Friday, August 31, 2012

Full Match Commentary from Edgar Street

A quick reminder that there will be full match commentary of this afternoon's Hereford United game both on BBC Hereford and Worcester and Bulls Player.

Terry Goodwin and Gareth Davies will be at Edgar Street for H&W and Jamie Griffiths and Mark Farmer for BP. 

Meanwhile Addisons will be open from 11am and Radfords from 12.30pm for supporters. 

Bulls 17/14 to Defeat Grimsby

Hereford United can be backed at a price of 17/14 to defeat Grimsby tomorrow at Edgar Street. That price is available with Pinnacle.

Best price for a draw is 13/5 with Bet365 and BetVictor.

Latest odds from BlueSq:

Hereford 1 Draw 12/5 Grimsby 9/4 

Correct Score:

Bulls to win 1-0: 8/1 with Coral and William Hill
2-0: 11/1 with William Hill
2-1: 8/1 generally
3-0: 20/1 with William Hill, SkyBet, SportingBet and Coral
3-1: 16/1 generally
3-2: 25/1 generally

And for a draw:
0-0: 12/1 generally
1-1: 13/2 with BlueSq and William Hill
2-2: 14/1 with ToteSport, BetFred and William Hill
3-3:  50/1 generally

First Goalscorer in the Game:
Ryan Bowman is 6/1 with Bet365 and Coral
Tristian Plummer is 6/1 with Bet365
Sean Canham is 6/1 with BlueSq
Tom Nichols is 9/1 with Bet365 and BetVictor
Marley Watkins is 10/1 with BetVictor and Coral
Will Evans is 12/1 with Bet365 and BetVictor
Brain Smikle is 14/1 with Coral
Ashley Sammons is 14/1 with Bet365
Harry Pell is 16/1 with BlueSq

As ever all prices from and are subject to change.

We're Going Again Says Foyle

Hereford United manager Martin Foyle sounded quite upbeat in his latest interview despite his side losing at Newport County last Tuesday

"They'll bounce back," Foyle told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"I told them come in Thursday, smile, we're going again!

"The great thing about football is you play Tuesday, you've got a game on Saturday."

Foyle was pleased to win his first two games at Edgar Street after the last two seasons when home wins have been few and far between.

"To win the first two games was very important.

"You can tell people are behind us

"Even if we get defeated, we are going to come back.

"I don't want players coming into training feeling sorry for themselves.

"If we get everybody back fit I know we'll be a decent side but if we get hit with a few injuries it might be a bit of a struggle for the time being."

BN reported yesterday that Marley Watkins was a doubt for tomorrow but Foyle suggested he might play.

"Marley took a knock on his ankle but he should be okay."

Finally Foyle spoke about the start of the season.

"We're happy. Five games have gone and I think we've played well in all five games.

"That's not bad."

Russon Sells Shareholding In Bulls

Former director Tim Russon has confirmed to BN that he has sold his shareholding in Hereford United.

Russon became involved with the Bulls when he joined chairman David Keyte to buy a controlling share in the club from former directors Graham Turner and Joan Fennessey.

However the partnership between Russon and Keyte became strained earlier this year and after some deliberation Russon decided to quit the board.

Russon would not reveal to BN who has purchased his shareholding but there is speculation that the person is someone with close links to the current directors.

Foyle Expects Tough Game

Speaking to the Worcester News ahead of tomorrow's match, Martin Foyle expects Grimsby to be another tough test.

Foyle was pleased with his charges, but was looking to strengthen - bringing in Tristan Plummer earlier today:

“I am happy with the performances but you are always looking to bring fresh blood in to keep people on their toes.

“But those in the squad have done very well in the first five games and there are a lot of plusses. I haven’t got any fault at the moment but I will probably assess it after 10 matches.”

“The first two home games of the season were important for us to get the run going and put the doom and gloom of previous seasons behind us.
“We are pleased so far but are not going to let that work go to waste. I told the players Newport and Grimsby would be two tough games because I know their experience and what they are spending.

“I thought the benchmark was against Newport and there was nothing in the game. If we had bagged the penalty, it could have been different. 

“I expect it to be a very tough match against Grimsby as well.”

Plummer Returns To Edgar Street

The Bulls have confirmed the signing of former Bristol City forward Tristan Plummer.

While details of the signing are not disclosed, Plummer is eligible for tomorrow's match with Grimsby. The 22 year old spent last season with Portugese side Portimonense after being released by the Robins, after scoring four times in seven games for the Bulls when he arrived on loan in August 2009.

The Bulls have also added that Benoit Dalibard and James McQuilkin have been made available to loan, while Harry Pell has been added to the stand-by squad for the England 'C' game with Belgium.

News Round-Up

Truro City are to enter Administration after the deal they had previously agreed to pay players wages collapsed yesterday. The Conf South side had previously agreed a deal to cover wages until September 15th with Salisbury's owner, but that deal was subject to a Conference investigation and has now fallen through. They were due to pay the August wage bill yesterday, and face a winding up order in court on Monday.

Mansfield are facing a race against time to get their main stand open for tomorrow's match with Woking after local council officials withdrew the safety certificate for the stand. The 5,500 capacity Ian Greaves stand has building work ongoing for new classrooms and office space which the club had failed to prove to council officials would not impede on spectators safety. UPDATE: Stand will be open after lunchtime inspection.

Former Bulls loanee Dan Preston has admitted his misconduct charge from Telford's win at Luton last weekend. He has been handed a further three match ban in addition to the three games received for his red card. Alfreton say they will face a £22,000 stewarding and Police bill for the coming season - more than their entire fundraising activity for the season and around £1 for every paying spectator through the gates at the Impact Arena.

