Sunday, December 31, 2006

Boston Admit To Player Strike Threat

Boston United have admitted that their players did consider striking prior to their 4-0 defeat to Rochdale.

In an article that appears on their official site, captain Paul Ellender apologises to fans for what is described as an ill-timed discussion between the squad. The players have been promised their money for December on Tuesday after the receipts from tomorrow's home game with Barnet are dealt with.

Meanwhile, in what is described as a 'relocation sale' the Boston club shop is having an clearance sale in which, according to the official site, 'any reasonable offer for a variety of stock will be considered'.

Update: Boston striker Anthony Elding has signed for Stockport on a two and a half year deal for an 'undisclosed five figure sum'.

Transfer Rumours

Several rumours are now circulating about current Bulls players and potential suitors in the January transfer window.

One rumour spreading widely amongst fans is a Brentford move for defender Dean Beckwith. While the club may be interested in the player, how they will finance the deal in another matter.

The Bees lost over £500,000 last season despite selling DJ Campbell to Birmingham for £600,000 and making the play-off semi finals. This season, the club have already admitted that they are unable to sustain the wage bill on current gates and form, being bottom of League One, and transfer listed five players from their 26 man squad last week.

Another name linked to Beckwith, and Tamika Mkandawire, is that of Crewe. Dario Gradi has already stated his intent to bring in a defender in the transfer window and, using Luke Rodgers and/or midfielder Lee Bell as bait, could agree a beneficial player exchange with the two clubs having a good working relationship.

Bell, 23, is available for loan after dropping down the pecking order behind former Bulls target Ben Rix. Back in October, it was Rix who was waiting for Bell to get his fitness back to move to Edgar Street on loan but Rix's form has kept the fully fit Bell out of regular action.

One other name linked to Mkandawire is that of Scottish side Hibernian. Management pair Tony Mowbray and Mark Venus were believed on the verge of moving for the player until their own switch to West Brom but their backroom staff remain at Easter Road and they are set to accept a £3million offer for Kevin Thompson and Scott Brown from Charlton and have identified several targets.

Both Andy Williams and Stuart Fleetwood are also still the subject of speculation of interest from Bristol Rovers, with Bristol City and Derby also believed to have shown interest in Williams, though Rovers may switch their attention to York's Clayton Donaldson.

One In, One Out For Wycombe

Wycombe will swap defenders in their side for the New Years Day clash with the Bulls.

Will Antwi, a former Aldershot colleague of Tim Sills, will return to the side after suspension in a straight swap for Mike Williamson, whose one match ban for five yellows kicks in for that game.

With new signings allowed from midnight tonight Wycombe may feature former Cambridge striker Fola Onibuje, who is joining the club on loan from Swindon, and winger Anthony McParland from Barnsley. The lanky forward Onibuje was signed by former boss Dennis Wise but has been out in the cold since Paul Sturrock took over and has just returned from an unsuccessful spell with Brentford. His last game for Swindon was against the Bulls. McParland joined Barnsley from Celtic but has yet to start a league game for the club. Neither side has any new injury worries following Saturday's games.

Earlier in the season, Wycombe beat the Bulls 2-1 at Edgar Street thanks to a brace from Jermaine Easter. The prized forward has scored five in his last seven games, including the goal that knocked Premiership Charlton out of the League Cup.

Is Turner after Anyinsah?

According to the League Paper, Hereford United manager Graham Turner has 'renewed his interest in Preston's Joe Anyinsah'.

Turner mentioned Anyinsah as a player he admired at the Fans Forum earlier this season.

However the former Bristol City loanee at Edgar Street may be beyond Turner's reach as he is on the fringe of the Preston team. Yesterday he came on as a sub in the 81st minute in the game against Sunderland which Preston won 1-0.

Meanwhile former loanee John Eustace didn't even make the bench for Stoke City yesterday whilst Neil MacKenkie made the Scunthorpe bench but didn't feature.

Finally Tamika Mkandawire, the Hereford United captain, made the League Paper's Division Two Team of the Week.

Wycombe next for Bulls

Hereford United travel to Wycombe Wanderers tomorrow (New Years Day) for their League Two fixture in a busy week that also sees the Bulls play Bristol Rovers in the FA Cup next Friday.

Wycombe were defeated by Lincoln City yesterday 1-0. However reports suggest that Wycombe were unlucky to lose.

Their manager, Paul Lambert, thought his side dominated the game.

"I feel for the lads. No one let me down, they all played well. For Hereford we don't need to get anything out of our system, we just need a break.

"We're still in the mix and I'm sure it will stay that way."

Meanwhile Hereford's Alan Connell, bouyed on by his brace against Wrexham yesterday, is confident about getting something from the Wycombe match.

"We've got no fears going to Wycombe.

"We've produced some of our best performances away from home this year against the bigger teams."

Tomorrow is the first of a series of 'Family Days' at Wycombe designed to attract more support for the club. Families, two adults and two children, will be allowed to see the match for just £25 with free parking and a chance to meet members of the playing squad.

The pre-booked offer of a family ticket for £25 for Hereford supporters families as well as home supporters is a very generous gesture. Where else in League Two can away supporters families watch a game for so little money?

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Torquay Crisis Looming

Torquay are on the verge of a full-blown crisis amid rumours of player walkouts and crumbling finances.

The financial background of chairman Chris Roberts, originally described as a successful football agent and businessman, has been called into question after local press unveiled a string of debts, failed companies, and resentful former business partners. It is understood that Roberts financial situation is so poor that he is unable to get a mortgage.

Now, little more than ten weeks after taking over, Torquay United are on the verge of running out of money and players.

Goalkeeper Nathan Abbey and striker Mickey Evans both quit the club in recent weeks and Evans' fellow strikers Lee Thorpe and Jamie Ward are both believed to be in open warfare with Roberts. Ward, a summer signing from Aston Villa after the Gulls beat off a dozen competing clubs for his services, is believed to be set to sign for MK Dons after handing in a transfer request. Loan players Kyle Critchell and Jordan Robertson are also believed to be on the verge of being recalled by Sheffield United over non-payment of wages - a move that could leave the club with just 13 available players for their New Years Day match.

Yesterday, for the third time, Torquay failed to fill their substitutes bench with rookie keeper Martin Horshell the only stopper at the club. Their existing monthly wage bill is believed to have only been covered by the revenue from Saturday's home match with Macclesfield - a game that left them bottom of the League.

Manager Lubos Kubik is believed by many to be a pawn in Roberts' game. The picture painted by Roberts to Kubik of League Two football is allegedly far inferior to the product that the league actually is. Finances to cover the promised string of Eastern European players are said to be dry, with Kubik also believing the intended targets are not of the required quality, and the few assets inherited from previous chairman Mike Bateson have been spent on expensive junkets and consultations over a proposed new stadium.

Torquay fans are bracing themselves for a long second-half of the season with many already expecting Conference football next season. The less optimistic aren't expecting the club to survive long enough.

Boston To Sell To Survive

Boston are set to sell players off from their miniscule squad in order to continue to cover their debts.

Speaking to their official site, manager Steve Evans has admitted that no new cash injection has come in and that he had received several cash bids for some of his players: "I discussed with (the chairman) in detail every enquiry I have had in relation to our players, with a special emphasis on those that would bring in some much-needed revenue. The offers I have had have now been put to the chairman and he has told me he will be back to me tomorrow after he has discussed these offers with his board of directors."

In other news Chester have announced that the Chairman's son, Stephen Vaughan Jnr, will leave the club in the transfer window. Vaughan Jnr, who was made club captain in the summer, has been a regular this season despite claims by many that his inclusion in the side is down to his father.

He is beleived to be mulling over offers from three different League Two clubs and will leave the club initially on loan. His brother, James Vaughan, is also leaving the club temporarily - joining Droylsden on a month's loan. Chester are also considering a cash offer for striker Gregg Blundell from Darlington. Darlo boss Dave Penney was Blundell's manager at Doncaster.

Accrington are set to confirm the permanent departure of winger Gary Roberts after a successful loan spell at Ipswich Town. Roberts, 22, is set to sign a four year deal at Portman Road where he has started 11 times, scoring twice. Stanley are in need of new faces in their threadbare squad, with Danny Ventre sidelined for two months with a fractured tibia.

Another player possibly heading to Ipswich is Bury striker Andy Bishop. Last season's Conference top scorer has scored 15 in 29 games this season and is believed to be the subject of a six figure offer.

