Sunday, March 27, 2005

Bulls can make play-offs

With just eight games to go Hereford United will probably need to take at least sixteen points from those games to make the Conference play-offs this season.

It can be done but the Bulls will need three points from their game tomorrow against Northwich Victoria to set them on their way.

Sixteen points will give Hereford seventy two points in total. Last season fifth placed Aldershot reached the play-offs with seventy points, however because Chester and Hereford were so far ahead of the rest of the league the number of points needed to reach the play-offs was probably lower than what will be required this time.

Another way to compare seasons is to look at the form of Aldershot last campaign. Their return was twenty wins, ten draws and twelve defeats.

This season fifth-placed Accrington Stanley at present are on seventeen wins, eight draws and eleven defeats. They have six games left to play.

Assuming that their form continues in the same vein as they have acheived so far then they could finish with twenty wins, ten draws and fourteen defeats giving them seventy points. But as they have played two more games than the Bulls then that return will probably not be enough to make the play-offs.

Today's game between Aldershot and Woking could be crucial to the Bulls chances of making the play-offs. Woking are two points ahead of Hereford having played the same number of games. Should they defeat Aldershot they will move up to second place. A draw would take them to fifth position. Either result would mean that Aldershot's campaign would have taken a knock as they have played up to four more games than some of the clubs around them.

As matters stand before the start of the game, which is live on Sky kick-off 1.45pm, the Shots maximum return this season will be seventy-five points. A defeat today could make a play-off place for the Hampshire side that less likely and so help Hereford United's prospects.

And with Accrington Stanley's chances slipping, especially after failing to win at Burton last Friday, there's still plenty to play for. The six goals that Hereford scored on Friday could be crucial if it comes down to goal difference.

Meanwhile Grays Athletic will join the Conference next season. They won promotion from Conference South yesterday, as nearest rivals Cambridge City were defeated. Grays are currently ninteen points ahead of Cambridge.