Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Halifax/Scunthorpe LDV Match Now 13th December

The twice postponed LDV Round Two match between Halifax and Scunthorpe, which will decide the Bulls opponents in the next round, has now been scheduled for the 13th December.

However Scunthorpe remain in the FA Cup and, should Saturday's tie at Aldershot require a replay, that match would take the December 13th date. Should that happen it is likely that the Halifax/Scunthorpe match will move to the 20th, the day scheduled for the Third Round encounter, with the Bulls getting the night off - but having to re-arrange the LDV match for some time in the New Year with the next round due in the week commencing 23rd January.

Ball 53 for Bulls

Hereford United have been given Ball number 53 should they reach the draw for the Third Round of the FA Cup.

This from The FA:

The Draw will be made at Soho Square on Sunday 4 December at 3pm and it will be covered live on the BBC, Sky Sports and Radio Five Live.

The numbers of the balls are in for The Third Round draw - the most eagerly anticipated of the competition.

The Third Round, the stage where the Premiership clubs come into The FA Cup, is always the source of much excitement and listening to David Davies announcing a potential banana skin for a top side from Soho Square is part of the romance of The Third Round.

The full list of numbers is below:

1 Arsenal
2 Aston Villa
3 Birmingham City
4 Blackburn Rovers
5 Bolton Wanderers
6 Brighton & Hove Albion
7 Burnley
8 Cardiff City
9 Charlton Athletic
10 Chelsea
11 Coventry City
12 Crewe Alexandra
13 Crystal Palace
14 Derby County
15 Everton
16 Fulham
17 Hull City
18 Ipswich Town
19 Leeds United
20 Leicester City
21 Liverpool
22 Luton Town
23 Manchester City
24 Manchester United
25 Middlesbrough
26 Millwall
27 Newcastle United
28 Norwich City
29 Plymouth Argyle
30 Portsmouth
31 Preston North End
32 Queens Park Rangers
33 Reading
34 Sheffield United
35 Sheffield Wednesday
36 Southampton
37 Stoke City
38 Sunderland
39 Tottenham Hotspur
40 Watford
41 West Bromwich Albion
42 West Ham United
43 Wigan Athletic
44 Wolverhampton Wanderers
45 Walsall or Yeovil Town
46 Woking or Northwich Victoria
47 Burton Albion or Burscough
48 Aldershot Town or Scunthorpe United
49 Shrewsbury Town or Colchester United
50 Hartlepool United or Tamworth
51 Cheltenham Town or Oxford United
52 Mansfield Town or Grays Athletic
53 Hereford United or Stockport County
54 Stevenage Borough or Northampton Town
55 Port Vale or Bristol Rovers
56 Boston United or Doncaster Rovers
57 Rushden & Diamonds or Leyton Orient
58 Nuneaton Borough or Histon
59 Oldham Athletic or Brentford
60 Southend United or Milton Keynes Dons
61 Worcester City or Huddersfield Town
62 Torquay United or Notts County
63 Barnsley or Bradford City
64 Chester City or Nottingham Forest

How Others see Hereford

This guide to Hereford and Edgar Street appears on the Stockport County Official Website.

We reprint it without comment:

Pub Guide:

There is a club bar at the ground called 'Legends', which is open before and after the game. From inside here you can see right across the ground.

If you arrive at the ground early enough then turn left and follow the ring road right to the end. Here you will come across the 'Victory Tavern' which has a selection of real ales and a bar which resembles half an old sailing ship, complete with cannons!

On the edge of the main car park at the ground is the 'Oxford Arms' which is described as a friendly pub, with a beer garden and Sky Sports.

Edgar Street is situated in the city centre which means there is a variety of pubs in the town centre within walking distance.

Around five minutes away from the ground is the 'Newmarket Tavern' which has a large screen and is quite comfortable although away fans are advised to use their discretion with this pub, as there have been mixed reports.

Edgar Street is one of the biggest grounds in non-league and has a capacity of nearly 9,000, with seating at either side and terracing behind both goals.

The strange looking, two-tiered Edgar Street stand goes along one side. The upper tier is seated, which hangs right over the terrace in the lower tier.

The other side is the Merton Meadow Stand which is a covered, single tier stand and is raised above pitch level.

The home end is the Merton Meadow Terrace which is semi circular in shape, going out around the back of the goal and at the other end if the Blackfriars End which is another partly covered terrace.

Edgar Street also houses some large, unusual looking floodlights.

Away Day Experience:

A trip to Hereford is described as a "happy and relaxed occasion" although there have been a few recent incidents in the ground, including trouble after their FA Cup victory over Wrexham during the 2001-02 season.

Most of the time, though, away fans are able to enjoy a pint and a chat with the home supporters before and after the game, in the many pubs surrounding the ground and also in the town centre.

On FA Cup days, Hereford often parade a live 'Prize Bull' around the ground and the Swede is also blessed. This has been done before many of the Bulls' famous Cup upsets over the years.

Facilities in the ground are very basic although fans will be able to sample the delicious 'Football's Famous Chicken Balti Pie' for the price of £2.00.

10 things you always wanted to know about Hereford:

1)The county of Herefordshire has a long history of cider making, which goes back even before Roman times, and children used to be baptised in it instead of water!

2)Hereford's Royal Charters, which mark the city's progress for over 1,000 years, are among the finest in the country and are kept at the Town Hall in a strong-room where they are kept safe from fire and theft.

3)The Three Choirs Festival takes place every third year in Hereford and is the oldest music festival in Europe, having been going for over 250 years.

4)Harold Godwin, Earl of Hereford, was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey in January 1066 AD. He was later defeated, and killed, by William, Duke of Normandy, near Hastings on October 14th 1066 AD.

5) Hereford houses the well known 'Butter Market' which, as the name suggests, was once devoted entirely to the sale of butter, cheese and other dairy products.

6) Hereford is one of the oldest cities in England, dating back to the early 7th century AD when Saxon settlers fortified the site against the marauding Welsh.

7) Pioneer photographer, businessman and inventor of the Ley Line hypothesis, Alfred Watkins, lived his whole life in Hereford.

8) Wyevale Garden Centres, one of the leading garden centre firms in the United Kingdom, is from Hereford.

9) With its mild springs, warm summers and long autumns, and also the gentle rain to swell the apple and ripen it, Herefordshire is a good place for cider making and 8,000 acres of the county is devoted to growing cider apples.

10) The Queen visited Hereford on Friday May 3rd, 1996, and formally opened the city's New Library Building.

Stockport paper thinks Hereford is in South Wales

Chris Turner, the Stockport County manager has revealed that he has had a 'very open' clear-the-air meeting with their players days ahead of what Turner describes as the club's 'biggest game in years' against Hereford United on Saturday.

The Stockport Express says Turner is fully aware that Hereford will be eyeing an FA Cup shock on Saturday, in a match which could draw a crowd well in excess of 5,000 in South Wales, but he and his players are looking forward to the challenge that awaits.

"Hereford would have still fancied beating us even if we'd have won four-nil last weekend, they are a good Conference top 10 side, one of quite a few that would do well in the Football League.

"But all I'll say is we're not playing Manchester United. We just need to be fully committed, we need to match their commitment and passion. In fact this could be a big seven days for Stockport County. If we win on Saturday and then win the two league games at home next week then everything will be looking rosier again and people will have smiles back on their faces."

Turner talked about how desperate he is for a good performance from his players after last Saturday's defeat by Mansfield, who were recently beaten by Hereford United in the LDV.

"Colin (West - assistant manager) and I have had a very good meeting with the players this week. We've been very, very frustrated with the inconsistency this season.

"Last Saturday we were so disappointed after such a good performance the week before at Orient. We got a massive point across, so now it's down to the players to try and put things right.

"We had a very open chat, it was an excellent discussion. All Colin and I are asking for is more consistency, a bit more hard work, graft and passion.

"The players know they can do it, but it's all about having a positive attitude."

"We know what's been lacking, but the problem is that we simply can't afford to bolster the squad at present. We've not got the resources so we'll be going with what we've got for now.

"But we do need to get into the third round of the cup, the additional income could be so vital for a football club that has no money."

Aldershot Seek £100,000 A Year Main Sponsor

Aldershot have announced that they are looking for a new main sponsor for the next two years.

With the current deal due to expire at the end of the season, The Shots are looking for a six figure a season investment - more than double the figure the Bulls receive from their main sponsor.

The main reason for the high figure is the exposure from using the ground as the base for Chelsea's reserve side - getting regular attendances over 5,000 per game with those matches also regularly broadcast live over the Chelsea TV satellite channel.

Meanwhile, the club announced record turnover of £1.1m for the past season at their recent AGM. A small operating loss of £13,157 was recorded with over £200,000 of costs added on the transition to full time status. It was acknowledged by the board that losses had been incurred so far this season following poor gates under the break even figure of crowds "approaching 3000", and that injuries had forced the wage bill higher than budgeted for.