Bishop's former strike partner at York, Clayton Donaldson, is also set to move with Peterboro targeting the current Conference top scorer. One move the Posh have completed is that of Stevenage forward George Boyd for £260,000. The 21 year old winger or striker has agreed a four and a half year deal at London Road and will sign next weekend. The club are set to lose the services of midfielder Dean Holden after the player agreed to discuss personal terms with Falkirk.

Hartlepool are on the verge of signing Mansfield striker Richie Barker. The Pools have also been chasing Donaldson, but are set to take the 15 goal forward next week. One player leaving Victoria Park is midfielder Gavin Strachan, who joins Peterboro for a months loan.

Webb looks for new contract

Luke Webb's contract with Hereford United runs out shortly. He signed a short term deal earlier this season after originally appearing for the Bulls in a friendly at Forest Green Rovers.

"I have a contract until next month and it will now be up to the gaffer as to whether I get an extension," Luke said in BullsEye.

"Immediately though I hope I'm able to retain my place for the forthcoming FA Cup tie at Bristol Rovers."

Webb revealed in the article that it was former Hereford United coach Richard O'Kelly that told Graham Turner about him.

He was at Bournemouth on trial but they weren't very interested in him as they had signed enough midfielders at the time.

"Fortunately, Richard O'Kelly their assistant manager who had been coach at Edgat Street told Graham Turner about me and I came here."

Meanwhile Rob Purdie has revealed that Webb has refused to take any criticism about his dress from captain Tamika Mkandawire.

Last week Mkandawire told the League Paper that Webb was the worst dresser at the club and in particular mentioned Webb's Reebok Classics which haven't been sold for years.

Webb has retorted mentioning Mkandawire's headgear 'that's more suitable for a circus clown than a footballer!'

Finally in his press conference after the game, manager Graham Turner was asked about reports that Hereford United had offered £30,000 for Luke Rogers.

As usual Turner kept his comments to a minimum. He merely acknowledged that the club had enquired about a couple of players.

League Two Results Round-Up

Walsall's lead at the top is now back down to two points after Bristol Rovers twice came from behind to get a 2-2 draw at the Bescot Stadium. MK Dons kept up the pressure in second with a 3-0 win over ten man Chester, their second 3-0 reverse in four days.

Lincoln are third after a 1-0 win over Wycombe (6th). Swindon (4th) drew 1-1 with Notts County (10th). The two other sides above the Bulls met, with Hartlepool (5th) beating Peterboro (7th) 1-0 thanks to a last minute Daryl Duffy goal.

Down the bottom, Macclesfield's great escape continues with a 1-0 win at Torquay to put them on 23 points. The Gulls are now three points adrift of Macclesfield and safety and have not won in 16 league matches. Accrington are now level with Macclesfield, but above them on goal difference, as they saw their game with Mansfield abandoned in the second half. Boston and Rochdale are both on 24 points after the pair met at Spotland and Rochdale ran out 4-0 winners.

In the other games, Shrewsbury beat Darlington 2-1 but are still six points off the play-offs, and Stockport beat 10-man Grimsby 3-0 for their second straight win and clean sheet.

Smith thought about a postponement

Wrexham manager, Denys Smith, admitted after the game that he spoke to the FA about a possible postponement of today's game.

"We did contact them to check on the rules, but had we called this match off then there was the possibility of a points deduction and a fine," said Smith.

Wrexham were forced to put out a side with just four regular first-teamers because of illness and injury. Hereford were much luckier with just Rob Purdie missing with a virus.

"We possibly lost this game on Friday when we realised what sort of team we could field.

"We are asking a lot of the kids we stuck out there today, but I won't have a go at them because I thought they did tremendously well.

"We probably should have won it, but I'm not having a go at the kids because they worked their socks off

"We shouldn't have been down at half time, but I thought I was right to change things around then, as we had to have a go at it and try to get us back into the match.

"We have dominated again in the second half and then got hit on the break."

Bulls move upto Eighth Position

Hereford United have moved upto eighth place in Division Two after collecting three points from their early game with Wrexham.

UPDATE 5pm: Bulls stay in eighth position after all today's results.

The Bulls have now kept three clean sheets in a row and will go to Wycombe on Monday having gained seven points out of a possible nine from their 'Holiday' fixtures.

A very happy Simon Travis after assisting Connell's goal

The Stats for the game show 57% of the possession to Hereford against 43% for Wrexham.

Wrexham had six shots on target against Hereford's two.

And considering the conditions Hereford had six fouls awarded against them and Wrexham just seven.

Hereford captain Tamika Mkandawire was given an eight for his performance. Brown, Travis, Gulliver, Ferrell, Connell and Sills had sevens. Webb, Rose and McClenahan received a six. Fleetwood had a five and substitue Williams a six.

Connell thanking his team-mates - pictures by Andy Compton of the Hereford Journal

For Wrexham Llewellyn was given an eight.

Connell on eight goals

Alan Connell scored both of Hereford United's goals this afternoon taking his tally to eight so far this season.

Afterwards he was interviewed by BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"We said before the game there was a good chance to get just behind the playoffs. We've put a marker down with the three points.

"A very difficult game. I thought Wrexham played very well.

"It wasn't easy out there with the very heavy conditions but we took our chances and Wrexham missed theirs.

"Trav (who had the two assists) did very well for us today. He's got pace to burn. He's up and down and his final ball today was very good."

Connell wasn't sure how he scored the first goal.

"I'll have to have a look on the Telly!"

Connell's first goal - picture by Andy Compton of the Hereford Journal

As regards his second goal, Connell said that Trav had done very well down the left side.

"Very pleased I put it in the corner and delighted with the two goals. That's me on eight now."

Simon Travis and Alan Connell celebrating Connell's second goal - another picture by Andy Compton.

Bulls hold fort against Welsh attack

Hereford United played hosts to Welsh outfit Wrexham at Edgar Street this afternoon in wet conditions. The heavy pitched flawed any plans for a game of flowing football, as the pitch cut up throughout making for a very scrappy battle. United were looking for revenge following their defeat when they travelled over the border earlier in the season, and they got exactly what they wanted.

The Bulls made just one change to the side that drew with Bristol Rovers on Boxing Day as there was no place for Rob Purdie, due to illness, so in stepped Stuart Fleetwood, meaning Alan Connell dropped off behind the front two. On the bench, there was a return from Andy Williams following a virus. Wrexham had more selection problems than Hereford, as several of their players were missing through illness and injury.

Despite Connell not playing as striker, he proved United's most threatening player on the Red Dragons' goal, and showed his intent in just the second minute. Phil Gulliver's long free kick had been headed away and dropped some thirty yards from goal, from where Connell swung an opportunist boot at the ball and dipped it over the 'keeper Michael Ingham, but it crashed off the top of the cross bar. This was the only chance in the first fifteen or so minutes, as the pitch got the better of both teams, before Wrexham burst into life.

A break down the left saw Chris Llewellyn cut back for Gareth Evans, but he fired over the bar before Llewelyn tried himself and went close at the near post. The Bulls were struggling to come by goal scoring chances, but Andy Ferrell seemed to be everywhere in midfield, and almost picked out the run of Fleetwood with a defence splitting pass. The Welsh side forced Wayne Brown into his first save of the game, and it was a good one too, as he dived to his left to deny Llewelyn's effort from twenty yards.

Wayne Brown collects - picture by Andy Compton of the Hereford Journal.

The visitors had another good chance to break the deadlock on thirty seven minutes, when Matt Crowell played Marc Williams in behind the defence, though Brown was down well to keep scores level. However, the 'keeper quickly released Simon Travis on the right as United counter attacked. Travis advanced and played a neat one-two with Tim Sills, and cut inside from as he neared the by-line and delivered a cross for Connell who'd made a dash into the box. Connell connected with the outside of the his boot and the ball made it's way into the back of the net via, first Ingham's hand, and then the inside of the post.

The goal came against the run of play, and it was no suprise when Wrexham were again on the attack, and again wasteful in front of goal before the half time interval. Matt Done's side-footed shot from the edge of the box took a deflection, and required a fine finger-tip save from Brown.

Half time saw a change by Denys Smith as Lee McEviley, ex-Accrington Stanley, was introduced in a tactical change as Wrexham looked to grab an equaliser. They had plenty of chances to do so as well, but once again poor finishing cost them dear. Shaun Pejic, son of former Hereford player Mel, should have done better at the far post when he met a deep free kick, but couldn't beat man of the match Brown in the Hereford goal. Kevin Smith then did well to spin off his man twenty five yards out, and crashed an effort off the outside of the post as The Bulls survived the storm.

