Stephen O'Leary's debut goal for Hereford United is now available to watch on Virgin Media together with the other highlights from Saturday's match at Edgar Street against Crewe.
Go to: http://www.football.virginmedia.com/page/leagueonevideo/0,,12555~1380817,00.html
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Stephen O'Leary's debut goal for Hereford United is now available to watch on Virgin Media together with the other highlights from Saturday's match at Edgar Street against Crewe.
Swindon won their game at MK Dons yesterday by two goals to one and manager Maurice Malpas has spoken about the win. Next Friday Swindon visit Edgar Street for what promises to be a tough encounter for the Bulls.
"We changed our mentality before the game and having not won many on the road last season, we are absolutely delighted with the way things worked out," Malpas told the official Swindon website.
"I think in the second half we showed how we should be playing more often when we are away from The County Ground.
"We worked hard in the week after last week. We made a few changes and overall we asked the players to be tighter as a unit.
"We were prepared to let the opposition have the ball, but make sure they didn't get behind us.
"Sometimes we will play like that, other times we will be different. We have belief that our strikers will score and that is tremendously important.
"We want to win every game and the targets we have set will make sure the players know what is required of them."
The attendance drops recorded last week have continued as the second half of League One played their second home match.
The opening day home sides saw a 15% drop and ten of the twelve sides recording figures under last season's averages. The second half of the clubs played their second home game yesterday recording a 12% drop on their first match, and nine of the twelve clubs recording totals under last season's average. The three to record higher gates were Cheltenham, who had over 1,600 visiting supporters at both games but are only 800 over last season's average, Brighton, and Stockport.
Total attendance for the 12 clubs yesterday was 84,243 against 95,027 for the games played on August 16th. Across all 24 clubs the gates dropped 13% from the first to second game, and 19 sides recorded gates under last season's average.
Only three gates in the Football League were lower than the Bulls. Both Chester, recording 1,295, and Morecambe, recording 1,571, had their lowest League gates since gaining promotion.
With the Swindon home game now being played on Friday night, this is an early notice that you can now send your predictions in for the game.
To enter, please send your final score and attendance predictions along with your username to firstname.lastname@example.org . Entries must be received by 7.00pm on Friday 5th September.
Best of luck!
Below is a list of manufacturers of kit used by League One Clubs:
Carlotti: Oldham, Scunthorpe
Errea: Brighton, Bristol Rovers, Cheltenham
Le Coq Sportif: Carlisle
Lotto: Crewe, Swindon
Nike: Hartlepool, Hereford United, Milton Keynes Dons, Southend
Puma: Colchester, Leyton Orient
Vandanel: Northampton, Tranmere, Yeovil
(List from www.spaotp.com - who have compiled a list for all the top clubs with some information on the makers)
Monday (Tomorrow) is transfer deadline day. Managers have until mid-night to ensure all the paperwork for any transfers is complete.
No doubt phones will be red hot at many clubs including Hereford United where Graham Turner will be hoping to seal a couple of deals.
Although he will be pleased with yesterday's excellent victory over Crewe, his squad is still only 21 strong and therefore needs further strengthening.
Speculation that Turner will announce signings tomorrow increased after it was reported that youth team co-manager Gary Stevens had said that Turner had signed a striker and defender. How reliable this information is remains to be seen.
"There are a couple of phone calls due to come in on Monday to see whether we can progress anything. We'll have to be quick," said Turner yesterday.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
John Eustace scored for Watford as they beat Ipswich 2-1, with neither Theo Robinson or Lionel Ainsworth in the 16. Gary Hooper scored twice for Scunthorpe as they beat Stockport 3-0. John McCombe opened his account for Port Vale, who beat Bournemouth 3-1. Wayne Brown saved a penalty for Bury in their game against Rochdale. John Grant scored his first League goal in nearly four years helping Aldershot to beat Bradford.
Mark Beesley put Cambridge two up but they could only draw 2-2 with Weymouth. Gareth Sheldon scored the winner as Tamworth beat Fleetwood Town to go third. Graham Evans scored twice for Aberystwyth as they beat Connah's Quay 2-1.
In his post match press conference Hereford United manager Graham Turner say the win was sorely needed.
"We changed the formation a little bit and put two youngsters alongside Steve Guinan to do the leg work and I thought it worked fairly well.
"I've got to be pleased with Brad's and Matt Done's contributions and Steve who figure headed it. I thought he played every so well for us.
"We desperately needed that, gave everybody a lift.
"O'Leary - I think he probably should have scored a hat-trick. Missed a header first half and an easy shot second half.
"To get our first win was absolutely vital. The response today was brilliant. I thought we were fairly comfortable.
"And it was pleasing to see we made an attempt to keep the ball. With the clock running down we didn't panic."
Hereford United's midfielder Toumani Diagouraga was very happy to get three points this afternoon against Crewe.
"I think we needed that three points today," Diagouraga told BBC Hereford and Worcester.
"It was very hard work but every game in this League is going to be hard work."
Diagouraga commented on Stephen O'Leary's first game for the Bulls and their partnership in midfield.
"Very cracking debut for him, very good goal.
"We have been working on it (partnership) all week and today it came off. Hopefully we can keep on doing that."
Crewe manager Steve Holland admitted that Stephen O'Leary's 25 yard shot probably changed the game at Edgar Street this afternoon.
"I told the players at half time that without playing as well as we can, an extra bit of quality in the final third could see us go on to win the game. They then scored a couple of minutes into the second half and it knocked us. It was a great strike from O'Leary that flew into the top corner," said Holland in his post match press conference.
"I don't really know what happened for the second goal. A player attacked Joel in the box and the ball has broken to the number 10 and he has slotted it in, I will have to review that on the video again because we were not tight enough to the opposition."
Holland wasn't certain whether their should have been a penalty for Crewe when Tom Pope was impeded by Dean Beckwith.
"I didn't get a clear view of the penalty. The angle wasn't the greatest from the halfway line but the players felt it was inside the box. It was most certainly a foul but I couldn't see if it was in or outside the box."
After this afternoon's game Ben Smith said he thought the arrival of Stephen O'Leary in the Hereford United midfield had made a lot of difference to the team.
"He made a real difference. I don't think you could have dreamt of having a better debut by scoring one and setting one up," Smith told BBC Hereford and Worcester.
"We played a slightly different formation and it worked really well.
"You can say it was a bit negative with just Steve (Guinan) up front but really we had three up front because we had Matt (Done) to push up on the left and Bradley (Hudson-Odoi) pushed right up on the right.
"Then we had three in centre of midfield against their two. We sort of snuffed them in there.
"I think the only real threat they had was from their wide players, their forwards weren't bad, but overall we passed the ball a lot better. We popped it around.
"We had a lot of options on the ball and I think that showed in the way we moved the ball around.
"It was a competitive game, it wasn't nasty. Both teams tried to play the game the right way."
Hereford United put aside their early season difficulties with a comfortable 2-0 home victory over Crewe Alexandra. Second half strikes from debutant Stephen O'Leary and Bradley Hudson-Odoi ensured The Bulls lifted themselves off the foot of the League One table, in front of a crowd of just 2894.
Following the 6-1 drubbing received at the Memorial Stadium last weekend, Graham Turner opted for changes. In came Darren Randolph, Kris Taylor, O'Leary, Matty Done and Hudson-Odoi, with Craig Samson, Robbie Threlfall, Simon Johnson, Clint Easton and Moses Ashikodi all making way. Crewe started Conference villain Anthony Elding up front, with Calvin Zola and Clayton Donaldson both having to settle for a place on the bench.
Tom Pope started well for Crewe up front, with his running causing Dean Beckwith problems, but his first strike of the game was held by Randolph. Hereford's first attack saw Steve Collis watch Taylor's driven shot wide. Pope held off Sam Oji with ease inside the box to turn and get a shot in but Randolph again denied him with a close-range block. United's best opportunity of the first-half fell to O'Leary, following some fine link-up on the right hand side from Steve Guinan and Richard Rose, with the latter crossing but new arrival O'Leary headed just over from six yards after rising superbly.
Crewe had a period of sustained pressure towards the end of the half, with Billy Jones stinging the mid-drift of Randolph with a testing free-kick. Elding headed past the post after good work on the right from tricky winger Byron Moore before Randolph again denied Pope from close-range, this time following a scramble. Crewe had strong appeals for a penalty denied when Pope was tripped by Beckwith, with the referee awarding a free-kick instead. This time Jones let Michael O'Connor try his luck, and the midfielder's delightful curling effort was superbly tipped over by a diving Randolph. In first-half stoppage time, Ben Smith's lobbed half-volley was caught by Collis.
