Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Attwell to Referee on Saturday

Stuart Attwell is set to referee this coming Saturday's match at Edgar Street between Hereford United and AFC Wimbledon.

Attwell, who had been a Premiership referee for the last four years, was dropped two weeks ago after what was described as a 'string of high-profile errors'.

"He has shown many of the attributes of a top-flight official but the Premier League is an exacting standard with huge demands," said former referee Mike Riley who is general manager of Professional Game Match Officials Limited

"It is imperative that PGMOL deliver the best officiating possible to the English game at all levels.

"This is not the end for Stuart. There are several match officials who have returned to the National List and benefited from it. Stuart has a high level of maturity and responsibility and I'm convinced that he has a long-term future as a referee at the very highest level. PGMOL sincerely hopes to be welcoming Stuart back to the select group in the future."

Attwell said: "I have learned a great deal from my involvement in the select group over the last four years and I am now looking forward to building on that valuable experience.

"I strongly believe I have a lot to offer refereeing and I now look forward with commitment and enthusiasm to the new challenge that I am undertaking. This is supported by a determination to continue my career development and return to the select group as soon as possible."

Attwell hasn't refereed at Edgar Street since the opening day of the 2007/08 season when he took charge of the game against Rotherham. The result was a goal-less draw and no one was booked.

Beast In The East

Shanghai Shenhua confirmed Mathieu Manset's transfer to the club yesterday.

Thanks to a Google translation, that calls the Bulls 'He Rayford Alliance', the club's official site tells us that Matthew Manse, or Matthew the Manse, or Matthew Mansei, arrived in Shanghai yesterday to begin training with his new side.

Shanghai Shenhua are owned by Chinese born online gaming company magnate Jun Zhu, who is most famous in the UK for forcing the then manager to name him in the club's squad to face Liverpool, who he later tried to buy, in a friendly in 2007.

Worst I've Ever Felt admits Sneekes

Hereford United coach Richard Sneekes has told BBC WM that he has never felt worse, even when he was playing, than at the end of last night's game at Gillingham where the Bulls lost 5-4.

"It's the worst I've felt ever, even when I was playing," said Sneekes.

"I can remember getting beat by Crewe 5-1 at home, maybe because I scored in that game it wasn't as bad.

"But that is the lowest of the low.

"You are just speechless, you don't know what to say, you don't know how to pick players up.

"It was awful."

Sneekes had praise for Tom Barkhuizen.

"He was awesome.

"He scored two and the two penalties, he went one on one with the goal-keeper.

"He's been awesome the last two games."

A Few Words From Chairman Keyte

Hereford United chairman David Keyte has given a few words to the OS about the current situation both on and off the pitch. He confirmed that there had been talks with the management team in the last couple of days.

"We've 13 games to go and we know we've got to start winning. Everybody here has been working flat out and we will continue to do everything we can.

"We are very grateful for all the loyal support we get and for the next few weeks we need as many fans as possible to come out and cheer us on.

"Hereford people have shown in the past what good fans they are and right now we need them more than ever."

There will be an emergency board meeting tomorrow.

Dodd Clarifies Earlier Statement

Keith Dodd has contacted Bulls News to clarify the earlier statement published by the Hereford Times:

'First of all, the statement I made to the Hereford Times was at 9.45am and was not an official statement. It was a personal statement prior to speaking to either David Keyte or the HUISA committee. They were told no official HUISA statement would be made until that had been done.

I said the team had played well against Swindon, Bradford and Gillingham and not had the best of luck. I also said that Gary Peters had disappeared *from the bench* and not just disappeared as published. He has been at all the games I have and I have seen him regularly at the club.

My phone has been deluged today from 6.30am with calls from both local and national press, as well as dozens of supporters, and they have all been told the same thing. If any of the critics wants to have a go at doing my job with HUISA then they are welcome to try it.'

HUISA will release an official statement when the committee has discussed matters.

Gillingham's Eleven Goals - Highest against Bulls for 56 Years

Last night Gillingham put five goals past Hereford United on top of the six they scored at Edgar Street earlier in the season.

That's the highest total of goals against the Bulls for 56 years.

BN asked Hereford United historian Ron Parrott if it had ever been worse.

That's one that made me put my thinking cap on! The short answer is no, not in recent times but it has actually been done five times before, the most recent being 56 years ago:-

1955/56 Yeovil Town Southern League 2-2 draw (H), 2-9 lost (A)

1948/49 Merthyr Tydfil Southern League 3-6 lost (H), 2-6 lost (A)

1946/47 Millwall Reserves Southern League 3-3 draw (H), 0-8 lost (A)

1946/47 Bath City Southern League 1-4 lost (H), 1-7 lost (A)

1946/47 Cardiff City Reserves Southern League Cup 1-6 lost (H), 2-7 lost (A)

The Cardiff City games are the worst aggregate with 13 goals, followed by Merthyr Tydfil with 12 and the rest equalling it with 11 each.

Classic Or Catastrophe?

Occasional contributor, and very worried, Chloecat gives her thoughts after witnessing last night's game:

For the Gills fans, obviously the former – last night’s game had everything – 9 goals, penalties scored and missed, all that was missing was the sending off – and for us that was the catastrophe.

At the end of the game last night I felt shell shocked - sick, sad and desperately disappointed. How many Hereford fans have seen us score 4 and still lose? Well the 45 or so of us at Gillingham went through every emotion possible during the game and the frustration felt by some at the end was understandable. We were up, down, up, down and eventually out. The post mortem will not change the result. Why can’t we hold onto a lead? Why didn’t the referee send off the Gills keeper? Should Purdie have taken that final penalty when he was injured? The questions keep coming but the only comfort to be found when I got home was that we were still 22nd in the league. If, at the end of the season, we are still above that dotted line, I’ll see Tuesday night as one of heroic failure, a classic I was privileged to see. However, at the moment I’m not that optimistic.

There were some positives out of the night – we scored 4 goals (a first in the league this season), Tom Barkhuizen was magnificent (where would we be if we hadn’t had him with us this year), we held on for 41 minutes before conceding, there was no lack of effort ... but then I’m struggling.

I so desperately wanted Pitman to succeed this year but I think I underestimated the contributions people such as Lennie Lawrence and Dave Kevan made last year to our survival. Such an experienced and cool head has been lacking this year and I’m not convinced about Gary Peters. Keyte and Russon have done well off the pitch – the revamp of the Starlite rooms and community involvement particularly with local schools stand out, but the decisions made on the pitch have been naive in the extreme. The reality is a lot of the players who tried so desperately last night, will still be with us next year but sadly Barkhuizen won’t. While signing up young prospects such as Pell and Evans makes sense, I’m amazed how many others have been signed up when we have no idea where we’ll be come 5th May.

Sadly I have no answers, just endless questions. The reality is Tuesday’s game could make or break us. The confidence we gained going forward or the doubts at the back. Every team we play will know how vulnerable we are and yet there are a lot of relegation rivals who are also struggling who we face in the next few weeks. Plymouth can’t see out a game (thankfully), Barnet are on the slide(but I really don’t want them to go down), Dagenham are as likely to implode as we are and Northampton are yet to be consistent under Adie Boothroyd.

So it’s back to Edgar Street on Saturday, with one eye on the score board to see how our rivals are faring. I subscribe to a website that sends me verses from the Bible on a daily basis and today’s came from Psalm 120 – “I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me”. Respectfully I suggest we all start praying!

Dodd Fears If Peters Takes Charge

HUISA chairman Keith Dodd has said that he fears what the supporters will think if Gary Peters was to take over from Jamie Pitman.