Zumba Party September 9th

Edgar Street is hosting a Zumba Party in aid of the Mayor's charities next Sunday, September 9th:

Transfer Deadline Moves

The following will be updated during the day involving teams in the Conference:

Alfreton - In - GK Jon Stewart (Burnley, loan til January)
Barrow - Out - ST Vinny Mukendi (Tamworth, 1 month loan)
Forest Green - Out - DF George Washbourne (Gloucester City, 1 month loan) 
Hereford - In - FW Tristan Plummer (free agent, undisclosed contract) 
Kidderminster - In - DF Josh Gowling (ex-Lincoln, contract til January)
Kidderminster - In - MF Manny Panther (free agent, contract til January)
Kidderminster - Out - DF Exodus Geohaghon (Mansfield, permanent) 
Lincoln - Out - DF Josh Gowling (released) 
Luton - In - DF Connor Essam (Gillingham, 1 month loan)
Macclesfield - In - DF Pablo Mills (free agent, 1 year deal) 
Macclesfield - In - FW Amari Morgan-Smith (free agent, ex-Luton, 1 year deal) 
Macclesfield - In - MF Anthony McNamee (free agent, 1 year deal)
Macclesfield - Out - MF Harry Agombar (Histon, 1 month loan)
Macclesfield - Out - MF Scott Brown (released from non-contract) 
Macclesfield - Out - MF Junior Yiadom-Konadu (Histon, 1 month loan)
Mansfield - In - DF Exodus Geohaghon (Kidderminster, permanent) 
Mansfield - Out - MF Godfrey Poku (Southport, season loan)
Nuneaton - In - ST Donovan Simmons (free agent, non-contract)
Nuneaton - Out - MD Dan Newton (Hinckley, 1 month loan) 
Southport - In - MF Godfrey Poku (Mansfield, season loan)
Southport - Out - ST Darren Stephenson (Chorley, 1 month loan)
Stockport - In - MF Cameron Darkwah (previously released due to collapsed talks, now signed to January)
Tamworth - In - ST Shaun Jeffers (Coventry, 1 month loan) 
Tamworth - In - ST Vinny Mukendi (Barrow, 1 month loan) 
Tamworth - In - DF George Baldock (MK Dons, 1 month youth loan)
Telford - In - GK Joe Collister (ex-Tamworth, 1 year deal)
Telford - Out - GK Jack Cudworth (Chorley, permanent)
Wrexham - In - ST Andy Bishop (Bury, loan til January)

Colbeck Doesn't Fear The Bulls

Former Bulls winger Joe Colbeck comes to Edgar Street tomorrow expecting a few cheers and boos for his return - but having no fear.

The 26 year old told the Grimsby Telegraph: "I've got mixed feelings about it but I'm excited to go back there. You never know what sort of reception you're going to get when you go back to an old club. You might get some boos or you might get some cheers – it will probably be a bit of a mix for me."

"It might be just a bit of friendly banter or they might actually mean it!"

"When Hereford went down, there was a bit of a feeling of 'what are they going to be like this year?' but they've started off absolutely flying. There was opportunity to re-sign for them at the end of the season but I wanted to come to Grimsby.

"It's good to see them doing well but obviously I want to play well against them and beat them. It was sad seeing them go down because I have a lot of friends there but all that goes out the window tomorrow when I go back there with Grimsby.

"I'm sure the gaffers will be asking me about some of the key players that Hereford have got, but it's a completely different team there now. I know a couple of players that are still there but there's no reason for us to fear anyone."

Grimsby bosses Rob Scott and Paul Hurst may bring one more player in ahead of the transfer deadline, but are not concerned if they do not with the loan window reopening in a week, with Hurst telling the paper about the Bulls:

"At the start of the season they probably wasn't one of the favourites, but after the start they've made, maybe one or two in the game have changed their opinion.

"Martin Foyle has gone in there and he's had to change a lot of things around and there's not too many players there that were part of the team that got relegated.

"That can have a positive effect because it's a new mind-set and they're not carrying the baggage of last season. We've had Hereford watched a couple of times and watched their first game against Macclesfield on TV.

"They're well organised and scoring goals, and they'll be looking to bounce back from their first defeat of the season so it will be another tough test for us."

Grimsby's only injury concern is over long-term casualty Liam Hearn.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Watkins Doubt For Saturday

Watkins celebrating his goal at Alfreton
Hereford United winger Marley Watkins is a doubt for Saturday's game against Grimsby at Edgar Street.

In the game against Ebbsfleet last Saturday Watkins was subbed in the 79th minute.

And last Tuesday evening at Rodney Parade, he received a knock just before half-time. Whilst he played the remainder of the game, it was obvious he was carrying an injury.

"Marley showed character there," said manager Martin Foyle after the Newport game.

"Many players would have limped off at half-time but he carried on."

Brian Smikle is expected to replace Watkins.

Transfer Deadline 11pm Friday

The deadline for transfers ahead of the August window closing is at 11pm on Friday night.

The Conference have, surprisingly, flexible rules on signings compared to those that caught the Bulls out 18 months ago. Rob Purdie's arrival on a permanent deal was not registered early enough in the day for him to be eligible for the following day's game at Torquay, and cost the Bulls three much wanted points.

Conference rules dictate that players can be signed on just four hours ahead of the scheduled kick-off, as in Brian Smikle's case last weekend, so any player signed on Friday night will be eligible for Saturday's game as long as the Conference office fax machine doesn't run out of paper.

Saturday's opponents Grimsby have extended the loan deal of defender Nathan Pond until the January window, and have also revealed they have rejected an offer from a League club for striker Anthony Elding.

