NEXT HOME GAME - PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY JULY 11TH AT EDGAR STREET
NEXT AWAY GAME - PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY AT MALVERN JULY 7TH
UITC YOUTH TEAM - TBC
FOR DETAILS ABOUT ADVERTISING ON BULLS NEWS - CONTACT bullsnews@hotmail.com

Saturday, August 31, 2002

Better than expected

The annual visit to Nuneaton is seldom very rewarding. You often cannot see all of the pitch, you cannot park close by, and last year Matt Baker was sent off. So to come back with a great result made the journey well worth-while even given the poor facilities.

Going into the ground, burly security staff were searching Hereford supporters and before the game started the local police were out in force. After trouble two years ago, they were taking no chances. As usual at Nuneaton, the away fans were crowed into one small area; maybe this was why only three hundred or so Hereford followers made the journey. What a good game they missed.

There was no trouble in the ground involving Hereford. However a bottle was thrown at Baker in the second half and police moved behind his goal to stop anything else being lobbed.

Last Monday at Yeovil one of the Boro' players came in for some personal abuse. Today there was none other than suggesting that Terry Angus, the player involved, got a move on when taking throw-ins. He looked at the crowd, smiled and took it all in good heart. After the game he had a few words with a some of us and wished us a safe journey home.

Even the referee, G Chapman, and his assistants are worth a mention. There were no cards of any colour, very few stoppages for fouls, and only two incidents where just maybe there was some cause for complaint, both in the first half. A Nuneaton player went down in the Hereford box and the referee stopped the game although Hereford had possession at the time. He may have thought the injury was worse than it turned out to be. The other involved a bit of holding which he deemed not serious enough to warrant a free kick. It happened close to the Hereford fans who took a different view! There was a fracas in the second half when Jamie Pitman and Nuneaton's Jamie Squires came close to blows but Mr Chapman was close at hand and play soon continued. The standard of Conference referees is often poor but today's officials should be praised for their handling of the game.

Even the programme was good value. 52 pages with interesting editorial, (even if some of it was provided by Tim Ward of HU-FC.co.uk fame) and good pictures. There was an article about previous programmes of fixtures between the two clubs going back as far as 1934. It cost 1d in old money! For those not old enough to remember, there were 240 pennies to the Pound so the £2 the programme cost today would have bought you 480 copies on Easter Tuesday April 3rd 1934. What the article did not reveal was the result. Perhaps Hereford won just like today!

On a different note Nigel Spink manager of Forest Green has been sacked, the first so far in the Conference this season.


Guinan - my goal!

After today's game, one of the Hereford scorers, Steve Guinan, spoke to BBC Hereford & Worcester about the match.

Of his goal, which was a free-kick from Michael Rose, he said: "We've had a little chat about it and it did come off the top of my head so I think he (Rose) knows where it stands now."

"It's a great win, especially after the last two results and we needed to bounce back with a couple of good performances. Nuneaton's not an easy place to come. Winning 3-0 at a place like this is exactly what we need."

"It's a long time to wait until our next fixture (away at Woking on September 9th). There would have been added pressure on us, with the game on Sky as well, if it had been three losses. It's three wins and two losses now and if we keep going the way we are we can grind out a good result."


Bulls beat Borough
Hereford United secured their first win in three games with a comfortable victory over Nuneaton Burough. The first half was goalless. However, three goals inside eight second half minutes meant Hereford came home happy.


Three goals seal third win
Nuneaton Borough 0 - 3 Hereford United
Hereford returned to winning ways against Nuneaton Borough at Manor Park in front of 1,332, with around 300 supporting the Bulls.
The starting line up showed one change from the game against Morecambe which saw Sawyer replaced by Parry in midfield and John Grant, making his first start for Hereford, replacing Parry up front.

It was Hereford who started the brighter attacking down the slope towards the Cock and Bear stand with Rose going close with two shots inside the first four minutes. But it was Boro who should taken the lead when a free header at the back post was put across the Hereford goal, instead of on target. Then it was Hereford’s turn to go close as Danny Williams saw his deflected free kick come back of the Nuneaton bar, before Nuneaton four minutes later wasted a chance to take the lead.

This was an end to end game and it was Parry turn to see his effort blocked on the goal line by Terry Angus, but Guinan should have scored earlier in the move yet he was slow to react. After this Nuneaton at a had spell of pressure where they had a shot deflected just wide for a corner and then Clarkson wasted yet another chance as the ball fell to him, only for him to shoot at Baker. As Nuneaton looked to be getting on top a series of Hereford corners brought about two chances for the Bulls, at the end of the first half. As first Clarke had a shot from sixteen yards saved and Grant, played in by Guinan, ran through the Nuneaton defence only to place his shot onto the bar from six yards out!

The second half took time to get going before Guinan got his first goal for Hereford as he turned in a Rose free kick from the right wing, after eight minutes. Nuneaton were quick to respond bring two saves out of Baker in a minute, first from eight and then twenty yards. Guinan was again the man involved as Danny Williams and John Grant combined well to set up a chance for Guinan to force a save out of Hodgson in the Nuneaton goal. A repeat of Guinan forcing a save out of Hodgson resulted in Pitman heading home his fourth goal of the season from the rebound in the 57th minute. Then four minutes later Parry finished off the scoring spree for the Bull as he slotted home from sixteen yards after good work by Grant.

The game fizzled out a bit with neither side creating much and both sides making two subs each. For Hereford Purdie came on for Grant with twenty minutes remaining and then Voice on for Guinan with eight minute left. Rose wasn't the only Hereford to show any danger as he cracked in three of his thirty yard drives forcing Hodgson to save two of them. Nuneaton did force Baker into a point blank save from Jones’s shot, after a dangerous cross from the left and Purdie missed a one on one just seconds before the final whistle for Hereford.

This was an impressive Hereford display, helped by both sides willing to attack and besides the 10 minute scoring spree by United it was a fairly even contest. Now Hereford have over a week to prepare for the Woking game live on Sky.
Written by Tim Ward - 31st August 2002.
Nuneaton Borough Hereford United
Steve Hodgson Matt Baker
Andy Thackeray Matt Clarke
Ian Clarkson (captain) Michael Rose
Jason Peake Richard Teesdale
Terry Angus Ian Wright (captain)
Jamie Squires Tony James
Barry Williams (off, 76 minutes) Jamie Pitman
John Turner (off, 64 minutes) Danny Williams
Gary Jones Steve Guinan (off, 83 minutes)
Mark Quayle John Grant (off, 72 minutes)
Lee Howey (off, 58 minutes) Paul Parry
Subs Subs
Andy Wheeler Scott Voice (on, 83 minutes)
Richard Lavery Ken Griffiths
Jason Harris (on, 64 minutes) Rob Sawyer
Michael Love (on, 58 minutes) Richard O'Kelly
Warren Peyton (on, 76 minutes) Rob Purdie (on, 72 minutes)
Yellow cards Yellow cards
- -
Red cards Red cards
- -
Scorers Scorers
- Steve Guinan (53 minutes)
- Jamie Pitman (57 minutes)
  Paul Parry (61 minutes)
   
Man of the Match Michael Rose
Attendance 1354
Referee Mr. G. Chapman

Friday, August 30, 2002

Tretton back for Boro' clash?

Hereford United could have Andrew Tretton back in the heart of defence for tomorrow's trip to Nuneaton Borough, kick off 3pm.

The former Shrewsbury Town defender has declared himself fully fit for the game, but Hereford will miss midfielder Ben Smith for the game at Manor Park.