"We have Gary Peters, Jamie Pitman and two coaches and everyone is wondering what is going on and who is doing what," Dodd told the Hereford Times.

"I am just really sorry for the board because they are doing everything right off the pitch but it’s a different situation on it.

"Gary Peters has disappeared and we don’t know what’s going on there.

"If we now put Gary Peters in charge, the fans didn’t seem to like his style of football."

UPDATE 6.30pm: Keith Dodd has spoken to BN to clarify the HT article.

Winding-up Petition for Port Vale

Further to the earlier BN article about the problems at Port Vale, according to this is staffordshire the club has been served with a winding-up petition by HM Revenue and Customs.

It is believed that the club have approached Stoke Council - as a creditor - to take the club into Administration as the current board was not able to do it due to their insufficient numbers following Peter Miller's resignation.

Barnet Trip Brought Forward

The Bulls' trip to Barnet has been brought forward a day to Friday, April 13th.

Kick-off is now 7.45pm with the game moving from the Saturday.

News Round-Up

Bristol Rovers have extended the loan of former Bulls loanee Matthew Lund for a further two months. The 21 year old will be available for all but the final match of the season. Crawley say they will break their transfer record if required to sign a striker to rebuild their promotion charge. Their board has come under fire after selling strikers Tyrone Barnett and Matt Tubbs for a combined £1.9million.

Cheltenham have pulled out of a loan move for Yeovil forward Steve MacLean for undisclosed reasons. Manager Mark Yates has told the local press he only has a limited amount of funds available but is still looking for a signing. Plymouth defender Curtis Nelson has been ordered to retake his driving test after the teenager was found guilty of driving at 57mph in a 30mph zone. The 18 year old was caught by a speed camera less than a year after passing his test and will now have to repeat it.

Morecambe's attendance last night of 1,246 was the lowest Football League gate so far this season and their lowest attendance since joining the League. Dagenham's official site says there were 66 travelling fans, although photographic evidence suggests that figure to be inflated. Barnet have extended the loan of former Bulls loanee Paul Downing for the remainder of the season. The West Brom youngster has played 21 times for the Bees since arriving in November.

Cheltenham have called on their supporters to be more civil after saying they had received several complaints of foul language and anti-social behaviour at games both home and away. Kettering say they are awaiting a response from the Conference to their threatened three point deduction. They were given until today to pay off their football creditors, a matter they say they have done.

Vale Fail To Pay Players

Port Vale have failed to pay their players wages, it has been confirmed today.

BBC Radio Stoke reports that the players were told AFTER last night's draw with Crewe that they would not be paid. The news was relayed to the squad by manager Micky Adams. The attendance last night, of 6,356, was over 2,000 lower than last season's meeting between the sides and would have generated income of around £60,000. However the wage bill is reported to be £180,000.

Meanwhile, the local press is reporting that the club have asked the council to loan them a further £300,000 'in order to stay afloat'. Any further council funding would be controversial after it announced £24million in budget cuts last week. The PFA have also been in talks with the club over a loan.

Fansite OneValeFan reports that a further council statement is expected later today with the club owing around £10,000 on their existing loan and a further £20,000 due tomorrow.

Update: Gareth Owen, the PFA representative of the club, has told the BBC they were due to be paid at midnight last night, and were only told two hours earlier that the money was not coming.

Micky Adams told the BBC: "If the rumours are true then tomorrow morning instead of pushing for the play-offs, we need to win games to stay in the League."

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gills View of Nine Goal Thriller

Below is a report from 'the View from Medway'

Gillingham 5 – 4 Hereford United

There is never a dull moment when you follow the Gills, and last night’s heartstopping thriller at home to struggling Hereford was testament to that fact.

Indeed, Gillingham was trending on Twitter after going 2-0 down less than ten minutes into the match and again facing a two-goal deficit at 4-2 before spectacularly winning 5-4.

My Twitter followers may have noticed a couple of irreverent comments as I was forced to tone down my usual verbal outbursts whilst sat for only the second time this season in the Family Enclosure.

However, my tweets were nothing compared to the abuse Hereford’s goalkeeper faced from The Rainham End after dragging one of his players back onto the pitch after he tumbled behind the goal. It was symptomatic of a side which committed 14 fouls, though only received one yellow card (compared to Gillingham’s four yellow cards from just six fouls).

Gillingham’s first came just two minutes in when a less-than-impressive Jack Evans pulled Hereford’s man down in the box, which Robert Purdie coolly put behind Paulo Gazzaniga to open the scoring on four minutes.

Three minutes later Tom Barkhuizen made it 2-0 for Hereford after taking no trouble passing Jack Evans and taking his first goal of the match.

For most of the first half, Gillingham played like they were on valium, but they started to wake up towards to break and Chris Whelpdale gave the despondent home fans some hope when he pulled it back on the stroke of half time.

Captain Danny Kedwell needed just 30 seconds after the second half kicked off to level the scoring and Gillingham kept up the pressure almost making it 3-2 on several occassions.

However, their lacklustre defence soon gave way when Barkhuizen took his second goal of the game on the 70th minute and Will Evans restored their two-goal lead ten minutes later.

Once again it was Hereford’s 45 fans who were jubilant, having faced several games without a victory. In their eyes, they were coming away with all three points.

But, clearly, they have never seen Gillingham when they are down. Defender Charlie Lee raised their spirits just a minute after Evans’ goal to make the score 4-3 and again seven minutes later with a second remarkable equaliser for the Gills.

Another shoddy piece of defending left Gazzaniga alone to face an oncoming striker, and was lucky to receive just a yellow card when he brought him down inside the box just before the 90th minute. However, he redeemed himself immediately when he saved the resultant penalty and it was once again Gillingham with the momentum.

The hero of the hour was Gavin Tomlin who, three minutes into stoppage time, finally put the Gills ahead and caused such a jubilant response from fans that most didn’t realise who had actually scored.

Just over six minutes in to stoppage time, the referee finally brought proceedings to a conclusion, and most fans remained where they were, saluting the resilience of the Gills with chants, cheers and applause which echoed around the MEMS Priestfield

Players Reactions To 5-4 Defeat

A few of the Hereford United players have given their reaction to the 5-4 defeat at Gillingham

Rob Purdie: All the players fault tonight, gotta have a look at ourselves properly and obvs myself for the miss...broken nose aswell doesn't help

Nicky Featherstone (who didn't take part): So shocked at that result tonight. Can't believe we've given a 2 goal lead away twice. Need to learn quickly where running out of games

Dave Cornell: Right, how has that just happened?! 2-0 up lose 5-4 that should neva eva happen!

Incredible says Hess

Gillingham manager Andy Hessenthaler has given his reaction to the nine goal thriller at Priestfield this evening.

"I'm speechless really," said Hessenthaler.

"It was incredible.

"I've never been involved in a game like it, I've got to say, but I'm delighted we won the game. It was just a crazy game - I don't think I'll be sleeping well tonight because it'll all be going around in my head.

"I feel for Jamie [Pitman] because they've come away from home, scored four goals and not won the game. It's a crazy game of football but that is football. Unfortunately when things aren't going for you they aren't going for you. He'll be proud of his team tonight, they did ever so well, but I'm also proud of my team because we showed a lot of character tonight, to come back from the early start.

"We knew that they'd come and play Delroy down the middle and play two wide, the lad Barkhuizen's a very good player.

"All of a sudden you think we can get back into this and we did. At 4-4 you're thinking we're going to get a point and then the rest is as you've seen, we've given a penalty away, heart in mouth time, I couldn't believe it.

