Monday, January 24, 2005

Bulls hope for cup upset

Hereford United will be hoping to end Wrexham's LDV Trophy challenge when they visit Edgar Street this evening. The two sides meet in the competition's area semi-final, just three matches away from a potentially money-spinning tie at the Millenium Stadium, Cardiff. The cash is much needed by both sides, giving them added incentives to try and make it through these last stages.

No other Conference side has ever made it to the LDV area Finals, so Hereford will make history should they dump their league one opposition out of the competition. The Bulls have a good record against league opposition in this trophy so far in this campaign; Doncaster Rovers, Scunthorpe and Blackpool have all fallen out of the cup at Edgar Street and United will be hoping to add Wrexham to this list.

Wrexham have received a boost ahead of the game though. The arrival of goalkeeper Ben Foster on a one month loan deal from Stoke City eases their 'keeper problems, as long as the club get the paper work sorted in time for the game. Son of Sir Alex Ferguson, Darren, is back for the North Wales side following two games out with an ankle strain, but winger Carlos Edwards is still missing with a broken hand. Dean Bennett, formerly with Kidderminster suffered a reaction to his hernia, so he misses out on another game for Wrexham.

Hereford still have a number of players with knocks, but some may have to play or at least sit on the bench for this northern section semi-final clash. Lee Mills had to have stitches on his head during the game on Saturday and Adam Stansfield may also miss out after suffering from concussion following a clash of heads. Danny Carey-Bertram is still a doubt with a hamstring problem but David Brown should be fit enough to play.

Tamika Mkandawire, who was on the bench against Dagenham, is expected to be fit enough to play and could partner Tony James instead of Tom Smith, unless manager Graham Turner changes the formation. Ryan Green, Danny Williams and Andy Tretton are all reported to be doubts as well.

The two sides last met in the FA Cup back in 2001, when the Bulls put Wrexham out with an Ian Wright goal. Although the game was televised some 4107 fans watched the game which will be remembered for some great goalkeeping by Matt Baker.

Of the players on the day only Tony James remains in the Hereford side, but Wrexham still have Darren Ferguson, Jim Whitley, Dennis Lawrence and Hector Sam on their books. But their respective league positions have hardly changed as Wrexham were close to the bottom of Division Two, as it was in 2001.

Graham Turner will be hoping that he can take a second side to the final of the LDV Vans Trophy. He has previously been sucessful with Wolves in this competition. A good crowd is expected at Edgar Street, with a large following anticipated from Wrexham. However Hereford, if they wish to defeat the league one strugglers, will have to play much better than they have done in the Conference recently.