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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. Tonight's report is by Tim Ward, and can be read by clicking here.


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. Our full report, written by Terry, can be read here.


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. A full report from Terry can be read here.


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). Read our report by Terry Goodwin by clicking here.


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. A full report, written by Terry Goodwin, can be found here.


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)


Bulls miss two for Conference opener

Hereford are without two players going into Saturday's Conference match against Farnborough Town at Edgar Street, kick off 3pm.

Scott Voice has not fully recovered from his groin injury and expects to be sidelined for another two weeks, whilst Ben Smith will not play for around five weeks.

However, Michael Rose, who picked up a slight hamstring strain at Evesham United last Saturday, is expected to be fully fit for the Farnborough match.


Supporters club news

The HUISA AGM is this Saturday at 12pm in the VP Club. All members are invited to elect a new chairman and secretary.

Anyone wanting to use away travel can do so by purchasing tickets from the club. The bus to Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday 20th costs £8.50, and departs Edgar Street at 5.15pm, whilst a trip to Gravesend & Northfleet costs £18 and departs at 8.30am on Saturday, August 24th.

If you intend driving the Forest Green, head for Stroud from Gloucester. When you reach the town, turn left onto the A46 to Nailsworth. This will bring you into the centre of the town, when you reach the Information Centre take the first right at the cross roads which goes up a steep hill sign posted Forest Green. The Lawn is on the left. The club has car parking for members only, however there is a spacious free car park at the adjacent college. There is also off street parking but be aware to stay clear of the coned off areas.

Meanwhile, the legendary Hereford United single by Danny Lee is to be recorded onto CD. It will be for sale in the Hereford United club shop from September 1st.


'We may have the biggest debt but we are not the poorest - the other clubs don't have our support base'

Those were the words of a confident Hereford United manager Graham Turner when referring to the Conference teams at last night's fans forum at Edgar Street.

The meeting was chaired by Kevin Wargen, with questions answered largely by Turner but also Richard O'Kelly, the new first-team coach.

Turner opened the meeting talking about finances. He told the audience that the club hoped to pay another 10 or 20 pence of the CVA within the next season if the money becomes available which will satisfy the creditors. The club have to pay £1 in each pound, and have so far paid 40p - the remainer comes to a total of around £25,000. The club could close instantly if more debts were accumilated, particularly to the likes of the taxman.

Furthermore, little progress has been made in terms of the stadium development. Turner said that there was the possibility of Len Weston Stand being rebuilt with the Courtyard Theatre having more room below, the Blackfriars End incorporating a Leisure Centre and the Meadow End including a multiplex cinema. The main stand would be looked after by the club. However, the whole situation is out of the clubs hands and is a problem of Chelverton and the local authorities.

Apparently, there is movement at the Blackfriars End. The foundations are moving, and the council may close the stand for periods during the season for healh and safety reasons. However, it will be open for Saturday's match.

With the local elections next may, the future of Hereford United is likely to be a vote-catching issue. The Richardson Brothers, who have linked with Chelverton, did not want any involvement with this particular project as they branded it a 'political hot potato', according to Turner. Nevertheless, the development has the potential to rejuvenate a city that has become a quiet backwater.

On the playing front, the problem of obtaining a goalscorer was highlighted. Turner said that he had spoken to Brett Angell, Don Goodman and David Kelly but they sighted low pay, long travel distances and the stigma attached to non-league football as reasons not to join the club. On player even asked if Hereford could match the £1200 that he was offered as a weekly salary by a second division club! Andy Baird has left the club, whilst Ashley Nicholls was taken by Darlington after agreeing to spend pre-season at Edgar Street. When Turner found out of Darlo's interest, he offered Nicholls a contract but the ex-Ipswich trainee linked up with the Quakers.

However, there could be a move to sign Andy Sinton. The former Spurs and Wolves midfielder has had offers from three Conference clubs and will speak to Turner at 5pm tomorrow after a trial at Walsall. Steve Guinan has been offered a one-month contract but three other Conference sides have offered season-long deals so Turner feels he might have to improve the offer.

Overall, though, Graham Turner said he was pleased with the squad and that it was a great improvement on last year. Whilst most of the players were 'four inches too small', they had 'more ability that most Conference sides'. Hopes that the likes of Scott Goodwin could return were dismissed out of hand, as Turner is aiming for a squad of youth and enthusiasm.