"They're going to be disappointed that Paulo wasn't sent off, but we went to Port Vale two weeks ago and their player should have been sent off, but wasn't even booked. Paulo's stood up and saved the penalty but that's football, these things happen."

Change Is Now Due

You should be pleased to score four away from home. It doesn't happen often.

It's been 14 months since we last scored four - or more - away from home Or, even, at home. A lack of goals has been a constant issue since the summer of 2010. It was Simon Davey's downfall, and it looked to be Jamie Pitman's at the same stage this season.

But somehow he held on.

We lost 6-1 at home, to Gillingham, and the Meadow End called loudly for his head.

But somehow he held on.

Gary Peters arrived, and results turned in our favour. Briefly. In recent weeks four of our six main relegation rivals have won more points than the Bulls. Not one or two points. Four or more.

The tide is against us, and we're drowning.

We're a solitary point clear of the foot of the table, with those below us holding games in hand. Regardless of the injuries, poor decisions, a lack of luck. Whatever. Every team sees injustice in their defeats, luck in their wins.

This Bull needs to be grabbed by the horns. A fresh face at the wheel.

It is time for a change.

Bulls surrender lead twice to lose at Gillingham

The Bulls dropped dangerously close to the drop zone when they lost two-goal leads twice at Priestfield this evening to finish on the wrong end of a 5-4 result.

Pitman sprang one surprise naming Danny Williams in a starting XI that included a return for Michael Townsend with Featherstone failing to make the squad.

The Bulls were quickly off the mark when Barkhuizen broke into the box in the second minute and was felled by Jack Evans.  Purdie stepped up and coolly stroked the ball in from the spot. 

Gills fans had barely recovered before Barkhuizen doubled the lead when he cut in from the left to meet Facey’s flick from Clist’s searching forward ball and finished from close range on seven minutes.  Cornell made a fine save from Tomlin and Towner got in a saving challenge as Kuffour prepared to shoot.

Jack Evans broke away and crossed for Tomlin to sweep the ball into the net but the strike was disallowed as the referee’s assistant made a timely flagging interception to the proceedings.  Lunt dinked a through ball into the path of Barkhuizen but King was quickly across to launch a clearance into the stand.  Then Facey produced a similar cross to the one that resulted in the goal at Bradford but Taylor’s header was saved.

Whelpdale and Evans combined to craft a chance for Kedwell but Anthony got the block in and Purdie, busy ratting in midfield, whipped the ball away from the former AFC Wimbledon man as he closed on the penalty area.

The hosts pulled a goal back when Jackman drove a cross to Whelpdale who volleyed home from 12 yards with 44 minutes on the clock.  As the half drew to a close, Kuffour fired wide and Whelpdale saw his header go over.

HT Gills 1  Bulls 2

The second period started disastrously when a long throw found the Bulls’ defence too deep and Kedwell nipped in to poke home with just 35 seconds played.  Taylor sent a rising shot over the bar as Hereford strove to regain control but the home side were quick to restore pressure on Cornell’s area with a barrage of dipping crosses as they looked to push The Bulls onto the back foot.

Another Facey flick almost put Barkhuizen in on goal but Essam was quick to get in the clearance.  Townsend, Anthony and Evans all conceded free kicks as The Bulls made hard work of clearing their lines but a Facey/Barks combination drew a fine save from keeper Gazzaniga.

Lunt played a ball up to Facey who laid off to Evans but his shot was high.  Then Kaffour missed a chance when through on goal.  Then The Bulls regained the lead against the run of play when Kenny Lunt fed Purdie down the left and his clever pass put Evans in to shoot and when the keeper was only able to parry the shot Barkhuizen was on hand to force the ball home.

Almost immediately, Towner conceded with a clumsy challenge on the edge of the box but some desperate defending kept the ball out.  Clucas came on the replace the injured Danny Williams who went down under a crunching challenge from Weston.

Then Facey produced another fine cross for Evans to thump a header home to give the Bulls a fourth goal but Charlie Lee was allowed to run at Cornell’s goal unhindered to fire home the hosts third straight from the restart.

Lunt and Facey linked up to win a corner but Gazzaniga got in a punch to clear.  Barkhuizen broke away and fed Evans whose shot was finger tipped away for a corner by the home keeper.  Then with just minutes remaining The Bulls deep defending cost them another goal when Lee grabbed a late equaliser.  With everyone thinking that nothing more could happen, Gazzaniga who should have been dismissed upended Barkhuizen in the box but he stayed on to save Purdie’s spot kick when he should have been in the showers.  Then in a final show of suicidal defending The Bulls conceded right at the death when Tomlin swept home from just outside the six-yard box.

FT  Gills 5  Bulls 4

Hereford; Cornell, Williams (Clucas 74), Townsend, Anthony, Clist, Barkhuizen, Lunt, Evans, Purdie, Taylor (Colbeck 82), Facey.  Unused subs – Bartlett, McQuilkin, Elder.

Gillingham: Gazzaniga, King, Jackman, Essam, Evans (C Lee 46), Whelpdale (O Lee 77), Kuffour, Kedwell, Tomlin. Unused subs – Hawkes, Davies, Montrose.

Attendance 3784 with around 50 diehards.

The Bulls will no doubt cite the failure of the referee to send off the Gills’ keeper when he was clearly the last man but to lose a two-goal lead twice in the same match is about as careless as it comes.  Too many times the defence backed off and dropped deep into their own box to allow chances to the home side in an area that gave Cornell little time to react.

What next?

Pitman incensed by Referee's Decisions.

Referee David Phillips came in for some strong criticism from Hereford United manager Jamie Pitman after his saw his side lose 5-4 at Gillingham this evening.

Pitman was incensed by several decisions by the West Sussex based official.

"I'm in a daze at the moment," said Pitman.

"I've got to calm down, I've to go and see the referee.

"Decisions the referee has made - I thought it was a sending off on Sam Clucas. An absolutely disgraceful tackle.

"And how he can not warrant that that's a goal scoring opportunity at the last is beyond me.

"Things like that cost people their jobs

"Ultimately it could cost me my job."

Late in the game the Bulls were awarded a penalty when the Gills keeper was adjudged to have brought Tom Barkhuizen down. The referee only gave the keeper a yellow card. The Gills had already used their three subs. However Rob Purdie's spot-kick was tipped over the bar. (Purdie's nose was broken during the game)

"It's an absolute disgrace. It's the worst decision I've ever seen. It's an absolute joke.

"It's cost us massively. It's cost us three points."

Results Round-Up

The Bulls are now only goal difference above the drop zone, with both of the bottom two holding games in hand. Dagenham beat Morecambe 2-1 with a late winner to move level on 28 points with the Bulls, one ahead of Northampton, but with four less goal difference. Plymouth conceded a late equaliser to Macclesfield to draw 1-1 and only move a point above the Bulls, with the Silkmen four points clear.

Bradford extended their safety gap to seven with a 4-0 win at Barnet. The Bees had ex-Bull Darren Dennehy sent off in conceding the opener from the spot. In the other games Port Vale drew 1-1 in their derby with Crewe, while Swindon opened a four point gap at the top with a 2-0 win over Burton, their tenth straight win.

Bulls Net Four But Still Lose

Words that don't need to be censored are hard to come by after the Bulls twice sacrificed two goal leads to lose 5-4 at Gillingham.

While the Bulls scored four for the first time in nearly 14 months, and trended on Twitter, with a double from Tom Barkhuizen and additional strikes from Rob Purdie and Will Evans, they allowed 2-0 and 4-2 leads to disintegrate and missed a late penalty to win the game. The clamour for change is growing.

Full report later.

