Monday, February 28, 2011

News Round Up

Port Vale assistant boss Geoff Horsfield has told the BBC "It's definitely got to be sorted out. It can't go on how it is." over his fall-out with boss Jim Gannon. Horsfield meets the board later today after Gannon met them yesterday. Crawley have offered manager Steve Evans and assistant Paul Raynor new three year deals.

Morecambe are to loan winger Adam Rundle to Gateshead until the end of the season. The 26 year old signed a two year deal last summer but has only been a bit-part player this season. Stockport have extended the loan of central defender Aaron Brown for a second month. The Leyton Orient man has played six times in the first month.

Aldershot have continued their signings from the Conference with the acquisition of striker Luke Medley from Mansfield on a months loan. The 21 year old has five goals in 22 games for the Stags this term, and scored three goals in 28 games in the League for Barnet and Bradford previously. Weymouth owner George Rolls has quit the club, tending his resignation as Chairman last week. The club is reported to be losing at least £3,000 a week and may be forced to fold.

Plymouth consultant Peter Ridsdale says the club's Japanese shareholders are to finally send funds to the club, but it is nowhere near the £2million they need to avoid Administration. The club's off-field staff have issued a statement saying they will 'go the extra mile' to support the club. Grimsby have announced that chairman John Fenty has survived a vote of confidence unanimously at a board meeting yesterday.

The moves to takeover Wrexham have split into two distinct camps. Local hotelier Stephanie Booth is bidding for a fan-led club against the Wrexham Supporters Trust. A campaign backing Booth on Facebook has seen WST official Lindsay Jones quit his post after receiving abuse. There's been a few physios becoming managers, but it's probably a first at Tranmere where their new physio is a former Football League referee. George Cain spent seven years as a FL official to 2004, but has now trained in physiotherapy and takes the role on a trial basis after his predecessor left to enter teaching.

Darlington have accepted an approach from Grimsby for manager Mark Cooper. The former Kettering boss is out of contract in the summer, and the two clubs have agreed a compensation package. Port Vale have extended the loan of striker Tom Pope for a second month from Rotherham. The Millers have a 24 hour recall clause.

Morecambe are to lay on free coach travel for fans to their crunch away match at Barnet in two weeks. Mansfield have made a statement saying they have asked the Conference for an extension to today's deadline for proving they have a Football League ready ground. They must be able to prove they have a 10 year lease, something they cannot do due to the ongoing legal rangle with Keith Haslam.

York fans raised £750 from their bucket collection for Kidderminster at the weekend.

Weir joins Gloucester

Tyler Weir has joined Gloucester City on a one month loan from Hereford United.

He made his senior debut for the Bulls in a home defeat to MK Dons in the southern section semi-final of the Football League Trophy.

He started in two other league games last season, appeared off the bench in two more and played in one FA Cup tie.

He had been playing for Hereford youth for three years before being offered a contract in June 2009.

Meanwhile former Hereford United loanee Febian Brandy has joined Notts County. He was a free agent after being released by Manchester United at the end of last season.

Fleetwood In Team Of The Week

Bulls striker Stuart Fleetwood has been named in this week's Team of the Week for League Two.

His two goal burst against Oxford sees him into the XI alongside two each from Morecambe and Bradford. Ex-Bull Theo Robinson is also nominated for the Championship XI after his goal gave Derby a win over Sheff Utd.

Pink Gloves OK

Exiled Bull finds the Kassam cures superstitions:

Back in December, there was a glove crisis at chez Exile. While visiting the Reebok Stadium, I purchased a new pair in the mall next door. The gloves were a distinctive colour, hard for me to resist as I like “proper” colours. I wore the gloves during the game which the Yo-Yo’s lost. When I wore the gloves to their next match and they lost again, it was clearly the fault of the hand warmers. Thus despite being the most expensive pair I’d ever bought, they couldn’t be trusted at games. They were confined to the drawer ...until I visited the Kassam.

This perfectly logical behaviour is nothing new for me. Back in the mid-1970’s, United were in the Third Division. I’d admired a satin silk scarf in the club shop for a long time. After several weeks of saving my pocket money, I’d amassed enough to buy the scarf before a home match with Plymouth. Very pleased with my new purchase, I immediately put it around my neck for the game. Argyle was in rampart form and sunk Hereford 5-1. I was young then and such a heavy defeat was hard to take. The next week, I wore the scarf again in tacit support of the team playing a game about 150 miles distant. The resultant heavy defeat was clearly the fault of the scarf. From then on I treated it like nuclear waste. It was locked in my bedroom and never allowed out.

Now I’m in my sixth decade of active support for the Bulls, I’m older and arguably wiser now. The gloves were expensive and therefore had to be worth a second chance. Besides hadn’t Er Indoors assured me the gloves would be fine for United matches? Thus out they came.

I’ve been to the Kassam before but even so the three sided stadium still looks so odd. From certain angles one can imagine that the car park is the fourth side. Like Carlsberg, Oxford doesn’t do ordinary grounds. Their previous ground, the Manor was not easy to forget.

I was startled to read that the Bulls last visit to Oxford was in 1977-78. By strange coincidence, that was the first time I’d ever travelled to see Hereford in an away League match. Quite a challenge then in those pre sat nav, internet and ground guide book days. I was 18 and drove myself. The subsequent feeling of dislocation and challenge is one of the few memories I retain from that trip along with a fairly comprehensive defeat.

Again by coincidence I was researching the O’s old ground recently for an e-book project. Here’s an extract:

“The terraces were fronted by a Stalag Luft style fence which only permitted a view of some of the goalmouth action. These prison camp type restrictions in a highly affluent Oxford suburb looked out of place but then the Manor Ground WAS out of place. Each stand was constructed piecemeal without any regard to its neighbours. The overall impression lacked only “For Sale” signs to complete the image of a used football stand wholesaler.

Away supporters had Hobson’s choice of either overpriced seats in a low stand by the corner flag or a crazily shaped small-stepped fenced open terrace. Access to both was along a narrow, ill-lit alleyway, separating the ground from the Sir John Radcliffe hospital. There was no hint of the nearby charms. Following the same alleyway away from the ground took you past a series of splendid back gardens and eventually out into a small Oxfordshire village complete with two delightful pubs. It was only years later when these delights became widely known ... and then the U’s moved house. “

So a spectacular contrast. The missing end apart, the Kassam is a routine new generation ground. It is comfortable, safe but lacks real football history. A little bit of history was created on Saturday – presumably Oxford’s first ever home defeat by the Bulls? The gloves “came through” though there were large passages of play when I feared defeat. Admired Hereford’s resilience and team spirit but oh my they would benefit from more composure and contact lenses for the otherwise admirable Harry Pell. Keep the ball guys!

The pink gloves and I will be back again soon though ironically the warmer spring days are almost upon us

This one is for Jean who pointed out I haven’t contributed to Bulls News for ages. Cheers Jean.

HUISA – Stevenage

Tuesday 8th March KO 7.45pm at Broadhall Way. Coach departs from Radford's at 2.30pm.

Seats £18 for members and £20 for non-members.

Places can be booked through HUFC offices (08442 761939) or in Radford's before the home match against Bury on Saturday.

HUISA members are reminded that their discounted price is only available when booking in Radford's.

News Round Up

Bradford have appointed Peter Jackson as their interim manager. The former Huddersfield and Lincoln boss played over 300 games for the Bantams during the 1980s. Jackson, who has been working in his wife's care home business since leaving the Imps in 2009, says he wants the job full time. Ex-Bull Craig Stanley has extended his loan at Torquay for a second month.

Port Vale's board are to meet manager Jim Gannon today with a rep from the League Managers Association, and assistant boss Geoff Horsfield tomorrow with a PFA rep, to resolve their coach-based bust-up. The media say the dispute arose after Horsfield was given Thursday off by Gannon to deal with a family matter, then Gannon wrote a letter to the board criticising his assistant that was handed to Horsfield.

Port Vale's takeover is also in doubt after bidder Mo Chaudry had an independent valuation on their Vale Park home done that values it at £2.3million less than the current listed value in their accounts. Chaudry says the club could be within two months of Administration based on the new value, done by the same company that did the 2005 valuation used by the accounts, as it leaves the club unable to borrow further funds.

The FA are to investigate a mass brawl at the end of Macclesfield's game with Wycombe that saw three players sent off. The brawl saw everyone but ex-Bulls keeper Jose Veiga involved, with two Silkmen and one Chairboys player dismissed in injury time. Grimsby's board will meet today to discuss their managerial vacancy, and whether chairman John Fenty should continue at the helm.

