NEXT HOME GAME - CORBY TOWN ON TUESDAY OCTOBER 7th AT 7.45pm
NEXT AWAY GAME - CHIPPENHAM ON SEPTEMBER 30TH AT 7.45PM
NEXT FA YOUTH CUP GAME AT BILSTON ON OCTOBER 8TH AT 7.45PM - NEXT FANS GAME - WALSALL AT PEGASUS ON OCTOBER 5TH AT 2.00PM.

Friday, February 28, 2003

Boss hopeful of collecting points

Hereford United manager Graham Turner is adamant that his side are capable of matching Yeovil Town in tomorrow's Nationwide Conference match, kick off 3pm.

"I think it is a challenge for us but one we are capable of dealing with," he said in tonight's Evening News. "They have proved to be the best side in the Conference. They are a good side and wouldn't have survived so long at the top of the table if they weren't.

"But it's a match to look forward to and I feel with our runs of just one defeat in 13 league games that we should be quite confident. There is always a bit of spice with players going back to old clubs and it's like that with Gavin Williams and Michael McIndoe for them and Ben Smith and Jamie Pitman for us."

"We need to start quicker than we did in the Trophy because we were two down inside four minutes," added Turner, who's side lost 2-1 in January. "But in the end we were a bit unlucky and I thought we might have got back into it. We have to match their enthusiasm and work rate. They have got a fair amount of ability but we can match most sides in that score but what impresses me most about Yeovil is their hard graft.

"I don't think there is too much difference between the teams but as a club they have the advantage that they can go out and spend money when required. I think they have just taken eight players on contracts so must be brimming with confidence.

"But I happen to think that if you look at the way we played against Wigan and Northampton it showed that we are better equipped to deal with sides that get the ball down and play."


Defender set for comeback?

Matt Clarke could be on the bench for tomorrow's game at Yeovil Town, kick off 3pm.

The defender, who has been out for action for two months following knee surgury, is reported to be fit enough to make the substitutes in this week's Conference Press Release.

League leaders Yeovil are boosted by the return of defender Jimmy Aggrey and midfielder Neil Mustoe for the clash after both were cup-tied for the FA Trophy win over Northwich. Midfielder Darren Way is banned for the afternoon, and Glovers boss Gary Johnson said: "It's a massive match for both teams. After the Trophy excitement of last week we now return to The Conference and we have some vital games between now and the end of the season.

"As you will be well aware the league is never won by the beginning of March and we have some very important three pointers to be won, starting with Hereford. They are in a strong position for the play-offs with an outside chances of winning the league which will, I'm sure, give Saturday's match some extra spice."

United boss Graham Turner is sure that Yeovil will be extremely tough opponents. "They are a very, very good side," he told the BBC. "To have led the table for as long as they have you have got to have a lot of talented players, and it is a good game for us to look forward to."

The game will be a tricky won for United, who last won at Yeovil in May 2001 with a last minute Ian Rodgerson goal. However, Town haven't lost at Huish Park this season but Hereford have won nine away league games this season, which is the joint best away record with Chester City.


Thursday, February 27, 2003

Club look for CVA settlement

Further information has come to light about the failure of Hereford United's recent attempt to offer unsecured CVA creditors another 5p in the pound as reported by HU-FC.co.uk yesterday.

The two main creditors, Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise, both rejected the proposal and as 75% of the creditors (by value of the amount owed) need to agree to any offer for it to succeed, it was not worthwhile calling a meeting to even discuss the proposal.

As well as the two Government departments it is believed that the Professional Footballers' Association are owed a five figure sum by the club. This could be as a result of a loan to pay players wages before the CVA came into existence in January 1998.

It is also understood that the club directors were uncertain as to whether having a CVA at the club could prevent the Bulls moving up to Division Three and wanted to try and show that the club was doing its best to pay off its creditors. In the event, it now appears that having a CVA will not stop promotion.

Provided finances allow, it now seems likely that the club will go back to the creditors and offer 10p in the pound to try and settle the CVA.


Turner wants solid defence

It's a trip to table-topping Yeovil Town on Saturday for Hereford United, who have lost just once in their last thirteen games, kick off 3pm.

However, Yeovil have yet to suffer a Conference defeat at their Huish Park ground this season and lead the league by eight points, so United boss Graham Turner knows that the tie will be extremely tough for his Bulls side.

