Woking have extended the loan of Luke Oliver for another month, now ending the week before they play the Bulls. Oliver left Woking for Yeovil in the summer but has been unable to break into the first XI at Huish Park. Halifax have extended the loan of Jake Wright for another month from Bradford after making three starts in his first month. Lee Elam, having left Crawley earlier in the week, has signed for Weymouth - taking his tally of clubs to eight in two years. Dagenham Club Captain Tim Cole has joined East Thurrock United on loan to gain match fitness after a long spell out with a knee injury. The Daggers have also let Liam Francis out on loan to Ilford for experience. Cambridge have a friendly match with Peterboro arranged for this Tuesday so they can look at former striker Steve Slade who is training with the Club for the first time in five years after a three month spell in late 2000. The former Spurs striker joined QPR for £350,000 in 1996 but failed to live up to the price tag. Stevenage have released former Watford man David Perpetuini after six weeks. The midfielder, who once cost Gillingham six figures, made just one substitute appearance for the Hertfordshire side. Southport have signed midfielder Tom Field from Stalybridge.
Friday, September 30, 2005
Hereford have no new injury worries following the midweek clash with Aldershot. Guy Ipoua, Adam Stansfield, and Stacy Coldicott will all miss out again. Graham Turner is likely to retain the 4-4-2 formation that produced a result on Tuesday with new striker Matt Bailey lining up alongside Danny Carey-Bertram.
Team Last Match: Brown, Green, Mkandawire, Blewitt, Jeannin, Brady, Stanley, Ferrell, Purdie, Bailey, Carey-Bertram
Canvey will be missing Lee Boylan for another month after surgery. Stuary Bimson and Steve Ward picked up injuries in the midweek draw with Stevenage and are doubtful. One tactical change may be made with Allan Tait possibly replacing Jason Hallett up front.
Team Last Match: McKinney, Chenery, Ward, Sterling, Bimson, Kennedy, Sedgemore, Minton, Clarke, Ibe, Hallett
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Today's Hereford Times reports that there are no new injuries after Tuesday's win over Aldershot. In his column, Graham Turner notes the lows of defeats and describes how they got over the abysmal performance at Halifax by calling the players in for training on Sunday and reviewing the match video.
In other news Gavin Williams has again been named in the Wales squad for the forthcoming qualifiers but there is no place for Paul Parry, who has largely been a substitute for Cardiff over the last month. Former Bulls striker Phil Stant has resigned as manager of Ilkeston Town after a poor start to the season left the Club rooted to the bottom of the Unibond Premier after promotion last season. One of the names rumoured to replace Stant is another ex-Bull, and former Chesterfield manager, Nicky Law.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Woking are to lodge a complaint against Exeter City fans after last night's draw at St James Park. Woking's Football Director Phil Ledger stated "Two or three of their supporters decided to have a go at our coach while it was waiting for the players. Exeter's Secretary and Safety Officer were informed and we will be forwarding a quote for the damage to the Club for them to deal with it. Hopefully we've caught them on CCTV and I've reported the incident to the league."
In other news, Grays Chairman Mick Woodward will remain at the Club after Wednesday's open meeting with fans produced positive dialogue.
Hereford United continuted their tradition of taking all three points from Aldershot Town as the rivals clashed once again at The Recreation Ground last night. It is the fifth time that the two sides have met in the Conference and Hereford boast a 100% record.
The sides were, yet again, equally matched and it was no suprise that just one goal was enough to seperate the sides, although both looked as though they could have added to the score line. Graham Turner made some much needed changes following the unacceptable performance at Halifax on the weekend. Skipper Tony James was sacrificed to accomodate a change of formation, to 4-4-2. Dean Beckwith was absent meaning Tamika Mkandawire and Darren Blewitt paired up at centre back. Rob Purdie was reintroduced to the side on the left wing and new loan signing Matt Bailey partnered Danny Carey-Bertram in attack.
And the change of tactics paid dividens almost immediately for United. Even before everyone had time to make their way into the ground, the visitors had broken the deadlock. A longball direct from the kick off resulted in a corner kick for The Bulls. Carey-Bertram and Jon Brady worked a quick, short corner and Carey-Bertram found space on the corner of the box to smash a shot across the face of the goal and into the far top corner, silencing the home fans and sending the travelling support or around 200 into delerium.
Aldershot were quick to remind United that they were still in the game and went close at the other end. Nick Crittenden soon forced Wayne Brown into a good save before Brady fired over at the other end following a cross from Ryan Green. Carey-Bertram then latched onto a through ball and was felled by Andre Boucaud, seemingly inside the penalty box, but the linesman indicated a foul right on the edge of the area. Another free kick, from Brady, fell to Bailey in the box but his shot was blocked and then Purdie had an even better opportunity but again a defender was in the way.
Four minutes before the break, Terry Brown made the first change of the game replacing Steve Watson with Ryan Scott. The Shots came out in the second half with renewed energy and had Hereford on the back foot for the most part of the second period. Blewitt was carded for a foul twenty five yards out, which required a good save by Brown to deny an equaliser. Stephen Reed put another set peice over the bar while, at the other end, Bailey shot at Nicki Bull when a corner found its way to him.
Scott Guyett saw a header clawed away by Brown as The Shots continued to pressure and then Tim Sills put a header wide. United almost finished the game, against the run of play, but Bull did well to tip the ball wide. With just over a hour gone, Brady managed to find Bailey in a good position and his shot on the turn appeared to be heading into the bottom corner but Bull saved well.
Perhaps the best chance for the hosts came when Crittenden's corner was touched on by Guyett and then nodded over, from two yards, by Chris McPhee. Although they had plenty of possession in attack, the United rear guard were very solid especially man of the match Mkandawire, who made several vital interventions.
United will be very happy that they managed to bounce back from the defeat at Halifax in what was quite a difficult game. There is no doubt that, now injuries are starting to clear up for The Shots, that it will not be long before they push up the table. The 4-4-2 formation seemed to breath new life into Hereford's side and certain players looked more comfortable with that system.
The atmosphere, as always, was excellent as both sets of supporters in the crowd of 2,656 sang all they way through the game.
HUFC: Brown, Green, Mkandawire, Blewitt, Jeannin, Purdie, Stanley, Ferrell, Brady, Bailey, Carey-Bertram. Subs: James, Mawson, Pitman, Williams, Evans.
ATFC: Bull, Hamilton, Heald, Guyett, Reed, Nick Crittenden, Watson, Boucaud, Deen, Sills, McPhee. Subs: Weait, Scott, Holloway, Barnard, Sulaimani.
The Bulls beat Canvey twice last season in their first ever league meetings with the islanders. A 4-0 win at a windswept Canvey last November was followed by a 1-0 home win thanks to a Danny Williams goal in Feburary. Canvey have won just once on the road in 20 league matches.
Hereford will again be without Adam Stansfield, Guy Ipoua, and Stacy Caldicott. Simon Travis continues his return to contention but is unlikely to feature. The biggest question is whether Graham Turner will retain the 4-4-2 formation deployed at Aldershot or revert to 5-3-2. On Loan striker Matt Bailey is likely to continue up front with Danny Carey-Bertram, with his height causing problems for the Aldershot defence even if his overall performance was not spectacular. Tuesday's clean sheet was the seventh in 11 games, but the Bulls have not scored more than one goal in any game for over a month.
Canvey, who will be without leading striker Lee Boylan who is still four weeks away from fitness after surgery, have scored in each of their last 10 games but they have only kept one clean sheet this season.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Crawley have parted company with well travelled ex-Morecambe winger Lee Elam. The 29 year old played in half of Crawley's matches so far this season, but has struggled with injury since joining them, his seventh Conference club, in the summer. Two players played their 500th game for their Clubs last night - Burton's Darren Stride, and Gravesend's Jimmy Jackson both completed the milestone. Stride, 30 today, joined Burton's senior side in 1993 from their youth section. Former Charlton trainee Jackson rejoined Gravesend a year ago after a season at Dagenham and is in his 12th year with the Club. Accrington are to appeal against the dismissal of Chris Butler in last night's match with Morecambe. The defender was dismissed after just four minutes for a professional foul, but manager John Coleman believes the foul did not warrant a red card as there was no goalscoring opportunity.
Conferencefootball.tv's chiefs will be scratching their heads tonight after they managed to broadcast just half the intended match.