Oldham have failed to pay their players for February. The League One side failed to pay up on Friday due to cashflow problems at Boundary Park, but say the money will be paid by Wednesday. Office staff were paid on time. Shrewsbury have returned former Bulls loanee Paul Downing to West Brom after his month long spell expired, but say they may take him back later in the season. They have done the same with Wigan keeper Lee Nicholls.

Around the Grounds in 80 Hours

Below is an update from Adam Wright, one of the five football fans who are aiming to drive to all 92 Premier and Football League grounds in 80 hours in aid of the Adam Stansfield Foundation.

"Great news. Our friends at Accrington Stanley have kindly donated 2 match tickets for any home match during the 2010/11 season. The tickets, they state, can be used in either the home or away end. We are due to play Accrington on March the 30th. So, we have decided that anyone that sponsors us before the 12th march (our final day) will automatically be entered into a draw for these tickets, in accordance with their donation. For example, a sponsorship of up to £5 will get you one entry, and a further entry for every £5 after (£10 will get 2 entries, £2 or £8 would get you 1 entry etc)

We are currently setting up an online donations site, but until then continue to take pledges. To register a pledge, or for more details, email

For those of you that have pledged previously, you will automatically be entered. Should you not wish to, please just email.

All proceeds to Adam Stansfield Foundation

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fleetwood's a Predator said Wilder

Some praise for Hereford United has come from Chris Wilder, the Oxford manager, after Saturday's game between the clubs which was won 2-0 by the Bulls.

“We switched off for their virtually one and only attack of the first half, then the second goal late on came when we were pushing people forward to try to get an equaliser," said Wilder.

"It was a case of missed chances, we switch off for the one and only time in the first half, and the boy Fleetwood’s a predator, and scores.

"Fair play to Hereford, they sat in and made it difficult for us. You can’t expect opposition teams to come here and be gung-ho."

Week Off For Bulls

Whilst Hereford United have a week off from League Two action, many other clubs have a game on Tuesday evening.

However with Chelsea playing Manchester United on that evening, low gates are expected.

List of Tuesday Fixtures:

Aldershot v Gillingham
Cheltenham v Stockport
Chesterfield v Wycombe
Lincoln City v Oxford Utd
Northampton v Burton Albion
Shrewsbury v Bury
Torquay v Rotherham

Should Aldershot win their game, the Bulls will drop a place to 18th in the table.

Pell and Fairhurst

The initial loan deals for Harry Pell and Wayne Fairhurst are due to end shortly.

Pell came to Edgar Street from Bristol Rovers for a month. The deal was announced on Monday January 31st so 'the month' is up later this week. It looks as though his deal may be renewed. If not, then he's played his last game for the Bulls

Fairhurst was signed just before the away game at Cheltenham which took place on February 12th. And so his initial month will run out around March 14th. He should be able to play against Bury, Stevenage and Barnet before he may be wanted back at Doncaster.

Manager Jamie Pitman mentioned both of them in his post match interview yesterday.

"The position is that we have still got them here at the moment. We'll continue to keep working with them.

"At the end of the day we are dictated to by their parent clubs and we'll try as much as we can to keep them here."

Meanwhile it's unclear why Rob Purdie was missing from the squad at Oxford yesterday.

"Rob Purdie, he wasn't here today," was all Pitman said.

Two Grecians and Three Bulls

Two Exeter City supporters are to join three Hereford United supporters in their attempt to visit all 92 Premier and League grounds in 80 hours with the aim of raising money for the Adam Stansfield Foundation. And the new car they will use has been kindly supplied by a Hereford garage.

Katie Blackburn and her partner Chris Sumner, who is also City's Grecian the Lion mascot will join up with Hereford supporters Adam Wright, his stepfather Steve Fowler and friend Dave Jones.

"Some clubs have kindly agreed to provide us with food and drinks and we will be taking photographs at each of the grounds to prove we've been there," Katie told the Express and Echo.

"We want to do it in the shortest time possible, beating the 92 hours set by Peterborough United who raised money for one of their charities in a similar way.

"It is a tough challenge, but we are all looking forward to the adventure and, of course, visiting some of the famous Premiership grounds like Old Trafford, Anfield, and the other St James's Park in Newcastle.

"We will take it in turns to drive after a garage in Hereford kindly loaned us a new car, so we will be travelling around the clock to complete all the grounds in a breathtaking 80 hours."

Another Busy Month for the Bulls

March will be another very busy month for Hereford United and their supporters. In total seven League Two games are due to be played including a Friday night game at Southend and a Sunday home game against Crewe.

Why the League agreed for the Southend game to be switched from a Saturday isn't known but given the usual amount of traffic around the M25 etc at tea time on a Friday evening, this isn't going to be an easy match for supporters to get to.

List of Fixtures for March:

Saturday March 5th: Bury (home) 3pm
Tuesday March 8th: Stevenage (away) 7.45pm
Saturday March 12th: Barnet (home) 3pm
Friday March 18th: Southend (away) 7.45pm
Tuesday March 22nd: Port Vale (away) 7.45pm
Sunday March 27th: Crewe (home) 3pm
Wednesday March 30th: Accrington (away) 7.45pm

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Defensive master class earns three points at Oxford

Hereford United put further distance between themselves and the drop zone with a battling performance and a pair of poacher's goals from Stuart Fleetwood at either end of today's match at The Kassam Stadium recording their fourth away win on the trot.

Manager Pitman tweaked his team by bringing back Janos Kovacs after his suspension and moving Harry Pell to a wide-right role while Richard Rose stepped forward into his holding midfield position with Rob Purdue missing from the squad completely.

The game started tentatively with the hosts attacking the missing stand end. Joe Colbeck was guilty of an aimless punt forward and Townsend was on the receiving end of a naughty elbow in the mouth from Constable but Colbeck made amends soon after when he delivered a fine cross from the left and Fleetwood stole between two defenders to guide the ball home from close range with less than ten minutes on the clock.

Fleets with Rose and Colbeck after the first goal

Colbeck and Oxford's MacLean got their legs tangled resulting in a free kick to The U's and Constable again displayed his unpleasant side by encouraging the referee to produce a card. Fortunately this referee was not for obliging and when Constable persisted a second time he found himself on the end of a stern lecture. The former Skiddlington Farriers striker eventually resorted to playing football but the covering Richard Rose cleared his cross from the right comfortably. Then Ryan Green had to be alert to chest away a dangerous cross from Heslop as The Bulls were put under pressure and only able to make occasional excursions into enemy territory.

Asa Hall screwed a twenty-yarder well wide and Tom Craddock saw his effort from a narrow angle beaten away by Bartlett before a misunderstanding between home defender Worley and keeper Clarke presented Joe Colbeck with an empty net but his lob from near the halfway line failed to beat the recovering keeper. The Bulls continued to defend with two disciplined banks of four and were rarely allowed to break forward. When they did, Heath and Kenny Lunt combined to release Fairhurst down the left and his deep cross was finger-tipped away by Clarke as Harry Pell shaped to meet the ball at the back post.

HT Oxford 0 Bulls 1

Colbeck collected a yellow card early in the second period despite appearing to make clean contact with the ball. The Bulls again found themselves having to defend stoutly but for all their possession and probing, Oxford still failed to genuinely threaten Bartlett's goal apart from pot shots from outside the box. The hosts play became more and more predictable with moves starting deep on the left through Wright and moving across midfield for the overlapping Damian Batt to loft the ball into the box where Kovacs and Townsend mopped up anything that got past the industrious Rose. Kenny Lunt fashioned a ball up to the marauding Fairhurst who released Fleetwood into the box but Clarke easily collected the striker's effort. Then The Bulls were caught defending too deep and the goal had a charmed life as shots rained in with defenders throwing themselves into the path of the ball before it was eventually lifted high over the bar by Worley from just six yards.

As in the first half, the hosts had the lions share of play and kept The Bulls pinned back in their own half for long periods but apart from one shot which crashed off the crossbar and a weak effort from Constantine that Bartlett had ample time to collect, they didn’t really look like breaking their duck.

Chris Wilder threw on three replacements to freshen the attack but The Bulls were in no mood to concede as Kovacs, Townsend and Green all got in timely clearances before the visitors finished the game off in extra time with a classic breakaway goal. Fairhurst picked up the ball wide left on the halfway line and sprinted at the stretched home defence sidestepping a couple of challenges before slipping it through to Pell who was storming up the right flank. The Bristol youngster saw his first effort blocked by Clarke and his second attempt blazed across the goalmouth to where Fleetwood was waiting at the back post to gratefully tap home.

Hereford saw out the final couple of minutes to send the 602 Bulls fans from the very impressive total of 7807 away chuckling about a job well done.

Captain Kovacs gesturing to supporters after the final whistle with Bartlett lifting Pell behind him

FT Oxford 0 Bulls 2

Hereford: - Bartlett, Green, Kovacs, Townsend, Heath, Pell, Rose, Lunt, Colbeck, Fleetwood, Fairhurst. Subs unused: Hoult, Preston, Stratford, McQuilkin, Featherstone, Thomas, Baheng.