No Police Action For Ingram

Halifax captain Denny Ingram will not face Police action after a tunnel incident following Scarboro's 2-0 win over Halifax.

Ingram is alleged to have assaulted ex-Halifax midfielder Neil Bishop, but Bishop has decided not to take the matter further, telling the Scarboro Evening News: "I just want to forget it now and get on with my football. Ingram and I went in for a challenge early on in the match and exchanged a few verbals but he went off injured quite early and I thought nothing more of it. After the game I walked into the tunnel and he was there and an altercation occurred."

In other Conference news, Gravesend have secured an extension to the lease on their Stonebridge Road ground until 2025 - but don't intend to see it out despite having the rent waived. Gravesend plan to move to a new ground as well as bringing the current ground up to League standard but the Chairman has warned it may take seven years to get the new ground in place. Aldershot have failed in their appeal over Tim Sills' red card. He will now serve a three match ban. Stevenage striker Dino Maamria has received a five match ban for his third red card of the season against Grays. The striker has already missed eight games through suspension after being sent off twice and being found guilty of spitting at an opponent. The volatile striker will next be available for the return fixture at Grays on New Years Eve. Crawley and Woking have seen Andy Lindegaard and Luke Oliver return to Yeovil after loan spells.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

McIndoe shows Villa up

Former Hereford United player Michael McIndoe was man of the match in the Doncaster Carling Cup game against Aston Villa this evening which the Yorkshire club won 3-0.

McIndoe scored Donny's first goal with a penalty and set up another.

It was the second evening running ex-Hereford players have been featured on Sky.

Last night Paul Parry and Gavin Williams came up against each other when Cardiff played Ipswich.

Bulls made to wait

Hereford United will have to wait a little longer to find out who their opponents will be in the quarter final of the LDV Northern area.

Tonight's game between Halifax and Scunthorpe has been postponed due to the Shay being frozen.

According to the Official Halifax Website no date has yet been agreed for the game to be played.

It can't be played next Tuesday as Scunthorpe are set to play Swansea in a League One game.

Updated Wed: Halifax have said that they hope to play the game on Tuesday Dec 13th. However this date can not be counted on as Scunthorpe are in the FA Cup and should they be involved in a replay that will take precedence on Dec 13th.

Jeannin post Exeter game

Alex Jeannin, the former Exeter City player now with Hereford United, has spoken to the Exeter Express and Echo after the Bulls were defeated by the Grecians last Saturday.

"I have always said Exeter will be in the top five come the end of the season. I don't know exactly where they will finish - whether that means top or in the play-offs, who knows?

"But I am pretty sure we will be in there as well. I have not been impressed by one team in particular, but this is a strong league and it is very tight at the top.

"There will not be a runaway winner this season as there has been in the last two years. But in the end the strongest team will win the league."

Jeannin spoke about the game.

"I thought we played really well in the first half. We knew they were going to play the long ball, that's what they did and they put us under pressure in the second half.

"We made a silly mistake for the first goal and then we were 2-0 down. We knew it would be difficult to come back from that. But we were disappointed because we deserved to get a result."

Baker Keeps Out Liverpool Target

Former Bulls keeper Matt Baker's understudy is on trial at Liverpool.

David Martin, son of West Ham legend Alvin, can't get into the MK Dons side over Baker despite making 20 appearances for the League One side last season but will play for Liverpool's reserves tonight with a view to a January move.

Meanwhile, Paul Parry's Cardiff beat Gavin Williams' Ipswich 2-1 in a match that Cardiff struggled to finish off after a 13th minute dismissal left Ipswich a man short. Parry had two good chances well saved. Cardiff will, however, be disappointed with their lowest league attendance of the season.

In other news, Burton boss Nigel Clough has failed to persuade goalkeeper Saul Deeney to commit to the Pirelli Stadium club. Deeney will remain non-contract at the club until January but still retains aspirations to return to the League at the earliest opportunity. Clough has taken former Sheff Weds midfielder Paul Smith and former Notts Forest trainee Nick Hawkins on trial. Aldershot have appealed against Tim Sills' red card in Saturday's match with Forest Green. Former York manager Chris Brass, currently on loan at Southport, is likely to become the new assistant manager with Southport in January.

Turner needs the cash

The Stockport County manager, Chris Turner, has admitted that his club needs to defeat Hereford United to reach the third round of the FA Cup and have the possibility of bringing in some much needed cash to the club.

"Our league position is obviously a cause for concern, but there are eight or nine clubs who'll be concerned and we're just one of them," Turner told local media.

"The cup is a lifeline to us, with the revenue that can come from a third-round tie.

"Obviously you always want to progress, but the most important thing to Stockport County is to get to the third round and draw a big club to bring in some extra revenue."

Hatters given plenty of room

Hereford United have given supporters of Stockport County plenty of room at Edgar Street next Saturday.

This from the Official Stockport County Website:

County fans can pay on the day at Edgar Street

County fans are reminded that they can pay on the day at Edgar Street this weekend for the FA Cup Second Round clash with Hereford United

With a place in the third round draw amongst the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal up for grabs, the Hatters are expected to take a large following to Hereford and we have been allocated the whole of the Blackfriars End which has a capacity of 1,000.

The Conference outfit have also given us 250 seats in the Len Weston Stand and a further 500 terrace places are available if required.

Prices are £12 (adults) and £9 (concessions) to sit down and £10 (adults) and £6 (concessions) to stand up.

Concessions are classed as over-65's, students with a valid NUS card and under-16's.

FA Trophy Replay Likely To Be In January

Should it be required, a replay of the FA Trophy 1st Round clash with Bognor Regis Town would take place in January.

Both the LDV Trophy and FA Cup take precedence over the premier non-league cup competition, meaning the scheduled replay date of 20th December is already taken with the LDV Round 3 match. The busy Christmas and New Year fixture list has no vacancies for additional matches, leaving the earliest date for a replay to be 9th January - the midweek before the next round. Kidderminster have already confirmed that should they need a replay it is provisionally scheduled for the 9th.

Meanwhile the Bulls will find out their LDV opponents tonight with the rearranged Halifax-Scunthorpe fixture taking place at The Shay. Halifax will be looking to maintain a 12 match unbeaten run at home while Scunthorpe have lost their last three league matches. Woking crashed out of the LDV Trophy last night. After leading for 40 minutes, they eventually entered extra time but collapsed to lose 5-1 to Cheltenham.

Exeter Fear High Police Costs

The following appears in the Exeter Express and Echo:

Exeter City fear the trouble caused at Hereford at the weekend could cost the club thousands of pounds.

Curtains in a pub where City fans were drinking before the game were set on fire and there was further trouble after the final whistle, with police making three arrests. Now there are concerns that the problems caused by a minority of City fans could result in a hike in police costs for the return fixture on December 30.

The Grecians have already been told police costs to attend the Boxing Day clash with Aldershot might stretch to £30,000, with the Hereford game potentially being hit with a similar sized bill. The match is ranked a category B game, which means the police - who charge £3,300 for seven officers - can insist on having a presence if they believe problems could arise.

Matchday safety officer Jim Eastment, who is launching a recruitment drive for new stewards to help cut police costs, fears Saturday's violence may sting the club financially. He said: "After the events in Hereford it's going to give the police all the ammunition they need to come in and say this is what we are going to have to pay. It's another arrow in their bow and at the end of the day it's a minority of people who are going to cost the club thousands."

Each game at the start of the season is ranked as a police-free game or as a category A, B or C match. City's vice-chairman Julian Tagg condemned the violence and claimed the hooligan element were disrupting the progress of the club. He said: "The club have made massive efforts to ensure football at Exeter City is trouble-free. We don't regard these people as supporters of Exeter City. They attach themselves to football but, of course, they are nothing to do with football. At home we have had no problems whatsoever. But problems at other grounds mean there will be more interest from the police, which will make life more and more difficult for Exeter City. Given the financial constraints and the huge amounts of money it costs to have games policed, this might be the thing that prevents the club progressing as it is."

A Devon & Cornwall Police spokesman said: "We will monitor the intelligence and see what we get back. If the risks are there and we can foresee problems then will have a uniformed presence at the ground."

City are in talks with police over whether the clash with Aldershot needs a police presence. The game is the only one in the fixture calendar to receive the high-security risk C classification, following problems dating back to an ill-tempered FA Cup match in 1999. But City officials are hoping to convince the police to limit their numbers and in turn soften the cash blow.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Fixture Congestion possible

FA Trophy rules dictate that should a replay be needed it has to be played in the following week.

Should that happen to Hereford United, then the replay against Bognor Regis would probably take place on the Tuesday afterwards, December 20th.

However that date clashes with the next round of the LDV trophy in which Hereford United are involved.

The LDV game could be moved forward a week if the clubs agreed, but that could clash with, heaven forbid, an FA Cup replay at Stockport County.