Viewers of the live coverage of the game between Dagenham and Grays spent most of the first half watching adverts for Sportal's services rather than Conference football in another blunder by the internet broadcaster.
Early attempts to stream matches were patchy at best, with severe bandwidth issues claimed to be at fault, and many of the scheduled live matches have either been cancelled altogether or coverage switched late on to the disappointment of fans. While what was able to be viewed today was of a much better quality than previous efforts the concept is still too unreliable to be considered as a pay-per-view feature as demanded by Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace following his refusal to allow their cameras into Broadhall Way.
Grays stay top thanks to a 2-1 win at Dagenham and, with Accrington (3rd) losing 3-2 at Morecambe (2nd) after playing virtually the entire game with 10 men, move three points clear. Exeter's record reads one point out of nine, with a 1-1 draw at home to Woking, which sees them slide to fifth. York are fourth after recording a comfortable 3-0 win over a Tamworth side who haven't won since the opening day of the season and move to the bottom of the league. Halifax beat Altrincham 2-0 thanks to Neil Midgley and John Grant, but finished with 10 men. Stevenage took the lead, but had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Canvey. Burton gained a point to keep themselves off the bottom thanks to a 2-2 draw at Cambridge, while Crawley leapfrogged them, Aldershot, and Tamworth after a 2-0 win at home to Kidderminster. Gravesend beat Forest Green 2-0, while Southport recorded their first away win - 1-0 over Scarboro.
A solitary strike 26 seconds into the game from Danny Carey-Bertram settled this Conference encounter. The win keeps Hereford's 100% Conference league record against Aldershot, and moves the Bulls up to Seventh in the table.
Full Report tommorow afternoon.
Hereford will be without Stacy Coldicott, Guy Ipoua, and Adam Stansfield. Simon Travis is two weeks from full fitness but may feature on the bench. New signing Matt Bailey, a 6ft 4in striker, will most likely partner Danny Carey-Bertram up front, and both Rob Purdie and Jamie Pitman will be pushing for starting berths after both came off the bench on Saturday.
Aldershot are without a string of players including David Lee and John Brough through injury. Matt Somner is suspended, while Steve Watson (groin), and Ahmed Deen (Thigh) face late fitness tests. Darren Barnard came off the bench on Saturday but is still a couple of games away from full match fitness.
Monday, September 26, 2005
Crewe Alexandra forward Matt Bailey has signed on loan at Edgar Street for a month. The former Northwich, Altrincham, Scunthorpe, and Stockport forward appeared in the Conference last season with Northwich, making five appearances without scoring, and joined Crewe for a nominal fee. The 6ft 4in target man is considered a high prospect at Crewe, but is yet to feature in the first team at Gresty Road.
Stevenage Chairman Phil Wallace has told the BBC that he has rejected an offer for the Club by a consortium of Bedfordshire-based businessmen: "It was very flattering and they had obviously done their homework, which was reflected in the price offered but I politely declined. I have no financial need to sell and I'm still enjoying building the club's infrastructure. We're getting the balance right between success on and off the pitch. I believe the club has a great future."
On Monday 26 September, the University of Gloucestershire in partnership with the Football Association will launch the country's first University Football Referee Scholarship.The first recipient of the scholarship, a Hay-on-Wye based Bulls fan, will be presented at the University's Faculty of Sport, Health and Social Care at the Oxstalls Campus in Gloucester. Vice Chancellor and Principal, Dame Janet Trotter will be handing over the essential tools for the job - a whistle and a red card to the trainee. She will be will be joined by Janie Frampton and Roger Vaughan, both Regional Referee Managers with the Football Association. Also present will be Colin Harris from the FA District Referee Association, and FA referee instructor, Jim Harding who will act as a mentor to the trainee.The FA and University Football Referee Scholarship will operate alongside the Rugby Referee Scholarship, which was launched last year. It is intended that the two scholars will work closely on SAQ (speed, agility and quickness) and fitness and endurance as well as the academic study required for a degree in Sports Science.Assistant Director of Sport, Daniel Murphy commented:"This is an exciting new venture, that will give every opportunity to the scholar for the enhancement and progression of not only their refereeing aspirations, but also for academic achievement. The components of the scholarship coupled with the expertise of staff input will not only benefit refereeing, but the game in general. The University of Gloucestershire hopes this is the first of many such opportunities."
Hereford's goal haul this season, 11 in 10 games, is equally the worst scoring start the Bulls have made to the Conference. It is matched by the 2001/02 season start, when the Bulls finished a miserable 17th. That season, Rob Elmes and Gavin Williams top scored with nine Conference goals apiece.
The first 10 games last season produced 22 goals, with a constantly changing front line, and the season before 28 with one first team striker, David Brown, injured.
The need for Graham Turner to rectify the goalscoring problems is urgent. Over 700 home fans have drifted away since the opening day of the season, and gates are down over 20% on the same stage last season. This can be blamed on the lack of creativity and entertainment from a team that is looking increasingly shot-shy. These drops in gates equate to around £10,000 a match in lost revenue.
Adam Stansfield has missed three games and is likely to miss four more, while Guy Ipoua's Hamstring injury could be months rather than weeks if the injury has been aggrivated. Turner chose on Saturday to replace Ipoua with Rob Purdie - suggesting that he feels that neither Andy Williams or Graham Evans are ready for Conference football. It is now two weeks since Turner began looking for a loan striker and with two Championship forwards rejecting approaches for various reasons it is being suggested that Turner is aiming his sights too high and that maybe he should seek out a striker with a record of scoring goals at the lower levels.
Aldershot will be aiming to prevent the Bulls from continuing their 100% league record against the Shots. Four wins in four games, the last in January at the Recreation Ground with Danny Carey Bertram and David Brown scoring for the Bulls, mean that Terry Brown's men have never taken a league point from Hereford.
Hereford will likely miss Guy Ipoua, whose abortive attempt at a comeback on Saturday lasted just 17 minutes. Adam Stansfield is still two weeks from fitness, and Stacy Coldicott is awaiting news of test results. Simon Travis may make the bench in Ipoua's absence with either Graham Evans or Rob Purdie moving into the starting XI.
With Aldershot, it's almost easier to list who is available rather than who isn't. Darren Barnard made a goalscoring return to the team for the first time this season in a 15 minutes substitute appearance, and Gary Holloway came on for his second chance of Conference football after injury. Ex-Bull John Brough has managed just 12 minutes of Conference football since his summer switch and is one of six players still on the sidelines, though the Shots squad will feature five of six players currently on loan.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Mick Woodward, the man who has bankrolled Grays Athletic march to the top of the Conference, is on the verge of quitting after supporters questioned his running of the Club and alleged misappropriation of FA grants and dubious gate figures.
The Grays message board was shut down in midweek after claims were posted that an alleged £600,000 grant was misspent, and that the midweek gate of 1543 was actually over 2000. The actual size of the grant was £150,000 - for floodlight and turnstile work as well as the construction of a new stand to bring the ground up to standard, and Woodward claims the gate figures are accurate.
Woodward has also disputed the size of Grays' wage bill, once thought to be over £20,000 per week - "These people are deluded. They think our weekly wage budget is £20,000 a week - I can assure you it is £8,500."
Woodward has called an open meeting at the Club on Wednesday at 8pm, with a firm message to the fans - "If they want me out they only have to say so."
Quoted in the Non League Paper, Graham Turner was furious with his team's performance: "After a good start and a decent first half we committed football suicide. We let them get an early second half goal and after that we were never in it. Halifax were by far the better side and they clearly deserved to win the game. We did absolutely nothing in the second half and you do not play like that for 45 minutes without getting a rollocking."
Speaking about his decision to gamble on Guy Ipoua's fitness, he added "We thought Ipoua would be OK, but he was clearly lacking fitness and barely lasted 20 minutes so we are all disappointed."
In today's Non League Paper, Aldershot have announced that the reason for the cancellation of conferencefootball.tv's coverage of Tuesday's game is down to a lack of space at the Recreation Ground. Aldershot secretary Andy Morgan is quoted as saying - "We've got so many functions on at the Club that we couldn't accomodate the TV crews. We would have liked the match to be shown and will happily have the cameras back."
Curiously, Conference supremo John Moules is quoted in the NLP "The current deal (with conferencefootball.tv) is only for midweek games and only where the away teams have a lot of travelling involved". This would bring into doubt the reasons for showning Dagenham-Grays in it's place.
