Saturday, February 28, 2009

Guinan gets an Eight

Whilst the match sponsors made young striker Febian Brandy the man of the match, the top mark of eight was awarded to fellow striker and captain Steve Guinan.

Peter Gulasci, Richard Jackson, Richard Rose, Toumani Diagouraga, Matt Done and Brandy were all given a seven.

Kris Taylor, Sam Gwynne, Sam Hewson, Godwin Antwi and sub Karl Broadhurst each received a six for their efforts.

For Leyton Orient, former Bull and scorer of their only goal, Tamika Mkandawire was given an eight.

It's doubtful whether the match officials would have been given very high marks as there were a number of surprising decisions through the game although it's unlikely any decision would have changed the final result.

Graham Turner was visibly very annoyed with one particular offside decision from the linesman on the Len Weston side of the ground.

Keith Hall, reporting for H&W, wasn't impressed.

"A lot of the Hereford spectators, myself included, thought one of the linesmen was so far behind play it was untrue," said Hall.

"I don't think he could almost keep up with the way Brandy was moving off the last defender."

Many supporters questioned where all the added time had come from. There were two minutes in the first half and five minutes in the second half.

The three officials were kitted out with microphones and ear pieces.

Meanwhile since Steve Guinan has taken over the captain's armband results have improved. However with Karl Broadhurst back in the squad and probably set to start at Yeovil on Tuesday evening it will be interesting to see if Guinan keeps the armband.

Ex-Bull Watch

Gary Hooper scored twice to peg Leeds back but his Scunthorpe side eventually lost. Moses Ashikodi started for Shrewsbury but was subbed without recording a shot according to the text commentaries. John McCombe scored for Port Vale but they lost at home to Luton. David Brown set up Forest Green's goal as they drew with Grays.

Danny Carey-Bertram scored his eighth goal in thirteen league matches for Telford as they beat Hyde. Graham Evans scored a hat-trick as Aberystwyth beat Prestatyn to move into the semi-finals of the Welsh Cup.

Massive Result says Done

Hereford United's left winger, Matty Done, was pleased to be back in the starting eleven this afternoon and even more pleased to be on the winning side at the end of 90 minutes.

"A massive result, it's a massive week for us with three games.

"Whenever you play three games in a week it is a big week especially when you are playing the teams around you in the position we are in.

"It's nice to be back. I've missed the last three games. Missing Leeds was a disappointmemt, massive team like that.

"It's nice that the gaffer has stuck me in today and I've helped the team get the three points."

Done was brought back into the side because of the absence, or injury, of Jennison Myrie-Williams.

Myrie-Williams' initial loan spell has finished - he first played for the Bulls on January 24th - and it hasn't been revealed whether that loan has been extended.

Bulls resist Orient pressure

Hereford United had to see off hefty late pressure from Leyton Orient to hold onto a vital 2-1 home victory over their relegation rivals. The Bulls got off to a flyer when Febian Brandy's excellent finish gave them the lead whilst soon after Steve Guinan doubled the advantage with a penalty. Former Hereford captain Tamika Mkandawire pulled a goal back for the O's on the stroke of half-time before the visitors were superior in the second-half but couldn't find a way of getting past Peter Gulacsi in front of 3,286 at Edgar Street including 427 from East London.

Graham Turner made one change from last weekend's defeat to Peterborough with Jennison Myrie-Williams replaced by Matty Done. It is thought that Myrie-Williams has returned to Bristol City after completing his one month loan spell. Guinan shook off a knock to start up top with Brandy whilst Orient opted for a similar strike force; Scott McGleish providing the experience and Simon Church, on loan from Reading, with the youthful legs.

The opening stages provided a warning to Hereford as Orient used set-pieces well and went close early on. A corner from the left was flicked on to Mkandawire who volleyed goalwards but Richard Jackson stopped his effort on the line. The visitors were undone by Hereford in the 5th minute when Sam Hewson picked up the ball inside the O's half and switched the play to Done. The former Wrexham winger beat his man on the left and sent a low pass into the feet of Brandy, who turned quickly before firing a superb shot on the turn into the far corner to make it 1-0. Alton Thelwell headed wide from a Jimmy Smith free-kick before the defender was in the wrong at the other end, giving away a penalty. A long pass from Godwin Antwi was chased down by Brandy and he got in front of Thelwell before having his legs taken; the assistant referee flagged and a penalty was awarded. Up stepped Guinan who sent Orient 'keeper Jamie Jones the wrong way to double Hereford's advantage.

On loan Chelsea winger Smith showed good skill to evade the challenge of Kris Taylor before firing straight at Gulacsi whilst at the other end, Done and Brandy again linked up with the latter showing quick feet to beat the challenge of Thelwell but could only shoot into the side netting after running into the box. Soon after, the same pair were at it again as Brandy missed a guilt edge chance. Adam Chamber's mis-placed header gave Done the chance to burst from midfield and he did just that beating his man with ease before spotting Brandy in space. The pass and then the first touch was perfect but the finish failed to match it; the Man Utd loanee only had the 'keeper to beat but fired over from 18 yards. United were made to regret the miss as Mkandawire grabbed a goal for the visitors on the stroke of half-time. A deep free-kick was challenged by Mkandawire and at the second attempt, the Malawian born defender toe-poked home from close-range. In stoppage-time, Mkandawire came close to scoring a second by meeting an Antwi clearence with a full volley but Gulacsi gathered, despite being slightly out of position.

During the interval, both sides made defensive changes. Antwi was replaced by Karl Broadhurst whilst Orient introduced Andrew Cave-Brown in place of Thelwall. It was the home side who created the early chances of the second-half with a cross/shot from Done landing on the top of the net after a good switch of play from Guinan. Minutes later, Done was again involved with a forward pass being controlled by Guinan and an early dipping half-volley forcing Jones into a diving save. Church was replaced by Dean Morgan as the visitors looked for more threat in front of goal to go with their high percentage of possession. Sean Thornton aimed to provide this but a long-shot was always curling away from goal whilst at the other end, a cross from Taylor was knocked on by Guinan into the path of Brandy but his little man's left-foot shot was sliced wide of the post.

A long diagonal pass into the Bulls' box was headed into the path of McGleish and just as the veteran striker looked as though he'd pull the trigger, Jackson made an excellent intervention to deny him the chance. The corner resulted in minutes of continual pressure on the Hereford defence with McGleish's header from the set-piece being headed off the line by Hewson whilst from the next corner taken by Charlie Daniels was nodded just past the far post by Jordan Spence.

United were thankful to Gulacsi in the closing stages as he made two top drawer saves to deny Leyton Orient's front two. Firstly, Morgan showed good strength and pace to get past Richard Rose before chipping over Broadhurst allowing McGleish a good chance to shoot with his eventual effort towards goal being tipped around the post by Gulacsi. The Hungarian shot-stopper then denied Morgan after he had latched onto a forward pass by Daniels before stinging Gulacsi's hands with a powerful right-foot shot from 20 yards. Ryan Jarvis came on for Smith late on whilst Andy Williams replaced Brandy, who looked to have picked up a knock early on in the game. The home support was infuriated when the referee awarded five minutes of added time and Orient nearly made Hereford pay when Jarvis met a cross towards the back-post with his head but he couldn't hit the target. United held on in stoppage time and the final whistle was greeted with a huge sense of relief from the Edgar Street faithful.

It was a vital win for Hereford as they start the big week with three points. The visitors will be disappointed that they have come away with nothing as they put United under a lot of pressure in the second period but man of the match Gulacsi ensured the points go to Hereford. Attacking duo Done and Brandy pushed the Liverpool loanee close for the award with the pair linking up well on a number of occasions. Next up for Hereford is two away trips to Yeovil and Crewe, starting with the game at Huish Park on Tuesday night.

Hereford: Gulacsi, Jackson, Antwi, Rose, Taylor, Gwynne, Diagouraga, Hewson, Done, Guinan, Brandy.

Subs: Veiga, Broadhurst, Smith, Johnson, Williams.

Leyton Orient: Jones, Spence, Mkandawire, Thelwell, Daniels, Smith, Chambers, Thornton, Demetriou, Church, McGleish.

Subs: Morris, Cave-Brown, Terry, Jarvis, Morgan.

We got away with it - Turner

There's little doubt Hereford United were somewhat lucky to take three points from this afternoon's game against Leyton Orient and manager Graham Turner admitted as much in his post match interview with BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"You've got to say for the last half hour it was a backs to the wall job," said Turner.

