Wednesday, November 30, 2011

HUISA Fans Forum This Evening

The HUISA fans forum will take place this evening at Radfords.

Gary Peters, Hereford United director of football, will be on top table. He has said he is prepared to answer any question connected with the club.

Chaired by Keith Dodd, the forum will commence at 7.30pm, with doors opening at 7pm.

The proceedings are not currently expected to be broadcast live on Bulls Player but they are hoping to video the event. Bulls News will be tweeting during the event.

Ex-Bulls In At Evesham

Former Bulls pair Matt Clarke and Rob Elmes have been appointed as the management duo at Evesham United.

The pair replace Paul West and his brother Leon, who quit the post last weekend with the Evo-Stik Southern Premier side in the bottom two of the division.

Clarke and Elmes were previously in charge at Halesowen, but Clarke quit the post in July 2010 after being suspended by the FA for a year for betting on games he was involved in as a Redditch player in 2007/8. Elmes continued at the club for two further months before leaving.

Evesham currently play at Worcester's St George's Lane while their new stadium is completed.

Boothroyd Appointed Cobblers Boss

Northampton have named Aidy Boothroyd as their new manager on a 12 month rolling contract.

The former Watford and Coventry boss has been out of work since leaving the Ricoh Arena in March. The 40 year old is on his fourth managerial appointment after starting out taking Watford into, and back out of, the Premier League.

He then progressed to Colchester, missing out on the play-offs in his only season in charge, before a disasterous stint with Coventry. His first task as Cobblers boss is to reverse their dramatic slide down the League Two table, where they have won only one point from the last 24.

Boothroyd will be assisted by former Mansfield and Swindon manager Andy King.

Tickets Still Available For Dixie McNeil

There are some tickets still available for the Evening with Dixie McNeil on Friday December 9th.

The evening will allow fans to listen to the former Bulls striker, and assistant manager, reminisce about his time at Edgar Street. Several other former Bulls are also expected to be in attendance.

Tickets are available, priced £5, from the club office.

Canham Returns To Bulls

Striker Sean Canham has returned to Edgar Street after Bath opted not to extend his loan for a third month.

The former Notts County man scored four times in twelve appearances for the Romans. Manager Adie Britton told their official site: “Sean has done exceptionally well and is great to deal with. He’s a very professional lad, and he scored four goals from us and I can’t ask for any more. I wish him well back at Hereford.”

While his future with the Bulls currently appears bleak, partially due to his impact on the wage bill, his return will allow Gary Peters to see him in training for the first time.

News Round-Up

The three loan Bulls were all in action last night. Janos Kovacs played the full match as Luton drew 1-1 with Telford. Sean Canham played 78 minutes for Bath in their 1-1 draw at Cambridge, while Tyler Weir had a fruitless trip to Cornwall as Gloucester lost 3-2 at Truro in the FA Trophy. Northampton have announced that chief scout Peter Johnson has left the club. Johnson is the brother of former manager Gary.

Southend have suspended winger Jemal Johnson for 14 days while they review evidence after his arrest over a nightclub fracas last week. The American has made only one brief sub appearance for the first team in nearly three months. Stockport entered the bottom four of the Conference for the first time last night as they were thrashed 7-0 by Grimsby. Boss Jim Gannon has confirmed to fans that the wage bill needs to be slashed to keep the club running.

Wrexham have finally had their takeover approved by the FA. Their Supporters Trust now fully owns the club, while the local university owns the Racecourse ground. Former Bulls striker Wesley Ngo Baheng is now on trial with French side RC Strasbourg. The 22 year old has been without a club since leaving Edgar Street in March.

Plymouth have lost the services of defender Ben Gibson after parent club Middlesboro recalled the teenager. He played 16 times for the Pilgrims and was due to remain at the club until the end of January. Swindon have had their bid to get the loan signing of Paul Benson accepted thrown out. They say they hope to make the signing in January instead.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Davis Backs Bulls Survival

Crewe boss Steve Davis has backed the Bulls to stay in League Two.

After reviewing Saturday's DVD, Davis praised his players for defending en masse against a strong Bulls attack. He told Crewe's official site:

"It was a tough game because Hereford made it hard and are a lot better than their league position suggests.

"Their manager said afterwards that it was the best they have played and I think they will be fine if they work as hard as they did against us."

Meanwhile, a Bulls side is reported to have played a reserve match against Birmingham today. Several players have tweeted about the match, which is reported to have ended in a 3-0 win for the Bulls. Richard Peniket scored twice, with Kenny Lunt grabbing the other. Birmingham's first team squad is in Europa League action tomorrow night.

HMRC Challenges The Football Creditors Rule

The taxman is taking to the High Court this week in a bid to overturn the Football Creditors rule that sees footballing debts paid in full when a club goes bust.

HMRC have been chasing the rule ever since they lost their own preferred creditor status in 2003, leaving only football debts to be paid in full. They now want that rule deemed illegal so that they can recover more funds when clubs go bust. Both the Premier League and Football League are to defend themselves this week. Removal of the rule would eradicate protection for both other clubs and the players - and other staff - when a side goes bust.

In the case of Plymouth, office staff who worked for nine months without pay will now receive their full back wages over a period of time. Without the rule, they would have been left with a tiny percentage of their due wages. Unsecured creditors received just 0.77p of every pound they were owed. With the guarantee that they would have been paid - eventually - the staff remained and the club survived. Without the guarantee, and the prospect of working essentially for free for several months, most would have likely walked out.

The Football League claim the rule protects the integrity of the competition, preventing clubs from shedding debts and gaining an unfair advantage. It also suggests that lower league sides would have no guarantees that they would be paid when they sold a player, meaning that lower value cash upfront deals would be taken over higher value staged deals.

A judgement on the case is expected before the end of the week.

Peniket Extends Loan

The Bulls have announced that striker Richard Peniket has extended his loan at Edgar Street for a second month.

The Fulham teenager is yet to appear for the first team but has been a regular scorer in the reserves.

Meanwhile, Will Evans' loan from Swindon has expired. The teenager signed a three month deal at the end of August and cannot extend the deal until January's transfer window. The defender started four games and made two further sub appearances but was often the odd man out due to limits on the number of loanees.

News Round-Up

Bristol City have posted a loss of £11.4million for the past season. The loss is slightly down from the £11.8million loss of the season before, and now means they have burned through £30million over just three seasons. They expect to slash their wage bill this summer with several expensive player contracts due to expire, and will also cut the number of players at the club. Shrewsbury have extended the loan of midfielder James Wallace for a second month.

Port Vale are allowing released Barnet midfielder Tommy Fraser to train with the club. Fraser was Micky Adams' first signing when he first arrived at the club, but lasted just two weeks when Jim Gannon took over. The Valiants' Supporters Club is to meet club officials on Thursday to seek answers on the club's financial state.

O'Kelly Helps Smith

Former Bulls coach Richard O'Kelly has linked up with former Bulls captain Dean Smith at Walsall.

Smith's Walsall side are currently in League One's relegation zone, and O'Kelly has come in on a voluntary basis to help out his former boot boy. Smith told the Express and Star: “Richard’s a friend of mine and is in on a voluntary basis, he was working at Doncaster but he’s not been doing anything so I asked if he could come in, have a look and lend a hand.

“He’s a great man, full of enthusiasm and is enjoying it. He came in on Monday and has been working with us. He’s taken a bit of coaching and it’s allowed me to stand back a bit.

“I’ve been trying to get some loan signings in so it’s allowed me to concentrate on that a little bit more and watch a bit of training. When we go onto the tactical stuff, I can have my say then.

“It definitely takes a little bit of the pressure off and he’s a good bloke – even if he still owes me £10 from when I used to clean his boots!”

Smith guided the Saddlers away from the foot of the table after coming in as manager in January, but finds his cash-strapped side still in the mire this term. O'Kelly came in for their FA Cup win over Exeter, and has also assisted Smith for their subsequent goalless draw with Stevenage last weekend.

Daggers Odds-On For Drop

Both Dagenham and Plymouth are odds-on for relegation from League Two.

Despite Plymouth's 4-1 win at the weekend, they remain firm relegation favourites with each of the five bookies currently offering odds. Dagenham are expected to join them after earning just four points from the last 45, with one bookie going odds-on and three more Even money.

The Bulls are best-priced at 4/1 alongside Northampton, after being 7/1 three weeks ago. Bradford are 5/1 and Barnet 6/1, with a long gap then to Accrington on 16/1.