The second-half started well for United as they took the lead three minutes into it. Crewe had an earlier warning when Toumani Diagouraga blasted over from 35 yards but it was O'Leary who successfully shot from long-range to hand Hereford the lead. A defensive header fell to the former Luton man, and he took one touch before curling powerfully past Collis into the top right corner. Hereford were brimming with confidence following the goal, and eight minutes later, the advantage was doubled. O'Leary was again involved, playing a one-two with Smith on the right-wing, before forcing his way past a defender. He then picked out Hudson-Odoi who tucked in past Collis from 12 yards.
Joel Grant dragged a shot past the post, before O'Connor was stretchered off following a late-tackle by Done. Stephen Schumacher replaced him, and Donaldson was introduced for Pope. Beckwith nearly added a third, and a second for his season but his header from a Done corner was pushed over by Collis. Johnson replaced Hudson-Odoi mid-way through the half with the Ghanaian born striker receiving an excellent ovation. Crewe came close in quick succession following two Jones' corners; firstly Julien Baudet's header was cleared off the line by Done before Randolph kicked clear. Secondly, O'Donnell rose to meet the corner but his effort was off-target.
A deep cross from the left sat up nicely for Moore inside the box, but he snatched at it and failed to test Randolph. United should have put the icing on the cake with five minutes remaining after some superb football. Guinan expertly held up a Smith pass, and played in O'Leary who raced into the area but saw his shot find the wrong side of the post by a matter of inches. Easton replaced the tiring Done late on, whilst Zola came on for Elding, and it was the former Tranmere man who came close to pulling one back for Crewe when he turned Oji inside the box, but failed to get any power on his shot. Hereford saw out the remaining minutes keeping possession confidently.
An unfamiliar formation of either 4-1-4-1, or 4-3-3, depending in which way you look at it paid dividends for Hereford today. O'Leary made a smashing debut, showing superb awareness and touch coupled with a good work-rate. Done and Hudson-Odoi did good jobs on the wings, and looked dangerous throughout although my man of the match goes to Guinan, who was fantastic up front on his own; he held the ball up well and bought other players in to the game. Next up for United is another home game with Swindon the visitors this coming Friday.
Hereford: Randolph, Rose, Oji, Beckwith, Taylor, Diagouraga, O'Leary, Smith, Hudson-Odoi, Done, Guinan.
Subs: Samson, Threlfall, Easton, Johnson, Ashikodi.
Crewe: Collis, Woodwards, Baudet, O'Donnell, Jones, Moore, Bailey, O'Connor, Grant, Pope, Elding.
Subs: Miller, Schumacher, Rix, Zola, Donaldson.
Last week at Bristol Hereford United had 52% of possession and lost 6-1. This week at Edgar Street the Bulls defeat Crewe 2-0 and are deemed to have only 49% possession.
However possession is only part of the today's story.
Hereford had seven shots on target, Crewe had ten.
Hereford had eight shots off target, Crewe had seven.
Hereford won seven corners against four for Crewe.
The neutral reading the stats might think it was a very close game. In truth it wasn't - Hereford fully deserved their win.
New signing Stephen O'Leary was the sponsor's man of the match. He received an eight for his hard work.
Darren Randolph, Richard Rose, Dean Beckwith, Ben Smith, Matt Done, Steve Guinan and Bradley Hudson-Odoi all received a seven.
The win lifts the Bulls up the table:
18 Northampton 4 -2 4
19 Southend 4 -4 4
20 Peterborough 4 0 3
21 Crewe 4 -4 3
22 Hereford 4 -5 3
23 Cheltenham 4 -8 3
24 Huddersfield 4 -3 2
One, perhaps the only, disappointment - the gate was only 2894. And 428 of them supported Crewe.
However the support for the Bulls was solid throughout the game.
Leicester are top on goal difference, with ten points, after beating Cheltenham 4-0 - the second successive time the Robins have had four put past them. Oldham are second after dropping their first points to Colchester in a 2-2 draw, while Carlisle are third on the same points after a Danny Graham hat-trick helped beat Yeovil 4-1.
Brighton are still looking for a goalscorer after a goalless draw with Leyton Orient, and Walsall are early runners after a Ishmel Demontagnac hat-trick gave them a shock 5-2 win over Southend. Scunthorpe were also in the goals with a 3-0 win at Stockport with the help of two Gary Hooper efforts, while Tranmere beat Northampton 4-1. Leeds could only draw 2-2 with Bristol Rovers, while next weeks' opponents Swindon beat MK Dons 2-1.
Down the bottom Huddersfield are a point short of everyone else after a 2-1 loss to Millwall, while Peterboro are only goal difference off the bottom four after a 2-1 home loss to Hartlepool.
In League Two Chester slammed five past Barnet to reverse recent form, but only 1,295 watched, while Darlington ran six past Macclesfield with transfer listed Ipswich striker Billy Clarke scoring four of them. Dagenham lead the table after Shrewsbury only drew 2-2 with Notts County with Bury third. In the Conference Forest Green top the table after a 1-0 win at Histon.
The Bulls put on an entertaining display of football as they beat Crewe 2-0 in today's League One game at Edgar Street.
The only boo's to be heard were directed at the ever popular Anthony Elding as the Bulls put on a masterclass in posession and tight passing. Stephen O'Leary curled a 25 yarder into the top corner on his debut to open the scoring, and Bradley Hudson-Odoi pounced on a loose ball in the box to hand the three points to the Bulls.
The only dismal point of the day was the attendance of 2,894 with 428 from Crewe. This meant that 684 Bulls fans disappeared since the last home match - and they should all be sorry they missed a cracker.
Full report later.
As this year there was no home game for Hereford United on Bank Holiday Monday in 1971 so instead Edgar Street held a music event. (click on pic to slightly enlarge)
Mott the Hoople, who led the line-up, was a Herefordshire group and according to Wikipedia a combination of two 'beat bands'.
The Soulents were from Ross-On-Wye, and boasted Pete "Overend" Watts on guitar, and Dale "Buffin" Griffin on drums. The Buddies were from Hereford, and featured Mick Ralphs on guitar and Stan Tippins on vocals. By 1966, the trio of Ralphs, Tippins, and Watts (now on bass) had come together in a band called The Doc Thomas Group. By 1968, drummer Dale Griffin and organist Verden Allen had joined the band.
Although the group toured and recorded in Italy as The Doc Thomas Group, their gigs in the UK were played first as The Shakedown Sound, and later as Silence. Silence recorded demos at Rockfield Studios in Monmouth.
In early 1969 the group came to the attention of Guy Stevens at Island Records, who liked the group but not with Tippins as lead singer. Advertisements were placed ("Singer wanted, must be image-minded and hungry"), and Ian Hunter was eventually selected as lead singer and piano player. Tippins assumed the role of road manager.
Stevens changed the band's name to "Mott the Hoople" from a novel of the same name by Willard Manus; the book is about an eccentric who works in a circus freak show. Their debut album, Mott the Hoople (1969), was a cult success.
David Bowie had long been a fan of the band. He wrote "All the Young Dudes" for them instead. Released as a single in July 1972, it was a success in the UK, with the band using Tippens - who by this time was their tour manager - to sing backing vocals during live gigs.
Hereford United haven't had the best of starts this season and therefore will be looking for three points from their game against Crewe this afternoon.
Last Saturday the Bulls were on the wrong end of a 6-1 scoreline at Bristol Rovers. However, on the day, they played some quite good football especially in mid-field and as the stats showed had more possession than Rovers.
Graham Turner is well aware that confidence in the squad could drop if the Bulls suffer another defeat this afternoon.
However strong support from fans at the game this afternoon could help.
With so many young players in the squad, many playing at this level for the first time, the last thing they will need this afternoon is fans getting on their backs if things go wrong.
The kick-off at Edgar Street is at 3pm.
For those unable to be at the game there will be live commentary from Radio Stoke if you are in their area, and updates from BBC Hereford and Worcester both locally and on the internet.
The Hereford United official site will have text commentary.
There will also be commentary on the Crewe website but that will require a subscription costing £3.99.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Leeds will benefit to the tune of around £1million from the sale of James Milner by Newcastle to Aston Villa thanks to a sell-on clause. Northampton have agreed to sell goalkeeper Mark Bunn to Blackburn for an undisclosed sum. They placed a £1million tag on the 23 year old after summer interest from Nottm Forest.
