Monday, April 30, 2012
On Saturday April 26th 1997, the Bulls travelled to Leyton Orient knowing three points were needed to help propell them to safety from relegation. It didn't happen.
Leyton Orient 2 Hereford 1 (report from various sources)
Hereford face a fight for their league survival next week at Edgar Street, when they go into their clash with Brighton on equal points.
Brighton's superior goal tally leaves Hereford needing victory from this final game of the season to avoid the drop to the Conference league.
Hereford were lucky to go into the halftime interval with the score sheet blank. Keeper Trevor Wood keept them in the game with a series of fine saves but all the excitement was saved for the final 45 minutes.
Ten minutes into the second half the goal finally came, Alex Inglethorpe's shot bouncing over Wood.
After 63 minutes Martin Ling's great effort from just outside the box floated into the corner to put the O's two up despite the linesman flagging for offside.
Hereford awoke from their sleep for the final 20 minutes, but their efforts proved to be too late despite their 75th minute goal from Agana.
For the Bulls their greater battle is still to come in a death-or-glory finale against Brighton. It's a game they must win.
Hereford: Wood, Norton, Brough, Matthewson, Fishlock (wdrn), Sandeman, Hargreaves, McGorry, Turner (wdrn), Foster , Williams . Subs: Warner, Agana .
Tickets for the Player of the Year awards evening will also be on sale.
Plymouth have lost the services of veteran striker Steve Fletcher after Bournemouth opted to recall him. The 39 year old still has one year left on his Dean Court contract. Oldham are facing a race to repair damaged caused to their Boundary Park home after high winds over the weekend ripped cladding from one of their stands leaving a 15ft hole.
Luton have released three players ahead of their Conference play-off campaign. Defender Ed Asafu-Adjaye, winger Charlie Henry and midfielder Christian Tavernier were all bit-part players during the current season.
Meanwhile hospitality packages are available for Saturday's game. The cost is £36 per person and includes ticket, meal and match programme.
More details from Rachel at Hereford United on 0844 276 1939
Meanwhile it appears that Hereford United are already taking bookings for Saturday's game. As at 10.30am there hasn't been official confirmation that the game is all-ticket, however it's expected the club will announce what they have decided shortly.
Finally Torquay have sold out of tickets for the game. They were given 1300 and the last few have been snapped up this morning.
Ask any Hereford United fan and they will take you back to May 3rd, 1997. It was the last game of the season, and Hereford United, who had been dragged into the relegation dogfight, were bottom of the Division Three table. Brighton, who were twelve points adrift at one point, had clawed their way to 23rd place. Brighton were in trouble with the FA, as their stadium was to be demolished in a few days time, and pitch invasions had been penalised with a two point deduction by the FA.
With a fortnight to go in the season, the particular agonies of promotion and relegation will be gripping sides throughout the Nationwide League this weekend, but nowhere will the pressure be more intense than at the foot of the Third Division.
There six clubs are teetering over the abyss that separates them from non-League football, knowing that by next Saturday one of them will disappear into the GM Vauxhall Conference.
Brighton are currently three points adrift in bottom spot, but Hereford, Hartlepool, Exeter, Doncaster or Darlington could swap places with them yet. With Brighton scheduled to visit second-from-bottom Hereford on the final day, a nerve-jangling denouement appears likely.
Provided Brighton get at least as many points from their home game against Doncaster this afternoon as Hereford manage at Leyton Orient, the relegation issue will rest on the outcome of that match. And this year, unlike the previous three, the League's 92nd club stands no chance of a reprieve on the grounds that the Conference champions' stadium is not up to standard.
Although next Saturday's fixture has captivated both sets of supporters - a sell-out crowd of 8,500 is virtually assured - the Hereford director of football, Graham Turner, is somewhat less enthralled. "Even over the last few weeks when we have slipped to second from bottom, I thought and hoped that everything would be settled beforehand and it wouldn't be significant," he said. "But it looks more and more likely that it will be vital for both of us."
Brighton have never won a League match at Edgar Street and their away record this season - one win and only 11 goals in 22 matches - is unrivalled for sheer awfulness. Turner, however, attaches little importance to such statistics. "I think the fear factor will be decisive," he said. "Whichever side alleviates it will do better. It's up to our experienced players like John Williams and Tony Agana to help us, but even they're getting edgy."
Both sides should also prepare for the unexpected. In 1987, Torquay were saved from demotion when a police dog bit one of their players. During the time added on for the stoppage, Paul Dobson scrambled a goal which sent Lincoln down instead.
The tight finish to this season had seemed implausible at the turn of the year. Brighton, plagued by turmoil and deprived of two points by the indiscretions of their own supporters, trailed Hereford by seven points on 1 January, having played a game more.
Now, thanks to Gritt and sheer determination, Brighton's destiny is in their own hands. Steve Gritt, the manager, has hauled a doomed side back from the brink. If they win their two remaining games it is likely they will survive for another season of League football.
This season's struggle has been a novel and unpleasant experience for Turner, whose previous appointments at Shrewsbury, Wolverhampton and Aston Villa were peppered with promotions and championships. The anguish has been all the greater given that he guided Hereford to the Third Division play-offs last year.