Graham Turner saw the need for change and on fifty nine minutes replaced Fleetwood with Williams. Hereford improved slightly from here on, but still their Welsh opponents had the better of posession. Tamika Mkandawire, faultless throughout, led an attack from the back as he raced forward, played a one-two and then saw his dangerous cross hooked away from Sills at the far post, before Wrexham countered and Llewelyn got in behind the defence, but was denied a great goal by an even better saving tackle, which took his volley into the side netting.

United's back three had done very well in keeping McEviley quiet in the second half, but the big target man met Done's cross with his head, but once again Brown got the better of Wrexham and tipped over the bar, for yet another corner. With eleven minutes remaining Turner made a second change, replacing Sills, who had a very good game, with Gareth Sheldon who played alongside Williams. Sheldon worked himself a great opening to seal the win for his side, following good work from Trent McClenahan, but having beaten two defenders in a tight space in the box, shot way off target.

United didn't dwell on the missed chance though, and they got the goal to secure the 2-0 victory with two minutes left of normal time (and the four added). Travis was again heavily involved as he paced down the left before playing a ball inside to Williams. Williams took the ball beyond his man, but it rolled away from him slightly, but that was to Connell's advantage as he curled the ball into the bottom corner from twenty yards out in front of a relieved, yet delighted, Meadow End. The 519 away fans in a crowd of 3,444 were soon on their way home, as Hereford played out the final minutes safe in the knowledge the points were theirs.

It proved a brilliant battling performance from Hereford, and although the defence had a lot of work to do as Wrexham pressured, the rear guard performed very well to keep their third clean sheet in succession. There will be some tired legs after todays game on what was a very heavy pitch, though the three points, against a Wrexham side that performed well, will more than make up for that.

HUFC: Brown, Rose, Mkandawire, Gulliver, Travis, McClenahan, Ferrell, Webb, Connell, Fleetwood, Sills. Subs: Giles, Jeannin, Thompson, Sheldon, Williams.

WFC: Ingham, Williams, Evans, Spender, Pejic, Roche, Johnson, Crowell, Done, Williams, Llewelyn. Subs: Jones, Carey, Smith, Ferguson, McEviley.

Connell Double Slays Dragons

A brace of goals from Alan Connell sealed a 2-0 win over Wrexham in today's League Two clash.

An early kick-off and another heavy Police presence saw the home gate fall by around a thousand.

Full report later.

Clean sheets since Ferrell's return

With the two on-loan midfield players recalled to their respective clubs, Andy Ferrell is happy to be back playing for Hereford United.

Ferrell was dropped when John Eustace and Neil MacKenzie came to Edgar Street and were manager Graham Turner's first choice for midfield.

However Ferrell, along with Luke Webb, was brought back for the FA Cup games against Shrewsbury and Port Vale as the loanees were cup-tied. And he has been made man of the match in Hereford's last two League games.

"I had never been named man of the match before, but it doesn't really matter to me," Ferrell told the Western Daily Press.

"As long as I am doing my job for the side and we are winning matches, that's what really matters.

"It has been a frustrating two to three months for me but I am back in the side along with Luke Webb and I don't think we have conceded a goal when we have played together. We are both young and long may it continue as far as I am concerned.

"Fresh legs bring a bit of enthusiasm to the team and we are only eight points off the top six.

"We have proved ourselves against Swindon and Milton Keynes Dons when we beat them.

"But every time we play teams below us, like Torquay and Boston, we make hard work of it.

"We have got to learn how to grind out results against those sort of sides."

Gasheads after York's Donaldson

With the transfer window opening on Monday there will be lots of speculation as to player movements.

Whether Hereford United will be involved is yet to be seen. Manager Graham Turner normally plays his cards close to his chest so the revelation that the Bulls have expressed an interest in Luke Rodgers is surprising.

However Hereford's opponents in the FA Cup next weekend, Bristol Rovers, are seldom shy of talking to the press.

Having been linked with both of Hereford's young strikers, Andy Williams and Stuart Fleetwood, in recent months, their attentions have now turned to 22-year-old York City striker Clayton Donaldson, who has scored 33 goals in 66 outings.

Clayton is understood to have turned down a new contract and has been watched by several other clubs recently including Peterborough, who according to the Western Daily Press have offered £100,000 for him, Wolves, Hibernian, Scunthrope and Cheltenham.

Whether Rovers can afford Donaldson, who is probably valued at £200,000, is another matter. Their Chairman, Geoff Dunford, has said he will be talking to his management team shortly.

"It's difficult to say at the moment what might happen because the situation is fluid and a lot depends on performances and results over the coming games," said Duffield.

"We will need to know whether there are players in the squad Lennie and Paul want to move on or others they want to bring in, but we will support them as much as we can."

Wrexham hit by illness and injury

Wrexham have had to draft their 38 year old coach, Brian Carey, into the squad for today's game at Edgar Street because of illness and injury.

Carey, a defender, is in because of the absence of Ryan Valentine and Danny Williams with viral infections. He last played for the Dragons in 2005.

Centre half Steve Evans sits out the last of his four match ban and Neil Roberts, Juan Ugarte and Levi Mackin are also missing through injury.

Wrexham travelled to Herefordshire yesterday and stayed at a local hotel last night.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Wrexham's Smith praises Hereford

Denys Smith, the Wrexham manager, has praised Hereford United in advance of tomorrow's meeting of the two clubs. He says he expects Hereford will be eager to continue their impressive start in League Two.

"Hereford are an organised and well run club. They have been doing well and will want to push on," Smith told the Wrexham Leader.

"No professional club should ever be content, and I am sure they are not.

"Hereford will be expecting to win because of our away record. We have to make sure we play better."

Meanwhile the Wrexham goalkeeper, Mike Ingram, has also been talking about the game.

"Hopefully we can take our good recent form into tomorrow's match," Ingham said.

"Our away form has not been the best but we have been playing some good stuff lately and are growing in confidence.

"If we can play like we have the last six games - Boston apart - there is no reason why we can't get three points. Hereford is a tough place to go and it won't be easy, but hopefully we can win.

"We are going there to win and it is a chance for us to get three points."

Williams on the mend says Turner

Andy Williams, the Bulls striker, is making good progress back to full-fitness says Graham Turner, the Hereford United manager.

"He's been training now for a little while. He's put two kilos back in," Turner told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"He lost a lot of weight over the period he was ill.

"He's in contention for a place in the squad for tomorrow's game and hopefully for Monday as well.

"So he's coming on nicely. He's making progress and has started to look a lot stronger in training."

Wycombe Travel - 1st Jan 2007

In need of some fresh air and a coffee on New Years Day? Watching The Bulls at Wycombe Wanderers could just be the answer as Uniteds busy Christmas schedule sees them play their fourth game in eleven days. Kick off at Adams Park is 3.00 pm and admission to the visitors all-seater Dreams Stand end is £16 for adults, £14 for concessions and £12 for Under 16's.

UPDATE 4pm: Family tickets (2 Adults and 2 Children) are available from Wycombe at just £25. Telephone 01494 441118 to book.

Travel by train looks all but impossible with a minimum of two changes required and journey times of over three hours. However, a trip of around 100 miles by car should see you there in less than two and a half hours. Travel to Gloucester (my preferred route being Trumpet, Dymock, Newent), then take the ring road following signs for Cirencester. At the top of Birdlip (Air Balloon Pub) take the A436 (sign Stow-on-the-Wold). Continue on this road via a quick left/right at the A435 until you reach The Frogmill Hotel where you turn right joining the A40 (sign Oxford). Follow all Oxford signs then at Oxford follow signs for London (M40). Join the M40 and leave at Junction 4 (High Wycombe A4010). Entering Wycombe, continue on the A4010 following signs for Aylesbury. At a mini-roundabout turn left into Lane End Road (sign Wycombe FC). At mini-roundabout turn right into Hillbottom Road. Adams Park will be seen in front of you. There is a large(ish) Car Park at the ground (£3) otherwise; it may be possible to park on one of the many forecourts of the industrial units in Hillbottom Road. Getting out of the Club Car Park after the game is reputed to take quite a while.
Post Code is HP12 4HJ.

HUISA Coach :- Departs Edgar Street at 10.00 am Fare £14.00 (Club 01432 276666)

Crewe confirm Bulls interest in Rodgers

Yesterday John Trewick confirmed Hereford United's interest in Luke Rodgers, the unsettled Crewe striker.