Currently the fixture list for December and New Year is as follows:

Sat Dec 3rd Stockport County FA Cup Home 3pm
Sat Dec 10th York City Conference Home 3pm
Sat Dec 17th Bognor Regis Town FA Trophy Away 3pm
Tue Dec 20th Hailfax/Scunthorpe LDV Home 7.45pm
Mon Dec 26th Forest Green Conference Away 3pm
Fri Dec 30th Exeter City Conference Away 7.45pm
Mon Jan 2nd Forest Green Conference Home 3pm

Millionaire saved Stockport County

Stockport County are the visitors to Edgar Street next Saturday for the Second Round FA Cup game with Hereford United.

County are now run by a supporters trust but they have to thank a multi-millionare for saving the club from probably going out of business.

Brian Kennedy, whose Cheshire Sport company owned Stockport County until last July when the club was takeover by the Supporters Trust, has revealed that he does not plan to invest any more money into the club.

Kennedy, whose personal fortune is said to total over £200m according to the most recent Times rich list has been talking to BBC GMR.

"I have put about as much money as I am going to put into sport, there is no more now.

"Both Sale Sharks (the rugby club) and Stockport County must now become self-sufficient. The drive now is for the businesses to be successful - but without bankrupting me.

"As is well documented I have put £4m into Stockport County and several million more into Sale Sharks. I have no intention of bankrolling or putting any more money into either of these clubs."

Kennedy spoke about his involvement with Stockport County, and appeared keen to point out to certain disgruntled fans that Sale Sharks remaining at Edgeley Park is playing a huge part in keeping the football club going.

"Stockport County was absolutely bust when Cheshire Sport took over [in 2003]. The club was losing £2m per year and was gone, it was evaporating. Our objective was always for Stockport County not to lose money, we needed to make it into a viable business. We achieved that after investing several million into the club, but long-term it wasn't going to work. Ultimately to keep Stockport County in business I felt that handing over to the Trust was the best way forward.

"The community, local businesses and the supporters now need to back the football club, they can use the stadium for free and Cheshire Sport effectively continue to sponsor them [part of the Trust's takeover deal in July included Cheshire Sport's continuing sponsorship support which will total £750,000 over the next six years].

"I've put £4m into Stockport County, but now the Trust have got use of the ground for free, an option to purchase it and I continue to provide financial support. I think I've been more than fair, but I suppose you'll never win over some fans unless you're successful on the pitch."

Bugger, It's Bognor Away In Trophy Draw

The Bulls have drawn Bognor Regis Town away in the FA Trophy 1st Round.

Bognor currently lie 14th in Conference South, but are only three points off fifth spot in a very tight league. Their manager, Jack Pearce, has managed the club for more than 1400 games amd the squad contains many former Portsmouth and Brighton trainees.

The tie will take place on Saturday 17th December, with £4,000 going to the winners.

In other ties of note, Worcester face Hayes at home, Redditch have a home tie against Clitheroe if they can get past Barrow, Kidderminster entertain Scarboro, Aldershot take on Grays, Stevenage entertain Crawley, and Weymouth take on Forest Green.

Parry vs Williams On Sky Tonight

Two former Bulls old boys clash live on Sky Sports tonight, as Paul Parry's Cardiff take on Gavin Williams' Ipswich.

Parry's been a sub of late, but was a starter for the first time in months in last weeks' 1-1 draw with Brighton. Williams started, and scored, in his first match for his loan club.

The game is on Sky Sports 1 tonight with a 7.45pm kick off.

Update: Both players are to start the game.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

"Real football" at Edgar Street

Glynis Wright reveals that her better half might become more than a part-time Hereford United supporter:

After United's exploits against Vale, I could only hope they didn't suffer for it this weekend, what with high-flying Exeter being the visitors to Edgar Street, and everything. But they did. They looked a jaded lot this afternoon, but despite all that, they still managed to create some nailed-on scoring chances; had they taken them, as per the script, they would have notched up a notable victory against a very determined adversary, but instead, the spoils went to the Devon side. A goal, very much against the run of play, midway through the second portion, closely followed by yet another, just minutes later, was enough to seal The Bulls' fate.

Unfortunate, that; immediately prior to the visitors' strike, I'd been likening this bad-tempered affair to a spat between a couple of pensioners fighting for use of the same Zimmer frame, and forecasting a bloodless (metaphorically speaking, but most certainly not in practice!) draw. It was too easy to imagine that United were competing against Birmingham City - same strip, same sponsors, same unruly supporters. From there, it's only one step to the fearsome, ugly but briefly successful Ron Saunders' Blues outfit, which even had the local Police worried. I even imagined I could see the ten celebrating outfield Exeter players bellowing "Mean Machine... Mean Machine" at their supporters.

When you're desperate, any kind of success will do, regardless of the style will do but I hope for the City supporters long-term sake, they will modify the Route One football. It does become highly tedious to watch. I never thought anything or anybody would ever deter my Other Half from being at every Albion game anywhere until the long-term damage of a Route One game got to him. After 500 consecutive games, he chose to miss a game, then another and now rarely travels to away matches. Reserves are out, so are the watching the Youth team. I can see a day when he might consider missing a home game to watch the Bulls instead. "Real football" he calls it.. and I can see what he means.

Preview: Bulls vs Stockport

It's a game that can be described as a giantkilling in the making - which often makes the "giant" more wary of the task in hand. Just nine league places on the pyramid seperate these two sides who were three divisons apart just four years ago.

Stockport's dramatic fall through the divisions has taken just three years. They rose to the Championship in 1997, finishing higher in the first season there than current Premiership sides Portsmouth, West Brom, and Man City, before beginning a swift fall back down to currently occupy 71st place in the Football League. Relegation in 2002 from the Championship saw them eight wins short of safety, and two mediocre seasons with flirts with relegation lead to a disasterous campaign last season that ended with just 26 points and relegation confirmed a month before the season ended - after selling five players, including strikers Luke Beckett and Warren Feeney, for a combined total of £340,000 to balance the books.

This season free transfers have rebuilt the squad, and just three wins have been recorded in 22 league and cup games. Their home form almost looks impressive, with them yet to record a league defeat at Edgeley Park - but seven draws mean they have taken just ten points at home from a possible 24. Whilst they have conceded an average of a goal a game at home, they have conceded an average of two a game on their travels - with the worst being a six goal demolition at Carlisle a month ago.

The face obviously familiar to Bulls fans is Mark Robinson who, like an art dealer, traded Turners' in the summer to join Stockport manager Chris for a second time. Robinson has been an ever-present in the team - being described by one County fan as one of the few plus points of the season. Other names of note in the Stockport squad are tricky winger Harpal Singh, once tipped to be the first Asian to play for England, and eight goal striker Jermaine Easter who has scored in the last two matches.

The Bulls will look to make Stockport League scalp number twelve since returning to non-league football. Confidence at Edgar Street may have been dented after Saturday's loss to Exeter, but wins over Mansfield and Port Vale in the LDV Trophy this season proves that the Bulls are capable of deposing a side who has won just six out of 46 matches under current manager Chris Turner.

Matt Bailey's departure back to Crewe has been long suggested but only just confirmed with his loan officially expiring, but the tantrum brought the glittering tiara as Andy Williams grabbed the opportunity with both hands and an eager home crowd cheered on the local youngster to his first senior goals. Guy Ipoua scored against Stockport for Gillingham in a League Cup match in 2002, and Simon Travis will look to show what Stockport turned down after being released by the club after just four starts after a two year spell in 1999. Travis is also one short of 50 senior starts for the Bulls.

Turner Reacts To Exeter Loss

Speaking in the Non League Paper, Graham Turner had this to say:

"We had six silly minutes in the game and they've proved costly. I thought we played very well in the first half and created chances but we didn't take them and you're always concerned when you're playing well and don't score.

"The first goal, which we should have dealt with comfortably, it came out of nothing. When that went in we lost our way a little bit and we've paid a heavy penalty. Exeter never really posed a threat in the first half but punished us for those silly six minutes. There are some very disappointed players in that dressing room, because in the main they feel we have played reasonably well."

The statistics tell the story of the game. The Bulls had twice the number of shots on goal (14) than Exeter, but only got four on target to Exeter's five. The Bulls also earned more corners but, again, poor delivery regularly let the opportunities go to waste.

The NLP also reports on a tunnel bust-up between Halifax's Denny Ingram and Scarboro's Neil Bishop to which the Police were called. Bishop was left with a bloodied mouth in a incident seen by the Scarboro stewards.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Stansfield Not Injured

After speaking to the player, Adam Stansfield was not injured today and had simply not been selected for the match.

Stansfield admitted his disappointment at not being involved, but did not disclose any reasons for the decision.

