Saturday, March 31, 2012

Shrews Set For FA Investigation

Shrewsbury Town's promotion hopes are to be hit with an impending FA charge.

Current chairman Roland Wycherley is under investigation after admitting, on the club's official site, to making an approach for then Bulls manager Graham Turner some 16 years ago - going so far as to meet Turner 'just off the M6' in an attempt to coax him to the then Gay Meadow.

On their official site, on March 14th, Wycherley admits: "As soon as I became chairman nearly 16 years ago, I met Graham just off the M6 to discuss the managerial position as Shrewsbury but he hadn't been at Hereford long at the time."

At the time the former Wolves manager was under his original three year contract, and any approaches for his services had to be made to the existing board. It is understood that, following an investigation and the taking of a number of statements from board members at Edgar Street at the time, no agreement was in place to allow such talks to happen.

While UK law limits the time frame in which someone can be charged, the FA have no such ruling and are likely to issue charges later this week regarding an illegal approach for the then Bulls manager.

It is currently unclear what sanctions the Shrews can expect for such an approach. The act of 'tapping-up' a person usually happens with a player, so any charge relating to a manager is expected to break new ground.

(This is, of course, rubbish)

Disappointing Bulls lose at Don Valley Stadium

Hereford United turned in a lacklustre performance against Rotherham this afternoon to lose to a Lewis Grabban goal scored late in the first half.

Richard O’Kelly gave a first start to James Chambers and Delroy Facey returned to lead the attack while Tom Barkhuizen and Nicky Featherstone replaced James McQuilkin and Sam Clucas who were missing through injury.

The Millers were quick to take charge of the game after Barkhuizen’s early crossfield ball was intercepted.  Grabban sent over a teasing cross from the right, which Towner sliced out for a corner.  The flag kick was scrambled away for a second which in turn led to third from which Millers centre back Cresswell was allowed to get in a towering header despite climbing all over Townsend.  Lunt sent Peniket away down The Bulls left but Cresswell was across to clear at the expense of a throw.  Barkhuizen deep throw caused concern in the home defence with keeper Taylor eventually clearing off Facey for a goal kick.  There seemed some question over whether Facey had been pushed by Taylor but Bulls players around the incident made little of it.

Neat work by Chambers sent Colbeck clear on the right but Joe contrived to run straight into a defender and The Millers were able to break upfield where Pringle lifted a shot over the bar.  Rotherham striker Revell seemed to have the measure of Townsend as he won the majority in the air and also outpaced The Bulls defender on the ground.  Bradley cross was headed back across goal by Revell but Grabban screwed his shot wide of the upright before a Peniket break down the right saw his cross cut out just before it reached the onrushing Facey.  Revell again headed over and Evans glanced one wide as the hosts continued to dominate the first period.  Peniket put a header over the bar and Barkhuizen’s dash to goal was halted by Cresswell before, on the stroke of half time, The Millers took the lead through some sloppy defending.

A relatively harmless looking cross from the left found Cornell and Stam leaving it to each other and Grabban nipped in, unmarked, to nod into the gaping net.

HT  Millers 1  Bulls 0

Rotherham had controlled the midfield during the first period utilising a central three and O’Kelly responded at half time by introducing Will Evans in place of Facey with Peniket moving to a lone striker role.

Featherstone forced a corner and Barkhuizen’s kick was head back across goal by Stam but young Tom’s volleyed effort was blazed high over the bar.  At the other end, Grabban had Towner tied in knots but Lunt arrived quickly to clear the danger and clear upfield to Colbeck.  Joe made ground threateningly but then wasted the opportunity when his over optimistic shot from 30 yards sailed over.  The Bulls found themselves three on three but Barks delayed his release to Peniket and, again, the chance was lost.

Colbeck’s stabbed ball into the box bobbled off a defender to Peniket who laid off to Evans but the ball just didn’t sit right and Will’s shot rose to safety.  Revell pulled a shot just wide and an Evans shot was deflected away for a corner.  Grabban and Revell both missed chances while at the other end, a pair of Colbeck crosses both failed to reach their intended (I assume) destinations.  Barkhuizen put another over the bar and Will Evans was just wide of the target as the hosts played out reasonably comfortably to take all three points in front of 3237, which included 189 very despondent Herefordians.

FT  Millers 1  Bulls 0

Hereford: Cornell, Chambers, Stam (Anthony 89), Townsend, Green, Barkhuizen, Featherstone (Elder 85), Lunt, Colbeck, Penniket, Facey (Evans 46). Subs not used: Bartlett, Purkiss.

Rotherham: Taylor, Bradley, Cresswell, Mullins, Wood, Grabban, Taylor, Schofield, Evans (Cadogan 78), Revell, Pringle. Subs not used: Warrington, Tonge, Harrison, Hoskins.

Despite an increase in goal attempts in the second period, there seemed to be little chance of a glut of goals from United this afternoon.  Rotherham bossed the midfield in the first half and although the introduction of Evans brought some balance, there was not much to encourage the fans who became increasingly concerned as the game progressed.  The chant of “if you’re all going to Newport clap your hands” probably summed up the feelings nicely. 

On individual performances, some questions must be asked of Stam and Cornell for their part in the goal although when it’s that close to the net there really only should be one person in charge.  James Chambers did OK although there was a lack of overlapping which may come with match fitness.  Towner was beaten too often while Stam was generally untroubled apart from one strange back header and Green continues to look out of place on the left.  The midfield lost the first half battle but improved with the addition of Evans.  Facey got no change out of Cresswell although  neither, for that matter did Elder.  Peniket looked a bit lightweight against the big Millers defence.  Barks was bright if inaccurate while Colbeck continues to defy logic most of the time.

It was a fairly quiet walk back to the cars after the game with even the most optimistic now beginning to contemplate the possibilities of next season.  However, there are still six games with eighteen points to play for.

As has been said before, all is not lost.  Even more important now to get behind the lads on Friday.

Last Visit to the Don Valley Stadium

Thankfully Hereford United won't have to make the trip to the Don Valley Stadium ever again as Rotherham are moving to their new home before the start of next season.

In fact many of those supporters who spent their hard earned money following the Bulls today must have wished they hadn't bothered.

The seating at the stadium is so far away from the action on the pitch that it can be difficult to follow the game at times.

On top of that the refreshment area couldn't cope at half-time.

But in truth supporters will put up with those problems as long as the team puts on a reasonable performance on the pitch.

Today however the Bulls failed to turn up.

How Rotherham didn't score three or four goals in the first half was surprising given their almost complete control of the half.

When they did finally get the ball in the back of the net it was a soft goal. Perhaps Captain Stefan Stam should have dealt with it but he didn't. Perhaps Dave Cornell should have dealt with it but he didn't either.

Manager O'Kelly did change things in the second half but the Bulls never looked as though they were going to score.

The players were generally second to the ball, passes often went astray, kicks up field seldom found anyone and tackles were at a premium. (The Bulls only committed two fouls during the game)

Some looked tired, others lacked confidence. For example Tom Barkhuizen had a couple of chances during the second half which earlier in the season he would have got on target if not scored.

However as O'Kelly alluded to in his post-match interview there appeared to be a lack of passion from the majority of his players this afternoon.

And that's why some supporters who made the long trip questioned why they had bothered.

Perhaps the only plus point - a good portion of fish and chips for £3.

Support From Former Bulls

Three former Hereford United players have given their support to the Bulls after this afternoon's defeat at Rotherham.

Ben Smith: Come on Bulls fans don't give up yet, I'm sure we can still do it!!!