Today Crewe manager Dario Gardi has also confirmed the interest.

"Luke Rodgers has rejected an offer from Hereford. They are the only club who have come in and said they will offer money we require," Gradi told the Official Crewe website.

"There appears to be a bit of interest in him from clubs, but no-one has come in and confirmed they will pay the small fee."

Luke Rodgers with Andy Tretton several seasons ago - picture by Andy Compton of the Hereford Journal.

Rodgers will miss tomorrow's Crewe fixture with Yeovil as he is ill.

News Round Up

Bury's removal from this season's FA Cup has been confirmed after the FA rejected the clubs appeal into their expulsion from the competition following the fielding of an ineligible player. Chester City will benefit from a lucrative home tie with Championship side Ipswich Town. Bury have also offered manager Chris Casper, who offered to resign over the matter, a two and a half year extension to his current deal.

Cambridge are set to have a January clear out after a string of negative results. Manager Jimmy Quinn recently blasted his players for being unable to follow simple instructions, and Chairman Lee Power told the BBC: "Some of our squad are set to be going as they aren't doing what is asked."

Swindon midfielder Gareth Whalley has rejected a contract pay-off from the club. The 33 year old has 18 months left on his deal but is deemed surplus to requirements.

Boston manager Steve Evans has told the press that local rivals Lincoln are paying a trio of strikers £2,000 a week each. Evans, who lost their recent derby match, said Jamie Forrester, Martin Gritton, and Mark Stallard were all on or above that figure, and more than double his own front-line. Evans has previously claimed the smallest budget in the League, with the club struggling to find the funds to cover the wage bill.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Cheaper admission for Young Bulls

Young Supporters can take advantage of a cheaper admission by purchasing tickets from the club at least 24 hours before a game.

For Saturday's game against Wrexham, these tickets have to be purchased before 1pm tomorrow (Friday) at a cost of either £6 standing or £7 seated or at slightly higher online prices. Call the club on 01432 276666 for more details.

Below are the online details from the Offical Website:

Save money on entry to home matches for children under 16 years of age by ordering their tickets online a day or two before before each match (Note: But not on the day of the match).

Tickets can then be collected from the ticket office (window next to players entrance) on match day.

There is a charge of 5% to cover credit card/debit card charges.

Please only place orders for the early child tickets one or two days before each match. NOT on the day of the match. Last online orders for tickets will be taken at 1pm the day before each match.

Orders will NOT be processed outside of the above stated times.

Meanwhile HUISA have announced that they will be running a coach to Wycombe on Monday (New Years Day).

To book for this coach call Hereford United on 01432 276666 or call in at Legends before the start of Saturday's game.

Cost is £14 and the coach will leave Edgar Street at 10am.

Trewick confirms interest in Rodgers

Hereford United coach, John Trewick, has confirmed the Bulls' interest in Crewe's Luke Rodgers and is said, by the Worcester News, to be confident that a deal could be agreed.

"There's an interest from ourselves and from a number of other clubs. We need to continue talking to Crewe and see where it takes us," said Trewick.

"He's quick and he scores goals so he would be a good addition if we could get him but it is up to Luke Rodgers."

As reported earlier Hereford are said to have offered £30,000 for Rodgers, but the former Shrewsbury striker is beleived to be reluctant to drop down a Division.

Meanwhile Trewick, in comments about the Wrexham game, has said that it is unlikely that Andy Williams will have recovered from his tonsil problem to be able to play on Saturday.

"They are below us but the table is very tight. They have got an experienced manager in Denis Smith and they are no mugs," said Trewick.

"It will be a tough game but if we can perform like we did in the last two matches we will be fine."

Good support from Wrexham expected on Saturday

Wrexham are expected to bring between 600 and 800 supporters to Edgar Street on Saturday. Their average away support to date this season is just over 500.

Although the game starts at 12 Noon, once again there is expected to be a large Police presence outside the Hereford United ground especially at the end of the match in case of any trouble.

According to the Offical Wrexham website:

Saturday sees us head for the delights of Herefordshire and a chance to renew our acquaintances with the Bulls with a trip along the scenic A49 to visit Hereford for a fixture that is considered to be something of a local derby, despite the distance between the two towns.

Our last couple of competitive visits to Edgar Street have both been in cup competitions and have ended with vastly contrasting outcomes.The last meeting between the two sides at the Bulls home ground was in the LDV Vans Trophy northern area semi-final back in 2005, on our way to the final at the Millennium Stadium. The home side were still in the Nationwide Conference at the time but got off to a flying start with a goal from Daniel Carey-Bertram. This was quickly cancelled out by a close range effort from Juan Ugarte and the tie was finally settled in our favour with less than 20 minutes left, as Chris Llewellyn netted to secure an area final meeting with Oldham.

Our previous visit to Edgar Street ended in a far less happy outcome for the travelling fans when a solitary Ian Wright goal dumped us out of the FA Cup in November 2001, despite dominating the match for long periods. This game was televised live on BBC Match of Day on Sunday lunchtime, allowing the whole country to witness our misery.

Many Wrexham fans remember with fondness a visit to Edgar Street late in the 1977/78 season when over 6,000 Reds fans descended on the tiny market town, swelling the crowd to more than 10,000 in the process; a second half Mickey Thomas goal secured a 1-1 draw and with it the Third Division championship trophy.

Meanwhile former Hereford United player Mel Pejic have been talking to the Wrexham Evening Leader about Saturday's game. Pejic, who made 410 League appearances for Hereford between 1980 and 1988, is currently the Wrexham physio.

"I am looking forward to the game and it will be a good test for us. Hereford have had a decent first season back in the Football League and will be looking to push on after some good recent results," said Pejic.

"But likewise, we want to get something out of it. We need points too and will be looking for the win. It would be nice to get three points and upset a few people down there!

"It should be a good open game and there is everything to play for even at this stage of the season. There should be a decent crowd and atmosphere and we want to continue what we have started."

Pejic's son Mel was born in Hereford but has not yet played for Wrexham at Edgar Street.

"I suppose there is a double edge to it because it might be Shaun's first competitive match at Edgar Street," continued Pejic senior.

"Shaun has played there in friendlies but I don't think he did when we faced Hereford in the two cup games.

"I always remember Shaun running out as a mascot when I was there so it will be nice for him, playing at the ground where his old man spent most of his playing career.

"I have been back to Hereford quite a few times as a player and staff-wise, and it is always nice returning to Edgar Street and seeing some of the people who are still around from when I was there.

"I think the fans remember me - well I was there 11 years or so and played more games for Hereford than anyone else - but time moves on and it is 15 years since I left. They don't see as much of me except when I am running on the pitch for injuries.

"I had some good times and thoroughly enjoyed it at Hereford. I would not have stayed there as long as I did if I didn't. I am looking forward to the game."

Wallis Set For Return

Jon Wallis is set for a return to the Bulls set-up, and may feature against Wycombe after a highly successful spell at Dover.

Wallis, who was originally believed to have been homesick and managed just a handful of minutes in a Bulls shirt, joined Dover in late October for two months and, barring a late extension of the deal, will return to the Bulls in time for the New Years Day match.

The former Gillingham man has played 12 games during his loan spell so far, only missing their FA Cup matches to prevent him getting cup tied, scoring once. Dover boss Clive Walker told their official site that they would be sad to see him leave:

"Jon, without doubt, has been by far our best player in recent weeks. He is too good for this level and it's better for his career, at his age, to go back to Hereford. If he can't get a game there, then I am sure he will be looking for a League Two or Conference club - that's the level he is at."

Bulls Bid For Rodgers Rejected

Today's press has revealed that it was Hereford United that had the rejected bid for Crewe's Luke Rodgers.

Staffordshire-based paper The Sentinel, which covers Crewe, names the Bulls as the mystery £30,000 bidder for the pint-sized striker. While the bid was acceptable to Crewe, Rodgers rejected the move as he perfers to remain in League One.

The paper quotes Crewe assistant boss Neil Baker as saying a dozen clubs are tracking the player, but only a few are prepared the meet the asking price. Accrington are said to be happy with the asking price, but are yet to table a firm bid. Conference leaders Oxford are also prepared to splash the cash, and League One Port Vale are also interested but are reluctant to pay the asking price.

News Round Up

Mansfield have appointed Billy Dearden as manager for a second time. Dearden, who managed the Stags for two and a half years up to January 2002, has been out of management since leaving Notts County nearly three years ago.