United will not face former 'keeper Chris MacKenzie in the match, though. The 30-year-old stopper was sent off in the last minute of the 1-0 defeat by Southport on the first day of the season and serves a one-match suspension.

Midfielder Barry Williams is doubtful with an ankle injury, although manager Steve Burr has not ruled him out of his plans entirely.

Borough will be looking for a repeat of the corresponding fixture last August that ended in a 2-0 win for the home side.

Hereford captain Ian Wright has blamed poor defending for the Bulls' two recent defeats, against Morecambe and Gravesend & Northfleet.

In tonight's Evening News, he is quoted as saying: "It's always a tight game when we play Nuneaton and after two defeats its important we try and bounce back. We've had a good start but we didn't play well at Gravesend and gave away three bad goals while on Monday we shouldn't have lost but we did. Tomorrow gives us a chance to get back to winning ways and try and keep our momentum going."

Meanwhile, striker Andy Baird, who was a trialist at Edgar Street this summer, is set to become player/coach at Hellenic League side Brackley Town.


Thursday, August 29, 2002

Grant's confidence high for Conference success

Despite losing two of their opening for games, Hereford United attacker John Grant is confident that Hereford United can finish in the Nationwide Conference play-off zone.

Grant, who made his debut against Morecambe as a half-time substitute on Monday, told the Hereford Times: "I am positive that we can finish in the top five. We have lost our last two games but the fans should not get too despondent. Morecambe, for instance, were only in our box three times and scored two goals."

The former Crewe Alexandra striker has set himself a target of twenty goals this season, and hopes to open his account on Saturday as the Bulls travel to Nuneaton Borough, kick off 3pm.

Defender Andy Tretton will miss the game with a groin strain and Ben Smith is still recovering from a dislocated shoulder, and boss Graham Turner is expecting a tough time at Manor Park, particularly because of the good form of Boro's attacker Mark Quayle.

Meanwhile, Hereford United's shareholders' annual meeting has been set for Monday, 23rd September at 5pm in Legends Bar.


Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Hereford in southern section

Hereford United have been placed in the southern section of the LDV Vans Trophy for the 2002/03 competition.

The Bulls could face several local derbies in the southern section including matches against Bristol City, Cardiff City, Cheltenham Town, Swindon Town, Kidderminster Harriers or Swansea City. Joining the Bulls from the Conference are Chester City, Dagenham & Redbridge, Stevenage Borough, Woking and Yeovil Town.

In the Football league's madness, Chester City are in the southern section by Shrewsbury Town and Wrexham are in the northern section! The reasoning is that there are then six Conference sides in each section, but it does seem a little out of balance!

The first round draw is on Saturday, 21st September, live on Sky Sports' Soccer AM programme.


Slope will cause Bulls problems

Hereford United will be caused problems by Nuneaton Borough on Saturday - especially with Manor Park's sloping pitch.

Borough defender Lee Howey said he finds it difficult despite playing regularly on a tricky pitch. “There are no easy games in the Conference and Hereford will be no different,” he told strictlyconference.com.

“They have lost their last two games and will be looking to put that right. We like playing at home and want it to become a fortress and a lot of clubs don’t like playing at our place. But we’ve ended up kicking up the hill in the first half of our home games this season and it is difficult kicking against the slope. It doesn’t look so hard when you are watching but trying to kick from the bottom end is not so easy.”

Meanwhile, Hereford United fan Katy Jaekel says she hopes to raise several hundred pounds from her sponsored cycle ride in support of the club. Katy spent Bank Holiday Monday riding from Hereford to Worcester, to Gloucester and then back to Hereford, a distance of around 90 miles, report BBC Hereford & Worcester.


Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Soap stars do battle in Hereford

On Saturday 21st September, the day Hereford United travel to Stevenage Borough, Edgar Street will host a celebrity match.

Stars from Emmerdale will take on a Coronation Street side, kicking off at 2pm. If you're not going to make the trip ot Broadhall Way, get down to Edgar Street and support the affair - tickets are £5 for adults and £1 for concessions, and it will be strictly pay-on-the-day.


Six tie at top

There are now six joint leaders on the HU-FC.co.uk Predictions League after yesterday's match. Get your guesses in for the Nuneaton game by clicking 'Interactive!' on the left menu.


Monday, August 26, 2002

Who will start next Saturday?

After this afternoon's substitutions and change of format, who will start on Saturday at Nuneaton?

Having decided to begin the season with a 3-5-2 formation which looked alright for the first two games, it started to look wrong at Gravesend and after Morecambe had gone 2-0 up today, Graham Turner changed things round. Did the loss of Andy Tretton at Gravesend unsettle the back three? As yet Richard Teesdale is not a good enough replacement and both Ian Wright and Tony James looked uneasy without Tretton. Was this the real reason GT changed tactics or did he feel that against strong opposition he would have to in any case. Did he think that Matt Baker could be left too vunerable with only three at the back. Wright is not the fastest player on the pitch and several times has been too far forward after being up close to the opposition's goal for a corner or free kick. This put pressure on the other two should the opponents counter attack. Last season Hereford had a good defensive record but failed to score enough goals. With 3-5-2 we might score more but it looks to date as we could let more in as well.

The introduction of John Grant this afternoon after his suspension gave the chance to alter the formation at the front as well. Paul Parry was moved to the left and Steve Guinan's job was to support Grant. Replacing Guinan with Scott Voice late in the game was probably more to do with getting Voice match-fit than dropping Guinan. Yet Guinan has failed to impress in his first four games and it will be interesting to see who is preferred when Voice is back. Guinan was unlucky not to score today when his header hit the crossbar but then Voice missed an easy chance near the end of the Gravesend game.

Assuming that GT plays Parry on the left next Saturday, who will he leave out of the midfield? Jamie Pitman will stay and Rob Purdie deserves a start this time. Which leaves either Rob Sawyer or Danny Williams to fill the other place. Williams messed up a free kick today (which surely Michael Rose should have taken - whose decision was that?) and misplaced several passes yet Sawyer was hardly in the game. Not an easy choice at the moment but when Ben Smith returns, both will have to work harder to start in the line-up and with Tretton back in action in three or so weeks who will GT leave out then?

So assuming no injuries Hereford may start as follows:

             Baker

Clarke, Wright, James, Rose.
Pitman, Williams, Purdie, Parry,
Grant, Guinan.

Subs: Griffiths, Teesdale, Sawyers, Voice, Gough.

Game of two halves
Hereford were unlucky not to get a point against Morecambe this afternoon. Although trailing 2-0 at half time, the Bulls reformed and pulled one back through Pitman.

Dominant Bulls fail to deliver
Hereford United 1 - 2 Morecambe
Second half domination couldn't stop Hereford United going down to a 2-1 defeat at Edgar Street against Jimmy Harvey's Morecambe side.

Going into the game, United passed midfielder Danny Williams fit and made just one change to the side that were demolished at Gravesend & Northfleet. Andrew Tretton was missing with a groin injury and was replaced by Richard Teesdale. Striker John Grant, back from suspension, only made the substitute's bench.

The Bulls almost went one up after eleven minutes as Steve Guinan nodded the ball onto the crossbar following a cross from the left by Michael Rose, but just six minutes later, Morecambe took the lead. Wayne Curtis connected onto a Stewart Drummond through-ball and turned it home from twelve yards out.

With Hereford behind, Danny Williams searched for an equaliser but found the side netting easier to come by, and four minutes before the break, it was 2-0. After losing his marker, Richard Teesdale, Wayne Curtis hit a right footed effort into the back of the net. Two minutes later, Shrimps defender Dave McKearney picked up his second yellow card of the afternoon for a foul on Jamie Pitman which looked like a certain penalty. With Morecambe down to ten, Hereford were awarded a free-kick just outside the box which Michael Rose wasted.