Oxford: - Clarke, Batt, Wright, Worley, Tonkin, Heslop, McLaren, Hall (Potter 70), Maclean (Midson 81), Constable, Craddock (Hackney 70). Subs unused: Sangare, Clist, Eastwood, Payne.

The opening goal apart, after fifteen to twenty minutes most Bull’s fans were probably thinking we’d be lucky to come away with anything this afternoon but as the game progressed it became apparent that for all their huffing and puffing, Oxford weren't actually creating clear chances. The back four looked mighty impressive and were well protected by a solid deep sitting midfield while Fairhurst and Fleetwood chased and harried up top. Some would argue we stole it, I would argue it was a performance that deserved the result. We were better at defending than they were at attacking. Job Done. See you next Saturday.

The Kassam Stadium

This afternoon was the first time many Hereford United supporters have visited the Kassam Stadium, the home of Oxford United.

One of the first things that is noticed is just how far out of Oxford it is. For those of us approaching Oxford on the A40, it another five or so miles but is well signposted.

And when you get there, other than the Oxford Science Park, there appears to be little but the stadium, a pub with a marquee (The Priory?), a club house, a fast food restaurant or two and a lot of parking. Not much atmosphere.

There's only three sides to the stadium. Perhaps Maxwell's money ran out. There again supposedly he had grand ideas that Oxford would be in the Premiership one day and a final end might be added.

Because of the time taken to park, some Hereford United fans only arrived inside the stadium with minutes to spare and it did seem that maybe there were not enough catering staff on duty. They had run out of steak pies and only had some Wright's pies - the same ones with the out of date labels sold at Bury earlier this season.

The stadium itself looks quite impressive but the away end did seem some way from the pitch. And although the pitch looked quite green it was slippy in places.

To their credit Oxford had designated the game as Military Day.

And at half time some military personnel tried their luck in a penalty shoot-out.

As for the game itself, suffice it to say that the Bulls were lucky to come away with a 2-0 victory.

After the game stewards and police were out in numbers to prevent trouble from so called Oxford supporters especially close to where Hereford supporters coaches were parked.

But the biggest problem for those of us who had driven to the stadium was getting from there. Luckily BBC Hereford and Worcester could be picked up on 738AM and perhaps for the first time ever in an opponents car park we were able to listen to the last hour of Trevor Owen's sports programme which had interviews from Stuart Fleetwood and Jamie Pitman plus loads of texts from happy Bulls fans.

Pitman - It's a Massive Win

A very cheerful sounding Jamie Pitman told BBC Hereford and Worcester that his players performed as he had requested at the Kassam stadium this afternoon and come away with a massive win.

"We've done a bit of work this week as we knew it would be a very tough game.

"They were probably the best team we've played this season. I thought they passed it very well.

"But we dug in there, rode our luck a little bit at times. As a team we worked very hard. The lads are over the moon.

"Overall the players have done everything we've asked them to. Fleets getting across to the near post for the first goal. We asked him to do that and he's got his rewards.

"But you really can't single anyone out because everyone has done their job.

"This is a massive win but you're only as good as your next one and that's Bury at home."

Our Game Plan Worked said Fleetwood

A very happy Stuart Fleetwood told BBC Hereford and Worcester that they went to Oxford today with a game plan and it worked.

"We had a game plan. It wasn't pretty. We knew what they were about.

"We caught then in the break twice. We got the first goal quite early which was exactly what we wanted.

"We were very disciplined today.

"Not sure where five minutes (added time) came from, it felt like half an hour at the end but we caught them on the break as well."

He also revealed that he had set himself a target of 15 goals this season which he reached this afternoon. At one stage he doubted he would reach the target as he didn't score until October 16th at Northampton.

"Confidence is key for strikers and goals have come."

We didn't take our chances said Wilder

Oxford United manager Chris Wilder admitted, after this afternoon's game against Hereford United, that his side didn't convert their chances

"I can't batter my team in the dressing room. It was a decent performance.

"From tee to green we've done really well, but as always it's about the two main parts of the pitch - in both boxes.

"We switched off and they scored, and we didn't take our chances."

Stats from Outside Oxford

Here are the main stats from this afternoon's League Two match played somewhere outside Oxford.

Result: Oxford United 0 Hereford United 2

Possession: U's 59% Bulls 41%

Shots on Target: U's 9 Bulls 4

Shots off Target: U's 8 Bulls 2

Corners: U's 11 Bulls 2

Fouls: U's 5 Bulls 9

Cards:Three cards for Hereford United - Colbeck, Fairhurst and Bartlett

Scorers: Fleetwood (2)

Attendance: 7,807 including 602 very passionate Bulls supporters in the away end.

Referee: Darren Drysdale surprised many Hereford supporters when five minutes extra time was added, but he continually tried to stop the Bulls from wasting time. Reasonable performance.

Catering: Very slow.

Stewarding: Good

Car Parking: This has to be the poorest designed car park in at any ground that the Bulls have played at in recent years. One hour to leave.

Bottom of League Two:

14 Cheltenham 33 -8 41
15 Northampton 32 -3 40
16 Lincoln City 31 -16 38
17 Hereford 31 -7 37
18 Aldershot 32 -8 37
19 Morecambe 33 -10 37
20 Bradford 32 -11 37
21 Macclesfield 30 -9 35
22 Barnet 33 -20 30
23 Burton Albion 27 -6 29
24 Stockport 33 -40 28

Ex-Bull Watch

Of the three loan Bulls only Sean Canham had a match today due to the weather. He started again for Kidderminster in their win over Wrexham.

John Eustace was sent off for Watford for a second booking in their draw at Doncaster. Theo Robinson scored the only goal for Derby as they won at Sheff Utd. John McCombe scored for Port Vale in their wn at Aldershot. Steve Guinan scored for Forest Green in their win over Tamworth.

Results Round Up

The Bulls increase their safety gap to eight points and move into a more comfortable 17th place after today's games. Bradford attracted another 5,000 through the gates with their £1 offer but the last game of Peter Taylor's reign needed Stockport to have two men sent off before the Bantams scrambled a 3-2 win in injury time to ease their problems and join the Bulls on 37 points. The Hatters are bottom on 28 points, one behind Burton who return to the drop zone after going down 4-2 at home to Rotherham. Barnet climb out of the drop zone on 30 points after beating Lincoln 4-2 with a five point gap to Macclesfield, who lost 1-0 at home to Wycombe. Next up are the Bulls, Bantams, Aldershot, and Morecambe on 37. The Shots lost 2-1 at home to Port Vale, while the Shrimps won 2-0 at leaders Chesterfield.

At the top the Spireites' lead is down to six points after their loss, with Wycombe staying second and the Millers taking third from Shrewsbury after the Shrews could only get a goalless draw with Gillingham. Bury stay fifth after beating Crewe 3-1, staying above Port Vale on goal difference, with the Gills rounding out the play-off spots. Southend are up to eighth after a 1-1 draw with Northampton, while Stevenage are three points short of the top seven after a 4-0 demolition of Cheltenham. Accrington beat Torquay 1-0 after surviving a late pitch inspection that threatened to upend their plan to pay off the taxman.

In the Conference Wimbledon lead by three points after beating Altrincham 4-1, with Crawley beating Barrow 3-2 to maintain pace. Kidderminster move into the play-offs with a 1-0 win over third placed Wrexham. Forest Green hammered Tamworth 4-0.

At the foot of League One Plymouth earned a rare win with a 2-1 victory over Colchester to close their safety gap to five points. Dagenham lost 2-1 at home to Bournemouth, while Bristol Rovers lost 1-0 at Brentford. Walsall earned a point with a goalless draw with Rochdale but stay in the bottom four on goal difference after Swindon went down 4-1 at Southampton.

Bulls Exact Oxford Revenge

A Stuart Fleetwood double brought the Bulls a 2-0 win at the Kassam Stadium in today's League Two match with Oxford.

As with the reverse fixture at Edgar Street, the visitors ran out two goal winners with the home side wasting a plethora of chances. Fleetwood struck at either end of the game, setting up a nervy match defending a slender lead with his first before sealing the matter in injury time. 602 Bulls fans in a bumper 7,807 crowd went home happy again.

Full report later.

Davey 16/1 for Grimsby

Former Hereford United manager Simon Davey is 16/1 to become the next manager at Grimsby Town according to Victor Chandler.

Nothing has been heard about Davey getting back into management since he left Edgar Street early last October and it's by no means certain that he is even thinking about the vacant Grimsby Post let alone applied for it.

Gary Brabin is currently the favourite at 6/4.