Millwall have signed Man City winger Karl Moore until January on loan. The 19 year old left sided player is yet to make his first team debut. Tranmere have added Stoke central defender Ryan Shotton on loan for a month. He spent last season at Altrincham, playing 36 times, but his only Stoke appearance was as a sub in the midweek cup game at Cheltenham.
MK Dons have loaned injury plagued midfielder Paul Mitchell to Barnet. The 27 year old missed last season and is only on a deal until the new year at Stadium:MK. Peterboro have paid off winger Josh Low, enabling him to join Cheltenham. The Posh have also transfer listed Kieran Charnock, the third casualty of their buy anything that moves policy, and appear to have lost out to Bristol City for Ebbsfleet striker John Akinde after 82.3% of Ebbsfleet's owners voted for the sale. Less than a quarter of their total ownership voted.
Watch out, John Batchelor is about! The man that wanted to rename Mansfield after fictional side Harchester United is sniffing around Northwich Victoria. Both Leeds and Millwall player Ali Fuseini have been charged by the FA over flouting rules on agents. Leeds are charged with using an unlicenced agent, while Fuseini was charged with using a different agent to the one he held a contract with.
Brighton have moved to assure fans that their move to the long awaited Falmer site is still on track after Liverpool delayed their stadium plans. They still expect to enter Falmer in August 2010 despite being yet to appoint a contractor to build the stadium even though work is scheduled to start by the end of the year.
According to a new study Hereford comes way down a list of the happiest places in the UK whereas neighbours Powys, which includes the book town of Hay-on-Wye, came top. Even Forest Green came in at 21st.
Aberdeen, where possible loanee Jared Hodgkiss decided to move to instead of Hereford, was placed at 99th.
The aim of the study was to map 'Happiness and well-being' in 273 districts in England, Scotland and Wales using the authoritative British Household Panel Survey. Employment, health and educational qualifications were factored in to the equation.
The Top Ten Happiest Places in the UK:
3 West Lothian
4 Cumbernauld & Kilsyth; Monklands
9 Cleethorpes; Great Grimsby
and at 213 Hereford.
For sometime Hereford United manager Graham Turner has said that some players aren't too keen to come to Hereford. This survey might not help.
Out of interest here are the positions in the survey of other League One clubs (if available):
199 Milton Keynes
At least Hereford came above Shrewsbury who were in 221st position. Bottom was Edinburgh.
Graham Turner is hoping that a win tomorrow against Crewe will do wonders for the player's spirit.
"That's what is needed now to give the players, particularly the young players, a boost in confidence," Turner told BBC Hereford and Worcester.
"What we don't want is for them to lose confidence and have doubts in their own ability and the ability of those players around them."
Meanwhile in his latest interview for the Official Website, Turner was asked what parts of the squad did he want to strengthen.
"Several positions," said Turner.
"Supporters are not daft, they see us play week in week out. Supporters will know where!"
Finally Turner confirmed that, other than Karl Broadhurst, he has a full squad to choose from for tomorrow's game. Luke Webb has now left Edgar Street.
"We feel very much for him, he's a smashing lad, and he's worked hard for us. He's got to take stock of what he wants to do now with the future, but it could entail more surgery if necessary. it could be he might have to take time out of professional football," said Turner about Webb last week.
HUISA have announced details of their travel plans for the forthcoming game at Southend on September 13th and have also introduced a special "members" discount scheme.
With immediate effect, all HUFC members and HUISA members will receive a £1 discount off the normal fare. For Southend, the normal fare will be £20 with qualifying members going for just £19. To avoid confusion in the Club Office, it is suggested that all tickets be sold at the full amount with members receiving a £1 refund on the day of travel. Departure on September 13th is set for 8.30 am.
HUISA also report that the Bristol trip came close to losing money but was saved by a few late bookings which enabled them to break even. A spokesman has asked fans to support the Official transport which enables HUISA to continue to financially support the parent Club.
Crewe manager Steve Holland has spoken pre their game at Edgar Street tomorrow afternoon. He started by warning his players that after their 6-1 defeat last Saturday there could be a 'backlash'.
"Hereford did very well in getting promoted last season because there were some very good sides in League Two last season with the likes of Peterborough, MK Dons and Stockport," said Holland in an interview on the Crewe Official Website.
"They may not have started as well as they would liked and were well beaten last weekend but they are like a wounded animal now and will looking to improve in front of their own supporters.
"The season is only three games in so there is a long way to go and we know there is a long way to go. We aren't getting too carried away because we have had a couple of results and I'm sure Hereford aren't panicking after the start they have had."
Whilst many fans will be waiting on news of transfer activity around Edgar Street, why not take a minute out to enter the Bulls News Prediction League?
Entry couldn't be simpler. All you have to is send your final score and attendance predictions along with your username to email@example.com by 2.30pm tomorrow afternoon.
Best of luck!
Seldom does Graham Turner say much before a signing, or hopefully more than one signing, is confirmed but in his most recent interviews he appears pretty confident he will have added to the squad before the transfer deadline on Monday.
BBC Hereford and Worcester's Trevor Owens to Turner:
"Were you a betting man, shall we say, would you hope to have added someone by Monday night?"
"Yes", was Turner's reply.
And according to Official Website Turner has made this comment earlier this morning:
"We're waiting for three or four clubs and/or agents to get back to us. I wouldn't rule out the possibility of somebody else coming."
Ex-Bull Stuart Fleetwood wants a loan spell at Cheltenham Town for match experience.
The 22 year old is still yet to debut for new side Charlton, and admits that he is available for loan somewhere telling The Citizen:
"I want to be playing somewhere and I am trying to sort something out. The manager is happy for me to go out on loan and I am travelling to Preston, so it won't happen in time for Saturday, but maybe next week. I want to get some games, see if I can do it in League One and come back to Charlton a better player.
"It would be quite funny having just moved away (from Gloucestershire), but I'd ideally like to play somewhere near where I am from or in the London area. Something could happen with Cheltenham, so we will see what happens next."
Bristol Rovers are also named as suitors of Fleetwood, but their interest is likely to end as they have finally secured the transfer of Bournemouth striker Jo Kuffour on a three year deal.
Leeds have signed former Scotland international Paul Telfer on a deal until the end of the season. He had signed non-contract terms at the start of the month, but has only played one game in the Carling Cup. Leyton Orient have signed winger Dean Morgan from Luton on loan until January. He had loans last season at Southend and Crewe.
Cheltenham are testing former Northern Ireland international Alan Fettis as their new goalkeeping coach. The Bulls and Robins shared Pat Mountain before his departure for Wolves. Southend are in talks with Crystal Palace striker Dougie Freedman over a move to Roots Hall, and have already signed French forward Francis Laurent.
Bournemouth have received a takeover approach just weeks after being taken over. A Turkish consortium headed by a local man wants to buy the club for £1.5million and invest another £2million. The offer has been rejected. Carlisle are giving a trial to former West Brom man Ronnie Wallwork. He was released by Sheff Weds in the summer.
Lincoln have announced the signing of Romanian striker Adrian Patuela after his Romanian club backed down over the fee. Chester are to sign former Crewe forward Eddie Johnson once they offload midfielder Paul Rutherford to Northwich to free up money under the wage capping rules. They are also considering signing coach Wayne Allison to a playing contract.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Hereford United manager Graham Turner revealed yesterday that he had lost out on a player who had decided to join a Scottish side as opposed to coming to Edgar Street.
That player is believed to be 21 year old West Bromwich defender Jared Hodgkiss who has moved to Aberdeen on a six-month deal.
Jimmy Calderwood, the Aberden manager, has admitted he hasn't even seen Hodgkiss play.
"This is the first time I have ever signed a player without having seen him play," Calderwood told the Daily Record.
"So I've had to rely on tip-offs to bring the squad numbers up and then get the begging bowl out to colleagues and, fortunately, West Brom boss Tony Mowbray agreed to let Jared come here for six months.
"He's a small, tenacious right back who is good on the ball. He's played 25-30 games for West Brom so he has experience at a high level.
"Jared wanted to join us. He turned down a few clubs to come here and had to phone Hereford to say he wouldn't be joining them because he had the chance to play for Aberdeen.
Hodgkiss, 21, revealed that watching Aberdeen's UEFA Cup campaign last season convinced him to move to Pittodrie.
"I was on the verge of joining another club when I heard that Aberdeen were interested. My heart was set on coming up here and there were a few sleepless nights until the deal was done."