At the other end of the table, Crawley are odds-on favourites for the title with Southend 4/1. The Shrimpers have gone 16 games unbeaten since back-to-back losses to Crawley and Burton in August.

Monday, November 28, 2011

News Round-Up

Shrewsbury say a group of Wrexham supporters daubed grafitti on their stadium on Sunday evening. 24 hour CCTV was in operation and the group were caught before being given Police cautions. Crewe boss Steve Davis is to introduce yoga to his training sessions to give his players more flexibility. He believes the move will cut down on niggling injuries.

Darlington chairman Raj Singh says former manager Mark Cooper has rejected a £15,000 offer as settlement on the remainder of his contract, and he now expects to matter to be settled in court. It is reported the offer is less than half of the sum he would have been paid to the end of the season, when his deal would have expired. Northampton caretaker boss Tim Flowers says he fears for the club's future if they are relegated to the 'graveyard' of the Conference. Former Watford boss Aidy Boothroyd is rumoured to be set to take over this week.

Returning Stockport boss Jim Gannon says he was 'embarrassed' by his side's performance in his first match back in charge. The home loss to Southport was watched by 1,700 more fans than watched their previous home game. Swindon admit they were 'a few minutes late' in registering loan striker Paul Benson, but they still hope the Football League will allow the transfer. Southend are reported to have also made an offer for the striker, but could not afford to pay Benson's full wages.

No Bulls in the Team of the Week. Crewe defender Adam Dugdale and goalscorer Nick Powell are both nominated for their performances against the Bulls, while Plymouth also have two players in the XI. Accrington have announced an 18 month ground sponsorship deal with a local mineral water company. The firm was only created two months ago but already claims a workforce of 450.

Hard Week For The Bulls Squad

The Bulls squad are in for a hard week after a trio of defeats on the trot.

Several players have taken to Twitter this morning to say they are to have double training sessions all week while several other sides not participating in the FA Cup this weekend have been given time off.

It has also been revealed that Gary Peters will be taking the team's tactics board to the fans forum on Thursday night. The veteran boss will have been at Edgar Street for two months by the weekend, with the Bulls taking 11 points from the eight League matches he has had involvement in. In the eight games previous to his arrival, the Bulls secured just six points.

On those eight games, the Bulls sit tenth in the current form table with Dagenham bottom, having lost all eight matches, and Northampton second bottom with just one point. The top seven in the current form table are the top seven in the League Two table, with Torquay eighth and Crewe ninth.

While the Bulls goalscoring record has not been good, since Peters' arrival they have scored more goals (12) than ten other sides including Port Vale, Wimbledon, and five goal Bradford. They have also conceded fewer goals than 12 sides, with Northampton and Dagenham conceding 48 goals between them.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

On and Off The Pitch in December

Here's a list of the main dates for Hereford United supporters both on and off the pitch in December.

Dec 1st: HUISA Fans Forum with Director of Football Gary Peters at Legends, 7pm. Keith Dodd will chair the meeting. "No questions are out of bounds".

Dec 2nd: Hereford United Youth Team play their third round FA Youth Cup-Tie at Wigan, kick-off 7pm. A coach is running from Hereford to the game. More details contact the club on 0844 276 1939

Dec 8th: Fans Forum with Gary Peters at the Royal British Legion at Ledbury, 7.30pm. More details from Jeremy on 01531 634387

Dec 10th: Hereford United at home against Rotherham, 3pm.

Dec 14th: Hereford United AGM at the Vice-Presidents club, 7pm start. Shareholders only.

Dec 17th: Plymouth away, 3pm

Dec 26th: Port Vale at home, 1-30pm

Dec 31st: Accrington at home, 3pm

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I thought Hereford played well said Crewe Boss

In his post match interview, Crewe manager Steve Davis said he felt his side defended well against Hereford whom he thought had deserved something from the game.

"It was a good three points," Davis told the Crewe OS.

"I thought some of the defending was really terrific today. We blocked shots and headed the ball out. We rode our luck at times because I thought Hereford played well and probably deserved something from the game. I was pleased but I am also realistic.

"I thought we were okay for 60, 70 minutes but tired again and I could have taken seven or eight off today, but they dug in and held on.

"The difference was Nick's goal. It was that little bit of quality and class in the final third that has won us the game. It came out of nothing again but we know he is a special player."

Bulls derailed at Crewe

A single second period goal from the impressive Nick Powell condemned United to another defeat at Gresty Road this afternoon.

The Bulls demoted hard-working Nathan Elder to the bench and gave starts to Delroy Facey and Yoann Arquin with Simon Clist dropping into the left back spot replacing the injured Joe Heath in a change to 4-4-2.

Ryan Green conceded an early free kick as Crewe signalled their intentions but made swift amends by getting in a fine clearance header from the resulting free kick. Arquin delivered a cross which Facey got on the end of but his effort came back off the post before a break down the left resulted in a shooting chance for United but Barkhuisen blazed well over. Then a measured through ball to Leitch-Smith required another timely interception by Ryan Green and Barkhuizen’s swinging cross was beaten out by home keeper Philips.

Play switched from end to end and Arquin put Facey in on goal but he was closed out before he could get a clean shot away then Pell carelessly lost possession in midfield and must have been relieved to see Martin’s shot rise over the bar and Michael Townsend got in a fine block tackle to clear for a non-eventful corner. Rob Purdie nipped in to steal a Crewe cross-field ball and sent Arquin away down the left. The Frenchman’s cross found Facey but Dugdale was in position to block the shot. The swirling wind meant good football was at a premium but the hosts were the ones who chose to play the ball along the ground more often although, as the half drew to a close, Steve Leslie was unlucky to see his smart effort pushed round the post by Philips.

HT Crewe 0 Bulls 0

Play continues in a similar vein after the break with Crewe looking to build attacks through midfield and Hereford seemingly intent on trying to hit the front-men from deep and hoping for someone to pick up the knock-downs. In the first half there had been a lack of support but the second period saw Pell frequently in a more forward position. Leitch-Smith miss-controlled a through ball and promptly collapsed to the ground to win a dubious free kick but Powell sent his shot over the bar. Facey was fouled by Tootle and a deep cross fell to Barkhuizen who pulled the ball back for Pell, on the edge of the box, to fire narrowly wide before Crewe took the lead just after the hour mark.

A throw on the right was quickly moved through midfield to Powell on the left who checked inside and fired just inside the far post from well outside the box despite Cornell getting a hand to it.

A long ball from the back found Facey but he was outnumbered four to one and the ball was soon back in the other half. Barkhuizen again pulled the ball back from the right but Pell’s shot from distance went straight into the arms of Philips. The industrious Featherstone found Arquin and his cross found Barkhuizen at the back post but his header was clawed away by Philips. The Bulls continued to press forward and Crewe introduced a couple of pairs of fresh legs with 15 minutes to go. Pitman hauled off Steve Leslie and threw Elder on in a belated effort to add spark to The Bull’s front line but little was produced apart from another Pell twenty-yarder which failed to trouble the keeper beyond a regulation catch. Barkhuizen charged down a Philips clearance but ball rolled safely for a goal kick as the game closed with four fairly uneventful minutes of extra time.

Attendance: 2591 with 320 reportedly from The Shire

FT Crewe 1 Bulls 0

Hereford: Cornell, Purdie, Townsend, Green, Clist, Barkhuizen, Pell, Featherstone, Leslie (Elder 76), Arquin, Facey. Subs unused: Bartlett, Dalibard, Heath, Lunt.

Crewe: Phillips, Tootle, Artell, Dugdale, Martin; Moore, Bell, Lowry (Davis 74), Powell (Shelley 83); Miller, Leitch-Smith (Fletcher 74). Subs not used: Martin, Clayton.

At the back, The Bulls looked fairly solid with Clist fitting in well on the left and although the four-man midfield were industrious, they were too often bypassed as the ball was launched up to Facey and Arquin. Crewe used a more scientific approach and were rewarded by a well-worked goal. The Bulls failed to get back on track as Crewe was not the platform to re-launch their season’s collection of points as the long ball tactic frequently hit the buffers.

News Round-Up

Swindon are still waiting on Football League acceptance of their loan approach for striker Paul Benson. They are asking for 'common sense' from the FL after they apparently failed to fax the transfer across in time. Robins boss Paolo Di Canio has said winger Matt Ritchie is worth £2million after turning down a £250,000 offer from Bournemouth on deadline day.