Meanwhile Davey is understood to have linked up with Pro FC, the scouting initiative devised by former Brentford manager Martin Allen and current Premier League striker DJ Campbell.

They have run a camp for aspiring professional footballers this week and Davey was due to take part offering advice.

Full Commentary from Oxford

BBC Hereford and Worcester will have full match commentary on the League Two match between Oxford United and Hereford United this afternoon.

There will be a preview as well as reports and post match interviews on most of their frequencies and online but the commentary will only be available on 94.7FM around Herefordshire.

Bulls Player will also have full commentary on the match with Jamie Griffiths and Gregg Davies. To sign up for BP go to the OS. Have a credit/debit card at the ready.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Taxman Sets Up Accy Auction

The taxman has put Accrington's fixtures and fittings up for auction after they failed to clear their tax bill.

The Lancashire Telegraph reports that the club owe £9,000 of their £32,000 payment due on January 22nd, and the taxman has moved to advertise an auction at the Crown Ground of various equipment on March 9th. Amongst the lots on sale are 1,600 seats, floodlights and pylons, and the CCTV system.

Stanley say they will meet the outstanding sum on Monday, ahead of a Wednesday deadline, ending the sale risk but they remain seriously in financial danger. Shirt sponsors Comined Stabilisation went into liquidation last week, and the club are believed to be owed around £43,000 from their failure and the demise of a second sponsor, while gates have slumped at the Crown Ground like other sides around the country.

We must show Respect to Hereford says Wilder

Oxford United manager Chris Wilder expects a 'difficult' game against Hereford tomorrow.

"Hereford are one of the form teams in the league and we’ve got to make sure we show them the respect and their manager the respect they’re due, and work hard," he told the Oxford Mail.

"We need to keep focused and enjoy this part of the season. We’re going into it on the front foot.

"We took tremendous support to Stevenage and Morecambe. If we can keep that positive support going into the last part of the season, and keep our feet on the ground, we should have some exciting times ahead."

Oxford captain James Constable has also spoken about the game.

"Hereford will be difficult. When we played there early in the season it was probably one of our better away performances and we deserved the three points, but it’ll be a tough game."

Plymouth Penniless

Plymouth consultant Peter Ridsdale has told the BBC the club has no money left and will not be paying February's wages.

Staff are already without January's money and met today to be told they would not get February's pay on time either. Ridsdale confirmed talks with investors are ongoing, but that the expected entry into Administration will happen in the next few days with no firm offer on the table.

The move into Administration will mean that the Football League will withdraw the club's 'Golden Share' in the competition, meaning they will not be able to receive any TV money due to them until they exit Administration on the FL's terms.

Those terms are likely to include any new owner submitting a business plan to the FL to prove the club would be viable, and making a number of guarantees to the FL over repayments to creditors.

No Fun on Bus for Gannon

Port Vale manager Jim Gannon and assistant Geoff Horsfield have both left their team coach this afternoon but at different stops.

The coach was on route to Aldershot when, according to reports, there was an arguement between Gannon and Horsfield.

Gannon left the coach at a Motorway services in the West Midlands to return to meet Vale chairman Bill Bratt. Horsfield left a short time later at another stop.

Vale are currently sixth in League Two.

Update 6pm: According to BBC, Vale keeper Stuart Tomlinson said on Twitter: "Awesome events on the team bus."

Gannon will be in charge tomorrow at Aldershot.

Referee Brown Banned By Boss

Mark Brown, the referee who did the Bulls no favours last Saturday, has been banned for three weeks by referee boss Mike Riley following remarks he put on Twitter.

According to the Sun it is believed he made a gag about Steven Gerrard and Liverpool's unlikely chance of winning honours this season. The gag was later removed.

Yorkshireman Brown is in his debut season as a National List referee and took charge of the game at Edgar Street last Saturday when many Bulls supporters thought he was 'conned' by Burton striker Calvin Zola into getting Bulls captain Janos Kovacs sent off.

An insider said: "Riley is taking drastic action as there are many ways for referees' integrity to be called into question.

"If Babel posts a picture of Webb in a Man U shirt, then we can't have officials making comments and jokes about players."

Brown has been in the headlines before as on his profile he mentioned someone who didn't help him with his career.

Also my ex-wife for moving out so I could concentrate on my football and not have to listen to her moaning all day and night!

Confidence is High says Pitman

Hereford United manager Jamie Pitman has said that confidence is very high all through the squad prior to the game at Oxford tomorrow.

"Confidence is very good amongst the squad," Pitman told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"I've always said that, they're a good spirited bunch of lads.

"It will be a tough one. They are going very well themselves and there will be a great atmosphere there.

"Hopefully we will take a few with us because it is not too far for us. We always have a very good following.

"The game in general will, hopefully, be very competitive and hopefully we will get something out of it.

"Janos Kovacs is back from suspension so that's a plus. We might have missed him a little bit.

"So we'll have to pick a team to go there and get something from the game.

"We'll pretty much be at full strength."

News Round Up

Cheltenham have moved to halt their alarming slide down the table by bringing in a pair of wingers on loan. Colchester's Medy Elito and Jake Thompson from Exeter have come in for a month. Elito had a month with the Robins last term, scoring three in twelve games, while Thompson is a Trinidad and Tobago international at 21. Accrington's hopes of meeting their tax bill have received a boost after Scunthorpe paid them a £20,000 appearance clause due on Bobby Grant's transfer in the summer.

Barnet have signed American striker Kwame JJ Adjeman-Pamboe on a short term deal. The 23 year old was born in London but raised in the US, playing professional football in the US and Finland in recent seasons. Dean Windass has been installed as the favourite for the managers job at Bradford after he confirmed he would be applying for the job. He says he will take former Bantams boss Terry Dolan as his no.2.

Rothwell Town are the latest non-league side to enter Administration after the sale of their ground failed to generate enough funds to clear their debts. They have sold their Cecil Street home to a local college for £215,000 after agreeing a lease to remain at the ground, but their future is now in the hands of their creditors.

Barnet's complaints over rugby side Saracens redeveloping the Copthall athletics stadium they had previously earmarked for their own use could be resolved by the ongoing Leyton Orient/Olympic Stadium saga. Orient are now planning a move to the Eton Manor part of the Olympic site, and would take Saracens with them freeing the Copthall stadium for Barnet's use.

Oxford Predictions

Next up for Hereford United is a trip to the Kassam Stadium to face play-off chasing Oxford United. The hosts won the earlier meeting between the two teams at Edgar Street and will be looking for three points to keep them in the race for promotion.

To enter the Bulls News Prediction League, simply send in your final score and attendance predictions to . Remember to include your username.

The deadline for tomorrow's match is at 2.30pm. Good luck!

Hoult in Squad for Oxford

Russell Hoult is expected to be in Jamie Pitman's squad to face Oxford United tomorrow.

Hoult, goalkeeping coach and assistant manager at Edgar Street, has signed as a player for the remainder of the season. He will be back up to Adam Bartlett.

"It seems crazy to have someone of Russell's talent and experience on the sidelines when we are approaching the vital run in to the season," said Pitman.

Meanwhile, according to the OS, Rhett Heister, who has been on the bench as sub keeper for some games will remain with the club on trial.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bulls 7/2 to Win at Oxford

Perhaps a little surprisingly given Hereford United's away form, 7/2 is on offer for a Bulls' win at Oxford tomorrow. This price is available with Victor Chandler.

Latest odds from SkyBet:

Hereford 16/5 Draw 5/2 Oxford 5/6

Best price for a draw is 14/5 with Victor Chandler.

Turning to the result, a 1-0 win for the Bulls is on offer at 62/5 with Betfair.

A 2-0 win for the Bulls is 28/1 with Coral.

A 2-1 win is 14/1 at several outlets.

A 3-0 win is 85/1 with Betfair.

A 3-1 win is 45/1 at Coral and Betfair.

A 3-2 win is 50/1 with SkyBet.

For a 0-0 draw, best price is 11/1 with Sportingbet.

A 1-1 draw is 13/2 with William Hill and Coral.

A 2-2 draw is 16/1 at SkyBet, William Hill and Extrabet.

A 3-3 draw is 70/1 with Betfair.

Finally the first scorer in the game - should it be Stuart Fleetwood then 8/1 is the offer from Bet365.

Should Waide Fairhurst score first then 9/1 will be the return from BlueSq and 888sport.

Loanee Harry Pell can be backed at 20/1 to score first at various bookies.

All prices from oddschecker and may vary.

As ever Hereford United supporters are reminded that should they wish to bet with Coral then there is a link on the OS which if used will benefit the club.

Discount Oxford tickets available 'til lunchtime

Advance tickets for Saturday's match at Oxford are available from HUFC offices until lunchtime today.