Former Hereford United striker Alan Connell has rejoined Bournemouth. He has signed a two year deal and is expected to go straight into the Cherries squad for their game at Port Vale tomorrow.
"Although I had another year left at Brentford, the chance to join Bournemouth was too good to turn down. I was very disillusioned with what happened there and, as soon as I heard of Bournemouth's interest, I jumped at the chance to come back," Connell told the Daily Echo.
"There is no other club I would have joined in the position they are in but it's a special club for me and I've always had an affinity for Bournemouth. They gave me my debut and I'm desperate to see the club be a success."
Graham Turner is still hoping to bring some fresh faces to Edgar Street.
"I thought I had got one definitely coming last weekend, but he has now chosen to go up and play in the Scottish Premier League for a decent club up there," Turner told BBC Hereford and Worcester this morning.
"I can understand that but it was one of those occasions when it was all lined up and he was going to come to us, but then something else emerged at the 11th hour."
Turner said he is still chasing players and might also use the loan system.
"We are still working on it - the deadline has been extended until Monday for permanent transfers and then seven days after that we can start emergency loans should the need arise.
"We obviously need strengthening and we obviously need the boost in confidence that new faces can sometimes bring to those around them."
Turner revealed a little more deal about new signing Stephen O'Leary.
"He's been with us for a couple of weeks and has played a couple of games.
"One was against Team Bath and one against Villa reserves, so we're pleased to have him on board."
Peterboro have cancelled the contract of young defender Adam Smith so that he can rejoin former club Kings Lynn. Bristol Rovers' move for striker Jo Kuffour has hit a snag after a second unnamed club joined the bidding, according to the Bournemouth Daily Echo. Hartlepool have agreed a new contract with in-demand striker James Brown.
Leeds have offloaded midfielder Curtis Weston to Gillingham on a permanent deal after a successful loan spell. Ex-Bull Michael Husbands has left Oxford after the club opted not to offer him a permanent deal. He made two appearances in games the club lost. Burton have accepted an out of court settlement from their pitch contractors over the state of their Pirelli Stadium pitch during the first season.
Oldham have transfer listed defender John Thompson. The former Eire international missed most of last season with a succession of knee injuries and broken noses. He joins midfielder JP Kalala on the list for loan or permanent transfer. There are conflicting reports over the future of ex-Bull Alan Connell. The Bournemouth Daily Echo reports he will sign for the Cherries by the weekend, but Brentford paper the Guardian has Bees boss Andy Scott saying he's going nowhere without an 'over the odds' offer.
Aldershot have introduced a trio of smoking areas around the Recreation Ground following complaints from supporters. The club evicted several smokers from the ground during their opening smoke free Football League match and have opted to introduce smoking zones. MK Dons are set to lose skipper Keith Andrews to Blackburn. The worst kept secret of the summer is set to be completed by the weekend with Andrews having a medical at Ewood Park.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Graham Turner, the Hereford United manager, has commented about the signing of Stephen O'Leary.
"He is a neat passer of the ball who can get forward," Turner told the Hereford Times.
"We have had a look at him in a couple of games here."
Meanwhile Turner has also revealed that he has missed out on a loanee.
"We had everything agreed to bring a player in but, over the weekend, he had a chance to join quite a good Scottish Premier League side and he took that."
Finally, from the paper, Turner has noted how well Crewe played last Tuesday.
"Crewe were very impressive in beating Bristol City. They could have been three or four goals up before missing chances made things difficult for them."
Crewe visit Edgar Street on Saturday.
"We have a tough task," admitted Turner.
An article on the BBC Sport website has several managers bemoaning the transfer window that has only a few days left - with Graham Turner's use of the loan system again praised by most:
Both (Barry) Fry and (John) Coleman pointed to the success of Hereford boss Graham Turner, who orchestrated his team's promotion from League Two last season with his adept use of the transfer market.
Turner brought in players from Premier League and Championship clubs - such as the influential Sherjill MacDonald from West Brom - and raised the ire of some of his opponents.
After the Bulls defeated Shrewsbury in February, then Shrews boss Gary Peters stormed "I'm not sure who we were playing. Was it Hereford or a combined team or Premier League and Championship players?"
Fry sees it differently.
"It is no good people saying he has done it with a load of players that aren't his, he has used his budget to best effect," said Fry.
The players Turner brought in were signed in August and left when the season ended so the club were not playing wages over the summer.
Coleman argues that Turner should be applauded for what he achieved on a limited budget and a serious contender for manager of the season.
But Fry's last piece of advice is probably the truth: "You have got to be shrewd and you have got to be lucky."
Hereford United game next Friday week against Swindon was moved from the original Saturday date on 'police advice' but it looks as though a planned demonstration at Ledbury was the real reason and the police couldn't cope with providing a police presence at both events.
The West Mercia police are expected to be out in force at Ledbury on the Saturday because of possible problems at a 'carnival against vivisection'.
The 'carnival' is expected to attract hundreds of animal rights protesters. Their target is said to be Sequani’s animal testing labatory.
Peterboro are set to offload Josh Low to Cheltenham after the midfielder impressed Robins boss Keith Downing playing for the reserves. The Posh will also see goalkeeper Shwan Jalal off to Bournemouth and striker Liam Hatch on loan to Darlington before the Monday deadline. They also, ominously, expect at least two more new faces in addition to the signing of winger Dominic Green. One of those is expected to be Ebbsfleet striker John Akinde. The club have received a £140,000 offer 'from an unnamed club' for the player and will put it to a vote of their 35,000 owners.
Lincoln have given up on Romanian striker Adrian Patuela after a last-ditch offer for the player would have broken League rules. A fan offered to buy the player for the €50,000 asking price then lease him to the club in contravention of FL and FA rules. A local lottery winner is to bolster Chesterfield's coffers by £200,000 after paying them to name a stand after her. The Karen Child Kop will come into being next season after the former checkout worker followed up her purchase of an executive box at Old Trafford.
Chester have denied ever planning a press conference for Wednesday afternoon, making an official statement - their first for weeks - saying "Supporters are advised that the Football Club does not recognize any unofficial web sites as a source of reliable information." Supporters have kindly pointed out that the official site has ten players named on the squad list that have long since departed in a pot/kettle scenario.
Worcester's state of the art new home will be significantly less so after it was revealed the Conf North side was £2million in debt. They will have only £5million for their edge of the city stadia, news that leaves shareholders fuming and calling for the board's removal.
It feels like a long time coming, 20 days in fact, but the official site is reporting that the club have signed midfielder Stephen O'Leary on a one year deal.
The 23 year old Irishman is a versatile midfielder formerly of Luton and Tranmere where he played a total of 56 times, including time in the Championship, scoring six goals. He was offered a new deal at Luton in the summer but rejected the reduced terms two weeks ago.
Luton boss Mick Harford said at the time: "Stephen was offered a contract, it was less money than he was on the previous year because we couldn't afford to pay him the salary he was on the previous year, so he was entitled to a free transfer. We gave him permission to speak to other clubs, I don't think he has got himself fixed up yet, but we did offer him a contract."
The following is part of the profile at http://www.lutonfc.com/playerprofile.asp?PlayerID=90:
Stephen had a solid if unspectacular season for Luton Town during the 2007-08 campaign - a season that was arguably the worst in the Hatters' history.
One of only a handful of players to emerge from a woeful season with any credit, Stephen didn't feature in the first-team squad under manager Kevin Blackwell and, although he was given a place on the substitutes bench on various occasions (making a rare outing as a late substitute at Premiership giants Liverpool in a televised FA Cup Third Round replay), he remained a squad member rather than a first-team regular. However, following the departure of Blackwell in January 2008, Stephen became a regular in the centre of Luton's midfield under new boss Mick Harford.
Much has been made of the lack of off-field activities at HUFC. Such activities generate considerable amounts of revenue and one might suggest that the club are missing out on a considerable budget increase as a result.
The following article, written by Welsh Bull, offers ideas and strategies to ensure a steady flow of additional revenue to add to what is already coming into the club.
In an ideal world, the Junior Bull season ticket offer would apply to all sections of the ground, but it seems logical that the club made some educated forecasts of sales figures for the tickets at each price and determined that restricting the offer to just Block D would generate more income for the club - whilst still providing the opportunity of a vastly reduced season ticket.
For example, if 100 children buy a season ticket at £224 each, the revenue generated from this would be £22,400.
With the Junior Bull £80 deal expanded to the entire ground, the club would have to sell 280 season tickets just to match that £22,400 figure.