Torquay have released goalkeeper Nathan Abbey after failing to agree a new deal with the player. He became the only person this season to stop a Rob Purdie penalty in Torquay's draw at Edgar Street a couple of weeks ago but was only offered a one month extension to his deal that ran out after Boxing Day. Meanwhile, the club are to investigate the actions of their own stewards after several Torquay fans claimed they were assaulted by them after the Boxing Day home defeat to MK Dons.

Notts County are to let veteran midfielder Tom Curtis join Nuneaton on loan for a month. The 33 year old has had an injury plagued season after County won the race to sign him in the summer. Stevenage winger George Boyd, a recent target of Peterboro, is being tracked by Crystal Palace with a view to a January move.

The England National Game XI are set to face more competition in their European Challenge Trophy with Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Eire all set to join the action for next season with a revamped group format for the eight sides.

Preview: Bulls vs Wrexham

The Bulls entertain Wrexham for the first time since a LDV Trophy encounter in early 2005.

That time, the Bulls lost to a Chris Llewellyn goal - a player that has left and rejoined the club since the game. The Bulls last win over the Dragons was in a FA Cup game in 2001, where an Ian Wright goal beat the then League One side.

The Bulls, without loan pair of John Eustace and Neil Mackenzie, have pulled in four points from nine bagging an impressive away win at Notts County and drawing against a useful Bristol Rovers side to cement their mid-table place. The midfield replacements, Luke Webb and Andy Ferrell, have hidden their relative inexperience at this level with some excellent performances. Up front currently appears to the be the worry for Graham Turner, with Stuart Fleetwood still showing a lack of full fitness from his recent illness, and Andy Williams only a slight possibility to make the squad for this game.

Wrexham's season went into free-fall after they beat the Bulls at the Racecourse Ground in September thanks to a Steve Evans goal, picking up just four points from their next eight games. They lie eight points clear of the relegation spots, but have won just one of their eleven games away from home this season - picking up just six of their 28 points on the road.

Hereford United vs Wrexham, Edgar Street, Saturday 30th December, 12 noon.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Stanley after Luke Rodgers

With the transfer window just days away, there will be much speculation on players who might be moving to new clubs.

Accrington Stanley are said to be looking for a new striker. They should be able to afford to pay a fee with money likely to come to them from the transfer of Gareth Roberts to Ipswich and Ian Craney to Swansea, assuming those deals go ahead.

How much the Accrington chairman, Eric Whalley, will allow manager John Coleman to spend is debatable with Stanley almost certainly losing money at present partly because their gates are so low.

Luke Rodgers has been mentioned as one of their targets. The former Shrewsbury striker now at Crewe seldom features in the first team.

"We have asked about him and I think another League Two club has. We will have to wait and see," Coleman told Sky Sports.

"We have again picked up bookings left, right and centre which I feel are harsh and we might not be physically able to put a team out in the next few weeks."

Coleman recently failed in an attempt to sign Michael Twiss from Morecambe but does have former Hereford striker David Brown back at Accrington after a loan spell at Burton.

Meanwhile Wrexham, who visit Edgar Street on Saturday, are another club who would like to sign a couple of players in the transfer window.

"The sides near the bottom of the league are direct and physical and we haven't the players to deal with that," said manager Denys Smith.

"We hope to rectify that in January, but we'll have to wait and see.

"There are too many kids here so we're looking for the more experienced guys. There's money for them, but if we can land the right ones is another thing."

£750,000 raised for Hereford's Macmillian Renton Appeal

Although this website's main purpose is to report on all things Hereford United, one particular charitable appeal was covered by Bulls News earlier this year.

The Macmillan Renton Appeal was launched last June to raise money for a state-of-the-art cancer unit at Hereford's County Hospital.

In just over six months £750,000 has been banked. The unit will cost £3.4 million of which £1.5 million has to be raised locally, mostly from Herefordshire but with a little help from Powys. The project has now been given the go-ahead.

According to tomorrow's Hereford Times both Macmillan Cancer Support appeal manager Ron Davies and Dr Lisa Robinson, lead cancer clinician at the County Hospital are jubilant at the news, describing public support as overwhelming and amazing.

Hereford Hospitals Trust has agreed a site at the County Hospital for the new centre and plans for the day case unit are being prepared ready for an application for planning permission, with work expected to start in January 2008.

Organised by Bulls News a small group of Hereford United supporters raised £8,100 for the appeal by running a car park at this years Hay-on-Wye Festival.

The supporters hope to help the appeal again next year.

Green thought it was a fair result

Ryan Green, the former Hereford United player who now plies his trade with so-called bigger club Bristol Rovers, thought yesterday's result was fair.

However Green could have stolen the game for the Gasheads in the dying moments of the game.

"It was there for me - a great ball through from Stuart Campbell and I saw the gap and sprinted in," Green told the Western Daily Press.

"But my first touch was poor and then I just whacked it and hoped for the best - but it found the outside of the net."

Meanwhile another former Bull, David Brown, has returned to Accrington after a loan spell at Burton and was put straight back into the starting line-up yesterday against Bury. The game was drawn.

The local Citizen newspaper noted that 'for whatever reason, Brown had fallen out of favour with manager John Coleman before his brief spell back in the Conference. At former club Hereford United in October, the 27-year-old made his first Stanley start of the season, but was loaned out soon afterwards.

'However, on his return to the fold, he seemed to buzz with the kind of confidence that comes with playing first team football, zipped about the pitch causing problems for the Bury back line, and in doing so earned the penalty that handed the Reds a vital lead.'

Hard tough game says Turner

Graham Turner, speaking to the press after yesterday's game, seemed relatively pleased with the performance of his team.

"I thought it was a hard, tough game. I felt we had some good chances in the first period and we should have seized them," said the Hereford United manager.

"We had a great opening in the first minute and then Alan Connell missed one. There were one or two other half chances, but I've always tried to instill the belief into the players that if you can't win the game then don't go and lose it.

"I thought we didn't quite get our breaks going as quickly as I would have liked. Sometimes we were holding the ball for a bit too long and the final pass wasn't there at times, but some of that was due to the Bristol Rovers back four who were very competent.

"Today's game was a measure of the progress we've made this season. There was a good crowd here today which produced the right kind of atmosphere, and when you're going into a game against sides as big as Bristol Rovers and Swindon Town it makes you realise what life is like back in the Football League. There aren't too many easy games at this level."

Turner mentioned that he hoped striker Andy Williams would be back shortly.

"He's not far off a return to the action now, and there's a possibility he might be back in the squad for the game against Wrexham on Saturday. Today would have been a game to suit him. He has that extra little bit of ability to open things up in tight areas and maybe we could have done with him around the box today."

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Councillor James responds to Market Deal

Terry James, who heads the Liberal opposition on Herefordshire Council, has responded to claims that to scrap plans for a new market on 'Griffiths Land' close to the Roman Road would delay the improvements needed at Edgar Street, the home of Hereford United.

He says that had the Liberals still been in power that a new market would now be up and running on Council owned land at Hospital Farm.

"A scheme, which would have been done at little or at nil cost to the Council Tax payer, but for political reasons this current administration decided to oppose that move, and have spent four years and some hundred thousand pounds trying to find an alternative site which will take years to develop because of the infra-structure surrounding this particular site," James told Bulls News.

"Indeed because it would be built on the gazer gravel it would take an enormous
amount of time to deal with the environmental issues surrounding the site, as well as having to build the site and will cost, in my estimate at least an additional £1 million to deal with this one issue.

"All the liquid will have to be pumped into the main sewage system of the City,
another massive additional cost. The likely cost of putting the market on this site is between £6 and £10 million, which would be better-used improving facilities in and around the Hereford United ground.

"I can assure you that this proposal is never likely to be achieved in the near future and if there is a change in administration in May 2007 we shall move to building a site on Council owned land, which will take half the time at a fraction of the cost."

Rovers manager 'bit frustrated'

Paul Trollope, the Bristol Rovers manager, said he was a 'bit frustrated' with only a point from this afternoon's game at Edgar Street.

"They (Hereford) started the game very well, and for the first 15 or 20 minutes we weren't happy with our defending," Trollope told the Official Bristol Rovers website.

"But late on in the half and as the game progressed we were pleased with the way we played. They caused us some problems with free-kicks at times, but as time went on in the match we put more and more pressure on them.

"When we looked at our Christmas fixtures, we had this one down as one we thought we could have won. They're around us in the table and three points would have put us above them. But they're still ahead of us now, and that's frustrating.