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Hereford United fell to a disappointing third defeat of the season away against Halifax Town this afternoon. The Bulls were handed a pre-match boost with the news that top scorer Guy Ipoua had recovered from a hamstring injury, but his comeback was short lived as he was replaced with a reoccurance of the injury after fifteen minutes.
By that time though, the visitors were already in front following a three-piece move. Craig Stanley played a delightful pass over to Alex Jeannin on the left flank, and his equally excellent volleyed cross was perfect for the run of Danny Carey-Bertram, who managed to lose his marker, and he headed in at the far post.
Graham Turner had made two changes from the side that drew with Gravesend on Tuesday; Jon Brady was promoted to the starting line up in place of Jamie Pitman and Guy Ipoua replaced Rob Purdie. Purdie was soon back in the action though, when he took the injured Ipoua's place.
Dean Beckwith was booked early on for pulling John Grant's shirt, kick starting a feud between the two that would continue until Beckwith was replaced soon after half time, when he almost received his marching orders. Sugden got the better of Beckwith on ten minutes, and crossed for ex-Bull John Grant, but his shot on the turn went over. Hereford tried hard in attack, but created little and the only other save of the half for Ian Dunbavin was from a Stanely shot that he didn't have to move for.
Wayne Brown had to be alert in United's goal though, to deny a low shot from Grant after some good link up play with Sugden while Carey-Bertram fired wide on the stroke of half time. Halifax made one change at half time seeing Craig Midgley come on for Waybe Jacobs and The Shaymen took charge of the game almost instantly.
After an over hit corner, Danny Forrest returned the ball into the dangerzone, where Grant once again got the better of Beckwith and converted from close range with just two minutes of the half gone. After this, Hereford's heads seemed to drop and they never really looked like getting back into the game. The second half performance was not good to say the least, and in some departments lacked effort.
Purdie fired over after Andy Ferrell had hooked a pass over the defence in a rare attempt from United before Grant shot over once again for Town. Tamika Mkandawire took to the field in Beckwith's place after he was nearly booked again, on 57 minutes and Pitman replaced the ineffective Brady, who took a knock, with twenty minutes to go.
The Shaymen almost took the lead on the counter attack after Mkandawire had over hit a cross, but a brilliant save from man of the match Brown kept the scores level, after Grant had played Sugden through. Adam Quinn had seen a header tipped over by Brown with around ten minutes to go, but once again United conceded late on. With four minutes to go, Grant was played through on goal only to be brilliantly denied by Brown, yet again, but substitute Chris Senior was first to the rebound and fired home the winner.
Chants of "what a load of rubbish" from some in the away end pretty much summed up the second half from The Bulls and there was a confrontation between some "supporters" and Jon Brady as the players left the field. There is a lot of work to be done if Hereford want to acheive their goal this season, and maybe a switch of formation would aid this.
HUFC: Brown, James, Blewitt, Beckwith, Jeannin, Green, Ferrell, Stanley, Brady, Carey-Bertram, Ipoua. Subs: Mkandawire, Mawson, Pitman, Evans, Purdie.
HTFC: Dunbavin, Haslam, Quinn, Ingram, Wright, Forrest, Thompson, Foster, Jacobs, Sugden, Grant.Subs: Leister, Bowler, Midgley, Young, Senior.
Aldershot pulled themselves off the bottom with a 2-1 win at home to York thanks to a late Darren Barnard goal. Altrincham are fast becoming the whipping boys of the division, the 4-0 defeat at lowly Cambridge being their third heavy defeat in four games. Grays go top with a 3-1 win at bottom side Crawley as Exeter suffer a shock 2-1 home defeat against struggling Burton, with late goals from Darren Stride and Jon Shaw sealing the win. Accrington won 2-1 at Dagenham to go second, David Brown scoring his fifth goal in an impressive start to the season. Canvey beat Southport 2-1, and Kidderminster won at Gravesend by the same margin. Morecambe stunned Stevenage 4-1, with Stevenage getting their fourth player sent off this season. Scarboro beat Forest Green with a solitary Neil Redfearn penalty, and Woking beat Tamworth by the only goal with Justin Richards finishing off.
Today's results leave the Bulls in ninth place, seven points off the top. Worringly, only Tamworth (8) and Altrincham (7) have scored fewer goals than the Bulls haul of 11 in 10 games.
The Bulls went down to their third defeat of the season 2-1 at Halifax, despite taking the lead after 7 minutes through Danny Carey Bertram. Guy Ipoua made a surprise start, but was substituted after barely 15 minutes with a reoccurance of his Hamstring injury.
Full Report Later.
Bulls coach John Trewick told the Worcester Evening News "We need to score more goals and everybody understands that, but we have got it right defensively and that is important. Every successful team base their achievement on having a sound and solid base, like Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United. At the back, had we picked up five clean sheets it would have been a fantastic achievement. Keeping four is still good.
"We have the foundations right so people like Guy Ipoua and Adam Stansfield can then score goals and win us games. Gravesend scored late on from a corner and that was disappointing. We took the game to them for the first hour and deservedly took the lead. But after scoring we, possibly sub-consciously, sat back and allowed them too much possession and too many attacking moments. We allowed too many corners and their goal came from a corner when the player smashed the ball through a number of bodies. Rob (Purdie) has played up front for us before. He worked very hard on Tuesday night and played a big part in creating the goal. It was a smashing pass to Ryan Green who crossed it for Craig Stanley to finish. It was good to have Ryan back at right wing-back. Halifax are a good side and they were a good side last year too. We know going up there it is going to be a tough match."
Friday, September 23, 2005
Tamworth striker Julian Alsop will be out for two weeks with a foot injury. Alsop, 32, was injured during the midweek draw at Southport and initial fears were that there was a broken bone are unfounded. Kidderminster have extended the loan of Barnsley youngster Simon Heslop for another month to the end of October. Forest Green have to make do without striker Lewis Haldane, after the striker was recalled by Bristol Rovers in the wake of Ian Atkins' sacking. Haldane, 20, failed to score in seven appearances. Crawley have cancelled a three-year kit supply contract with Baliston after the company repeatedly failed to make delivery dates, and there was quality issues with the kit. No replica kit deliveries have been made for the current season, and Crawley will now switch to the Nike kit as used by the Bulls. Exeter have extended Tony Scully's loan from Notts County through to December. The 25 year old winger has scored once for the Grecians and is available on a free in the Transfer Window.
Gary Johnson has quit Yeovil Town to take over at Bristol City. Johnson spent five years at Huish Park, guiding them from mid-table in the Conference to the lower end of League One. He joins a side two points, and four places, lower than his previous Club. City began the season as favourites, and looked slick in a pre-season friendly at Edgar Street, but failed to impress in the League and were thumped 7-1 by Swansea which ended Brian Tinnion's short reign at the Club.
For unknown reasons, conferencefootball.tv have cancelled coverage of the Aldershot-Bulls match on Tuesday in favour of the Dagenham-Grays match.
Their website was still advertising the Aldershot match at 2pm today, but is now advertising the new fixture. No reason has been given for the fixture change.
Halifax have Matt Doughty suspended for the last of his three game ban, otherwise Chris Wilder has no new injury worries. The only doubts remain over exactly what eleven players Wilder will start with after changing four before the midweek win.
Hereford will be missing Adam Stansfield for at least two more weeks. Optimism over Guy Ipoua's Hamstring injury earlier in the week has faded and the striker is likely to miss his sixth successive match. Stacy Coldicott will not feature after tests at Lilleshall, but Simon Travis may feature on the bench for the first time this season.
Speaking to Friday's Non League Paper, Halifax manager Chris Wilder says he knows his best side. Wilder has constantly chopped and changed both personnel and formation this season, but Wilder told the NLP: "Even Chelsea and Manchester United don't know what their best 11 is. People were saying after we won 4-0 at home to Tamworth that the team we put out that day was our best 11. But then that same team went out a week later and lost 4-0 at Gravesend so is that still the best 11? Too many things change in football and your team is formulated as the season goes on."
Hereford are slight favourites for tomorrow's match. Best odds are Hereford 8/5 (Sportingodds), Halifax 7/4 (Totalbet/Ukbetting), Draw 12/5 (Stan James).
In Conference title betting, Hereford are best priced 11/2 (William Hill, Premier Bet, Stan James) with Exeter best priced at 4/1 favourites (bet365, Stan James). York have shortened considerably being best priced at 14/1 after being 20/1 three weeks ago, while Aldershot are now quoted at 100/1 with several bookmakers. Longest odds available are on Burton Albion, who are a whopping 800/1 with VC Bet.