Tony James: Always sad to see your old club and past team mates struggling at this time in the season #herefordunited easter weekend is gonna be huge

Steve Guinan: Gutted for the Bulls fans at Hereford United. Move on to the next game now and take the 3 points #itaintovertillthefatladysings

Update Sunday 10am: Meanwhile the only player to comment so far is Tom Barkhuizen: Very disappointed with my own and the teams performance yesterday and we deserved what we got! Still time to turn it round though.

We Controlled the Game says Miller Manager

Speaking to Radio Sheffield after this afternoon's match against Hereford, Millers manager Dareen Patterson felt his side controlled the game.

"I thought we bossed the game from start to finish.

"The first five minutes was absolutely terrific and we couldn`t ask for a better start. We bombarded them with three or four corners, had shots at goal and we really made it difficult for them and we set the tone. We`d spoken all week about making it uncomfortable for them (Hereford) which we did. We pressed very high and the front three worked their socks off and we won a lot of balls in that area. We carved out five or six shots, which weren`t the best, but we had a lot of crosses and a lot of attempts at goal and I think we deserved the goal at the end of the first half. We were pushing and looked like we were going to score and I`m just pleased we did.

"I was a little edgy on the touchline for the last ten minutes because we`ve seen it happen so many times, so I`m pleased with the clean sheet.

"I thought the midfield three was decent at times and we played some really good football and, in the end, it was a good professional performance."

Scrappy Game says O'Kelly

Richard O'Kelly spoke to BBC Hereford and Worcester after this afternoon's game against Rotherham.

"I thought Rotherham were really good in the first half, they dominated the game, they played high-tempo, they were switched on whereas we were the complete opposite," said the Hereford United manager.

"We let them do it and we didn't do anything to change it. I have to take responsibility for that

"We changed it at half-time and there was more heart.

"There were times when we got into their box but in the first half I don't think they had a goal-kick, never mind a shot at goal or a corner."

At halftime Delroy Facey was subbed with Will Evans coming on in his place.

"We changed the system slightly with two wide strikers but systems to me are irrevelent sometimes. It's a lot to do with players behaviour, their natural instinct.

"There were spells in the first half when we let them dictate the play and when you let the opposition do that there's always the chance you can look at things afterwards and say: 'We could have avoided that goal'.

"It was a scrappy game, but from their point of view it was good pressure, a good ball in and a good little run.

"From our point of view it was poor previous to the goal and poor defending at the time."

O'Kelly gave a start to Jamie Chambers at right back with Ryan Green at left back.

"He hasn't played for a long time. I thought he showed the things that I know he has got.

"At the end of the game he was still stood up. But he has more qualities than he showed today. I'm sure he will be a good addition to the squad."

After the game O'Kelly talked to his squad in the middle of the pitch.

Stats from Rotherham

Below are the main stats from the Don Valley Stadium where Hereford United lost 1-0 to Rotherham in what was probably the Bulls' worst away performance this season.

Possession: Millers 55% Bulls 45%

Shots on Target: Millers 5 Bulls 2

Shots off Target: Millers 9 Bulls 6

Corners: Millers 8 Bulls 3

Fouls: Millers 3 Bulls 2

Attendance: 3237 with 189 in the away end

Bottom of League Two:

19 Dag & Red 40 -26 41
20 Bradford 40 -7 40
21 Plymouth 40 -16 40
22 Barnet 39 -24 39
23 Macclesfield 40 -17 36
24 Hereford 40 -23 35

Results Round-Up

The Bulls are four points short of safety after today's results. Macclesfield remain a point above (36) after going down 2-0 at Gillingham, but Dagenham beat Port Vale 1-0 - thanks to their keeper saving a penalty - to move up to 19th (41). Plymouth also won 1-0 against Bradford to join the Bantams on 40 points, with Barnet slipping to 22nd after last night's loss. Northampton also had a penalty save to thank in their 1-1 draw with Crewe, moving them to 42 points. Burton's faint relegation worries faded to almost nothing after a goalless draw with Crawley.

At the top, Swindon extended their lead to two points with a goalless draw with Bristol Rovers. Crawley's point was matched by Shrewsbury, who ended up 1-1 with Aldershot after having a man sent off, so they retain third and fourth respectively behind Torquay. Oxford's 2-1 home loss to Morecambe mean they stay five points adrift of fifth placed Southend and level on points with Cheltenham. Crewe's draw cuts their gap in eighth to three points, one ahead of Gillingham. In the other game, Accrington beat Wimbledon 2-1.

In the Conference, Fleetwood are now eight points clear and seemingly destined for the Football League after a 4-1 win at Bath, with Wrexham only managing a 1-1 draw at Cambridge. Kidderminster beat Grimsby 2-1 to dent the Mariners' play-off hopes, while Forest Green beat Barrow 3-0. Darlington's 3-3 draw with Telford provided some hope of them staying up, but they are now eight points short of safety with six games left.

Blunt Bulls Fall At Don Valley

The Bulls took 90 minutes to force Rotherham keeper Rhys Taylor into a save as they went down 1-0 to the Millers.

After last week's doing everything but score performance, the Bulls failed to seriously threaten the Millers' goal until the final minute of normal time. The points were surrendered by a defensive mix up that allowed striker Lewis Grabban to fire home.

Full report later.

News Round-Up

Shrewsbury have banned two fans for the remainder of 2012 after they encroached onto the pitch during Tuesday night's evacuation. The Shrews also say repair work on the damaged floodlight equipment has been completed and today's match with Aldershot will go ahead as planned. Morecambe have cut prices for their home match with Port Vale to £10, and £1 for under 16's, in a bid to combat falling gates at the Globe Arena.

Crawley say they will defend Kyle McFadzean against the FA charge for his part in Tuesday's mass brawl. The defender was charged with violent conduct after the FA reviewed video evidence. Plymouth's Supporters Trust is to start a campaign calling on fans to use the local businesses that lost out when the club went under. It was revealed earlier in the week that the businesses received only a fraction of their debts.

A seventh interested party has held talks with Port Vale Administrator Bob Young, who says he will consult the local council, the club's main creditor, before picking the preferred bidder. Derby have reported losses of £7.6million for last season. Turnover slumped by nearly £12million after they lost their Premier League parachute payment. Their accounts say the club owners have put £28million into the black hole since taking over in 2008.

Kettering's plans to have today's game sponsored by a bookie have been scrapped after they were warned they would breach Conference rules on ambush marketing after a complaint from the league's sponsor. A statement from Blue Square says they warned the club when it was first announced but rivals Betfair still opted to promote the event for a week before pulling the plug.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Full Match Commentary From Rotherham

Listeners able to receive BBC Hereford and Worcester on 94.7FM can listen to full match commentary of this afternoon's League Two match between Rotherham and Hereford United.

As ever Keith Hall will be behind the microphone.

For everyone else there's Bulls Player which continues to have a free trial. More info on the OS.

Meanwhile there are ten games in League Two this afternoon.

Of particular interest to Bulls supporters will be the games involving Macclesfield (23rd), who are at Gillingham, Dagenham (21st) who play at Port Vale and the game between Plymouth (22nd) and Bradford (19th).

Should Hereford win at Rotherham and Macclesfield, Dagenham and Plymouth all lose, then the Bulls could find themselves in 20th position by 5pm.

Rotherham is like a Trip to Warsaw

Hereford United manager Richard O'Kelly has given his views about Rotherham where the Bulls play tomorrow.

"The surroundings are rather strange," O'Kelly told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"They've been rather strange for a couple of years now.

"You look at it with a running track around the outside, it's probably like a trip to Warsaw or somewhere like that.

"It will be a strange atmosphere there, the supporters will be a fair distance away from the pitch.

"I'm expecting they will be very organised, really motivated because of the change of manager.