So it seems the club forecasted that the discounted tickets would not increase the sales figures by the necessary amount to cover the cost and therefore a stadium-wide Junior Bull discount would not be in the best interest of the club.
Onto another issue. Those up to the age of 16 can buy a reduced season ticket at £224 (or £80 Junior Bull), however those in Post 16 education are effectively, still in the same boat as U16's and so I believe a Student Season Ticket should be introduced at £224 each - the same as for children and Senior Citizens. A 16 year old could be a Junior Bull member and purchase an £80 season ticket, only to be forced to pay £300 the following season when they turn 17 and no longer qualify as a junior! This is a staggering increase for someone of that age and I feel a student season ticket would help to bridge the gap. A valid student ID card should be presented in order to obtain the reduced season ticket. This, imo, would encourage more students on a tight budget to invest in a season ticket. As a student myself, I can assure you that when we see a discount, we promptly take advantage of it!
Furthermore, another way of re-structuring season tickets to generate more income is allowing fans to pay for their season tickets using a payment scheme. Whether or not this is feasible for the club (as they may need the season ticket funds immediately) I don't know - but it seems a very good idea in principle and, in my opinion, would increase season ticket sales by a significant amount. This payment scheme would break the payment of a season ticket down into monthly installments, thus making the purchase of a season ticket appear far more attractive to those who can't fork out a big sum of money in one go (as is the case for a lot of people!).
I don't know what other clubs who run this scheme do, but maybe the club could add a slight rate of interest onto the payments, which as well as increasing sales figures, would generate even more revenue! However, if other clubs are running this interest free, then we should probably go with that. Perhaps a small initial charge instead?
Anyway, the only real downside to this is the prospect of having to chase up overdue payments.
The final strategy I have to offer of generating a greater turnover via ticket sales is to introduce a half season ticket. I believe this could be a potential gold mine if the tickets are put on sale a few weeks before christmas. It's a perfect cristmas present for any HUFC fan, especially children and I think they would shift extremely quickly. The prices would be simple to calculate - just split the home games into 2 halfs and calculate the total price at normal admission for each half before applying the appropriate discount factor.
In my opinion, this is the simplest suggestion and potentially a massive earner.
Club Shop (stock and the selling of):
First of all, we need more of it. A greater range of merchandise to suit a range of needs and provide a broader choice for fans and a greater potential for increased revenue.
In addition to this, stock needs to be replaced - and quicker. There was an item of clothing I wanted on the online shop about 2 years ago and it vanished - never to be seen again! The stock levels need to be managed so when they drop to a certain amount, a new order can be made for fresh stock.
The club need to take advantage of club high's such as promotion! Such events create a euphoric atmosphere around the club which people get caught up in and therefore it provides the perfect opportunity to target fans. People want souvenirs, collectables - memories! Items like a DVD of the promotion season (which apparently is on its way), promotion scarves, mugs, stickers and other such merchandise that fans tend to snap up quickly during such periods. In my view, this is a perfect example of a fantastic, money spinning opportunity that the club has missed. The revenue generated from special promotion stock would have been significant.
The Christmas period is a similar story that needs to be capitalised on in order to maximise turnover. Interest in a football club provides a very easy option for people to buy Christmas presents, for children imparticular. So the club should ensure they have extra stock to meet demand. Also, items like Santa hats with a HUFC badge on to be worn at the Christmas fixtures would sell extremely well. This type of approach would only be successful and the stock will only shift, IF it is marketed properly. Which brings me to my next point...
None of the above will be effective if the stock is not marketed effectively. It's not a huge task either - simple things like posters, adverts in the programme, adverts in the Hereford Times and announcements at the games would go a long way to ensuring as many people know that there is a wide range of HUFC merchandise waiting to be purchased! When appropriate, a point needs to be made of the fact that special, limited stock is available such as promotion merch and Christmas merch, so fans must get their hands on it quickly! Effective promotion of goods should maximise the sales figures and vastly increase our revenue from the club shop.
Maximising Attendance Figures:
Our attendances are staggeringly low at the moment - we were getting considerably more in the Conference! Whilst losing games doesn't help, we're not doing a great deal to pick the numbers back up (aside from the club freezing ticket prices). A start would be promotional posters for each game - these could be plastered all around the city, in workplaces, shops, schools - everywhere!
Another strategy to push the numbers back up as well as getting more involved in the community is organising for some of the players to visit the local schools. This would provide a fantastic opportunity for children to meet their heroes as well as to entice others to come to ES and watch for the first time. The players could give a small talk and maybe hold a mini training session - this would leave so many kids nagging their parents to take them to a game. A free batch of tickets could be given to the school's for them to distribute as they wish - perhaps give them to the best performers or best attenders?
Also, a cost free way to try and bring the crouds in and create a better atmosphere is to have themed match days. All that would be required is an announcement and perhaps a notice in the programme. Much like the 'yellow away day' at Brentford, the club could announce themes such as a wigs theme (picture the ME covered with people in big wigs of the club's colours), a balloons theme (the terraces packed with black and white balloons) etc. etc. There's so many ideas that could help bring the numbers in and improve the atmosphere at ES - all that's needed is a tiny bit of creativity!
Additionally, a range of special offers could be implemented to bring in the fans. Much like the one last year, which allowed a season ticket holder to bring a friend for free. This was not as successful as what was hoped for, but it shows they're thinking! I like that. Sometimes a bit of trial and error is necessary to realise the most effective strategies.
Other Possible Aeas of Income:
Competitions! A great money spinner that allow people to willingly give money to the club in the hope they will win a prize! In order to maximise profits made from competitions, the club could give non-cash prizes such as a tour of the ground, a chance to meet the players, watch a training session, or other similar ideas. Obviously GT won't want fans in and around the club/on the training pitch every day - but if competitions were run monthly, such opportunites would surely arise to treat a lucky competition winner. Simple idea but effective.
More events need to take place for the community. The lack of an open day for 2 years running is a big dissapointment and I'm sure a fair bit of money was missed out on. I understand that the pitch wouldn't have appreciated being trampled all over after great care has been taken to maintain it - but how difficult is it to find another suitable venue?
In addition, the introduction of an Official Supporters Club could rake in the cash, whilst providing loyal fans with benefits and a sense of belonging. With each member paying about £15 to join, the revenue would soon accumulate. I think it would be good to use the Junior Bulls as a smaller scale test run if you will - if GT see's the cash rolling in from this, perhaps he may move in favour of expanding such a scheme to the wider audience? A membership could be made very attractive with a small discount in the club shop, a small range of merchandise upon joining and other cost-free benefits such as a chance to meet the players.
You, like I, may be thinking how on earth is GT supposed to find the time to make all these ideas happen? Which brings me to my final and most controversial thought...
Too Much for GT?:
Some of what I have mentioned probably isn't feasible for one reason or another, but there are a lot of solid suggestions which seem certain to generate a good cash return. But these are not being implemented at the moment, because GT is busy managing the finances and trying to assemble a decent squad! On the whole, I believe he has done an excellent job at both and I do think he can perform both roles adequately. However, the commercial area which is supposed to generate extra income and ensure a good relationship with the club's fans seems to be lacking somewhat. Just one extra pair of hands, which would be commited to this area of the Club could do wonders in terms of finances and public relations. Yes, a PR Manager would require a salary, but I'd like to think that this addition would pay for itself. There would also be a need for some initial investment for office space and equipment but I'd imagine the payback period on this investment would be very short as long as the PR Manager performs his job sufficiently.
I just feel that GT is currently doing well at what he does, but if he were to move over to the commercial area and implement many of these suggestions, his current tasks would suffer; therefore, a PR Manager would ensure this area of the club is sorted without any other areas suffering as a result. This would result in a better club for GT and a better, more accessible club for the fans.
As always, the Prediction League is running for League One matches. Next up is the visit of Crewe Alexandra.
To enter, just send your final score and attendance predictions along with your chosen username to firstname.lastname@example.org . Entries must be in by 2.30pm on Saturday 30th August.
Peterboro have beaten Huddersfield to the signing of Dagenham winger Dominic Green. He has signed for the London Road player stockpilers on a four year deal after limited first team experience with the Daggers. Hartlepool striker James Brown is a target of Celtic, according to the Daily Record. The paper quotes a £3million price tag.
Tranmere have reacted angrily to the tribunal fee received for former player Steve Davies. Chairman Lorraine Rodgers claims the agent and player received almost as much as the £275,000 initial payment the club received, and that the fee barely covered the cost of one years' running of their youth system. Walsall midfielder Anthony Gerrard has handed in a transfer request after interest from Championship clubs.