Top Goalscorer betting gives Guy Ipoua at 16/1, Adam Stansfield at 50/1, and Danny Carey-Bertram at 66/1 (all bet365). Anthony Elding is 6/1 favourite, with Chris Moore at 10/1 and Lee Phillips at 12/1 (all Skybet).
With cheap childrens' admission a regular feature on the forums, the Football League have today announced a "Kids Go Free" nationwide initiative.
34 Clubs have so far agreed to allow kids in for free when accompanied by an adult for any League match, with six more Clubs offering selected matches and more Clubs likely to sign up.
Last season, Preston offered free admission to under 8's and saw memberships in that age group rise from 86 to 948 with 80% regularly attending matches, with 69% of those who exceeded the age limit for this season buying a season ticket instead.
Football League crowds hit a 45 year high last season, compared with the dwindling Premiership gates so far this season.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
It's honours even at The Shay in this Conference fixture. Two wins apiece in the four matches played in the Conference, although Halifax have the historical edge overall with seven wins to five. Hereford have won the last two encounters with a single Tamika Mkandawire goal last April, and Steve Guinan and Andy Tretton the April before giving the Bulls 1-0 and 2-1 wins.
Hereford are hoping to have Guy Ipoua available after a five match absence, with the pairing of Purdie and Bertram proved ineffective in the midweek draw with Gravesend. Adam Stansfield will miss the match with a Groin injury, though Simon Travis may return to play some part after resuming full training this week.
Team Last Match: Brown, Jeannin, Green, Blewitt, James, Beckwith, Stanley, Ferrell, Pitman, Purdie, Carey-Bertram.
Halifax enjoyed their first away win for 10 games at Kidderminster in midweek but were mauled by the Bulls midweek opponents, Gravesend, 4-0 last Saturday. Manager Chris Wilder rang four changes after that result, and is likely to keep the winning side. Former Bulls striker, John Grant, has scored three goals in 17 appearances for the Shaymen so far.
Team Last Match: Dunbavin, Haslam, Quinn, Ingram, Wright, Forrest, Foster, Thompson, Jacobs, Killeen, Sugden.
Boston Manager Steve Evans has been charged with fraud according to BBC Radio Lincolnshire, along with their current General Manager John Blackwell, ex-Chairman Pat Malkinson, former accountant Brian James, and former bookeeper Ian Lee. The five are to appear at Bow Street Magistrates Court next Friday on charges brought by the Inland Revenue.
In July 2002 the FA found Boston United guilty of six offences regarding false player contracts and issued a £100,000 fine with four points docked. Evans was later banned for 20 months for his part and fined £8,000, Malkinson was banned for 13 months and was fined £5,250.
Boston United have stated that neither the Club, nor any of the current Board, have been charged and will make no further statement.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Speaking to the Gravesend Messenger, Liam Daish felt his side had not robbed the Bulls of all three points - "It was a good point for us. We went in goalless at half-time but came back well after we went a goal down. We had a real go at them and it was no more than we deserved at the end. We went 4-3-3 in the last 10 minutes to play with three strikers against their five at the back. Jay Saunders should have scored and we had them under a lot of pressure. Even when we went a goal down we kept going and played some good football."
Speaking to BBC Hereford & Worcester's Keith Hall, Dean Beckwith acknowledged that Gravesend had had a lot of attacking play "They put us under a bit of pressure, I think they had 15 corners which was too many. We didn't play our best but we got 1-0 up and sat back a bit too much and withstood some pressure but they got the break at the end. When we did pass the ball it was good, but it didn't quite click tonight. Their Centre Backs are big and won a fair share of headers, and we had two small forwards and probably played too many long balls to them. We need to win our home games and the lads are disappointed. We've got to go to Halifax and win. It will be hard but we need the three points."
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Hereford United were unable to hold onto the lead and dropped two points late on against Gravesend & Northfleet this evening at Edgar Street. The draw will seem even more frustrating when the news of Exeter's defeat and York's draw find its way to Hereford.
With Ryan Green back from suspension and Jon Brady suffering with a groin strain, Graham Turner made just the one change to the starting eleven, with Green replacing Brady. Rob Purdie moved into attack alongside Danny Carey-Bertram and Green took his usual position at right wing back. Graham Evans recovered from injury and was named on the bench for The Bulls.
Gravesend started the game brightly, with three corners in the first couple of minutes, the first of which came with just seconds gone when Dean Beckwith misplaced a headed pass back. Alex Jeannin was busy on the left for Hereford and had it not been for a good cut out by a defender, Purdie would have had an easy tap in following Jeannin's cross early on. Carey-Bertram fired wide when he was presented with the ball following a short head back from a defender, but he fired wide of the far post from twenty yards.
Purdie was the supplier this time for Jeannin when he split the defence with a pass to Jeannin, attacking from the left, and he saw his effort go narrowly wide of the far post.Craig Stanley was quick to close down, and disposess a defender on the half way line but Carey-Bertram should have done better when presented with a good chance after Green's early cross. Almost immediately at the other end, Beckwith had to make a brilliant recovering tackle to deny Charlie McDonald. Before the half was over, Purdie forced Craig Holloway into a good save and Jay Saunders volleyed just over for the visitors.
Hereford came out for the second half with renewed enery and looked more dangerous. Purdie was not to far away from Carey-Bertram's cross just moments after the restart and, after a counter attack, Jeannin was just unable to reach Purdie's through ball before 'keeper Holloway. However, with eigth minutes of the half gone, The Bulls broke the deadlock. Purdie played a superb through ball inside the left back for Carey-Bertram, and he centred for Stanley who swept the ball home from close range.
Jeannin smashed a training ground free-kick regime inches over from twenty five yards soon after the opener, but The Fleet, from then on, began to get back into the game and started causing United some problems. Bobby Bowry forced Wayne Brown into a wonderful save with a volley from outside of the box, which the 'keeper managed to tip onto the crossbar. A good spell for Gravesend followed, with a number of corners from which they looked threatening. Brown was again called upon to make a good save after a scramble in the box, and then somehow, when the ball fell to Saunders, he managed to fire over from point blank range.
It was then United's turn to put some pressure on the visitors, but they failed to make anything of four successive corners before disaster struck and Gravesend equalised. A corner was awarded when man of the match Beckwith blocked a cross and Graham Turner took the opportunity to make his first change, sacrificing a striker for a defender. Carey-Bertram, who had just been booked, was replaced by Mkandawire but the reinforcement failed to work as Gravesend scored from the corner. The ball fell in the box and Bowry hit an instinctive shot that flew through a crowd of players and into the back of the net, much to the delight of the travelling support of 38. Brady was brought on in a last ditch attempt to retake the lead. Purdie crossed for Pitman, but his outstrethced boot directed the ball just wide and Mkandawire headed just wide in the last minute from a Purdie corner.
It proved to be an extremely frustrating night for Hereford and they will be most disappointed, especially considering other results, at having conceded so late on. Turner must be regretting his decision to make a change at such a crucial point in the game; it is often said that you should never make a sub when there's a corner to defend. It was evident that Gravesend were pressing and Hereford needed some fresh ideas with around twenty minutes to go, and it has to be wondered why a change wasn't made before.
The gap has been closed between the leaders and now eigth placed Hereford following the draw, in front of 2,396, but Hereford are still to string together two victories this season, something that they will want to put right much sooner than later. The next game is away to Halifax next Saturday.
HUFC: Brown, James, Blewitt, Beckwith, Jeannin, Green, Pitman, Stanley, Ferrell, Purdie, Carey-Bertram. Subs: Mkandawire, Mawson, Brady, Williams, Evans.
GNFC: Holloway, Protheroe, Graham-Smith, McCarthy, Daniel Glozier, Slatter, Saunders, Bowry, Jackson, MacDonald, Drury. Subs: Aaron Kerr, Gooding, Surey, Omoyinmi, Grant.
Graham Turner told last night's Liaison Committee meeting that he had spoken to three strikers, but none had signed for the Club. Two players at Championship Clubs were approached with one Club initially agreeing to let a player out on loan before injuries meant a change of mind, and the other player declined the offer. The third player was a veteran striker who was released by their last club in the summer but had chosen to retire.