Conference Results Round Up

Dino Maamria was sent off for the third time this season, and will have to face an FA disciplinary panel, as Stevenage (5th) lost 1-0 to leaders Grays. Accrington (2nd) kept pace by beating last but one Southport 4-0. Morecambe (4th) beat York (7th) 2-0, extending York's run to one point in 15. Halifax (6th) lost to fast improving Scarboro 2-0. Woking won 3-1 at Dagenham, and Gravesend won 2-1 at Crawley. Aldershot continue their surge up the table with a 2-1 win over Forest Green, but had Tim Sills sent off in the process before Guy Madjo ended his full Forest Green debut early to level the sides up. Burton have followed Aldershot up the table, and they beat 10 man Kidderminster 1-0. Cambridge are in the bottom half after drawing 1-1 at Canvey. Altrincham beat fellow strugglers Tamworth 2-0 to avenge an FA Cup defeat three weeks earlier.

With York, Stevenage, and Halifax all losing, the Bulls remain just two points off a play-off place. Stockport, our opponents in the FA Cup next week, lost 2-1 at fellow strugglers Mansfield to leave them in the relegation zone.

Exeter excell in ten minute spell

Hereford United hosted high-flyers Exeter City at Edgar Street this afternoon and will be most disappointed with the result, having completely dominated the first half. Three changes were made to the Hereford side with Andy Williams and Tony James returning and Simon Travis deputising for Ryan Green, who failed a late fitness test on an ankle injury sustained against Port Vale.

United started brilliantly and almost immediately opened the scoring when Craig Stanley received a pass to the left of the goal, but he centred the ball to Andy Williams, whose shot was blocked, when perhaps he would have been better off shooting himself. Moments later another good passing move found Jamie Pitman in the box. He crossed for Guy Ipoua and his downward header from six yards was brilliantly palmed behind by Paul Jones.

Stanley again came close to breaking the deadlock, this time with a wonderful thirty yard effort. He met a loose ball with a swing of the right boot and the curling effort had beaten Jones, who was off his line, but hit the underside of the cross bar before bouncing, off the line according to the officials, away to safety. Pitman set Rob Purdie racing away on the left with an awesome cross field pass, and Purdie beat his man before firing over from outside of the box. Purdie had a better chance of the stroke of half time, but he couldn't fully connect with Ipouas' cross and Jones made the save, to end a half dominated by the hosts, in which Exeter had only one shot.

The second period was a much different affair as Exeter came out and took the game to The Bulls. Les Afful was soon to be replaced by Steve Flack and it would seem that this change did a lot to help The Grecians as they started a spell of ten minutes in which they had United camped in their own half. Flack provided a through ball to Farrell who was only denied by a Tony James block but then disaster struck for Uniteds' skipper.

Hereford thought they should have won a free kick for hand ball on the edge of the City box, but it was not given and Exeter broke away. James intercepted a pass and seemingly under no pressure, slipped a ball back towards Craig Mawson. However, Jamie Mackie raced onto the lax pass and rounded the hesitant Mawson before sliding the ball into the back of the net.

Exeter continued to press as Hereford fell to bits and almost doubled the lead a minute later. Mawson did well to tip away a shot from inside the box and then a header at the far post was somehow turned over the bar by Exeter old boy Alex Jeannin. The corner almost flew into the back of the net, via a Exeter head, but Jon Brady managed to get it away however the pressure paid off two minutes later when The Grecians made it 2-0.

Jon Challinor had worked himself some space in the box, received a through ball, and was given far to much time twelve yards out as he looked up, picked his spot, and planted the ball right in the far top corner sending the 790 away fans into raptures. United had needed to make a change after the first goal, as it was obvious that Exeter were getting a foothold on the game and heads had dropped after conceding. However, it was too late when Danny Carey-Bertram was introduced in the place of Jon Brady. The only response United could find was following a cross field pass from Jeannin, and Carey-Bertrams' delivery being headed narrowley over by Ipoua.

United, in front of their biggest crowd of the season (3,754), failed to make their chances count and paid the heavy price in the end. It has to be said that they made Exeter seem extremely ordinary in the first half but The Grecians persistance paid off and a second half spell made all the difference in the end.

HUFC: Mawson, Travis, Mkandawire, James, Jeannin, Purdie, Pitman, Stanley, Brady, Williams, Ipoua. Subs: Beckwith, Lewis, Ferrell, Evans, Carey-Bertram.

ECFC: Jones, Woodwards, Sawyer, Jones, Todd, Afful, Taylor, Cronin, Challinor, Farrel, Mackie. Subs: Rice, Moxey, Watkins, Buckle, Flack.

Bailey Returns To Crewe After Disciplinary Problem

Matt Bailey's loan spell from Crewe officially ends tomorrow, but it has been confirmed by a source within the club that the striker was excluded from selection after falling out with the management of the club.

The incident occured at Kidderminster. Shortly after Bailey was substituted, he remonstrated fiercely with the bench and later refused to apologise for him actions. It is currently unknown whether Crewe boss Dario Gradi will discipline the player on his return to Crewe.

Bulls Lose To Exeter

Exeter ended the Bulls unbeaten run, with a 2-0 win at Edgar Street.

The Bulls dominated the first half but failed to capitalise on a number of chances. A slack back pass enabled Jamie Mackie to open the scoring, with Jon Challinor doubling the lead six minutes later. The Bulls pressed hard, but failed to find the net.

Full report later.

The Bulls remain eighth, ten points off the top.

The talking point of the day will surely be the behaviour of some of those travelling from Exeter. The Police contacted the club at 1.15pm to open the turnstiles early after a number of problems in the city centre, and on two occasions people in the away enclosure went onto the playing surface with one person being hauled away by stewards. Unconfirmed reports suggest a city centre pub was also set on fire.

Scunthorpe Beaten Last Season In LDV

One of our prospective opponents in the LDV Trophy, Scunthorpe, fell victim to the Bulls in last season's competition.

Last September, in a first round game, the Bulls beat Scunthorpe on penalties after Craig Stanley's first half opener was cancelled out by a Steve Torpey effort. Just four of the starting line up that night remain at Edgar Street.

We've not met Halifax in the LDV Trophy, or any other cup competiton, but have met 45 times in league competition with the last being a 2-1 defeat at The Shay in September.

Sunny Herefordshire

There are no problems with the weather in Herefordshire this morning.

Most of the snow and ice has melted, the sun is out and it isn't as cold.

The improvement in the weather should help the attendance for this afternoon's Conference clash at Edgar Street between Hereford United and Exeter City.

The match kicks off at 3pm, but supporters travelling by car are advised to allow a little extra time as parking spaces could fill up early close to the ground.

Hereford to play at home in LDV

Hereford United have been drawn against either Halifax or Scunthorpe at Edgar Street in the Northern Area Quarter final of the LDV vans Trophy.

The game is expected to take place on Tuesday December 20th. (Please note the Official Hereford United site says the game will be played on Wednesday December 21st, we will confirm the correct date as soon as possible)

Hereford's opponents will play their delayed game next Tuesday.

The full draw for the Northern half of the draw is as follows:

Macclesfield Town v Cambridge United
Kidderminster Harriers v Bradford City
Tranmere Rovers v Carlisle United
Hereford United v Halifax/Scunthorpe

Meanwhile Hereford United will be in the draw for the first round of the FA Trophy next Monday. That game is expected to take place on Saturday December 17th.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Another view of the Vale game

Below a short report on the LDV game last Tuesday from Simon and Glynis Wright, our friends from the Baggies.

Just when you'd thought sniggering at Port Vale was a bit below the belt, a bit like mocking the afflicted - oh, dear, I've just gone and done it again. This time, the cause for mirth was their Mickey Mouse Cup defeat at the hands of Hereford United this Tuesday evening just gone, the dual perpetrators of the damage being none other than former Albion combo Tam Mkandawire and Danny Carey-Bertram. A shame more weren't there to witness their feat, really; only less then 1,400 on the night, with around 150 Vale supporters bothering to make the trip from the Potteries. Nice of you to turn up, chaps.

What happened? Well, Vale were completely clueless right from the start, their goal coming under constant siege almost instantaneously. No surprise when Danny C-B drew first blood, very early on in the game, the strike had been coming, believe you me, but Hereford then sat back and let them come at them, the end result being a Vale equaliser with what turned out to be the last kick of the ball in the first half, almost. Same old story - one chance, one goal. I wonder why it is I'm getting a terrible case of deja-vu right now?

As these things generally do, the game then settled down into a war of attrition; both sides had their chances, sure, but in the main, they ended up nullifying each other. A bit like matter and anti-matter colliding, really. No surprise when it went to extra time, then, although my perception of events by that time was that Vale, growing ever stronger as the half progressed, would see off the Bulls over the long haul. But it never worked out like that; within minutes of the restart, The Bulls went ahead again, thanks to Tam's header through a ruck of players following a corner. Sure, the visitors did try and pick themselves up again, but by the second period of extra-time, it was abundantly clear that their doom was upon them, and their remaining resistance, feeble even by their standards, withered away completely. So into the hat for the next round go The Bulls, then. Amazing, isn't it? Most sides having a bit of a Cup run manage to see off at least some of their opponents cleanly - but not Hereford. Just like their similar run last season, when all their Mickey Mouse games went the extra mile, they had to do it the hard way. I can only hope they don't suffer for it this weekend, when high-flying Exeter are the visitors to Edgar Street.