News Round-Up

Luton have been charged with failing to control their players during their stormy home loss to Telford at the weekend. Striker Jon Shaw has also been charged seperately with a misconduct charge that he has accepted, carrying a three match ban. Telford have also been charged after having two players sent off in the match, as has former Bulls loanee Dan Preston. He faces a further ban in addition to the three games for his red card.

Lincoln have signed French midfielder Mamadou Foufana on a deal until January. The 24 year old has played in the lower leagues in France and Sweden before joining the Imps. Boss David Holdsworth is trying to seal a deal to get former Bulls loanee Josh Gowling out of the club. The former Gillingham man is their top earner and they are hoping to thrash out a deal rather than sell striking asset Jamie Taylor after interest was sparked by three goals in the opening five games.

Former Bulls loanee Tom Barkhuizen has signed for Fleetwood Town on loan from Blackpool until the January window. The teenager scored 12 times for the Bulls last term. Former Bulls loanee Richard Peniket has joined Kidderminster on loan until January. The 19 year old played seven times for the Bulls over four months at Edgar Street.

Tamworth have signed midfielder Michael Girvan on a short term deal. The former Wigan youngster was released from the DW Stadium in the summer but will not directly play for the Lambs first team as he is lacking match fitness. Boss Marcus Law also expected to sign two loan strikers ahead of the transfer deadline. Gloucester City face council planners next Tuesday to see whether they will be granted permission to rebuild their flood-damaged stadium.

Mansfield fans have finally been able to get their hands on their season tickets after lengthy delays to their planned new automated turnstile system. The 'season cards' will have to be shown to turnstile operators for their match on Saturday as the necessary barcode reading guns are still not in place. Hyde have signed winger Ryan Crowther from Fleetwood on loan until January. The 23 year old has already had two spells at Ewen Fields.

Kidderminster are considering a complaint to the FA over Mansfield's move for Exodus Geohaghon. The giant defender confirmed he had received 'an offer too good to refuse' and that the move was entirely about money, but they Stags had no permission to approach him. Kiddy say they will only allow the move 'if the deal is right' and want a replacement for the central defender ahead of the transfer deadline.

Moves continue to save Hereford Racecourse

There are continuing moves to save Hereford Racecourse from closure.

Here's an update from this morning's Racing Post:

JOHN WILLIAMS, who spent 30 years as clerk of the course and secretary at Hereford, would look to turn back the clock if given the opportunity to save the track which on Thursday evening races for the first time since the shock announcement five weeks ago that it is to close at the end of the year.

Williams, who has put together a consortium of local racing figures willing to back a £1 million rescue plan, is convinced that the key to success is re-establishing strong links with the area's rural community, something he claims has been lost since Northern Racing - last week rebranded as the Arena Racing Company (Arc) - took over as operators in 2002.

While happy to outline his vision for reviving the venue that regularly showed a small profit under his previous stewardship, the aspirations of Williams and his potential fellow investors - including trainer Venetia Williams - remain on hold pending the outcome of next Friday's meeting between Arc managing director Tony Kelly and John Jarvis, leader of Herefordshire Council which owns the racecourse. That could go a long way towards determining whether there is a long-term future for racing on the site.

The reasons cited by Kelly for shutting the course were that it is no longer viable because of small attendances and a failure to extend a lease that has 17 years remaining.

Having already transferred next year 's fixtures to other tracks within the group, Arc could decide to serve notice to break the lease, negotiate a deal returning it to the council or opt to mothball the circuit. Also on the table is the offer of a new 125-year lease, with the option to build a hotel.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Breakdown affected players says Daish

Ebbsfleet manager Liam Daish has said that the breakdown of their coaxch on the way to Hereford last Saturday affected the players.

“Saturday was a horrendous day, an absolute nightmare. 

"We left for Hereford at 9am but by 10.50am we were stuck at services on the M40 waiting for a replacement coach.

"The coach breaking down affected us physically and mentally." 

Ebbsfleet's coach reached Edgar Street at around 3.40pm and the game kicked-off at 4.30pm.

It's thought Ebbsfleet will be fined for the delay.

Meanwhile sources say that the Hereford coach broke down on the way to Tamworth on August 14th. Luckily the squad reached the ground in reasonable time.

Newport - Bulls Highlights

Watch "Newport C. v Hereford Utd," on YouTube

Courtesy of Newport cameraman 'shakeycamera'.

Newport Take Awards Double

Newport will have to contend with a double curse after sweeping the Conference Player and Manager of the Month titles for August.

Boss Justin Edinburgh led his side to five straight wins, with striker Aaron O'Connor netting six times in those games. The Exiles have been dropped to 13/2 second favourites in the betting list, behind 9/4 Luton. The Bulls, 14/1 after the weekend win, are now available at 16/1.

Former Bulls winger Jon Brady scooped the managerial award in Conf North. The 37 year old Australian has been in charge of Brackley Town for three seasons, winning the Southern League title last term, and has taken maximum points from their four games so far.

Grimsby Struggling To Answer Critics

An indifferent start to the season has left Grimsby forward Greg Pearson under no illusion that his teammates are under pressure.

Third favourites pre-season, the Mariners racked up their first win with a resounding 4-1 demolition of faltering Mansfield after racking up only two strikes in their previous four games. They have drawn both their previous away games, at Southport and Wrexham, with Pearson warning that the plaudits received from their Stags hammering would disappear if they failed to beat the Bulls at Edgar Street on Saturday:

"I genuinely always felt that the win was always round the corner and we were pleased to get it on Monday. The first win will put everyone a bit more at ease and I'm sure the fans will be pleased with it.
"The buzz around the place will become a lot more positive now, which can only be a good thing for the players. It was great to get that first win under our belts. Hopefully we can really kick on from now and I don't see why not.
"After three or four games of the season, we were having to answer questions of ourselves that I believe we genuinely shouldn't have had to. It was too early in my opinion, but we know those questions will come again if we don't win or get a positive result at Hereford on Saturday."
Grimsby bosses Rob Scott and Paul Hurst want to extend the loan deal of defender Nathan Pond after he impressed during his opening month from Fleetwood. The 27 year old has played every game so far for the Mariners, and is available for an extended loan or permanent deal.