"As we've seen a change of manager can have an instant result. Hopefully they've had their instant result so we can come away with the points."

Results Round-Up

Barnet lost their match with Torquay 1-0, with Izale McLeod missing a penalty. The Bees failed to get a shot on target after the Gulls scored in the 49th minute. Southend beat Cheltenham 4-0 after the Robins had a man sent off early on.

Torquay move four points clear inside the automatic promotion spots, but can be caught by both Shrewsbury and Crawley on games in hand, while Southend cement their play-off spot in fifth.

Barnet stay 20th, four points ahead of the Bulls with a worse goal difference.

Redevelopment of Old Livestock Market‏

Councillor John Jarvis, leader of Herefordshire Council, has released a statement about the redevelopment of the former livestock market in Hereford which has been subject to several delays. The site is close to Edgar Street, the home of Hereford United.

For the record, BN has published his statement in full

On Thursday 5th April, the Cabinet of Herefordshire Council will be meeting to finalise the terms of the agreement for the Old Livestock Market that will enable our development partner Stanhope Plc to begin work on this long awaited project. This exciting £90 million development will be a great boost to the economy and people of both Hereford and the whole county.

In recent years, we have taken several major strategic decisions. In 2005, we agreed to back the Rotherwas Relief Road; three years later, the road was opened. We now know that its existence led directly to the government granting us Enterprise Zone status and has also protected many hundreds of existing jobs in businesses which have shown loyalty to Rotherwas and the county for decades.

In 2006, we decided to build a new livestock market. I know that, like the road, there were those who didn’t agree with that decision. However, since the market opened, trade has grown by 30 per cent and it is still increasing. We have a livestock market that our agricultural community can be proud of and which is fit for the future. Just like we did for the Rotherwas businesses, we showed confidence in our farmers; the result is that the county’s economy is now reaping the rewards.

Although not on the same scale, in 2009 we took the decision to relocate the open retail market from the Old Livestock Market site to the very heart of the city centre; again some people doubted that the retail market would be successful there and were concerned that it would provide excessive competition to existing retailers. Time has shown that, not only does our city centre look and feel more vibrant on market days, the concerns about there being an overall negative impact have not been realised.

Big decisions like these are always controversial, none more so than choosing to build a department store, six screen Odeon cinema and a new Waitrose. There’ll also be twenty other shops and seven restaurants and cafes on the old market site along with 600 new car parking spaces and significant investment by the private sector, in roads, pavements and squares.

I believe that backing this plan is the right decision and it’s time for the talking to stop and for action to start.

At present, we lose many millions of pounds spent every month to other towns and cities outside the county. This new development will mean, on average, an extra £165,000 will be spent in Hereford every day of the year by people visiting the cinema, the shops and the restaurants. When they come, they’ll want to see what else Hereford and the county has to offer which is why we have invested in Widemarsh Street and the Cathedral Close and why we’ll be doing the same for Broad Street after this year’s Three Choirs Festival has finished.

While the shops and restaurants are being built, not only will there be construction jobs on offer, but also more than £45 million of contracts to be won; once building is complete, over 1,000 people will be able to find new jobs, and there will be training opportunities for our young people.

When the shops and restaurants open, they will be paying business rates, estimated at well over £2.5 million every year. The government has promised that we will keep the lion’s share of that and we’ll use it to boost the county’s economy every year.

I know how important this development is to most Herefordians, especially the young, so many of which leave for the bright lights of other cities. I am determined to change that forever which is why I and the administration remain totally committed to supporting this scheme.

I hope to see many of you at Hereford’s new cinema or department store in the not too distant future.

Loan has helped Barkhuizen says Holloway

One of the finds of the season as far as Hereford United are concerned has to be Tom Barkhuizen.

The young winger hails from Blackpool and came to Edgar Street to get some games under his belt which he certainly has. And he's currently the club's top scorer with eleven goals to his credit.

It's not clear whether anyone from Blackpool has watched Barkhuizen at any of his games for the Bulls but today manager Ian Holloway has spoken about the player.

"I’ve spoken loads of times about the amount of good players we have at this club, but sometimes people forget about lads like Tom," boss Ian Holloway said.

"We sent him out because we have a big squad and no reserve team and he wouldn’t have got much football had he stayed.

"But he has now played loads of games, really come on as a player, and he will strengthen our squad next season. It is good to have a young lad like that coming through."

It's the first time Barkhuizen has lived away from home.

"It has been a massive learning curve in terms of growing up as a person, just little things like having to cook for yourself ... chicken and pasta is my speciality because it’s easy!" he told the Blackpool Gazette.

Millers To Continue With Patterson

Caretaker boss Darren Patterson will continue in charge of Rotherham for tomorrow's match with chairman Tony Stewart in no rush to make an appointment.

Stewart told the local press he was 'astounded' by the quality of the applicants for the job, and that five had been identified for interviews to now begin next week. He, however, denied that one of the five was Crawley boss Steve Evans.

Patterson has won one, and lost one, of his two games in temporary charge and previously had a spell as boss with Oxford. He has ruled himself out of the running for a permanent appointment, but will manage his third match tomorrow.

He will be without defender Michael Raynes, whose injured groin has not sufficiently recovered since being subbed against Crawley last weekend. Ryan Cresswell is likely to replace him with an otherwise unchanged XI. Patterson is yet to name top scorer Lewis Grabban in either of his first two teams with the former Brentford man, who has 18 goals this term, managing just 30 minutes of play under the caretaker boss.

Bulls Wait On Clucas And Quilks

Bulls boss Richard O'Kelly will wait on fitness reports for midfield pair Sam Clucas and James McQuilkin before deciding on his XI for tomorrow's game with Rotherham.

Clucas tweeted earlier this week that he was due to be missing for up to three weeks with an ankle problem, but O'Kelly told the Hereford Times: “Sam’s injury is not as bad as we first thought so he might be available after all.”

McQuilkin picked up a knock in his first League game for the Bulls in five months, but he is hoped to be OK: “James McQuilkin got a small knock against Crewe so we’ll be taking a look at him but everyone else has come through OK. Simon Clist and Benoit Dalibard should be available in a week or 10 days, too.”

Two L2 Games Tonight

Bulls' eyes will be on Underhill tonight, as relegation rivals Barnet take on Torquay in one of two League Two matches today.

Southend face Cheltenham in the other game, but Bulls fans will be looking for a favour from the second placed Gulls. The Bees are currently four points above the Bulls with a game in hand.

Plymouth Pay Just 0.21p To Creditors

Unsecured creditors have received just 0.21p of every pound they were owed by Plymouth, it has been revealed.

The Plymouth Herald reports that the St John Ambulance service will receive just £17.20 of over £8,000 owed, the local council just £600 of over £300,000, and Cornwall Police £70 of over £36,000.

One of the club's caterers received just £10 of a near £5,000 debt, calling the pay-off 'laughable'. The original CVA agreement reported that the offer to unsecured creditors would have been nearly four times larger.

Administrator P&A has paid itself £500,000 for their time at the club. The unsecured creditors, owed over £6million, received a total of just over £13,000. The club's Supporters Trust has called for an explanation of P&A's handling of the situation.

News Round-Up

Macclesfield defender Elliot Hewitt has been ruled out for the season after undergoing surgery on a hip problem. The teenager is expected to leave the club in the summer with several Premier League suitors on the horizon. Midfielder Dwayne Mattis has also been confirmed as an absentee for the rest of the season as he also needs surgery. Striker George Donnelly is expected to miss three games after picking up an injury last Friday. Aldershot have lost the services of loanee defender Sonny Bradley after Hull opted to recall him after 14 games.