The Liaison Committee, made up of members of the Club's Board and representatives of the various Supporters groups, was also told that work on the floodlights was due to start in approximately six weeks.
Hereford have Ryan Green back after suspension and should start at Rob Purdie's expense. Graham Evans is also back in contention after missing Saturday's match with a back injury. Adam Stansfield is to see a specialist on a groin injury, and Stacy Coldicott is training at Lilleshall in an attempt to resolve a niggling back injury that has plagued the midfielder since joining the Bulls. Guy Ipoua is closer to fitness, but is unlikely to figure this time. Simon Travis is back in full training and may feature on the bench.
Gravesend have no new injury worries from the weekend. Onome Sodje is suspended following his red card on Saturday, and Graham Porter is still two weeks from contention following an achilles injury.
Monday, September 19, 2005
Aldershot have signed Steven Reed on loan from Yeovil for a month. Reed, 20, has just finished a similar spell at Woking where he played five times. Reed is Aldershot's sixth current loan player, though the current rules dictate that only five can be used in any 16 man squad.
In other news Scarboro have resigned goalkeeper Gavin Kelly on non-contract forms as cover for Leigh Walker. Kelly, 36, last played for the club in 1996 but has recently been goalkeeping coach at the McCain Stadium. With ex-Bull Andy Tretton going under the knife this week, it is now believed the Accrington defender will not be fit for action until January which further reinforces Graham Turner's decision not to offer him a 2 year deal.
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Gravesend come to Hereford having recorded their biggest win on the season, but have never won a Conference match against the Bulls at Edgar Street. In three previous encounters Gravesend have only managed one point - in a 3-3 draw in September 2003, with the Bulls coming back from 2-0 down. Last season, a Jamie Pitman goal gave the Bulls a 1-0 win just before Christmas to complete a double over Gravesend.
Hereford welcome back Ryan Green after a three match ban, and he is expected to take Rob Purdie's full back place, but Adam Stansfield, Guy Ipoua, and Simon Travis are unlikely to feature. Graham Evans and Stacy Caldicott may be named on the bench if their fitness improves. Graham Turner continues to search for a new striker to cover for his injury hit front line after speaking to a player on Saturday, and an announcement is hoped for on Monday.
Team for last match: Brown, Jeannin, Purdie, Beckwith, James, Blewitt, Stanley, Pitman, Ferrell, Brady, Carey-Bertram.
Gravesend will be missing Onome Sodje the on loan Charlton striker, after he was dismissed for a serious foul after just 13 minutes of his substitute appearance on Saturday, but have no new injury worries from the weekend.
Team for last match: Holloway, Protheroe, Graham-Smith, McCarthy, Skinner, Slatter, Bowry, Saunders, Jackson, Drury, MacDonald.
Speaking in today's Non League Paper Morecambe Manager Jimmy Harvey said of his side - "The boys will go home disappointed but they can feel happy with their effort and commitment and their performance. I think the afternoon was summed up by the way our supporters stayed behind for 10 minutes after the end clapping the players and singing. We played extremely well and dominated for long periods, on another day we would have gone on and won the game. Hereford were fortunate to get a result but in terms of the performances they have produced over the last couple of seasons, although they have got a couple of players out, I thought they were a million miles off that today."
In comparison, Graham Turner was happy with the result - "Under the circumstances that was a big result for us as Morecambe will certainly be up there at the end of the season. It was vital that we got a win today but given the circumstances, that we could not put out five substitutes with six of the squad missing through injury including some senior players, we have done extremely well. Six clean sheets in eight matches is a terrific record and we have said often enough that it is the 1-0 wins which gain you promotion. It's nice when it's all flowing but we have had a really hard game today and showed determination and resilience."
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Graham Turner held talks with an unnamed striker before today's match with Morecambe. The Bulls strikeforce, decimated by injury, has failed to score since 20th August with the Bulls scoring just two goals since - through a defender and a midfielder.
Exeter remain top after a 3-0 win at Southport, all the goals coming in the second half. Grays slip to third following a 2-2 draw with Tamworth. York take second after a comprehensive 5-0 win at home to Altrincham. Accrington are fourth after a 4-2 win over Crawley, and fast improving Dagenham are fifth after a 3-1 win over Burton.
Tuesday's opponents Gravesend beat next Saturday's opponents Halifax 4-0, and finished the game with 10 men. Forest Green recorded only their second win of the season 3-1 at Kidderminster, Woking won 2-0 at Cambridge for their first away win. Canvey beat Scarboro by the only goal of the game, and Stevenage gave away a 2-0 half time lead at Aldershot to finish 2-2. Aldershot remain bottom on goal difference.
Carlton Palmer has this evening quit as manager of the Bulls' LDV opponents Mansfield. The ex-England international has seen his side drop to third bottom of League Two with just one win this season. Peter Shirtliff takes temporary charge.
Hereford United kept their sixth clean sheet in eight games to secure a 1-0 home victory against Morecambe this afternoon. The Shrimps were not lacking in confidence having travelled to Edgar Street on the back of a 5-2 defeat of Aldershot and caused some problems for the mean Hereford defence, but the back three excelled throughout and Wayne Browns goal was rarely endangered.
Jamie Pitman took the place of the injured Graham Evans in the injury struck United side meaning Jon Brady moved into attack alongside Danny Carey-Bertram. The injury list, not helped by the suspension of Ryan Green, is so hefty at the moment that Graham Turner could only name four substitutes.
Michael Twiss pounded a shot wide firstly for The Reds after Garry Thompson had forced his way through a couple of challenges while Pitman fired wide at the other end. Alex Jeannin brought down Twiss on the very edge of the box, after a rather poor start to the game, and received a yellow card, the first of many in the game, for his actions.
Darren Blewitt was booked for a nasty challenge on Thompson before United had a good penalty shout waved away. Andy Ferrell crossed for Craig Stanley and his goalbound header was clearly deflected away by the hand of a defender, but not in the view of the referee. Dean Beckwith placed a superb throughball into the run of Stanley as The Bulls created the best chance of the half. Stanley's run took him beyond the defence and his shot from twenty five yards had beaten the on rushing Ryan Robinson, but it curled just inches wide.
Wayne Curtis forced Brown, who is yet to concede for Hereford, in to a wonderful one handed save moments before the deadlock was broken when he smashed a shot in from the right of the penatly box. Jeannin was the creator, when he beat his man and saw his centre deflected to the edge of the box where Ferrell was on hand to fire a perfectly placed volley into the bottom corner with just four minutes left of the half. Before the half was over, Chris Blackburn was booked for diving.
Thompson almost leveled things up soon after the restart but his right footed effort went inches wide of the far post. Chances were hard to come by in the early stages of the second period, but Hereford did manage to force a number of corners. Stanley had a shot blocked after being picked out by Brady before the Australian was replaced by Andy Williams. Blackburn received his marching orders following a foul on Jeannin down the left, with seven minutes remaining, in which Beckwith was booked and Tamika Mkandawire replaced Carey-Bertram.
The three points were important today against a tough side, who started the day in fifth position. Although work still needs to be done on the attacking side, the cause has not been helped by the absence of Guy Ipoua, Adam Stansfield and Graham Evans. At the other end though, Hereford are looking very safe indeed. Man of the match today was Tony James, who put in an imaculate performance as did Pitman. Both seemed to be everywhere in the defence today; whenever a tackle was needed one of the two were there to make it. In front of 2422, this pleasing result moves The Bulls up three places, to seventh, in the Conference table.
HUFC: Brown, James, Blewitt, Beckwith, Jeannin, Purdie, Pitman, Ferrell, Stanley, Brady, Carey-Bertram. Subs: Mawson, Mkandawire, Gwynne, Williams.
MFC: Robinson, Blackburn, Bentley, Kempson, Howard, Thompson, Perkins, Hunter, Curtis, O'Connor, Twiss. Subs: Walmsely, Carlton, Kelly, Stringfellow, Davis.
In a much brighter match than last season's encounter, Hereford beat Morecambe 1-0 today thanks to an Andy Ferrell goal. Chris Blackburn was dismissed for the visitors with ten minutes left for a second booking. The patched-up Hereford only named four substitutes, with six players out.
Full report later.
The Bulls have been drawn away at Mansfield in the First Round of the LDV Vans Trophy. Our last trip to Mansfield was a 2-1 win in April 1996, with goals from Chris Hargreaves and Steve White, however it will be the Boxing Day 1994 encounter that Bulls fans remember far too well with the Bulls going down 7-1.