Stats from Priestfield

Below are most of the stats from Priestfield where Gillingham beat Hereford United 5-4.

The Bulls went two up early in the game, but not for the first time this season couldn't hold onto their league as Gillingham pulled two back, one either side of half-time.

Then on 70 minutes and 80 minutes two more goals gave Hereford a 4-2 lead only to lose it as Gillingham scored three late in the game. And to rub salt into the wound Rob Purdie missed a penalty

Hereford scorers: Purdie (pen) 4, Barkhuizen 7 & 70, Evans 80

Possession: Gills 52% Bulls 48%

Shots on Target: Gills 7 Bulls 9

Shots off Target: Gills 9 Bulls 4

Corners: Gills 3 Bulls 6

Fouls: Gills 6 Bulls 14

Cards: Yellow for Dave Cornell

Attendance: 3784 with around 50 in the away end

Bottom of League Two:

Hereford are in 22nd position

19 Barnet 32 -20 33
20 Macclesfield 33 -11 32
21 Plymouth 33 -17 29
22 Hereford 33 -21 28
23 Dag & Red 32 -25 28
24 Northampton 31 -23 27

Cornell in goal for Bulls

Team News from Gillingham

Hereford: Cornell, Anthony, Williams, Townsend, Purdie, Facey, Lunt, Clist, Evans, Barkhuizen, Taylor. Subs: Bartlett, Colbeck, Elder, McQuilkin, Clucas.

From The Archives - Bulls Win Away

Twelve years ago this evening Hereford United went to Stevenage and came away with a 3-0 win and Mr Woolmer was the referee.

Feb 28th 2000:

STEVENAGE Borough 0 - 3 Hereford United

Hereford United travelled to Broadhall Way knowing any return from this match would be a good return for their travelling fans. Two changes were apparent to the side that drew with Hayes on Saturday, John Snape replaced Ian Wright and Paul Parry came into the team for Mark Taylor.

In the early periods, both sides played well but it took thirty-five minutes for either side to score. The goal came thanks to Paul Parry, who showed Graham Turner what he missed when Parry was on the bench on Saturday against Hayes. Then, two minutes later, United struck again. Ian Rodgerson got the goal to put the Bulls 2-0 up giving his side a healthy margin against a disorganised Stevenage Borough side who certainly have the talent but not enough leadership to become a great side. Despite this, they did hit the woodwork once in the first half, but went in at the break 2-0 down.

The referee, Mr K A Woolmer, made only one booking in the first half. Ian Rodgerson was booked on the half-hour mark, but it took Mr Woolmer only two minutes of the second half to use his card again. He showed the yellow card to Stevenage Borough midfielder Martin for a foul. However, the game became very boring with few chances and the frustration started to get to the players. Paul Sturgess was booked for dissent on 55 minutes, and with eleven minutes left goalscorer Parry was replaced for Williams by Graham Turner. With three minutes to go, Fewings was replaced by Elmes but Hereford had the three points wrapped up. Elmes, however, did get a late goal to add to the lead and wrapped up a good result for Hereford United. A pleasing result against a top side in the Conference, this will give extra confidence to the team for next weekends visit to Nuneaton Borough.

Attendance = 1,940

Man of the match - Paul Parry

Hereford - Cooksey, Lane, James, Clarke, White, Rodgerson, Parry, Snape, May, Fewings, Sturgess

Sub(s) who came on - Elmes, Williams

Bartlett or Cornell

There's some uncertainty over who will keep goal for Hereford United this evening at Gillingham.

Dave Cornell was given the nod over Adam Bartlett for last Saturday's game at Bradford.

The loanee from Swansea did little wrong and would be probably be the choice of many supporters, who watched the game, to keep goal again this evening. However there is some doubt as to whether he will be available as he is on stand-by for the Wales under 21 match against Andorra which takes place at Wrexham kick-off 4pm.

The OS appear to think Cornell will start according to their pre-match review.

David Cornell is expected to keep the goalkeeper's jersey following a solid display in goal against Bradford.

However manager Jamie Pitman has tended to keep faith with Bartlett given he will still be with the Bulls next season.

Meanwhile Michael Townsend is expected to be back in the squad after his two match ban but Ben Purkiss misses out as he is suspended after collecting two yellow cards at Bradford.

Ryan Green is also a doubt as he recovers from a chest infection.

The team sheet will reveal all around 7.15pm.

Commentary from Gillingham This Evening

BBC Hereford and Worcester will have full match coverage on this evening's League Two game between Gillingham and Hereford United which kicks-off at 7.45pm.

Steve Miller will be behind the microphone.

The coverage, which will include a preview, will be part of the Mike George programme.

Those who subscribe to Bulls Player will also be able to listen the game.

Meanwhile, as at 10.30am this morning, 9/2 is the best price available for a Hereford win. That price is with SkyBey and Coral.

Top price for a draw is 3/1 with BetVictor.

Gills Boss Expects Tough Game

Gillingham manager Andy Hessenthaler is expecting a tough game against the Bulls tonight.

He told the local press: "They are going to have a siege mentality and you would, because the manager and the coaches are going to want to keep Hereford in the league. They are going to make it difficult and fight for everything. We have to match that mentality and hopefully our football will come out on top."

Hessenthaler is expected to field an unchanged side for the fourth successive game with the XI consistently improving results. The Bulls have named the same XI in two games running only once this term.

One player Hessenthaler won't be able to call on is Rohan Ricketts. He had hoped to complete a deal for the forward but needed to offload players first to fund any deal. However the former Dover boss confirmed he had received 'no interest' in transfer listed duo Dennis Oli and Matt Lawrence since making them available ten days ago.

News Round-Up

Southend are trialling Crystal Palace full back Lee Hills in a reserve game today. The 21 year old left back last played for the Eagles' first team nearly two years ago. Macclesfield have extended the loan of forward Marcus Marshall from Rotherham for a further two months. The 22 year old has scored once in five games so far, and will remain at Moss Rose for all but the final two matches of the season.

Oxford have recalled midfielder Adam Chapman from his loan spell at Newport. The 22 year old played five times for the Exiles, but has been recalled due to an injury to captain Jake Wright. Southend firework Bilel Moshni is at the centre of another bust-up after he demanded to be substituted during their loss at Morecambe at the weekend, before exchanging verbals with home fans and then getting a train back to Southend on his own. The club have so far refused to comment on the situation.

Torquay have had their appeal against the red card handed to Joe Oastler accepted, and the card has now been correctly handed to defender Brian Saah. The former Leyton Orient man will now serve a one match ban. Northampton have released teenager Greg Kaziboni by mutual consent. The 19 year old youth team graduate has made five sub appearances for the first team over the last two seasons.

Accrington midfielder Bryan Hughes will be out for several weeks after suffering a hamstring injury just two minutes after coming on as a sub at the weekend. The 35 year old came on as a half time sub but was quickly taken back off.

Valiants Crippled As Ex-Chair Miller Quits

Port Vale's board is unable to make any decisions on the running of the club after news that former Chairman Peter Miller had quit the board over the weekend.

The US-based director was due to leave at the forthcoming AGM/EGM after relinquishing the chairman's role in December. However those meeting will now not take place on March 13th after the club failed to send out the necessary notices for the meeting, and the board will be unable to function adequately as they are now under the required four man strength that they need to make decisions.

Fears are mounting that the club is set to enter Administration, and those fears only increased after the board requested a meeting with the Supporters Club - after months of denying them a meeting - with both sides having their solicitor present.

Tonight's home match with Crewe is expected to generate around £70,000 in income, but with wages, payments on loans, and the taxman all due sums in the next few days they may need up to £250,000 extra to cover their immediate debts.