He aims fro a squad size of eighteen but it may end up being nineteen or twenty for the next season if players become available. Whilst the club cannot afford eighteen players, 'hope' value is included and as a consequence, occasionally players are sold to balance the books. When a league club comes in for a player, they are told of the interest (as it is part of the contract). Turner has promoted the move of first-team football at Hereford, looking at Gavin Mahon as an example. Mahon had two years as a first-teamer at Hereford before joining Brentford and now Watford. Matt Baker's trial at Leyton Orient was arranged through his agent, which angered Turner as it is not allowed under the terms of his contract.

In terms of the Conference this season, Turner felt the play-offs would improve the league no end and he fancied the ex-league clubs who have spent heavily - Chester, Doncaster, Scarborough and Barnet - to do well, along with Yeovil.

When answering a question from a shareholder, Turner said that the 2000/01 AGM would be held in the next twenty eight days and the date was to be set at a board meeting on Thursday. The reason the accounts were late was because a director had agreed to do most of preparation, saving the club around £5000, but he had fallen behind. The club, as it is in the state of two companies, would face a £200 fine.

Whilst there are the obvious problems at Edgar Street, Turner seems eager to enjoy the campaign and in the squad of players and coach Richard O'Kelly, confidence is high that progress will be made.


Monday, August 12, 2002

Fun game raises £500

Hereford United beat off a HUISA XI 8-3 in a fun-filled match at Edgar Street this evening.

Danny Williams, Steve Guinan, Richard O'Kelly, Ian Wright and Rob Purdie had put the Bulls 5-0 up at the break, but a half-time reshuffle saw an 8-3 scoreline. John Grant scored a hatrick for Hereford whilst HUISA came back through goals from Will Jones and a brace from Steve Guinan, who was the subject of a half-time 'transfer'.

The match was refereed by Simon Barrington, whilst Billy and Benny the Bulls were the assistants. Billy's head was handed round by the players during the second half, including Matt Clarke in the Hereford goal who conceded three during the second period of a thirty minute duration.

Elements of the match were dubious to say the least, with HUISA having fifteen players on the pitch at one time! Nevertheless, over £500 was raised on the night and well done to everyone who raised money to play in the HUISA team. Their squad read: Garry Smith, Paul Sharp, Neil Phipps, Rob Leighton, Tristan Edwards, Dave Glinos, Tommy Johnson, Chris Oleski, Simon Bayliss, Chris Richards, Will Jones, Andy Bouchen, Mark Jenkins, David Jenkins and Jamie Griffiths.


Don't forget...

HUISA XI v HUFC - Edgar Street - Tonight at 6.30pm. Watch the supporters take on the team. Then at 8pm in Legends., your chance to discuss things with Graham Turner before the season kicks-off.


Sunday, August 11, 2002

Conference win in League expansion?

Today's Non-League Paper reports that a restructured Division Three could mean league status for up to sixteen Conference clubs.

Since the collapse of the ITV Digital TV deal, the Football League are considering refinancing and restructuring options in the league and one of the plans is for a four division, twenty team competition with eight teams promoted from the Conference. The second involves a regionalised 40-team Third Division with the Conference supplying sixteen clubs.

Lincoln City have been hit by financial problems and even went into administration for a while over the summer. Their outspoken chairman Rob Bradley said: "There must be an overhaul of the League structure and regionalisation should now be higher on the agenda than ever before. The League board and chairmen have already discussed it and it is certainly a live option judging from discussions I've been involved with.

"In the Third Division, I'd say 75% of chairmen are in favour. Regionalising will mean extra money for derby games and a reduction in travelling costs - it's just a good idea and we need to implement it."

Before his resignation, League chairman Keith Harris was ready to implement the system for the 2003/04 season. However, he needed the support of First Division clubs, who hold most voting weight - and they remain split.

Conference chief executive John Moules could see his members disappear overnight in the plan is implemented, but he said: "We've had no formal discussions, but as I've said, the Conference is here and ready to help out, but my main aim is to look after the best interests of my member clubs."


Saturday, August 10, 2002

Are we ready?

After today's disappointing result at Evesham, questions have to be asked whether Graham Turner has got the right combination of players to make a showing in the Conference this season.

Of course with so many new players it takes time to get everything right but United still look weak up-front. Neither trialists Steve Guinan or Andy Baird have looked that impressive and although GT continues to try Paul Parry as a forward that does not seem to be working either. Grant looks a better bet but with him suspended for the first three games it does not look good. Maybe GT has his eye on someone else. As he has not yet signed either Guinan or Baird, maybe one of them will be offered a game by game deal. There seems little point in offering either of them contracts on their showing to date. If only Scott Voice was fit and Grant was available!