Nuneaton's hopes of promotion from Conf North have been hit after they were docked six points for fielding an ineligible player in two won matches. Telford man Andy Brown had been on loan with the club but the paperwork for a loan extension was not completed, rendering him ineligible. Morecambe have handed midfielder Andy Fleming a contract for next season. The former Wrexham man had a clause in his deal for another year after two years at the club.

Barnet's former Bulls loanee Paul Downing will likely miss this weekend's game against Torquay with West Brom still assessing his condition following his neck injury. The Bees still don't have a definite return date for the defender. Wimbledon have loaned midfielder James Mulley to Wealdstone for the rest of the season. The 23 year old was transfer listed in January after just three games this season.

Portsmouth fans have launched a bid to buy the club. They hope to raise £5million through £1,000 a time shares and relaunch the club as a community project. Port Vale potential bidder Mo Chaudry has called for his rivals for the club to show their faces. None of the three confirmed bidders have been publically identified, with Chaudry calling on them to be named so fans know who they are dealing with. The Administrator has a deadline of Monday for bids with a five-figure sum needed to secure preferred status.

Oldham have reported selling just 1,000 extra tickets after selling five matches for just £3 each as a single £15 ticket. The Latics won just one of the five matches. Redditch boss, and former Bulls midfielder, Graham Hyde has signed midfielder Lee Hendrie. The 34 year old will line up for the Reds alongside his younger brother, at the club his father used to manage, after just two games at Chasetown.

Gillingham have announced that they will play a friendly against Senegal next month. The club's ground will be used as a base for their under 23 side for the Olympics if they qualify. Accrington defender Danny Coid is out for the season after suffering a 90% tear of a cruciate ligament. Fellow defender Rob Kiernan is also expected to miss the season with an ankle problem. Manager Paul Cook wants former Tranmere boss Les Parry to be his new physio.

Shrewsbury have relented in trying to charge fans £10 to watch their rearranged match with Port Vale after a barrage of complaints from fans. Supporters holding tickets from the abandoned game can now exchange them free of charge for tickets for the new date. Southend have extended the loan of keeper Cameron Belford through to the end of May after first choice keeper Glen Morris was told he needed an operation on a dislocated finger.

Kettering are going back to 1976 this weekend. A bookie rival to the Conference sponsors is sponsoring their match with Stockport, with the Poppies playing in a 1976 retro kit in honour of the club being the first to wear a sponsored kit. Fans can also get into the game for just £1 with the club hoping they will donate further funds to the cash strapped club.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Limited Tickets Available For Friday's Disco

There are limited tickets still available for Friday's Disco in the Starlite Rooms.

Midnight Sounds bring their mix of 60's, 70's, and 80's music, plus today's modern classics, and laser light show to the Starlite Rooms on Friday night from 8pm. Tickets are £6 including a Chicken and Chips basket meal. For more details, ring the club on 08442 76 1939.

Meanwhile, next Saturday, the Starlite Rooms hosts a Cider Festival. There will be 16 different ciders and perrys to taste. Live music will come from local band Two Push Charlie, with more tunes coming from the resident DJ.

Tickets are £5, including two free tasters, with the event running from 6pm until late.

FA Charge Bradford And Crawley

The FA have charged both Bradford and Crawley after Tuesday's brawl, and charged two Crawley players.

Both sides have been charged with failing to ensure their players acted in an orderly fashion, while Crawley pair Pablo Mills and Kyle McFadzean have been handed additional charged.

Mills, already banned for three matches for his red card, has been charged - in addition to the red card - for an incident 'outside the jurisdiction of the match officials but reported to the FA'. McFadzean, who escaped a card on the night, has been charged with an offence missed by the referee but caught on the match video.

Both players have until 6pm tomorrow to respond to their charges, while the clubs have until 4pm on Tuesday to answer.

Travel For Rotherham

Rotherham United v Hereford United
Football League 2
Saturday 31st March 2012 KO 3.00pm
Don Valley Stadium
Worksop Road
SheffieldS9 3TL
Phone 0844 4140737

The Millers moved from their old Millmoor ground following landlord issues and set up camp in the temporary Don Valley. The stadium was built for the World Student Games in 1991 and still retains the athletics track around the pitch which means the spectator area is some distance from the touchlines. The view, however, is fine so long as you have a pair of Hubble stylee binoculars.

Admission is believed to be £18 for adults, £10 for concessions (student, disabled and over 60's), £6 for ages 12-16 and £5 for 8-11. Under eights are admitted free with a full paying adult.

HUISA - Departs from Radford’s at 9.30am with a fare of £18 (members £16). Seats can be booked through the Club office (08442 761939). There are currently still seats available.

By Car, travel via the M5, M42 and A42 to join the M1 (sign North). At junction 32 (M18) take care to continue ahead on the M1. Leave the M1 at J34 and at the roundabout, take the second exit onto the A6178 (sign Sheffield Centre). Continue on the A6178 passing Meadowhall shopping centre following signs for Sheffield centre and at the junction with the A6102, follow the sign for A6109 (sign City Centre) then at the next roundabout follow the sign for Attercliffe. After passing the Don Valley to your left, turn left at the lights into Worksop Road and then left again for the Stadium. There is a match day car park at Pic Toys on Worksop Road costing £3 otherwise there is street parking around the Stadium. Distance is just less than 150 miles and you should allow three hours with Saturday shopping traffic expected around Meadowhall. Postcode is S9 3TL.

REFRESHMENTS - There are a few boozers near to the Don Valley but little to write home (or on here) about. The Cocked Hat is "home only" but The Greyhound does admit well-behaved visitors. There is a visitor’s bar to the rear of the main stand. The centre of Sheffield is well worth a visit if you have the time. In particular, the Kelham Island Tavern in Russell Street and the Fat Cat on Alma Street are held in high esteem. On Wellington Street is the Devonshire Cat. This is a largish pub which from the outside gives the impression of being a bit "Pub Chain". Inside, however, it offers reasonably priced food and a fine selection of proper beer, comfortable seating and decent service.

The Don Valley Chippy is on the Attercliffe Road just up from the junction with Worksop Road.


Market Delay Could Affect Blackfriars End Redevelopment

Potentially Hereford United could have suffered another set-back in their plans to redevelopment the Blackfriars End of the Edgar Street Stadium with the news that the work on the dis-used livestock market opposite the ground will not be completed until at least 2014.

The latest excuse for the delay from Hereford Futures, Stanhope and the Council is reported to be because of the visit of the Queen to the area and also because the Olympic Torch is due to be carried close to the area.

"We don’t want Her Majesty walking on a building site or traffic delays when the Torch comes through the city," said council leader Councillor John Jarvis as reported by the Hereford Times.

It's not the first time excuses have been made for 'delays'. Not long ago it was the economic situation that was to blame for the work not being started.

It had been hoped that interest in the livestock market area would help Hereford United with their plans for the Blackfriars End of the ground. The club were hopeful of a joint agreement with, perhaps, a 'Travelodge' type company. And there is the added possibility that the circa £750,000 grant for a new stand might not be available if the club doesn't proceed shortly.

Bulls 4/1 to defeat Millers on Saturday

Hereford United can be backed at 4/1 to defeat Rotherham at the athletic track on Saturday. This looks a reasonable price and is currently available at BetVictor, BetFred and ToteSport.

Best price for a draw is 14/5 with both BetVictor and Boylesports.

Latest odds from SkyBet:

Millers 8/13 Draw 11/4 Hereford 7/2

Ilderton To Ref On Saturday

Tyne and Wear official Eddie Ilderton will take charge of Saturday's game at the Don Valley Stadium.

He last took charge of a Bulls game in November 2010, when the Bulls lost 3-1 at Lincoln. Joe Colbeck was the only player booked in that game.