Advance (Matchday)

Adults £16 (£18.50)Students with NUS Card £12.50 (£14.50)

Over 65/U16 £9.50 (£10.50)

U7's Free

The HUISA coach is fully booked and departs from Radford's at 12 noon.

Hatters/Bees Favourites For Drop

According to the bookies the current bottom two will be the pair to face Conference football next season.

Stockport are 1/5 to go down, with Barnet only slightly better off at 2/9. The Bulls and Morecambe are next on a sizable 8/1, with Burton 12/1, and Bradford and Macclesfield on 14/1. At the other end of the table Chesterfield are odds-on favourites to top the table at the end of the season.

At the foot of League One Plymouth are a best price 1/20 to go down, while Bristol Rovers, Walsall, and Dagenham are all odds-on with Swindon even money.

In the Conference Crawley are 2/7 favourites. Current leaders AFC Wimbledon are only 14/1 to maintain top spot, behind 4/1 Luton. Kidderminster are 12/1 fifth favourites to get promotion, with last season's relegated pair, Darlington and Grimsby, both 25/1.

Kids for a Quid for Bury Game

It looks as though Hereford United are to continue their 'Kids for a Quid' promotion at least for the next home game which is against Bury on March 5th.

Whilst no confirmation has yet be issued by the Bulls, the Bury OS has the pricing of the forthcoming game at Edgar Street and they report that the under 14's will be charged £1.

Meanwhile Barnet have decided to offer a family ticket for just £30 per game. The offer is open to two adults and two under 19's.

The £30 ticket will be available for every game at Underhill until the end of the season.

No Extension For Jervis

Jake Jervis has returned to Birmingham at the end of his loan with the Bulls.

The 19 year old started four games, and made one sub appearance, for the Bulls but hasn't got off the bench in the last two games after some disappointing performances in the wake of Mathieu Manset's exit from Edgar Street.

Jamie Pitman told PA Sport he was open to extending the loans of Harry Pell and Waide Fairhurst, with Pell due to return to Bristol Rovers next week: "We'll just take it week by week (with Harry). Obviously he's Bristol Rovers' player and it depends what they want to do with him so we'll just leave it as it is for the moment and maybe look at something next week. Whether it gets extended or whether he goes back, it's their decision a little bit.

"Waide's done very well in what he's done, he's worked very hard and been clinical when he has got his chances. As long as that continues I'll be very happy. Doncaster have got their own injury problems, Waide comes here and scores a lot of goals and obviously they will maybe be keen to take him back. Again, we'll just have to play it week by week and see where we are closer to the time when their loans are up."

Taylor To Leave Bradford

Manager Peter Taylor is to leave Bradford, but not until after Saturday's game with Stockport.

The one-time England boss has seen his side plummet down the table in recent weeks, earning just four points from the last nine games. The Bradford Telegraph and Argus reports he will leave after the game that has been dubbed a relegation six-pointer by the club's own board.

Still Waiting...

The local Torquay press say that both the Gulls and the Bulls are still waiting to hear from the Football League over the ineligible player inquiry.

According to the Herald Express, the two sides are now three weeks without even a date for their meeting with the League's disciplinary board.

Preview: Oxford vs Bulls

The Bulls travel to the Kassam Stadium on Saturday for a League Two match.

The two sides have only ever been paired in the same Football League Division once before, the old Division Three in 1977/8, and the Bulls have not visited the relatively new three-sided ground before with the Bulls regaining their FL status at the same time as Oxford lost theirs. Earlier in the season the U's visited Edgar Street and won 2-0 in a game that remains Sam Malsom's only start of the season. The Bulls have only recorded one win over Oxford in seven games so far, a 2-1 win at Edgar Street in the two clubs' first FL meeting in 1977.

Oxford are only goal-difference shy of the play-off spots after a steady, but unspectacular, campaign so far. The double-figure hauls of strikers Tom Craddock and James Constable have helped them into the frame, but they have scored in total only four more than the Bulls and it is down to a more frugal defence that they are at the better end of the table. They have conceded just one goal in the last four games but have also failed to score twice in that run.

The Bulls travel to Oxfordshire with only one defeat in the last ten League games and having won their last three away games. Despite home form that has seen just three points arrive from four matches, the formerly 'unlucky' orange shirts have secured maximum points in 2011 after four straight losses at the end of 2010. With a six point safety cushion, and a couple of games in hand, the Bulls' main objective now is to match the bottom two point-for-point and stay out of immediate danger.

Oxford United vs Hereford United, Kassam Stadium, Saturday 26th February, 3.00pm.

News Round Up

Bradford are offering their season ticket holders the chance to bring a friend for £1 in the latest discounted ticket offer around the leagues. There are no limits on the number of additional tickets fans can buy for the match with Stockport on Saturday, with joint Chairman Julian Rhodes telling their official site: "Let's not beat around the bush. The ambition for the season now is to survive as a league club. We don't want to even contemplate the consequences if that doesn't happen."

The local Accrington press is reporting that their ownership issue should be resolved in the next week. Former chairman Eric Whalley stepped down in 2009 but still retains the majority stake in the club, but the Lancashire Telegraph says Whalley is set to take a settlement on his shares and transfer ownership within seven days. Port Vale bidder Mo Chaudry has called for the club's board to 'stop stalling' after chairman Bill Bratt claimed a deal could take up to four months to happen. Chaudry claims a deal can be done in weeks.

Swindon are holding an open training session at the County Ground today as part of their community programme. The first team squad will be put through their paces with over 1,000 fans reported to be in attendance. The bookies have made Martin Foyle the favourite to be the next Grimsby boss. The current Bristol Rovers coach heads the list at 3/1, with ex-Pirates boss Paul Trollope 5/1. Darlington boss Mark Cooper is one of three on 6/1.

Lincoln have extended the loan of Notts County defender David Hunt for a second month. The League One side have a 24-hour recall clause on the deal. Wrexham's current owner has moved to deny press claims that the club is on the verge of Administration. A local hotel owner has made a move to buy the club, with departing owner Geoff Moss confirming to the press that he would no longer fund the club's losses so that a quick sale was needed.

Ex-Bull Alan Connell is one of two Grimsby players that have been the subject of fake Facebook accounts that have been used to abuse supporters. The club have asked the social networking site to remove the pages. Burton forward Calvin Zola faces up to six weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury. The loanee from Crewe was subbed during the first half of their battering at Wycombe.

Two clubs have released drawings of their new grounds. Rotherham's 12,000 seater plans have been designed by the same company responsible for Bristol Rovers' stadium redevelopment. FC United of Manchester have also produced details of their new Ten Acres Lane ground in Newton Heath. Their ground will have three sides of terrace, only one of which will be covered initially.

Barnet are to trial striker Danny Kelly as a central defender in a reserve match tonight in a bid to cure their defensive woes. The 20 year old has hardly played this season due to injuries and will be tested in a Herts Senior Cup match. The Bees are still without ex-Bull Darren Dennehy and fellow central defender Daniel Leach, neither of whom have played since September.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Oxford hope for Big Crowd for Visit of Bulls

Oxford United manager Chris Wilder has said that he is hoping for a bumper crowd next Saturday when Hereford United make their first visit to Oxford for over fifteen years.

With Oxford just outside the play-offs and the Bulls having a reasonable away record, there are good reasons to hope this will be an exciting match.

"We are in a run of six games during which this is our only home match, so your support will be as vital as ever as we look for another three points," said Wilder as reported by the Oxford OS

"We have some tough home games still to come against teams also in the mix, and your support can really make the difference"

As for Hereford manager Jamie Pitman, he told BBC Hereford and Worcester that he's looking forward to Saturday.

"It's a great occasion to go to Oxford, it's a great stadium.

"They are going very well."

Oxford has designated the game as Military Day and members of the armed forces will be allowed in free if in uniform.

Guest of honour will be Oxford supporter 22 year old Jack Cummings who lost both his legs in an explosion in Afghanistan.

As reported above it was back in August 1995 when the two clubs last met. This was in the Coca-Cola Cup and was played on a two-game home and away basis. However the Bulls lost both games and went out of the competition 5-2 on aggregate.

There are clips of both these games on YouTube.

The First Game: YouTube:

The Second Game: YouTube:

Neither clip reveals who did the voice over but it does sound a little similar to Hereford United's current vice-chairman Tim Russon.

Drysdale to Referee at Oxford

Darren Drysdale is set to be in charge of Saturday's League Two match between Oxford United and Hereford United.

The last time the Bulls met the Lincolnshire based referee was at Stockport last October. Drysdale booked Guillem Bauza that afternoon but also was priviledged to watch a 5-0 win by the visitors.

To date this season Drysdale has been in the middle for 13 games in which he has given out 31 yellow cards and just one red card.

Meanwhile, currently, the Bulls are 10/3 to defeat Oxford and a draw is 13/5.