The half time break saw two changes as Hereford introduced John Grant and Rob Purdie and reverted to a 4-4-2 formation. It soon paid off, as Grant cut in from the left, laid the ball off to the incoming Jamie Pitman, who drilled home from sixteen yards. The crowd of 2,106 saw the Bulls pressurise for most of the half with Morecambe largely restricted to counter attacks. Matt Baker was forced to save a Curtis effort with his feet just before the hour, but two corners in succession caused the away defence problems as Purdie, captain Ian Wright and Bulls top scorer Jamie Pitman rained in efforts on goal.

When Morecambe went down to nine men, Hereford seemed to have a greater chance. A mix-up at the back between Baker and Wright had resulted in a knock to Danny Carlton, the Morecambe substitute. Carlton was stretchered off, before re-entering four minutes before time. Graham Turner brought on Scott Voice to bolster the attack, but it was Wright who had a couple of openings in the five minutes of added time - one shot flew across goal and another onto the top of the net. Voice appeared to have been pulled in the area but the referee waved away any hopes of a penalty.

The Bulls didn't deserve to lose, but still appear to be lacking that killer touch in front of goal which resulted in their second successive Conference defeat.
Written by Terry Goodwin - 26th August 2002.
Hereford United Morecambe
Matt Baker Craig Mawson
Matt Clarke Dave McKearney
Michael Rose Lee Colkin
Richard Teesdale (off, half time) Stewart Drummond (captain)
Ian Wright (captain) Gary Thompson (off, 62 minutes)
Tony James Ian Swan
Jamie Pitman Michael Stringfellow (off, 78 minutes)
Rob Sawyer (off, half time) Wayne Curtis (off, 69 minutes)
Steve Guinan Michael Knowles
Danny Williams Lee Elam
Paul Parry Keith Hill
Subs Subs
John Grant (on, half time) Adriano Rigoglioso (on, 78 minutes)
Ken Griffiths Andrew Gouck
Neil Gough Neil Uberschar (on, 62 minutes)
Rob Purdie (on, half time) Danny Carlton (on, 69 minutes)
Scott Voice Ryan Zico-Black
Yellow cards Yellow cards
Ian Wright (33 minutes, unsporting behaviour) Dave McKearney (28 minutes, dissent)
Rob Purdie (58 minutes, unsporting behaviour) Craig Mawson (77 minutes, unsporting behaviour)
  Lee Colkin (83 minutes, foul)
  Adriano Rigoglioso (84 minutes, unsporting behaviour)
Red cards Red cards
- Dave McKearney (43 minutes, second yellow card)
Scorers Scorers
Jamie Pitman (49 minutes) Wayne Curtis (17, 41 minutes)
   
Man of the Match Jamie Pitman
Attendance 2106
Referee Mr. J Tatton


Both sides face injury problems

Hereford United could be without three players for today's match at Edgar Street against Morecambe, kick off 3pm.

The Bulls will miss Ben Smith, who has a dislocated shoulder, and may not be able to select Andrew Tretton and Danny Williams after the two picked up knocks in Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Gravesend & Northfleet.

Tretton is the likelier of the two to miss out with a groin injury, and could be replaced by young defender Richard Teesdale.

Andy Gouck is the main injury worry for Morecambe, managed by ex-Bulls favourite Jimmy Harvey. Gouck was replaced after injury in Saturday's 2-1 defeat at the hands of Yeovil.

The Shrimps will be without Jim Bentley, a summer transfer target for Hereford, after the defender picked up an pre-season injury against Livingston. He is likely to be out of action for around a month. Prolific striker Robbie Talbot is also missing with a long-running ankle problem.


Sunday, August 25, 2002

Have you entered the GoalRush yet?

If not, why not? Even the Hereford United players have signed up!

Click on the banner at the top of this page and support the Bulls - the prizes aren't bad either!


Ford happy with result

After yesterday’s match 3-0 against Hereford, winning Gravesend & Northfleet manager Andy Ford told reporters: "This was a massive win for us. We haven’t looked out of place in any of our games yet but we needed to get something out of this match otherwise people would have felt we were going to struggle.

“I expected more from Hereford, but with the players we have, we could be a force to be reckoned with. I thought our fitness was better than theirs. As part-timers, our fitness levels say a lot about the staff at this club."

However, Monday’s opponents at Edgar Street, Morecambe lost 2-1 at home to Yeovil with boss Jim Harvey saying: "They were fitter, sharper and brighter than us and defensively we did not get a lot of joy out of them."

Those could have been Graham Turner’s words as they seemed to sum up Hereford’s display yesterday too. So both Morecambe and Hereford need to get back on track tomorrow. A good game is in prospect.

Meanwhile, some Bulls fans will be happy to learn that Forest Green Rovers’ Neil Grayson scored again yesterday – an own goal for opponents Southport!


No change at the top

There's no change at the top of the HU-FC.co.uk Prediction League after matchday three. For more details, click 'Interactive!' on the left menu.


Turner blunt about performance

In the aftermath of Hereford United's 3-0 defeat at Gravesend & Northfleet yesterday, manager Graham Turner took time out to talk to the press.

Obviously disappointed, he said: "I think from the time that their first goal went in, we went down a notch or two and I thought Gravesend played very well. They outbattled us, outplayed us and we opened quite brightly and looked lively up front and then from the goal onwards we were capitulated. It turned into a horrible performance; one which I would have expected better from us even uder the pressure of going 2-0 down. We lost our shape and discipline and the general performance has been very poor. It's been a bad day; Gravesend's third goal was an embarresment and we missed one at the other end with Scott Voice, which was equally embarresing.

The loss of Andrew Tretton early on had an impact on the team, according to Turner. "Andy's one of the few experienced players we have in the side and he's played extremely well in the two matches that we've played so far," commented the Hereford boss. "Sometimes, this happens and you have to get over it. It shouldn't affect other players and we didn't perform as we were capable of doing."

Turner kept his cards close to his chest regarding Modnay's match against Morecambe. "Right at the moment, if I had eleven other players I'd probably change them all. That's not the case but we have John Grant available, Danny Williams struggling with a foot injury and Andy Tretton in all probability unavailable so we'll take stock tomorrow in training and decide what the line-up will be on Monday. John Grant will be most welcome because he's looked good through pre-season."

"I'm not sure how Morecambe will play but they're usually a passing side but like most things in the Conference, the only thing that concerns me is how we play and we can't afford too many more performances like we put on after the first twenty minutes today.

Looking ahead to the Morecambe match, the Bulls will be without Ben Smith who is still recovering from a dislocated shoulder, but John Grant is available after suspension. Kick off at Edgar Street is tomorrow, Bank Holiday Monday, at 3pm.


Saturday, August 24, 2002

Hereford defeated for the first time
A poor performance from Hereford resulted in the match being lost to Gravesend & Northfleet this afternoon, with a 3 - 0 defeat.


Unbeaten run over
Gravesend & Northfleet 3 - 0 Hereford United
Three games - six points - not a bad return but Hereford United will be disappointed with the manner of today's defeat at Gravesend & Northfleet.

Crashing to a 3-0 defeat at Stonebridge Road, the Bulls would have expected better but were shell-shocked by a 'Fleet side still revelling in their Ryman League victory last season and a strong start to their Conference season, holding Yeovil Town and pushing Dagenham & Redbridge close to a draw.