Other than the up-front problem (which seems to be the same each season recently) the rest of the team looks more positive. In particular Matt Clarke and Jamie Pitman are linking well. Michael Rose and Danny Williams both seem useful signings; Rose looks quite dangerous on the left side at times and Williams quite skilful. Both should improve with more matches. The idea of a back three as opposed to four seems to be working but there is an argument that as the defensive record was so good with the 4-4-2 system used last season should it been changed? Andrew Tretton, who partners Ian Wright and Tony James, looked more comfortable today but the real test will come next Saturday with Conference opponents Farnborough Town.

Robert Purdie is another new signing who has the potential to be a useful squad member but may find it hard to command a regular place in the team when Ben Smith returns. Rob Sawyers also may not start when United are at full strength as there is likely to be real competition for the midfield places. If the forward positions are filled a space has to be made for Parry.

So who is going to be in the line-up for next Saturday? With the assumption that no other players are to be introduced the line up could look like this:

Baker, Wright, James, Tretton, Clarke, Rose, Pitman, Williams, Sawyers, Guinan, Parry.


Midfielder confident after win

Following today's 1-0 victory over Evesham United, Hereford United midfielder Jamie Pitman was upbeat about the side's chances for Nationwide Conference success.

Speaking of today's match, he said: "They worked us quite hard today. It was hard for us to break them down but in the end, we had a quality move from John Grant who finished off a great move right at the end. He's going to miss the first few games but we've known that from early on so we've been preparing for it. The other lads who were up-front today did quite well."

The new 3-5-2 formation has freed up members of the team, according to Pitman. "Last year we played with a flat back four but we've come to terms with it now, kept a couple of clean sheets and we look a little bit more solid," he commented. "It gives us the opportunity to get some width using Matt Clarke and Michael Rose, and in midfield we can release someone forward."

United's pre-season programme has been varied in terms of opposition and results.

"It's been good in the respect that we've played a couple of sides who can pass the ball around in Swindon and Tranmere, and then games like we're going to get in the Conference with places like Evesham and Aberystwyth," continued Pitman. "They give us hard work outs and it's been good in that we can iron out a few bits that we need to work on."


Hereford scrape narrow victory

Evesham United 0 - 1 Hereford United - click here for a report.


Tretton ready for anything

Andrew Tretton, Hereford United's central defender signed from Shrewsbury Town earlier in the summer, is ready for whatever life at Edgar Street can throw at him.

That's because he's done it all before - Tretton was part of a Shrewsbury side that won at Exeter City two years ago on the final day to preserve their Football League status. Then last season, the Shropshire side challenged for Third Division promotion but it wasn't to be.

Tretton told the Evening News: "We did quite well and should have made the play offs because we were in those positions most of the year but we just dropped out in the last couple of games which was disappointing."

"I've been here a month now and I'm really looking forward to it," he said of his move to Hereford. "The manager has been experimenting with three at the back and it's working quite well so far. Looking at the players we have got in and those already here I don't see why we shouldn't challenge near the top.

"It's hard to make predictions but if we can keep everybody fit and add a couple more signings then we could be in with a shout."

Tretton should feature in the Hereford side which goes to Evesham United today, kick off 3pm.

The Bulls, though, will not face former attacker Richard Leadbeater who left Evesham United earlier in the summer for Halesowen Town.


Friday, August 09, 2002

Trip to Evesham

Tomorrow, Hereford United play their final pre-season friendly at Evesham United, kick off 3pm.

To get to their Common Road ground, enter the town from the south and locate the High Street (A4184). From here, turn right into Bridge Street. Take the second left into Mill Street before the river bridge, and continue for around 500 metres into Common Road. The ground is on your right.


We are updating our news services...

You may notice old stories appearing on the news page - please bear with us as we will iron out problems over the next few days.


GoalRush now official

We are pleased to announce that GoalRush is now the Official Hereford United Lottery.

Following improvements to GoalRush and the official recognition, we are writing to all previous Wyevern Pool players. We can also confirm that accredited agents will be able to sell GoalRush for the club and gain the following benefits:

10% commission on all entries
Chances to win in the special agent draws

If you would like to become an agent then please contact Peter Povall on 07970 443730 or you can e-mail him at peter@goalrush.co.uk.

More details and entry forms can be found at www.goalrush.co.uk.


Fixture change

The official Hereford United website (www.herefordunited.co.uk) report that Hereford's Nationwide Conference match at Northwich Victoria has been moved to September 10th. This is because on September 3rd, the Vics play a Cheshire Senior Cup tie which takes precedence over the league.

Also, the site has revealed three new rules that have been introduced into the Conference this season:
> A maximum of eight loan players will be allowed this season, of which two can be long term.
> Substitutes must wear bibs, home team wearing red and away team wearing yellow bibs.
> Substitutions and injury time will be displayed using an electronic scoreboard device.