He told the Hereford Times: "It's a nice challenge for us. We have now lost just once in our last 13 league matches, but what concerns me is that we have conceded a few goals recently. We showed tremendous character to salvage a draw against Stevenage last Saturday, particularly after we went 2-1 down so late."

Meanwhile, Hereford United beat Malvern Town 2-0 last night in the Midland Floodlit Youth League Southern Division.


Wednesday, February 26, 2003

United's international cap passes away

Former Hereford United winger Brian Evans passed away earlier today at Swansea's Singleton Hospital.

Evans, who was sixty years old, faced a short battle with cancer before his death and will be sorely missed by his family and friends.

He played for United in 1974 when he gained the only full international cap while at Edgar Street, playing for Wales. Moving to Edgar Street from Swansea City for £7,000, Evans played fourty-eight times and scored nine goals for Hereford.


Creditors reject CVA proposal

HU-FC.co.uk understands that recent attempts by the directors of Hereford United to close the CVA have failed.

It is understood that the club offered another 5p in the pound, in addition to the 40p in the pound originally paid, to unsecured creditors . This offer was turned down by the largest creditors.

Hereford United and their partners want to clear the CVA to allow the club a little more freedom over their own finances, as the current arrangement has strict parameters.

Most of this information has come from the latest report of the Supervisor of the CVA, who states he understands that the company and its joint venture partners continue to pursue the issue of the development of Edgar Street. The success of the Arrangement, and any further payments to the creditors, are dependent upon the success or otherwise of the joint venture.

The Supervisor was approached by the club's directors who asked him to put a proposal to unsecured creditors whereby they would receive a full and final offer of 5p in the pound to settle their claims. The supervisor's staff contacted the largest creditors who indicated their rejection of this proposal.

The costs of the supervision in the last twelve months have come to £1736.65 for 24.65 hours of work, equating to £70.45 per hour.

For more details on the CVA, see our article by clicking here.


Triallists feature but Bulls lose out

Hereford United didn't play Bristol City in a closed-doors friendly last night, but instead travelled to Cheltenham Town where they lost 3-1.

The major talking point, though, was the return of Matt Clarke to action. According to the official website, he played for seventy minutes and should return for the Kettering Town match a week on Saturday. Michael Husbands scored United's goal, but will return to Aston Villa when his loan spell expires at the end of this week.

Cheltenham's Damien Spencer opened the scoring in the fourteenth minute, and doubled the scoring five minutes later. Spencer completed his hatrick five minutes after the restart when he chipped Ken Griffiths from the edge of the box, although Husbands pulled a goal back when he converted a Matt Clarke free-kick.

Hereford lined-up with several triallists in the side. Griffiths, Jones, Willetts, Clarke (R.O'Kelly 81), Teesdale, Purdie, Daniels, Sawyers, S.O'Kelly, Husbands, Cooper-Tomkinson. Former United player John Brough played the first half for Cheltenham.

The Bulls hope to play another friendly next week to aid Clarke's recovery.

Meanwhile, three coaches have been filled for the Yeovil match. If there is the demand for a fourth, it will run, so register your interest with the club by 4pm on Thursday if you wish to travel.


Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Farnborough help Bulls

Doncaster Rovers were held to a goal-less draw tonight at Farnborough Town thus keeping the six play-off contenders including Hereford United in a tight group with only some six points separating them. There are no other fixtures in the Conference until Saturday.


No seats for United fans

Yeovil Town have confirmed that there will be no seats for Hereford United fans at Saturday's match.

As segregation is in place, no seats can be safely cordoned off for Bulls supporters, meaning that all United followers will have to stand in the open terrace behind one of the goals.

There are still places available on the coaches, according to the official website. Anyone wishing to travel needs to book before midday on Friday to leave at 10am. The trip costs £11, and can be paid at the Main Office in Blackfriars Street. For further details, call the club on 01432 276666.


Monday, February 24, 2003

Crucial week for play-off aspirations

Next weekend, Hereford United face table-topping Yeovil Town knowing that three points could propel them back into second place. However, it's so close at the top that a defeat could see United drop to seventh at this crucial point in the season.