Ahead of their loss to Plymouth today, Northampton caretaker boss Tim Flowers told his players to 'go and work in a shop' if they didn't have the mental strength to get them out of trouble. The former England keeper says he doesn't want the manager's job full time. Plymouth's official website has apologised to defender Paul Bignot after calling him 'a chump' after he was sent off against Stourbridge in the week.

Yeovil have released plans to build a new food store on land by Huish Park. They say if the plans are not approved, it will be 'dire' for the club as it is struggling to 'maintain it's position in the Football League'. Darlington chairman Raj Singh has used his programme notes to blast some of the club's players that have refused to even enter into talks over reducing wages at the club. Singh says some players have agreed cuts of up to 25%.

Results Round-Up

The Bulls remain four points clear of the bottom two, but Plymouth closed their own safety gap after beating sorry Northampton 4-1 to move within a point of Dagenham. The Cobblers have now conceded 15 goals in their last three League matches, while the Daggers went down 3-0 at Accrington with just 1,308 watching at the Crown Ground. With Barnet winning last night, Bradford are the only other side below the Bulls and they drew 0-0 with Gillingham. Bristol Rovers slip another place to 18th after their 1-1 draw with Southend.

At the top, Southend's draw allowed Crawley to draw level with them on points after they beat Rotherham 2-1. Cheltenham beat Oxford 3-1 to remain third, while Shrewsbury hold fourth after beating Morecambe 2-0. Burton are up to fifth after a 3-2 win over Wimbledon, and Swindon are sixth after beating Aldershot 2-0.

In the Conference, Wrexham's goalless draw with Braintree keeps them top on goal difference only after Fleetwood also drew, 1-1 with Gateshead. Kidderminster drew 0-0 with Cambridge, while Forest Green drew 1-1 with York. Punters saw a massive gamble pay off when Grimsby beat depleted Kettering 2-1.

Strikers aren't scoring for Bulls

Once again this afternoon, Hereford United's strikers have failed to score. It's been a problem for most of the season and despite dropping Nathan Elder for today's game at Crewe, neither Delroy Facey nor Yoann Arquin could fine the back of the net although Facey did have a cross 'which bounced off the post'.

A look at the goals scored by the Bulls in League Two games this season to date shows a total of 16 goals in 19 games.

Delroy Facey has scored one of them, Yoann Arquin has scored one and loanee Sam Winnal scored two in the short spell he was at Edgar Street. More recent loanee striker Nathan Elder has also scored two. That's six for the strikers.

The other 10 have come from winger Tom Barkhuizen (5), midfielder Harry Pell (2), winger Steve Leslie (2) and a penalty from Rob Purdie.

No other side has scored less goals in League Two than the Bulls.

Relentless Second Half For Bulls Thought Pitman

Despite losing 1-0 to Crewe this afternoon, Hereford United manager Jamie Pitman felt the Bulls created a number of good chances especially in a 'relentless second half' for his side. However when questioned about the change of formation of the team he dismissed a view that it was because of pressure from supporters.

"I haven't gone 4-4-2 because the supporters have asked," Pitman told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"I've gone 4-4-2 because the personnel today suited us.

"We left Nathan out as we felt we might be better off retaining possession up there and it certainly worked for us today.

"For me it was a relentless second half, I don't think they really got into our half."

Delroy Facey and Yoann Arquin started up front.

"I thought Arquin was our outstanding performer today along with Delroy who hasn't had much football lately.

"I thought those two were excellent throughout."

Pitman spoke about the chances in the game.

"We've got to make more of our chances. We can't deny we've got to make more of those opportunities and set-piece opportunities that are crucial to us."

Crewe had just one shot on target in the whole game.

"It was a fine strike from the lad.

"He's had a little bit too much room but he's absolutely smashed it.

"From where I stood Cornell got an arm on it. It would have been a world-class save if he had got it."

The full interview can be heard at:

Bulls Bluster Ends In Defeat

The Bulls lost today's League Two match 1-0 at Crewe, but not through lack of effort.

A switch to 4-4-2 brought more opportunities and it was home keeper Steve Phillips who was the busier man, pulling off two fine saves to keep his sheet clean.

Full report later.

Stats from Gresty Road

Below are the main stats from a wind-swept Gresty Road where Crewe defeated Hereford United 1-0.

Possession: Crewe 55% Bulls 45%

Shots on Target: Crewe 1 Bulls 4

Shots off Target: Crewe 5 Bulls 7

Corners: Crewe 4 Bulls 9

Fouls: Crewe 5 Bulls 16

Cards: Yellow for Yoann Arquin

Attendance: 3591 with 320 in the away 'side'

Bottom of League Two:

18 Bristol Rovers 19 -8 22
19 Barnet 19 -14 19
20 Hereford 19 -16 17
21 Northampton 19 -16 16
22 Bradford 19 -8 15
23 Dag & Red 19 -19 13
24 Plymouth 19 -20 12

Ben Smith joins Woking

Former Hereford United mid-fielder Ben Smith has joined Woking on-loan for an initial month from Crawley Town.

Smith has been unable to gain a regular place in the Crawley starting eleven and has recently been on loan at Kettering.

He is expected to play for Woking in their FA Trophy match at Chelmesford this afternoon.

Matt Done at Barnsley

Former Hereford United winger Matt Done has improved his game so much that he will be in the Barnsley line-up against Leeds later today.

Done was brought to Edgar Street from Wrexham by Graham Turner but failed to keep a regular place in his squad and was released in 2010. He joined Rochdale and then last summer moved to Barnsley.

"It’s great to have Matt back firing on all cylinders," said manager Keith Hill as reported by the Yorkshire Post.

"We knew he had ability and I never had any doubts about his quality. The doubters were the supporters because they want ‘name’ signings and it is difficult to re-assure supporters that you know what you are doing, especially when you are a new management team.

"Two seasons ago, his career was going nowhere. He had just been released by Hereford but we gave him an opportunity at Rochdale.

"He’s been written off by so many managers, so many times before, but we have always tried to support him through his mistakes as well as the sort of performance he delivered last weekend. Too often, managers and coaches expect players to know everything about football because they are a ‘good player’ but they don’t and they need to be educated in tactics, positional work, and the opposition.

"He’s still developing as a player but it’s great to be able to do that in the Championship. Two seasons ago, he may have been doing it non-league. I can understand supporters not really endearing themselves to these signings but it is evident now that they can hold their own in the Championship."

Gusty Conditions expected at Crewe

Gusty winds are expected at Gresty Road this afternoon when Crewe take on Hereford United.

The strength of the wind is likely to affect the game and managers may delay final selection of their starting eleven with that in mind.

Meanwhile, for those unable to attend, both BBC Hereford and Worcester and Bulls Player will have full commentary of the game, the first away fixture for the Bulls since October 29th.

With the Worcester Warriors playing last night, H&W will focus on events at Crewe where Keith Hall will be behind the microphone.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Bulls Drop a Place in Table

Hereford United have dropped from 19th to 20th in the League Two table this evening.

Barnet move above them after they defeated Macclesfield 2-1. Izale McLeod scored both goals for the Bees from the penalty spot, with the Silkmen facing a FA fine after getting seven players booked and one more sent off.

In the other League Two match played this evening Torquay and Port Vale drew 0-0.

Bottom of League Two:

16 Crewe 18 -6 22
17 Bristol Rovers 18 -8 21
18 Accrington Stanley 18 -6 20
19 Barnet 19 -14 19
20 Hereford 18 -15 17
21 Northampton 18 -13 16
22 Bradford 18 -8 14
23 Dag & Red 18 -16 13
24 Plymouth 18 -23 9

Injury News from Pitman

In his latest interview Hereford United manager Jamie Pitman has spoken about two of his players who, hopefully, will be in contention for a place in the match squad shortly.

"Joe Colbeck coming back, he's looking the fittest I've ever seen him," Pitman told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"We all know what potential he can bring to us.

"And also Stefan (Stam).

"He's been injuried. He's been on and off, stop, start.

"He now needs to knuckle down and make sure that he gets back. It will be like signing another new player."

Pitman confirmed that no new signings or loan players have joined the club this week.

"We've got six or seven loans anyway that are barely costing us anything.

"We didn't have the financial resources to do anything."