"Overall though we're looking at the result in a positive way. Not many teams come here and win."

Gasheads came with game plan says Rose

Richard Rose was interviewed by Keith Hall for BBC Hereford and Worcester after today's goalless draw at Edgar Street.

"It was a derby so it was always going to be like that. There was never going to be a clear winner," said Rose.

"They've come here with a game plan. They've done it very well and I thought we done well.

"We had a few chances at the start of the match when we could have nicked it but other than that if you can't win the game - don't lose it and we didn't."

Reminded that Ryan Green could have scored close to the end of the game, Rose said:

"I was the one closing him down so I threw everything I could in front of him. He had a good chance."

Looking forward to the FA Cup game against Rovers next Friday week Rose continued:

"I think it will be a very good game.

"We fancy our chances going away there because we know their supporters can get on their backs if we hold them through the game. We'll be going there to win."

League Two Results Round-Up

Leaders Walsall bagged their first win in four games as they beat Shrewsbury 1-0, playing an hour of the game with ten men, to move four points clear. MK Dons are second after a 2-0 win at Torquay, who again failed to name a full bench as injuries ravaged their small squad.

Lincoln are third after a 2-1 win over local rivals Boston, and Swindon are fourth after a 2-1 win over Wycombe (6th). Hartlepool are fifth after a 2-0 win over Grimsby. Peterboro fill out the play-off spots after a 1-0 loss at Barnet, and Notts County are eighth after a 2-0 loss at Stockport. Notts County have now won just one of the last six. Bury retain ninth place from the Bulls in tenth after recording a 1-1 draw at Accrington.

Down the bottom, Macclesfield are off the bottom for the first time in months after a solid 3-0 win at Chester after both sides were reduced to ten men by half time. Torquay are now bottom with both sides on 20 points with Rochdale, who bagged a valuable point coming from two down to draw with Wrexham 2-2, on 21. Mansfield beat Darlington 2-0 to ease their relegation fears.

Highest gate this season

With Bristol Rovers bringing 1181 supporters, the gate at Edgar Street of 5201 was the highest so far this season.

Although home fans were caught up in queues, the Rovers fans appeared to get into the ground quite quickly with nothing like the delays seen when Walsall visited Hereford in November.

The stats for the match show a very level game. Possession was given at 50% for each side.

Shots on target were eight for each side.

As usual the Bulls were penalised for less fouls, just five against Rovers' eleven.

Rob Purdie about to take a free-kick.

Andy Ferrell received a mark of eight for his performance with Brown, Travis, Gulliver, Purdie and Sills getting a seven. All the other Hereford players were given a six except a below-par McClenahan who had a five. Rovers' Campbell received an eight.

And finally a word about the referee, Dermot Gallagher. Again the quality of a top class referee was noticable. He tried to let the game flow and didn't book any player on either side.

Boxing Day Stalemate

The Bulls and Bristol Rovers played out a goalless draw in front of just over 5,000 for the highest gate of the season.

The game was entertaining as both sides sought a breakthrough and both keepers were kept fairly busy but neither strikeforce had the edge.

Full report later.

Bulls struggle for goals

Hereford United faced Bristol Rovers this afternoon in a game that may act as a warm up for their forthcoming F.A. Third Round clash, a game which both may be more interested in winning. However, it was league points that were on offer today, and neither side did enough to seal all three, as they left Edgar Street with a share of the spoils.

Making a return to Hereford was Ryan Green, who helped The Bulls to promotion last season, but isn't held in too high regard by many fans as he quickly moved on to local rivals Rovers. Hereford were unchanged from Fridays win against Notts County, with Dean Beckwith still missing through suspension.

United almost continued from where they left off on Friday, scoring late on, with a good chance in just the first minute. Alan Connell and Rob Purdie linked up with the latter centring towards Tim Sills, who was stood in front of a gaping goal, but a defender stole in at the last moment to turn the cross behind for a corner. Hereford continued their good start when Andy Ferrell picked out Connell who attempted to lift the ball over Steve Phillips in The Gas goal, but the shot dipped too early and the save was made.

Connell forced Phillips into another save, this one more difficult for the goalie, when Ferrell once again found the striker, hooking the ball back into the box after it'd been cleared from a corner. Bristol finally worked up some pressure on Hereford's goal with two corners in a row, the second of which required a tip over the bar from Wayne Brown when Steve Elliott met it with his head. Brown had to be alert to keep out an ambitious long range effort from Andy Sandell before Luke Webb shifted the ball to Trent McClenahan on the right of the box, who drove in low but Phillips was down to palm away.

Webb had an opening of his own when he met Purdie's cross, following a burst down the left flank, but couldn't direct it away from Phillips. The final ten minutes of the half belonged to Rovers and it was Hereford who were happier to hear Dermot Gallagher blow for half time.

Hereford came back into the game after the break, with some good attacks down the wing, though they couldn't find a dangerous pass at the end of their moves. The lack of crosses coming into the box was obvious, with more often than not the ball being played in field with no threatening consequence. The first real sight on goal in the second half came from a thirty yard free kick, which Connell struck narrowly wide.

The visitors were quicker to get a shot away than United, and the 1,181 away fans in a crowd of 5,201 were gasping when Stuart Nicholson smashed just inches wide from twenty five yards out, on the bounce. Tamika Mkandawire, who had an assured game at the back, saved Hereford as Richard Walker raced away on goal, getting back to put in a last ditch tackle inside the box, before triggering an attack for his own side. Purdie played the ball through for Sills, but Phillips raced out to clear just before the striker could get to the ball.

With twenty one minutes remaining Graham Turner introduced Stuart Fleetwood in place of Connell, but it was his strike partner Sills who went close to netting for a second game in a row. Purdie's free kick from the right went through everyone in the box to Sills at the far post, but he fired wide with little time to adjust. Finally Hereford, when in yet another good crossing position, actually supplied a decent cross, and Ferrell's delivery was forced behind by a defender. Purdie swung it in at the near post where Mkandawire tried a cheeky flick off the heel, which won The Bulls another corner, but Phill Gulliver headed wide.

United had Brown to thank at the other end when Ricky Lambert, who came on soon after Fleetwood, latched onto a free kick from deep and got a shot away. Brown was out and down quickly, and got a vital touch to stop the ball rolling into the net, and gathered at the second attempt. Disaster almost struck again for Hereford in the eighty ninth minute, when Green burst onto the scene. Rovers switched play and then a ball inside the left back gave Green a run in on goal, but his drilled into the side netting, and the game ended goalless.

In general the game was an entertaining one, with plenty of efforts on goal, though neither side looked too dangerous when the got into the final third. Despite Hereford's good play before they entered the opposition box, it was Rovers who perhaps looked slightly more likey to score as they were getting the ball into the box quicker that United. The last attack of the game summed it up perfectly as Rovers, in the final minute of injury time, broke on the right and the winger turned Simon Travis inside out, before smashing in a cross, which Brown did well to catch. However, it was the fact that once Hereford got the ball out wide, they never looked like supplying a dangerous cross and, as mentioned before, the ball was often cut back and the pace of the attack was lost

HUFC: Brown, Rose, Mkandawire, Gulliver, Travis, McClenahan, Ferrell, Webb, Purdie, Sills, Connell. Subs: Giles, Thompson, Sheldon, Jeannin, Fleetwood.

BRFC: Phillips, Green, Anthony, Elliott, Carruthers, Igoe, Disley, Campbell, Sandell, Nicholson, Walker. Subs: Lescott, Hinton, Lines, Haldane, Lambert.

Game starts at 12.30pm

Today's game at Edgar Street between Hereford United and Bristol Rovers starts at 12.30pm.

As a large crowd is expected it may be worth supporters arriving at the ground a few minutes earlier than usual.

Dean Beckwith will miss out as he is suspended, otherwise Graham Turner should have a fully fit squad to choose from.

For ex-Bull Ryan Green it will be his first appearance at Hereford since leaving Edgar Street.

Those supporters around Herefordshire who are unable to go will be able to listen to full match commentary on BBC Hereford and Worcester 94.7fm.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Mkandawire in League Paper

Hereford United's captain, Tamika Mkandawire, has been interviewed for the Xtra time section of today's League Paper.

In the article Mkandawire reveals that he's single, but steers clear of any other very personal information.

Talking about people in the game, he reveals that Jason Roberts is probably the best player he has played with. This was whilst he was at West Bromwich.

He says he listens to Alan Hansen the football pundit.