"It looked disorganised but there was plenty of spirit, plenty of fight and we got away with it.

"I thought Leyton Orient caused us all sorts of problems up front but at the same time we always looked capable of creating chances ourselves.

"Should have added to our two goals but we've worked hard and got away with one or two things. Delighted with it.

"We should have been 3-0 up. It was a great start going 2-0 up. Then Febs when he got through really should have scored. Once or twice we got around the back, good positions, probably should have made more of.

"But our biggest problem, particularily first half, was set pieces. We didn't seem able to cope with their height. They delivered some good balls. Once or twice we were almost on top of the keeper defending set pieces."

Turner was asked about the substitution of dender Godwin Antwi.

"I didn't think it was happening for him so Karl Broadhurst knows what the game's about and I made the change."

Turner was also asked about whether he would like to extend the loan of young striker Febian Brandy.

"I'm not sure whether we want him!" said Turner not doubt with a large grin on his face.

Stats from Edgar Street

Below are the main stats from this afternoon's League One match at Edgar Street where Hereford United, who defeated Leyton Orient 2-1, had to defend continually in the second half.

Possession: Bulls 39% Orient 61%

Shots on Target: Bulls 2 Orient 4

Shots off Target: Bulls 7 Orient 5

Corners: Bulls 9 Orient 8

Fouls: Bulls 13 Orient 6

Booked: Hewson, Taylor and Guacsi.

Attendance: 3286 with 427 in the away area.

Mascot: Steve Guinan's Zac. It was a joy to watch father and son warming up together before kick-off.

Bottom of League One:

16 Northampton 32 -1 37
17 Carlisle 33 -9 37
18 Yeovil 33 -16 37
19 Crewe 32 -17 34
20 Swindon 32 -8 33
21 Leyton Orient 33 -15 33
22 Brighton 32 -15 32
23 Hereford 31 -16 30
24 Cheltenham 32 -35 21

Results Round Up

Crewe pulled themselves out of the relegation spots by hammering Brighton 4-0, their fourth straight win. The Seagulls are 22nd with Orient 21st, while 20th placed Swindon lost 1-0 at ten man Tranmere. Yeovil, one of three teams seven points ahead of the Bulls, slip further down the table after losing 2-0 at Walsall. The other two sides on those points saw better, with Carlisle drawing 1-1 with Bristol Rovers, and Northampton picking up a first win in six with a 1-0 win at bottom club Cheltenham.

At the top Leicester's lead stays the same after a 2-2 draw with second placed MK Dons. Peterboro fail to capitalise after going down 2-1 to Southend. Fifth placed Oldham beat Millwall (4th) 3-2, while Leeds move into the play-offs after a 3-2 win over Scunthorpe. Stockport's 1-1 draw with Huddersfield keeps them in contention, while Colchester still can't find that spurt towards the play-offs with a 1-1 draw with Hartlepool.

In League Two Brentford lead the table by four points after beating Bury 1-0. Rochdale are second after beating Grimsby 2-0. The Mariners are two points off the drop zone, and would be 15 points adrift at the bottom but for the pre-season points deductions. Chester drew 2-2 with Dagenham, while Shrewsbury lost 3-0 at Macclesfield.

In the Conference Burton edged closer to promotion with a goalless draw at Woking while Histon closed the gap with a 3-0 win at Lewes. Forest Green drew 1-1 with Grays, while Kidderminster played most of their game with ten men but still beat Eastbourne 2-0. Weymouth fielded a number of their supposedly departed squad and a number of non-contract players rather than a youth side, but still lost 2-0 at York - who were booed off the field at full-time.

Bulls Hold On For Vital Win

The Bulls withstood a late barrage from Leyton Orient to take all three points in today's League One match.

The result never looked in doubt until ex-Bull Tamika Mkandawire poked home a scrambled goal in reply to Febian Brandy's excellent turn and shot and Steve Guinan's penalty. But a series of increasingly bizarre decisions from the referee and both linesmen left the Bulls on the back foot in the second half, but the majority of 3,286 attendance - with 427 from Orient - went home happy.

Three Bulls were booked, but none will face a suspension. Today was the final day of the suspension for five yellow cards, with suspensions now only due on 10 cards and further. The result sees the Bulls remain in 23rd place, but only three points short of safety with at least one game in hand over all their rivals.

Full report later.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Busy Week for Bulls

With three League One Games and a possible behind doors friendly it's going to be a busy week for the Bulls.

First this afternoon is the visit of Leyton Orient, followed by a trip to Yeovil on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday there is a possibility of a behind closed doors friendly with Bristol Rovers at Edgar Street, and next Saturday the Bulls play Crewe at Gresty Road.

With several players recovering from injury, the friendly might give a chance to see just how fit they are, in particular for defenders Karl Broadhurst and Dean Beckwith who are reported to have returned to light training this week.

Back to this afternoon and the visit of Leyton Orient. For the Bulls the match comes after the home game against Peterborough which was lost 1-0 after two successive wins. If the Bulls are to survive in League One this is the sort of game they must take three points from.

For those who can not watch the game in person, there will be updates on BBC Hereford and Worcester and text reports from the usual websites.

Cheltenham not going into administration

Cheltenham Football Club are issued a detailed statement this afternoon which tries to explain their current financial plight and how they hope to continue.

One thing we must make clear is that Cheltenham Town will not be going into administration and the Board are working to re-structure certain aspects of the club in order to ensure that we can field a good, competitive team in either League One or League Two next season.

The statement then sets out three reasons for their difficulties.

Firstly the HM Revenue and Customs whom, they say, are taking a harder line with football clubs including detailed PAYE inspections resulting in additional tax charges on clubs and demanding that tax bills be paid on time and in full.

Secondly the Global Banking Crisis which has meant a tightening up of bank overdrafts.

And thirdly the Robins deficit on football trading

Every year the Board of Cheltenham Town FC sets a budget detailing what it believes will be the likely income for the season. Once these figures are established it is possible to determine how much money can be spent. It is a delicate balancing act and the biggest variables are gate receipts, commercial income and players wages. However, problems can occur when the actual figures that are played out over the season fall short of expectations. This season Cheltenham Town's gate receipts and commercial income are well below budget - partly as a result of poor on-field results and partly due to the national economic downturn. For example, the Board had budged for income of £24,000 from the midweek match against Millwall. However, because the game was postponed and re-arranged to midweek the income was roughly half of that figure. In addition, the Board decided to invest additional funds in the team prior to Christmas in the hope of staving off relegation. This strategy made financial sense as next season's Football League TV deal will result in a much higher payment to League One clubs. However, the strategy has clearly not paid off in terms of results. The one positive is that the new TV deal will also benefit League Two and in the event of relegation the club would not be worse off in terms of central distributions from the Football League.

The statement goes on to say that these three factors have left many football clubs, including Cheltenham, with severe cashflow difficulties. It then details the way the club hopes to survive with cost-cutting measures and hopefully new investment.

The full very detailed statement can be found on the Official Cheltenham Town website and is well worth a read simply to understand the plight they, and possibly some other clubs, find themselves in at present.

Orient - Fighting for their lifes says Turner

In his most recent interview with BBC Hereford and Worcester, Graham Turner has spoken about Leyton Orient who visit Edgar Street tomorrow.

"I think they are fighting for their lifes," said the Hereford United manager.

"They've changed the manager. They've got one or two experienced players in there. The return of Tamika Mkandawire our old central defender.

"I think they have had a little bit of luck of late as well.

"Our players must keep their nerve. If we work hard enough, if we keep our concentration and stay organised then we have every chance of taking three points from this match."

Injury Boost For Bulls

Speaking ahead of tomorrow's match to the official site, Graham Turner has seen the available bodies in his squad increase.

Both Dean Beckwith and Karl Broadhurst are back in training but Steve Guinan remains a doubt with a groin strain. Godwin Antwi has a tight hamstring and Febian Brandy has a slight ankle knock but neither of the loan pair are expected to miss out.

Speaking to BBC H&W Turner hoped for two wins from the coming week: "We've got a big week. Three games against sides around up towards the bottom of the table. Start with Leyton Orient, then Yeovil and Crewe. If we can get two wins out from those three matches we'll be pleased."

Leyton Orient expect to have midfielder Stephen Purches back in contention after a thigh injury but striker Adam Boyd, who is top scorer with nine goals, expects to miss out again with an ankle injury.

A Dozen Clubs Up For Sale

Darlington have joined around a dozen professional football clubs in the English Leagues that are up for sale or chasing significant investment.