Thomas Cook is a Hereford United Partner

One of the main 'partners' of Hereford United football club is listed as travel company Thomas Cook.

The main benefit for the club from Thomas Cook comes from supporters who travel with the company. Fans are entitled to an extra discount through the Hereford United Holiday Club. The deal is advertised in The Bulls match programme.

The advert states 'guaranteed discount for Hereford United fans' but lower down in the small print says 'no membership or proof of being a supporter required'

The club was launched in December 2006 with then manager Graham Turner proclaiming 'There will be an extra discount on holidays for supporters of this club, and commission will be paid to Hereford United Football Club for every holiday booked.'

So if you're booking a holiday with Thomas Cook please mention that you are a Hereford United supporter. You should receive a discount and the club will receive a commission.

There are four other Hereford United partners, M&M Direct, Savills, Cargill and Admiral.

Supporters dismiss EPPP

In October the FSF (Football Supporters Federation) asked members what they thought of the new Elite Player Performance Plan.

The EPPP changes the youth compensation formula and could mean Football League clubs receive lower fees for players under 17. In return they receive more funding for youth development over a four-year period.

The likes of MK Dons boss Karl Robinson and Barry Fry have already expressed their concerns and it seems FSF members agree.

A whopping 84% said they do not back the EPPP in the online poll.

Davis To Decide On Line-Up

Crewe boss Steve Davis says he is yet to decide on his line-up to face the Bulls tomorrow.

Davis makes his Gresty Road debut as manager with two new loan faces at his disposal, but wants to see new arrivals Jamie Lowry and Wes Fletcher in the flesh before deciding on his XI. He told their official site:

"It would be silly of me to put them straight in without really seeing them, so I will have a good look at them in training today and then decide. They will be like any other player. If they impress me then they have a chance of being involved. That is the possibility for all of them."

Meanwhile, Davis' attempts to sign a left back were blocked by the player's agent. The League One target was all set to sign with his manager wanting him to get some games, but the agent refused the deal. Davis had also been rejected by an uncontracted player who opted to trial at Oldham, and another full back from a fellow League Two side.

On the injury front Crewe will be missing midfielder Luke Murphy, who picked up a hamstring injury in training yesterday. It will be only the second League game he has missed this season. Also out is the suspended Ashley Westwood, who was sent off two weeks ago.

Two League Two Games Tonight

There are two League Two matches tonight, ahead of the full programme tomorrow.

Barnet entertain over-achievers Macclesfield looking for a second successive win that would take them above the Bulls. Port Vale, currently in freefall, entertain Torquay in the other match.

Tomorrow rock-bottom Plymouth entertain managerless Northampton, Bradford face a tough trip to Gillingham, and Dagenham travel to Accrington. Should the Bulls win tomorrow, they could go level on points with 18th placed Stanley but would need a substantial swing in goal difference to move above them.

Pitman Aims To Bounce Back

Bulls boss Jamie Pitman has told the Worcester News that the Bulls need to bounce back from the late heartache against Burton.

Two injury time goals swung the result against the Bulls, with Pitman telling the paper: “For 90 minutes the boys did very well and had the points in the bag. Then, for six minutes that we have looked at on the DVD, we didn’t see the game out. It’s a big learning curve for everyone and we must make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“If we had got the win, we would have had 14 points from the last seven matches. That’s two points a game and if you keep that up you’ll probably end up winning the league. We have to get over the disappointment.”

The paper also reports that Joe Heath remains in contention despite his abdominal injury.

News Round-Up

Former Bulls midfielder Ben Smith has signed for Woking on loan from Crawley. The former Arsenal trainee will stay with the Cards for an initial month, linking up again with his former Weymouth boss Garry Hill. Southend winger Jemal Johnson has been arrested on suspicion of assault. He was arrested outside a nightclub in Ilford on Thursday morning and has been released on bail.

Bradford say they pulled the plug on their moves for Charlton striker Paul Benson due to abnormalities in the player's medical. Press reports from South London say the Bantams tried to change the financial goalposts last minute. Swindon are now claimed to have made a late move, but have yet to receive confirmation that the deal was sealed before the 5pm deadline.

Former Plymouth midfielder Kari Arnason says he was sacked by the Administrators by email after refusing to sign a further wage deferral. Crewe youngster Nick Powell has been warned by the club after he called Morecambe midfielder Andy Fleming 'a girl' on Twitter. Powell claimed Fleming 'scratches like a lil girl' after their last-gasp win at the Globe Arena last weekend.

Barnet have finally agreed a termination with midfielder Tommy Fraser. The former Port Vale man played only once for the club since August, but had 18 months left on his deal. Kettering have had a transfer embargo placed on them after failing to pay their wages. They let five players move on this week including their three main strikers, but were barred from signing three young loan players as replacements.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Crewe Sign Loan Duo

With the Bulls seemingly quiet on loan deadline day, Saturday's opponents Crewe have made two late additions.

Striker Wes Fletcher and utility man Jamie Lowry have both signed for the Railwaymen until January. Burnley 20 year old Fletcher previously had a ten game stint with Accrington earlier in the season, and had a spell at Stockport last season where he was part of the side that was hammered 5-0 by the Bulls.

24 year old Lowry has spent his career with Chesterfield, making over 100 appearances, but has made only five sub appearances in over two years since damaging a knee in training. His last start was against the Bulls in October 2009, with the Spireites losing 1-0.

Preview: Crewe vs Bulls

The Bulls travel north to face Crewe Alexandra in a League Two match on Saturday.

Since the Bulls returned to the Football League they have won three and drawn one of the six meetings with the Railwaymen, including winning both of last season's matches 1-0. Janos Kovacs' header on the opening day settled the match at Gresty Road, while Stuart Fleetwood's first half strike settled matters at Edgar Street in March.

The Railwaymen have shown signs of resurgence under new manager Steve Davis. The former Burnley defender wants to instill a harder work ethic and faster tempo into his inherited side, and has told the press this week that he needs the break that their FA Cup defeat has offered them to get the team up to scratch after accusing them of being not fit enough when he took over. Top scorer Shaun Miller has six, but hasn't scored in twelve games, while fellow youth team graduate Byron Moore has five. Such is the influence of their youth side this term is that twelve of their seventeen man matchday squad last weekend were graduates of the scheme.

The Bulls travel to Gresty Road looking to get back to winning ways after three losses in their last four matches. The management has persisted with playing a single forward, even at home, despite complaints from fans and that is unlikely to change for this away game. The hard working Nathan Elder is expected to be flanked by wide men Tom Barkhuizen and Steven Leslie, with Yoann Arquin and Delroy Facey both reportedly knocking hard on the door in training, and youngster Richard Peniket again netting for the reserves. With Adam Bartlett coming through the same reserve game in midweek, it will be the first time in several months that David Cornell has had a serious challenge for the keeper spot.

Crewe Alexandra vs Hereford United, Gresty Road, Saturday 26th November, 3.00pm.

Heath Doubt For Crewe

Hereford United defender Joe Heath is a doubt for Saturday's League Two match at Crewe. Benoit Dalibard will probably start instead.

"Joe has had an abdominal problem for a couple of months and it resurfaced on Saturday," said manager Jamie Pitman as reported by the Hereford Times.

A couple of other items of note from the HT:

The Hereford United AGM will be held at the VP club on Wednesday December 14th at 7pm.

A fans forum with director of football Gary Peters will be held at the Royal British Legion in Ledbury at 7.30pm on December 8th.

News Round-Up

Plymouth have signed former Bulls striker Nick Chadwick on a loan deal until January from Stockport. The 29 year old has scored seven times this season but is believed to be a high earner for the Hatters and they need to cut their bills. The much travelled striker had a prior spell at Home Park, scoring ten times in 77 games. Kettering manager Mark Stimson has warned he may struggle to raise a side for Saturday if an expected player exodus happens today. Up to ten players are reported to be set to leave the club.

Swindon are to sign Ipswich striker Ronan Murray on loan. The 20 year old had a seven game loan spell at Torquay last term, scoring once. The Robins are also reported to have received a bid from Bournemouth for midfielder Matt Ritchie. Port Vale manager Micky Adams says he will bring in two loan players today after the club said earlier this week he was not looking for reinforcements.

Bradford target Paul Benson is also now being tracked by Notts County as well as Dagenham. The 32 year old held talks at Valley Parade yesterday. Barnet have extended the loan of defender Jack Saville from Southampton until January. Morecambe have loaned defender Kieran Charnock to Fleetwood until January. The 27 year old only signed a permanent deal with the Shrimps in the summer after spending much of last season on loan from Torquay.

