Sunday, March 27, 2005

The start of the final charge

Hereford United will aim to take the momentum gained from the impressive victory at Farnborough and use it to overcome a Northwich Victoria side, battling for survival in the Nationwide Conference. The Vics are currently one place above the drop zone, in ninteenth, but only on goal difference. They were deducted ten points earlier in the season for going into a CVA; without that they wouldn't be quite so far down the table.

Northwich have already visited Edgar Street this season, in the GLS Conference Cup, when they progressed to the next round thanks to a 1-0 victory. However it is unlikely that result will play any part in their preparations to the game this afternoon as both teams fielded much weakened sides.

Steve Burr's side, who have lost there last four league games, will be without midfielder Paul Devlin, as he serves a one match ban following his red card, for two bookable offences, in the Vics' 2-1 defeat against Gravesend & Northfleet last Friday.

Hereford will once again be without Tony James who is still sidelined with an ankle injury and so Andy Tretton will continue to deputise. Danny Williams and Ryan Green are both doubts for the Bulls. Williams was replaced early on in the 6-0 demoltion of Farborough on Friday with an ankle injury and Green may not have recovered from his injury sustained at Morecambe last Tuesday. Rob Purdie is likely to take Williams' place on the wing.

Adam Stansfield could be recalled to the starting eleven in place of Leroy Williams, who was sent off on his goalscoring debut on Friday. He now has to serve a three match ban. Stansfield is favourite to partner Danny Carey-Bertram as he scored two goals in the fifteen minutes that he played against Farnborough. Darryl Taylor will make a home debut as he continues on the wing for United.

Stansfield told BBC Hereford and Worcester that Northwich will be a stiffer test than Farnborough last Friday.

"We played them earlier in the season and beat them 3-1. They weren't bad then but they've had some great results lately so we'll have to work hard."

Hereford will be most disappointed if they cannot follow up the victory on Friday with another three points against another of the league's struggling sides. The Bulls are clear favourites to win and some will expect them to do so by a fair margain, but Graham Turner will be warning his players not to let any complacency slip into their game.