The tie will be played in the week commencing 17th October.
Update: Mansfield manager, Calton Palmer, quit after his side lost 2-0 against Rochdale this afternoon
Friday, September 16, 2005
Speaking to the Worcester Evening News, John Trewick commented about the current striker problems - "We are looking at a number of options in what we are going to do in attack. Of course, we have Jon Brady who played up front at Stevenage in the second-half. It worked well enough because we brought Jamie Pitman on and reverted to an orthodox three-man midfield. Jon worked hard in attack and it could be that he's there again."
"We are looking at the option of bringing somebody in short-term. But it's not easy getting the people that you need. Adam (Stansfield) has a groin problem and we are not quite sure how long he will be unavailable. He's resting it to see how it responds and we'll take it from there. Graham (Evans) took a whack in his lower back during the first-half at Stevenage. It is touch and go that he will be fit for Morecambe. We have missed Guy (Ipoua) and Adam but they're not the reason that we've not been converting chances. That comes from the entire team."
"Last year, Morecambe came here, played a 3-6-1 system and basically showed little attacking intent or willingness to come out and play. I don't know what to expect of them this time. They will probably play a similar way, although they are a decent footballing side who mix their game up with short and long passing. They have one or two very good players. Michael Twiss is a player who can score a lot of goals."
Stevenage Chairman Phil Wallace fired back at Confguide for it's article last Monday naming Wallace as the reason for stopping the live internet broadcast of this Tuesday's match between Stevenage and Exeter.
"Just what the reason they had for publishing half the facts of a story and where they got it from is lost on me. Yes, I did refuse to allow free Internet broadcasting of our live match against Exeter and for good reason."
"Being one of the people instrumental in concluding the Sky TV package for the Conference, which has resulted in great exposure and hundreds of thousands of pounds for Conference clubs, why should we continue to give away the rights to our live matches for free? The whole ethos of live games being broadcast is that clubs receive adequate compensation for the loss of fans that decide to stay at home and watch the match on their screen. I accepted that we needed to test this area 18 months ago and we have. We now know it works and its now time to commercialise it for the benefit of the clubs. If we can't sell it, then we'll wait until we can is my view."
"If we continue to go down a path of showing our live matches for free, then clubs at our level won't survive for long. Its hard enough as it is and giving away the only asset we have - the actual live game -for free is the first nail in the coffin of survival for many clubs unless they receive suitable compensation for the fans who stay at home."
Wallace's final comments were aimed directly at the owners of Confguide, and the operators of the official Conference site and conference football.tv, Teamtalk Media - "I'm particularly angry because Confguide who released half the story on their site are allegedly now owned or controlled by In the Box Media who want to broadcast the live matches for free."
As with the original Confguide article, Wallace's retort was not published on the Official Confrence site.
In other Conference news, Altrincham have signed ex-Man City youngster Chris Cloherty from Trafford FC. Cloherty has been Trafford's reserve keeper so far this season. Crawley have taken Yeovil Defender Andy Lindegaard on loan for a month. Lindegaard, 25, came through the Huish Park youth side but has only featured once for the League One side this season. Gravesend boss Liam Daish could find himself in trouble after slamming the Conference's only female referee, Amy Rayner, in Friday's Non League Paper - "It?s got to be said, the lady referee was out of her depth. She was not strong enough to handle that game. The pitch was knowhere near playable, and the game should have been called off. She?d have preferred to have been anywhere other than reffing Scarborough against Gravesend, because she knew she had made mistakes." Forest Green have extended the loan of Lewis Haldane, the 20 year old Bristol Rovers striker, until October and have allowed fellow striker Mark Danks to go on loan to Bromsgrove for two months. Cambridge have finally secured the services of ex-West Ham defender Tommy Laws, but have failed to sign ex-Shrew Leon Drysdale after the utility man stalled over terms.
Dave Treharne told last night's Exeter Fans Forum that the reported unexpected costs incurred were "under £20,000". The biggest cost was removal of asbestos from the Ground at a cost of approximately £7,000. A list of 30 unexpected cost items was presented to fans, with only two other items coming over the £1,000 mark.
The nature of Mr. Terharne's comments, as quoted in the Express & Echo, suggested there was problems meeting the monthly bills at St James Park, but with gates up 21% so far this season and the budget slashed by over £2,000 a week the comments appear to be little more than scaremongering to keep the Exeter fans donating money into the Club. The increase in gates alone, amounting to over 700 people per match, can be equated to the cost of the "unexpected losses". While some of the losses would be considered to be included in the general ground maintenance budgets of some clubs, Exeter appear to either have not accounted for some expenditure that is expected over a season, or under calculated the amounts necessary meaning some work is needed on the budget to stop a repeat of this sort of knee-jerk announcement.
Hereford will miss Ryan Green for the final game of his suspension and Simon Travis, who should return to full training next week. Adam Stansfield is likely to miss a month with a groin injury and with Guy Ipoua and Graham Evans struggling to be fit, the choice for the forward line is likely to be limited. Jamie Pitman's strong return to the side last week may force him into midfield with Jon Brady being pushed up front if no other forward alternatives are found.
Morecambe, as with last seasons encounter at Edgar Street, are expected to switch to a more defensive formation than the one that beat Aldershot 5-2 last weekend. They come to Edgar Street with no new injuries but Forward Sean O'Connor played an hour of last weeks win for his longest appearance in a year following injury and may be the one sacrificed for a change in formation.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Halifax striker Darren Mansaram, fresh from a spell at York, has joined Tamworth for a month's loan. Tamworth have released Simon Hollis, who has returned to Redditch, and have let Nathan Jackson join Stourport on a month's loan.
Southport's top scorer, striker Neil Robinson, will miss a month with ankle ligament damage. The four goal striker was stretched off during last weeks match with Woking and scans have confirmed the damage.
Accrington's ex-Bulls defender Andy Tretton, yet to make an appearance for the Lancashire club, is likely to go under the knife next week. The 28 year old spent three injury hit seasons at Edgar Street, and the knee injury picked up in pre-season means that Tretton is unlikely to play any part in Accrington's campaign until November. Midfielder Andrew Proctor is also likely to have an operation on his injury.
Halifax Chairman Geoff Ralph has denied that there is serious financial problems at The Shay. An article appeared on the Shaymen Online website http://www.shaymenonline.org suggesting that Vice Chairman Adrian Hall had been asked to resign after he refused to put more money into the Club, and that the six Vice Presidents were each asked to "pump" £2,500 into the Club or forfeit their positions.
In response to the article Ralph issued a denial on the official Halifax website "Adrian Hall was asked by me to review his situation on the basis that he had identified to myself and the rest of the Board on more than one occasion that he was finding it difficult to have a meaningful involvement with the Club. He had personal business issues to deal with, and was not able to contribute further to the club either financially or with his time. Halifax Town clearly needs Directors who are able to spend time on the Club's matters in order to progress. Vice Presidents have not been asked to "pump" money into the Club. They have been advised that the role of Vice President is deemed to have a value, and asked if they would wish to make that contribution. If they did not wish to do this, a position of "Life Member" was available to them at no cost."
The Shaymen Online website noted in it's response that the Vice Presidents would only remain as Vice Presidents if a financial contribution was made, which suggested that it's article was correct. Halifax currently list 33 players in the first team squad on their Official Website, plus two on loan from Bradford, which is one of the largest squads in the Conference.
In other news, Exeter are set to announce that they are struggling to break-even at a Fans Forum on Thursday night. Announcing a renewal of the sponsorship deal with budget airline Flybe, Dave Treharne stated "We are struggling every month to break even. People look at the attendance figures and think we are comfortably off. The fact of the matter is we are not. Tonight is an opportunity to get over what is happening as far as the club's finances are concerned. We are putting together a revised five-year plan for the club - and I am sure people will want to know what we are looking at in terms of best case and worst case scenarios." A number of unexpected costs are likely to be detailed as the cause for the problems which have derailed the original five year plan.
Exeter, currently sitting top of both the League and Attendance tables, are set to exit their CVA on October 15th despite some creditors objecting to the agreement when the Club made over £800,000 from last season's FA Cup run.
League Two side Macclesfield Town have been charged with four counts of financial irregularities today by the FA.
Three of the charges relate to a grant from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund for the Estate Road Stand that was finished in 2002. The fourth charge relates to the club's accounting records.