Doncaster Rovers are the only side in the top seven to play tomorrow, when they make the trip to Farnborough Town, who are on a good run. Ian McDonald's side beat Halifax in the FA Trophy on Saturday, so could cause problems for the Belle Vue-based club. Rovers go to Southport on Saturday, with a draw being the likely outcome. However, the Sandgrounders are playing Gloucester City in a Trophy replay tomorrow which could affect their form.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Chester City should beat Halifax Town at the Deva Stadium, while Dagenham & Redbridge are favourites to collect all three points at bottom-of-the-table Kettering Town. At Christie Park, Jimmy Harvey's Morecambe should emerge victorious against Northwich Victoria, so United need to keep up the pressure on those around them.

Normally at this stage of the season, every side but Yeovil would have nothing to play for. What a difference the play-offs have made!


Sunday, February 23, 2003

Hyde to contest council seat

Yesterday's Hereford match programme contained an article written by United Board Director George Hyde which included several paragraphs about recent developments "off the field".

There was little information that was not already well known to supporters. However, he did confirm that the club has formally requested an extension to the club's loan (to Formsole now controlled by the Carillion/Richardson partnership) until May 2005.

HU-FC.co.uk published most of the information with background details last December and it seems incredible that it has taken some ten weeks for a board member to publicly tell supporters what is going on.

It is also noted that Mr. Hyde is standing as a councillor in the local elections in May. In his article he states that party politics should be kept out of the moving the livestock market issue. He then infers that the opposition to the market move is "not where it may go, but stopping the permission to move at all". However in the latest HUISA Members News there is a letter from Bill Wiggin MP for Leominster which appears to state that he has dropped his opposition to the market move.

The MP says that he is deeply concerned that the council still has not got proper plans in place and "because this is the situation I have made every effort to avoid killing the Herefordshire Markets Bill and you will be pleased to know that this (Bill) is now proceeding through the House of Lords".

From the above it would appear that Mr. Hyde may be incorrect in his thoughts about some of the opposition to the market move. Those who have persuaded Mr Wiggin to change his views are to be applauded.

Another point not explained is whether Mr. Hyde will stay as a director of Hereford United if elected to the Council. It would be difficult for him to speak for the club on the council because of possible conflict of interest. On the other hand, if he resigns as a director then his undoubted ability could benefit Hereford United greatly on the council, as there would be no direct link between himself and the club.


Gerb emerges victorious

The user known as 'gerb' has won the January/February HU-FC.co.uk Predictions League monthly competition, while 'len westons last stand' still tops the overall league. Could 'gerb' please contact terrygoodwin@hu-fc.co.uk as soon as possible, confirming the username and password, so we can organise a prize!


Saturday, February 22, 2003

It should have been a penalty!

A fan's view by Brian Bull: During the second half of today's game, Hereford appeared to have a great shout for a penalty, when John Grant had his shirt tugged by Stevenage defender Justin Gregory. When he started his run into the box, an opposing player grabbed onto Grant's shirt. Grant then seemed to 'shrug off' the defender, although he did so with the slight use of his arm.

Grant, after managing to keep his footing following the first incident, then rounded the ex-Sunderland stopper, Lionel Perez, but during the course of this, had his ankle 'tapped' by the 'keeper, which forced Grant to the ground.

It seemed that everybody in the stadium was sure that the referee would blow his whistle and point to the spot, but he thought otherwise, and gave a free-kick to Stevenage. Why did he penalise John Grant? Nobody seems to know. We can only presume that he only saw Grant use his arm after having his shirt tugged.

This was only one of many seemingly poor decisions made by referee Mr. J. Tatton, who had what must have been one of the worst performance by a referee at Edgar Street for some time.


Hereford back up to fourth

After this afternoon's results the Bulls have moved back up to fourth place despite only gaining one point from the game with Stevenage. Danny Williams talking to BBC Hereford & Worcester was disappointed with the outcome.

"We left it very late today, I've just been told there was seven and a half minutes of injury time when we scored. We carried on playing, we always play to the end. We knew that if we got the right balls in with Wrighty up there we could get something.

"It was a hard game. They came and tried to stop us playing and in the end we have done well to get something out of the game. We knew absolutely nothing about them. We did not know what they would do under their new manager."