News Round-Up

There are no Bulls in the first England 'C' team of the season. Paul Fairclough has picked Ebbsfleet keeper Preston Edwards, who helped keep the score down at Edgar Street on Saturday, in the 16 man u23 squad that will face Belgium on September 12th. Chesterfield have sacked manager John Sheridan after failure to win any of their opening League Two matches. The former Sheff Weds man was stuck by in the summer after seeing the Spireites drop out of League One.

Lincoln have ended the non-contract stays of winger Luke Daley and striker Marc McCammon. Daley started four of their opening five matches, coming on as a sub in the other, while McCammon started one and also made a sub appearance. Nuneaton chairman Ian Neale has quit the club to concentrate on his personal business interests. Current director Neil Hodgson takes over on a temporary basis.

Chester say they will study video evidence in the hope of identifying culprits after a number of their fans were involved in fighting in their Bank Holiday away match at Altrincham. Two people, including a steward, were hopsitalised overnight after being injured during a series of incidents in and around the ground. Ambitious Gainsborough have been put up for sale after chairman Peter Swann said he was withdrawing from the club at the end of the season due to ill health. The Conf North side have spent heavily in recent seasons and will not be able to afford the wage bill without another benefactor.

Former Port Vale bidder Mike Newton says he is not one of the parties interested in bidding for the club. The US-based businessman has invested in Stockport and Oldham since having a bid rejected by the former regime, but says he has no plans to move for the club. Wrexham have rejected an approach from Bury for manager Andy Morrell. The veteran striker had a spell with the Shakers before arriving at the Racecourse Ground, and is said to want former teammate Andy Bishop to join him at the Dragons.

Luton will not appeal the red card handed to defender Ronnie Henry during Monday's fractious match with Telford. Henry will serve a three match ban after exchanging handbags with ex-Bull Dan Preston, leaving the Hatters short at the back with Janos Kovacs struggling with injury. 

Players gave me 100% said Foyle

Martin Foyle told BBC Hereford and Worcester after last night's game that he felt his players gave 100% and had Harry Pell converted a first half penalty the game might have finished differently.

"I can't fault my players for effort and committment," said the Hereford United manager.

"Disappointed to lose but we more than matched them and if we had got the penalty and a couple of chances we had, it might have been a different game.

"I never blame a penalty-taker because you've got to have the courage to take it. He missed one so pick it up and go and get the next one.

"Tom had a 100% penalty before that. The lad has wrapped him around, pulled him down and again another poor decision.

"And again on the penalty we got, why haven't they booked the lad?

"Amazing decisions from the referee.

"I'm not saying it's the fault of the referee that we lost, but sending Justin (the Newport manager) as well, it's ridiculous."

Foyle changed the formation to try and get back into the game.

"I'd rather lose 2-0 by having a go.

"I praised the players afterwards. It hurts, it sounds like they've won the League in there.

"They got to Wrexham, but if we beat Grimsby we'll be right back on their coat-tails again."

Two Hereford players had injury problems during the game.

"Marley showed character there. Many players would have limped off at half-time but he carried on.

"The same with Andy, he was struggling right from the start."

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Great Conference Advert said Edinburgh

Newport County manager Justin Edinburgh spoke to the press after this evening's game at Rodney Parade.

"I think the game was an outstanding advert for the Conference.

"The two goals would grace two or three levels above.

"The atmosphere is what we're in football for so it's a fantastic night for us here and one we'll remember for a long while."

Edinburgh will probably remember the game for one other reason as well - in the second half he was sent to the stands by the referee for kicking the ball away.

Newport shade derby fixture

Hereford United were defeated for the first time under the leadership of Martin Foyle, going down 2-0 at Rodney Parade against table toppers Newport County. Goals from Andy Sandell and Aaron O'Connor settled proceedings, although things could have been different had Harry Pell not have seen his penalty saved in the first-half.

The Bulls came out of the blocks quickly with Tom Nichols threatening in and around the area, with the ball eventually breaking loose to Sam Clucas, who had a right-foot shot blocked. Moments later, Newport should have been one up but for a horrendous miss by the much travelled Jefferson Louis. After a short back-pass by Andy Gallinagh, Louis pounced, rounding Hanford but after looking appearing too relaxed, he failed to sort his feet as he homed in on an empty goal, before the ball was eventually cleared by the Hereford defence. A searching ball down the right-wing by Pell found Nichols, who sent a low pass across the box for strike partner Sean Canham but his effort was easily held by Lenny Pidgeley.

Just after the ten minute mark, Hereford were awarded a penalty for a foul on Pell. A pass by Marley Watkins was controlled by Nichols, who in turn found the onrushing Pell, taking the ball in his stride before having his feet clipped when bursting into the box. Penalty awarded but Pell couldn't find the net, with his strike pushed away by Pidgeley, with the follow-up effort from Nichols clearing the crossbar.

Nichols missed the rebound

 The rest of the half saw both sides get in behind the oppositions' defences but fail to muster up any clear-cut chances. The best efforts fell to Sandwell who curled past Dan Hanford's post and Michael Flynn's 20 yard strike after a quick counter-attack which was a foot or so off target.