Great Memories of Edgar Street said Sheedy

In November 2009 former Hereford United player Kevin Sheedy was appointed a Herefordshire Ambassador. Last summer he gave an interview to Herefordshire Life. Here's a part of it.

Kevin makes a great ambassador for the sport in the county, where he carved his future on the pitch at Hereford United in the 1970s. And now he’s also an Ambassador for the county as a whole, signed up by Visit Herefordshire to promote the place he called home for 14 years.

When he ditched school for the football pitch at the age of 15, Kevin was drawn by the love of the game, not the astronomical wages today’s top players can command. Football in the ’70s was not seen as a moneymaking activity. Top players didn’t drive around in Lamborghinis and live in multi-million pound mansions; they more likely drove an MG and had a nice semi on a new estate… they answered the phone themselves rather than having every contact channelled through their management team.

"When I joined (1975) my starting wages were £17 a week and that had to pay for my digs and everything," he laughs.

"Hereford (United) was my apprenticeship. I joined when I was nearly 16, so that was my first introduction into professional football. I had a good manager and coach and they taught you the discipline required. You had to be hard-working, not just on the football side but we did every job going from washing kits to cleaning boots, sweeping and painting the stands to weeding the pitch. They definitely got their money’s worth out of you in those days.

"I coach under-18s now and it’s hard enough to get them to clean their own boots let alone anyone else’s. In my mind it gave you the right discipline and certainly stood me in good stead for my career. Loads of talented players I see don’t have the desire or mental strength and you need that as a top sports person because things don’t always go well. You need to be mentally strong to use the talent you have, as well as have determination and self-belief."

Kevin’s own talent was evident from an early age. He was born in Builth Wells, Wales (of Irish descent) and grew up in Allensmore just outside Hereford, which his parents and brother still call home. He was a pupil at St Francis Xavier’s in Berrington Street and then St Mary’s RC High in Lugwardine. It was only in the last two years of secondary school that he played football at what until that point had been a predominantly rugby school. He honed his skills on the football pitch with Herefordshire Lads Club where he was spotted by the coaches at Hereford United.

"I never contemplated doing anything with my life other than football. It was my life," he admits. "I left school at 15 without any qualifications or exams and I was lucky that the headmaster, Mr (Ken) Lapsley realised I had potential so let me go training every morning instead of going to school. I just needed to drop in to sign the register. It was thanks to him I had a head start."

Kevin was able to show his gratitude to Mr Lapsley when nine years after leaving the school, he sent his former head teacher two complimentary tickets to his first Cup Final for Everton, against Liverpool.

He left Edgar Street in 1978 when he was signed to Liverpool and four years later, moved to Everton where he was first choice left winger in the hugely successful 1980s side – part of the 1984 FA Cup winning team, followed by wins in the 1985 and 1987 Football League Championship, and scoring in the final of the 1985 European Cup Winners' Cup. He played for Ireland’s Euro ’88 squad in Germany. He ended his playing career in 1994 with Blackpool, and was assistant manager at Tranmere Rovers for five seasons and then at Hartlepool United before joining Everton’s coaching staff in 2006.

Although for years his home has been just outside Liverpool, Kevin pops back to Hereford to visit family and friends whenever possible. "Hereford is where my roots are. Driving back here feels like driving home. When I was playing at Hereford United a lot of people signed to play for the club ended up staying here and I find a lot of people do end up staying because it’s a nice part of the country to live.

"The football club was where I made my profession, so whenever I drive past Edgar Street it holds great memories for me."

Grimsby Sack Woods

Grimsby have sacked manager Neil Woods after their draw with Forest Green last night.

The Mariners are now ninth in their first Conference season, nine points short of the play-offs with just two games in hand. Last night's game was played in front of less than half the crowd for their first game at Blundell Park this season.

Woods was appointed from his coaching position with the club in October 2009, replacing Mike Newell, but couldn't prevent the side from being relegated. He won just 18 of 71 games in charge, and had won only one of the last seven games.

A club statement says they will not be appointing a new boss from within and have targeted a number of names to take charge.

News Round Up

Barnet have been rejected by Farnborough striker Bradley Bubb. The Conf South forward has scored 19 times this season but is hoping for a move to a higher graded side. Southend are trialling former Canvey Island and Stevenage striker Lee Boylan, and Chelmsford striker Sam Higgins.

Port Vale chairman Bill Bratt says he has been advised not to attend matches at Vale Park over fears for his safety as supporter unrest increases. He has told the BBC that the board have met with bidder Mo Chaudry and that a written proposal has been received. Durham City's stolen kit has been found dumped in a back garden near to where it was stolen.

Wrexham fans want five or six 'principle benefactors' to inject £50,000 each into their bid to buy the club, along with fans buying shares. They have opened talks with Wrexham Village over the sale of the club. Gillingham have put midfielder Mark Bentley up for loan after the 33 year old asked to go out to get some games. He was a regular during the first part of the season, but has been warming the bench in recent weeks.

Wycombe have signed Watford defender Rob Kiernan on loan for a month. The 20 year old recently had a month at Bradford. Redditch's current financial plight led one Blyth Spartans supporter to pay for the club's coach to take the Reds north for last night's game between the two sides. Blyth won 2-0 with Redditch fielding a side with an average age of 19.

Werling Departure Confirmed

The Bulls have confirmed the departure 'by mutual consent' of Dominic Werling.

The German made just eight appearances after signing a two year deal in late August. Fitness problems delayed his first start until October, and his performances failed to impress the fans.

Oxford Travel – Saturday

Oxford United v Hereford United
Football League 2
Saturday 26th February 2011 KO 3.00pm
The Kassam Stadium
Grenoble Road
Phone 01865 337500
Ticket Office 01865 337533

Headington United were formed in 1893 and for about half a century played as an amateur club in local leagues. In 1949 they became a professional club and joined the Southern League winning their first SL championship in 1954 and establishing themselves as a top non-league outfit. The appointment of former Birmingham City manager, Arthur Turner, in 1959 was followed in 1960 by a name change to Oxford United and in 1962 they were elected to the Football League to replace the defunct Accrington Stanley. Several year in Division 4 was followed by promotion to Division 3 which they won in 1968 and then spent the next eight seasons in the, now, Championship before succumbing to financial problems with relegation back to Division 3. In 1982 they were taken over by controversial millionaire, Robert Maxwell.

The combination of Maxwell's cash and the management of Jim Smith saw the club climb to the top flight of English football and also win the League (Milk) Cup beating QPR 3-0 at Weobley Stadium. The death of Maxwell in 1992 saw Oxford follow the direction of the Mirror Group pension fund as they suffered relegations and lacked the cash to bring the aging Manor Ground up to the standards required by the Taylor Report. A succession of Chairmen and managers couldn't halt the slide and Oxford eventually fell out of The League in 2006 despite being acquired by Firoz Kassam in 1999. Kassam masterminded the move to the new the new stadium on the southeast outskirts on the City, which, although three sided, is not actually triangular.

Whilst optimism at The Kassam was high, it came as little surprise to the NLL population that they failed to "p*** this tinpot league" despite the return of Jim Smith and a fully stocked drinks cabinet. In fact, it was not until the second season of current boss, Chris Wilder, following a brief flirtation with Darren Patterson that they clawed their way back into footballing civilisation in May 2010 by defeating York City 3-1 in the Conference Play-Off Final.

The "U’s" currently sit in eighth place in League 2 with leading scorer and former Kiddy Harrier James Constable on thirteen goals for the season.

The Kassam has a capacity of about 12,500 (all-seated) with Bulls' fans being accommodated in part of the North Stand. Admission, on the day, is £18.50 for adults and £10.50 for concessions. However, DISCOUNTED ADVANCE TICKETS are available through HUFC offices until noon on Friday at £16 for adults, £12.50 for students and £9.50 for over 65’s and U16’s. U7’s are admitted free if accompanied by an adult.

HUISA – Departs Radford's at 12.00 noon with a fare of £14. Seats can be booked through the Club office (08442 761939)

BY CAR – Travel to Gloucester then follow signs for Cirencester (A417) to the Air Balloon roundabout where you take the first exit onto the A436. Follow the A436 and then join the A40 (sign Oxford). Continue on the A40 passing signs for Burford and Witney to reach the Wolvercote roundabout on the outskirts of Oxford. Take the first exit (sign Ring Road, Evesham, The Midlands) then at the next roundabout (near Peartree Service Area) again take the first exit on to the A34 (sign Newbury). After about five miles, you will come the Hinksey Hill interchange. Branch left and then at the roundabout, take the first exit on to the A4074 (sign Ring Road, London). From here, follow the brown football signs for The Kassam in Grenoble Road. Postcode is OX4 4XP. Distance is about 86 miles and you should allow 2 hours (Oxfords Saturday traffic is a bit special). There are around 2000 spaces around The Kassam but you are still advised to arrive in good time as they do fill up quickly on match days.