In a statement the local council confirmed they had received the delayed January payment on the club's £2.25million loan, but only part of the February payment with the March installment due in a couple of days.

Update: Fansite OneValeFan is reporting that they have been contacted by an employee of the club that says they have been told by HMRC that the tax due on their wages has not been paid.

Shrews Beat Crawley

Shrewsbury beat Crawley 2-1 at a smoky Greenhous Meadow in the one League Two game last night.

With the Shrews having to make late changes to their line-up with players stuck in traffic on the M6, Crawley took the lead through John Akinde before an equaliser from Mark Wright. Half time sub Marvin Morgan hit the winner late in the second half. The win puts the Shrews up to third, four points ahead of the Red Devils, with Steve Evans' men holding two games in hand.

Meanwhile, there are five games in addition to the Bulls in League Two tonight. Most of the relegation rivals are in action tonight:

  • Barnet vs Bradford
  • Gillingham vs Hereford
  • Macclesfield vs Plymouth
  • Morecambe vs Dagenham
  • Port Vale vs Crewe
  • Swindon vs Burton

Monday, February 27, 2012

Ex-Bull Gowling Backs McCammon

Former Bulls loanee Josh Gowling has backed Mark McCammon in his racial discrimination claim against Gillingham.

The former Bournemouth man spent two years at Priestfield, leaving last summer, and has claimed that McCammon was actually sacked by the club in January 2011, five months before his contract expired. Gillingham's official statements at the time claimed McCammon was released at the end of his contract in June.

Responding to questions on Twitter as to whether there was something in McCammon's claims, Gowling responded "Unfortunately, yes." before adding “I was at the club and we were all told he was sacked in jan 2011. Mark was sacked in january and he followed correct procedure to deal with this situation. So its been going on that long.”

McCammon joined Gowling at Lincoln last week, however his transfer has been held up as former club Braintree have retained his registration.

One L2 Game Tonight

There is one League Two game tonight, with Shrewsbury Town entertaining Crawley Town.

The game is live on Sky and Bulls fans can cheer on the perennial underdogs Crawley in Addisons, who will be showing the game if they can't find anything better to do.

Both sides can return to the automatic promotion spots with a win, while the draw would leave them still in their current fouth and fifth places.

Preview: Gillingham vs Bulls

The Bulls make the lengthy journey to Kent tomorrow for the rearranged League game with Gillingham.

The original game was called off at the start of the month with heavy snow and hard frosts forcing the game to be postponed the day before. The preview from that match can be seen here.

The Gills' mini-crisis at the start of February turned into full-scale panic as they went on a run of five straight losses to plunge out of the play-off picture. They've recovered since, claiming two clean sheets with a draw and win in their last two games. That recovery has coincided with the return to fitness of defender Simon King. The 28 year old for most of the previous five months, but he scored the opener in their win over Torquay at the weekend before a disputed penalty sealed the points late on. Top scorer Danny Kedwell has 12 goals, but only five of those have not come from the penalty spot, while both Jo Kuffour and Gavin Tomlin have been amongst the goals since their recent moves to Priestfield.

The Bulls will be looking to right the wrongs of the 6-1 mauling in October that saw a number of Bulls fans calling for Jamie Pitman's head. It was the catalyst for the arrival of Gary Peters, and a brief upturn in fortunes, but the Bulls find themselves just a point clear of the drop zone after a succession of disappointing scorelines. A defeat on Tuesday night will only heap more pressure on the board to make changes, though they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Peters' player recruitment has been generally good and he has juggled the very limited budget to good effect, but fans are adverse to the long ball game that is his bread and butter.

Gillingham vs Hereford United, Priestfield, Tuesday 28th February, 7.45pm.

News Round-Up

Southend have announced that a trio of their footballers - Kane Ferdinand, Liam Dickinson, and Ryan Hall - were involved in a 'breach of discipline' at the team hotel on Friday night before their loss at Morecambe. It appears to be the first the fans knew of the unspecified incident. Torquay are to appeal the red card handed to Joe Oastler during Saturday's loss to Gillingham, claiming mistaken identity. They believe Brian Saah committed the challenge that brought the late red card and a penalty.

Northampton are offering fans discounted travel for their forthcoming match at Cheltenham in a bid to boost support. Crewe have handed defender Jordan Brown a one month deal. The released West Ham full back, 20, spent time on loan at Aldershot earlier in the season before the Hammers released him in January. Bristol Rovers have put out a call for locals to supply their youth department with names of potential recruits for their teams.

Crawley are reported to have rejected a bid from Peterboro for defender Kyle McFadzean. The 24 year old was part of a double bid by The Posh of £1.9million along with striker Tyrone Barnett, whose £1.1million sale was completed last week. Morecambe have signed 18 year old defender Sean McGinty on loan for a month. The Man Utd youngster is an Irish u17 international.

No Bulls in the Team of the Week. Swindon and Morecambe each get two players into the League Two XI.

Grapple and Grunt

There's a interesting article in this morning's Bradford Telegraph about last Saturday's visit to the Coral Windows Stadium by Hereford United.

As well as mentioning the £1 deal for Bradford supporters it also reveals that the Hereford squad stayed in a hotel in the area the previous evening whilst another sporting event was taking place.

Here's a few paragraphs:

The small knot of Hereford fans did not even make up one per cent of a crowd figure far and away the best in League Two this season.

But the 111 of an extraordinary 17,014 will probably argue that they still got their money’s worth from paying the full whack.

While everyone else got in for a £1 – swelling the regular attendance by around 7,000 extras – the travelling supporters had coughed up the usual £20 admission.

For that they got the point that they would have settled for before leaving home early that morning.

Hereford boss Jamie Pitman, showing little sign of the pressure building up over his own position, said: “If you don’t want to play in games like this with that crowd, then you’ve a problem.

“We’re used to (crowds of) 2,500 people but this is what you’re in football for. The lads showed really good character to come through because there was a really good atmosphere.”

Hereford had shared the Cedar Court hotel the night before with a cage-fighting competition. Their approach certainly packed plenty of grapple and grunt.

The Bulls came to kill the game and smother City with their five-man midfield. It was a job they did well.

The Hereford fans, who had earlier cheekily chanted “we forgot that you were here”, had got some reward from their day out. They will be back for more.

You wonder how many of the floating fans in the home stands will feel the same.

Port Vale 'Heading For Administration'

Port Vale's local paper voices fans fears this morning that the club is heading for Administration.

Along with Saturday's revelation of a transfer embargo for non-payment of their most recent HMRC bill, the Valiants are in legal action with their current shirt sponsors over a £125,000 loan and the former sponsors of their US tours over their legal obligations from the deal.

Their programme printers are disputing their contract, claiming the club overstated sales, and they are also missing payments on their £2.25million council loan. The Valiants play a home match tomorrow night, with local rivals Crewe visiting Vale Park, and the income from that match will likely help cover the monthly wage bill. However they will also owe the Council £40,000 at the end of the month as well as other debts.

The club are scheduled to have both their AGM and the fan-called EGM in two weeks.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Phillips to Referee at Gillingham

David Phillips is set to referee Tuesday evening's League Two match between Gillingham and Hereford United.

Police Officer Phillips won't have too far to travel to the game as he is based in West Sussex.

The Bulls met Phillips twice last season, both times at Edgar Street. The first time was in March 2011 when the visitors, Bury, won 3-0. Harry Pell and Kenny Lune were both booked.

The second time was seven weeks later when Bradford were the opponents. That game was a goal-less draw and no player was booked.