Macclesfield Chairman Robert Bickerton has stated that the Club has co-operated fully with the investigation, but would not be making any more statements until the hearing. The Silkmen have 14 days to respond to the charges.
Macclesfield won the Conference in 1997 but, after a strong start to Football League life, have struggled both on and off the pitch recently and currently lie just three points off the bottom of League Two. If found guilty of the charges, the FA have the power to deduct points and impose sanctions against the club.
The four byes for the LDV Trophy have been announced. Bradford and Port Vale receive byes in the Northern section, while Colchester and Walsall receive byes in the Southern section. The byes are necessary to even up the number of teams.
In other news, Aldershot are keen to sign midfielder Andre Boucard from Peterboro on loan. Ex-Reading man Boucard, 20, would be their fifth current loanee - the maximum number they can name in a 16 man match squad. Meanwhile Grays reserves beat Peterboro reserves 5-0, with ex-Aldershot trio Jamie Slabber, Bertie Brayley, and Aaron McLean among the goals.
In todays Hereford Times Graham Turner is reported to be waiting on two Championship clubs about loan offers to two strikers. No mention of which clubs or players involved are mentioned.
In his column he reflects on the criticism of Sven Goran Eriksson noting that the tactical changes he made in the Northern Ireland game were wrong, but backing Eriksson remain in the job for now.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
In an update to the earlier article, Chester City Chairman Stephen Vaughan has told the press that the outstanding debts to the Inland Revenue and Chester City Council have now been paid.
Outstanding loans from the PFA, paid to cover players wages, have also now been repaid meaning the lifting of a month-old transfer embargo.
In other news, Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote is on the lookout for a new Goalkeeper after second choice Richard Acton broke a bone in his foot in Tuesday night's Cheshire Cup match against Woodley Sports, ruling him out for a month. The injury leaves them with only one senior 'keeper.
Meanwhile Darren Mansaram, a thorn in the Bulls side in their 3-2 defeat at home to Halifax 12 months ago, has returned to Halifax after a loan spell at York. The striker played five times for York, but failed to score, and returns to The Shay carrying a groin injury. York boss Billy McEwan has not ruled out a return for Mansaram, who is yet to live up to the performances of his initial spell at Halifax, but is currently looking at Grimsby striker Jermaine Palmer, who played four games on loan at Scarboro at the start of the season including a substitute appearance against the Bulls in the opening game.
Crawley have appointed ex-England internation Alan Mullery in an advisory role. Mullery, 63, will scout matches and attend training sessions in the new role.
Two of the Conference's higher profile managers, Nigel Clough and Terry Brown, are coming under increasing pressure from supporters to improve their Clubs results in the coming weeks.
Burton Albion officials arrived at their new Pirelli Stadium yesterday morning to be greeted by a "We Want Cloughie Out" banner. The Brewers have only taken five points from the opening seven games, lying one point off the bottom of the table, and supporters have become increasingly disillusioned by Clough's management - using the most recent matches to voice their disapproval. Clough took over in late 1998, leading them to two successive runner-up spots in the Dr Martens Premier before switching north to the Unibond Premier and finally gaining Conference status for the first time in 2002. Three indifferent seasons have followed with the Club only making a best finish of 14th.
Terry Brown is the first manager to take the reformed Aldershot to the bottom of any division. The club have risen quickly through the leagues since rising from the ashes of the bankrupt league club in 1992 and were a surprise package when they made the play-off finals in their first ever Conference season in 2003, again reaching the play-offs last season. A close season where many experienced campaigners departed, transfer targets were missed, and the treatment table became busier than the training pitch meant that Aldershot entered the current campaign struggling to name a fit squad of 16, using 22 different players in the opening 7 games. With the allotted playing budget already taken up Brown has had to rely on four loan players to patch up his struggling squad, with both Scott Guyett and Chris McPhee extending their loans for a second month, but the Shots fans voiced their disapproval at an inept performance both on and off the pitch last week and questions are being asked as to whether Brown, like Clough at Burton, has taken the Club "as far as he can".
Adam Stansfield is facing up to a month on the sidelines after picking up a groin injury.
Stansfield, the Bulls leading scorer last season, was expected to recover from a minor knock from the previous match, but pulled a muscle in last Friday's training session. Both he and Guy Ipoua are expected to spend time at Lilleshall this week to help resolve their injuries, but neither are anticipated to be fit for the next game against Morecambe.
With Graham Evans substituted at half time at Stevenage with a minor knock and Andy Williams also carrying an injury, the Bulls are left with the prospect of having only Danny Carey-Bertram as a fit striker for Saturday's match. With Rob Purdie expected to be filling in at full back, Jon Brady is likely to start where he finished the last match - as Bertram's strike partner.
Graham Turner is believed to be seeking a temporary reinforcement of his front line but, in order to maximise the number of games any loan player could play, any announcement would probably be delayed until the last minute.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Former Hereford United Director George Hyde died yesterday after a long battle with cancer, he was 69. A long standing supporter of Hereford United George was twice on the Board Of Directors finishing his most recent stint to return to active local Council life to lead the Independent group on Herefordshire Council, and become Deputy Leader of the Council, as one of the Councillors for Tupsley.
Chester City could fold in just eight days time after the Inland Revenue filed a winding up petition in the High Court. The Club, Conference winners in 2004, owe £180,000 in unpaid tax.
Update - The BBC Website also reports Chester City Council have issued a writ against the Club for £46,000, arising from the Club not paying rent on the Deva Stadium for two years.
Chester chairman Stephen Vaughan denied the Club was about to close, adding that he had arranged for his accountant to pay the money by Friday and had already paid over £300,000 to the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise this year.
"We are in something of a financial straitjacket at the club currently, in as much as we are restricted in what we can do at the Deva Stadium complex because of the terms of the lease." Mr Vaughan told the Liverpool Daily Post.
"There are a number of initiatives that we would like to undertake in and around the stadium, which would be beneficial to the club and its finances. Under the current terms of the lease agreement we are basically restricted so that we can only generate finance on match days and this is extremely restrictive.
"The original lease was agreed between a previous board of Chester City directors, the constructors of the stadium Morrisons, who are now under new ownership, and the city council. I am keen to get around a table with all the interested parties in order to find a suitable and agreeable way forward. We have been chasing arrears since the day I walked into the club. We were £3m in debt when I took it over and I loaned the club that amount plus about another million. What I'm doing now is balancing the books."
Vaughan believed that the Club require average gates of 5000 rather than the current 3100 - "The long term future of the club when we started out was to get back in the football league and climb the divisions. In order to achieve that we have to overspend to give the manager a fighting chance. We are three points behind the leaders so we are on course."
Vaughan admitted in early 2004 that the Club was losing £65,000 a month, and later accused former manager Mark Wright of overspending and signing players to contracts without Board approval. Chester reputedly had a weekly wage bill in excess of £25,000 during their Conference championship campaign. Vaughan has always been a controversial Chairman, and attempted to buy a 23.2% stake in Everton in the summer.
Stevenage Borough have reported a £9,410 loss in the financial year to 31st May 2005, after a £110,791 loss the previous season.
Chairman Phil Wallace is quoted on the Official Stevenage site as saying ''The improved result this year is largely due to the increased revenue from the play offs but our off-field income is still rising year on year. After 5 years of investment and diversification, gate income now accounts for less than 25% of our £2+ million annual income with commercial activities, daily conferencing, banqueting and the new Academy all making a strong contribution to our income stream."
"As an overall business we're in good shape, choosing to invest all of our disposable income into the playing budget rather than declaring taxable profits and dividends. When success on the field eventually brings higher crowds through the turnstiles, the club will be well placed to finance a climb through the football pyramid."
Monday, September 12, 2005
In news that really makes a mockery of the new loan system Burton Albion, just days after signing striker Danny Bacon on an "Emergency" loan, have told two forwards they can go out on loan. Eric Graves, a 19 year old striker, and winger Chris Hall, 23, have both been told they can leave on loan to get first team experience.
Aldershot, currently lying bottom of the table, have extended Scott Guyett's loan from Yeovil for another month. The Shots lost ex-Bull John Brough just 12 minutes into his debut appearance with a thigh injury, and the renewal of the Australian defender's loan will help ease the problems with an already thin squad.