Talking of the next game at Yeovil, the league leaders, Danny continued: "It's a big game. We have got no fear of going to Yeovil. Hopefully we can win, or at least draw and carry on from there. Yeovil will be feeling the pressure now. Every one does when they are at the top."

On the injury front, Williams said that Paul Parry, who received a bad knock towards the end of today's game, should have recovered for next Saturday.

Speaking after the game, United manager Graham Turner commented: "We were daft conceding a second goal like we did, but there is a never say die attitude about our side now. It was a tremendous leap by Ian Wright, he must have been higher than the crossbar when he headed that one in."

Meanwhile, back with the team warning up this afternoon was Matt Clarke. Although not on the bench today his return to the team to take over from on-loan Jay Lovett is eagerly awaited, but not expected for a couple of weeks.


Hereford drop two points

Hereford United could only draw this afternoon 2-2 against Stevenage. In an exciting game Stevenage took the lead through a Jamie Pitman own goal but the Bulls got one back early in the second period thanks to Steve Guinan. The visitors went ahead late in the game as Barry Laker headed home, but substitute Ian Wright managed to scramble the ball into the net in injury time to level the scores. Hereford should have had a penalty, when John Grant appeared to be brought down in the area, but the referee, who made several questional decisions, disagreed.

Terry's report can be read here.



HUISA Update

The latest HUISA Newsletter dropped onto the doormat this morning. Here's a brief summary of what was written:

  • The Edgar Street ground has passed inspections, as has the club's financial requirements, so should Hereford United gain promotion, they will be admitted to Division Three.
  • The club is thought to have raised some £5,000 from the Gala Sports Dinner earlier this month.
  • Former HUISA chairman Kevin Wargen is standing in the local council elections in May, along with current club director George Hyde (as previously reported).
  • Tickets will be on sale soon for the Player of the Year event in Legends on Saturday, 26th April (after the Doncaster game) from 7.30pm. They will be £5.00 and include a buffet and disco.
  • The next HUISA Members Open Meeting will be on Saturday 8th March at 12.00pm in the Richmond Club, Edgar Street.
  • Don't forget it's the Race Night tonight in the VP Club. Kick off is at 7.30pm, and a buffet is included.
  • Twenty people are wanted for this season's penalty shootout. The first round is on Easter Saturday (19th April) and the final before the Doncaster game. The winner receives a trophy and a terrace season ticket, but all competitors must raise £75.00 minimum sponsorship. To register, call Steve or Penny on 01432 890205.

Friday, February 21, 2003

Competition for places

Graham Turner faces an unusual problem concerning tomorrow's game against Stevenage. He has to leave out a couple of fit players!

He told BBC Hereford and Worcester of his problem. "Ian Wright, who came off at Northwich after half an hour, has recovered from jarring his knee. I've got a selection problem.

"It's a lovely problem as a manager to keep everybody on their toes. If they don't perform, they are not in next week. You also have that feeling that if players are left out you want them to accept the situation and still feel part of things and make sure they are ready to come in next week against Yeovil. And we also have that ability to change the system. I did not feel we could go all the way to Margate after a five hour journey and not give the players a fresh challenge which they responded well to.

"Things are looking very bright in terms of individual personnel, the way they adapt to the system, the fitness and organisation of the team and it's going to be a part of the season. It makes a change for us to be in contention at this stage. We are in there amongst the leading clubs and we hope to be there at the end of the season."


Wright and Baker pass tests

Both Hereford United captain Ian Wright and first-choice goalkeeper Matt Baker have passed fitness tests ahead of tomorrow's Nationwide Conference match against Stevenage Borough at Edgar Street, kick off 3pm.

Wright had been suffering with a jarred knee and Baker with a hip injury, but both will be fit meaning that Hereford only miss the services of Matt Clarke, as he continues to recover from a knee operation.

Bulls midfielder Jamie Pitman is aware of the changes that Stevenage have made over the past few weeks, but is more worried about his own side's performance.

"We have been talking about the match all week and it is going into the unknown with Stevenage having changed quite a few personnel," he told the Evening News. "We don't know what to expect but we have to worry about ourselves.

"Another thing we have talked about this week is having got ourselves into play-off contention what can we do to stay in that position. One of the things is to work on our fitness so we can maintain a good fitness level and keep fresh which hopefully will give us an upper hand. We are not the biggest of sides but we have other attributes and we play at a high tempo and to do that you need good fitness levels."