Ready investment for several of those sides has already been hard to come by. Some have been on the market for some time with Chester having been up for sale - on and off - for more than a year, while Bournemouth require a second buyer in less than six months after the first ran out of cash - or patience - to invest into the club.

A number of sides are hoping the emotional bond a club has with it's local support will see them through. Weymouth are negotiating with a Devon based businessmen after a consortium of nine locals also made an offer, while Notts County have acknowledged talks over a £2million investment into their black hole from local sources.

Football League chairman Brian Malwhinney doesn't expect clubs to disappear off the map, but a number of clubs that are living close to the edge will find themselves short of offers if they continue to spend themselves into oblivion.

Malwhinney Expects Clubs To Survive

Football League Chairman Brian Malwhinney expects that the League will not lose any of it's members to the economic crisis.

Speaking to Sky Sports about Darlington he said: "The club will be run by the administrator and it's up to him to find new investment and hopefully he will succeed. But it’s the economic climate and it's not great.

"Every club is having to run in a severe economic climate and we are told that it’s the worst for 100 years. There are going to be businesses across the country affected so of course there are football clubs that are going to be affected too."

The former Cabinet minister doesn't think there will be casualties amongst the clubs going into Administration: "One thing they did not give me when I took this job six years ago was a crystal ball so I always resist from delivering speculative answers. But I have no reason to believe the number of clubs in the Football League will diminish between now and the end of the season. If I was asked whether I thought there would be 72 clubs in the Football League after that, I would like to think so.

"The pressure is going to be even more on the clubs to make sure they are living within their means. They are going to have to cut their costs accordingly."

A number of people involved in football have already warned that players wages are likely to reduce this summer, while contract lengths are also expected to decrease with more clubs relying on cheap - and often free - youth team players from higher graded sides to make up the numbers of thinner squads.

Allen Open To Offers On Robins Squad

Such is the state of Cheltenham's finances, Martin Allen has told the press he is open to offers on all of his current squad.

"Any approaches will be considered because we have to cut the wage bill. Letting Alex (Russell) go was not my decision, but if clubs come in for players, the finances are the most important thing at the moment because bills have to be paid. It's out of my hands and I have to respect the financial position the club is in."

Russell departed for Exeter, and will make the move permanent in the summer, while Allen has also seen Alan Fettis depart yesterday due to further cuts at Whaddon Road: "Alan has done a sterling job with (goalkeeper) Scott Brown and he has adapted very well to his scouting position. The scouting network has had to be disbanded and Alan has left in another cost-cutting measure because we have had to cut our cloth immediately. The current economic climate, which we read about every day, is affecting us."

The Robins are on a run of six straight losses, and have not won since back-to-back wins at the start of December. Gates have slumped recently, with Tuesday's home gate a thousand under their average this season.

News Round Up

Trevor Benjamin opened his Kidsgrove Athletic account with both goals in their 2-0 win at Quorn. The win moves the Unibond One South side up to two places off the bottom. Garry Breen has signed a contract with Galway United for the coming Irish League season after scoring in a trial match at the weekend. Keith Downing is set to take up the Assistant Manager role at Port Vale, replacing Ian Brightwell. Moses Ashikodi has been confirmed as a signing for Shrewsbury until the end of the season.

Colchester are expected to recall goalkeeper Dean Gerken from Darlington after the Quakers slipped into Administration. Cheltenham are paying 'peanuts' for loan defender Chris Westwood. The Peterboro man is at the club only on the charity of the bankrolled club. One of the few well run Conference sides Altrincham have had to make their Commercial Executive redundant due to falling commercial income at the club.

Chester remain under a transfer embargo despite owner Stephen Vaughan claiming to have paid off the footballing debts that had forced the Football League to place the block in the first place. Darlington's players will meet with the PFA to discuss their future after being told they would not be paid February's wages today as expected. The PFA hope it is only a temporary glitch while the Administrators assess the club.

Crewe have signed Reading's teenage midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson on a months loan.

Orient Predictions

You can now predict for the upcoming Leyton Orient match tomorrow afternoon.

Entry is simple; send in your score and attendance predictions to along with your chosen name and you're there!

The deadline for the Orient game is at 2.30pm on Saturday 28th February. Please note that you can also predict for Tuesday's visit to Yeovil Town should you wish.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tiny Profit for Shrewsbury Town

Shrewsbury Town have reported a profit of just £1,800 for the year ended June 30th 2008.

Their turnover was £4.32M which was up from £2.38M the previous season.

The gross profit was £546,502. However with administrative expenses of £641,468, the operating loss was £94,966. Interest received totalled £97,659 which left the club with a small profit.

Staff costs during the year totalled about £2.48 million – compared with £1.58 the previous year.

Next month Hereford United will publish their figures for the year ended last May. They are also expected to show a profit albeit somewhat higher than their neighbours up the A49.

Brough Stops Coaching Robins First Team

Ex-Bull John Brough has ended his stint as Assistant Manager at Cheltenham due to the way their youth team is funded.

The subsidies received for their youth team require a qualified coach to be in charge of the scheme, so Brough has been forced to return to his former role leaving Martin Allen to coach the senior side on his own. He has also lost his Chief Scout with Alan Fettis, who doubled as goalkeeper coach, being made redundant due to the ongoing cost cutting with Allen telling their official site:

"John Brough will now have to go back to working with the youth team, due to the way in which it is funded by the Football League. You have to have a fully qualified coach to get the grant that they provide. I'll have to go it alone as manager. I want the players to concentrate on playing. I'll take guidance, and pick the brains of the other staff we have here as I always do, but at the moment I'll be going it alone."

Allen confirmed Alex Russell's departure to Exeter after the player passed a medical: "It's not my choice to see him go but financially, it's the best thing for the football club, although it's not the best decision for the team."

Ashikodi Set For Shrews Stint

Former striker Moses Ashikodi is to become the second released Bulls man to join Shrewsbury's misfiring front line.

The volatile ex-Watford forward scored twice in a reserve match at the Prostar Stadium last night with manager Paul Simpson telling their official site: "I thought that Moses did very well and I'm going to speak to him today with a view to get something sorted until the end of the season.

He showed some good touches and good awareness and had some decent pace around his game. He's really down on his match fitness but that is something we can work on and get improved if we get something sorted."

Ashikodi, who scored once in eight games in spell plagued by injury and indiscipline, would join Nick Chadwick in making the drop to the League Two side. Since moving up the A49 Chadwick has failed to find the net in seven games, with his only goal for the Bulls a solitary penalty in 12 matches.

Weymouth Talk To Investor

Weymouth have rejected a bid from a consortium of local businessmen as they enter advanced talks with a Devon based businessman.

The unnamed businessman has entered the 'due dilligence' stage but there is no certainty of the deal being completed before the weekend. Manager Alan Lewer and coach Marcus Browning are running the rule over a number of trialists, but they are none the wiser whether they will be able to sign any players before Saturday's match.

In other financial news, Oxford chairman Kelvin Thomas has given an interview to the Oxford Mail. When asked about the current state of the club's finances he responds: "It would be very difficult to try and attract players and commercial partners if we stated exactly how much we were losing each week."

The FA may need to ask themselves questions over Northwich's former owner Mike Connett after he was made bankrupt this week - for the second time. He was previously made bankrupt in 1993, and only exited the bankruptcy in 2004 shortly before he passed the FA's 'fit and proper person' test.

Gannon Opts For Stockport Stay

Jim Gannon has turned down the chance to manage Brighton, and will remain Stockport boss for the time being.

Seagulls chairman Dick Knight told their official site: "Jim had certainly caught my eye and we had a lengthy and interesting meeting. But it was a never a done deal, because it was a huge decision for him to leave a club he's served for so long as player and manager. It is disappointing he has chosen to stay with Stockport, but the process to find the new manager will continue over the coming days."

It will certainly be interesting to see how long Gannon remains as the Hatters boss after his comments earlier in the week that his position was 'untenable'. Stockport were understood to have agreed to Brighton approaching their manager for the compensation package that would have eased their financial worries.

News Round Up

Yeovil have lost director Paul Sargent, who was employed by the club's accountants. His departure is believed to have come on the day before Russell Slade's departure. Other departures from the board are expected. Hartlepool manager Chris Turner is to seek a loan striker after having four of his five with the club injured in recent matches.