Torquay defender Brian Saah is to miss six weeks with a groin tear picked up in Saturday's win over Plymouth. In his latest column for Total Football (link) former Bull Ben Smith has told readers his wages have dropped by over 60% over the past three years. Swindon have cancelled the contract of goalkeeper Mattia Lanzano, just four months into a two year deal. The 21 year old's last appearance was when he conceded three against the Bulls.

Bradford have loaned striker Nialle Rodney to Mansfield for an initial month. The 20 year old has just finished a similar spell with Darlington, where he played just 45 minutes. Rotherham have signed Brentford wide man Sam Wood on loan until January 9th. The 25 year old can play anywhere on the left or right. The Millers have seen midfielder Gareth Evans ruled out until the New Year with an ankle injury.

Oxford have signed striker Lewis Guy from MK Dons on loan until January. The 26 year old had a month at the Kassam Stadium earlier in the season, scoring once in six games, and trialled earlier in the month at Bradford. Port Vale have signed defender Shane O'Connor on loan from Ipswich until January. The Irish u21 man hasn't played for the Tractorboys' first team this season.

Torquay are to sign Colchester defender Tom Aldred on loan until January. The 21 year old had a loan spell in League Two with Stockport last term, and started this season on loan at Inverness. Aldershot have signed Luton winger Charlie Henry on loan for two months. The 25 year old has never played in the Football League before, but has two England 'C' team caps.

Burton have loaned forward Greg Pearson to Aldershot until January. The 26 year old was part of their Conference winning side but has made only two sub appearances for the Brewers this term. Cheltenham have signed Bristol City midfielder Bobby Reid on loan until January. The 18 year old made his only senior appearance as a sub at the end of last season.

Barnet have signed Reading striker Cedric Baseya on loan until January. The 23 year old Frenchman's only appearance in English football was as a sub for Southampton three years ago, but has had spells at Le Havre and Lille since. Port Vale have signed Stevenage duo Guy Madjo and Jennison Myrie-Williams on loan. Ex-Bull Myrie-Williams and striker Madjo have made only one start between them for the League One side since signing in the summer.

Accrington have loaned forward Kurtis Guthrie to Southport for an initial month. The 18 year old has struggled for games since signing his first pro deal in the summer. Cheltenham have signed former Bulls loanee Marlon Jackson on loan from Bristol City. The 20 year old scored once in six games on loan at Northampton earlier in the season.

Plymouth have signed Wolves winger Ashley Hemmings on loan until January. The 20 year old is their seventh loan signing in total, and third in two days. He had previous loan spells with Cheltenham and Torquay.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Changes since last visit to Crewe

In his weekly column in this morning's Hereford Times, Jamie Pitman looks forward to Saturday's game at Crewe.

"Our trip to Crewe this Saturday brings back memories of the start of last season," said the Hereford United manager.

"Since then, the club has moved forward off the field in a lot of respects; the supporters club is getting re-built and we are reaching out to the community and trying to bring them into the football club.

"On the field, there have been changes of staff and a turnaround in players.

"Now we need to get through this season and really sit down and assess where we are in the football aspect of it for next season.

"We need to make sure that we get in exactly what we want within the realms of our budget."

Meanwhile the best price for a Hereford win at Crewe is now 16/5 with Victor Chandler, earlier this week it was 3/1.

Tackling It Together Supported By Vinnie Jones

Former Wimbledon star and Hollywood hard-man Vinnie Jones has teamed up with the npower Football League to launch a new campaign that aims to tackle anti-social behaviour in the nation’s youth through football.

The ‘Tackling it Together’ programme will consist of two elements; firstly a £720,000 investment from npower via The Football League Trust which will enable the 72 Football League clubs to run respect workshops in schools nationwide. This investment will then be supplemented in the New Year by the ‘Tackling it Together’ fund, a grant scheme that local community groups can apply for to make football available to the kids that attend their centres.

The launch will see Vinnie Jones deliver a football coaching session and pep talk for Tower Hamlets school children in the abandoned Shoreditch Tube Station. He will be assisted in delivering the session by the ‘Tackling it Together’ team, a group of individuals aged between 21-35 who have had troubled backgrounds, but have turned their lives around due to their involvement in the sport.

Alongside the other members of the ‘Tackling it Together’ team, Vinnie will play an active role in determining where the grants are allocated and feels that his imperfect past makes him an ideal ambassador for the campaign.

The former Crazy Gang member said: “No matter what you’ve done in life, tomorrow is the chance for a fresh start. You can always aspire to be good, to be better, and to turn your fortunes around. I know this all too well which is exactly why I wanted to be involved in the campaign.”

Clare McDougall from npower said: “We’re delighted to be launching a campaign that has such potential to be a force for good, especially at a time when the behaviour of the nation’s youth is under such scrutiny following the 2011 England riots.

“It’s an old cliché, but football is clearly more than ‘just a game’. You only have to look at the stories of our ‘Tackling it Together’ team, and Vinnie himself, to see how football has helped turn young lives around and we hope to see more of the same through this campaign.”

Mike Evans, general manager of The Football League Trust, who are working closely with npower on the campaign, commented: “Through our 72 community trusts, we have a wealth of examples of how football has made a positive difference to individuals across the country. Not only does football inspire individuals to achieve and improve their own lives, but it also acts as a focus to pull communities together which is important after the unrest seen in the summer.”

To find out more about the ‘Tackling it Together’ programme, visit

Crewe Travel – Saturday

Crewe Alexandra v Hereford United
Football League 2
Saturday 26th November 2011 Kick-Off 3.00pm
Alexandra Stadium
Gresty Road
Phone 01270 213 014

Travelling United fans face the trip to Gresty Road on Saturday as The Bulls look to return to winning ways following two disappointing results against Yeovile and Burton.

Crwho are one of those disgraceful clubs that shamelessly exploit visiting fans by charging three pounds more for adults than they do for their own "member" fans.  They even refuse any student concessions by insisting that their student scheme is members only.  Do the discrimination laws in this country only apply to race?  Adults £19.50, 12-16 £9, U11's £5, Seniors and disabled £15.50.

Coaches – HUISA Departs Radford's at 11.00 am with a fare of £16 (HUISA members £14) Bookings can be made through the HUFC office (08442 761939).
FUNBUS not running (going on the choo choo).

BY CAR - follow the A49 north via Lemner, Slopland and Whitchurch. From Whitchurch, take the A535 (sign Newcastle, Nantwich A530) then after about three miles join the A530 to Nantwich. At Nantwich, join the A534 (sign Crewe). As you enter Crewe, you will pass the Shell Crewe Road Service Station. At the lights, turn right onto South Street then left into Gresty Road. This route is around 88 miles but you should allow at least two hours and ten minutes. Postcode is CW2 6EB.

PARKING -there is a large car park at the ground but this fills up with home fans towards the start of the game. Late-arriving away fans are advised to use parking on the Weston Road Industrial Estate, which is a ten-minute walk from Gresty Road.

TRAINS depart Hereford at five to every hour with a journey time of ninety minutes.  There is no "group saver" from Hereford but there is from Leominster.  The best ticketing plan therefore is to buy a day return to Leominster (£4.45) and a "small group day" return from Leominster to Crewe (£14.80).  Both tickets can be bought at Hereford before you depart.  As you leave Crewe Station, turn left and Gresty Road is just a short walk.  Return trains leave Crewe at twelve minutes past the hour every hour until 08.12 pm.

ALEHOUSES – The Borough Arms at 33 Earle Street probably has the best range of ale and is a fifteen-minute walk from the ground on the north edge of the town.  For those parking on the Weston Road Industrial Estate, The Brocklebank (CW1 6FX) is convenient and provides reasonable food and Sky screens.  The Rookery Wood is also on Weston Road.  It is a large "Brewsters" pub that has improved greatly since a change on management.  Nearer The ground, you will find The Royal Hotel on Nantwich Road (pretty much opposite the end of Gresty Road) although this is predominantly a fizzy outlet.  My own favourite is The British Lion, which, again, is in Nantwich Road just a few hundred yards from the ground.  The local 'Spoons is The Gaffers Row at 48 Victoria Street.