Hereford's day started well as Graham Turner named an unchanged line-up, but the 200 or so travelling supporters in a crowd of 1,130 were soon disappointed. Matt Baker's goal was put under much early pressure as the young goalkeeper fumbled on a couple of occasions, and after just seven minutes a Jimmy Jackson corner was headed onto the post by defender Nick Burton.

After losing Andy Tretton with a groin injury, things went from bad to worse. Midway through the half, Tostao Kwashi knocked over a free-kick from the Gravesend left which was flicked onto Nick Burton, who headed home to open the scoring.

The home side continued to dominate with only flashes of attacks from Hereford. Steve Guinan was clear through on goal when 'keeper Paul Wilkerson plucked the ball from his feet, and with eight minutes of the half remaining it was 2-0. Jackson swung over a corner from the right for Aaron Barnett to knock through to Burton, who again fired home a powerful nod.

In the closing minutes of the half, Ian Wright cleared a Gravesend corner when life was difficult at the back, and the home side were physically dominant which stifled Hereford's passing style.

The second half opened with Tony James suspected of a handball in the area. The referee waved away the appeals, and after fifty four minutes Rob Sawyer was thwarted in Hereford's best chance of the match. From the edge of the box, the former Barnet player hit a swerving volley goalwards which Wilkerson scrambled away from the near post.

United introduced new blood in the shape of Roert Purdie for Sawyer as the Bulls searched for a lifeline, but with nineteen minutes left Hereford almost went 3-0 down. A Mark Bentley curling shot from just outside the box struck the outside of Baker's far post, only to bounce behind for a corner. After Steve Guinan had picked up a yellow card for a late challenge on Jimmy Jackson, Gravesend got their third. Tostao Kwashi dispossessed Matt Baker after the ball had been played back to him by Tony James, and easily rounded the former Hull stopper to make it 3-0. The move summed up what was a disappointing display for Hereford.

In the five minutes of added time, Danny Williams had to be taken off injured Matt Clarke picked up a yellow card, and his replacement Scott Voice wasted a perfect opening as the ball bobbled wide at the far post.

All in all, this was an awful performance by Hereford were never found their feet. However, the return of John Grant after suspension will boost the attack and hopefully, this result is a blip in what will be a successful season.
Written by Terry Goodwin - 24th August 2002.
Gravesend & Northfleet Hereford United
Paul Wilkerson Matt Baker
Matt Lee (off, 86 minutes) Matt Clarke
Aaron Barnett Michael Rose
Nick Burton Andrew Tretton (off, 16 minutes)
Jimmy Jackson (captain) Ian Wright (captain)
Tostao Kwashi (off, 84 minutes) Tony James
Steve McKimm Jamie Pitman
Jimmy Strouts Robbie Sawyer (off, 70 minutes)
Mark Bentley Steve Guinan
Lee Hatch Danny Williams (off, 90 minutes)
Paul Booth (off, 70 minutes) Paul Parry
Subs Subs
Che Stadhart (on, 70 minutes) Neil Gough
Lewis Watts (on, 86 minutes) Ken Griffiths
Anstin Berkley (on, 84 minutes) Rob Purdie (on, 70 minutes)
Rob Owen Richard Teesdale (on, 16 minutes)
Jamie Turner Scott Voice (on, 90 minutes)
Yellow cards Yellow cards
Jimmy Jackson (31 minutes, unsporting behaviour) Jamie Pitman (58 minutes, unsporting behaviour)
Steve McKimm (40 minutes, foul) Steve Guinan (78 minutes, unsporting behaviour)
  Matt Clarke (90 minutes, foul)
Red cards Red cards
- -
Scorers Scorers
Nick Burton (23 minutes, 38 minutes) -
Tostao Kwashi (82 minutes)  
   
Man of the Match Not awarded
Attendance 1130
Referee Mr. M. McCoy (Hearne Bay)

Friday, August 23, 2002

Latest From Goalrush

Every Hereford United player has joined Goalrush for the season; and even better - if any of them win the jackpot half will be put into a player's pool and the other half will be given to the club. Highlights from the draw include:
Graham Turner - Cambridge United, Richard O'Kelly - Barrow, Matt Baker - Newport County, Matt Clarke - Wolves, Michael Rose - Shrewsbury and John Grant - Kidderminster Harriers.
More entries can be accepted but must arrive by Tuesday morning.


Council take lead

Press reports today suggest that Herefordshire council have decided to take the initiative over plans to redevelope the Edgar Street area.They do not appear to want the developers to have control over what is proposed and so have commissioned a planning brief from expert estate agents. They will have to examine the financial viability of any proposals. The aim is to ensure that the final plan includes projects which the local residents want but are less attractive to the developers.
Also reported this week has been the opposition by residents close to the proposed new cattle market. Terry James, council leader, is said to be angry at what he slams as scaremongering and has asked opponents to the site at Hospital Farm, Burghill to come up with a "credible" alternative. The council would like to move the mart to this site as they already own it. Debate on the market move is now suspended until the revised UDP is published. in the autumn.
There have also been proposals for improvements to the A49, the main North-South route through Hereford, which runs next to the Len Weston stand .
All in all at least the Edgar Street redevelopement stays in the news and whilst the subject is being talked about it remains unlikely that any action against Hereford United will take place.


One addition for Gravesend trip

Hereford United have an addition in their squad that will make the trip to Gravesend & Northfleet tomorrow, kick off 3pm.

The Bulls have captured the signing of Neil Gough on a short-term contract. The attacking midfielder was released by Leyton Orient last summer and will be assessed by Hereford boss Graham Turner before he decides whether to give him a full-time deal.

For the match, Gravesend and Northfleet manager Andy Ford is waiting on the fitness of Danny Lye, Justin Skinner, Steve McKimm, Paul Sturgess and Craig Wilkins. Defender Francis Duku is out until October

He said: "We won't make a final decision on their fitness until Saturday morning, but they are all struggling at the moment."

The Bulls miss striker John Grant through suspension and midfielder Ben Smith is out with a dislocated shoulder.

Of the opponents, Turner told the Evening News: "We know very little about Gravesend but we are in good form and we will probably be unchanged. It is a pleasing start to the season and if get a good result I think we can expect more than 2,000 to Monday's game."

With Hereford holding a top-three place, prices could be set to go up for Monday's match against Morecambe. A supporters' initiative agreed that they would pay more at the gate if the Bulls were successful and in the top three - a not too common feat in recent times as Turner admitted.

"It was the supporters' suggestion but I think it's only happened once because we haven't been at the top too much," said Turner.”


Hereford United are miles ahead

On Bank Holiday Monday 26 August, Hereford United fan Katy Jaekel will cycle over ninety miles to raise money for Hereford United FC, from Hereford to Worcester to Gloucester to Hereford, aiming to arrive back in Hereford for kick-off against Morecambe at 3pm

The route runs through hilly river valleys and more open countryside to the cathedrals in the cities of Hereford, Worcester and Gloucester. Katy has devised the 'Three counties bike ride' route specially for this ride for Hereford United. Katy's father-in-law played for HUFC the 1940s. To sponsor Katy, please end your donations to: BOLSA, c/o 72 Commercial Way, Hereford, HR1 2BP. Please make cheques payable to BOLSA.


Thursday, August 22, 2002

Details for Saturday

The segregation arrangements for Saturday's match at Gravesend are as follows:

Away fans will use the car park turnstiles. The terracing at the Swanscombe side of the main stand will be roped off as a "sterile area" as will about one third of the Swanscombe End terracing on the road side of the ground. This will leave the remaining two thirds of the Swanscombe End for the away fans. Gents toilets are available at that end and Ladies and Disabled toilets are available behind the main stand. There will be a "burger van" at that end for the provision of hot food, tea, coffee and soft drinks. There will be no provision of alcohol at that end of the ground.