The second-half took a while to get going, with both sides cancelling each other out to a certain extent. A long punt forward by David Pipe into the channel found Danny Crow but his powerful right-foot half-volley failed to trouble Hanford. Jake Thomson and Ryan Charles were introduced, in place of Lee Evans and the ineffective Louis; sandwiched in between these changes was a half-chance after Nichols cut-back a pass from the by-line with Sandwell's sliding clearence nearly ending up in his own net. A long free-kick from the touch-line caught United napping and Ismail Yakubu nearly got a decisive touch in behind but his deft finish was pushed away by Hanford.

After Ryan Bowman was introduced in place of Canham, County took the lead with a stunning strike. Former Bristol Rovers left-back Sandell struck a ferocious effort from close to 30 yards which had too much power for Hanford to hand Newport the advantage. United reacted by replacing Chris Carruthers with Brian Smikle but rarely threatened with County playing on the break; they were nearly rewarded when a Hereford corner was cleared and a pass over Gallinagh's head allowed Charles to race in goal shooting wide under pressure from the backtracking Smikle. Bowman controlled with his chest but a half-volley was well held by Pidgeley before five minutes of injury time were added. As Hereford pushed men forward for the equaliser, the inevitable breakaway proved decisive once more as O'Connor latched onto a misplaced pass on the half-way line, raced down the left-wing before cutting in and placing an unstoppable shot into the far top corner.

A disappointing night, where Newport thoroughly deserved the three points. Had Pell's penalty not been saved, the game could have taken a very different pattern but two moments of quality seperated the team. The hosts look very useful coming forward, with some neat-football played and some tricky players up top, although defensively, they looked a little shaky at times, with United failing to capitalise on this. Despite the loss, fans should remain upbeat. Ten points from a possible fifteen is a promising start to the season and there's plenty of potential within the team. 4,365 were in attendance at Rodney Parade, making for a cracking atmosphere, with just under 600 in the away end. Next up for Hereford is the visit of Grimsby on Saturday, with Foyle and co looking to return to winning ways.

Hereford: Hanford, Gallinagh, Townsend, Graham, Carruthers (Smikle), Watkins, Pell, Clist, Clucas, Nichols, Canham (Bowman).
Subs not used: Bittner, Stam, Sammons.

Newport: Pidgeley, Pipe, James, Yakubu, Sandell, Porter, Evans (Thomson), Flynn, O'Connor, Louis (Charles), Crow.
Subs not used: Perry, Hughes, Harris.

Stats from Rodney Parade

Below are the main stats from Rodney Parade where Newport County defeated Hereford United 2-0 and Harry Pell failed to convert a penalty.

Possession: Exiles 52%  Bulls 48%

Shots on Target: Exiles 4  Bulls 3

Shots off Target: Exiles 2  Bulls 2

Corners: Exiles 5  Bulls 6

Fouls: Exiles 20  Bulls 12

Cards: Yellow for Gallinagh (Seven yellows for the Exiles)

Some of the Hereford United supporters
Attendance: 4365 with around 580 in the away end

BN Man of the Match: Michael Townsend

Top of League Two:

1 Newport 5 9 15
2 Macclesfield 5 6 12
3 Forest Green 5 4 11
4 Hereford 5 4 10
5 Luton 5 4 10
 6 Tamworth 5 4 10

Bulls Downed For First Time

The Bulls missed a first half penalty as they went down 2-0 to leaders Newport in tonight's Conference game.

Harry Pell's miss left Andy Sandell's thunderbolt to seperate the two sides before a late Danny Crow strike on the break finalised matters deep in injury time.

Full report later.

The result leaves the Bulls in fourth place, with the other Conference game tonight ending with Braintree winning 4-1 at Woking.

Keep Up With the Action From Rodney Parade

As ever this season Hereford United supporters unable to get to this evening's game will be able to keep up with all the action from Rodney Parade on the radio or the internet.

BBC Hereford and Worcester will have full commentary of the whole game on both 94.7FM and online.

After missing a couple of games the station will welcome back Keith Hall who will be behind the microphone.

The subscription based Bulls Player will also have full commentary with  Jamie Griffiths.  

Newport Backtrack On Sell-Out Claims

Claims yesterday by new Newport chairman Les Scadding that tonight's game was set to sell out have been quickly refuted by the club's office.

A statement issued last night stated that there were still 'a large number of tickets' available for the game and that they would be available to home fans right up to kick off.

The statement also added that the club were 'hoping' to have extra tickets available for the popular Hazell Terrace - suggesting they were still negotiating with officials over ground capacities despite having repeatedly refused the Bulls extra tickets.

News Round-Up

Barrow signed two more players ahead of yesterday's loss to Macclesfield. Former Darlington winger Chris Moore, 29, was identified as the one who had agreed terms last week, coming in from Whitley Bay on a deal until January, while Colchester defender Tom Aldred joins on loan for a month. The 21 year old has had previous loan spells with Torquay and Stockport.

Farnborough have sacked defender Adam Bygrave over Twitter comments that the club say were 'racist, disabled, and pedophile based'. The 23 year old played in their draw with Dorchester on Monday but was sacked, and fined two weeks wages, shortly after. Mansfield boss Paul Cox says his job 'is a lonely place right now' after their 4-1 loss to Grimsby. He has promised 'drastic changes' this week with Exodus Geohaghon expected to complete a move from Kidderminster.

Bournemouth chairman Eddie Mitchell has denied press claims on the south coast that they are paying all £14,000 a week of the wages of loanee Lee Barnard. The Southampton man is on loan at Dean Court, with the claim coming to light after Preston said the Cherries were paying an 'astronimical amount' for the player they had also courted.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Bulls 21/10 to Defeat Exiles

This evening's game at Rodney Parade is the first 'league' game between Newport County and Hereford United for 23 years and, given that both clubs have made a good start to the season, it's a hard game to call. However the bookies are favouring the Exiles with a price of 22/15 available with Pinnacle.