There are three CHIP SHOPS very close to the ground with the "Chip Stop" in Gresty Road and TJS and Full-Bellies on Nantwich Road.Pubs near to the ground tend to have doormen on and HUFC fans travelling by train can expect Crewe’s finest to be in attendance for their arrival at Crewe Station.


Crewe Happy To Offload "Negative Vibe"

With the Bulls due to visit on Saturday, Crewe boss Steve Davis has said he was glad to offload two players that had 'negative vibes'.

Davis sold Antoni Sarcevic to Chester and loaned Jordan Connerton to Kendal Town after they told him they didn't want to play for the club any more. He told their official site: "I only want players here who want to play for Crewe Alexandra. I am not interested in those who are not committed that way."

Davis' hopes of signing a new striker appear to be slim after getting knockbacks over his two targets. Doncaster forward Chris Brown's fitness problems meant he was unlikely to be match fit before the New Year, while a second target was withdrawn when his club suffered an injury to one of their first choice strikers. He, however, still hopes to sign a left back:

"There is a possibility on one but another has decided to go to a League One club. Neil (Baker) has spoken to a manager concerning the one we want and it is encouraging. There are a lot of factors as usual, especially if there are clubs from higher league interested."

Meanwhile local paper Crewe Chronicle, in their betting column, write:

'Hereford FC visit Gresty Road this Saturday and the Railwaymen, with a spring in their step, should expect to win this one. The Bulls are currently in 19th position in League Two and have a pretty dismal away record for the season with just one victory in eight trips.'

News Round-Up

Plymouth crashed out of the FA Cup with a 2-0 loss at Stourbridge last night. Chairman James Brent backed manager Carl Fletcher afterwards, while former Doncaster boss Sean O'Driscoll watched the game apparently on Fletcher's request to assess his side. The Pilgrims have not won for seven games including a pair of fixtures against their Evo-Stik League challengers.

Southend striker Barry Corr has undergone surgery that will rule him out for several months. The Shrimpers hope to have the forward back before the end of the season. Bradford are reported to have increased their bid for Charlton striker Paul Benson is a move to stave off interest from Dagenham. The striker is reported to be their only target ahead of Thursday's loan deadline.

Port Vale boss Micky Adams has apologised to fans following their 1-0 loss to Conference side Grimsby in the FA Cup last night. The Valiants had to turn out in Grimsby's away kit due to a colour clash, and fans are now calling for Adams to quit with his side sliding down the table. Crawley have loaned defender John Dempster to Mansfield for three months. The former Kettering man has failed to land a permanent role with Steve Evans side since leaving the Poppies.

York have signed former Bulls striker Moses Ashikodi on loan from Kettering. The former Watford and Millwall man has scored six times in his last 11 games since recovering his fitness after a lengthy injury problem. Aldershot are to loan Mansfield midfielder Adam Smith for a second month. The 26 year old winger returned to Field Mill two weeks ago after picking up an injury.

Club Before Country for The Beast

Former Hereford United striker Mathieu Manset has decided to put club before country and not join the Ivory Coast squad for their qualifying Olympic games over the next few weeks.

"I hope they qualify so I can play again with them this summer in the Olympics in London," said Manset as reported by Get Bracknell.

The beast is struggling to get in the Reading starting eleven at present with Adam Le Fondre, Noel Hunt and Wales forward Simon Church perferred.

"It’s hard for me.

"It’s not very nice to be on the bench all the time and having to watch your friends play. I want to score and help the team.

"It’s the manager’s choice, so I have to keep trying and working hard to get in the team."

To date Manset has made four starts and ten sub appearances for Reading this season.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bulls 3/1 to Defeat Crewe

Bet365 are currently offering 3/1 for a Hereford United victory at Crewe on Saturday.

Best price for a draw is 5/2 with Boylesports.

Latest offer from SkyBet:

Crewe 1 Draw 5/2 Hereford 9/4.

Moncur remembers Losing to Hereford

Next Saturday Newcastle United travel to Manchester United and former Magpies captain, Bob Moncur was the last to lead his club to victory at Old Trafford. That was just after a certain FA Cup-tie defeat at Edgar Street in 1972.

"Hereford still rankles with me now," Moncur told the Chronicle.

"It just will not go away as the game gets shown every third-round day and that means you are not allowed to forget about it.

"It was also John Motson’s debut behind a microphone, so that adds to it.

"Looking back we should have won by a country mile, we had so many chances but just could not put them away.

"You have to move on, though, and we did going to Old Trafford. The key is not to be intimidated by the crowd. After Hereford, we were on a downer but bit by bit we raised our spirits.

"They were right on our backs chanting ‘Hereford, Hereford’ after our cup exit but if you stand up to that and play your football you can succeed.

"For me there is no better feeling than getting on the bus after beating Man United in their own backyard, certainly better than getting on the bus having lost to Hereford."

McCallum Joins The Bees' Ex-Bull Ranks

Former Bulls forward Gavin McCallum has joined the growing ranks of former Bulls at Barnet.

The Lincoln man has joined Lawrie Sanchez's side until January 8th after being transfer listed by the Imps. After promising to score 25 goals in the Conference this season, the Canadian international has netted only three and not played for the Imps first XI for the last month.

Former Bulls Paul Downing, Darren Dennehy, Anwar Uddin, and Mark Marshall are already at Underhill.

Bulls win Friendly against Hartpury College

Hereford United reserves won their friendly against Hartpury College 4-2 earlier today.

As reported yesterday on BN Adam Bartlett was in the squad and, according to goalkeeping coach Russell Hoult, played the full 90 minutes whilst Hereford's other keeper David Cornell ran the line.

Meanwhile the OS have said that the scorers were Richard Peniket, James McQuilken and Kenny Lunt.

Would A £100 Season Ticket Work At Edgar Street?

With belts tightening, and gates falling, a recent phenomena has surfaced where clubs have begun offering heavily discounted season tickets to increase supporter numbers - but does it work?

Bradford and Huddersfield were the first to try it, offering £99 and £100 adult tickets to fill empty spaces at the stadia. Both sides added nearly 50% to their average home attendance on the back of the deal and, three years on, have retained significant supporter numbers despite prices returning to more normal levels.

Hartlepool's move this summer was originally supplied with strings attached. After an average attendance, including away fans, of 2,933 last term they offered a £200 ticket if sales passed 3,000. Before they even reached that figure they slashed the price to £150 - opening the floodgates to sales. They sold 5,882 eventually, dropping the price to £100 once the 4,000 mark was passed, meaning they had more than doubled their home attendance.

So would it work for the Bulls?

The three clubs to try the move had one thing the Bulls don't currently have - vast empty spaces. Both the Bantams and Terriers had some 15,000 spare seats in their grounds, while the Monkey Hangers had a more modest 5,000 spaces available. The Bulls' capacity is barely over 5,000 at present with the temporary stand.

However if the Bulls could get the vast majority of their home support onto cheap season tickets, they could do the one thing so many travelling Bulls complain of - inflict higher ticket prices onto the away support. The average ticket price in League Two is £3.54 higher than that at Edgar Street for seating, and £2.94 for terracing, while half the Conference is also more expensive.

Bulls fans have long suffered on ticket deals on the road. Regularly are they paying £20 or more on the road while those travelling on one-off deals to Edgar Street get in for £14. Bulls fans are regularly forced into seating-only areas when home fans can stand, while 'member-only' ticket offers also see home fans pay as little as half as the travelling Bulls.

So, by getting the home support onto cheap deals, the Bulls can ramp up matchday prices and catch out those that do the same to us and are used to higher prices. Put them in the temporary stand, too, let them get rained on in a stand that it's difficult to get an atmosphere from! With an average 346 away attendance at Edgar Street last season, a £3 increase in matchday prices would have generated nearly £24,000 in additional revenue.

It would be a brave move to heavily discount season tickets but it appears to be one that has, so far, greatly benefitted the clubs involved in the long term. And with three sides of Edgar Street jam packed with Bulls fans, Edgar Street can become the fortress it once was.

Cobblers Dispense With Caretaker Lee

Caretaker boss David Lee has left Northampton after just one game in charge.

Former assistant manager Lee took charge last week after Gary Johnson's dismissal, and oversaw their 7-2 home loss to Shrewsbury. The 41 year old former Chelsea defender had previously coached with Johnson in Bristol City's youth department.

Goalkeeper coach Tim Flowers now takes temporary charge, having previously had a nine game spell in charge at Stafford Rangers.