He also took charge of the Bulls at Edgar Street as they beat Rotherham 3-0 in May 2010. Only one player, Mathieu Manset, was booked during that match also.

Preview: Rotherham vs Bulls

The Bulls will travel to the Don Valley Stadium for the final time to face Rotherham in a League Two match on Saturday.

This season will be the last of four seasons the Millers have spent at the athletics stadium, with their new ground due to be open this summer. On both previous visits to the ground the Bulls have secured draws. Last season's goalless effort followed a 1-1 draw in October 2009 when Gavin McCallum scored a last-minute equaliser in just his second sub appearance for the club. Earlier this season the Millers won 3-2 at Edgar Street with Delroy Facey and Yoann Arquin scoring for the Bulls to get them back from two goals down, before defender John Mullins scored the winner.

The Millers are expected to still be without a permanent manager at the weekend after dispensing with Andy Scott, with assistant Darren Patterson in temporary charge. Their only wins in the last ten games have come against Plymouth and Macclesfield, and they were beaten 3-0 by the combative Crawley last weekend. Top scorer Lewis Grabban has 18 goals this season including three in the last five games.

The Bulls travel to Sheffield after a much improved display last weekend ultimately proved fruitless. It took a heroic display from Crewe keeper Steve Phillips, named in the Team of the Week for it, to stop the Bulls after they fired in more shots on goal than any of their other games this season. With just six weeks of the season remaining, several players will be looking at earning new contracts with the club while they will all be keen to keep a relegation off their CV's. Three much needed points are required to ease concerns.

Rotherham United vs Hereford United, Don Valley Stadium, Saturday 31st March, 3.00pm.

News Round-Up

Aldershot have released midfielder Emmanuel Panther by mutual consent. The 27 year old Scot played just once for the Shots this season and was out of contract at the end of the season. Torquay have announced plans to increase funding to their youth department. They hope the £60,000 funding increase will develop more players for their first team.

Burton caretaker boss Gary Rowett says he wants the job full time. The coach is currently the bookies' favourite for the job, but the national press claim that Everton boss David Moyes has phoned the club to tell them that former Notts County boss Craig Short is their man. The Brewers have announced a season ticket price freeze for next season.

The Conference are reported to have blocked a move by Newport to move their final home games this season to the nearby rugby ground. Their Spytty Park home needs work on both the pitch and a faulty floodlight. Both Bradford and Crawley have launching internal inquiries into Tuesday night's brawl. Bradford are reported to be considering axeing loan player Andrew Davies after his dismissal, while Crawley boss Steve Evans has promised 'stern' action after viewing video evidence.

Northampton held an open forum for their fans last night, where manager Aidy Boothroyd told fans he could do nothing to bring in another keeper after Matt Duke's return to Bradford. The meeting was held with a representative of Lindley Catering, with the low-grade food supplier under fire for high prices and low quality.

Port Vale's fans had a chance to quiz the club's Administrator last night, where Bob Young announced that one of the five remaining bidders had backed out of an offer but he has three firm bids on the table. The deadline for bids is Monday with Young hoping to have a CVA agreed by the end of April. The Administrator is currently proposing that the matchday entry fee at Vale Park will be £22.50 next season.

Southampton's accounts show that the club's owners have put £33million into it in just two years. Last season, in League One, they spent 93% of their turnover on wages and lost £11.3million. Bradford's defensive problems have increased further after Marcel Seip was ruled out for the season with a shoulder injury. The Dutchman will undergo surgery as a result of the problem.

Shrewsbury have decided that fans will have to pay £10 to watch the rearranged match with Port Vale. The original game lasted an hour before being abandoned due to a fire, and the announcement of the charge has been met with complaints from fans.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hammers Fans Follow The Bulls

West Ham fans have followed the Bulls in rejecting the direct tactics used in games.

Over Christmas, Gary Peters' influence over team tactics saw the Bulls play a particularly direct style of football. The reaction was an almost universal rejection of the tactics in favour of a passing style, which eventually led to the Bulls board following the fans wishes with the appointment of Richard O'Kelly.

Now, at Upton Park, Sam Allardyce is facing a similar backlash. The BBC reports:

Supporters at their 2-0 win over Peterboro were heard singing, 'We're West Ham United, we play on the floor'. But Allardyce said: "I'm sick of all that rubbish."

"I think we've lost three at home all season so I don't know why they are not harmonious - you'll have to ask the fans that. Perhaps their expectations are too much and they're getting a bit carried away, I don't know."

While the Hammers will continue to play the long ball game at present, Bulls fans were handed a sample of the sumptuous football enjoyed in the record-breaking 03/04 Conference season last weekend.

Pilgirms Confirm Edgar Street Sell-Out

Plymouth have confirmed that they have sold out of their allocation for Edgar Street next Friday.

The last of their 1,275 allocation went this lunchtime with Plymouth warning fans not to travel without a ticket.

Quintet Banned After Valley Parade Punch-Up

The five players sent off after last night's mass brawl at Bradford have been all handed three game bans.

Bradford keeper Jon McLaughlin and defenders Luke Oliver and Andrew Davies, and Crawley defenders Claude Davis and Pablo Mills have all been sidelined for the next three matches. Davies will serve an additional two match ban for what is his third red card of the season, while Davis sees his ban upped to four matches after his second dismissal. Neither club appears to be set to appeal the cards.

The FA are currently investigating the incident and may impose further charges and sanctions.

News Round-Up

Accrington have extended the loan of Sunderland defender Michael Liddle until the end of the season. Their current injury crisis meant striker Craig Lindfield had to play at right back in last night's loss to Oxford. Burton are waiting on news of an injury to captain John McGrath that has kept him out for the last few weeks. X-Rays have proved inconclusive and he will see a specialist today, as will striker Calvin Zola who is struggling with a hamstring problem.

Northampton have loaned transfer listed midfielder Michael Built to Bedford Town for the remainder of the season. Bradford manager Phil Parkinson has blamed Crawley's tactics for last night's mass brawl. He told the press after the match “If you look at Crawley’s record, they incite that type of incident. Speak to every manager and there’s a long list of them." Crawley boss Evans called the incident 'handbags' and said he was proud of his players for standing for each other, but the FA have confirmed they will investigate the incident.

Northampton boss Aidy Boothroyd has confirmed that Bradford will recall keeper Matt Duke from his loan spell at Sixfields. The Cobblers will be left with rookie duo Freddy Hall and Neal Kitson for the remainder of the season. Southend midfielder Christian Dailly is likely to miss most of the remainder of the season after breaking a toe on Saturday. The 38 year old is likely to be available for any play-off campaign.

Shrewsbury say 'something catastrophic' happened to the floodlight generator equipment that cause last night's abandonment. Two floodlights went out at the ground, with the duty electrician finding the equipment well ablaze when he went to investigate.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Five Dismissed At Bradford

Five players were sent off at Valley Parade tonight - after the final whistle.

A mass brawl started after full time will all 22 players reported to be involved and throwing 'proper punches' according to eyewitness reports. Bradford keeper Jon McLaughlin and defenders Andrew Davies and Luke Oliver were reported to have been dismissed by referee Iain Williamson, with Claude Davis and Pablo Mills dismissed for Crawley.

The Red Devils had already been facing a fine after having six players booked during a fractious game, but the footballing authorities are now likely to clamp down on both sides after the post-match events.

For Bradford's Davies it is likely to mean a lengthy spell on the sidelines. Tonight's red card is his third as a Bradford player, adding an additional two match ban to the likely three game absence caused by violent conduct.