Cambridge have signed Striker Craig Westcarr on a month long deal, but have released Rob Duffy after he failed to impress in seven matches. Manager Rob Newman is also looking to sign former West Ham defender Tommy Laws and ex-Shrewsbury utility man Leon Drysdale on similar short term deals.
Stevenage Chairman Phil Wallace has refused to allow conferencefootball.tv cameras into Broadhall Way for the match against Exeter on Tuesday 20th September. In an article that appears on confguide.com, it is noted that he refused permission "despite pleas from fellow colleagues".
There are two stand-out points from this press release. Firstly, Phil Wallace was keen to take the praise as a "key player" in the deal that set up of the original Conference internet streaming setup "The Footballers Football Channel" which eventually led to the current conferencefootball.tv facility. Secondly, with Wallace also acting as Vice Chairman of the Conference, the article does not appear on either the official Conference website or the conferencefootball.tv site despite all three sites - Confguide, the official site, and the tv site, all being under the control of the same company. In fact it is the only news article in over two weeks on Confguide to not appear, word for word, on the Official Site.
The match between Aldershot and Hereford is still scheduled to take place live on conferencefootball.tv on 27th September.
Speaking to the Evening News, Jamie Pitman was hopeful that his dislocating shoulder problems will have been fixed permanently by his summer operation.
"The specialist assured me that if I continue to work hard and do my exercises, then there's a chance that the shoulder won't come out again. I've got to do those exercises through the rest of my career, I understand that and I'm willing to do it if it keeps me playing. I dislocated it about six or seven times last year and it came to the point where it needed doing. I could not go into this new season having the same problem, I would not have been mentally right. When the shoulder dislocates, it does not particularly hurt straight away. It becomes painful the next day or about five or six hours afterwards, it's something I've just got used to. I wanted to play until the end of last season because we were up there challenging for promotion. The gaffer asked me if I could continue and I said `yes' but I got frustrated with it and needed the operation."
Pitman, 29, played through the pain last season to help secure a second successive second place for the Bulls, and had been virtually ever present since his return to the club until the shoulder problems occured.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Morecambe travel to Edgar Street five places, but only two points, ahead of the Bulls. Last season Micheal Twiss did all the damage, scoring all of Morecambe's goals against Hereford. The teams drew at Edgar Street 1-1 last season, with a Tamika Mkandawire equaliser, while Morecambe won the return fixture 2-1 less than three weeks later, with Danny Williams scoring the opener. In the 16 Conference encounters so far the Shrimps have the edge with six wins and six draws, the Bulls notching just four wins - the last coming in August 2003 with a convincing 3-0 scoreline.
The Bulls will hope for better news from the treatment table over the course of this week. Injuries to four strikers left Graham Turner with just one recognised striker finishing Saturday's match. Adam Stansfield injured his groin in training on Friday, and early reports suggest that he could be sidelined for a couple of weeks. Guy Ipoua hasn't featured in the last three matches due to a Hamstring injury, with the Bulls scoring just once in his absence, but is hopeful of returning this week. Graham Evans was substituted at half time on Saturday partly for tactical reasons, but he had also picked up an injury, and Andy Williams was named on the bench to make the numbers up but was also carrying an injury. Ryan Green sits out the final match of his suspension, and Simon Travis edges closer to fitness but is still two weeks away from match readiness. Turner will be bouyed by the commanding performance of Jamie Pitman for his seasonal debut on Saturday which helped inspire a dominating second half display.
Last weeks team: Brown, Jeannin, Purdie, James, Beckwith, Blewitt, Ferrell, Stanley, Brady, Evans, Carey-Bertram
Morecambe, with four clean sheets so far this season, travel to Edgar Street to face a Bulls side who haven't conceded a goal for three matches.The Shrimps, who have always been a side that promises so much but have failed so far to make the final step up, have so far only faced one of the pre-season favourites, losing 2-0 at Exeter three weeks ago. They have despatched the bottom two in recent weeks - beating Crawley 3-0, and demolishing an Aldershot side in disarray 5-2 this past weekend. Whilst their home form is good, with three wins and a draw in four matches, their only points away from home came from a single goal victory at Scarboro three days after the Bulls put four past the same opposition.
Last weeks team: Robinson, Blackburn, Kempson, Bentley, Howard, Thompson, Hunter, Perkins, Curtis, Twiss, O'Connor
Quoted in the Non League Paper, Stevenage Manager Graham Westley was disappointed with the performance and the fact that his side didn't register a shot on target.
"Our front boys won't be happy tonight - I'll be looking for them to do better because it wasn't good enough. Anthony (Elding) also got involved when he shouldn't have done but, at the end of the day, the goalkeeper put his hands in his face. Isn't that against the rules?"
"Hereford are a fit side who always do well away from home, but we were poor today and very below par. We could have nicked it at the death, but I think over the 90 minutes our boys will be more than a little bit disappointed with their efforts."
Graham Turner, on the other hand, was happy with a "good point". "We seem to like playing here, but we haven't quite got our game going this season. It was another 0-0 draw and our defence was very strong today. There were signs, particularly in the second half, that we are starting to get it together now. What we have done is battled well, which is what you have to do at places like Stevenage. That's five clean sheets out of seven now. Even though we were missing one of our top players at the back our defending was very pleasing, but going forward we are just lacking that bit of sharpness needed to win games like this."
Saturday, September 10, 2005
The clash between two of the Conference favourites ended 0-0 at Broadhall Way this afternoon, but it will probably be Hereford who will be the most dissapointed in not taking all three points. Stevenage were reduced to ten men in injury time at the end of the game and only really forced Wayne Brown into one save, as he kept his impressive record of not conceding as yet.
United faced a mini injury crisis before the game and it was only Alex Jeannin out of the pre-match doubts who made the starting eleven. Adam Stansfield missed out allowing Graham Evans to deputise. Guy Ipoua is still struggling with a hamstring problem and Simon Travis remains a couple of weeks away from fitness. Jamie Pitman was once again on the bench, as was Tamika Mkandawire. Rob Purdie continued in the place of the suspended Ryan Green.
Hereford had the better of the early stages but failed to create a lot in the way of goalscoring opportunities. Danny Carey-Bertram should have opened the scoring midway through the first half but having done the hard work on latching onto a through ball and rounding 'keeper Alan Julian, his effort was tame and cleared off the line by a recovering defender.
Graham Evans, replaced at half time by Pitman, went close with a snap shot from the edge of the box in The Bulls only other notable chance of the half, following a spell of possession from Boro but they did not capitalise. The other notable incident came when Anthony Elding blantantly pushed Brown into his own goal and then, when they both got to their feet, over-reacted to what he claimed was a raised hand by the 'keeper. Both were booked.
Former Boro favourite Jon Brady fired a free-kick over the bar early in the second period and then forced Julian into a spectacular diving save with a left footed shot from twenty yards out. At the other end Stevenage had a great chance of snatching a goal when substitutue Simon Weatherstone saw his first time shot hit a defender and fall kindly to Darryn Stamp, but was denied brilliantly by Brown, from just six yards out with the goal gaping.
Hereford were to go close twice more, firstly with Craig Stanley, following a brilliant move throught the midfield, but once again Julian denied him and then from man of the match Dean Beckwith, who smashed a rocket of a shot inches wide of the upright from twenty five yards. Tony James was also impressive at the back alongside Darren Blewitt.
In the second of four added minutes at the end of the game, Carey-Bertram was released with a ball over the head of the last man Ronnie Henry but Henry managed to catch up and up-end Carey-Bertram twenty yards out. It could not be said for sure whether Henry was the last man, but he'd already seen a yellow card and was shown another, leaving Stevenage to battle out the remaining moments a man down. Brady came close to winning it with the resulting free kick, but Julian kept Boro level for a final time.
Both sides will be happy that they have not conceded and United would have probably taken a draw before the game, so all in all this is not a bad result for the visitors. However, Hereford cannot afford to drop many more points with Exeter doing so well at the top. United find themselves in tenth place. A bonus is that they haven't conceded in three games, but Hereford haven't scored in more than four hours of football now.
HUFC Team: Brown, James, Blewitt, Beckwith, Purdie, Jeannin, Ferrell, Stanley, Brady, Evans, Carey-Bertram. Subs: Mkandawire, Mawson, Pitman, Coldicott, Williams.
SBFC: Julian, Warner, Gregory, Hocking, Henry, Nurse, Quinn, Bulman, Boyd, Stamp, Elding. Subs: Laker, Gore, Williams, Weatherstone, Berquez.