The sterile will be maintained by police and stewards


ADMISSION:
Terrace tickets
Adult £9.00
Concessions £4.00
Stand transfers
Adult £2.00
Concessions £1.00
Family tickets
1 Adult + 2 Children £15.00
2 Adults + 2 Children £20.00


United go for three in a row

Hereford United make the trip to Gravesend & Northfleet on Satruday hoping to name an unchanged side, kick off 3pm.

Bulls captain Ian Wright, speaking to the Hereford Times, said about Gravesend: "They have just won the Ryman League Premier Division and will be in a confident mood.

"We will be trying to match everything that they throw at us."

United boss Graham Turner says he's disappointed by the attitude of striker Andy Martin, who turned down his place in the squad for Tuesday night's win at Forest Green Rovers. The striker made an appearance as a substitute in the win over Farnborough Town on Saturday, and was to have been given another opportunity to impress in the trip to The Lawn. Martin has since left the club.


Have you entered the GoalRush yet?


If you'd like to be in the first five week period you need to get your entries in sharpish!

The GoalRush team allocations are this weekend with matches from Friday night right through to Monday. This weekend is the first live week!

Whichever team scores the most goals wins the JACKPOT! If there are joint winners they each receive a £5.00 consolation prize with the JACKPOT being rolled over.

This weekends Jackpot is already over £200.00!

You've got to be in it to win it!

Visit www.goalrush.co.uk for your entry form.


Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Two tie at top

Well done to SMBull and corner1976 who lead the HU-FC.co.uk Predictions League with ten points. Get your entries in for the Gravesend & Northfllet game as soon as possible...!


Could do better

Hereford United take pride of place in the Nationwide Conference League even though they share top billing with Dagenham & Redbridge and Doncaster Rovers who both also have 100 per cent records after last night’s games.

The Bulls won 3-1 at Forest Green Rovers courtesy of goals by Paul Parry, Ian Wright and Danny Williams but manager Graham Turner still believes his side could do better. “We are down to the bare bones as a squad,” Turner told strictlyconference.com. “We have just 17 players and now Richard O’Kelly has taken on a new role, not only is he physio and coach he’s now a player because he was on the bench on Tuesday night.

“But for ability and enthusiasm I cannot fault the players but we lack experience and a physical prowess although we make up for that with enthusiasm. There has been a lot of changes and we still need to settle down and at times at Forest Green we were just belting the ball, panicking almost and putting pressure on ourselves. But that composure will come and the confidence should now be sky high.”

Saturday's game at Gravesend & Northfleet could be the most difficult so far. The newcomers to the Conference have had their first two games against well fancied opponents. On Saturday they held Yeovil to a 2-2 draw and last night were narrowly beaten by Dagenham 2-1 at home in front of 2036 fans. Paul Sturgess, who was with Hereford a couple of years ago, will probably start for Gravesend although he was sent off against Yeovil.

The Bulls will need as much support as possible on Saturday. Why does one of the longest trips to an opponents ground has to be on a Bank Holiday weekend?


They did not expect so many

Forest Green could not cope with both the Hereford team nor their supporters last night. Some 700 fans made the trip to the Lawn and, as well as giving massive support to the team, ate virtually everything in sight. Someone had not done their homework as it was surely obvious that after the Bulls win last Saturday there would a large contingent travelling. It is not a good ground for away supporters to watch the game either unless behind the goal as the outside "stand" does not rise far above the pitch making it very difficult for small or young Bulls fans to have much of a view. Most of us could not see the left corner area however tall!

That said Forest Green produce a 52 page programme which included an advert from Baylis Haines & Strange who also trade next door to Edgar Street. Even better F.G.R. have done a deal with the Waitrose supermarket chain for sponsorship. Quite a coup for a small club.

When one considers that Waitrose probably sell more "Hereford" beef than any other outlet in the U.K. and the Hereford cattle society is based in Hereford and Uniteds mascot is a Bull, have we missed out?


Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Williams makes sure
Hereford United beat Forest Green Rovers 3-1 at the Lawn tonight to move to the top of the table (alongside Dagenham and Doncaster).


Williams makes sure
Forest Green Rovers 1 - 3 Hereford United
Hereford United jumped to the top of the Nationwide Conference tonight after a 3-1 victory over local rivals Forest Green Rovers at the Lawn.

The result means a 100% record for the Bulls after two matches, a feat which delighted the large Hereford following in the crowd of 1,514.

United were unchanged from the side that beat Farnborough Town 2-1 on Saturday, and they started the brighter of the two teams but failed to create any clear-cut chances. The midfield worked well and the defensive unit looked sturdy, with Andrew Tretton particularly impressing.

However, after eighteen minutes, it was Nigel Spink's Rovers side that took the lead. Ex-Hereford attacker Neil Grayson, making his home debut for Forest Green, first home an angled shot after good work by Alex Sykes on the left wing.

Seven minutes later, an ambitious overhead effort from Grayson flew inches over Matt Baker's upright, before Paul Parry's skill and trickery fooled Forest Green at the other end. The Welshman skipped past Jamie Impey before knocking a low shot between Matthew Coupe and goalkeeper Steve Perrin to find the equaliser.

The rest of the half was largely dominated by Hereford, who had to administer treatment to both Danny Williams and Tony James for knocks in the dying minutes.

The second period started with Forest Green in control as Martin Foster and Neil Grayson both went close with promising efforts. However, Rob Sawyers' effort at the other end was inches away from the target as Hereford grew in stature. It, therefore, came as no surprise when a Michael Rose corner was converted by captain Ian Wright on the hour mark to put the Bulls ahead. A strong header was too hot for Perrin to handle.

As United had the advantage, the impotus was with Rovers to find an equaliser. Shots from Sykes and Foster were wasted as Hereford looked flimsy at the back, but they held on. In fact, Forest Green appeared stronger after defender Steve Jenkins was sent off for a second bookable offence with thirteen minutes left, and it wasn't until the second minute of added time that Hereford made sure of the points. Danny Williams linked onto a loose ball after a Paul Parry shot to fire home from twenty yards to double the advantage.

With two wins out of two, Hereford hope to make it three in a row at Gravesend on Saturday, whilst Forest Green are still looking for their first points, and aim to end their duck against Southport.
Written by Terry Goodwin - 20th August 2002.
Forest Green Rovers Hereford United
Steve Perrin Matt Baker
Matthew Coupe (off, 69 minutes) Matt Clarke
Steve Jenkins Michael Rose
Alan McLoughlin Andrew Tretton
Jamie Impey Ian Wright (captain)
Kevin Langan Tony James
Martin Foster (captain) Jamie Pitman
Gary Owers Robbie Sawyers
Neil Grayson Steve Guinan
Alex Meechan Danny Williams
Alex Sykes Paul Parry
Subs Subs
Carl Heggs Richard O'Kelly
Simon Futcher Ken Griffiths
Trevor Tearney (on, 69 minutes) Rob Purdie
Rob Cook Richard Teesdale
Lee Pritchard Scott Voice
Yellow cards Yellow cards
Steve Jenkins (12 minutes, unsporting behaviour) Danny Williams (80 minutes, unsporting behaviour)
Steve Jenkins (77 minutes, unsporting behaviour)  
Jamie Impey (87 minutes, unsporting behaviour)  
Red cards Red cards
Steve Jenkins (77 minutes, two yellow cards) -
Scorers Scorers
Neil Grayson (16 minutes) Paul Parry (26 minutes)
  Ian Wright (59 minutes)
  Danny Williams (90 minutes)
   
Man of the Match Andrew Tretton
Attendance 1514
Referee Mr. P. Melin (Surrey)

Turner - Pressure on Rovers

Hereford United coach Graham Turner has pushed the pressure onto the opposition for tonight's match at Forest Green Rovers, kick off 7.45pm.