"If we can keep winning our home games and picking up draws on the road that should be good enough. We mustn't forget that we had a spell with just one point out of 18 which if you think about it was horrendous but you can't look back and we're going through a good stage at the moment."

Dino Maamria, Leigh RMI's Tunisian attacker who has scored twelve times this season, has reportedly signed for the Boro' today to bolster Graham Westley's front-line. Westley had been searching for a striker having already been turned down by Rocky Baptiste of Farnborough and Nuneaton attacker Mark Quayle.

Westley was adamant that Hereford will be tough opponents for his side. He told the Hertfordshire Mercury: "I'll be approaching the Hereford game in the same way as any other game. It's a tough trip and not many sides have beaten them there this season. They're going well so we'll need to grind them down and try to get a result."


Thursday, February 20, 2003

Turner backs Westley after Boro switch

Stevenage Borough boss Graham Westley has received support from United manager Graham Turner ahead of Saturday's clash at Edgar Street.

Westley has faced much criticism since his move from Farnborough last month, when he signed a number of players several days later who had just been released by Farnborough.

Turner told the Hereford Times: "I realise that there have been some strange goings on but I appreciate that Farnborough could not afford to keep the players and there was mutual agreement to the transfers. The fresh players should rejuvenate Stevenage but they will not have had much match practice as their away games at Telford, last Saturday, and Dagenham and Redbridge, on Tuesday, were both postponed."

Of his own side's gameplan, Turner continued: "It is important that we get amongst them early and do not give them time to settle. We must continue our push up the table and, although I would have settled for four points from our last two away games, having won at Margate and got in front at Northwich, I was a little disappointed not to pick up all six points."

Hereford hope that both Ian Wright (jarred knee) and Matt Baker (hip) will be fit, but if the latter misses out, Ken Griffiths could make his first league start in goal for United. Danny Williams is back after suspension, and Matt Clarke is two weeks away from returning to the first team despite restarting training after a knee operation.

Defender Jason Goodliffe is a doubt for Stevenage with a thigh problem, and boss Westley said: "It's a tough match. Not many teams go up there and go away with three points."

Meanwhile, the Hereford Times report that a £250,000 contract has been awarded to a consortium of consultants that will formulate the Edgar Street Grid redevelopment project. However, the initiative hangs on the relocation of the cattle market and the passing of a Bill to do so. If this gets the go-ahead, work could start as early as the end of the year, and finish in about 2010.


Bulls ready for another battle

Stevenage Borough and Hereford United will require points for different reasons at Edgar Street on Saturday, kick off 3pm.

The teams meet with United in the play-off zone and Stevenage rooted in the relegation places, hoping to haul themselves out of the mire under Graham Westley's leadership. He moved from Farnborough Town last month, but has failed in his attempts to capture the signing of Leigh RMI attacker Dino Maamria. Anthony Elding could make his debut after moving from Boston United.

Boro' stopper Mark Westhead misses out with a groin injury, so Lionel Perez, the former Sunderland and Newcastle United goalkeeper, will start for Westley's side. Hereford will once again miss Matt Clarke, who is about two weeks from first-team football, but Danny Williams will return to the squad after completing his three match suspension.


Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Youth game off

Tonight's Midland Floodlit Youth League match between Hereford United and Bromyard Town is off because of a frozen pitch.

The youth team's next match is at Malvern Town on Wednesday, 26th February.


Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Wolves win Last Team Standing

BOLSA's Last Team Standing competition is now over and Jamie Griffiths is the winner.

For this last round Wolves (Jamie Griffiths) beat Rochdale 3-1 while Stoke City (Richard Price) lost 2-0 at home to Chelsea.

The competition is expected to run again next year.


Move extension for Lovett

Jay Lovett has extended his loan deal for a second month.

Hereford United are without first choice right-back Matt Clarke, so the retainment of Brentford defender Lovett will allow Clarke longer to recover from his knee operation. He will return to Griffin Park on March 16th.

Meanwhile, tonight's friendly at Hinckley United is off because of a frozen pitch.


Monday, February 17, 2003

Bulls to reunite with Voice

Hereford United will meet former striker Scott Voice tomorrow night when they play a friendly match at Dr. Martens League Premier Division strugglers Hinckley United, kick off 7.45pm.