Best price for a Hereford win is 21/10 with William Hill. For a draw 31/12 with Pinnacle is the highest offer. 

Latest Odds from BlueSq:

Exiles 5/4  Draw 12/5  Bulls 15/8

Both sides have been in the goals, but prices for the first goalscorer of the game, assuming it's a Hereford player, are a little higher than recently.

Ryan Bowman is 8/1 with BetVictor and BlueSq
Sean Canham is also 8/1 with BetVictor and BlueSq
Tom Nichols is 9/1 with BlueSq - however it's possible he might not start the game as Bowman is fully fit.
Marley Watkins is 14/1 with Bet365 and Coral
Will Evans is 14/1 with Bet365
Harry Pell is 22/1 with BlueSq
San Clucas is also 22/1 with BlueSq

Onto the correct score:

Hereford to win 1-0: 10/1 with Bet365 and William Hill
Hereford to win 2-0: 16/1 with Bet365, William Hill and BlueSq
Hereford to win 2-1: 11/1 with BetFred, ToteSport and BlueSq
Hereford to win 3-0: 43/1 with BetFair
Hereford to win 3-1: 25/1 with BetFred, ToteSport and BlueSq
Hereford to win 3-2: 28/1 generally

Finally a draw:

0-0: 14/1 with SkyBet and SportingBet
1-1: 13/2 with BlueSq and William Hill
2-2: 14/1 with ToteSport, BetFred and William Hill
3-3: 50/1 generally

As ever all prices from and are subject to change. 

James predicts 'Massive Game'

Former Hereford United defender Tony James, now plying his trade with Newport County, has said he thinks this evening's game between the two clubs will be a 'massive game'.

James pictured before the Legends game at Edgar Street last month
"There should be a big crowd, hopefully a good atmosphere and a great game," James told the South Wales Argus.

Last Saturday his side had to come from behind to defeat Braintree.

"We didn't play well at Braintree but we ground out the result out.

"I'm sure it will be different from Saturday.

"We want to stamp our authority at home and hopefully we'll get back to that.

"Rodney Parade has been really good and totally different to the at Spytty last year."

James has played against his former club in several seasons recently as, before joining the Exiles, he was with Burton Albion.

"It's always nice to play against your old club and it motivates you a little bit more so I won't need too many words from the gaffer or the lads for this one."

Exiles versus Bulls - Another Preview

Here's an another preview for tomorrow's game at Rodney Parade between Newport County and Hereford United.

There tend to be two types of relegated team, at least as far as non-league is concerned. The club driven by the misguided belief that they have fallen this far by a misalignment of the stars and that the weight of their history and fanbase ought to be enough to see them springing immediately back up. And the other outfit, who are in such a state of disarray following relegation that simply avoiding combustion counts as a significant triumph.

It is rare for either group to enjoy success. Not since 2005, when Carlisle bounced back to secure a swift promotion, has a relegated side returned to the Football League at the first time of asking. But encouragingly for Hereford United, they would not appear to fall into either category.

Their demise was not wholly unexpected and though the club admit there have been financial concerns in recent months, they have enough of a base from which to build a team capable of competing at this level. And, perhaps more importantly, they have a manager with a sound knowledge of the division. Boss Martin Foyle spent two years with York between 2008 and 2010 before arriving at Edgar Street in the summer to sift through the debris left by Jamie Pitman, Richard O’Kelly and relegation.

And despite losing the likes of Yoann Arquin, Joe Colbeck and Adam Bartlett, Foyle has built on the youthful foundations of the players left behind, adding useful doses of experience in the shape of Chris Carruthers, Andy Gallinagh and Brian Smikle. While the likes of Sam Clucas, Marley Watkins and Harry Pell – who impressed on loan at Cambridge United last term – appear to have quickly taken to the demands of non-league.

This is a club with a culture of modesty. They did not begin the campaign with the sort of bombast and bluster which Luton and Oxford adopted in their inaugural seasons in the Blue Square Bet Premier. And ahead of Tuesday night’s trip to leaders Newport, we fancy United to continue their encouraging start to the year.

The hosts have seen off all-comers so far, buoyed by the wealth of boss Justin Edinburgh’s experience as well as the wealth of the club’s board, which now includes Euro Millions winner Les Scadding, who was appointed chairman last week.

But while their side is brimming with non-league know-how, including strikers Danny Crow, Jefferson Louis and five-goal Aaron O’Connor, as well as Andy Sandell, Tony James and Ismail Yakubu, we reckon the visitors can combat County’s all-guns-blazing approach.

Louis, Crow, O’Connor and Sandell all started against Braintree on Saturday as the Exiles fell behind before a late comeback, precipitated in part by the arrival of yet another striker – Ryan Charles – ten minutes from time. In the end that power was too much for their opponents, but the Bulls look better set to cope with an onslaught. In Gallinagh, Carruthers and Michael Townsend, they have the experience to ward off County’s attacking intent.

Foyle has seen enough expensively-assembled, quality-rich sides in his time not to be fazed by another promotion hopeful of that ilk and though the hosts look likely to be fighting in the top five this term, there will be hiccups along the way, as was so nearly the case in Essex last time out.

Edinburgh’s men did cruise past Nuneaton 4-0 in their second outing of the campaign, but they shipped three goals in victory at Mansfield on the opening day and have since endured nervy clashes with Lincoln and Braintree (both ending 2-1). At 21/10 the unbeaten Bulls look to be worth an investment in South Wales.

This preview was written by Henry Milward and first appeared on the Best of the Bets website  

From the Archives: Bulls lose to Newport

It's over thirteen years since Hereford United last played Newport County and it wasn't a 'League' game but the final of the Herefordshire Senior Cup.