It was Aldershot in September 2009 that Phillips was last in charge of a Hereford United away game. The result was a 2-2 draw with both Glen Southam and Jamie Tolley going into the refs notebook. Plummer scored both Hereford goals.

To date this campaign Phillips has refereed 23 games in which he has given out 65 yellow cards and 8 red cards.

Gills Set For Discrimination Case

The Bulls travel to Gillingham on Tuesday with the Gills rocked by revelations that they are to be sued by a former player.

Mark McCammon is taking the club to an employment tribunal claiming the club treated its black players differently over fines, medical treatment, and wage reductions following relegation. The club has issued a brief statement denying the claims.

Striker McCammon, 33 and now at Lincoln, is claiming racial discrimination and unfair dismissal after being released at the end of his three year deal in 2011 after an injury-plagued time at the club. He claimed in 2010 that then manager Mark Stimson "may be trying to force me out" and that teammates had remarked to him that the treatment he was receiving "appears to be personal".

The final year of his deal, last season, he made just five sub appearances in the League and one JPT start for Andy Hessenthaler's side, and failed to make a first team appearance in the final six months of the season.

The PFA have already tried to mediate in the matter with chief Gordon Taylor telling the press it was a 'very unusual case'.

News Round-Up

Shrewsbury have extended the loan of Romaine Sawyers from West Brom until the end of the season. The 20 year old midfielder has started one game and made three sub appearances since signing on deadline day. Cheltenham are to loan Yeovil forward Steve MacLean for an initial month. The 29 year old is out of favour at Huish Park after allegedly aiming an insulting gesture at the bench in a recent game.

Bournemouth chairman Eddie Mitchell has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons again after swearing three times while being interviewed live on 5live last night. Mitchell, who last season was filmed confronting fans whilst apparently the worse for wear, admitted during the interview that the wife of the new Russian investor had gone into the dressing rooms at half time but that she neither spoke much English nor knew anything about football.

Gillingham Travel – Tuesday

Gillingham v Hereford United
Football League 2
Tuesday 28th February 2012 KO 7.45pm
Priestfield Stadium
Redfern Avenue
Phone 01634 300000

Gillingham trace their history back to 1893 with the formation of New Brompton FC. Share capital was issued at £1500 and a plot of land purchased for £600 that was to become known as Priestfield Stadium. They became a professional Club the following year at the same time as becoming founder members of The Southern League. The name was changed to Gillingham in 1913 and in 1920, they joined the Football League. A further spell outside the League between 1938 and 1950 preceded a promotion in 1964 to the then Division 3 where they stayed until 1989. Financial problems followed and The Club eventually fell into administration in 1995. With total extinction looming, it was the eleventh hour takeover by Paul Scally that ensured the continuance.

They are currently managed by former player Andy Hessenthaler who is in his second spell as The Gills boss.

Priestfield is barely recognisable from the stadium that was taken over by Scally and boasts three newish stands at the only League ground in Kent. The old Town End terrace was demolished in 2004 to make way for the proposed Brian Moore Stand but, so far, only a temporary seated but uncovered structure accommodates the visiting fans. Admission is £20 for adults, Over 65’s £19, 16-21 £16, U16’s £11 and U12’s £7. It is assumed that the tickets sold for the earlier postponed match will be valid.

BY CAR – Travel to Gloucester then follow the signs for Cirencester and Swindon to join the M4 east (sign London). Continue on the M4 before joining the M25 anti-clockwise at Junction 4A (sign South, Gatwick). At junction 5 of the M25, take the M26 and then continue onto the M20. At M20 J6, take the A229 north to connect with the M2 at J3. Follow the M2 eastwards to leave at J4 where you take the A278 for Gillingham. At the third roundabout, take the first exit onto the A2. At the Premier Inn roundabout on the A2, take the third exit onto the A289 then at the next roundabout take the first exit onto Cornwallis Avenue. Cross the traffic lights before turning right onto Toronto Road then second left into Redfern Avenue. Priestfield Stadium will be on your left. Postcode is ME7 4DD, mileage approximately 190 miles and you should allow at least 4 hours. Parking is mainly in the streets but you should note that many streets are “permit only” and the local traffic wardens relish match-days at Priestfield. Fortunately, the town centre is close enough to provide parking and to walk to the stadium.

TRAIN – Hereford to London Paddington then either Victoria or Charing Cross to Gillingham station, which is a ten-minute walk to the stadium.

REFRESHMENTS – The Dog and Bone on Jeffrey Street is close to the train station and offers a decent range but no food. The Frog and Toad on Burnt Oak Terrace and the Will Adams on Saxton Street are both worth a visit. The Livingstone Arms, which is about a hundred yards from the visitor’s turnstile on Gillingham Road is a recognised away fans Pub. There are two chip shops on Gillingham Road just a few minutes from the ground.


17/4 - Bulls to win at Gillingham

A price of 17/4 is available for a Hereford United win over Gillingham in Kent on this coming Tuesday evening. At present this price is being offered by 188Bet.

Top price for a draw is 14/5 from Boylesports.

Latest Offer from SkyBet:

Gills 8/13 Draw 13/5 Hereford 7/2.

Yesterday Gillingham defeated Torquay 2-0. It was the Gills first win in eight.

Nibbo's London Marathon Run 2012

Hereford United photographer Steve Niblett is running the London Marathon on April 22nd and he hoping to raise funds for two charities.

They are the Adam Stansfield Foundation and the Herefordshire Carers Support charities.

A few words from Nibbo:

For those who are Hereford United fans will know of Adam Stansfield, Hereford's centre forward for 2004-5 and 2005-6 seasons and was a integral member of the Promotion squad. Sadly Adam died nearly 2 years ago of bowel cancer aged just 29 leaving Marie and 3 children behind. Adam's family have set up the foundation to perpetuate his memory and support local under 16's football teams. It's poignant for me as I had bowel cancer at 25 but have been lucky to have a 2nd chance.

The second charity is the Herefordshire Carers Support charity based in Canal Road Hereford. There's around 30,000 unpaid carers in Herefordshire and they need support, and that is just what this charity does. Providing advice, practical help, equipment, social clubs for the younger carers are just a few ways they contribute to and support the local community. A really admirable cause.

It will be Nibbo's 3rd London Marathon after competing in the 2000 & 2001 events. He's already lost several stone in weight to, as he says, give him a good chance of getting to the end of the marathon.

Please consider giving Nibbo a donation ( and if you specify gift aid then the charities will receive 25% extra. Well over £1200 has already been promised, his target is £2000.

Meanwhile Steve's wig was given to him by the Tupsley Bulls at the photographer's birthday bash last weekend.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sly shove denies Bulls three points

A dubious late equaliser cancelled out Byron Anthony’s first goal for The Bulls as Hereford claimed a point at Bradford City this afternoon.

Manager Pitman named a side that saw the return of Dave Cornell and a move to central defence for Will Evans following the withdrawal of virus-stricken Ryan Green.  Tom Barkhuizen started wide right with Delroy Facey up to in a 4-5-1 that had Lyle Taylor on the opposite flank.

The Bulls started brightly and Rob Purdie tested the home keeper in the first minute following good work by Purkiss and Facey.  An early cross from Kyel Reid was headed away for a corner by Evans which was easily cleared.  Home striker Nahki Wells demonstrated his ability to fall over whenever he was in or around the box but found his match when captain Purdie whipped the ball off his toe as he shaped to shoot.  Kenny Lunt’s quick throw was crossed by Barkhuizen but Facey’s header went just wide of the goal.  Taylor’s clever ball from the right was cleared as Featherstone advanced and a Lunt through ball was only just short of putting Facey in on goal.