Hinckley are currently 16th in the division, and have not played a league match since a week last Saturday, when they drew 2-2 with Moor Green. Voice moved from Hereford to Hinckley last month for a four figure fee.

The Bulls make the trek to Middlefield Lane ahead of Saturday's Conference match at Edgar Street against Stevenage Borough, who are now under the management of Graham Westley.


Sunday, February 16, 2003

Race Night arranged

There is a HUISA Race Night on 22 February 2003 in the Vice Presidents Club at 7.30 - 8.00 pm.

George Webb has arranged this night and it will be well worth attending, reports Peter Povall.

Meanwhile, gerb has taken over at the top of the HU-FC.co.uk Predictions League, and there's no change at the top of the overall table.


Purdie delighted with first Hereford goal

Hereford United midfielder Rob Purdie scored his first senior goal in Saturday's 2-2 draw with Northwich Victoria yesterday, and he said that the team were satisfied with the outcome.

"After going 2-1 down at half time, a point was really good enough to take away," he told BBC Hereford & Worcester. "Seven points from nine is good and if we can keep that going then we should be in a good play-off place."

Of the goal, he said: "I've had a few chances this season but unfortunately, I've fluffed a couple so I'm really happy to get my first senior goal. I've taken a while to settle in and now I really do feel part of the club and I'm a lot more confident at the moment."

In the upcoming matches, Hereford host Stevenage next Saturday and then travel to table-topping Yeovil on Saturday, March 1st.

"We're looking for three points against Stevenage and then Yeovil are doing well at the moment but there's always a chance, and if we can get that win against them, it might upset them and they might start tripping up. We're looking in good stead for the play-offs so hopefully we can get there and will be playing in the third division next season."

Northwich boss Jimmy Quinn was furious with referee Mr. P. Canadine from Rotherham as a last minute Tony James own-goal was ruled out for a push in the box. He told the Non-League Paper: "Nobody touched the goalkeeper and I couldn't understand the decision. The goal should have stood and to that extent the referee decided the outcome."

"It was a cracking game and, given the way things go for us at home, we did well to come from behind. It would have been nice to complete a double against a very good side that plays the game as it should be."


Saturday, February 15, 2003

Bulls share the points

Too many missed chances cost Hereford three points at Northwich Victoria this afternoon. Hereford went in front early on as Rob Purdie scored but Northwich turned the game around by going 2-1 up. Hereford battled on and got a reward when John Grant scored to make it 2-2. It finished Hereford 2-2 Northwich.

Tonight's report, by Terry, can be read here.


No pitch inspection

Northwich Victoria report that no pitch inspection is planned for today's game against Hereford United at Wincham Park, Witton. Kick off is at 3pm.


Friday, February 14, 2003

Promotion play-offs 2002/3

The following article is taken from the Confguide.com.

Two teams should be promoted from the Nationwide Conference to the Nationwide League at the end of this season - one as champions, and one as winners of the play-offs - although the situation is complicated by the need to meet the League's ground criteria.

Champions

The champions are the team that finishes top of the table. This shouldn't need explanation in a sane world - but it mightn't have been the case last season. In the aborted play-off system originally proposed, the 'Champions' would be the team that won the play-offs!
The winners of the Conference go automatically into League Division 3 as long as they meet the criteria. If they do not meet them, no team replaces them - a side in Division 3 will be saved from relegation.

Play-offs

The play-offs for 2002/3 chooses one team from those finishing in places 2 through 5 in the table. It's a simple system - 2nd plays 5th over two legs, 3rd plays 4th over two legs. The legs are to be played on Tuesday 29th April, and Monday 5th May (May Bank Holiday).
The two winners meet in a single-match play-off final, at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke, on Saturday May 10th. The winners of that match are promoted.

Complicating matters are the ground/finance criteria, etc. Any team that does not meet the requirements for promotion can not take part in the play-offs. If this leaves fewer than four teams taking part, byes will be used as appropriate. If, for example, the teams finishing 2nd, 3rd, and 5th pass the criteria, but the team in 4th does not, 3rd would play 5th in the play-off semis, while 2nd goes straight to the final. Contrary to some reports, numbers are NOT made-up by putting a team below 5th in the table into the play-offs.

