday.

Problems at Leigh RMI

Financial cuts at Leigh RMI have persuaded manager Phil Starbuck and his assistant Gary Kelly to leave the club.The Lancashire club are currently bottom of the Conference.

With low gates and little other support the club has been forces to cut the playing budget. When Hereford United played at Leigh recently, away supporters made up well over half of the gate.

Starbuck told BBC Sport: "I was not prepared to work like that - Gary and I have put too much into the club.

"I feel most for the players as they did not want this to happen but credit to them as they gave us everything."

More Canvey details

Although there may be a replacement bus service on Saturday to get to Benfleet, which is on the Fenchurch Street line, the station is approximately 3 miles from Park Lane and can be reached by taxi (about £8 each journey) or bus. Both are easily found outside of the station.

Canvey's admission prices are £11 adults, £8 Students/OAP's, and £5 for U16's. Admission to the seated area is an additional £2 which has to be purchased on entry at the turnstile. Supporters will receive a ticket for this area which can seat 60


They are able to offer car parking for up to 80 cars at a cost of £1.50 per


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Limited shelter at Canvey

Most supporters who go to Canvey Island should be prepared to brave the elements as there is only limited covered accomodation at the club.

Although the ground has a capacity of over 3,000 there are seats for just 300. Pictures of the ground suggest it is very open.

Meanwhile, Canvey Island manager Jeff King has told local media after last Saturday's 4-0 defeat at Aldershot that he expects to release "one or two members of his first team squad."

"They took their chances well and we've got to pick ourselves up from this and get ready for our next league game.

"I'm sure we will as we've got a big home Conference match with Hereford next Saturday.

"Obviously the new injuries left us a little bit short today, but you have to overcome those sort of problems.

"It's no use sitting back and moaning. Despite the injuries I will be releasing one or two players now."

Former Hereford United player Scott Goodwin joined the club earlier this season.

Wrexham apply for administration

Wrexham Football Club are expecting to be in a CVA situation within days. This move should forestall closure of the club.

If administration goes ahead, Wrexham would become the first club under new Football League rules to face the 10-point penalty - and as the table stands it would leave them second bottom of League One.

The rule was brought in as a deterrent following a succession of clubs calling in administrators, and in effect "starting again."

The club statement said: "If an administration order is made by the court, then there are adverse consequences, the most obvious of which being the deduction of 10 points.

"However, faced with the alternative of the club ceasing to exist, the directors believe that their decision is in the best interests of the club and the continuation of league football in Wrexham."

Administration would give the club more breathing space to find a rescue package.

Meanwhile former Wrexham and Hereford United player Dixie McNeil is a member of a consortium involving two former Wrexham FC chairmen waiting to hear whether their offer for the club has been accepted.

Canvey travel details

Hereford United are away at Canvey Island next Saturday. Although Essex is a long way from Herefordshire, the route is relatively easy. And for those who prefer to travel on the supporters coach, details are below.

Probably the easiest route from Herefordshire is to join the M40 close to Oxford services and take the clockwise M25 to Junction 30.

Exit M25 at Junction 30 and take the A13 towards Southend. You will reach a series of mini roundabouts. At these roundabouts take the A130 towards Canvey Island.

At the next roundabout take the 2nd exit which will keep a sports centre on your right and follow signs for the town centre.

Eventually you will enter a one way system. Keep left through the one way system and after one mile you will pass the old bus garage on the right. Park Lane is on the right hand side shortly afterwards.

There is plenty of parking outside the ground.

Supporters wishing to travel by rail should realise that the nearest ststion, Benfleet, is two miles from the ground.

Benfleet station is 35 minutes from London Fenchurch Street and 45 minutes from London Liverpool Street, the Station is two miles from the ground. Use bus service 3 or 151 from the Station and ask for the stop after the Admiral Jellicoe pub.

PLEASE NOTE: The National Rail site is saying that delays are expected on the Benfleet route on Saturday.

Engineering work taking place between Leigh-on-Sea & Pitsea / Barking & Grays on 20 & 21 November 2004

Start date Saturday 20 November 2004

End date Sunday 21 November 2004

TOC(s) affected c2c

Route affected London Fenchurch - Barking - Upminster - Pitsea - Leigh-on-Sea - Southend - Shoeburyness

Additional maps Click here

Description Road transport will replace trains between Leigh-on-Sea, Pitsea, Grays, Barking via Tilbury and Rainham. Journeys will be extended by up to 50 minutes.

Finally as usual supporters coach(es) will leave Edgar Street at 8.30 am. The fare is £22. More details on 01432 276666.

Some of the above details are from Canvey Island football club.