Leeds will not be offering a contract to veteran Keith Gillespie, but expect to have Derby striker Liam Dickinson in on loan by the weekend after an injury delayed the move. Swindon have handed first year pros Callum Kennedy and Sean Morrison new 12 month contracts and extended the loan of Hal Robson-Kanu for a second month. Scunthorpe have confirmed the signing of Barnsley striker Kayode Odejayi on a months loan.

Darlington's Administrator wants potential bidders to prove they have £2million in funds to enter talks to buy the club. He had already received one credible enquiry within half an hour of the announcement of Administration. Northampton striker Adebayo Akinfenwa has had his ban increased to four matches after his appeal against Tuesday's red card was considered 'frivolous'. Brighton's Adam Virgo has had his ban increased to five games following his appeal over the same incident.

Oldham have signed striker Steve Kabba on loan from Watford until the end of the season. He cost the Hornets £500,000 two years ago but scored only once in 30 matches. He may be a replacement for Dean Windass with the veteran rumoured to be set for a recall to Hull. Yeovil are giving a trial to striker Wayne Andrews, who has just completed a short term deal at Luton. The Glovers have lost the services of loan midfielder Shaun Macdonald after Swansea recalled him due to injuries.

AFC Wimbledon have reported a £223,000 profit for the first six months of this season, thanks largely to progressing to the First Round of the FA Cup.

No Money for Agents from Bulls

Hereford United haven't paid any money to football agents during the first half of the current season.

The latest Football League Agents' Fees Report has revealed that the amount of money being committed to agents by League clubs during the first half of the season has fallen by 28% on last year.

In total, League clubs committed to pay £5.7m to agents between August and December 2008, compared to £7.9m for the second half of 2007. A third of League clubs (24) did not commit any money at all to agents.

In League 1 there were 542 (607) player transactions, 35 (99) involving payment to an agent.

Clubs committed to spend a total of £740,160 (£1,039,484) on agents' fees during this period.

10 (3) clubs did not pay for the services of a licensed agent - Cheltenham Town, Crewe Alexandra, Hartlepool United, Hereford United, Millwall, Northampton Town, Peterborough United, Scunthorpe United, Swindon Town and Tranmere Rovers.

Guinan doubt for Orient Game

Hereford United striker Steve Guinan may miss Saturday's League One game against Leyton Orient. He is said to have a groin problem.

“Steve is looking doubtful which is a blow for us,” manager Graham Turner told the Hereford Times.

“He has been working hard for us and scoring goals.”

Jennison Myrie-Williams has also missed training this week. He was subbed last Saturday against Peterborough because of an injury.

The paper does not mention any other fresh injury concerns for the Bulls.

Turner hits out at Critics of Loan System

Graham Turner has hit out at critics of the way he has used the loan system for players.

The Hereford United manager has said that since Gary Peters the former Shrewsbury Town manager mentioned the subject others including 'a chap named Adrian Durham on Talk Sport radio' have taken it up.

However it was Sky Sports’ George Gavin and Chris Kamara talking about the Bulls' victory over Leeds that really brought it to Turner's attention.

"It was suggested that we got promotion on the back of loan players, now we were trying to survive on the back of loan players," Turner told the Hereford Times.

"We could not carry a big squad of players so we made a conscious decision to keep an eye on younger players at bigger clubs, cultivate connections with some bigger clubs and use the loan system to our advantage.

"Leeds, the biggest club in our division by miles, had three loan players against us last Tuesday yet I never see any adverse comment concerning that.

"So it really gets under my skin when we are referred to as a club that is skint and has to use the loan market.

"Maybe we had the sense to use it before anyone else saw its advantages and we will continue to do so."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Darlington Enter Administration

Darlington have entered Administration, it has been confirmed this afternoon. A club statement reads:

Darlington Football Club has entered into Administration. Dave Clark of Brackenbury Clark & Co has been appointed as Administrator and will take over the running of the club with immediate effect. Brackenbury Clark & Co has retained the services of solicitors, Walker Morris who has significant experience in football club administration.

The Quakers slip into Administration for the second time in just over five years. The first Administration was largely caused by the overambitious building of the 27,000 capacity Darlington Arena, with the latest crisis largely being blamed on the costs of running the structure.

The Quakers are getting barely one tenth of the Arena's capacity through the doors on matchdays, and the club announced in December that they were considering demolishing part of it to make way for office buildings - however the current economic crisis made those plans unviable at the present time.

The club will immediately incur a ten point penalty, slipping from seventh to eleventh in the League Two table while further points deductions may follow next season depending on how they are able to exit Administration.

Update: Departing chairman George Houghton has told the Northern Echo the club are losing £54,000 a week, and have a £4million debt. He claims to have put £1.1million into the club since December to cover ongoing losses and is the largest creditor having put in £3million during his two and a half year tenure.

Preview: Bulls vs Leyton Orient

The Bulls face relegation rivals Leyton Orient in a crunch League One match at Edgar Street on Saturday.

When the pair faced on the opening day of this season it was their first meeting in eleven years. That day Orient replicated the Bulls last trip to Brisbane Road with a 2-1 win so the Bulls will hope to replicate the last meeting at Edgar Street in October 2006. That day Dean Smith and Gareth Stoker secured a 2-0 win for the Bulls, with Smith lining up against his future managerial colleague Martin Ling.

The Bulls will hope a number of minor niggling injuried will have been cured for the weekend. The soothing of two sore groins, a few runny noses, and Dean Beckwith returning to his senses will give the squad a bit more depth than in recent matches. With nine games in 29 days potentially deciding the club's fate the players will be concentrating on keeping fit rather than training hard to give the squad it's best chance of survival.

Since new boss Geraint Williams was appointed Orient have secured a win, draw, and loss from their three games. Dull is the byword of the new regime, with Orient scoring only one goal and conceding only one goal in those three games - although that will come as little surprise to their fans. Orient fans have seen the fewest goals for and against this season of all League One fans are are second only to Doncaster in the Football League. The club have only eight different League scorers this season, with ex-Bull Tamika Mkdandawire second top scorer.

Hereford United vs Leyton Orient, Edgar Street, Saturday 28th February, 3.00pm.

News Round Up

Millwall loan striker Vincent Pericard is out for the season after rupturing an achilles tendon during last night's match with Cheltenham. Cheltenham are being forced to loan out midfielder Alex Russell with Martin Allen needing the deal to go through 'to keep the club going'. The veteran is one of the higher earners at the club, and is to hold talks with Exeter.

Darlington have renamed their home the Northern Echo Arena after securing a new sponsorship. The BBC reports this morning that rumours suggest it is on the verge of Administration after last night's attendance plunged their season average under 3,000 - 900 under last season's average. The club have declined to make an official statement.

Notts County's Supporters Trust is claimed to be on the verge of issuing a vote of no confidence in club chairman John Armstrong-Holmes. The Trust is the majority shareholder in the club, but claims it has been denied major financial information. Yesterday news broke of potential investment of £2million from a group of local businessmen.

Weymouth have been offered an unusual money raising route. 'Celebrity' psychic Dean 'Midas' Maynard has offered to gather sponsorship and donations to play in their final match of the season. Maynard is a former trainee with Reading, and has played non-league for a string of clubs. Local rivals Dorchester, who have held merger talks with the Terras, have been charged by the FA over the 30% pay cut they forced on their players.

Northwich have appointed former Worcester duo Andy Preece and Andy Morrison as caretaker manager and assistant. Morrison left his position as Worcester no.2 after a physical altercation on the touchlines that caused a pre-season match to be abandoned. Accrington have slashed season ticket prices for next season. £230 seated tickets this season have been cut to £150 - £6.50 per match - with terrace tickets £10 cheaper if purchased in the next five weeks. Under 12's will be let in free.

Peterboro defender Gabriel Zakuani did not suffer serious injury to his neck after falling awkwardly during last night's match with Carlisle. Zakuani was stretchered off in a brace, but x-rays show no major problems and he is expected to miss two weeks. Carlisle have agreed to sign former Bulls trialist keeper Adam Collin on a one year contract in the summer. The 24 year old former Newcastle trainee spent part of pre-season at Edgar Street two years ago.

Northampton have appealed against Adebayo Akinfenwa's red card in their match with Brighton last night. He clashed with Adam Virgo and both were dismissed for violent conduct. Crewe have lost defender Dennis Lawrence for at least a month after he fractured a cheekbone in last night's win over Yeovil. Rushden will pull the plug on their youth system in order to save a six-figure sum next season. Four of their current first team squad graduated through the scheme.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gannon to talk to Brighton Chairman

Stockport County manager Jim Gannon is to meet Brighton chairman Dick Knight this morning. Last night Stockport lost 1-0 at Colchester.