UPDATE 14/2/02: Talks are underway looking at the possibility of including the 6th-placed team in the play-offs if one other team doesn't meet the criteria.

The money

The four play-off semi-final games will pay a share of gate money to a Conference pool. The two clubs in the final at Stoke City's Britannia Stadium will take 25% of the net gate receipts each, with the other 50% going to the pool. This should net £15,000 or more for each club not involved in the play-off system.
There will be a 'neutral' area in the Britannia Stadium for the final, and tickets for this will be made available before the finalists are known.

Sky tv coverage

Sky will show one first leg play-off semi-final live, and will show highlights of the other. For the 2nd leg, decisions will be made after results of the first games are known. The final will be shown live. The money paid for the coverage will depend on viewing figures.


Looking forward to run-in

Graham Turner is looking forward to the rest of the season as the fixture list is not too intense.

Speaking to BBC Hereford and Worcester he said: "As it works out I think it is a fairly comfortable run-in in terms of the workload on the players. It looks as though it will be Saturday to Saturday with just the one Easter Monday game. So it is not a terrific workload in terms of pressure on the players.

"We have gone out of the cup competitions early so we have not got that backlog of fixtures. We can hope that we can keep our feet on the ground, players stay free of injuries or suspension, so that we now have a very good chance of reaching the top five."

Talking about his small squad of players Turner continued: "I left Steve Guinan out last Tuesday and left Rob Purdie in to play as three front players because we had seen Margate play and knew what they were about and hoped that would be enough to beat them and it worked quite well. I've got Steve to come back in, Danny Williams is free from suspension after Saturday, Matt Clarke in about three weeks. We've got a small squad but we have got quality in that small squad. Any of them are capable of going in and doing a job that is required. So there is competition for places over the next twelve games."


Attacker set for comeback

Steve Guinan is likely to return to the Hereford United line-up as the Bulls travel to Wincham Park to play Northwich Victoria tomorrow, kick off 3pm.

The attacker had a calf knock in training on Monday and missed Tuesday's 2-0 win at Margate, and boss Graham Turner told the Evening News: "I changed the formation specifically to deal with Margate but I'm not sure what I am going to do on Saturday. Steve wasn't going to feature on Tuesday but he should be fit for the weekend."

The Bulls are third in the league, and could go second on Saturday. "It's a nice position that we find ourselves in but there is still a long way to go," continued Turner, who feels Northwich will be no pushovers. "They are still 10th in the league, in the FA Trophy and he's done a good job on limited resources and we know it is going to be difficult."

"Northwich will be keen to build on their win at Doncaster and we will have to produce our best form to get a result."

United will miss Danny Williams, who completes his three match ban, and Matt Clarke, who has a knee injury.


Join in with the fun

There are plenty of teams left in BOLSA's Early Bath competition. Entries are available at £2 per team for each competition day from BOLSA c/o MWPC, 98 Widemarsh Street, Hereford, HR4 9PG or using the secure payment option on www.bolsa-hufc.com.

The clubs available for March 15 and April 5, 2003 are listed below. Prize for March 15 stands at £250.

Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers, Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Fulham, Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Portsmouth, Preston North End, Rotherham United, Stoke City, Wimbledon, Brentford, Crewe Alexandra, Huddersfield Town, Mansfield Town, Plymouth Argyle, Swindon Town, Wigan Athletic, Bury, Darlington, Hartlepool United, Hull City, Oxford United, Rochdale, Rushden & Diamonds, Southend United, Torquay United, Wrexham, York City, Barnet, Dagenham & Redbridge, Farnborough Town, Forest Green Rovers, Kettering Town, Leigh RMI, Margate, Glasgow Celtic, Dundee United, Dunfermline Athletic, Heart of Midlothian, Hibernian, Livingston, Partick Thistle, Glasgow Rangers, Alloa Athletic, Arbroath, Clyde, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Ross County, St Johnstone, Berwick Rangers, Brechin City, Cowdenbeath, Hamilton Academical, Stenhousemuir, Albion Rovers, East Stirlingshire, Elgin City, Greenock Morton, Montrose, Peterhead, Queens Park and Stirling Albion.

Take your pick!


Thursday, February 13, 2003

Injury problems for Northwich

Northwich have players missing for the visit of Hereford United on Saturday.