Firstly the report:

July 27th 1999:

Hereford United 0 Newport County 1: Herefordshire Senior Cup

VETERAN striker Carl Dale's fourth-minute goal was enough to give Newport the Herefordshire Senior Cup in the invitation final at Edgar Street this evening.

It was United's first defeat in four pre-season matches and the first time that they had conceded a goal.

The goal was inadvertently set up by former Northern Ireland, Celtic and Blackpool left-back Anton Rogan, who was being given a trial outing by United director of football Graham Turner.

His feeble attempt at a headed back-pass to keeper Andy Quy fell into the path of Dale. It was the sort of gift the former Cardiff City striker gobbles up and he gave Quy no chance as he lobbed the ball over him from 10 yards out.

After that County, newly promoted to the Dr Martens League Premier Division, rarely looked like surrendering their lead and deservedly collected the silverware.

It was a decidedly ragged performance by the Bulls, however, and Turner said: "We were lethargic, undisciplined in defence and overall it was a pathetic performance.

"If I had to find a reason why, I can only think that after a hard programme of training and matches some of the players needed a rest. But, as we have four key men nursing injuries, I wasn't able to do that."

Neither side created many chances but, a few minutes after scoring, Dale had the opportunity to make it 2-0. This time, however, he directed his header straight at Quy.

Too often Hereford tried to make headway with aerial attacks which were easily combated by County's tall defenders, Danny Hill and Danny Hunt.

The one time United put together a really constructive move on the ground in the first half they almost equalised. Chris Lane, Ian Rodgerson and Rob Elmes exchanged passes to move the ball the length of the ground. Lane then crossed to Craig Hanson who headed over after making a surging run into the penalty area.

After the break Paul Fewings' cross-shot was cleared off the line by Hunt but, otherwise, County's goal was seldom threatened.

Hereford: Quy, Lane, Rogan, Snape, Wall, James (Clarke 46 min), Rodgerson, Taylor, Elmes, Hanson, Williams (Fewings 53 min). Subs not used: Jones, Cotterill, Palmer.

Attendance: 839. 

 And secondly a follow-up:

August 5th 1999:

NEWPORT County have banned 12 supporters from their matches after trouble at Edgar Street in the HFA Senior Cup Final. They got into the Meadow End, and sparked fighting between themselves and the United fans. The stewarding at the club was slammed by the Bulls fans, who said they were inaffective during the incident. 

FORMER soccer star Garry Spink told last night how he was "devastated" at being banned for life from Newport County Football Club.

The ex-Newport player said he was "made the scape-goat" after 12 County fans brawled with home supporters at Hereford.

A Newport spokesman said: "We have banned him because we don't tolerate people who cause trouble."

Albion Rovers coach Spink said: "I did throw a punch which connected but it was self defence. I wasn't the ringleader."

Results Round-Up

The Bulls drop to fourth in the table, with tomorrow's game in hand, after today's results. Newport retain top spot on goal difference after Macclesfield beat Barrow 2-0 but remain below them, while Tamworth lost 1-0 at home to Wrexham to scupper their chance of top spot. Forest Green are up to third after a late 1-0 win, with 10 men, over pointless Kidderminster. The Bulls are level on points with the Lambs and Luton, who won 3-1 at Ebbsfleet with Stuart Fleetwood scoring twice and Nathan Elder scoring for the Fleet.

Gateshead lost a lead late to draw 1-1 with Lincoln, while Telford drew 2-2 with Stockport including a Ryan Valentine goal. Cambridge lost 2-1 at home to Dartford, while Grimsby heaped more pressure on Paul Cox with a 4-1 win over Mansfield. Nuneaton and Southport registered first wins with the Boro 3-0 winners at Alfreton, and the Sandgrounders winning 2-0 at Hyde with both sides having a man sent off.

Ten Conference Games This Afternoon

There are ten Conference games this afternoon, all kicking off at 3pm.

As well as the Bulls travelling to Newport , Woking face Braintree tomorrow night. Either Tamworth or Macclesfield could be top of the table tonight. The Lambs just need to beat Wrexham to lead at 5pm, while the Silkmen would have to beat strugglers Barrow by four goals.

Gateshead, who entertain Lincoln, Cambridge, who entertain Dartford, and Forest Green, who visit pointless Kidderminster, can all go above the Bulls on points with Telford and Luton both able to rise above Martin Foyle's side on goal difference if they notch up big wins.

Newport Expecting Sell-Out

Newport are expecting a sell-out of their half-used Rodney Parade home for tomorrow's match.

The Exiles have opened their ticket office today until lunchtime to meet demand for the highly anticipated clash with few tickets expected to be available on the day with capacity set to just 5,511.

New chairman Les Scadding told the local press: “The way things are going is great, the club is getting gates we never expected. Tuesday night should be a complete sell-out and it will be a fantastic occasion.” 

Manager Justin Edinburgh added: “We’ve got a fantastic following and we’re all looking forward to a great game in front of a bumper crowd. Hopefully we can continue this run we’re on.” 

County's current record attendance is 4,221 when they beat Havant and Waterlooville to claim the Conf South championship.

Preview: Newport vs Bulls

The Bulls travel to Rodney Parade for the first time to face Newport County in a top of the table Conference clash.

The two sides haven't met in a competitive match since Newport went bust in 1989. They did play one friendly at Edgar Street in 1999, when a crowd of 839 saw one Tony James face his current side and the Exiles win the Herefordshire Senior Cup with a 1-0 win. It is likely to be the biggest attendance for a match between the sides since 1981, when over 5,000 saw each of two Welsh Cup semi-final legs with the Bulls reaching the final 3-2 on aggregate, as most of the games since then struggled to get past the 2,000 mark.