The Bulls won their first match of the season whilst Rovers lost 1-0 to Woking, and are yet to collect a point. Turner reckons the pressure is on them to go for the points, as being stuck on zero is a horrible situation to be in.

Despite the situation, he is not expecting an easy game. Turner told the Evening News: "It is going to be particularly tough at Forest Green, who are the nearest thing we've got to a local derby, and they have got a very experienced side. They've signed Gary Owers and Alan McLoughlin so they have got some real experience in there.

"But we are going there with a bit of confidence and I always think that sides that lose on the opening day of the season are under an extra bit of pressure -- it's horrible to be sat with no points."

Of the Farnborough match, Hereford's boss was pleased with the outcome but sees room for improvement.

"I'm delighted with the result but we can improve and get better," he said. "Defensively in the main we coped quite well at the back and the pleasing thing were the goals from Jamie Pitman. We caught up very quickly from the back and got players into the box in support as well."

Both sides are likely to be unchanged as Hereford again miss John Grant and Ben Smith. Former Crystal Palace player Andrew Martin, who came on for the final minute of Saturday's game, is on trial at Edgar Street and is included in the squad once again.

How do you think it will go? You've got until an hour before kick-off to make your predictions! Click 'Interactive!' on the left on your screen.


Monday, August 19, 2002

Bulls lock horns with former star

Hereford United go in search of their second Nationwide Conference victory of the season on Tuesday as they make the trip south to Gloucesershire-based Forest Green Rovers, kick off 7.45pm.

Following Saturday's 2-1 win over Farnborough Town, United will be eager to maintain their early good form but will still miss attacker John Grant through suspension and midfielder Ben Smith with a dislocated shoulder. However, Hereford came through the weekend without any major injury worries and will expect to field an unchanged side for the game.

The Bulls will face Neil Grayson at the Lawn, after the veteran striker signed for Nigel Spink's side from Cheltenham Town this summer. The thirty-seven year-old was a favourite with Hereford fans back in the 1997/98 season.

Forest Green boss Spink has no new injury worries for the match after Rovers lost 1-0 to Woking on Saturday. Grayson should start up front again alongside Alex Meechan.


It's back - The '200 Club'!

The '200 Club' raises money for the football club; the VP club ran it for some years - until 1999, writes Jon Hale. I have accepted the challenge of re-launching it and this time it will be open to anyone who wants to play.

For those of you who have never heard of it, or don't know how it works then see 'Rules' below.

In the first instance I would be grateful if you email me at jonhale@hadopolythene.co.uk if you are interested. It costs just £24 per annum and that entitles you to 11 draws (explanation of draws and prize money below).

It is a very simple competition that could earn you £500 in the yearly SUPERDRAW, or one of three prizes monthly.

Initial reaction to its relaunch was fantastic in the VP club on Saturday (and that was before we beat Farnborough!), so I am expecting numbers to be high.

On receiving an email declaring your interest I will mail you everything you need to know about the competition and how to enter and pay.

I look forward to an equally fantastic reaction!

200 CLUB RULES

1. Costs £24 annually - payment by cash/cheque (ideally) or direct debit
2. You are given a number between 1 and 200 which remains as your number for the season.
3. There are 10 monthly draws (Aug to May) which will take place in the VP club towards the end of each month.
1st - £50, 2nd - £25, 3rd - £10.
4. In May there is a SUPERDRAW, which is one prize of £500.
5. Winners will be notified by post, and names of winners will appear (hopefully) in the programme and web sites.

Please email jonhale@hadopolythene.co.uk with your address so that I can send you the relevant forms to enter.


Sunday, August 18, 2002

Decisions for Conference officials

The Conference have a big decision to make when it comes to the location of the play-off final, writes Will Brown.

The news of the extra promotion place for the Nationwide Conference is sure to have put a smile on the faces of thousands of fans up and down the country - non-league fans, that is, as I'm sure it will have sent a chill down the spines of our friends from Division Three. Boston, who have already faced a £100,000 pound fine and a four point penalty for financial irregularities last season, are among the favourites to go down.

But where will the finals be held?

Unfortunately, for those local United fans, especially the Welsh based supporters, the Millenium Stadium has been ruled out, according to Conference chief executive John Moules. I am pretty certain this would have been an excellent day out, if United ever get there, as there is little travel involved. Also, this would have been the highest capacity stadium.

However, the Conference have spoken to many Premiership clubs about the final being staged at their grounds. This would be unsuitable for some, however, as they have home league games on the day after the final. Looking at Hereford, if the Bulls were to lock horns with Forest Green Rovers, Telford United or Nuneaton Borough, then the final would probably be held at one of three venues:

1. Aston Villa - Villa Park
Advantages: Biggest stadium of the three, with no home game around the finals date.
Disadvantages: Deep into Birmingham, so from Hereford, the journey is longer than the Hawthorns (West Brom).

2. West Bromwich Albion - The Hawthorns
Advantages: 28,000 seater - West Brom's last game is away.
Disadvantages: None obvious, although obviously the club may refuse to let out the ground.

3. Birmingham City - St Andrews
Advantages: 30,000 seater.
Disadvantages: There is a home game the day after the final.

I would have thought that Villa park would be preferable in this scenario.

The Dates: Tuesday 29th April - Semi-Finals 1st leg
5th highest Place Club v 2nd Highest Place Club
4th Highest Place Club v 3rd Highest Place Club

Monday 5th May - Semi-Finals 2nd leg
2nd Highest Place Club v 5th Highest Place Club
3rd Highest Place Club v 4th Highest Place Club

Final - Sunday 10th May

A second or third place league finish would be preferable, as the 2nd leg would be staged at home, giving the team that added incentive to win the semis.

All in all, let's give United some support and hope they can push for a play - off place, or who knows, even get the title...


Saturday, August 17, 2002

Andy Martin - the details

Andy or Andrew Martin who came on very late in the game this afternoon is believed to have come from Torquay. Before that he was with Crystal Palace. He was released towards the end of the season by Crystal Palace and went to Torquay. (TG - there's now a profile in the Player Profiles section)


Top of the league!

Well done to 'corner1976', who leads the HU-FC.co.uk Predictions League with seven points. To find out more, click 'Interactive!' on the left menu.


Confidence high after victory

After today's 2-1 win over Farnborough Town, Hereford United's defender Matt Clarke was delighted with the result.

He said: "They came with a good reputation but we've got a good side here and expected to get something today.

"We always looked like we were going to hang on but they sneaked the goal and with a minute to go, you start to panic a little. It was a deserved win in the end."

Of the first goal, scorer Jamie Pitman commented: "It's about taking chances. I've just been fortunate to have the luck of the bounce."


Pitman scores twice
Jamie Pitman was the Hereford hero this afternoon by scoring twice against Farnborough. A goal in the last minute redressed the balance somewhat but it was a solid start by the Bulls. Final score 2-1 to Hereford in front of 1910 spectators.

Pitman double secures first win
Hereford United 2 - 1 Farnborough Town
Hereford United opened their sixth Nationwide Conference campaign with victory over highly-fancied Farnborough Town at Edgar Street.

With John Grant, Ben Smith and Scott Voice all missing from the starting eleven, it was difficult to see where the goals were to appear from - the answer was Jamie Pitman.