Stockport Chairman Martin Reid has given Gannon, who has said that his job at Edgeley Park is 'untenable', permission to speak to Brighton.

"I think everybody knows how much I love this club and I think everybody knows how much I've been tormented by what has gone on in the last six or seven weeks," said Gannon as reported by the Argus.

"I have been put into a difficult position but I respect that the approach has been made and we'll see what happens. It's going to be a huge decision."

"My position at the club became untenable a long time ago. But because of my passion for the club and out of respect for all of the staff, players and fans, I've stayed.

"I have remained committed but the most important thing is to make sure that this club continues to exist and progresses."

Brighton Chairman Knight told their official site last night that he was due to speak to two people about the job, with the sucessful candidate hoped to be in place for the weekend.

FL lift Robins' Transfer Embargo

It appears that the Football League have lifted a transfer embargo recently placed on Cheltenham Town. The FL were set to discuss the financial problems at the club earlier today.

Details are sketchy but it appears the Robins owed Leicester City money for the loan of players earlier in the season. It is thought the players were James Wesolowski, Barry Hayles, Lethaniel Rowe Turner and Jonny Hayes.

Yesterday manager Martin Allen admitted that the signing of Wolves youngster Ashley Hemmings could not be finalised until some paperwork regarding money owed was completed.

However Hemmings was named on the bench for the Robins implying that the FL has lifted the embargo.

The Cheltenham players had to wait for their wages last week because of cash flow problems at the club.

Yeovil Tickets and Transport

Tickets for the Yeovil away match next Tuesday are available from the Hereford United office at a £2 discount except for Juniors. Both seated and terrace tickets are on sale.


Adults: £16
Concessions over 65 and Students with a card: £12
Juniors under 16: £6


Adults: £15
Concessions: £10
Juniors: £5

For those who have never been to Yeovil the terrace area is still uncovered and, like at Carlisle, there is a remote possibility of a few missiles being lopped over from behind the back of the terrace.

HUISA, HUMADS and the FUNBUS are all going to Yeovil.

HUISA: Depart Edgar Street at 2.45. Fare £15 (£14 for members). Tickets from the club office or in Legends pre the Leyton Orient game next Saturday.

HUMADS: Depart Ledbury 2-30pm, Edgar Street 3pm, Ross 3.30pm and Monmouth 3.45pm.
Cost £12. More details contact Reg on 01684 572945 OR 07958 176 937

FUNBUS: Depart 3.30pm from Edgar Street. Fare £10 assuming all seats taken. Refreshments at Burnham-on-Sea. Arrive Huish Park 7.00 pm. Contact Ox or Chesh ASAP.

Results Round Up

Crewe move within two points of safety after beating Yeovil 2-0, while Cheltenham lost a half time lead in losing 3-1 at home to Millwall. Brighton earned a valuable point with a 1-1 draw with Northampton, with both sides ending the game with ten men.

At the top Peterboro's 1-0 win over Carlisle closed the gap to second to a single point with Millwall's win moving them up to fourth. Oldham's 2-0 loss to Bristol Rovers saw them slip to fifth with Scunthorpe sliding to sixth after losing 2-0 at Southend. Colchester beat Stockport 1-0 to see the Hatters slide down to eighth.

Bottom of League One:

16 Yeovil 32 -14 37
17 Carlisle 32 -9 36
18 Northampton 31 -2 34
19 Swindon 31 -7 33
20 Leyton Orient 32 -14 33
21 Brighton 31 -11 32
22 Crewe 31 -21 31
23 Hereford 30 -17 27
24 Cheltenham 31 -34 21

In League Two the action was concentrated at the bottom of the table with Bournemouth's 1-0 win over Dagenham putting them within two points of Grimsby, who lost 3-2 at home to Morecambe after squandering a 2-0 lead. Accrington drew 0-0 with Luton in front of just 1,033 as the televised Champions League hammered attendances across the board.

In the Conference the betting coup of the day turned into an anti-climax after Northwich disappointed half of the people involved in matching £510,000 on Betfair with a goalless draw with Kettering. Also disappointed were Forest Green, who wasted a two goal lead to only get a 3-3 draw at Torquay.

News Round Up

Weymouth's players are now free agents, with eight of them expected to sign for new clubs in League Two, the Conference, and the Irish League in the next 24 hours. The FA is to investigate the betting on their match with Rushden at the weekend. Nine of the 19 bookies listed on the Oddschecker betting site have suspended betting on tonight's Northwich match with Kettering after six players walked out of the club. Kettering's odds have been slashed since the announcement.

Colchester are to investigate claims that Southend matchwinner Franck Moussa was subjected to racist abuse during their derby match. Swindon have extended the loan of Doncaster defender Gordon Greer for two more months. Brighton have received applications for their manager's job from Romania, France, Sweden, Hungary, and Italy.

Huddersfield have recalled goalkeeper Simon Eastwood from his loan at Woking due to an injury to no.2 stopper Matt Glennon. Scunthorpe have added Southampton defender Joseph Mills to their squad on a months loan. Carlisle have loaned striker Kevin Gall to Port Vale for a month.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Eight League One Fixtures This Evening

There are eight League One fixtures taking place this evening but Hereford United are not involved and neither are their opponents on Saturday - Leyton Orient.

Whatever the outcome of these games the Bulls will still be in 23rd position in the table.

List of this evening's fixtures:

Brighton v Northampton
Cheltenham v Millwall
Colchester v Stockport
Crewe v Yeovil
Oldham v Bristol Rovers
Peterborough v Carlisle
Southend v Scunthorpe
Swindon v Hartlepool

Graham Turner will probably be quite pleased the Bulls don't have a fixture this evening as several of his side have been under the weather recently.

"Towards the end of last week we had several players complaining about colds," said Turner in his latest OS interview.

"Toumani (Diagouraga) had a day off, Sam Gwynne was another one along with one or two others.

"So this gives us the opportunity to use the week to get everybody back nice and fresh and ready to start again against Leyton Orient."

Anthony Taylor to Referee on Saturday

Anthony Taylor from Manchester is set to referee next Saturday's League One game at Edgar Street where Leyton Orient will be the visitors.

Taylor started refereeing when he was sixteen in his local Wythenshawe Leagues before moving on to the Northern Premier League in 2001. In 2005 he was promoted to the National List of assistant referees and after only one season was promoted to the referees’ list.

The last time Taylor was in charge of a game involving Hereford was in January 2008 when Barnet were the visitors to Edgar Street. The Bulls lost 2-1, Trevor Benjamin was the scorer, and there were no bookings.

The previous season he was the man in the middle for the home game against Wrexham and the away game at Bristol Rovers.

To date this campaign he has covered 28 games giving out 66 yellow cards and just 4 red cards.

Meanwhile Tony Penn has been choosen to referee next Tuesday's evenings game at Yeovil.

Spare a thought for Weymouth

Hereford United maybe fighting against the possibility of relegation but their situation is nothing compared to that at Weymouth where the money has run out.

This article, written by Iain D, first appeared on the Weymouth Forum.

God Save the Terras, for there but for grace, go we.

There are so many reasons why Saturday 21st February 2009 will stick around a long time in my memory.

A beautiful clear blue sky, a mild change of the weather where spring could be smelt in the nostrils and the sun on your back made you wonder just for a moment if that extra layer of clothes, worn most of the year to counter that Dorset wind, were really going to be needed.

The football ground on the edge of town looked the same. A relic of its time, unsympathetic and deteriorating but nonetheless an arena for triumphs and tears, of championship parades and many, many ruined weekends. Inside, familiar faces of the faithful, some not seen for some time, had all come to this place. They had come wearing their colours, with flags, balloons, voices and an inflatable dolphin. I bought a hot tea and it tasted like it always did.

But this was not a day for the ordinary. Slashed admission prices signified a turn for the worse at this, our beloved Weymouth Football Club. Mid-table in the Blue Square Premier, the best team of footballers most of us had seen pull on the shirt had not been paid for almost two months and had already given notice to find new employment. On Saturday, with their medical insurance expired due to the dire financial situation at the club, they didn’t take to the pitch. No-one blamed them. They were committed and proud players. The day after they put in their notice, they beat Torquay United 2-0 away from home.