BY TRAIN – Oxford station is about 4 miles from the ground but is well served by local busses. From the station (stop R2), take a number 5 bus to the centre (Queen Street – stop F4) and then, suitably refreshed, take another number 5 to Knights Road in Blackbird Leys, which is a five-minute walk from the stadium. Bus journey time is 25 minutes from the station to the centre and 20 minutes from the centre to Knights Road. Buses run every 5 minutes.

ALEHOUSES – The stadium concourses include bars, which probably sell Carlsberg (spit) as well as the usual football fare. The Priory is at the back of the car park at the "open" end of the ground. It is usually well populated by Oxford fans and although it does get very busy, visiting fans are not unwelcome. As far as I can tell, they don’t serve a real ale. The Blackbird can be found on the nearby estate although reviews suggest it has little to attract visitors. The centre of Oxford offers plenty of choice although most are fairly pricey particularly the ones with decent beer and facilities.
The Anchor – Hayfield Road. OX2 6TT. Good food and Wadsworths
Far From The Madding Crowd – Friars Entry, OX1 2BY. Usually a decent range including local micros. Oxford CAMRA POTY 2009
The Turf Tavern – Bath Place, OX13SU. THE real ale Pub in Oxford. Food expensive but beer superb.
Kings Arms – Holywell Street, OX1 3SP. Youngs and visiting Burton Bridge
The Crown Inn – Cornmarket Street, OX1 3HB. Seven pumps, deffo worth a visit.
The Four Candles (yes, I do know the gag) – George Street, OX1 2BE. Wetherspoons
The Hobgoblin – St Aldates, OX1 1BU. The clue is in the name.

Nearest chip shops appear to be Littlemore Fish Bar on Cowley Road (OX4 4LG) or Ozone Plaice in the Leisure Park on Grenoble Road (OX4 4XP).


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Point Gained said Pitman

Hereford United manager Jamie Pitman gave his reaction to last night's drawn game at Edgar Street to BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"It's another point gained.

"The quicker we get to that 50 points the better.

"We have to show a little bit more ruthlessness at home. We seem to do it away but not at home.

"We're a good team and people make it very difficult for us and credit to what we are doing.

"We need to be a bit brighter around their box. We had a lot of ball without really creating too much despite having good opportunities especially first half.

"The players got the ball in the box a little bit more. Our goal came from a great ball in there."


After dominating the bulk of the first half without posing a serious threat to the Northampton goal, the Bulls conceded early in the second half and then had to rely on a Waide Fairhurst header to salvage a point. With Michael Townsend returning to the side after his ban, it was the turn of Janos Kovacs to sit out the action whilst serving his own one game suspension. The home side was otherwise unaltered.
Stuart Fleetwood, rather out of sorts on Saturday, started in lively fashion with a forceful run and cut back that almost found Joe Colbeck. Harry Pell then showed vision and determination in spotting another Colbeck run, and Chris Dunn had to be smart in blocking the effort. At the other end, an Andy Holt header flashed past Adam Bartlett’s post. Fleetwood was then caught in two minds as to whether a snap shot or a pass was the better option, and the chance went begging.
A promising run by Fleetwood was checked unfairly, and referee Mr Hill showed his experience in delaying his decision to see if any advantage was forthcoming before awarding the free kick. Joe Heath fired goalwards, Dunn spilled the ball, and Pell met the rebound before Fleetwood bundled it home, but celebrations were cut short by an offside flag. Colbeck and Fleetwood again combined well, but the final assault on goal was lacking.
The Newent lad then exchanged quickfire passes with strike partner Fairhurst which opened up the route to goal, but his yellow boots were having trouble in identifying the target. Nathaniel Wedderburn sprayed some useful passes about in the Cobblers midfield, and the combative Holt posed some problems, though the defence looked solid. Michael Jacobs embarked upon a promising run, but lost control at the vital moment. In the last meaningful action of the half, a Harry Pell free kick was deflected for a corner by the defensive wall.
Fairhurst buzzed about purposefully, as the Bulls tried to press home their advantage. However, with the second half under three minutes old, it was the visitors who gained an unlikely lead. A missed header in midfield saw Jacobs scuttle down the wing and win a corner. Kevin “Choc” Thornton’s delivery to the near post was met by a largely unattended Holt who nodded home. Shortly after the restart, Bulls fans held their collective breath as Richard Rose tangled with Billy McKay- just as it seemed likely to lead to another close range chance, Rose made a last-ditch saving tackle, and a half- hearted shout for a penalty was waved away.
Fairhurst robbed ex-Bull Dean Beckwith and sent Colbeck down the wing, but inaccuracy of delivery was evident here, as on other occasions. A smart move involving Pell and the increasingly influential Kenny Lunt at least ended with an attempt on goal, though Fleetwood’s long range shot lacked power. With 67 minutes played, Hereford then grabbed a deserved equaliser. Ryan Green, playing a solid defensive role for the first period, was now starting to push forward, and he delivered a peach of a cross onto Fairhurst’s head, and the Donny loanee gratefully tucked the ball home. The goal celebration left Edgar the Bull, who unwisely attempted to join in, with an unspecified injury.
The home side then attempted to gain a much needed Edgar Street victory, but a number of misplaced crosses and off target shots marred some quite inventive approach play. Northampton posed less of a danger, although they did force a succession of corners, from the last of which the ball was cleared desperately from the line. Rob Purdie, not enjoying one of his more productive days, gave it away easily, but chased back to retrieve possesion, and then a jinking run from Liam Davis ended with the ball whistling across the six yard box.
It was the home side who still enjoyed the lion’s share of possession, but a Townsend shot went wide, a tricky Jimmy McQuilkin run ended with a tame effort, and Fairhurst delayed too long in measuring the perfect angle and the chance had gone. One last chance came with the award of a free kick just outside the area; little Jimmy’s poor shot rather epitomised the night’s proceedings.
Attendance: 2125, including 151 from the home of the Doc Marten.
HUFC: Bartlett, Green, Rose, Townsend, Heath, Colbeck, Pell, Lunt, Purdie (McQuilkin 80), Fairhurst, Fleetwood.
Northampton T.: Dunn, Rogers, Hall, Beckwith, Johnson, Holt, Wedderburn, Jacobs, Davis, Walker (Thornton 39), McKay.

Loan Bull Watch

Sean Canham started and played 86 minutes of Kidderminster's draw at Darlington. Sam Gwynne was a sub for AFC Telford, making a nine minute appearance at the end of the game in their 2-1 win over Alfreton. Sam Malsom started for Gloucester in their 2-0 loss at Gainsborough, being subbed off with 15 minutes left.

Cobblers Reaction from Hereford

Northampton Town manager Ian Sampson gave his reaction to this evening's 1-1 draw with Hereford.

"We looked at a new system yesterday to try and change a few things around but we looked more comfortable at 4-4-2," Sampson told the Northampton OS.

"We had a great start to the second half. It was a good corner from Kevin Thornton and Andy Holt got on the end of it but again it was disappointing that we couldn't see it through.

"Kevin Thornton got us playing in the second half and he moved the ball well. I thought we had more of an edge about us in the second half and our tempo was better.

"These draws are getting bit of a grind now, and we are disappointed because we thought we could have won the game. Michael Jacobs hit the post and Billy McKay should have been awarded a penalty when he was fouled in the second half.

"That's too many times now we have not won after taking the lead but we will continue to work hard at it to improve.

"We look very dangerous from set plays at the moment. Our delivery is very good and that has been a profitable area for us in the last few games."

Results Round Up

The Bulls are now six points clear of the bottom two in League Two after tonight's results. Barnet lost 2-1 at Southend to stay bottom on 27 points, with Stockport a point better off having also played 32 games, two more than the Bulls. Burton continue to hope on their games in hand, six on the bottom two, after crashing 4-1 at Wycombe to remain a point clear of danger, while Bradford are five points further away but sliding badly after a 1-0 home loss to Chesterfield left them with six games without a win. Morecambe fans are wondering when Sammy McIlroy will start to blame himself after their winless run was extended to nine after they lost 2-0 to Macclesfield. The Shrimps are level with the Bantams having played a game more, while the Silkmen move seven points clear with three games in hand.

At the top Chesterfield's win puts them nine points clear having played a game more than their nearest rivals. Wycombe move up to second after their win, while Port Vale's hopes of doing the same ended with a 3-1 home loss to Stevenage. Crewe's play-off bid is faltering after a 3-2 loss at Accrington left them five short of seventh place, while Torquay's 2-2 draw at sinking Cheltenham left them three short with games in hand.