"He's very honest and as a defender I enjoy his in-depth analysis of defensive situations."

Finally he was asked who's the worst dressed player at Edgar Street.

"Luke Webb - I think he only buys one pair of shoes a year. He wears Reebok Classics which they stopped selling years ago and his whole attire is very poor."

Rovers visit should boost gate

The visit of Bristol Rovers to Edgar Street on Boxing Day (Tuesday) is expected to ensure that the attendance will be the highest so far this season.

Over the past few seasons Hereford have played either Forest Green Rovers or Exeter over the Christmas/New Year period. On New Years Day in 2005 Exeter were the visitors at Hereford and 3978 watched the game. On January 2nd this year 3507 were in attendance for the visit of Forest Green Rovers.

Hereford haven't played at home on Boxing Day since 2003. On that day 4010 watched the game against Exeter.

Bristol Rovers are likely to bring well over 1,000 supporters with them - some sources suggest around 1,500 is more likely. Added to a figure of between 3,000 and 3,500 for the Hereford support, the gate could approach 5,000.

To date this season the best gate came with the visit of Walsall when 4,462 were clocked through the turnstiles. It will be disappointing if this figure isn't bettered especially after the good result for the Bulls at Notts County last Friday.

Rovers supporters will have pleased with their 4-0 defeat of Accrington yesterday. The result could encourage more Gasheads to travel to Hereford.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

We've got to do the same at Hereford says Trollope

Paul Trollope, the Bristol Rovers manager, has urged his team to do the same at Hereford on Boxing Day as they did today against Accrington Stanley.

The Gasheads ran out 4-0 winners over the Milkmen.

"We have felt for a while that with some of our play and some of the chances we create that someone was going to get a beating like this eventually," Trollope told the Official Bristol Rovers Website.

"Looking purely at the stats, we had lost our last three matches in the league going into this game, and we knew it was a big one to win.

"Now we've got to go again on Boxing Day and do exactly the same with exactly the same attitude

"We will trust them tomorrow with a day off, and then we'll be in on Christmas Day morning for training ahead of another morning start for the trip to Hereford."

Former Bulls player Ryan Green played for the full ninety minutes in front of a gate of 5205 which included just 100 from Accrington.

Meanwhile Hereford United remain in tenth position after this afternoon's League Two games.

08 Notts County 23 3 34
09 Bury 23 1 32
10 Hereford 23 -2 32
11 Bristol Rovers 23 -2 31
12 Chester 22 4 30
13 Darlington 23 -2 30

It must be Christmas says Goalscorer Sills

After last night's game Tim Sills gave Keith Hall of BBC Hereford and Worcester his thoughts on Hereford's win.

Sills was very happy to have scored the only goal of the game.

"It must be Christmas if I've got a goal! Absolutely delighted. I'd forgotten how to celebrate a goal, hopefully I can get into the run of it.

"I score lots of goals on the training pitch - just to let everybody know. It's been a long time coming so now I can enjoy the next couple of days especially Christmas Day.

"The lads worked hard today. I thought we out-played them first half and we got a little bit of praise.

"Second half we matched them.

"Once we went one up it was a bit tin hats at the end and they were bombarding us.

"It's a tendancy (to back off) when you score a goal. But when you've got the rearguard that we've got and the work ethic throughtout the team, we were always going to be in with a good shout of defending the lead."

278 Hereford supporters at County

It's been confirmed this morning by the Nottingham Evening Post that there were 278 Hereford United supporters at Notts County last night.

Meanwhile Bernard Day, the Hereford United goalkeeping coach, has been quoted by the Evesham Journal talking about the recent signing of young goalkeeper Darren Knurek.

Graham Turner signed 19 year-old Knurek earlier this month from Littleton. He was a sub a couple of times last season for the Bulls.

"He's been training with the club so we know that he is capable of doing a job," said Day.

"Graham (Turner) had no hesitation in asking Darren to sign forms. He's been training with the club so we know that he is capable of doing a job. He needs to be playing at a lot higher level but, with the greatest of respect to Littleton, he's a far far better keeper than to be playing at that standard."

Turner Pleased For Sills

Speaking to the press after last night's game, Graham Turner was happy to get the win after a poor run of results:

"We've had a sticky spell of late and this result will do the players' confidence a world of good. This season we have played better against the bigger teams and we did so again here. It was a very disciplined performance and we played some good football at times.

"It was nice to see Tim Sills score. He has worked very hard without much reward. The goals haven't flowed for him but he's still contributed for us. Everyone in the changing room is pleased for him. We knew Notts County were a big, strong side but we coped well and I felt we deserved the win."

Gannon: "No Real Quality"

Speaking to the Notts County official site after the game their head coach, John Gannon, was disappointed to lose a third sucessive home game:

"We didn't do a great deal. We huffed and puffed without any great quality at all, and then we were caught with the sucker-punch after not really being in our half a great deal. It was one mistake, and the ball is in the back of our net and it is killing us at the moment.

"We had the ball in the top areas of the pitch a lot, but the quality and confidence just wasn't there. The composure was lacking, and they need to show that from deep inside. We looked nervous and edgy, and with the home results being of a similar pattern of late it is hugely worrying for us."

Supporters in good voice

The 220 or so Hereford United supporters easily out sung the 3900 Notts County fans at the League Two game last night.

It wasn't surprising in many ways as the poor home crowd was spread over three sides of the ground and some of the Hereford supporters had been practicing for several hours before-hand.

Two views of Notts County - Bulls News pictures

And despite some pundits claiming that it wasn't worth bothering to go for various reasons including Notts County's decision to hold the game on a Friday evening instead of Saturday afternoon, the result made the effort very worth-while.

The ground itself was probably one if not the best that Hereford have played at in League Two to date.

And neither the traffic nor fog were as bad as predicted.

Bulls up to Tenth in League

Last night's three points at Notts County have propelled the Bulls back up to tenth place in League Two. However that could change today as there are nine games to be played. Hereford now have 32 points which, at the half-way point in the season, many supporters will be reasonably pleased with.

Andy Ferrell was given an eight for his performance last night. All the other Hereford players received a seven other than Alan Connell who was awarded a six.

Although County had twenty shots only nine were on target. The Bulls managed just eight shots of whch five were on target.

No cards for the Bulls last night and just seven fouls against County's thirteen.

Webb watches as Deeney tries to clear - Bulls News picture

4106 watched the game, of which about 220 were in the Hereford end.

And there was no sign of any police presence until after the game when they were called to deal with a couple of Notts County yobs.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Sills in score shocker!

Hereford United striker Tim Sills managed his second goal of the season to hand his side a 1-0 victory at Meadow Lane, home of Notts County yesterday evening. However, it was second half substitute Stuart Fleetwood who did the hard work for the goal, which came with less than ten minutes remaining. It was ironic that the goal came in the second half, as United had played better in the first, despite much change to the side. Simon Travis, Trent McClenahan, Richard Rose and Andy Ferrell all came in, with Dean Beckwith, suspended, Alex Jeannin, Fleetwood and Neil MacKenzie, loan ended, all missing from the side that started against Shrewsbury.

The opening exchanges were pretty level, but the visitors forced a first corner when Travis linked up well with Rob Purdie, and a cross from the former was deflected behind. The ball appeared to hit the arm of skipper Alan White, but referee Rob Lewis dismissed any claims for an early penalty. Purdie fired a warning shot wide from twenty five yards while Jay Smith did the same at the other end, though his effort was helped on by a Hereford defender.

Sills pushed to the ground as Hereford await a cross - Bulls News picture.

Sills could only glance a header on goal, making easy work for 'keeper Saul Deeney, formerly of Burton Albion, as Purdie delivered a free kick from the left before Junior Mendes used is pace for County, but couldn't direct a powerful effort from outside of the box on target. Gary Silk then forced Wayne Brown into a low save with a tame shot following a right wing cross, before Purdie was again showing attacking intentions, winning a corner with another shot from range. Three minutes from the break the ball fell to him again, this time inside the box, but he sliced his shot when in plenty of space. Hereford were looking by far the better side when the half was drawn to a close.

Purdie, who was thriving in his role behind the front two, saw a low drive gathered by Deeney after Sills had knocked the ball down for him, before a rare sight on goal for the home side saw Mendes lift the ball over the bar. However, the County fans thought their side had taken the lead when Lawrie Dudfield turned the ball in at the near post, but he was ruled offside by the linesman on the near side.