TNS owner Mike Harris claims his Welsh Premier side is good enough to compete in the Football League as a mid-table League Two side. The multi-time Welsh champions, who have ex-Bull Paul Harrison as their first choice keeper following his release from Conf North side Southport, attracted just 238 supporters for their opening home fixture.
The Hartlepool Mail and the Northern Echo have told their readers that they are banned from Victoria Park, the home of Harlepool.
It been suggested that the reason is that the papers would not sign a 'commercial agreement' with the club.
The Northern Echo, along with the Hartlepool Mail, is banned from sending photographers to home matches, and reporters are denied press access at Victoria Park.
The Mail was originally banned because it refused to sign a commercial agreement which it considers to be unfair.
And The Northern Echo was then banned for supplying the Mail with pictures of recent matches and refusing to give a commitment not to do so in future.
Peter Barron, Editor of The Northern Echo, said: "I have twice written to the club, proposing a meeting so we can try to find a constructive way forward but, sadly, the offer has not even been acknowledged.
"It is very sad that the two newspapers which have given Hartlepool FC the most coverage home and away for many years should be treated in this way."
The club has warned other newspapers not to co-operate with the two papers and even ordered radio stations not to pass on quotes from the manager and players - even though they are broadcast shortly after the game.
Our Hartlepool United writer, Nick Loughlin, is buying a ticket to compile his match reports from the terraces.
And to make up for the lack of live pictures, last night's Carling Cup action has been superbly captured by graphic artist Chris Moran with the help of a sketch-book and a felt-tipped pen.
The Northen Echo belongs to the same group of newspapers as the Hereford Times.
League One has seen a sharp drop in attendances from the opening day of the season.
The 12 clubs who hosted opening day games saw, on average, nearly a 15% drop in attendance for their second game hosted at the weekend. 99,885 watched the opening day's games, but only 85,009 watched this weekend's action. Ten of the twelve sides recorded gates at the weekend under their average attendances for last season.
Only two sides saw rises from the opening day; Yeovil's gate leapt by nearly 50% when hosting Leeds - though Scunthorpe's gate nearly halved after hosting the Yorkshire side on the opening day - and Hartlepool saw an additional 114 fans through the doors, but fewer home fans, as Stockport brought nearly 200 more than Colchester.
Huddersfield, having sold 16,000 cut-price season tickets, had 2,000 less through their door with 'only' 13,189 coming to their second match -though it is still well above last season's average - while Leicester were the biggest losers, dropping over 5,000 supporters over their games with MK Dons and Tranmere.
While the Bank Holiday weekend can be seen as an attendance killer, the opening day also went almost un-opposed against live televised football with no Premier League games until the following weekend. This past weekend saw live TV games finishing and starting within 30 minutes of the traditional 3pm matches.
The Bulls' opening gate of 3,476 was nearly 100 lower than the opening game of the previous season, when Rotherham escaped with a 0-0 draw, but that game was not preceeded by a pair of away losses. The following gate, on the Bank Holiday weekend, was just 2,732 - down nearly 24% - even though the two games inbetween were both won.
Crewe manager Steve Holland is hopeful that his side can reproduce the form next Saturday against Hereford United that knocked Bristol City out of the Carling Cup. Crewe are close to the bottom of League One, having lost two of their first three games, but Holland thinks they deserve to be higher.
"This (last night's cup win) is the fun bit, a bonus, but we have already talked with the players about Saturday's game.
"I'm sick of being at the bottom end of the table and three points on Saturday would guarantee us a top half berth.
"And I've seen enough to suggest we are heading in the right direction."
The bookies currently favour Crewe to win at Edgar Street.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Hereford United's opponents next Saturday, Crewe Alexandra, are through to the third round of the Carling Cup after their 2-1 victory over Bristol City this evening.
Scorers for Crewe were Anthony Elding and Byron Moore. Their line-up was: Collis, Woodwards, O'Donnell, Baudet, Bailey; Moore, O'Connor, Rix, Grant; Pope, Elding. Subs: Legzdins, Schumacher, Carrington, Miller, Donaldson, McManus, Westwood.
Meanwhile former Bull Lionel Ainsworth was booked in the Watford/Darlington match. Theo Robinson was not involved and Rob Purdie only on the bench. Watford won 2-1.
Also booked was Sherjill Macdonald who came on as a sub for West Brom in their game against Hartlepool. Pool won 3-1.
A Bulls side was beaten 7-1 by Aston Villa's reserves in this afternoon's friendly game.
While the Bulls line-up is currently unknown, the official Villa site reports:
Zoltan Stieber bagged a hat-trick, despite in an unaccustomed left-back role. Marc Albrighton (2), Adam McGurk and Barry Bannan completed the scoring.
Stieber is a 19 year old Hungarian midfielder who had a 15 game loan spell at Yeovil last season, while Albrighton is an England u-18 international who signed a two year deal with Villa in the summer and has featured for the first team in pre-season.
The Bulls entertain Crewe at Edgar Street on Saturday still looking for their first League One points.
It's been over 14 years since the Bulls met the Railwaymen for a competitive match. On that day in January 1994 Crewe recorded their fourth straight win at Edgar Street with a 2-1. Future star Neil Lennon, who played against the Bulls for the final time in March for Wycombe, and later to be ex-Bull Darren Rowbottom scoring either side of an Andy Reece effort. Earlier that season the Bulls had been hit for six at Gresty Road as they stormed to promotion while the Bulls ended only four points off the bottom of the table.
After playing, and losing to, a trio of sides predicted for bottom half finishes the Bulls will be expected to take something from a game against one of the relegation favourites. The actions of Graham Turner in the transfer market and on the training pitch over the next few days are sure to mould the course of the season after his worst result as manager of the Bulls since a trip to Middlesboro for a League Cup game in 1996.
It used to be having spent nearly £750,000 on a trio of strikers and a winger over the summer most people would place any club as promotion candidates, but 'little Crewe' remain one of the relegation favourites despite early season form bringing two wins from four including a victory over Barnsley in the Carling Cup. Their biggest problems seems to be that they have conceded seven in three League games with a defence that has had considerably less spent on it than the forward line and that goals both ways can be expected from Crewe this season.
Hereford United vs Crewe Alexandra, Edgar Street, Saturday August 30th, 3.00pm.
Pat Miller from Bedfordshire is to referee Saturday's League One game at Edgar Street against Crewe.
Miller did not referee a game involving Hereford United last season but was in charge of two games in the previous campaign.
The first was against Shrewsbury at the Gay Meadow in December 2006 which the Bulls lost 3-0. In that game Miller sent Dean Beckwith off.
Here is a reminder:
The Beckwith Sending-Off
More detail has come to light over how and why Dean Beckwith was sent-off this afternoon at Shrewsbury.
In his report for the Hereford Times, Richard Prime wrote:
Dean Beckwith received a red card for retaliating after an offence by Cooke which went unseen by the officials.
Fifteen minutes from time, Brown threw the ball out to start another Hereford attack after a Shrewsbury move broke down.
The linesman then drew referee Pat Miller's attention to an offence that few others on the ground had seen and Beckwith was sent off and a penalty awarded.
Keith Hall for BBC Hereford and Worcester reported the incident:
Wayne Brown had made a tremendous save but the linesman had raised his flag on the far side and after conferring with the referee a penalty kick was awarded and Dean Beckwith was red carded for an apparant use of the elbow.
The Official Shrewsbury Town report says:
Hereford were down to 10 men after an off the ball incident, play had moved on when Dean Beckwith and Andy Cooke clashed, Cooke was walking away when Beckwith swung an elbow which saw Cooke go to ground, the linesman flagged and after a brief chat ref Miller had no hesitation in showing a straight red for the Hereford defender and awarded a penalty to Town.
Whether the cameras will have picked up the incident remains to be seen. But whilst there is no excuse for retaliating, Beckwith may be able to suggest he was provoked.
Meanwhile Graham Turner told the press that he didn't see the penalty.
Miller's other game in charge that season was against Rochdale at Edgar Street.
The Bulls are to face Aston Villa's reserve side today according to the Villains' official site.
The trip to the Bodymoor Heath is to face a youthful Villa side as several of the usual reserve squad are preparing for their UEFA cup match with FH Hafnarfjordur on Thursday. The match was unusually not mentioned in Friday's official site interview, and it is expected that the game will be used to test a number of trialists.