The confidence should be sky-high says Turner

In an extended interview for BBC Hereford and Worcester, Graham Turner started by talking about Exeter City.

Below is an edited version of some of what the Hereford United manager had to say.

"We had them (Exeter) watched last week against Grays. We have got to be able to deal with the height of some of their players and we have to impose ourselves on the game.

"We are at home. We have got that advantage. We're in a good run - nine games now unbeaten. The confidence should be sky-high.

"We'll have the players nice and fresh so we should be able to cope with anything Exeter want to throw at us.

"Exeter have had a good start to the season. We think we've had a relatively poor start and yet we could find ourselves three or four points behind them after the game with a game in hand.

"Grays are still going great guns up there and they have to be caught, but I don't see an outstanding side such as Barnet last year, such as us and Chester the year before

"I think it's going to be a scrap almost to the finish so what we have got to do is to keep that gap closed on the top teams.

"And it is a test of our attributes, and whether we are capable of going and winning it this year because Exeter are one of the better sides. If you're going to win it you've got to beat the better sides.

"We've got nine games in 36 days coming up and that's not counting any replays because we're involved in three knock-out competitions, with the LDV, the Trophy and the FA Cup. So there's a chance there could be more than nine games in those 36 days.

"We've got to be ready for all that and to be able to cope you've got to have your full squad of players fit and you need a little bit of luck."

John Layton remembers George Best

Former Hereford United player John Layton has told BBC Hereford and Worcester how he remembers playing against George Best, who died today after a long illness, back in 1976.

Hereford United travelled to Craven Cottage on Saturday 25th September but lost the game 4-1.

Best was playing for Fulham in those days along with Rodney Marsh and Bobby Moore.

"I was marking Best. He proved a handful. He wasn't the quickest of players then but he was very quick thinking and had a great awareness of people around him.

"He was well through his career but the supporters were still flocking to see him. I think he put six to seven thousand on the gate when he signed for Fulham.

"With Rodney Marsh and Bobby Moore there, it was like a carnival atmosphere, like a Cup final.

"Best was so natural. He was the sort of player who didn't have to work at his game. It just flowed.

"He could see a pass, he could play a pass, he could receive a pass. He could jig past you on the right, he could go past you on the left. He could run at you. He did everything.

"To Best it just seemed to come natural and he enjoyed playing as well. He was exciting to watch.

"After the game we went for a beer, he was just one of the lads. He wasn't the big I am at all. He just sat in the corner and got on with his life."

Towards the end of the interview Layton made this tribute to Best.

"People like George Best don't come round very often. When they do you have to appreciate his skills and his talents."

Sky confirm Exeter match to be televised

Sky Sports have confirmed that the match between Exeter and Hereford United will be televised.

As previously reported the date has been changed from Dec 31 to Dec 30 and the game will now start at 7,45pm.

Exeter will receive £5,000 and Hereford United £2,000 from Sky for the coverage. However there are fears that the attendance, especially of Bulls fans, will be reduced because of the televising of the game and the change to Friday evening.

The Exeter vice-chairman has commented to the Exeter Express and Echo about the Sky deal.

"We hope we don't lose money from the game. We were concerned about the police costs, but with less away fans expected, those will be reduced. This will also give the players more recovery time."

Good feeling at Edgar Street says Trewick

John Trewick, the Hereford United coach, has told the Worcester News that there is a feel-good factor at Edgar Street at present.

"There's a good feeling around the club at the moment. Of course, when you are winning games and on unbeaten runs, it adds to the confidence in the squad.

"Everyone senses that we are on a high and we want that to continue. But it's a long season and we are only a third of the way through it.

"One or two points have already slipped through our grasp and we should have done better in a few previous games. We realise that we must continue to improve our league form."

Trewick mentioned the return last Tuesday of both Adam Stansfield and Simon Travis to the squad.

"Ideally, it would be nice for them to get more minutes under their belts. They probably need another game or two to pick up their match fitness, but they both acquitted themselves well when they came on.

"It was nice for the pair of them, particularly Simon Travis because he's been out for a long time.

"Most people are back from injury and available for selection. Obviously, the players are bound to be a little bit tired after Tuesday night, but we have tailored training for the rest of the week to what they put in."

The coach also spoke about tomorrow's opponents.

"Exeter have a certain style of play, direct and organised. We know what to expect. We play to win and we are determined to continue the good run that we are on."

Forecast looks okay for tomorrow's game.

The weather forecast for tomorrow suggests that the game at Edgar Street between Hereford United and Exeter City should go ahead.

As at lunchtime today, the forecast is saying that temperatures tonight may only drop to around freezing with a risk of a light snow shower or two.

Tomorrow is set to be dry and bright with a cool northerly wind, but not as strong as originally predicted.

Temperatures are set to rise to about 6 degrees in the early afternoon.

Last night's snow is melting in Herefordshire as temperatures have risen to around 4 degrees.

Few problems have been reported on major roads in the area.

Inglethrope on the Bulls

Alex Inglethorpe, the Exeter manager, has backed his players to bounce back from their latest setback, losing to Grays Athletic, even though he admits it will be a tough hurdle to overcome at Edgar Street.

"I have never doubted the character of this group of players," he told the Exeter Express and Echo.

"They have shown great spirit this season and I expect to see it again. Of course we were disappointed after the Grays result and as usual I have been looking at the video. But as far as the players are concerned that game has gone and we have fixed all our attentions on Hereford."

Inglethorpe went on a spying mission on Tuesday night when he watched the Bulls spring an LDV Vans shock by dumping Port Vale out of the competition in extra-time.

"I was very impressed. They pass the ball as well as I have seen anyone pass it this season. They make the pitch really big so it will be a very tough test."

The compliments stand in stark contrast to the swipe aimed at the Grecians at the start of the season by Bulls boss Graham Turner.

In an astonishing outburst, the former Wolves manager accused City of adopting long ball tactics in a bid to land the title.

While the barbs clearly riled City's management team, Inglethorpe refused to get involved in a war of words and instead said that Hereford were one of the teams likely to be involved in the title hunt.

"They weren't very complimentary about us but that is not to say we won't be complimentary about them," said the City boss.

"They are a big club and they have a good side and I hope we fall into that bracket as well. We don't go out of our way to be derogatory about any club, it's the way we operate."

Team News: Bulls vs Exeter

The Bulls have no new problems for Saturday's clash. Stacy Coldicott and Wayne Brown again miss out, but Darren Blewitt has trained all week and will be in contention for the first time in nearly a month. Dean Beckwith and Danny Carey-Bertram will both be pushing for places after coming into the side that beat Port Vale in midweek, but Graham Turner is likely to return to the side that beat both Dagenham and Woking with Tony James and Andy Williams returning to the line-up.

Exeter will be short of their regular firepower for the trip to Edgar Street. Seven goal Lee Phillips starts a three match suspension after being sent off in last Saturday's loss to Grays, and Tony Scully opted to leave St James Park for Crawley on Thursday. Veteran Steve Flack, a regular sub this season, is likely to start in place of Phillips and Les Afful, who deputised in the LDV Trophy and FA Cup, should start in place of Scully.

Bagnall Signs From Birmingham City

The much-anticipated goalkeeper signing has finally arrived in the form of Birmingham City stopper Andy Bagnall, who signs on work experience.

Bagnall has been a regular for Birmingham's under-18 side this season and has also appeared for Birmingham's reserves, with their "first choice" reserve keeper Colin Doyle yesterday joining Millwall on loan. Birmingham have two other keepers on loan, with James Dormand at Tamworth and Adam Legdzins at Halifax.

Bagnall is likely to continue to play for Birmingham when not required by the Bulls, as Brian Smikle did with West Brom last season.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

No new injury worries for Bulls

Graham Turner has no new injury worries ahead of tomorrow's game with Exeter City.

He will be missing Stacy Coldicott and Wayne Brown, but everyone else is reported to be available for selection according to BBC Hereford and Worcester.

Darren Blewitt has recovered from his injury.

Meanwhile, as at 8am this morning, there has been no news of a goalkeeper coming to Edgar Street as back up to Craig Mawson, whilst Wayne Brown is out.

Yesterday Turner revealed that he hoped to sign a young keeper from a premiership side before the 5pm deadline.

There is a slight covering of snow is some parts of Herefordshire this morning, but this should melt as temperatures rise.

The forecast for tomorrow remains much as predicted earlier this week. A cold windy day with the possibility of a few light snow showers. Temperatures should rise to around 4C.