And so it was that a few minutes shy of 3 o’clock on Saturday afternoon, that most traditional of football times before television changed everything, a team comprised almost completely of youth players stepped up to take their seniors’ places. There were surely nerves, but they battled not to show it. On the terraces, the 900-odd faithful knew a heavy defeat was certain, that it was a case of limiting the damage. Rushden & Diamonds FC, who by the luck of the draw happened to be the visitors that day, looked like monsters. It was they who had to deliver the slaughter. Some fans chose to exploit the ignorance of the bookies whose knowledge rarely ventured this far down football’s pyramid. They had placed substantial bets on their team to lose, pledging the winnings to their club’s fighting fund.

Within 10 minutes, Rushden had taken a two goal advantage and any faint hopes that maybe we could see a miracle had long been eclipsed. With every passing goal against, there were cries from the fans behind the goal: “Keep it going lads!” “Come on you Terras!” “I’m Weymouth till I die…” It was going to be a slow and very painful death.

The score ceased to matter. Something more important was happening: from our youngsters, the occasional passing move or brave run was applauded and tackles were cheered. And if an occasional tackle wasn’t as well timed as it was intentioned, the assailed would pick himself up and give a slap of encouragement to his assailant, while the referee didn’t take his cards out of his pocket for 90 minutes. Each scramble and save was hailed with delirium. While Petr Cech had four shots on target to contend with that afternoon in the Chelsea goal, debutant Weymouth keeper Joe Prodomo had sixteen. But no-one was asking how the big game at Villa Park was going. And no-one dissented when the announcement of Prodomo’s man of the match award came over the public address.

Rushden spared us a goal tally in double figures. The young combatants had only conceded nine when the final whistle came. But where thoughts usually turned to that night’s tea or trying to avoid the car park queue, the fans refused to go home. With applause ringing around the ground from opposition fans and players as well as the home support, the young players – with chins up and chests out – raised their hands aloft and applauded back. There were tears in eyes and pride in hearts and we remembered what it felt to belong. This was beyond the politics, beyond the squabbles over who owned what, beyond the egos and personal agendas, beyond the previous chairmen and future owners, beyond who was to blame. We were there in the moment, with a community football club that we loved, with young local players who had given their all for the shirt, with fans who understood that and who knew that sometimes football is about more than just a result.

As we left that same unsympathetic and deteriorating stadium that afternoon, we felt real fear that we may have been doing it for the last time. For us, there is no golden ticket of Sky Money. It is an irrelevance to us. Victims of financial mismanagement, the faithful young and old have pledged money and practical deeds in an effort to save the club. We have come to understand that there isn’t always a white knight to come to the rescue. We have no international stars to sell, no gravy train from which to profit. We are the princess in the tower but the prince is nowhere to be seen. Maybe we don’t look as beautiful as we once did.

After the game, the messages of support came. From Oxford, Wrexham, Bournemouth, Southampton, Exeter, Cambridge, Hereford, Southend, Halifax, Barrow, Notts County, Barnet, Swindon, Bristol City, Kettering, Didcot, Yeovil. They all understood. Many of them had been through dark days themselves and come through in one way or another. York City fans put on a bus to make it easier for our fans to make the big round trip the following week.

There is still a football family. It is alive in non-league and it is alive in the lower divisions. It is still the people’s game. It still thrives despite obscene amounts of money ending up in fewer and fewer hands, despite the ignorance of overpaid pundits on live television who celebrate each passing goal in a men-against-boys rout like despotic Roman Emperors at the Colosseum.

There does not need to be humiliation in losing at home by the odd goal in nine. You can still find pure human qualities of dignity, respect and belonging, the quality of people giving their all, to the absolute maximum of their ability, with honesty and pride of the best kind. Football isn’t about who can be the most successful, it’s still about the blood that runs through your veins.

If you can’t hear us, we’ll have another lager…

Up the Terras.

Ebbsfleet Next As MyFC Falters

Ebbsfleet are facing an uncertain future after thousands of their MyFC owners deserted the club.

It is being reported that less than 10,000 of the 32,000 membership at peak remain with the unique project as the bulk of renewals for membership went unanswered. Some claim that the renewal rate is just 14%, with half the membership remaining yet to get to the one year stage, and insufficient monies have been raised to see the club through the season.

The club are losing a reported £60,000 a month, with the MyFC project pumping up to £500,000 into it on top of the £635,000 purchase price. However heavy spending has not brought results with the club lying just two points above the Conference drop zone, although gates have increased by 20% this season to around 1,300.

Member interest in Ebbsfleet has been waning since the summer. 7,500 voted in the poll to sell striker John Akinde to Bristol City in August, but just 3,000 gave an opinion on signing defender Darius Charles last month and less than 500 voted on whether they should pick the team for their postponed match with Wrexham.

Meanwhile, Northwich have had six of their unpaid players ask to leave following Steve King's resignation as manager at the weekend. Four of the six are non-contract, with all of them King's signings from his short reign.

Lovely feeling to score against Bulls says Mclean

Peterborough United's Aaron Mclean has hit out at Hereford United supporters who reminded him last Saturday of his confrontation with Andy Tretton, the Bulls' defender, that led to Tretton being sent-off in a Conference play-off game five years ago.

"I'm still not very popular in these parts. You'd have thought they'd have got over something that happened five years ago by now, but clearly they have nothing better to do than abuse me," Mclean told the Peterborough Telegraph.

"I had to go back to the team coach before the game to pick up my iPod and some of their fans had a go then.

"I took no notice, but it was a lovely feeling to score against them. I scored here for Aldershot a few years ago and celebrated by impersonating a bull while a team-mate pretended to be a matador.

"This time I just put my fingers on my head to show the horns of the bull. It's fair to say I enjoyed the moment.

"To be honest the stick I get here just motivates me to play well and to score. I certainly don't let it affect me."

News Round Up

Weymouth's match at the weekend was the 'centre of the betting universe' according to the Racing Post. Betfair recorded £680,000 on their site alone, with normal bookies suggesting they had paid out over £500,000. Manager Alan Lewer has told the press that nine of his senior players will sign for other clubs this week.

It is claimed that sixteen of the 24 Conference clubs have failed to adhere to the financial reporting that replaced the wage capping system this season. Cheltenham boss Martin Allen has reiterated his intention not to quit the club despite falling twelve points short of safety. The Robins have signed Wolves' 18 year old forward Ashley Hemmings on loan.

Crewe have extended the loan of defender Marlon Broomes until the end of the season. Scunthorpe have signed Ipswich midfielder Liam Trotter on a months loan. Chester have sacked assistant boss Steve Bleasdale, with Mark Wright refusing to discuss the reasons why. No Bulls in the Team of the Week. Ex-Bull Tamika Mkandawire is nominated alongside two each from Leicester and Southend.

Gannon could leave Stockport County

The Brighton Press is suggesting that Stockport County manager Jim Gannon could upsticks and move to the South Coast.

Brighton chairman Dick Knight is reported to be keen on securing Gannon for the manager's job after the club parted company with Micky Adams last week.

Should Gannon leave Stockport it would be another problem for the Hatters who have pressing demands from the Inland Revenue.

Gannon holds a full UEFA Pro coaching Licence and is a trained accountant.

Meanwhile Chester's assistant manager Steve Bleasdale has been sacked.

"Steve Bleasdale has left the football club," said manager Mark Wright.

"I'm not happy with certain things and both the chairman and myself have asked him to stay away."

Highlights from last Saturday on Virgin

The highlights from last Saturday's game against Peterborough are now available from Virgin Media.

Click the Virgin link on the left of this article.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Breen Not Offered Macc Deal

Ex-Bull Garry Breen has not been offered a deal by Macclesfield, with Keith Alexander unable to offload any of his existing players, and is now on trial with Galway United.

Alexander told Sky Sports: "He has moved on now because although I wanted to bring another centre-back in, I wasn't able do to so, as I've already got four on the books. It was disappointing I couldn't add him to the squad though because he was a very good player."

Breen played, and scored, for Ian Foster's Galway United in a pre-season match against UCD yesterday. The Irish league season doesn't start until March. Breen has missed out in the annual FAI player awards. Having been nominated in the under 19 category, he missed out on the award to Norwich's Michael Spillane.

Hereford gave us a good test - Ferguson

A few paragraphs from Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson after his side defeated Hereford United 1-0 at Edgar Street yesterday.

"We were very professional and it was a good performance," said Ferguson as reported by ITV.

"We got a great start but probably we should have been further ahead at the break.

"But the first half was as good as we have played for a while. We did have further chances and at 1-0 you never know and Hereford gave us a good test.

"I don't think that we were hanging on but it was also important to get a clean sheet as well.

"We had chances to kill the game off especially late on but I knew at sometime we would come under pressure but we stood strong."