On his return to Edgar Street following a four year gap, the midfielder notched up a brace to ensure three points and third spot in the table on the first evening of the season.

The Bulls included five debutants in their starting line-up, and two more made their debuts as the game progressed. Farnborough, under the management of Graham Westley, included Tony Pennock and Ken Charlery in their first team.

The away side seemed the more comfortable in the first ten minutes but after Pennock had to save twice from Bulls skipper Ian Wright in the Farnborough goal, Hereford seemed to push into the action more. Midway through the opening period, Gary Butterworth hit a shot narrowly over from the edge of Matt Baker's box but Hereford were next to have a goalscoring chance.

On twenty eight minutes, Paul Parry broke free on the right wing after a Farnborough corner broke down. Shrugging off the challenge of Michael Warner, he sailed over a cross which Pennock dropped, and Jamie Pitman was on hand to head home from close range. The Bulls had a 1-0 lead, and looked to build upon it five minutes later. A Danny Williams free-kick saw Steve Guinan volley on the ball, and it took a stunning save by Pennock to tip the ball around the post to keep the advantage at one goal.

After the break, the crowd of 1910 saw Hereford grow in stature. Once Hereford had dealt with the initial threats of a Dean Green shot and a twenty-yard free-kick, Michael Rose hit the top of the net with a cross from the left flank. On fifty seven minutes, Pitman picked up his side's first yellow card of the match after charging at Justin Gregory. The ex-Woking midfielder was, in some eyes, lucky not to have been sent off for the challenge by a referee not unhappy to bandish around his cards.

Twenty minutes from time, Farnborough had a good opening in which they could have levelled things as a Gregory cross was hit just wide by Lenny Piper. Two minutes later, a Christian Lee shot was blocked by the feet of Baker as Farnborough searched for that equalising goal.

Then, Hereford took the initiative. With twelve minutes to go, Matt Clarke and Pitman linked well on the right before Guinan fired a low ball at Pennock, and nine minutes later substitute Rob Purdie hit a ball from the right for Pitman to tap in unmarked on the near post. Hereford had a solid lead and surely the game was wrapped up.

However, things don't quite work like that at Edgar Street! With the five minutes of added time, Farnborough managed to sneak back a late goal as a Piper cross was headed home by Christian Lee, who was under pressure from Andrew Tretton. A late consolation goal for Farnborough did little to dampen the Hereford supporters' spirits, glad to emerge with another opening day victory.
Written by Terry Goodwin - 17th August 2002.
Hereford United Farnborough Town
Matt Baker Tony Pennock
Matt Clarke (off, 90 minutes) Michael Warner
Michael Rose Justin Gregory
Andrew Tretton Tim O'Shea
Ian Wright (captain) Barry Laker
Tony James Lenny Piper
Robbie Sawyers Tony Taggart
Jamie Pitman Dean Green (off, 85 minutes)
Steve Guinan Ken Charlery (off, 60 minutes)
Danny Williams Gary Butterworth (off, 74 minutes)
Paul Parry (off, 84 minutes) Gary Holloway
Subs Subs
Andy Martin (on, 90 minutes) Joff Vansittart (on, 74 minutes)
Ken Griffiths Christian Lee (on, 60 minutes)
Richard Teesdale Mark Osbourne
Rob Purdie (on, 84 minutes) Rocky Baptiste (on, 85 minutes)
Scott Voice Darren Annon
Yellow cards Yellow cards
Jamie Pitman (59 minutes, unsporting behaviour) Michael Warner (35 minutes, unsporting behaviour)
Danny Williams (61 minutes, unsporting behaviour) Tim O'Shea (40 minutes, unsporting behaviour)
Michael Rose (71 minutes, unsporting behaviour)  
Red cards Red cards
- -
Scorers Scorers
Jamie Pitman (28, 87 minutes) Christian Lee (90 minutes)
   
Man of the Match Jamie Pitman
Attendance 1910
Referee Mr. T. Kettle (Shrewsbury)


Smith hoping for quick return

With the season kicking off today, one player who won't feature in the opening matches is Hereford United midfielder Ben Smith.

Smith, signed from Southend United this summer, is suffering with a dislocated shoulder picked up in the pre-season win at Bromsgrove Rovers.

"I had some bad luck with injuries at Southend and I'm just hoping this is not a bad omen for the rest of the season as well," he told the Evening News. "It's frustrating especially coming to a new club and you want to show people what you can do."

"The important thing for me had been to get a whole pre season under my belt and not get injured so this is obviously a setback," he commented after last season was curtailed by injury problems. "Hopefully I can get back as soon as possible."

An apprentice at Arsenal, Smith found it frustrating with a lack of first team opportunities.

He said: "Unless you are an international you've got virtually no chance of playing first team football. It's so hard and at Arsenal I didn't even get to play a reserve team match. I saw a lot of players before me, who were stagnating in the reserves with no chance of making the first team and developing, and I didn't want that to happen to me.

"It is frustrating because I've got faith in my ability but the same thing happened at Reading. I thought I was doing better than some experienced players in the first team but they were always given a chance. By January, February time you just end up disillusioned."

Meanwhile, any hopes that Hereford United were to sign attacker Marcus Browning have been dashed. The former Huddersfield Town striker has signed a three year deal at Bournemouth.


Friday, August 16, 2002

Three out for Conference opener

Hereford United open their sixth season in the Nationwide Conference with a home match against Farnborough Town tomorrow, kick off 3pm.

The Bulls will be without the injured duo of Ben Smith and Scott Voice, whilst John Grant joins them on the sidelines through suspension. The main doubt for manager Graham Turner is Michael Rose, who picked up a knock in last Saturday's 1-0 friendly win at Evesham United.

"I've been looking at their side and they are vastly experienced with the likes of Charlery, Butterworth and Pennock," admitted Turner in tonight's Evening News. "You look through their squad and it is also very strong but it will be up to us to impose our game on them. We need to play them and not be intimidated by their physical presence. I think we lack a physical presence and experience but what we make up for that in is ability and mobility."

"We've had a decent pre-season in terms of the quality of training and we've worked very hard," he continued. "We have to improve our defending but we have got some semblance of understanding at the back playing three central defenders and it has gone quite well. We've got a young squad of players with plenty of enthusiasm and it is going to be interesting to see how they gel and respond to the challenge of the Conference. Steve Guinan has signed for a year from Shrewsbury which gives us an option up front in Grant's absence."

Steve Watson will sit out Farnborough Town's first five Conference matches after his dismissal for violent conduct at the end of last season. He is joined in the stands by fellow midfielder Chris Piper for the trip to Hereford. Manager Graham Westley includes new signings Tony Pennock, Garry Butterworth (both from Rushden), Danny Carroll (Crawley Town), and Ken Charlery (Dagenham) in his squad, whilst goalkeeper Mark Osborn and striker Leroy Griffiths have joined on loan for the entire season from Wycombe and QPR respectively, and could feature.

The Evening News predicts a 2-0 win for Farnborough - now it's your turn! Make your guess in the HU-FC.co.uk Predictions League by clicking 'Interactive!' on the left menu.

Meanwhile, ex-Hereford trialist Kevin Street has joined Northwich Victoria, whilst the Bulls home match against the Vics will be played on October 15th. Furthermore, Kettering Town have snapped up Scott Goodwin on a free transfer after his release from Edgar Street last May.


Sinton goes to Burton

Burton Albion boss Nigel Clough has told BBC Radio Derby that the Brewers have captured the signature of Andy Sinton.

Hereford had spoken to the former England winger earlier in the week about a possible move to Edgar Street, but he has apparently decided to join the newly-promoted Conference side.