Second half commentary from Edgar Street

There will be second-half commentary from Edgar Street on Saturday.

BBC Hereford and Worcester will cover the Hereford/Exeter game both locally on 94.7FM and on the internet.

Meanwhile Skybet are offering the following odds on the game:

Hereford 5/4 Draw 9/4 Exeter 7/4

Competition for Robinson at Stockport

Ex-Hereford United Mark Robinson will face competition for his place in the Stockport County team with the signing of Portuguese left back Adelino Cruz Vieira.

The 26-year-old impressed manager Chris Turner playing against Oldham Reserves on Wednesday and will sign non-contract forms, subject to international clearance.

Turner told his Website: "He did well for the reserves yesterday and has also trained well.

"He looks very comfortable on the ball and will provide competition for Mark Robinson which is important as we face a lot of games in December over a short period of time."

Vieira has played for three clubs in Portugal, Operario, Sanjoanense and Estrela. This season he has been playing at Oxford City.

Hereford United entertain Stockport County at Edgar Street on Saturday week, December 3rd, in the second round of the FA Cup.

Scully Leaves Exeter For Crawley

Tony Scully has left Exeter City at the end of his loan spell, and has moved on loan to Crawley Town until January.

Notts County recalled winger Scully from St James Park to farm him out to Crawley after they expressed an interest in sealing a permanent deal. Scully scored three goals in 13 appearances for Exeter and manager Alex Inglethorpe had hoped to seal a permanent deal after Notts County indicated that they were keen to offload the player.

Gudjon Thordarson told "Scully attracted some interest from Crawley so we decided to recall him to allow him to move there for a month before the transfer window closes for loan signings. It is a chance for him to earn himself something down there on a permanent basis with the loan a view to one. It is another chance to get some first team action under his belt and I wish him well,"

Crawley Town general manager Paul Hobbs told Crawley's Official Website: "We are delighted to have someone of Tony's calibre on board. He has been one of the stars of the season so far for Exeter and we are pleased to have him at Crawley Town. This is a great coup for Crawley and ranks up there with our signing earlier in the season when Daryl Clare joined the club. We will continue to bring in quality players like Scully and Clare and hope to add to the team further in January."

The move leaves Exeter without two of their regular forward players for Saturday's match at Edgar Street, with Lee Phillips banned after being dismissed last week.

Tributes to Frank Miles

The Hereford Times has printed an article with tributes to the late Frank Miles, a former Hereford United chairman.

THE death of Frank Miles, following so swiftly on the loss of Joe Wade the previous week, means that Hereford United have lost two considerable figures from the club's history in less than 10 days.

Miles, the club's chairman from 1969 to 1977, died on Monday after a long period of ill health.

He presided over the club's fortunes through an unparalleled period of success as the Bulls enjoyed glory in the FA Cup with the famous Giantkillers side, were elected to the Football League and gained promotion to the old Division Two, all within a period of less than five years.

"Following on so fast from the death of Joe Wade, we were saddened to hear of the death of Frank Miles, who also played a very significant role for Hereford United," said current chairman Graham Turner.

"He was a man who presided over a very successful period in the club's history and we send our condolences to his widow and family."

Colin Addison, the man whom Miles appointed as player-manager at the club in 1971 and led the club into the Football League, paid tribute to his old friend.

"I called in to see him only last week and he seemed quite bright," said Addison.

"I have a lot to thank him for as I was only 31 when he appointed me. There were a lot of changes going on at the club but Frank was very positive and knew what he wanted.

"He was not everybody's cup of tea and, as manager and chairman, we fought and argued and had our battles along the way but we laughed about it later.

"He was very strong-minded and had his opinions which he was not afraid to put forward and I always respected him for that.

"You either liked him or you didn't, but he made the decisions and he had some very big decisions to make.

"He was the one who really set the club on its way."

Jeannin wary of former club

Alex Jeannin, now with Hereford United after a spell at Exeter, has told the Exeter Express and Echo that he is wary of a backlash from his former club after they were defeated by Grays Athletic last weekend.

"When a team loses you expect them to come out fighting and do everything they can to win the next game," said 28 year-old Jeannin.

"There is a lot of character in the Exeter squad, it was one of the things that helped us be successful last year, and I am expecting a very difficult game on Saturday. Whenever Exeter play Hereford it is always very close and I can't see this game being any different.

"Things are going very well for us at the moment. We had a difficult start to the season, but we had a lot of important players out injured.

"Sure there were games where we did not play as well as we could have done, but we have turned it round and, now that we have everyone fit again, you can see what a difference it makes.

"Against Port Vale on Tuesday we played some very good football and deserved to go through.

"We were the better side on the night and it is always nice to get the better of Football League opposition."

Jeannin revealed that he will always remember his time at Exeter.

"When I arrived at Hereford I had to win my place in the team. I have managed to get in the side and am happy with how things have gone and I think the manager is happy with me.

"I have only missed one game so far and that was because of suspension and I am pleased to have established myself.

"I am looking forward to playing against Exeter. It is always something special to play against your old club.

"I had a great time at Exeter and and it will be special for me to play against them. But I will be doing everything I can to help us beat them as that is what we need. I always look out for Exeter's results and stay in touch with Barry McConnell and other friends I have at the club and in the city."

Vale Chairman Blasts Players

Port Vale chairman Bill Bratt blasted his clubs players after the LDV defeat at Edgar Street.

Bratt, who was visibly angry after the match, told The Sentinel: "I think when you are at the bottom and things aren't going well you have to start fighting. They have to get out there and play with some heart and start fighting to get where we want to be. The performance on the pitch tells you there was not enough heart and fight there which is what we need now. If players are not prepared to do that then they shouldn't pull the shirt on. There is nothing I would like more than to go down there and say how well they have played. But on this occasion whatever I said would be the opposite. Certain players are exempt from this and I don't want to name names, but certain players seem to be going through the motions."

Bratt defended manager Martin Foyle after recent criticism: "I think Martin Foyle feels the same as well. He must be tearing out what hair he has left. He puts the effort in to get people to play and is getting a lot of stick at the moment which I don't think he deserves. He is a hard worker, as are the rest of the football staff here."

Goalie on the way

Graham Turner has revealed that he is hopeful that a goalkeeper will be on the way to Edgar Street before today's deadline.

According to BBC Hereford and Worcester, Turner is hoping to finalise a deal to bring in a Premiership academy goalkeeper.

"The arrangements will be work experience

"We're hoping all the formalities will be taken care of before the deadline on Thursday afternoon."

Conference News Round-Up

Accrington have signed Charlton goalkeeper Robert Elliot on loan to replace Charlton goalkeeper Darren Randolph, who reached the maximum three month limit on Saturday. Aldershot will complete the loan signing today of Cambridge striker John Turner. Turner, 19, had previously had a trial at Scunthorpe and will become Aldershot's 11th loan signing. Halifax have signed former Accrington winger Rory Prendergast on loan til the end of the year. Prendergast joined Blackpool in the summer from Accrington but has failed to break into regular first team football. Halifax have also loaned midfielder Steve Bushell to Altrincham for a month in a bid for match fitness after a broken leg. Southport have signed former York player-boss Chris Brass on loan for a month. Scarboro have made Scunthorpe striker Andy Parton their fifth signing of the week on loan, but have allowed fellow forward Jake Speight to join Bury on loan with a view to a permanent move. Grays have signed MK Dons defender Nathan Koo-Boothe for a month, but have failed in their appeal against Jamie Stuart's red card in last Saturday's match at Exeter. Both Stuart and Exeter's Lee Phillips will serve three match bans. Dagenham have signed Heybridge striker Cliff Akurang on loan with a view to a permanent move. Akurang was former Daggers striker Tresor Kandol strike partner at Thurrock and has scored 12 in 15 games this season. Tamworth have signed midfielder Carl Motteram on a five week loan from Birmingham City. The youngster has just returned from nine months on the sidelines.

An exciting game is in prospect

The weather on Saturday promises to be very cold but the atmosphere at Edgar Street could be very warm with the visit of Exeter City to Hereford United.

And if the message boards of both clubs are anything to go by, supporters are really looking forward to this game.

Talk of at least 4,000 supporters, maybe nearer 4,500, piling through the turnstiles will give the Bulls the best attendance of this season so far.

Both teams are in good form.

Exeter did lose to Grays Athletic at St James' last Saturday, but then so did Hereford at home back in August. Otherwise the visitors won four and drawn one of their previous five games.

To their advantage is that they were knocked out of the LDV in the first round so
haven't had a game this week other than a local friendly against Weymouth which Exeter lost 1-0.

In theory they should be just that little bit fresher than the Bulls on Saturday.

Hereford are also on a good run. An excellent win over Woking two weeks ago may prove to be the turning point in their challenge to make a play-off place in the Conference for the third season running. The home side are unbeaten since the Accrington game, from which many supporters thought the Bulls deserved at least a point.