Hereford made their only change with nineteen minutes to go, and it paid dividends with nine remaining. In the ten minutes between though, the hosts were building pressure, with Andy Parkinson curling narrowley wide, but they failed to make it count and The Bulls scored on the break. Fleetwood's pace was pivotal in the attack as he raced away down the right and drove in a powerful effort. Deeney got a hand to it, but the ball rose to a perfect height for Sills to head in to an unguarded net from close range to seal a 1-0 victory.

Notts County did apply fresh pressure in the latter stages and had a penalty shout turned down as one Hereford player cleared against the arm of another, and United had 'keeper Brown to thank in injury time as he made a top class save at the feet of Dan Martin and the follow up was over the bar.

Not a great performance by The Bulls, but they will not be worrying about that. Three points stops the rot and gives them their first league win in five, and is all the more impressive considering the changes in personnel that have been forced on Graham Turner.

HUFC: Brown, Gulliver, Rose, Mkandawire, Travis, McClenahan, Ferrell, Webb, Purdie, Sills, Connell. Subs: Jeannin, Thompson, Sheldon, Giles, Fleetwood.

NCFC: Deeney, Silk, Edwards, White, McCann, Pipe, Ross, Smith, McMahon, Dudfield, Mendes. Subs: Pilkington, Martin, Hunt, N'Toya, Parkinson.

Bulls Overcome County With Late Winner

Tim Sills first goal since August gave the Bulls a 1-0 win over Notts County in tonight's League Two clash.

The Bulls were again without Andy Williams and Stuart Fleetwood was dropped to the bench, but he came on to supply Sills on 81 minutes.

Full report later.

In tonight's other League Two matches, Grimsby beat Torquay 2-0 while Barnet won 1-0 at Shrewsbury. The Bulls move up to tenth after tonights results, and have 32 points at the halfway stage of the season.

In other news, former Bulls loanee Neil Mackenzie came on for Scunthorpe as they beat Millwall 1-0.

2pm - Game On

As at 2pm, this evenings game between Notts County and Hereford United is expected to go ahead.

Currently (2pm) there are no frost or fog problems at Notts County.

Mansfield-Chester Game Off

Tonights League Two match between Mansfield and Chester has been postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Mansfield are near neighbours of Notts County but don't have the covers that County have.

Chester Chairman Charged Concerning Calamity

Chester chairman Stephen Vaughan has denied a charge from the FA of violent conduct following the recent Shrewsbury vs Chester league clash.

After reviewing the evidence, Vaughan was charged in relation to a tunnel incident following the game and shortly after a mass brawl exploded on the pitch. Both clubs have been charged over the incidents towards the end of the game that saw a disputed penalty and Shrews defender Sagi Burton sent off.

In other news, former Macclesfield chairman Eddie Furlong has been charged by the FA with improper conduct. Furlong, who left the club in 2002, was in charge during the time the Estate Road stand was built. The club were heavily fined last season, and nearly went out of business, after a series of false and misleading invoices were found during an audit of their grant claims in regard to the stand.

Weymouth have extended the contract of ex-Bulls midfielder Ben Smith, keeping him at the Wessex Stadium until the summer of 2009. Smith has scored seven goals in 21 league games this season.

Game on - fog permitting

As at 10.00 am this morning tonight's game at Notts County is expected to go ahead unless the fog gets a lot worse.

The ground itself is free of frost as the club has pitch covers.

Supporters are advised to check before leaving. This site will have an update at 2pm.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Full Coverage of Notts County Fixture

BBC Hereford and Worcester will have full coverage of this evening's game between Hereford United and Notts County.

A special sports programme introduced by Trevor Owens starts at 7.05pm.

Then from 7.45pm Keith Hall will bring live coverage of the whole of the game on 94.7FM in Herefordshire.

Turner looks to make changes for tomorrow

Graham Turner has told BBC Hereford and Worcester that he is considering making chances for tommorow's game at Notts County.

"There have been some players just waiting to get back into the side - people like McClenahan, Travis, Giles and Ferrell," he said.

"They and one or two others have been working really hard in training and waiting for an opportunity.

"If I don't make the changes now, then they will get disheartened so I think there will be one or two changes."

Earlier this week in a reserve game, Gareth Sheldon (2) and Marcus Palmer, did more than the recent front partnership of Tim Sills and Stuart Fleetwood who have only scored one goal between them since the beginning of September.

Willo may return on Boxing Day

Hereford United's young striker Andy Williams is back in training after his bout of tonsilities.

However manager Graham Turner is said to be considering leaving him out of the squad for tomorrow's game at Notts County for him to be fully fit to take part in the Boxing Day fixture against Bristol Rovers.

Williams is said to have lost nine pounds in weight. Recently Stuart Fleetwood, another of Hereford's young strikers, contacted a virus which resulted in him losing around a stone in weight.

As regards the rest of the squad Turner will only be without Dean Beckwith, but will miss the experience of John Eustace and Neil MacKenzie who have returned to their respective clubs.

"It doesn't leave me short in terms of numbers but a little experience has gone through the door," Turner told the Worcester News.

"But Luke Webb and Andy Ferrell both did exceptionally well in the FA Cup game against Port Vale and got goals so I have no qualms about putting them in."

2006: Month By Month, Part One

January: The Bulls start the year with a 1-1 home draw to Forest Green, a result that leaves them in seventh place in the Conference, with the Bulls News report citing the midfield as being the weak point. Guy Ipoua successfully appeals against a red card for pointing at Jeannin's shirt, while Jon Brady departs for Cambridge and is replaced by Daryl Taylor.

Back to back wins and a draw at Grays see the Bulls move into the play-off zone and Graham Evans departs after failing to make an impression. Nicky Nicolau joins on loan, but Graham Turner misses out on Ben Smith who joins Weymouth. Before the month is out, Stuart Fleetwood becomes Turner's only permanent signing of the month, arriving from Cardiff until the end of the season.

February: The Bulls dip out of the FA Trophy to holders Grays. Stacy Coldicott's anonymous spell at Edgar Street comes to an end with a loan switch to Cambridge. He briefly returns to the Bulls after his loan ends but eventually quits the club. Adam Stansfield suffers a broken cheekbone in a match at Canvey and faces six weeks out, but Turner strengthens the squad with Robbie King and Matthew Halliday coming in on work experience terms.

The Bulls lie third, sixteen points adrift of Accrington as the teenage partnership of Andy Williams and Stuart Fleetwood produces instant rewards with a goal each in both the 2-0 wins over Aldershot and Stevenage. The prize money for the LDV Trophy is in doubt after the sponsors enter administration.

Six seats left on HUISA coach for Notts County

Just six seats are currently unfilled on the HUISA coach for tomorrow's game at Notts County.

Anyone wishing to book should telephone Hereford United on 01432 276666.

The coach is due to leave Edgar Street at 3pm. The cost is £13.

Another pre-season target named

Hereford United signed two players, Jon Wallis and Richard Rose, pre-season who had played for Gillingham but a third decided to stay in Kent.

Andy Drury, described by the Sussex Argus as a 22 year old flying winger, has just pledged his future to Lewis Football Club.

Lewis were due to play Oxford last night in an FA Trophy replay.

A host of clubs were said to be interested in him but Lewes manager Steven King persuaded Drury he could fulfil his ambitions with the Rooks.

King said: "This is a big plus for Lewes because I think he is one of the best rightwingers in non-League football.

"He is easily good enough to play in the Football League.

"Before he joined us in the summer, he had offers from Hereford and Accrington Stanley but did not want to move away from the Kent area where he lives."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Liberals may hold up Edgar Street redevelopment

The Liberal Party leader on Herefordshire Council, Terry James, has poured scorn on the decision to buy ground close to the Roman Road, just outside Hereford, for a new livestock market.

This Thursday Hereford Council will formally agree to build the new market on a fourty-eight acre site owned by Llyswen based farmers, J&C Griffiths & Son, and the Church of England but James has told the Hereford Journal that the Liberals will not support the deal.

The Council is understood to be paying around £1.5M for the site or around £35,000 per acre.

James told the Journal that he pledged not to put 'this added burden on the council payer when we are returned to power after the May elections'.

"Building on the 'Griffiths' field is a waste of public money when the council itself owns 5,000 acres of land in the county.

"We will look at other sites owned by the council."

If the Liberals are elected next May and then scrap the plans already put in place, it will delay the market move from the center of Hereford perhaps by as much as another year.

This inturn would mean that the regeneration of the area including Hereford United's ground could be further delayed.