In the Conference Wimbledon's lead is down to three points after a 1-0 home loss to Wrexham, with Crawley beating Southport 1-0 in front of a respectable 3,765. Kidderminster drew 1-1 at Darlington to stay in touch with the play-offs, while Forest Green drew 1-1 at Grimsby to hamper the Mariners' play-off hopes.

In League One's drop zone Plymouth compounded their bad week with a 4-0 loss at Brighton, leaving themselves eight points short with no games in hand. Dagenham drew 1-1 with Huddersfield to move within two points of safety having played up to three games less than their rivals.

Stats from Edgar Street

Below are the main stats from this evening's League Two match at Edgar Street where Hereford United drew 1-1 with Northampton Town.

Possession: Bulls 44% Cobblers 56%

Shots on Target: Bulls 8 Cobblers 3

Shots off Target: Bulls 8 Cobblers 7

Corners: Bulls 5 Cobblers 8

Fouls: Bulls 20 Cobblers 9

Scorer: Waide Fairhurst (67)

Cards: Yellow or Fleetwood

Referee: Keith Hill controlled the game well - one of the best officials seen at ES this season.

Attendance: 2125 including 151 in the away area

Bottom of League Two:

17 Aldershot 31 -7 37
18 Macclesfield 29 -8 35
19 Hereford 30 -9 34
20 Morecambe 32 -12 34
21 Bradford 31 -12 34
22 Burton Albion 26 -4 29
23 Stockport 32 -39 28
24 Barnet 32 -22 27

Squandering Bulls Draw Again

Waide Fairhurst saved the Bulls blushes with an equaliser in a game they were generally on top of.
Gary Holt's opener came after the Bulls had dominated the first half, but they were behind ten minutes before they joined in with the second half and it took a superb Ryan Green cross to fashion the equaliser.
Full report later.
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News Round Up

Plymouth's Administration move yesterday was prompted by a £300,000 tax bill it had to pay by today. They now have ten days to appoint an Administrator or finalise negotiations with new investors. Peter Ridsdale says there are three interested parties, with two of them 'well down the line'. Millwall are to loan former Bulls loanee Theo Robinson to Derby as the player is homesick. The South London Press reports that the Lions paid £300,000 to Huddersfield for the Birmingham-born player just a month ago.

Evo-Stik side Durham City are appealing for witnesses after their first team kit was stolen from their team bus after an away match on Merseyside. Kidderminster boss Steve Burr has taken a swipe at clubs that made bids for some of his players as the club faced financial problems: "They were like vultures circling, which was disrespectful to both myself and the club. They thought they were going to get something for nothing!"

Near-Full League Programme Tonight

The Bulls have the chance to move up a couple of places in the League Two table with the majority of sides playing tonight.

Two sides are a point ahead of the Bulls. Both Bradford, who entertain leaders Chesterfield, and Morecambe are in action tonight. The Shrimps travel to Macclesfield, with the Silkmen a point behind the Bulls with a game in hand. Sammy McIlroy's men have not won in eight matches to be on the worst form in the Division.

Bottom side Barnet are also in action, travelling to surprise play-off contenders Southend, but second-bottom Stockport don't play. They've played 32 games already - more than any other side in the wrong half of the table. Burton continue their odyssey of catch-up games at promotion contenders Wycombe.

In the Conference Crawley return to league action with a down-to-earth match with Southport. They are six points behind Wimbledon with five games in hand. The Wombles entertain Wrexham tonight, but can also be caught by Luton if they win their games in hand.

At the foot of League One Plymouth start their match with leaders Brighton eight points short of safety. They hold a game in hand on target side Swindon with none of the rest of the bottom six in action.

Time for Three Points says Pitman

Hereford United manager Jamie Pitman has told the Worcester News that it's time the Bulls started getting some home wins. The Bulls, who play Northampton at Edgar Street this evening, have only won two League games out of ten at home since Pitman took over.

"We need to make sure some of those draws at home are turned into wins," said Pitman.

"We have only lost one at home since I took over but we have had too many draws but we are winning away so it’s balancing itself out.

"If we were winning at home and away we would be very much in the play-offs.

"We need to make sure we don’t fall back into that bottom two and every point will count."

Monday, February 21, 2011

A point will be better than nothing says Cobblers Manager

Northampton Town manager Ian Sampson has said that this evening's game at Edgar Street is one that the Cobblers need to win after a run of four drawn games but he would settle for a point

"We want the three points, we've had four draws on the trot and we need to start turning these draws into wins," he told the Northampton OS.

"Tuesday night is probably a must win game for us now and with the draws we've had in the last two weeks we are just heaping pressure on ourselves.

"I always set the team out to try and win the game and if we only pick up a point then at least that's better than nothing.

"I thought we played really well at Port Vale until Abdul Osman got sent off but in the last two games we have been poor.

"Hereford's pitch held up quite well last year and the reports that we've had say that it isn't too bad at the moment. I think they missed the torrential rain we had on Saturday so hopefully it will be okay.

"We had a good win there last year but I'd definitely take a scrappy 1-0 win on Tuesday night."

Meanwhile striker Leon McKenzie remains a doubt for the game.

"Leon is a concern and I'd only rate him about 50/50," confirmed Sampson.

"We will see how he is but I think you could see on Saturday the games we had last week have taken it's toll on him.

Kids For A Quid This Evening

It's Kids for a Quid again this evening at Edgar Street for the visit of Northampton Town.

No need to purchase a ticket in advance. Just turn up at the turnstiles with a £1 coin.

Please note the offer is only for those under 14.

Meanwhile the club office will be open before this evening's game for supporters to purchase tickets for the away game at Oxford on Saturday.

And HUISA members will be in Radfords to take coach bookings.

Edgar Street Just Oozes History

Burton Albion were the visitors to Edgar Street last Saturday. Here's part of how one of their supporters enjoyed his day.

Back out onto the road again and its a westbound trip this time, to the small market town of Hereford. Famed for its Cider, Cattle and a rather large F.A cup giant killing from the 70's.

Hereford itself is literally in the middle of nowhere yet isn't one of the more difficult away days in terms of travel. A quick jaunt down the M42 and onto the M5, straight onto the A44 and onwards until those quite impressive floodlights come into view.

Parking up in the massive council-owned car park for a solitary pound at the rear of the Merton Meadow end where the home support would shortly be gathering, I got my first proper look at the stadium in all its erm.....glory. First of all having been treated to the luxury and delights of the San Siro and Borussia Park you could forgive a little stadium snobbery but Edgar Street really is like stepping back in time, it was almost like we were queuing up to watch Ronnie Radford smash that 30 yarder in all over again. The ground comprises of two similar end terraces, one stand with seating and one stand with a mixture of upper tier seating and lower tier terracing which would be our home for the afternoon. The floodlights are quite simply massive and can be seen from miles around and underneath sit some of the oldest turnstiles I have ever come across, the place just oozes history.

If you're partial to a proper west country cider than Radfords bar is more than accomodating, situated beside the players entrance it is a warm and friendly place but doesnt half get packed by both home and away support. Perhaps its the £1.90 pint prices in there? I settled for a wander around the town centre where I came across none other than a merry band of Morris men. Hereford itself isnt the liveliest of towns from first viewing and everywhere seems to be painted grey, almost like an L.S Lowry canvas.

Thankfully i'd managed to stick to my new years diet plan and was able to squeeze through the Edgar street turnstiles, I should imagine anybody with an over 36 inch waist would have a job getting through those as they really are the tightest i've ever come across. A gathering of around 200-300 away supporters packed into the terracing and the game got underway. Burton instantly threatened through Aaron Webster, fresh from his fine winner against league leaders Chesterfield the previous week, watching a free kick saved by Hereford 'keeper Stuart Abbott after three minutes.

Officials must hate Edgar Street, particularly linesmen as this particular young flag-bearer was getting a verbal volley in the ear everytime there was a controversy, even if it was nothing to do with him, courtesy of the away support from the length of a ruler away. Verbals then got worse after the referee showed Albion midfielder Russ Penn a second yellow for a wreckless tackle on Bull's youngster Harry Pell and it was to be an uphill battle from thereon with Hereford smelling blood and rattling the Brewer's crossbar.

Soon it was level again on the numbers front as Hereford centre-back Janos Kovacs decided to follow Penn's example and hack down striker Calvin Zola to earn a second yellow card and have the locals reaching for their pitchforks in anger. Spurred on by the sending-off Burton soon went on the offensive and Zola beat the flag to end up one-on-one with the 'keeper but lifted a shot somewhere in the region of the car park with the only damage inflicted being on some poor soul's windscreen. 0-0 it finished then but a very entertaining afternoon all in all and a visit to one of the few grounds in existance with such a past behind it.

The full article with pictures can be viewed at :