Mark Brown to Referee on Saturday

Mark Brown from East Yorkshire has been selected to referee next Saturday's League Two game between Crewe and Hereford United.

The Bulls met Brown twice last season. Firstly at Chesterfield where he gave out four yellow cards in a game the Bulls lost 4-0. Simon Davey was in charge at the time and Sean Canham, Mathieu Manset, Mike Townsend and Adam Bartlett were the players who were booked.

Secondly Brown came to Edgar Street last February and took charge of the goal-less game against Burton Albion. There were five yellow and two red cards in this game. Janos Kovacs was, perhaps harshly, sent off after receiving a second yellow and Kenny Lunt also went down in Brown's book.

A week after the Burton game, Brown was banned for three weeks by referee boss Mike Riley for posting a football-related jokebook on the social networking sites which, it was said, a gag about Stephen Gerrard.

To date this season Brown has been in charge of 16 games in which he has given out 38 yellow and just 1 red card.

News Round-Up

No Bulls in the Team of the Week. Cheltenham, Barnet, Southend, and Torquay all get two players nominated in the League Two side, while ex-Bull Stephen Gleeson is nominated for MK Dons in League One. Truro City have seen two players walk out on the club after two months without wages. Danny Clay and Andy Taylor, both former Exeter midfielder, quit after not being paid since October.

Dagenham have confirmed a three month loan spell for Darlington defender Exodus Geohaghon on a three month loan, and they are also reported to be challenging Bradford for striker Paul Benson, who initially made his name with the Daggers. Meanwhile the Daggers are reported to have agreed a £15,000 fee with Kettering for striker Adam Cunnington, with an initial loan move turning permanent in January.

Struggling Bristol Rovers will be without striker Scott McGleish for at least a month after he twisted an ankle within ten minutes of coming on as a sub at the weekend. The 37 year old is the Pirates' second top scorer this term. Northampton chairman Dennis Cardoza has apologised to fans after Saturday's 7-2 home loss to Shrewsbury. He told supporters he is ideally looking for an experienced head to oversee a rookie manager as his next managerial partnership.

Port Vale say there is money at the club for boss Micky Adams to sign loan players, but he doesn't want to spend it - despite being short on numbers due to an injury crisis.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Crewe Chasing Reinforcements

Next Saturday's opponents Crewe are chasing up to three loan targets with Thursday's deadline fast approaching.

The Railwaymen signed just one player this summer, backup keeper Alan Martin, with Dario Gradi opting to rely on their youth policy to bolster their first team squad. New boss Steve Davis' first move when he took over the side was to seek out reinforcements.

Two experienced forwards, including a big target man, and a left back are Davis' loan targets, with experience in the forward line sorely lacking at present. Saturday's win over Morecambe came thanks to goals from 17 year old prospects Max Clayton and Nick Powell, both England youth internationals, using their pace to produce goals on the counter attack.

Davis has also been working on the squad's fitness since he took over as he looks for a higher tempo performance than those seen in recent weeks. He told the club's official site: "I want to pressurise the opposition in making mistakes closer to their goal and for all of them to become sharper in their play."

Another Friendly Tomorrow

Hereford United are to play a friendly with a, so far, un-named team tomorrow.

It will give both Gary Peters and Jamie Pitman a chance to take a look at a couple of their recent signings and possibly one or two trialists.

Adam Bartlett is expected to be in goal. It will be his first game since picking up a thigh injury two months ago.

News Round-Up

Barnet have been dealt a blow with striker Steve Kabba likely to miss the remainder of the season as he requires surgery. The 30 year old striker has started only five games this season after opening the season on a rehabilitation programme after another operation last season. Plymouth are hoping to sign defender Darren Purse on loan from Millwall. The veteran has just seen his loan at Yeovil expire, with the Pilgrims having failed to sign him previously due to their transfer embargo.

Dagenham are reported to be set to sign giant defender Exodus Geohaghon on loan from Darlington. The local press reported the player to be present at their weekend loss to Southend. The former Peterboro man has only been at the Conference side for six weeks but is the latest to leave due to their cutbacks. Bradford's attempts to sign striker Paul Benson from Charlton have stalled over financial terms. They have until Thursday to complete a deal with a permanent move likely in the new year.

Bristol Rovers boss Paul Buckle has vowed to fight on after calls for his head following Saturday's 2-0 home loss to Barnet. The former Torquay boss has seen his pre-season promotion candidates drop to 17th place, nine points short of the play-offs. Port Vale's supporters club has called a meeting on Thursday 'in the light of mounting concerns regarding the club's finances'.

Northampton say they have received around 100 applications for their vacant managerial post. Chairman Dennis Cardoza has confirmed an approach for Dover boss Nicky Forster was rejected. Gillingham boss Andy Hessenthaler says he dropped midfielder Luke Rooney as the 20 year old rejected a new contract with the club. Rooney is out of contract in the summer. The Gills have extended the loan of West Ham forward Franck Nouble for a third and final month.

Burton have signed defender Kristian Ramsey-Dickinson from Midlands Combination side Continental Star. The 22 year old, described on Burton's official site as 'a former Pizza Hut employee', will remain at the club until the summer.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hereford United and the Salary Cap

Figures released last summer showed that League Two clubs were estimated to have lost £8 million pounds last season. That's an average of £333,000 for each club.

The total losses were £9M in the previous season so some progress has been made. Some of that drop could be because of the 55% salary cap - better known as Salary Cost Management Protocol (SCMP).

In 2003 The Football League introduced SCMP for League 2, limiting spending on player wages to 60% of turnover. If clubs broke the 60% limit, they were not allowed to register any further players. The limit was reduced to 55% at the start of this season.

Recently Football League Chief Operating Officer Andy Williamson explained what had happened.

"The salary increases in League 2 are much lower than they are elsewhere, so there is evidence that it has worked in terms of ensuring that clubs are sustainable.

"Only one resident League 2 club has fallen into difficulty since the introduction of that salary cap. So it does work."

Finding out the exact terms of the salary cap are difficult. Like much that goes on in football there's an amount of secrecy. But one thing is certain, there are some ways of getting around it if the club has rich directors.

Take the case of a club in a promotion battle, who may want to bring in a player or two which would put them over the 55% wage cap.

"The season we went up, when we were getting close, we increased our spending a bit and that was directors' loans. We knew what we were doing and how we'd cover if it didn't come off," explained Barry Kilby chairman of Burnley.

But not every club has rich directors with the ability to throw money at a problem.

Some detail of how clubs have to deal with SCMP was released several years ago.

It appears a club has to tell the FL about its turnover and salary payments twice a season. The first report is in July, the second is in January.

If a club in League Two, such as Hereford United, was found to be paying more than 55% of turnover in 'wages' then a transfer embargo would be placed on them. That embargo covers 'any attempt to extend contracts, register new players or enter into or extend loan agreements.'

There are two exceptions to the rules which might affect Hereford United. One is the 'bring one in and get one out' rule.

'This will only be allowed where the club's registered playing squad is 24 or less and the salary cost of the player coming in is less than 75% of the player going out'

The other is 'where the club needs to renew the contract of an under 24 player for the purposes of maintaining the compensation value of that player.'

For a club with low turnover, the salary cap can soon bite as has been noted by Gary Peters, recently appointed Director of Football at Edgar Street.

"What we have to do is get it down because I’m sure the league would take action against us," he said last week.

The annual accounts for last season are yet to be published, but they will show reduced turnover from the previous season, the last with Graham Turner in charge.

Turnover year to June 4 2010 was £1,804,852 of which Wages were £936,141

Turnover year to May 31 2009 was £2,023,657 of which Wages were £1,136,268

It's thought turnover last season was around £1.7M. The figure will have included the transfer money from the sale of Mathieu Manset to Reading and there was an excellent run in the FA Cup.

This current season the turnover could drop to £1.2M assuming Harry Pell isn't sold. If correct that implies the wage bill can not be above £660,000. And that wage bill will include an amount paid by the club, as an employer, for National Insurance. So the likely figure paid to the players could be as low as £600,000.

It's well known that the club has a few players still on the books who are being paid far more than the club can afford. Janos Kovacs, Sean Canham and Kenny Lunt together are thought be be costing the club around £200,000 this season which is why Peters is desparate to get at least two, if not all three, off the books as soon as possible. It might also partly explain why Stuart Fleetwood was recently sold to Luton - not only for the transfer fee but also to get him off the books.