"Nothing I've done in 19 years as a manager prepared me for what I'm feeling at the moment," he said. "This is a totally new experience and one I could do without. People talk about pressure when you're chasing championships but it pales into insignificance compared to being near the bottom of the Third Division.
"Even bring relegated from the First or Second Division can't compare. At least then you maintain your League status and continue to play against similar clubs. Finishing bottom of the Football League means dropping into the unknown. It's a massive blow."
The experience of the five teams who have been demoted since 1987 indicates that loss of League status is not necessarily a one-way ticket to oblivion. Although Newport have folded and Halifax currently languish in the lower reaches of the Conference, Lincoln, Darlington and Colchester have returned stronger from their brief non-League sojourns.
"Any team that can maintain a full-time squad has a good chance," Turner said. "But we haven't given that a moment's thought yet. We've got the next two games to get through first."
Turner acknowledges that Hereford will be the most likely victims of Brighton's revival, but remains confident. "It's certainly in our favour that Orient have nothing to play for against us today whereas Brighton have Doncaster, who aren't definitely out of trouble themselves."
Hereford United manager Richard O'Kelly is to be the special studio guest on tonight's Late Kick Off on BBC Midlands at 11:05pm.
“We couldn’t have asked for anything better going into the final game.”
Sunday, April 29, 2012
“Do you know who I feel sorry for the most?….. the Hereford fans. They turn up at Crawley expecting to get thrashed, see their team play out of their skins and gain an unexpected victory to boost their survival hopes only for our bunch to roll over and die to a very poor Barnet team,” Tommy Woolgar vented.
Secret Agent countered: “The only apologies owed are from the players to us. We have been consistent in giving away points away from home to the bottom three, so I have no sympathy for Hereford or their fans if they go down.”
Rover T pointed to Wimbledon’s magnaminous equal opportunity status to the relegation-threatened trio: “I don’t buy this ‘feel sorry for the Hereford fans’ stuff. We capitulated away to Hereford, Barnet and Macclesfield, so no-one can have any complaints. Well, apart from us of course!”
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Hereford United came away from The Broadfield Stadium with a fine 3-
With the home side pushing for an equaliser, they were careless at the back to allow both Facey and Arquin (on for Colbeck) to break clear. Facey deftly rounded the keeper and squared to Arquin who gratefully finished unchallenged.
With the casual home fans already heading for the exits, The Bulls struck again through Arquin. This time the mercurial Frenchman fired home from 18 yards after outpacing his marker to send a delighted 367 visitors out of a total gate of 4615 home to sweat for another week.
Russ Hoult: Safe trip home everyone thanks for putting in the effort today
Nathan Elder: Well done to the team. Especially
Bryon Anthony: Fantastic performance from the boys well deserved 3pts, an well earned clean sheet Thank you for the support was
Harry Pell: What a performance, what a win, who's BULLieving?, to every hereford fan who travelled down, use made such a difference!
Finally from the BBC's Dan Walker: Bulls are my least favourite animal :) Hammered at home by Hereford
Meanwhile one punter is reported to have placed a bet on Hereford winning 3-0 and Joe Colbeck to score the first goal of the game.
It's thought the odds may have been over 1000/1.
"I chested it down and I didn't know what happened between their defender and the keeper.
This afternoon's 3-0 win at Crawley was a confidence boost for the Bulls said manager Richard O'Kelly (pictured before kick-off)
"The opposition today in the second half put us under a lot of pressure," O'Kelly told BBC Hereford and Worcester.
"We blocked the ball, we defended well, we kept our organisation well. Had a bit of good fortune.
"But the pleasing thing was when we got the ball we were constructive with it and went forward with a bit of quality rather than somewhere near.
"The problems from Alexander and Clark, we dealt with it really well and when we got possession of the ball we got at their back players which is what the plan was.
"The team that scores first always gives you a boost. You see the body language changing. Today was nice for the players because of the effort they put in."
The Crawley goalkeeper (Kuipers) appeared to handle the ball outside the area in the first half but was only given a yellow card by referee Russell.
"You watch a game and the referee gives a foul one minute for one thing and doesn't the next.
"There was no doubt about it - it was a foul, it was outside the box. I know he was a long way from goal but he's stopped the ball going towards the goal so may be it should have been a red card."
Finally O'Kelly thanked the Hereford United supporters.
"They were fantastic. Some turned up in fancy dress.
"Ever since I have been here the support especially away from home has been really good.
"What we are looking for now is a good crowd next week at Edgar Street to give us a boost and put the pressure on Torquay."
"The real disappointment for me was the calamity we lost the first two goals. It was there for us to do but we didn't deliver.
"We were slack from the word go and a bit sloppy. We told them [Hereford] were fighting for their lives and we'd have to work extremely hard. We had a few chances, in the six yard box, but it didn't fall for us. But we're still in it."
It is expected that the club will make next Saturday's home match all Ticket.
With Torquay already having sold a sizable number of tickets, the Bulls are likely to announce details soon regarding the match.