In both the last two seasons the two clubs have met over the Christmas period.

Exeter had the upper hand last season defeating Hereford 4-0 at St James' and then coming to Edgar Street and winning 2-1 in front of 3,978 fans.

The previous season Hereford drew at Edgar Street 1-1 and defeated the Grecians 1-0 at St James'. However when the Bulls went to Exeter a week or so later for a FA Trophy game that Exeter won 3-2.

Currently Exeter lie third in the Conference table with 34 points from 18 games whereas Hereford are eighth with 29 points from 17 games.

This season supporters will look to the mean Hereford defence who have only let four goals, in eight Conference home games, past them. In contrast Exeter have scored 16 goals on their travels in nine games.

The Grecians have conceded 11 goals away but Hereford have only scored 13 and eight of those have come in two matches, against Scarborough and Woking. Average those figures and a low scoring draw looks a distinct possibilty on Saturday.

But there may be other factors to be taken into account. Exeter will be without Lee Phillips, their joint top scorer with 6 goals so far this season, and Hereford could miss Ryan Green who took a nasty sounding knock in the LDV game.

Steve Flack will probably take Philips' place, but it is less certain who might replace Green if his knock keeps him out. Although Simon Travis replaced him on Tuesday, Graham Turner may think it is too soon for Travis to start this game after his long absence.

Andy Williams and Tony James missed Tuesday's match. Williams was said to have taken a knock at Dagenham last Saturday, but should be available for Saturday. James was rested and will return as captain.

Should it be as cold as forecast, Hereford players are tough. Of the eleven who started on Tuesday only three were wearing long-sleeved tops.

It is unknown whether Graham Turner has watched Exeter recently, however Alex Inglethrope revealed to the BBC that he watched Hereford last Tuesday. And he has also spoken of the value of plenty of away support.

"The support has been tremendous this season and it's been one of the key factors in our success," Inglethorpe told the Express and Echo.

"It's a real boost, particularly away from home.

"It's great when the players step on to the pitch as they did at Kidderminster and the atmosphere is like we're at home.

"In home games the noise can be diluted because our fans are on three sides of the ground.

"But away it is concentrated in just one end and it makes for a fantastic atmosphere."

Hereford United will need to counteract that arguement on Saturday. Whilst the Meadow End are expected to lead the support for the Bulls, given the likely atmosphere, it seems inevitable that as long as the team rises to the challenge, home supporters will be right behind them in whatever part of the stadium they are and will out-sing the visitors.

An exciting game is in prospect.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Manager Begs For Fans As Stadium Plans Stumble

This week, Cardiff manager Dave Jones begged for more fans to attend games as Cardiff council demanded the club proves viability on it's envisaged 30,000 capacity new stadium.

With gates averaging nearly 1,700 under the break even, and Tuesday's draw with Brighton getting well under 10,000 fans, Cardiff face another hefty loss to top up their current £30million debt.

The new stadium, adjacent to their current Ninian Park home, hinges on a retail development being built alongside the ground but retailers have so far been reluctant to commit to the plan amid low high street sales. The sale of their existing site and long term increased income from the new site will shore up the clubs finances and help them to remain as top dog in Welsh football.

However, Cardiff council are unconvinced as to the viability of the plan after ploughing in £500,000 of taxpayers money into the planning. The original deadline of December 31st has been extended to March to allow the club to seek extra interest in the development after the club were refused an extension til June. The club itself has already committed £3million of it's own money to the project and can ill-afford the failure of the scheme.

Their position at the top of Welsh football is in severe doubt. Swansea hit a record gate of more than double Cardiff's gate last night as they continue their surge at the top of League One, and they have averaged nearly 50% higher attendances at the new Liberty stadium than Cardiff have managed in the crumbling Ninian Park.

A new stadium has vastly improved the finances of one sleeping giant of Welsh football. Another desperately requires the same before the life support plug is pulled.

Work Experience "Loans" Unaffected By Transfer Window

The new style work experience loans are not affected by the closure of the "emergency" loan transfer window today.

Work experience deals are available to teenage Academy professionals and can be actioned anytime during the course of the season. The Bulls signed Brian "Junior" Smikle as their first ever work experience player last February, playing four times for the club and signing professional forms for West Brom in the summer, earning a squad number for this seasons Premiership campaign.

Aside from work experience loans, only goalkeepers are allowed to move if a club can prove that they have no more than one fit keeper available. This may help Graham Turner to extend his search for a backup keeper with Wayne Brown looking at a minimum of one month out.

Both of the other reserve keepers the Bulls have used this season are contracted to other sides, with Darren Knurek at Evesham and Karl Lewis at Rugby, but are regular trainers with the Bulls goalkeeping coach Bernard Day at Edgar Street as their parent clubs have no specialist goalkeeping coach.

With the "emergency" loan system having already been made a mockery of this season, especially with Championship promotion chasing side Reading today sealing the emergency loan of Aaron Brown from Tamworth - an inexperienced defender from a side three divisions below them, it is likely the work experience loan system will be similarly exploited by anyone requiring a new face.

Kiddy join Bulls in LDV draw

Kidderminster Harriers will join Hereford United in the draw for the Quarter Finals of the Northern area LDV Trophy.

The Harriers defeated Boston this evening 3-0 with Iyseden Christie getting two of the goals.

There is one game left to be played in the current round. Halifax will play Scunthorpe next Tuesday after yesterday's game was postponed.

Teams in draw: Hereford United, Kidderminster Harriers, Cambridge United, Carlisle, Bradford, Macclesfield, Tranmere and either Halifax or Scunthorpe..

Former Chairman remembered

Former Hereford United chairman Frank Miles has died at the age of 72.

Miles was chairman of the Bulls from 1969 to 1978, a period of relative success for the club.

Before the start of last night's LDV game there was a minute silence for both Frank Miles and Joe Wade, a former manager who also died recently.

Update Thursday:

The Daily Telegraph reports about Frank Miles:

Frank Miles, a former chairman of Hereford United, died yesterday of a heart attack aged 72, having been suffering with cancer. When Miles became chairman he predicted the then-Southern League club would make the original first division within 10 years. By 1976, having won the third division title, they were just one step away.

Panther Aims To Pounce On Bulls

York midfielder Emmanuel Panther has started light training after undergoing cartilage surgery ten days ago, and is targeting the match at Edgar Street on December 10th for a return to the first team.

Without Panther, a summer signing from Partick Thistle, York have collected just one point from four matches and have dropped from second to sixth. Manager Billy McEwan is planning to bring a loan signing in as cover before Thursdays deadline, with the likely target being Grimsby's Terry Barwick after McEwan finished his interest in Barwick's team mate Tony Crane after seeing the player in a reserve match.

Tamworth Fined For Discipline

Tamworth have received a £500 fine from the FA after picking up seven cautions in their weekend match against Canvey Island.

No Canvey players were booked in the match that saw Tamworth defender Aaron Brown also collect a red card in what now is likely to be his last match for the club. Brown, 22, has joined Reading on loan until January with a permanent deal to be tied up during the transfer window. Brown spent 18 months at Tamworth after joining from Midland League side Studley last summer.

Next LDV game expected to be on December 20th

Hereford United will be in the draw for the Quarter Final of the LDV Northern Area which takes place on Saturday but won't receive any bonus from last night's win over Port Vale.

The prize money rules of the LDV are such that the defeated side picks up any prize money and Vale will receive £4,000 for their efforts.

The quarter finals operate in the same way. Should Hereford win, they receive nothing, but if defeated the Bulls will pick-up £6,000.

However defeated league clubs will receive £8,000 each.

The next round of the LDV is set to take place in the week commencing December 19th. Hereford's game will probably take place on the Tuesday but until the draw is made and the clubs confer that date can't be confirmed.

Meanwhile, according to the Official Port Vale Website, Martin Foyle the Valiant's manager, was disappointed with the result.

"It was certainly better than Saturday; there was a bit more passion and commitment there. When we actually got the ball down and played we looked a decent side, but at the moment there are quite a few lacking in confidence and I think it showed in our play again.

"Our play in the final third is letting us down again - we don't create enough chances. There are a lot of things wrong at the moment, I can understand everybody's frustration, but we have got a hard game against Southend coming up and we have got to go and battle.

"I knew it would be a hard game, they are a decent side and they don't give many goals away, but our forward play in that final third was poor and we gave the ball away too easily."

Hollins Named As Crawley Boss

John Hollins has been named as the new manager of Crawley Town.

Hollins, 58, is most famous for a three year spell as Chelsea manager in the mid 80's. He also managed Swansea and Rochdale, and was also caretaker manager at QPR and Stockport. He ended a brief spell as Assistant Manager with Raith Rovers in September.