Thursday, August 15, 2002

All present and correct

The official site (www.herefordunited.co.uk) reports the squad numbers for the coming season:

1 Baker, 2 Clarke, 3 Rose, 4 Tretton, 5 Wright, 6 James, 7 Pitman, 8 Smith, 9 Voice, 10 Grant, 11 Parry, 12 Williams, 14 Griffiths, 15 Teesdale, 16 Sawyers, 17 Purdie, 18 Guinan.

Steve Guinan has signed on a twelve month deal, according to the club, despite the Hereford Times reporting that he has put pen to a short-term deal.

The move comes as Hereford beat off several other Conference clubs to capture the signature of the former Nottingham Forest and Cambridge United attacker.

Meanwhile, the former England international Andy Sinton is expected to make a decision today on whether to make the move to Hereford United, according to the Evening News.

Edgar Street manager Graham Turner has offered the ex-Queens Park Rangers, Spurs and Wolves star a contract, but the veteran winger is pondering several other offers.

Turner said the move was "in the balance" but expected to hear either way later today.


Keep guessing!

Many thanks to everyone who has entered the HU-FC.co.uk Prediction League.

If you haven't entered, click 'Interactive' on the left bar to join up and make your prediction for the Conference match against Farnborough.

If your username is humptybull or ronnie_radford, please fill in the registration form as you've entered your predictions but none of your details! If you don't register, you can't win!


Wednesday, August 14, 2002

New auditor

At the fans forum last Monday Graham Turner stated that one of the directors was now doing the accounts. He claimed that this would be a cost-saving exercise. The last published accounts (up to May 2000) stated that the auditors fee was £4,500. The previous year cost £6,250. What is not clear is how much work was involved in these fees and whether advice was sought from the accountants. It is thought that Hugh Brooks is the director who is doing the accounts. He used to work for HLB Kidsons in Hereford (now Baker Tilly) who have been the accountants for the club for some years.

For a club with a turnover of under £1 million and relatively simple accounts a fee of £1,000 to £2,000 would be in line. This assumes that the VAT, wages and most other financial work is done by the club. In this day and age, there are computer programmes that can produce simple accounts and so the real need of an accountant is to check and finalise the accounts. He will prepare a tax return and have a short discussion with the club about the current situation. Only if "extra" advice is required should a larger fee be likely.

The move to in-house looks realistic but the club should insist that the accounts are done on time. Having to pay fines for late delivery of the accounts to Company House is pointless even if GT says £200 will not break the bank.


Guinan boosts Hereford squad

According to today's Evening News, Graham Turner has captured the signature of striker Steve Guinan to boost his Hereford squad to seventeen.

The forward, who has had spells at Exeter City and Shrewsbury Town, will almost definitely start up-front alongside Paul Parry for the Bulls' opening Nationwide Conference game at home to Farnborough Town on Saturday.


Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Predict your way to glory!

HU-FC.co.uk's brand-new Prediction League game is set to be launched for the new season, and it's free to play!

All you do is register for the game and then submit your predicted score and attendance for each game throughout the season.

For further details, visit the Predictions League information page by clicking here. The game can be found under the 'Interactive!' section, which is labelled on the left of your screen.


Bulls back on the box

They seem to like us don't they? Hereford United's away match at the Kingfield Stadium against Woking has been moved from Saturday 7th September to Monday 9th for live coverage on Sky Sports.

On the Sky Sports website, the competition is described as 'Nationwide League' and not 'Conference' - wishful thinking!

The game, which will kick off at 7.45pm, affects the fixture list a little. Hereford's home match against Northwich Victoria had been moved to Tuesday 10th September because the Vics were playing a Cheshire Senior Cup tie on the original date (3rd September). Therefore, the Northwich game will have to be rearranged.


Fans forum - a second opinion!

I have been a Hereford United supporter for over 35 years. The first game I saw at Edgar Street was a 1-1 draw with Cambridge City, with John Charles in the team, but not on the scoresheet. Right, now I've established my credentials as a long time fan, I have to admit that until last night, 12th August, I'd never been to a "Fans Forum", and I have to say I was fairly impressed with what I saw.

Graham Turner was articulate, open and honest. He didn't dodge any questions, and most remarkably, considering the huge dark cloud which must have been hanging over him for the last few years, seemed positive, enthusiastic and forward looking. Maybe being back as a "hands-on" manager, a football man back doing football things, instead of dealing with the VAT man, helps.

He spoke frankly about the squad he's assembling, stressing the youth, potential and enthusiasm of the players. He admitted that we lack a physical presence in midfield, most of our players being "5 feet 8, not six footers", and that there would probably be games where we get muscled out of it in midfield. He firmly believed, however, that we had a squad who could pass the ball well and play football, and that the time was right to take that approach.

A lack of strikers is still a problem. He said how he had brought players in who he thought were committed to a trial period and playing in friendlies, only to find on the day of a game that they were going off to play for someone else. The options up front are limited for the Farnborough game, and certainly aren't going to be solved by one of the more bizarre suggestions from the audience: that of playing Ian Wright up front!

What about the longer term? The CVA is progressing, we have paid our creditors 40p in the pound. Unlike other clubs, e.g. Doncaster, who escaped with a settlement of 10p in the pound we are committed to full payment of our creditors. The remaining 60p in the pound equates to £25,000. GT conceded that our long term future was entirely in the local authority's hands, but felt positive that all would work out OK. This may be misplaced confidence, and he seemed to be saying "well, there's no alternative so we may as well believe it". There is clearly no possibility that HUFC can find the £1.3 million owed to Chelverton. GT also thought that the footballl club could be a hot issue in the 2003 local authority elections.

In some cases it had been necessary to pay players more than the budget really allowed, in order to build a squad capable of mounting a challenge, on the basis that if the club was doing well the gates would increase to cover the salaries. If not, we would find ourselves having to sell mid season to balance the books. GT is still talking to players, both young and experienced, including Andy Sinton, although he wasn't optimistic of signing him.

The final thoughts were all about having a positive attitude, encouraging the young squad, building confidence, and getting a buzz going on the terraces. There's a hard core of 1500 -1600 supporters who'll turn up come what may. A bit of feel good factor will bring back the floating supporter and boost the gates above 2,000. The introduction of the play-offs gives us a realistic target to go for, and shouldn't see the season effectively over by January, as it was last year.

Richard O'Kelly was there last night as well. I had a chat with him outside afterwards, and if enthusiasm and energy count for much, then we're half way there already. Put aside the cynicism and let's get behind the squad and hope we can make it happen on the pitch.


A message from your mascot...

Well here we are at the start of another season, full of optimism as usual and glad that a real sport will be on our TV's (instead of cricket). We have all been busy throughout the closed season here at the farm. The farmer has acquired a new companion for me called Benny the Bull and hopefully I can pursuade him to put in the odd (very odd) performance. I asked for a nice looking cow but there weren't any volunteers, never mind.

Between us we have painted the male toilets at the Meadow End, a nice sky blue and white to match the training tops. I have also been busy making public appearances at school, fetes and charity events, as well as taking up the job of linesman.

My latest venture is collecting international flags from our many overseas fans. It is my intention to have these made up in to giant 10 x 6 foot flags to display at the ground, so thank you to the fans who have pledged a flag.

'Billy News' will be in publication again this season, so please send me any info, jokes, birthdays etc.

Also a big thank you to Algerian Bull who has offered to be my kit sponsor for the 2002/2003 season.

Anyway I'll sign off now, lets have lots of support this season and finally shut up the "Turner Out" brigade.

Peace and best wishes,

Billy The Bull (& Benny)