The Exiles may lose top spot before tomorrow's game if Tamworth can beat Wrexham today, or Macclesfield thrash Barrow by four goals or more, but the pre-season 50/1 outsiders are likely to continue a strong push for promotion. With a budget relying on gates of 1,650 at their new home, the Exiles have at least 1,000 extra fans swelling the coffers after their strong start and the arrival of lottery millionaire Les Scadding as chairman has swelled rumours of a large financial injection to give manager Justin Edinburgh a substantial warchest. Striker Aaron O'Connor hit five goals in the opening three games with the Exiles the only side in the division to score more than the Bulls so far.

The Bulls travel west with Marley Watkins in the form of his life. The 21 year old has never scored in three straight games before, and it took him 12 games to net three times last term for Bath. However it's not just the winger the Exiles need to worry about, with Sean Canham also netting three and Ryan Bowman starting his season with a goal inside 16 minutes of his first appearance, with Brian Smikle getting the assist for that goal with his first touch. From a side that barely looked like scoring in pre-season, something has clicked inside the Bulls camp and there is danger all over the pitch as proved by full back Chris Carruthers' 40 yard volley at the weekend.

Newport County vs Hereford United, Rodney Parade, Tuesday 28th August, 7.45pm.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

News Round-Up

Stockport have approached their local council in a bid to buy their Edgeley Park home from current owner Cheshire Sports. The Hatters are due to pay back a £180,000 loan to the council at the end of this month, but hope to persuade them to borrow the estimated £1.5million cost to buy the stadium and lease it to the club. The Hatters currently pay what they say is an 'unaffordable' rent on the ground.

Braintree have signed Histon striker Dan Holmans, beating the likes of Cambridge, Grimsby, and Barnet to his signature. The Conf South side say the fee includes a sell-on and various other clauses, while Braintree man Kaine Sheppard will go on loan to Histon for an initial month. Former Bull Moses Ashikodi has been targetted for an international call-up by Antigua. The former England youth international is wanted by national boss Fernando Abraham for two matches at the start of next month.

Newport Travel – Tuesday

Newport County AFC v Hereford United
Blue Square Premier
Tuesday 28th August 2012 KO 7.45 pm
Rodney Parade
South Wales
NP19 0UU
Phone 01633 662262

Despite the issues surrounding ticketing, it's wonderful to, once again, have a derby match where the hosts actually have their stadium in their own town.

The "Exiles" moved to Rodney Parade at the beginning of this season.  The Stadium is also the home of Newport and Newport Gwent Dragons rugby clubs and has a capacity of over 11,000 but Health and Safety issues currently restrict the football attendances to around half of that figure.  The Bulls have been allocated fewer than 600 tickets with Hereford fans being accommodated in part of the Bisley Stand.  Entrance is via Gate 6 at the far end of the ground as you approach from Rodney Road.  The seats provided for Bulls' fans offer a good view of the pitch and a licensed bar is said to be available inside the ground.

HUISA – Departs Edgar Street at 5.30 pm with a fare of £9 (non-members £11), All coaches and minibuses are asked to rendezvous at the picnic area south of the Usk junction of the A449 from where they will be escorted to the ground.  Passengers will be dropped outside the ground and vehicles will then be taken to a parking area some distance from the ground.  Drivers are expected to have to stay with the vehicles and to return to the ground in time for the final whistle when vehicles will be, again, escorted away from the ground.

BY CAR – From Hereford, travel towards Ross-on-Wye and take the fork right to Symonds Yat then, at the junction with the A40, follow signs for Newport/South Wales.  Join the M4 westbound at J24.  Leave the M4 at J25A and at the roundabout take the first exit onto Heidenheim Way. Take the first exit off the flyover and the second exit off the roundabout.  At the next roundabout, take the first exit across the Usk Bridge.  At the traffic lights fork right onto Chepstow Road, first right onto Cedar Road and first right again onto Corporation Road.  Take the first left onto Grafton Road and Rodney Parade is on your left.

PARKING - There is no parking available at the ground for supporters and there is a "residents only" parking scheme in operation in the streets around the stadium. So it is either a case of finding street parking further away or use one of the city centre car parks, such as Kingsway Shopping Centre, which costs £2 for five hours. There is also a small open pay and display car park on Chepstow Road which costs £1.85 for five hours.  There is a footbridge close to the Kingsway parking that crosses the Usk to take you to the stadium.

TRAIN - Newport railway station is situated around a quarter of a mile away from the stadium and is a relatively short walk.  As you come out of the main station entrance turn left along the main (Queensway) road. Follow this road until you reach a large roundabout. Take the pedestrian underpass down underneath the roundabout and at the centre turn left towards Clarence Place/River Usk. After you have come back up to street level you should see a bridge in front of you going across the river. Cross the bridge and then take the first right hand turn into Rodney Parade and the stadium is down this road on the left.

ALEHOUSES – I am really at a loss to know what to suggest given the expected attentions of Gwent's finest.  There is a 'Spoons called The Tom Toya Lewis in Commercial Road (a couple of streets behind the Kingsway parking).  The safest bet is probably to not bother or to try one in The Punch House (Brains SA on tap) in Monmouth on the way down.I plan to do a "recce" of Newport parking on Monday (Mrs Ex is threatening to "do" the shops!) and I'll post any updated information on Monday evening.


Watkins In NLP Team Of The Week

Bulls winger Marley Watkins has been named in the Non-League Paper's Team of the Week.

The 21 year old scored for the third successive game with his strike against Ebbsfleet yesterday, with the paper awarding him an eight for his performance. Sean Canham also received that mark.

Watkins is joined in the XI by former Bulls defenders Tony James and Jordan Rose.