At the other end, Reid’s cross-shot was tipped over the bar by Cornell before Taylor again showed good skill to create a chance for Featherstone but the Bull’s midfielder saw his effort from a narrow angle smothered on the line by keeper McLaughlin.  Barkhuizen lined up a long throw but Lunt made a short run and turned his marker before clipping a cross which was scrambled away for another fruitless corner.  As the half closed, Taylor launched a shot from 40 yards that flew high into Row Z of the home end.

HT  Bradford 0  Bulls 0

The Bulls had a penalty claim waived aside when a home defender clearly punched away when a cross swung dangerously into the home area.  One can only assume that the referee was unsighted.  Andrew Davies headed over for The Bantams when well placed before the inspirational Rob Purdie went on a 60-yard run that ended with Barkhuizen’s shot being blocked for a corner.  Simon Clist was outpaced by Wells and the striker, predictably, went to ground to win a free kick just outside the box but The Bulls defence cleared up field.  As the hosts came forward again Purdie dispossessed Reid and broke forward at pace to deliver a driven cross which Facey flicked goalward but his effort was blocked for a corner. 

The initial second period of footballing thrusts soon degenerated into a period of poor quality with the ball careering from one end to the other.  A loose ball from Barks led to a Bantam’s break was Evans was on hand to clear at the expense of a corner, which Facey met with a thumping clearance.  Bradford threw on a couple of substitutes in an attempt to take the initiative but it was The Bulls who found the net with just eight minutes remaining.  Barkhuizen’s throw found Facey and he held off a challenge before turning and crossing for Byron Anthony to head home from 8 yards with the keeper flat-footed.

Bradford pressed forward in search of the equaliser and when Clist’s clearance off the line went for a corner, The Bulls chose to take off Kenny Lunt and add height to the team in the form of Harry Pell.  As the corner came in from the far side, Pell was shoved in the back by a Bradford player to leave the way clear for Syers who placed his header in at the far post.  The Bantams pushed for the winner and Ben Purkiss collected his second yellow of the match to leave The Bulls to hang on with ten men for the final few minutes.

FT  Bradford 1  Bulls 1

Hereford: Cornell, Purkiss, Anthony, Evans, Clist, Barkhuizen, Lunt (Pell 87), Purdie, Featherstone, Taylor (Colbeck 71), Facey. Subs not used: Bartlett, Arquin, Elder.

Bradford: McLaughlin, Seip, Davies, Bullock, Kozluk, Reid, Ravenhill, Jones, Smalley (Atkinson 81), Flynn (Syers 65), Wells (Hannah 89). Subs not used: Annerson, Fry, Hannah.

Attendance 17014 (largely at £1 each) with 111 from The Shire (at £20).

Most would have taken a point before kick-off but taking the lead with just seven or eight minutes remaining and then conceding makes this a slightly disappointing result.  In the first half, The Bulls gave a good as they got.  The second period was less even but the goal was, nonetheless deserved and it does chew on the patience when a referee who, in general, had been fairly fussy failed to spot both the shove on HP and the clear handball.

Gillingham won’t be any easier.

See you there on Tuesday.

Players Reaction After Draw At Bradford

Here are a few of the reactions from Hereford United players after this afternoon's 1-1 draw at Bradford.

Goalscorer Byron Anthony: Thanks for the messages tweeps, delighted with the goal but gutted not to come away with 3pts. On to tuesdays game we go.

Nicky Featherstone: Got to stop throwing leads away 2 points dropped after getting in front with not long to go.

Rob Purdie: Gonna be a case of 2 ice baths for me tomorrow! Frustrating long weekend but gotta get ready for another long tough trip to gillingham

Nathan Elder: Feels like a loss to me

Dave Cornell: Gutted with the result felt like a defeat, nice to be back playing games though!

However Cornell was very pleased with the result of the Rugby: Buzzing Wales won but none of the english lads on the bus follow the rugby

Parkinson thought the Bantams should have won

Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson spoke to BBC Radio Leeds after this afternoon's drawn game against Hereford United

"I think we did enough to win the game really," said Parkinson.

"Once again we've responded in good fashion and got the equaliser.

"Every game is a scrap for every ball. It's not going to be easy and free flowing as we'd all like but we've got to make sure that we compete and when the balls goes in the box we've got to show that desire that Syers showed today."

Parkinson also spoke to the Bradford OS:

"We have given a sloppy goal away from a long throw-in - something we had practised against and gone through yesterday.

"We switched off to let them score with their only real chance of the second half - we got punished with that certainly.

"But, not for the first time this season, we have responded well and we have done well to come back and get the equaliser.

"As I expected it would be, it was a tight game today. They made it difficult for us, but I thought we created the better chances out of the two sides."

Stats from Bradford

Here are the main stats from this afternoon's game at the Valley Parade where Bradford drew 1-1 with Hereford United in front a crowd of over 17,000, probably the largest League Two gate the Bulls have ever played in front of.

Possession: Bantams 62% Bulls 38% (that stat takes some believing)

Shots on Target: Bantams 3 Bulls 3

Shots off Target: Bantams 5 Bulls 1

Corners: Bantams 9 Bulls 8

Fouls: Bantams 12 Bulls 8

Scorer: Bryon Anthony - his first for the Bulls

Cards: Two yellows equals a red for Ben Purkiss, yellow for Joe Colbeck

There were roughly 160 Bantams Fans for every Hereford Fan at the game

Attendance: 17014 including 111 in the away area

Stewards: Very helpful

Referee: Andy Haines who had a good game.

Bottom of League Two:

Hereford remain in 22nd position

18 Barnet 31 -16 33
19 Bradford 30 -5 32
20 Macclesfield 32 -11 31
21 Plymouth 32 -17 28
22 Hereford 32 -20 28
23 Northampton 31 -23 27
24 Dag & Red 31 -26 25

Pitman Pleased But Disappointed

Bulls boss Jamie Pitman, pictured during the warm-up this afternoon, spoke to BBC Hereford and Worcester's Keith Hall and gave his post match reaction:

"They taken onto another level again. I'm absolutely delighted that they've worked so hard but disappointed for them, myself, and the club that we didn't take the three points. Having performed so well and worked so hard it's good to be disappointed but we need to pick up some wins but we just lacked that little bit just at the end there."

When Keith Hall mentioned that he thought Byron Anthony was 'absolutely rock solid' today, he added: "We could go through the majority of them. I though Clisty dealt with Smalley very well second half. He was a handful through the course of the first half. Byron, Will, we had to patch a team together again today because Greeny's out injured, Towner's suspended, Bruno's injured, Stefan's injured, we've patched a team together and they've competed against a side that put us under a lot of pressure at times."

Asked about the size of the gate, he continued: "We were talking about it. If you don't want to play in games like this where there's a crowd there's a massive problem. We're used to 2-2,500 people. These are what you're in football for. The lads showed really good character."

Asked about the game plan to sit back and wait, he added: "It's very much been like that, counter-attack football, because of what we've had in the squad. It's so hard to get a consistent team out."

Talking about the equaliser: "Kenny (Lunt) was so tired, putting Harry (Pell) on. He's 6ft 4in. You don't like to change things at corners but you hope that might just help us. Unfortunately we conceded from that. On another day the ref might have given a foul on Dave (Cornell). You've got to accept it's a good point, but disappointed you haven't taken three."

After praising David Cornell's performance today, and accepting the dismissal of Purkiss noting 'he'll just have to be a little quicker next time', he looked towards the trip to Gillingham on Tuesday. Pitman concluded: "We'll have a few aches and sprains. We'll have a look Monday morning and get a little patchwork quilt together and patch the team together again."