The Bulls recorded their biggest win of the season with a 3-0 demolition of Crawley.
It was one way traffic for much of the game as Crawley bombarded the Bulls goal. But Joe Colbeck sent the travelling Bulls barmy before Yoann Arquin turned the mood to delirium with two more against the hot favourites and their pathetic referee.
Full report later.
Friday, April 27, 2012
Swindon have won the Ronnie Radford Award for their win over Premier League side Wigan in the FA Cup Third Round. The Robins won 32% of the fans vote and were the only League side in the running. Forest Green are reported to be on the verge of sealing a deal to sign Fleetwood striker Magno Silva Viera as one of their three new striker signings. The Brazilian, who first hit Conference headlines with a loan spell at Carlisle, has scored nine times in 28 games this season.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Burton keeper Kevin Poole will retire at the end of the season. The 48 year old started his pro career in 1981, and will continue coaching.
Lastly the 19/2 price available for a Hereford United win is currently still on offer from BetVictor.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
"I think it [liquidation this summer] is a distinct possibility because the debts of that club are immense, tens of millions of pounds, and they have relatively few assets," Clarke told Sky Sports News.
"Unless someone comes along with significant capital to invest in that club, that club will be liquidated by the administrators."
Should Portsmouth be liquidated, it's almost certain they will reform. But what isn't certain is in which league they would play.
On the one hand the practical problem of housing Pompey supporters at away games might suggest they couldn't drop out of the Football League. On the other hand clubs like Accrington had to drop down four of five leagues when they got into trouble.
Timing of any liquidation could have an effect on Hereford United. If Pompey were to be liquidated by early June, the League might decide that only one club would need to drop to the Conference.
However if liquidation happened after early June when the fixture list is compiled, then it more likely that League One would have one less club in it next season.
|Crawley programme, 1965|
Luton moved into pole position for the final Conference play-off spot with a goalless draw at Gateshead last night. They go into Saturday's final games needing only a draw at Champions Fleetwood to become the final side into the hunt. For Kidderminster to overhaul them, the Harriers will need to beat Mansfield with Luton losing or - if Luton draw - win by at least 13 clear goals.
The Red Devils expect a large gate as they push for promotion, while good numbers of Bulls fans are hoped to also travel. Most Bulls fans will be put in the North Stand terrace, which is shared between home and away fans with a moveable segregation barrier.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Saturday 28th April 2012 KO 3.00pm
Phone 01293 410000
Crawley trace their history back to 1896 and during their early life competed in The West Sussex, Mid Sussex and Sussex County Leagues before joining the Metropolitan League. They became semi-professional in 1962 joining The Southern League in the following year.
They briefly joined The Bulls in the Southern Prem for 69/70 when United finished 10th and Crawley were relegated. The teams met up again in 04/05 sharing a pair of draws in The Conference before The Bulls recorded a double in 05/06 with an early season 2-0 win at Crawley (Ipoua and Mkandawire) before winning 2-1 at The Street with an Andy Williams strike and a towering Ipoua late header.
Recently, the Sussex outfit have been subject to plenty of unwelcome press coverage regarding their association with The Majeeds, the sudden "arrival" of larger playing budgets and, of course, Prince Charming himself, Stephen J Evans. With Evans departed for the delights of The Don Valley Stadium (many had long felt he shouldn’t be near a football pitch). Crawley are now in the more respectable hands of newly appointed D of F Steve Coppell and caretaker manager Craig Brewster.
Visiting fans are accommodated on the covered KR-L terrace at one end of the ground with some seats available in part of the West Stand. Admission prices are believed to be: - terrace Adults £16, Conc. £13 and U18’s £7. Seating – Adults £19, Conc. £15 and U18’s £10.
HUISA – departs from Radford's at 8.30am (Ledbury 8.50) with a fare of £22 (members £20). Seats can be booked through The Club office (08442 761939).
BY CAR - Those going by car can either travel via the M40 (Oxford) or the M4 (Swindon). For the M40 route, continue on to the M25 anti-clockwise to junction 7 and join the M23 (sign Gatport Airwick). Leave the M23 at junction 11 and join the A23 (sign Crawley). The ground is off the A23 just before the next roundabout. If you choose to use the M4, I would suggest the Bracknell/Bagshot route from junction 10 then up the M3 to join the M25 from where you follow the instructions above. Either way, the distance is around 170 miles so you should allow at least 3.5 hours. There is limited parking at the ground with further parking at Broadfield Park and some street parking. Postcode is RH11 9RX.
REFRESHMENTS – According to "The Ground Guide" the Crawley "Redz Bar" does admit visiting fans otherwise the closest Pub to the ground is the Half Moon on Brighton Road. Another pub close by is The Downsman, which is on Wakehurst Drive, just off Southgate Avenue. These Pubs can be reached by walking through the underpass beneath the dual-carriageway. There is a Wetherspoons on the High Street and The Brewery Shades opposite, which probably offers the best chance of a decent pint in downtown Creepy. There is a chip shop called the Ocean Trawler on Southgate Parade just off Southgate Avenue, which is opposite the ground.