Results Round-Up

Burton earned their first with in 17 games with an own goal to beat Gillingham 1-0 in front of just 1,623 at the Pirelli Stadium. Bradford lost 2-1 at home to Crawley to remain in danger, with Steve Evans' men set for an automatic fine after collecting six cautions in the game.

In the other games, Shrewsbury's match with Port Vale was abandoned after just over an hour after one of the floodlight generators caught fire. The main stand was evacuated as a precaution without incident. Oxford won 2-0 at Accrington, while Aldershot beat Bristol Rovers 1-0.

In the Conference, Wrexham closed the gap at the top to six points, and still have one game in hand, after beating Darlington 4-2. York beat Bath 1-0 in their game in hand to push Luton out of the play-offs on goal difference. Lincoln eased their relegation worries with a 2-1 win at rivals Hayes and Yeading.

Limited Tickets Available For Friday's Disco

There are limited tickets still available for Friday's Disco in the Starlite Rooms.

Midnight Sounds bring their mix of 60's, 70's, and 80's music, plus today's modern classics, and laser light show to the Starlite Rooms on Friday night from 8pm. Tickets are £6 including a Chicken and Chips basket meal. For more details, ring the club on 08442 76 1939.

Meanwhile, the Player of the Year will be unveiled at the HUISA end of season Awards Evening on May 5th. Tickets for that event are £10 and will be available soon. Details on how to vote for your Player of the Year can be found here.

Five L2 Games Tonight

There are five League Two games tonight, with Bulls eyes watching the results at Burton and Bradford.

The Brewers entertain Gillingham looking to end a 16 match winless run, while Bradford have Crawley as their visitors. Elsewhere, Aldershot entertain Bristol Rovers, Accrington take on Oxford, and Shrewsbury take on Port Vale.

Pilgrims Eyeing Edgar Street Sell-Out

Plymouth are on course to sell out their allocation for the crunch relegation battle at Edgar Street.

The April 6th Good Friday match, kick off 3pm, is likely to be crucial to both sides' hopes of avoiding the drop with the Pilgrims reporting strong ticket sales of their allocation.

Tickets went on general sale in Plymouth yesterday after a week of sales to season ticket holders only, with a club statement saying it was 'increasingly unlikely' that any tickets would be available for Pilgrims fans on the day.

The news is good for the beleagured finances at Edgar Street, with the Bulls board only expecting 750 visiting supporters for the clash.

Meanwhile, Mathieu Manset started for the first time in his loan spell at Shenhua as they beat Guangzhou R&F 1-0. He played 73 minutes as a lone striker after short spells as a sub in their first two games, leaving the pitch before their winner. They are ninth in the 16 team League after three games.

27th March – A rare day in HUFC history

Since The Bulls joined the Football League back in the early seventies, they have never lost a League match on 27th March.

Of the nine matches played going back to Brighton in 1976, seven have been won and two have been drawn.

2011 Crewe (H) W 1-0
2010 Chesterfield (A) W 2-1
2004 Shrewsbury Town (H) W 2-1
2001 Southport (A) D 1-1
1996 Lincoln (H) W 1-0
1993 Bury (H) W 3-1
1989 Exeter (H) W 1-0
1982 Wigan (H) W 3-0
1976 Brighton (H) D 1-1

Perhaps someone should have a word with the fixture secretary before next season.

Bored?  Whatever gave you that impression.

HUISA – Rotherham

The HUISA coach to the Rotherham game on Saturday will leave from Radfords at 09.30.

Seats are priced at £16 (£18 non-members) and can be booked through the Club office on 08442 761939.

News Round-Up

Rotherham CEO Paul Douglas says the club has a five man shortlist for their new manager and may even appoint their new man this week. After chairman Tony Stewart said at the weekend he would take his time, Douglas told the press they had contacted the five and were arranging interview times and may have a new boss installed ahead of Saturday's game with the Bulls. No Bulls in the Team of the Week. Crewe keeper Steve Phillips is nominated for stopping the Bulls from scoring on Saturday, while Bristol Rovers are the only side with two nominees.

Burton loanee Lee Lucas will not play again this season due to injury. The Swansea teenager managed just one game after his late-January switch. Bradford's financial insecurity isn't just limited to the football team. Their Rugby League side have warned they could go out of business if they fail to raise at least £500,000 within a month - and they have only enough money left to operate for the next two weeks. Press reports claim

Plymouth manager Carl Fletcher is wanted to be the next Bournemouth manager. Sean O'Driscoll is one of the favourites to return to his former job. Stockport have told their Centre of Excellence staff that they are at risk of redundancy with the club's League funding due to end. They have asked for plans to provide funding to the scheme, but say the club cannot afford to run it themselves.

In a radio interview, Port Vale's Administrator says that there are five serious bidders left for the club after a dozen approaches. Total debt at the club is £2.8million with around £300,000 owed to football creditors. The Football League say the fixtures for the 2012/3 season will be released on Monday, June 18th.

Clucas Out For Three Weeks

The Bulls' problems on the left side have increased with the news that Sam Clucas will be out injured for three weeks.

The former Lincoln trainee twisted an ankle early into Saturday's game, and will now join the growing list of players able to play on the left side on the injured list.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bulls Reserves Lose To Spot Kick

A penalty was enough for a Coventry reserve side to beat a Bulls XI 1-0 in a friendly in the East Midlands.

The Bulls fielded new Doncaster loan duo James Chambers and James Baxendale alongside the likes of Delroy Facey, Adam Bartlett, and Will Evans and a selection of the club's youth teamers.

The penalty came in the second half, converted by young midfielder Billy Daniels.

News Round-Up

Burton caretaker boss Gary Rowett said some of his players had 'given up the ghost' after their 4-0 loss to Wimbledon. He told the press the Brewers weren't fit enough and needed to up their workrate. Former Bulls loanee Paul Downing spent the night in hospital after being stretchered off with a neck injury during Barnet's draw at Macclesfield on Friday night. He is currently being assessed by medical staff at parent club West Brom ahead of any decision on whether he will resume training after tests showed no major damage.

Gillingham boss Andy Hessenthaler says loan striker Rowan Vine is costing the club nothing, with the player even offering to cover his own expenses so he could start playing first team football again. Gills chairman Paul Scally has written to all 55 Medway area councillors pleading for them to oppose a planned £650million redevelopment in the area, saying the plans will leave the club unviable on their current site. The club had planned to move to the redevelopment area but are not included in the current planning application.

Macclesfield have confirmed that defender Mark Connolly has returned to parent club Bolton after his loan expired. It was reported last week that he had agreed an extension to the end of the season, but the player is reported to have changed his mind.

Player Of The Year Voting Open

The annual Player of the Year voting is now open, with HUISA again running the poll.

Fans can nominate their top three players of the season by writing to HUISA, handing a form in to the Club office, or by emailing.

To vote, nominate your first, second, and third choice players along with your name to

Voting forms will also be available at the forthcoming home games with voting closing at the end of April.

Millers In No Rush To Name Manager

The Bulls travel to Rotherham on Saturday with the Millers unlikely to resolve their managerial vacancy beforehand.

Club chairman Tony Stewart has told the BBC he will whittle 40 serious applicants to a ten man shortlist over the coming days and begin interviews ahead of making an unrushed decision:

"Ideally we want an appointment before the end of this season to give the new man an opportunity to assess what we need and weigh up the circumstances. The shortlist can be drawn up of around ten or less candidates from the applications received."

The Millers went down 3-0 at Crawley on Saturday and, much like the Bulls, felt aggrieved they didn't get the rub of the green in front of goal. Caretaker boss Darren Patterson told the press after the match:

"I am obviously disappointed with the result, but first half we should be comfortably three or four in front. We absolutely battered them, couldn't convert our chances and get done with a sucker punch."