Conference News Round-Up

Morecambe have released defender Carl Ruffer by mutual consent. Ruffer joined Morecambe 18 months ago but has been limited to just three substitute appearances due to injury. Canvey have transfer listed defender Jay Conroy, and loaned goalkeeper Ashley Harrison to Great Wakering Rovers of the Southern League. Scarboro are on the verge of signing four players from Barnsley. Nathan Joynes, Ryan Laight, Tom Harban and Robert Atkinson are all training with Scarboro with a view to moves either on loan or work experience. Southport have added two new loan signings to their squad - Crewe defender Mark Roberts joins Doncaster winger Adriano Rigloglioso in the squad for the Haig Avenue outfit.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Pleasing result says Turner

Graham Turner commented on the win against Port Vale to BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"We reacted well to losing the goal right on half-time and came out second half and did well. And then into extra-time we looked very strong.

"It's a pleasing result.

"We've got a big period coming up for us with League games, the FA Cup, and the Trophy not too far in the distance. Another round of the LDV.

"Between now and the start of the new year, it's a massive big period for us.

"Results like this do the confidence a world of good."

Bulls dump out second league side

Hereford United, having disposed of Mansfield Town in the first round, knocked out a second league side in the second round of the LDV Vans Trophy Northern Section at Edgar Street this evening. Injury struck League One outfit Port Vale were the opponents and the Bulls overcame them after extra time.

Two changes were made from the side that beat Dagenham; Andy Williams and Tony James were rested meaning recalls to the side for Danny Carey-Bertram and Dean Beckwith, who performed well at the back alongside stand in skipper Tamika Mkandawire. Guy Ipoua showed the first goal scoring intentions but sliced wide early on and then, following some great link up play, Jamie Pitman fired over from outside of the box.

United, who'd started the better, took the lead with fourteen minutes on the clock, when a free kick move paid off. Pitman had layed the ball onto Jon Brady whose shot was turned into the air off a defender, and Carey-Bertram watched the ball closely and volleyed into the back of the net, via the post, from ten yards out. Vale, who were pretty poor for a League One side, got back into the game and dominated the rest of the half, but Uniteds' defence reduced them to just a few long range efforts. Chris Cornes and Andy Porter shot wide, while inbetween a free kick from Tony Dinning was blocked by Craig Mawson and cleared behind by Mkandawire.

The first chance from close range for Vale fell in the single added minute at the end of the first half, and it resulted in the equaliser. Jeff Smith was on the end of Cornes cross, and headed into the bottom corner unchallenged having lost his marker.

Nathan Lowndes hit the side netting in the opening stages of the second half with a cheeky back heel but United began to get a foot hold on the game once again. Graham Evans was introduced in place of Ipoua ten minutes into the half and he had a good chance when Pitman slipped Bradys' cross into him, but the eccentric Johnathan Brain denied him. Lowndes should have put the visitors in front, but somehow managed to head a corner over, from pretty much under the cross bar and then, soon after Adam Stansfield had replaced Pitman, Robin Hulbert shot wide.

Stansfield had a good effort from twenty yards, that crept just wide of the far post and Simon Travis' appearance late on for Ryan Green was the last of the action for the ninety minutes. Extra time began with Brady giving the travelling 152 Vale fans a scare, when his intended cross clipped the cross bar and went over. Cornes volleyed over in front of the meadow end, before Mkandawire capped a man of the match performance with a goal, much to the delight of the majority of the crowd of 1,355. He met Alex Jeannins' corner with a downward header that avoided several defenders in the box and crept into the back of the net. United were able to play out the three remaing minutes of the first period and the whole of the second period by keeping the ball and frustrating their league opposition.

Much like the game at Dagenham on Saturday, The Bulls started well although they seemingly faded in the second half but were never really troubled by Port Vale. However, they will be delighted with result that sees them in the hat for the third round northern section, to be drawn next Saturday morning.

HUFC: Mawson, Green, Beckwith, Mkandawire, Jeannin, Purdie, Pitman, Stanley, Brady, Carey-Bertram, Ipoua. Subs: Travis, Lewis, Stansfield, Ferrell, Evans.

PVFC: Brain, Togwell, Pilkington, Dinning, James, Cornes, Innes, Sonner, Smith, Lowndes, Mulligan.Subs: Goodlad, Porter, Husbands, Rowland, Cardle.

Bulls go through

Hereford United went through to the quarter finals of the LDV with a 2-1 win over Port Vale this evening.

Daniel Carey-Bertram and Tamika Mkandawire scored the goals.

Full report shortly.

Other teams in the Northern Section that won tonight were Cambridge United, Carlisle, Bradford, Macclesfield and Tranmere.

Turner looks to LDV success

Graham Turner has told the Worcester News that he would like to see his team do well in the LDV competition again this season.

"We were unlucky to lose the area semi-final last year," said Turner. "We played well and should have got a better result against Wrexham.

"It would be nice to get that far again. We want to go as far in the competition as we can.

"Port Vale are a decent side and play at a very good level. But we've proved that we are capable of beating these sides. We showed that against Mansfield and last season against Blackpool, Scunthorpe and Doncaster.

"We enjoy playing the better sides. When we play against them, we tend to find more room to play good football. You think it's going to be a tight game, but it doesn't tend to happen that way.

"Some teams haven't played their strongest side in the LDV Vans Trophy and that has surprised me. If other teams decide to play weakened sides, so be it."

Stansfield dreams of playing against his former club

Adam Stansfield, the Hereford United striker, has told the Exeter Express and Echo that is dreaming of a long-awaited return from injury to play against his old club next Saturday in what is potentially the game of the season so far.

"I can't wait to be involved again. I want to play every game, every week - it's very frustrating not being involved," said 27 year old Stansfield.

"I travelled up to the game at Dagenham last weekend but I was sat in the stand and I couldn't help the team.

"It would be great if I could make my first league appearance against Exeter. My family still lives down in Devon and I'm looking forward to playing there next month, too.

"I played for Exeter's reserves a few years ago and we won the league, so it will be nice to play against them.

"I scored in all our pre-season games but then stopped when the league started and then I got injured.

"I feel fully fit now and hopefully I can help Hereford win on Saturday."

According to the article Stansfield will be on the bench this evening for the LDV game and he is hoping to play a big part in Saturday's clash between the Grecians and the Bulls, both of whom he thinks are promotion candidates.

"It was unlucky for them against Grays and our game will depend on how they react to that. If they don't respond well then hopefully we will get a result," he said.

"They started off the season really well, then dropped off, picked up again and then they lost to Grays. Hopefully they won't pick themselves up from that soon enough to trouble us.

"There's now about eight teams at the top who are all good teams, then there's a six-point gap between us and Woking.

"I think Hereford are good enough to win the league.

"Obviously our defensive record is phenominal - the best in the Conference - and if we can start killing teams off more efficiently we can go a long way. I've not seen Exeter this year, but I know they are strong and it will be a very tough game on Saturday."

Foyle expects tough game

Martin Foyle is expecting a tough game as he tales his depleted squad to Edgar Street for tonight's LDV game against non-league Hereford United according to a preview on the Official Port Vale Website.

"It's going to be a hard game, a very hard game. I have seen Hereford play, they play 4-4-2 they play with wingers and they are a decent side.

"They have got a very, very good home record, I think they have only conceded four goals.

"It is going to be a real test of our character, believe me, I have seen them play, the reaction I need from Saturday has got to be massive.

"There have been questions about whether I will rest anybody for this game, but I can't do that because we just don't have the numbers - Andy Porter is in the squad - and it's not something we can do

"We're not like some of the other clubs. It hurts, but at the end of the day we have got to go with what we have got week in week out."

Tean News: Bulls vs Port Vale

The Bulls will select from the same squad as Saturday's victory at Dagenham, with Stacy Coldicott and Wayne Brown still injured and Darren Blewitt only just returning to full training after three weeks on the sidelines. Graham Turner has always treated the LDV Trophy with respect so is unlikely to make wholesale changes, but both Simon Travis and Adam Stansfield will look to make the bench and prove their fitness ahead of the crunch league match against Exeter.

It would be easier to list the players that are available for Port Vale with eleven first teamers likely to be missing. They will be missing long term injury victims Robin Hulbert and Michael Cummings with neither of them expected to be fit before Christmas. George Abbey, Michael Walsh, and Lee Matthews also remain sidelined. Hector Sam played an hour of a reserve match last week for his first game back after a broken leg but is unlikely to play. Gary Mulligan and Danny Sonner missed the weekend game with knocks and may face late fitness tests, and Mickey Bell limped out of Saturday's game and is doubtful. Manager Martin Foyle will be without loan stars Leon Constantine and Clayton Fortune as both are Cup-tied, but will have three other loan signings in the squad with ex-Bull Michael Husbands likely to start. In one of the few bits of good news for Foyle, Chris Birchall returns to the squad after helping Trinidad and Tobago qualify for the World Cup.

Match Odds (bet365): Hereford 6/4, Draw 5/2, Port Vale 11/8.