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

There are just 16 games remaining for Hereford United in League One this season, eight of which are at home and eight on the road.

Currently the Bulls have 27 points and to be reasonably certain of safety from relegation could need another 25 or so points. That means either eight wins and a draw, seven wins and four draws, six wins and seven draws or five wins and ten draws.

Whilst the Bulls dropped three points yesterday, they did play a team that is currently third in the table. And for the record Posh have scored exactly twice as many goals as the Bulls this season to date, 58 as opposed to 29. So after two steps forward from the Cheltenham and Leeds games, this was one, hopefully only small, step back.

Looking forward the Bulls have to play both the top two teams in the League, Leicester and Milton Keynes, at home. They will be difficult games and the Bulls will probably be very lucky to get a point from either. However the other home games are all against clubs currently in tenth position or lower.

Leyton Orient (20th), Bristol Rovers (14th), Southend (13th), Huddersfield (10th), Brighton (21st), and Colchester (12th).

As regards the away games, the hardest trip looks to be to Scunthorpe (5th) on a Tuesday evening. Tranmere (9th) on Easter Monday looks another game which the Bulls might do well to take anything from.

But otherwise all the games are against mid or lower table clubs.

Yeovil (15th), Crewe (22nd), Swindon (19th), Carlisle (17th), Hartlepool (16th), Northampton (18th).

The team didn't play as well yesterday as in the previous two games. The passing was, at times, poor and there seemed too much hesitancy going forward. But at the end of the day there was only one goal in it. And some thought that was offside.

Hereford United are at home next Saturday to Leyton Orient. All being well by around 4.50pm the Bulls will have another three points to their credit. Another step forward towards safety.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Crisis Club Round Up

Weymouth managed a crowd of just 967 after slashing admission prices in what could have been their last match. With players unpaid in 2009, and there being no insurance in place, loan signing Jordan Collins was the oldest player fielded today at the age of 20 and the only one with any Conference experience - having started nine games over the past two seasons. With no squad left, manager Alan Lewer is expected to quit shortly and will be followed out the door by Chief Executive Gary Calder. Even if the club finish the season being the Conference whipping boys, they are unlikely to be allowed to remain in the division.

Northwich were handed back the keys to their ground yesterday, 37 days after being locked out, but this morning lost manager Steve King as he resigned after 109 days. Like Weymouth, their players and staff have not been paid for over two months and the first player walkout - of Lee Steele to Barrow - is likely not to be the last.

Lewes face a winding up order from Portakabin in early March with a self-imposed deadline for investors already passed, meaning that the court date will decide their future without immediate investment. Having now lost nine straight games they have had to return two loan players back to Barnet as they didn't have the money to pay for them. They are 15 points short of safety, and expect to fail ground grading regulations to retain their Conference status anyway, so they are expected to enter Administration in the next two weeks.

Guinan given an eight

Hereford United striker and current captain, Steve Guinan, was given an eight for his hard work in the game against Peterborough this afternoon at Edgar Street.

Central defenders Richard Rose and Godwin Antwi both received a seven as did Toumani Diagouraga in midfield.

Most of the remaining players received a six except Sam Gwynne, who was subbed before halftime, Jennison Myrie-Williams who was also subbed after a knock, and Simon Johnson. These three were given a five.

Whilst the referee tried to keep the game flowing, he did receive some critism from supporters on times. However it was nothing like that given to the linesman on the Main Stand side. He appeared to be someway behind play when Peterborough scored their only goal. Many supporters close to the action thought that the goalscorer, Aaron Mclean, was well offside.

Stats from the Posh Match

Below are most of the stats from this afternoon's League One game at Edgar Street.

Possession: Bulls 46% Posh 54%

Shots on Target: Bulls 2 Posh 9

Shots off Target: Bulls 6 Posh 6

Corners: Bulls 6 Posh 10

Fouls: Bulls 8 Posh 9

Bookings: No Hereford United players were booked.

Attendance: 3217 with 364 in the away end.

Bottom of League One:

18 Northampton 30 -2 33
19 Swindon 30 -6 33
20 Leyton Orient 32 -14 33
21 Brighton 30 -11 31
22 Crewe 30 -23 28
23 Hereford 30 -17 27
24 Cheltenham 30 -32 21

Organised Posh pick up points

A confident and classy Peterborough side completed the double over Hereford United with a 1-0 victory at Edgar Street this afternoon. Darren Ferguson's side took the lead after just three minutes when Aaron McLean latched on to a pass over the top by George Boyd to calmly slot past Peter Gulacsi. Hereford rallied in the second half but created little in front of 3,217, including 364 from Peterborough.

After the mid-week win over Leeds United, Graham Turner kept the same starting line-up with the only change coming on the bench where new signing Michael D'Agostino replaced Craig Jones. The visitors started with Man Utd loanee James Chester at the back playing against two of his team-mates in Sam Hewson and Febian Brandy whilst former Conference trio, Boyd, Craig Mackail-Smith and McLean led the attack for the opposition as per normal.

The first opportunity of the game led to the only goal; Boyd showed good vision to chip a ball over the Bulls' back-line and McLean raced clear to easily sweep the ball past Gulacsi. There were strong appeals for offside and rightly so, McLean looked a yard offside when the ball was played. Hereford responded to the early set-back with a burst from Toumani Diagouraga leading to Steve Guinan having space to run into but he opted for a shot and Joe Lewis held on easily. Sam Gwynne sliced a half-volley wide from 30 yards after Hewson had shifted the ball to him whilst at the other end, McLean followed up a blocked cross to smash a wild shot harmlessly into the Meadow End.

Peterborough should have doubled their advantage after a powerful shot by Russel Martin wasn't held by Gulacsi and the follow-up from McLean should have been dispatched but instead, Gulacsi made up for his earlier error by getting the slightest of touches to divert it wide. Another strong appeal for offside was turned down when Boyd again sent McLean through but this time the former Aldershot striker dragged a left-foot shot past the post. Dean Keates, who was tidy in possession throughout, sent a long-range effort past the post whilst a cross from Guinan was met by Godwin Antwi, but the loanee was leaning back and couldn't create any power in his header. Just before half-time, Gwynne was subbed off with Simon Johnson replacing the youngster for what I assume was a tactical change.

At half-time, Jennison Myrie-Williams was taken off due to injury and Ben Smith replaced him. It led to a 4-1-4-1 formation, with Hewson playing just in front of the defence and Brandy taking up a position out on left-wing. It was the visitors who showed the early attacking intent in the second-half when Charlie Lee fed Boyd down the left and the former Stevenage winger crossed for Mackail-Smith, who had got in front of his marker but somehow put a side-foot shot past the post from close-range. A Kris Taylor free-kick wasn't fully cleared and a follow-up volley from Smith was blocked before Lee, obviously struggling with injury, was replaced by Daniel Blanchett. Diagouraga found space in the middle of the park and was encouraged to shoot but his strike bounced well wide.

Hereford's best chance of the second-half fell to Guinan, after he beat the offside trap, rather belatedly, to meet a forward pass from Richard Jackson with a rasping right-foot shot which dipped just over Lewis's crossbar. Superb work from McLean saw him go close after he controlled, turned and then shot all in one movement with the ball trickling just past the post. Hewson struck wide from long-range as Hereford were limited to long shots before the visitors went close after Boyd turned inside Jackson but saw a right-foot shot hit straight at Gulacsi. Boyd once again fed McLean with a chipped pass and the striker struck into the body of Gulacsi with an early strike. Late on, Chris Whelpdale replaced Lee Frecklington with the winger nearly ending the action with a goal after Mackail-Smith had set him up but his right-foot shot was well stopped by Gulacsi.

After the euphoria of the last two results, Hereford were bought back down to earth by a steady and solid Peterborough team. The Bulls created little in front of goal with the visitors creating the better openings although McLean's goal appeared to be offside. The officials in general were poor, with the one linesman making a number of poor decisions. Hereford will need to re-group and re-focus with a huge week of football coming up starting next Saturday when Leyton Orient visit Edgar Street.

Hereford: Gulacsi, Jackson, Antwi, Rose, Taylor, Gwynne, Hewson, Diagouraga, Myrie-Williams, Guinan, Brandy.

Subs: Veiga, Smith, Done, D'Agostino, Johnson.

Peterborough: Lewis, Martin, Zakauni, Chester, Lee, Mackail-Smith, Coutts, Keates, Frecklington, Boyd, McLean.