The Millers now sit nine points adrift of the Play-offs with just seven games remaining.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

0.0009p In The Pound

With the taxman still trying to get the Football Creditors rule overturned in the High Court, some extraordinary information has surfaced.

Sporting Intelligence has published details of a 106 page document used by HMRC in their fight against the football authorities, a document that reveals that following Darlington's 2009 Administration they received just £3.64 of a £404,376 tax bill - just 0.0009p of every pound.

The taxman believes it has lost nearly £40million from just 15 insolvent clubs included in the document, with there having been 53 insolvency cases in recent times. Top of the list is Portsmouth, who are claimed to have not paid a penny of £17.3million owed despite having agreed a 20% deal after their last crisis.

Some of the guilty clubs are currently in the Conference. Luton skipped over £2.7million in tax, Wrexham over £700,000, and Stockport half a million. In 2008, Rotherham paid nothing to their unsecured creditors and avoided a £200,000 tax demand.

News Round-Up

Bournemouth have sacked manager Lee Bradbury after their loss to Oldham on Saturday. The Cherries have won only one of their last nine games, slipping out of the play-off picture in League One. Youth team pair Paul Groves and Shaun Brooks are in temporary charge until the end of the season. Accrington are waiting on a scan on a knee injury to defender Danny Coid after he picked up the injury in their loss to Dagenham. He is not expected to play again this season.

Former Port Vale chairman Bill Bratt says he is not bidding for the club, but will invest in a takeover if needed should none of the six current interested parties make an acceptable offer. The club's Administrator is investigating whether he can recover money from Perry Deakin and Peter Miller over the £500,000 worth of shares that were issued to them free of charge.

Former Darlington owner Raj Singh says he is waiting on the fans to agree to two conditions that he wants put into the deal if he is to agree to their CVA. With Monday's deadline fast approaching, Singh is believed to want conditions allowing him a payout if the club is sold or stadium redeveloped within a period of time.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

From The Archives - Keeping Hereford Afloat

Just like today, back in March 1999, the Bulls didn't have much money.

March 25 1999:

CASH-strapped Hereford United have been given a financial boost from director Mike Hancocks and an anonymous vice-president of the Nationwide Conference club reports the Birmingham Post.

Both Hancocks and the vice-president are to donate £200 a point to help the cash flow problems at Edgar Street.

The scheme started off with a bonus of £600 when Hereford beat Barrow 3-0 on Saturday but floundered on Tuesday when the Bulls went down 1-0 to Woking.

"With seven games left and if we can persuade other directors and vice-presidents to join in it could be a valuable source of revenue," said Hancocks.

Loan Bull Watch

Harry Pell played the full 90 minutes as Cambridge lost 2-1 at Alfreton, with their cause not helped by conceding an own goal in the first minute. Sean Canham was subbed off early in the second half as Bath went down 4-0 at Stockport.

Tyler Weir had a hospital visit to contend with with a suspected fractured wrist after being subbed off late in Worcester's goalless draw with Stalybridge.

Results Round-Up

The Bulls are bottom of League Two, two points short of safety after today's results. Dagenham moved off the bottom and up to 21st place with a 2-1 win over Accrington after Stanley had a man sent off. Macclesfield are 23rd after last night's draw with Barnet (20th), with Plymouth 22nd following their goalless draw at Northampton (18th). Six points seperate the bottom seven sides with Bradford 19th after coming back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Gillingham. Burton's slide continues after they were thumped 4-0 at Wimbledon, with loan keeper Adam Legzdins missing the game through injury.

At the top Swindon are four points clear after not playing today with them in the JPT final tomorrow. Torquay are second, and four points inside the automatic spots, after beating Port Vale 2-1, with Shrewsbury third after a 1-0 win at Morecambe. Crawley are fourth after thumping Rotherham 3-0, with Southend down to fifth with a 1-0 loss at Bristol Rovers. Cheltenham and Oxford round out the play-off spots after their goalless draw at the Kassam, with Crewe a point behind in eighth.

In the Conference Fleetwood's lead is now nine points after beating Mansfield 2-0, while Wrexham lost 2-1 at home to Forest Green. Luton's fans are calling for Gary Brabin's head after they drew 1-1 with Grimsby to slip to fifth behind part-timers Southport. York, who lost 2-1 to the Sandgrounders, can push the Hatters out of the play-offs if they win their game in hand. Kidderminster beat Darlington 3-1, with the Quakers now six points short of survival and 13 games without a win.


There was plenty of effort on show from the home side at an unseasonably warm Edgar Street this afternoon, but their inability to convert a number of chances, and the all too familiar arrival of a late goal for the visitors saw the Bulls slip to the foot of the League Two table. Jimmy McQuilkin started in a packed midfield, and Richard Peniket replaced Nicky Featherstone. Tom Barkhuizen was joined on the bench by new boy James Chambers, though his Doncaster colleague did not make the team-sheet.

Joe Colbeck made some promising breaks in the early stages, but his final delivery lacked precision. Sam Clucas had a shot blocked before a minor misunderstanding between David Cornell and Ben Purkiss at the back had the unintended side-effect of wrong-footing Crewe’s new signing Billy Bodin. Play flowed from end to end with a McQuilkin corner for the Bulls followed by a flag kick for Alexandra which was headed over by Bodin. Ajay Leitch-Smith made a lively run but shot wide when others were in a better position. A 30 second demonstration of the art of ball-winning by the rejuvenated Kenny Lunt created an opening. Three times in succession he gained possession despite looking second favourite, and the beneficiaries were Nathan Elder and Sam Clucas, both of whose shots were blocked.

McQuilkin’s swinging crossfield pass to Colbeck saw the winger cut inside and hit a defender with his shot. Barkhuizen, on for the injured Clucas, almost found Peniket after a flowing move involving Lunt and Elder, but a despairing Crewe boot intervened. Purkiss arrived at pace in the box, and had an attempt cleared before Colbeck swapped flanks, cut inside and once more found a Crewe body in the path of his shot. As David Artell tried to shepherd the ball back to Steve Phillips in the visitors’ goal, Elder did well to intervene, though the resulting corner came to nothing. Despite the energy shown, and having the ball for long periods, Hereford could not make the final thrust, and they reached the interval with nothing to show for their endeavours. Indeed, Phillips had rarely been called into action.


Barkhuizen trys a shot which goes wide - pictures taken by Andy Compton of the Hereford Journal/Shropshire News

He's disappointed

The second period began in similar fashion, with some promising approach play involving the perceptive Lunt, having his best game for some while, Colbeck, Peniket and Elder, though the closest they came to troubling the scorer was when Peniket lashed a chance into the side netting from an acute angle. Worryingly for Bulls fans, the Railwaymen started to threaten on the break. Leitch-Smith latched on to a through ball, and then Byron Moore’s tricky run saw him cut inside Michael Townsend to set up Nick Powell for a shot that was well held by Cornell.

Delroy Facey, pictured, replaced Elder and soon combined with Peniket to play Barkhuizen in. He delayed his shot slightly, yet again allowing Crewe to fashion a blocking tackle, but this time it fell kindly to Ryan Green who lashed a long range blockbuster frustratingly wide of the target. Further attempts from Facey and Purkiss lacked power, and were comfortably absorbed by the efficient Crewe rearguard; the feeling grew that it was just not going to be the Bulls’day. Only eleven minutes remained when things got worse. There seemed little danger as a routine cross was cleared, but fortuitously, it fell perfectly for Luke Murphy on the edge of the box. Although he stumbled untidily onto the loose ball, it was given sufficient power to find the back of Cornell’s net, despite the stopper’s desperate attempt to keep it out.