Results Round-Up

The Bulls move a point clear of the drop zone on today's results. Dagenham (24th, 25pts) drew 0-0 at Plymouth (21st, 28pts), while Northampton (23rd, 27pts) lost 2-1 at home to Port Vale. Macclesfield (20th, 31pts) withstood a battering at Oxford to escape with a 1-1 draw thanks to another Michael Duberry own goal, while Barnet (18th, 33pts) lost 4-1 at Aldershot. There is now a five point gap to Wimbledon, who drew 3-3 at Crewe after being 3-1 down.

At the top, Swindon lead by a point after beating Accrington 2-0. Stanley now have conceded eight without reply in three games under Paul Cook. Cheltenham are second after beating Burton 2-0, with Southend slipping four points behind after they lost 1-0 to Morecambe. Fourth and fifth, Shrewsbury and Crawley, play each other on Monday, with sixth placed Torquay going down 2-0 at Gillingham. Oxford are three points clear in seventh from Port Vale after their draw, with Rotherham's play off hopes dented after losing 1-0 at home to Bristol Rovers.

In the Conference, Fleetwood's lead is five points after they beat Alfreton 4-0 and Wrexham lost 1-0 at Stockport. Kidderminster beat Bath 2-1 with Sean Canham scoring a late consolation, while Forest Green drew 1-1 with Barrow.

Bulls Scrap For Point

The Bulls took away a point from their game with Bradford City this afternoon.

The Bulls weathered heavy pressure from a 17,000 crowd and an industrial Bantams attacking line before taking a surprise late lead through Byron Anthony. However the joy was shortlived as first the Bantams equalised, then defender Ben Purkiss was dismissed for a second booking leaving the Bulls scrambling to retain parity.

Full report later.

Port Vale Get Transfer Embargo

Port Vale have been blocked from signing free agent midfielder Chris Birchall due to a transfer embargo.

The Valiants are reported to have failed to pay their latest tax bill leading to the Football League blocking all further transfer activity at Vale Park. Acting Chairman Mike Lloyd confirmed to the press that the club had suffered losses this season of around £200,000 due to falling gates and anti-board protests.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Full Commentary from Bradford

This afternoon BBC Hereford and Worcester will have full commentary from the Valley Parade on the game between Bradford City and Hereford United. It can be heard on the 94.7FM frequency around Herefordshire.

Before the commentary there will be a preview and afterwards reports and interviews. These will be on all their frequencies and the internet.

As ever Keith Hall will be behind the microphone.

Meanwhile Hereford United's Youth team are at home to Swansea this morning.

The game is at the Leisure Centre and starts at 11am.

Bulls 4/1 to defeat Bantams

4/1 appears to be the best price currently available for a Hereford United win at Bradford tomorrow. That price is with BlueSq and 888sport.

Top price for a draw is 27/10 with BetVictor.

Latest offer from SkyBet:

Bradford 8/11 Draw 13/5 Hereford 15/4

Prices from and are subject to change.

Manset Move Confirmed

Reading have today confirmed that former Bulls striker Mathieu Manset has moved to Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua until the end of June.

The side, managed by French legend Jean Tigana, will likely pair Manset with Nicolas Anelka. Reading boss Brian McDermott told their official site:

"I don't necessarily want him to go but he was adamant, he wants to play games and I understand that. He'll come back ready for pre-season. I've played in Hong Kong and it was a massive club in Asia, it'll be different for him, but also a good experience."

Manset told the site: "I'm excited to be going to a new country, I'll learn new things about football and play with a big striker. I think I'll learn a lot with Nicolas Anelka. He's a French international, he's played for Chelsea and when I come back I'll be ready to play here and score goals."

No confirmed fee for the loan has been disclosed, but the Bulls would be entitled to a share if it is the previously claimed $1.2million (around £750,000) as it would be in excess of the fee the Royals originally paid for the forward.

Edgar Street Grid in Trouble say Political Grouping

The plans to revamp the centre of Hereford including the area close to Hereford United's Edgar Street ground are in trouble according to It's Our County.

The political group say that the deal to sell the old livestock market site for £30M may not go ahead as British Land now believes that price to be much too high.

The Hereford Council were expected to use the £30M to build a new library and other public assets.

It’s Our County understands that British Land now believes the centre is worth about one-third less than they thought last year.

If the scheme looses value then British Land/Stanhope will find it impossible to pay Herefordshire Council the £30m estimated value of the land at Edgar Street.

It’s Our County fears, on the basis of it’s information, is that political leaders will either sell the land for substantially less than £30m – meaning £m losses and jeopardising plans for the library – or contribute the land to the development for nothing in return for a share in notional profits, if there are any – just to keep British Land on board. This would be a disaster.

It’s Our County estimate that the Edgar Street Grid plans has so far cost tax payers £24m, excluding the cost of the new cattle market. £20m was given to ESG from AWM in March 2007 which they used for property acquisition £6m, flood alleviation of Yazor Brook £4m and operating costs and fees £4m2 with a further £1m in October 2008 for operating costs and £739,000 in the last three years. Herefordshire Council have funded Hereford Futures operating costs between 2006 and 2011 £1.9m which includes £452,000 this year, when cuts are being made elsewhere in the Council. This means at least £24m has been spent, not including the Cattle Market costs, on preparation work for something that will not happen.

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Bulls to Train at Forest

Hereford United are due to set off for Bradford later this morning in advance of tomorrow's game. On route they will stop off at Nottingham Forest for a training session.

Manager Jamie Pitman will be without several players for the trip.

Still out injured are Stefan Stam, Joe Heath, Richard Peniket and Benoit Dalibard whilst Michael Townsend will serve the second of his two match suspension after being sent off at Aldershot last Tuesday week.

However Tom Barkhuizen is expected to travel. He missed last Saturday's game against Swindon but is reported to be back in training. UPDATE - he has travelled with the squad.

As reported yesterday, Pitman has one big decision to make ahead of the game. That is who will be in goal. Adam Bartlett has made a couple of errors recently, but whether Pitman will drop him for Dave Cornell isn't certain.

News Round-Up

Macclesfield have resigned keeper Steve Collis on a deal until the end of the season. The 30 year old was released by the Silkmen in January after his short term deal expired without a League appearance, but he remained training with them and signs due to an injury to former Bulls stopper Jose Veiga. The Silkmen have also signed defender Mark Connolly on loan for an initial month. The Irish u21 man cost Bolton £1million from Wolves two years ago, but his only senior appearance has been just 45 minutes on loan at St Johnstone.

Northampton have extended the loan of midfielder Paul Turnbull to Stockport for a further month. Plymouth have extended the loan of young keeper Ollie Chenoweth to Truro until the end of the season. Accrington have signed goalkeeper Lee Nicholls on loan from Wigan until the end of the season. The teenager has had three other loan spells but is yet to make his first team debut.

Macclesfield have signed keeper Richard O'Donnell on loan after earlier signing Steve Collis damaged a shoulder in today's training session. O'Donnell, 23, has played 11 times for Sheff Weds this season and has to remain with the Silkmen for a month due to loan rules. Accrington have had loan defender Tom Bender recalled by parent club Colchester. The teenager made only two sub appearances after the head injury in October that caused a match to be abandoned.

Darlington defender Exodus Geohagon has signed for Mansfield on loan after refusing to play for the crisis club. He has just completed a three month loan with Dagenham. Accrington have signed defender Michael Liddle on loan for an initial month. The 22 year old Irish u21 international has played 23 times in League One on loan but spent the second half of last season at Gateshead.