The Bulls have only five fit players that took no part in Saturday's match although subs Jack MacLeod, Bradley Hudson-Odoi, and Matt Done would be expected to feature.
Ex-Bull Daryl Taylor has signed for Hednesford after leaving Kettering. He was a sub in the Poppies first two games of the season but was not offered a permanent deal. Huddersfield are believed to be the League One side that has had a bid for Dagenham winger Dominic Green accepted. The left winger has started only five games for the Daggers since arriving from West Ham.
No Bulls in the Team of the Week, with Bristol Rovers getting Rickie Lambert and Chris Lines nominated. Stockport and MK Dons also had two nominations each, while next opponents Crewe had winger Joel Grant honoured. Ex-Bull Michael McIndoe was nominated for the Championship side.
Yeovil have signed Crystal Palace wide man James Dayton on a months loan. The 19 year old left winger is yet to make his senior debut. Tranmere will recieve £275,000 from Derby for departed player Steve Davies, a tribunal has ruled. They will receive further payments for appearances and promotion that could take the total to £725,000.
Chester have called a press conference for tomorrow afternoon where Mark Wright is expected to be named Director of Football. The move seems inevitable after manager Simon Davies told the local press he would 'welcome' the move. Mansfield have renamed their dressing room showers the Rebecca Adlington Victory Showers after the local double gold medal winner. The stunt is for a Channel 4 show.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Former Leyton Orient defender Sam Oji has not had the most convincing start for Hereford United.
Although he has played in all four senior games, Oji looks as though he will drop to the bench just as soon as Karl Broadhurst is fit.
He did himself no favours last Saturday at Bristol Rovers when he was booked for unsporting behaviour.
Interestingly when he was signed no mention was made of the terms of his contract and, as yet, no profile has been placed on the Official Website.
Samuel Oji has signed a contract with Hereford United.....The length of Sam's contract has yet to be disclosed.
That was on August 7th.
Meanwhile it looks as though Karl Broadhurst might be back in the Hereford United squad for the visit of Swindon on Friday week, September 5th.
Broadhurst dislocated his shoulder on July 16th in a friendly against Wolves. He returns to training this week.
There is no mid-week game for Hereford United but next Saturday's opponents at Edgar Street are in Carling Cup Round Two action.
Crewe Alexandra entertain Bristol City tomorrow (Tuesday) evening at their Gresty Road stadium. How seriously manager Steve Holland will view the game remains to be seen.
Hereford United's Carling Cup run came to an end just 90 minutes or so after it started when they lost 2-1 at Crystal Palace.
Meanwhile Holland has been talking with Wolves about Gary Breen, the experienced defender who is currently without a club.
Finally, if chosen by Holland, Anthony Elding could return to Edgar Street next Saturday. He has been a thorn in the side of Hereford United for many seasons including back in the Conference when with Boston and Stevenage.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
The highlights of the Bristol Rovers/Hereford United game from last Saturday on now available to watch on Virgin Media.
Two strikers are on the move.
Leon Knight has joined Rushen and Diamonds from Wycombe Wanderers.
Jermaine Easter, the Cardiff-born striker, is set to leave Plymouth.
"He has got some domestic problems, which he feels he can't clear up playing in Plymouth. We are circulating to clubs to see if we have any takers," said manager Paul Sturrock.
Easter came on as a late sub for Plymouth against Swansea yesterday.
Here's our latest round-up of some of Hereford United's former players and how they've got on this weekend.
Paul Parry played for Cardiff in their 2-2 draw with Norwich.
Michael McIndoe scored for Bristol City in their 3-0 win at Coventry. No place in the Bristol squad for Gavin Williams.
John Eustace played for Watford in their 3-2 defeat at Notts Forest. No place in the Hornets squad for either Theo Robinson or Lionel Ainsworth.
And no sign of Stuart Fleetwood at Charlton who defeated Reading 4-2.
Sherjill MacDonald came on as a sub for twenty minutes but his West Brom side were defeated 2-1 by Everton at the Hawthorns.
In League One Gary Hooper didn't score but his side Scunthorpe defeated Peterborough 1-0.
In League Two Wayne Brown was again on the winning side despite letting one goal past him as Bury, who are joint leaders, defeated Morecambe 2-1.
Rob Purdie scored a penalty for Darlington but his side were defeated 2-1 by Gillingham.
John McCombe featured for Port Vale in their 1-1 draw at Dagenham.
Alan Connell, whose future at Brentford is uncertain, came on as a sub for just three minutes in their 1-0 win at Barnet.
Alan Stansfield was on the winning side as Exeter won 1-0 at Bournemouth.
In the Conference Alex Jeannin turned out for Mansfield but they lost 2-1 at Barrow.
Tim Sills came on at half time for Torquay at Crawley but the Gulls lost 3-1.
Chris Lane was sent off at Kidderminster. However many thought the ball had struck the Altrincham defenders chest not his arm. Brian Smikle was amidst the scorers for Harriers who won the game 4-0.
Trevor Benjamin had a game for Gainsborough Trinity who drew 0-0 with Gateshead. Benjamin was reported to have gone 'close with a spectacular over-head kick late on.'
Graham Turner needs to give Hereford United and its supporters some good news well in advance of next Saturday's League One game against Crewe or face the prospect of a sub 3,000 gate.
Even before the players took to the pitch at Bristol yesterday, it was disappointing to note that less than 600 Bulls supporters had travelled the short distance to the Memorial Stadium.
And after the 6-1 defeat it will be even more difficult to attract fans to Edgar Street next Saturday.
Turner has reportedly said that he has budgeted on average gates being around 3,800 this season. He has also said that the club has to be run sensibly and there must be no going back to the days when money was spent that the club didn't have.
Currently he has a dilemma. Does he leave the squad as it is for the next two games and then add to it with some good quality loanees if he can't find some 'cheap' players, or does he bite the bullet this coming week and get the cheque book out before the transfer window shuts? Or does he work towards combination of transfers and loans?
If he can sign a few players this week, it looks as though they really do need to be able to play at League One level. But they are unlikely to come at a knock-down price. Most players, and their agents, will have noted that Turner has failed to bring in any class players to date this season and therefore may try to take advantage of the situation by asking for wages of a level not seen at Edgar Street to date.
Turner said yesterday that there are still players around and that he had received ' more positive vibes over the last three days.'
In the past Turner has often said that good players do not become poor players overnight. On the other hand some players find it difficult to make the step up to a higher league.
He will know who in his present squad can cope and who, as yet, may not. He will know what is needed to bolster the squad.
Some good news is needed this week from Graham Turner and when, hopefully, it comes it requires as much publicity as possible to ensure next Saturday's gate doesn't drop too low.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
I'll warn you now, this ain't nice but you can only tell it as you see it.
Following back to back defeats against what many considered to be poor Orient and Yeovil sides, The Bulls were completely destroyed today by a half decent Rovers outfit. If the warning bells were audible in the distance before kick-off, they were certainly almost deafeningly in full chime by six minutes past three.
Surprisingly, Turner named the same starting XI as he did against Yeovil and it wasn't long before the same frailties were exposed. Just two minutes into the game, a forward ball that was no more than a hopeful punt eluded the normally composed Beckwith and Duffy strode forward to finish passed the stranded Sampson. Less than three minutes later it was two. Former Rochdale striker Ricky Lambert received the ball unchallenged about 35 diagonal yards from the left of the goal. He had time to turn, make ten yards, look up and send a curling effort to the right and over Sampson. Whilst it has to be said that the execution was good, he should never have been allowed the time and space that he had. They say that Dame Fortune favours the brave but the good lady was best described as charitable when Duffy struck the foot of the post on the eighth minute. For The Bulls, Diagouraga struck a decent shot at Pirates stopper Philips before both Guinan and Threlfall had crosses collected by Philips.
Hereford managed a short period of competing in the game although the threat on the Bristol goal was minimal as Guinans efforts to create space appear to be wasted on a lack-lustre Ashikodi. On 22 minutes, the game was effectively over as a contest when Duffy stabbed his second past Sampson from 15 yards. Again, there was a lack of closing down in a critical area. Readers will be excused for thinking that Bristol were running riot and having a much greater share of the ball. The stark fact is that they weren't...they just did simple things well, made space and finished. The difference was emphasised when the hard working Guinan worked an opening, which seemed to completely avoid the attention of co-striker Ashikodi. Oji needlessly got himself into the Ref's book when he kicked the ball away after being penalised before Ben Smith tested Philips from the edge of the box. As half-time approached, Guinan once again showed good example by chasing down a ball to exert pressure on the Rovers back line.