Hereford scarcely deserved such a scoreline, and some despondency took over in the remaining minutes. Danny Shelley burst through the middle and Byron Moore had a fierce shot saved. Moore and Shelley then set up Ashley Westwood whose clever chip was saved at full stretch by Cornell.

Plenty of chances for the Bulls - Richard Peniket knows he should have done better

Peniket headed straight at the keeper from a cross by Jimmy. An excellent advantage played by referee James Adcock, who had a fine game, allowed Barkhuizen to continue his weaving run after a clear foul, but a corner was the only reward. Another late goal, another home defeat and the home crowd, in shirtsleeve order, departed to the news that, as a result of events elsewhere, their heroes now occupy 24th place in the table. All is not lost, to be sure, but these are worrying times.


Attendance: 2326, including 419 Railwaymen

HUFC: Cornell, Purkiss, Townsend, Stam (Evans 81), Green, Colbeck, Lunt, McQuilkin, Peniket, Clucas (Barkhuizen 27), Elder (Facey 60).

CREWE ALEX.: Phillips, Davis (Mellor 9),Artell, Dugdale, Brown, Westwood, Murphy, Bodin (Shelley 71), Leitch-Smith (Clayton 65), Moore, Powell.

Happy Birthday Mrs Brade

One Hereford United supporter whom seldom misses a game celebrated her birthday today.

Mavis Brade has been watching the Bulls since before the second world war. Her father, local butcher Alan Mailes, took her to Edgar Street when she was a school-girl and she has continued to support the club through thick and thin ever since.

Excellent Performance By The Bulls Says O'Kelly

Hereford United manager Richard O'Kelly, pictured with the players after the game, was very pleased with the performance on the field this afternoon despite going down 1-0.

"Today was an excellent performance, the best since I've been here" O'Kelly told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"Crewe could hold their own in the first division. They've got some great quality players.

"I'm immensely proud of how the players performed today and it's just that little bit of luck that makes the difference.

"Probably the only downside of the game was the last five minutes when a few balls went in their box and we didn't react to it.

"Overall you would take that performance every day of the week."

O'Kelly made a couple of chances to the team this afternoon.

"The players who has come in, James McQuilken and Richard Peniket, has done themselves no harm at all.

"McQuilken is technically very good and understands the game

"The players that didn't start will be in the frame for next week."

Sam Clucas had to come off during the first half.

"Twisted ankle, pity really because Sam had started really well.

"We'll know more on Monday morning."

Hereford Deserved a Point - Crewe Manager

Crewe manager Steve Davis spoke to the media after this afternoon's game at Hereford.

"It was a tough game and we expected that. I thought we were carrying a few today and were not at the races at all in the first half but I thought we were better in the second half and finished strongly.

"I thought Hereford played well and probably deserved something from the game, so we were a bit fortunate to get all three points.

"They had a lot of big powerful lads and caused us some problems but we stood up to them well and making those blocks and getting their heads on things earns them those clean-sheets.

"When we defend well we know we have players with flair and skill who can score a goal and that is what happened today. That was the difference. Murph had a bit of luck with the deflection to take it in but he took it well and dinked it over the defender. It was probably our best bit of play all afternoon.

"We rode our luck at times, held in there and came through a tough test. We will keep in there and do the best we can."

We Can't Finish Admits Stam

Stefan Stam who wore the Hereford United captain's armband this afternoon was pleased with how the team played against Crewe but admitted that scoring goals is their biggest problem.

"I thought we did very well especially second half," Stam told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"We were all over them but we couldn't finish the chances. It's so annoying.

"I think we did really well, we passed it well, we created chances, we worked very hard for each other.

"I think they had three shots on target, we were just so unlucky.

"We are really enjoying it with O'Kelly, we've just got to get some results and score a few goals."

Asked about young striker Richard Peniket, Stam said he did really well.

"He works hard and had a few chances. He did really well for a young lad, proud of him."

Stam felt Crewe were a very decent team.

"They are a really good team, they'll get promoted."

Stats From Edgar Street

Here are the main stats from this afternoon's match at Edgat Street where Hereford United were unlucky to be defeated by Crewe.

Result: Hereford United 0 Crewe 1

Possession: Bulls 52% Crewe 48%

Shots on Target: Bulls 11 Crewe 2

Shots off Target: Bulls 7 Crewe 7

Corners: Bulls 8 Crewe 8

Fouls: Bulls 12 Bulls 5

Cards: Yellow for Stefan Stam

Attendance: 2386 with 419 from Crewe

Referee: Good performance by James Adcock

Men of the match: The two midfielders Kenny Lunt and James McQuilken were chosen by the sponsors.

Bottom of League Two:

18 Northampton 38 -19 41
19 Bradford 38 -5 40
20 Barnet 38 -23 39
21 Dag & Red 39 -27 38
22 Plymouth 39 -17 37
23 Macclesfield 39 -15 36
24 Hereford 39 -22 35

Bulls Bottom After Disappointing Loss

The Bulls are bottom of the League after a 1-0 home loss to Crewe.

The Bulls had the better chances and matched the play off chasers at every move. But a scuffed effort settled the game and no amount of Bulls pressure could get them back in.

Full report later.

Your Club Needs You This Afternoon

Hereford United request the pleasure of your attendance at Edgar Street this afternoon at 3pm to watch a League Two football match between the Bulls and Crewe.

If you are able, why not arrive a little earlier and partake of some refreshment in either Addisons or Radfords.

Tickets for the game are available at the turnstiles. Please note prices for the under 11's are now £3 and for 12's to 18's £7 in the terrace or £10 in the stands.

At this difficult time, your club needs as much support as possible, so please make every effort to get to Edgar Street this afternoon and Back the Bulls.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Silkmen Goalless With Bees

Macclesfield's relegation six-pointer with Barnet ended up 0-0 at Moss Rose tonight.

The Bees had two thirds of the goal chances, hitting the woodwork twice, but neither side could break the deadlock. The Silkmen move a point clear of the Bulls as a result of the draw, with the Bees now four points ahead.

Both sides collected further injury problems. Macclesfield striker George Donnelly was subbed off after half an hour with a problem, while former Bulls loanee Paul Downing took a clattering at a corner and spent the first five minutes of half time receiving treatment on the pitch before leaving on a stretcher and playing no further part.

Happy Birthday - Terry Paine

 73 today.

Davis Looks To Break Streak

Crewe boss Steve Davis is looking to break a streak where the Railwaymen have not won at Edgar Street for 18 years.

Such is the length of time since their last win in Herefordshire striker Nick Powell wasn't even born, but Davis has told their official site he isn't too concerned about history:

"I don't take too much notice of records or take too much notice of the fixtures coming up or the league table. I just try and keep things as simple as possible and that is just going out and trying to win the game.

"We know we are not going to win every game because that is a really tough ask and although that is not impossible it would be a great achievement. We are going to have dips in form and have to try and win when we are not playing as well.

"The players are going into every game with a positive attitude and we will be going to Hereford looking to win the game. It is always a tough place to go and I think I've only won their once or twice in my career, but past records don't matter to me. I just want us to stay focussed and make sure we play to our strengthens and create opportunities.

"I expect it to be tight because Hereford are fighting for their lives and are a tough side to beat. We narrowly beat them 1-0 at our place thanks to an individual moment from Nick (Powell).

"They have some very good players and we know all about Kenny (Lunt). He is back in the team there and is the one who keeps possession and dictates the play very well. I watched him against Port Vale and he had a really good game. They also have the likes of Colbeck and Elder who are very good and they are strong defensively, so we know it will be a tough game."

The weather for tomorrow is expected to be sunny and warm.