Subs: Blanchett, Green, Whelpdale, Torres, Wright.

Turner unhappy with the way Posh scored

In his post match interview with BBC Hereford and Worcester Graham Turner expressed his view that the players hadn't taken enough notice of all the pre-match warnings about Peterborough's front men.

"We got off to a bad start," said the Hereford United manager.

"For all the warnings, I'm sick and tired of telling them not to let anybody get in behind us. That was their big threat and within what three or four minutes they are in behind us for a goal.

"That is one thing I can not understand and can not except from players - when they are warned about the threat and we let it happen with one long straight ball that causes the problem.

"After that we looked lethargic, we're chasing the game, on edge.

"The young players who played so well on Tuesday suddenly found themselves chasing a goal.

"I thought to be fair to Peterborough they dominated the first half in the main but second half we gave it a go. We re-organised a little bit without creating too many chances.

"But the disappointment without a shadow of a doubt was the goal that we conceded. Had we come off with a goal-less goal we would have been quite happy.

"That was criminal, that's driven me mad that goal we conceded."

Next Saturday it's Leyton Orient and Turner admits his side will have to bounce back.

"We've put in good two performances and today we failed. We failed with any of our passing, we never really got hold of the ball."

Ex-Bull Watch

Michael McIndoe set up both goals as Bristol City beat Reading 2-0. Tamika Mkandawire scored the only goal of the game as Leyton Orient beat Hartlepool. Gary Hooper scored the opener for Scunthorpe but they lost 4-2. Ryan Esson kept a clean sheet for Inverness as they beat Hibs. Gareth Sheldon scored the only goal as Tamworth beat Workington.

Results Round Up

Cheltenham's 2-0 loss at Leeds puts them rock bottom and twelve points short of safety. Crewe move above the Bulls after beating Huddersfield 3-1, with Brighton remaining in the drop zone despite beating Millwall 1-0. Leyton Orient also won 1-0 at Hartlepool to be one of the three 'target' sides on 33 points. Swindon are another after coming back from 2-0 down at half time to beat nine man Scunthorpe 4-2, and Northampton are the third after losing 2-0 at home to Walsall.

At the top Leicester survived the dismissal of Jack Hobbs to beat Bristol Rovers 1-0 and edge towards promotion. MK Dons stay second after a 1-1 draw at Tranmere, with Peterboro third four points behind. Oldham are fourth after drawing 2-2 at Yeovil, while Stockport remain close to the play-offs after a 2-1 win at Carlisle. Southend beat Colchester in the Essex derby to leave both in mid table.

In League Two Brentford remain three points clear after a 2-1 win at Rochdale, with Wycombe not playing until Monday. Bury are third with a 2-0 win over Notts County, with Shrewsbury fourth - and one of six clubs within two points of each other - despite losing 3-1 to bottom side Luton. Chester drew 0-0 with Exeter to end a run of six straight defeats.

In the Conference Weymouth fielded ten youth teamers and one loanee after the first team refused to play with no insurance in place and they were thumped by Rushden 9-0 in a game reported to have had over £500,000 staked on it in Rushden's favour.

Bulls Not So Posh

The Bulls lost today's League One encounter by the only goal of the game at Edgar Street today.

Peterboro were quick off the blocks and Aaron Mclean scored the only goal after just three minutes, though the home fans were sure he was offside for George Boyd's pass. 3217 watched the game with 364 visitors. The result sees the Bulls slip a place to 23rd, with the gap to safety up to six points.

Full report later.

Hudson-Odoi on trial at Grays.

Bradley Hudson-Odoi has gone on trial with Grays Athletic according to the OS.

He hasn't featured for the Bulls since November.

The club says he is on trial for a week with a view to a loan for the rest of the season.

Brighton part company with Adams

Brighton and Hove Albion have parted company with manager Micky Adams by 'mutual consent'.

Adams met with chairman Dick Knight yesterday afternoon.

"Nobody would dispute that results have been disappointing and I am very sad, as all Albion fans will be, that things haven't worked out," said Knight.

Dean White and Bob Booker will take charge of the team for their game at Millwall today and against Northampton Town on Tuesday.

Adams is the fourth League One mamager to have parted company with his club since the new year.

January 10 - Jimmy Mullen (Walsall)

January 18 - Martin Ling (Leyton Orient)

February 16 - Russell Slade (Yeovil)

February 21 - Micky Adams (Brighton)

In other news this morning former Hereford United defender Matt Clarke has joined Halesowen from Redditch.

And another former defender, Chris Lane, will make his 350th Conference appearance if he is involved in this afternoon's game for Altrincham game against Woking. He is believed to be the player with the most Conference matches under his belt who is still playing at that level.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Support the Bulls This Afternoon

Hereford United are at home this afternoon and three points from the game against Peterborough United would see them closer to safety in League One.

With the weather set to be dry and relatively spring-like, there is every reason to watch the game at Edgar Street.

For those unable to make the game as is usual with home games there will not be any live commentary from Edgar Street on BBC Hereford and Worcester this afternoon.

However Posh World has a free 30 day offer available at present so this is an option for any Hereford United supporter wishing to listen to the whole game.

Weymouth In Last-Chance Saloon

Weymouth's plan to sell a million shares has failed, and fans are preparing to treat Saturday's match as a 'wake' for the club.

The club issued the following statement earlier this evening:

Weymouth Football Club would like to thank fans for their continued patience and support in what are clearly difficult and trying times for all concerned. The recent share appeal was extremely well supported by fans but the amount raised was not, in itself, sufficient to sustain the club due to its current level of debt.

The club has ring-fenced the monies and they will not be spent until such time that a positive outcome can be found for the club. No shares have yet been issued. The board of Weymouth FC continue to vigorously search for a solution to the severe financial situation that it is facing.

There remains uncertainty over which players will be available for the Terras match against Rushden and Diamonds because players are being allowed to leave the club if they have found themselves employment elsewhere.

The first team squad have not trained all week due to their ongoing lack of finances, with the players only income a £60 a head handout from an unnamed supporter, and rumours amongst the fans suggest that only four first teamers will agree to play in tomorrow's match with youth teamers and a selection of as-yet unannounced loan signings - including three offered by Peterboro - likely to fill out the teamsheet.

Posh dangerous upfront says Turner

In his weekly interview Graham Turner has been telling BBC Hereford and Worcester that he realises Peterborough could be dangerous in attack tomorrow at Edgar Street

"Mackail-Smith and Mclean we know are very sharp and capable of creating chances, capable of scoring chances," said Turner.

"So there will be an extra onus on our two central defenders to make sure they are right on song.

"I felt when we went to their place early season the scoreline didn't do us justice. It was a travesty we lost 2 -0.

"We've got every chance with the confidence sky-high of taking all three points and it would be another big scalp for us."

Turner also spoke about his three defenders who are currently injured. He said none of them would play tomorrow.

"I think Dean Beckwith might start to do some light training next week after his concussion.

"Two to four weeks for Josh Gowling. Karl Broadhurst with his dead leg, probably the following Saturday he will be fit."

Meanwhile the game is NOT all-ticket for Peterborough supporters. Earlier this week Posh said it was, today they say it isn't.

D'Agostino Deal Confirmed by Bulls

Somewhat belatedly Hereford United have, late this afternoon, confirmed that Micheal D'Agostino has been given a one month deal at Edgar Street. He will wear shirt number 24.

For more details please go to our earlier article on the signing.

Peterborough Predictions - Friday Reminder

This is a reminder to everyone who enters the Bulls News Prediction League that you can now submit your prediction for the upcoming Peterborough match tomorrow afternoon.

The deadline is at 2.30pm tomorrow. All entries should be sent to the normal address stating your predicted final score and attendance. Remember to include your username.

Stockport Need £250,000 In Three Months

Stockport have determined that they will need £250,000 by May 18th to avoid the threat of Administration.

Their Supporters Trust owners have come to the figure after a thorough review of their finances and have already implemented a number of cost cutting measures. In a statement David Hoyle, Chairman of the Supporter's Trust said:

"Negotiations are ongoing with creditors and it has taken sometime to reach a figure that we feel would secure the future of this football club. With a target in mind I urge fans to give what they can to help us secure the future of Stockport County Football Club. If we do not raise the money, then there is a serious cloud over our future."

Hoyle has held talks with landlords Cheshire Sport and the Inland Revenue to come up with the figure required, but it is believed their actual debts may be over £1million with £450,000 owed to the taxman. The deadline date set means that they are unlikely to be deducted points this season unless their crisis significantly deepens.