Thursday, March 31, 2005

Striker shortage for crunch match

Hereford United travel to Hertfordshire to face Stevenage Borough in a play off crunch match tomorrow afternoon, kick off 3.p.m. Both sides have good chances of making the end of season play offs and this game may prove vital in deciding if either of the teams make them. Boro will be placing this game in the "must win" category, where United may be content with taking a point away from Broadhall Way.

Stevenage were busy on deadline day, yesterday, but had more players leaving than they had joining. Gary Schillaci, Matthew Batt, Chris Sullivan and Laurie Stewart have all been loaned out to lower league sides until the end of the season and Mark Westhead has been drafted in, also on loan until the end of the current campaign. Midfielder Jon Brady is out of the game as he completes a two match ban and George Boyd is also a doubt for Graham Westley's side.

Graham Turner will have to make forced changes to his side as Danny Carey-Bertram begins his three match ban, having been sent off against Northwich Victoria on Monday. With Leeroy Williams, on loan from Walsall, also banned United face a shortage of strikers. Lee Mills is a possibility but it has to be considered whether he would last the full ninety minutes, as he has struggled to in the past. If Danny Williams returns from an ankle injury Turner will have the option of pushing Rob Purdie into the front line, as he has opted to do previously.

Tony James will once again miss out with his ankle ligament injury and so Jamie Pitman will continue to stand in as skipper. Simon Travis, a former Boro player, may not be risked once again as he is struggling with a hernia and so Ryan Green and Mark Robinson should continue at right and left back, respectively. It remains to be seen if United added to their squad on deadline day, so maybe their will be a suprise name on the teamsheet at Stevenage.

Hereford are currently once place, and one point, behind their hosts but have one game in hand. The two sides met earlier in the season at Edgar Street in a very physical game, in which the visitors stole a late injury time winner. Should Stevenage adopt a similar physical style, United might find it hard to compete. However, The Bulls will be hoping to continue their recent goalscoring form and jump above Stevenage in the table and maybe even move into the play off places once again.