Ryan Green, Adam Bartlett, Joe Colbeck, Michael Townsend and James McQuilken will probably take up another £200,000 of the wages budget.

Which leaves Joe Heath, Rob Purdie, Harry Pell, Nicky Featherstone, Delroy Facey and Stefan Stam sharing, perhaps, another £200,000.

And then, as Peters said, there's the £1000 per week for the remainder.

No wonder Peters and manager Jamie Pitman are having to attract loaness and other young players to Edgar Street to 'balance the books'.

Hereford United's gates this season are below the figure chairman David Keyte had hoped for, the club is out of the FA Cup, and whilst efforts to increase off-pitch income continue, there's little extra coming in from that source as yet.

On top of that there will be less money from the new Sky deal from the start of next season.

Tough times at Edgar Street and tough decisions may yet have to be made to keep to the Salary Cap. But at least Hereford United appear to be getting on top of the problem and looking to the future.

League Two Attendances

Below is a list of attendances at League Two clubs this season to date:

1 Bradford City (22) 10177
2 Swindon Town (7) 7968
3 Oxford United (9) 7367
4 Plymouth Argyle (24) 6119
5 Bristol Rovers (17) 5873
6 Southend United (1) 5783
7 Shrewsbury Town (4) 5480
8 Port Vale (13) 5051
9 Gillingham (8) 5006
10 AFC Wimbledon (12) 4411
11 Crewe Alexandra (16) 3938
12 Northampton Town (20) 3743
13 Rotherham United (11) 3622
14 Crawley Town (2) 3109
15 Cheltenham Town (3) 3047
16 Aldershot Town (15) 3025
17 Burton (5) 2958
18 Torquay United (10) 2604
19 Morecambe (6) 2472
20 Barnet (21) 2286
21 Dagenham & Redbridge (23) 2116
22 Hereford United (19) 2044
23 Macclesfield Town (14) 1982
24 Accrington Stanley (18) 1653

Last season Hereford United's average gate was 2516. Therefore there has been a drop of 472 this season to date.

However overall in League Two so far this season there has been a slight increase in attendance from 4157 to 4243.

Selected Vision Peschisolido

Burton manager Paul Peschisolido told the BBC that he didn't see the penalty awarded to Hereford United at Edgar Street yesterday.

"I didn't see it at all," said Peschisolido.

"I was shocked, I'll have a look on the video. Never mind."

He was asked about Hereford's claim for a second penalty when Steve Leslie went down.

"I didn't see that one either."

The interviewer then said "I'll ask what you did see!" and the manager started to praise some of his players.

Of the game itself Peschisolido felt his side were the better in the second half.

"First half some of the defending was absolutely atrocious, second half typical Burton.

"We came back from the dead.

"I'm delighted with the three points."

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ex-Bull / Loan Watch

Janos Kovacs played the full match for Luton as they drew with Cambridge, with Stuart Fleetwood scoring Luton's goal. Sean Canham scored for Bath but they lost 2-1 at Southport. Tyler Weir played the full match for Gloucester as they beat Altrincham 2-0 for their third straight win.

Marc Pugh scored the only goal of the game as Bournemouth won at Wycombe. Alan Connell scored for Swindon as they drew at Wimbledon. Danny Carey-Bertram scored for Worcester as they drew with Bishop's Stortford. Tim Sills scored for Basingstoke as they beat Eastbourne.


At ten minutes to five, a hard-working performance by a Bulls side strengthened by the return of Steve Leslie and Tom Barkhuizen seemed certain to net three welcome points. The fourth official then indicated an astonishing six extra minutes, fuelling suspicion that such matters are determined by the roll of a die. In fact, less than three minutes were required for some hesitancy at the back to gift two goals to visitors Burton Albion, thus undoing all the good work and handing an unlikely victory to the Brewers. In total, eight minutes of added time were played, with Hereford making some desperate substitutions in order to rectify the situation. With hindsight, these changes could have been made earlier, with several members of the home side visibly, and quite understandably, tiring after an energetic performance.

Tony James keeping Nathan Elder off the ball

Nathan Elder’s physical presence caused problems for the dependable Nathan Stanton and old boy Tony James at the heart of the Burton defence. A free kick was awarded for holding as Elder tried to forge a route to goal. Joe Heath’s delivery lacked accuracy, but a corner kick was won. After some pinball in the area, Barkhuizen spied a chance with his back to goal, but he seemed disoriented as he spun onto the ball and skewed it wide of the target.

Nicky Featherstone then cleverly found Leslie down the right flank, and the cross was beaten out at the expense of a corner. As the ball was played in, Elder was baulked as he made a turn, and the referee awarded a penalty. Up stepped Rob Purdie, showing little in the way of nerves, and blasted a low shot past Ross Atkins to give Hereford a 19th minute lead. Less than five minutes later, Burton equalised. Jacques Maghoma turned one way and then the other, evading Purdie and delivering an inviting cross for old adversary Calvin Zola to nod past a despairing David Cornell.

Buoyed by this, the visitors briefly gained the upper hand. Zola turned provider, creating a chance for Billy Kee who headed tamely over when well placed. Cleveland Taylor made a twisting run and shot which Cornell did well to shovel for a corner. With the clock showing 34 minutes, Featherstone and Harry Pell then showed awareness to feed the lively Barkhuizen. There seemed only a moderate threat, but the youngster showed instant control, and as Aaron Webster backed off in the fear of conceding another penalty, he smashed a shot from a tight angle past Atkins.

Another goal for Tom Barkhuizen, his sixth for the Bulls - Pictures from Andy Compton of the Hereford Journal/Shropshire Newspapers

As the game flowed from end to end, both the imperious Ryan Green and his much maligned partner Michael Townsend made a number of timely interventions, whilst James and Stanton performed a similar role at the other end. A clever through ball from Simon Clist set up Barkhuizen, whose shot was saved. Pell, becoming more influential as the interval approached, passed exquisitely to Leslie who cut inside and sent a raking shot marginally too high. Then our ‘Arry burst out of defence and found himself supported by Elder on the left and Barkhuizen on the right. A through ball found Elder who instantly clipped it across for young Tom, but it just evaded him, and the chance of a picture-book goal was gone.


After the break, Burton emerged brightly. Maghoma made some lively advances, Zola always looked likely to create something, and Billy Kee tried to unlock the Bulls rearguard with a snap shot that Cornell did well to claim at his near post. James took the initiative in clearing from a marauding Elder rather than relying on his keeper, and Stanton calmly dealt with some promising moves.

Purdie’s driven corner was clawed away from under his bar by Atkins. As play continued to ebb and flow, Maghoma collected a header from substitute Gurrieri and should have set up Kee, but his pass was too strong. Clist then made an excellent run out of defence, before Green was called on once again to clear when under pressure from Kee.

Zola had two chances with headers, sending the first wide and glancing the next past the upright. Leslie tried his luck from range, but the shot was smothered, and then Pell fed Barkhuizen who blazed a shot off target; in retrospect a pass might have been a better option, though one could understand the exuberance of youth. A lovely move between Barks and Leslie saw the ball laid into Pell’s path, and a goal-bound shot was deflected away.

One of several good moves by the Bulls in the second half

Pell was then cynically hacked down by John McGrath, who then objected vehemently to the reaction to his foul, thus passing his audition for an early pantomime villain. This proved the only moment of contention in what had been an absorbing contest, as half-chances continued to crop up at both ends of the pitch. As time passed, the Hereford faithful started to imagine the effect of three points on the league table.

Where the six added minutes came from nobody knows. Running the clock down would surely be possible!
90:45 The ball was not cleared from the Bulls box, and ran kindly for an ecstatic Webster to guide home.
92:40 No challenge to Maghoma who found an unattended Kee, who had a simple job to steal an unlikely win.
Even with a flurry of late substitutions, and a half-hearted penalty shout, the day was lost. Despite an encouraging performance, there is now nothing to show for the afternoon’s exploits. Woe is me!


Attendance: 2136, including 270 Brewers.

HUFC: Cornell, Purdie, Green, Townsend, Heath (Dalibard 74), Featherstone (Facey95), Clist, Pell, Leslie, Barkhuizen (Arquin 92), Elder.

BURTON ALBION: Atkins, Webster, Stanton, James, Corbett (Phillips 76), McGrath, Taylor (Gurrieri 57), Maghoma, Bolder (Palmer 46), Zola, Kee.