HT Rovers 3 HUFC 0
The start of the second period saw the introduction Bradley Hudson-Odoi in place of the ineffective Ashikodi. However, any hopes of salvaging something from the fixture were almost immediately dashed Jeff Hughes cut into the box from the left to fire into the net. Terrace frustration was increasing as decent central midfield play all too frequently got frittered away by the wide attackers. Johnson, in particular, seemed guilty of running into opposition defenders or miss-placing his passes while Easton was simply beaten for pace. Ben Smith and HUFC man of the match Diagouraga did work tirelessly but must be frustrated by the lack of quality around them. With visiting Bulls fans, by this time, resorting to half hearted comedy chant attempts; Turner made a belated double substitution with just over fifteen minutes remaining when Matty Done and Jack MacLeod replaced a flagging Easton and the frustrating Johnson. Hudson-Odoi, meanwhile, was proving far more of a handful up top and forced a corner which MacLeod crossed for Beckwith to head goalward. Unfortunately, his effort was blocked on the goal-line by a defender. At the other end, a clumsy challenge was penalised and Lambert curled the resultant free kick around the wall and passed Sampson to put The Gas on five. With just three minutes of normal time left, Rose conceded another free kick and this time Chris Lines stepped forward to rifle home from 30 yards. The visitors terrace responded with a rousing chorus of "Turner, Turner what’s the score" while The Gaffer simply scratched his head. The late introduction of Done had provided some much lacking penetration and it was from his left flank that a ball arrived in the danger area to enable Steve Guinan to poke home a consolation goal with just a minute of time left.
FT Rovers 6 HUFC 1
After three defeats from three League games, it's becoming all too clear that the squad simply ain't good enough. More worrying is form of one or two players of whom better is expected and it is hoped that a few urgently needed additions will help rekindle the form and reliability of last season.
Attendance 6735 (588 Bulls)
Bristol Rovers: Phillips, Pipe, Anthony, Elliot, Lescott, Lines, Campbell, Disley, Hughes, Lambert, Duffy.
Subs: Hinton, Williams, Green, Hunt, Rigg.
Hereford United: Samson, Rose, Beckwith, Oji, Threlfall, Johnson, Diagouraga, Smith, Easton, Ashikodi, Guinan.
Subs: Randolph, Hudson-Odoi, Taylor, MacLeod, Done.
It isn't often over the past five or six seasons that some Hereford United supporters leave a game early but it happened at the Memorial Stadium this afternoon after Rovers scored their fifth goal.
Hopefully the players did not notice because had they seen their supporters leaving early on a dismal afternoon it must have been rather like rubbing salt into the wound.
In any case the Bulls support was only 588 which considering how close Bristol was rather disappointing.
It may be the last time the Bulls play at the quaint Memorial Stadium as it is. Rovers are talking about redevelopement. In some ways that would be a pity as there is no other ground with such a diverse group of stands.
As well as the interesting stands, there is a slope much like Barnet's. Not that it made much difference today as Rovers scored three goals playing either way.
Another feature is that the dug-outs are across the pitch from the changing rooms.
Rovers appear to suffering from lack of advertising support as far as perimeter boards are concerned. As at Edgar Street there were several areas with blank spaces.
However their programme, although costing £3, was nearly twice as think as Bullseye and contained several interesting features.
One slight criticism. For whatever reason the announcer didn't have any team news until a few minutes before the start of the game.
And why were there so many police around the ground? At a rough estimate there must have been at least forty, perhaps more.
The need to add to the Hereford United squad was very evident this afternoon at the Memorial Ground. And manager Graham Turner is still hoping for new faces before the transfer window closes as he explained to BBC Hereford and Worcester.
"I think what has happened is that a number of players we've spoken to waiting for bigger clubs to come in. Now as it is getting nearer the deadline, I get the impression that they are beginning to think more seriously about us.
"I've got to say that results like todays doesn't help our cause in attracting players. One or two might look and think I don't want to go into a struggling side.
"We've had more positive vibes over the last three days than in the previous part of August.
"Players are now realising that perhaps the clubs they were expecting are not going to offer them anything ot take them on loan, so there is a chance."
It can't be easy speaking to the press or radio after a 6-1 mauling but Hereford United defender Robbie Threlfall was brave enough to talk to BBC H&W after the game.
"We've got to regroup on Monday, talk about it and learn from our mistakes," said Threlfall.
"The way the goals were conceeded - we've got to learn from that.
"In all fairness they had about eight shots and six of them went in. They were very clinical, credit to them in that way, but we have got to defend better.
"We passed it very well on times. We created some good chances in front of goal
"We'll have a good weeks training and hopefully bounce back on Saturday."
The Hereford United manager, interviwed after this afternoon's game at Bristol Rovers was frank with his assessment of the proceedings.
"The game was effectively over after four minutes," Graham Turner told BBC Hereford and Worcester.
"We got caught cold. We made some basic defending errors.
"I've got to say you look at the game as a whole and three of their strikes went in from twenty yards plus. It's not very pleasant when that happens. It was one of those days when they are flying in from all over the place.
"It's an unforgiving League. Once you go higher you get punished for any mistakes and you get punished for being out of position even only by a yard or two. That was the case today.
"It's no good slaughtering the players - there was a lot of honest endeavour - but we had great difficulty contending with their front players. We couldn't control them.
"Giving two free kicks away was just part of the poor defending. That's the penalty you play for that lack of discipline at times.
"There are one or two, or more than one or two, players in there at the moment who are not performing as well as they did last season."
With Hereford United being defeated 6-1, few supporters would expect the stats to show anything other than domination by Bristol Rovers.
But in some ways that would be incorrect.
Hereford United had 52% of the posession, mainly in mid-field, whereas Rovers had 48%.
The Bulls had nine shots on target, although most of them were 'weak'. Rovers also had nine shots on target and made six of them count. Both sides had nine off-target shots.
And the Bulls had seven corners against just four for Rovers.
Unusually the Bulls were penalised for more fouls than Rovers - nine times against six.
Ben Smith received an eight, Toumani Diagouraga and Simon Johnson both were awarded sevens as was sub Bradley Hudson-Odoi.
Sam Oji was yellow carded for unsporting behaviour. Twice, in quick succession, he kept the ball when referee Andy Hall had awarded Rovers a free kick. The second time he was booked.
The gate was 6735 with 588 from Hereford.
Bottom of League One:
21 Cheltenham 3 -4 3
22 Millwall 3 -1 2
23 Huddersfield 3 -2 2
24 Hereford 3 -7 0
Oldham lead League One with the only 100% record after a Lee Hughes hat-trick helped them to a 4-0 win over Cheltenham. Three teams are unbeaten on seven points with Leicester 3-1 winners over Tranmere, Carlisle drawing 0-0 at Leyton Orient, and Brighton winning 2-0 at Southend on Friday night. MK Dons are fifth after a creditable 3-1 at Huddersfield.
Down the bottom both Crewe and Scunthorpe picked up their first points of the season to leave the Bulls the only ones yet to get off the mark. Crewe beat Walsall 2-1, while Scunthorpe beat Peterboro by the only goal of the game. Millwall are 22nd after a goalless draw with Northampton.
In other games Stockport scored four minutes into injury time to nick all three points at Hartlepool, Colchester won 3-1 at Swindon, and Yeovil drew with Leeds 1-1 in the lunchtime kick-off.
In League Two Shrewsbury continue to lead the way with a 1-0 win over Aldershot but both Bradford, 2-0 winners over Rochdale, and Bury, 2-1 winners over Morecambe, also have 100% records. Rotherham are down to -8 after beating hapless Chester 3-1, leaving Luton 18 points short of safety after their draw with Notts County.
The Bulls have dropped to the bottom of the table for the first time since they lost their League status, and are now the only League One side without a point, after a dismal performance saw them lose 6-1 to Bristol Rovers.
A brace each for Daryl Duffy and Rickie Lambert plus efforts from Jeff Hughes and Chris Lines floored the Bulls, with Steve Guinan scoring an injury time consolation. Like last week a quickfire brace of goals caught the Bulls out around the 20 minute mark and left them chasing a game that inevitably saw the winning margin increase as the Bulls made further individual mistakes.
Club Captain Karl Broadhurst, summarising for BBC Hereford and Worcester, was frank on the performance calling it 'pathetic' and 'disgraceful' during various times of the commentary while he accused the defence of 'schoolboy errors'. No doubt the 588 travelling Bulls would have similar words for the performance on their return.
Full report later.