The Vics will be without defender Greg Rioch, who has a pulled hamstring, and midfielder Mark Devlin is also a doubt after sustaining a groin injury in last weekend's 2-1 win at Doncaster Rovers. There is an element of good news for manager Jimmy Quinn though, with defender Shaun Came on the comeback trail having been sidelined since Christmas with a knee problem.

In their last six games, Northwich have won one, drawn three and lost two but haven't won in their last five home outings, which has been their letdown this season. Hereford have the second best away record in the league, having gained nine wins on the road this season, the same number as second placed Chester City.


Better late than never...

It's been a little while coming, but we have the latest results from the HU-FC.co.uk Predictions League following the Margate game. Organicbull leads the monthly league, and there are no changes at the top of the overall table.


Turner ready for Northwich test

Hereford United aim to collect another three points at Northwich Victoria on Saturday, kick off 3pm.

The Vics, who are playing at Witton Albion for this season, are managed by ex-Hereford attacker Jimmy Quinn, who is expected to feature in the game.

A win for United could put them into second place, and although Northwich having won just three games all season, United boss Graham Turner told the Hereford Times: "Northwich will be keen to build on their win at Doncaster abd we will have to produce our best form to get a result."

The Bulls are still without the suspended Danny Williams, but Steve Guinan should return in attack. Troy Douglin, on trial from Torquay United, will not feature but should join Hereford for training.


Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Title still a prospect - Pitman

Hereford United midfielder Jamie Pitman is adamant that the Bulls are still in the championship chase, despite Yeovil leading the table by nine points.

Speaking to BBC Hereford & Worcester after last night's 2-0 win at Margate, he said: "I don't think we should drop a point at home and then we've just got to pick up points away from home as well. We had a little spell just before Christmas where we didn't pick up many points, but hopefully that's our own spell this season."

Steve Guinan missed out on the game last night, and Pitman continued: "Tactically, he wasn't going to play anyway but unfortunately, he picked up a little injury in training on Monday but hopefully he'll be back for the game on Saturday."

A key match this season is at Yeovil Town at the start of March. "Potentially, it's one of the biggest games of the season," said Pitman. "Hopefully, we'll still be well up there and if we can sneak a three pointer there then you never know. Potentially, it could be a massive game and one that we definitely want to win. We're looking to keep the run going and I think we're timing the run just right at the moment, so hopefully we're going to stay up there."


Second place in sight

After last night's win at Margate, it is quite possible that Hereford United could go second in the Conference after the results of next Saturday's games are known.

The Bulls are away and will have to beat Northwich and Chester lose at Morecambe to rise another place. Halifax also have a difficult match at Scarborough.

Northwich have a poor home record so the Bulls should get something from this game. On the other hand the Bulls will have played four games in eleven days and this may count against them with a small squad.

Chester, currently second, will have a hard game at Morecambe who have only lost one home game so far. Three points for Chester look unlikely.


Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Left-sided duo collect another three points

A first half goal from Michael Rose and a late strike by Paul Parry ensured another three points for Hereford United, as they won 2-0 at Margate.

The Bulls controlled the game for long periods, and were well worth their victory which pushes them into third place.

Tonight's report, kindly supplied by Keith Hall, can be read here.


United aim to jump up table

Hereford United could go third if they win at Margate tonight, kick off 7.45pm.

The Bulls won 2-1 over Nuneaton on Saturday and go to Hartsdown Park hoping to keep their run of one defeat in ten league games going.

"Results went well for us at the weekend but we have got to defend better," manager Graham Turner told the Evening News. "We have conceded five goals in our last two away games and we need to go back to keeping clean sheets like we were a few weeks ago."

Jamie Pitman has an ankle knock but is expected to be fit while Danny Williams serves the second of a three match ban. Michael Rose is available after being removed from the England National Game XI squad.

United captain Ian Wright said: "With 13 games left we are handily placed in fifth place to make the play-offs."


Monday, February 10, 2003

Margate switch Hereford game - again

Margate have announced just 24 hours before their game against Hereford United that there has been a venue chance.

Due to the state of the pitch at Dover's Crabble Ground, the game has been switched to Hartsdown Park. Kick off is still at 7.45pm.

Margate chairman Jim Parmenter told the official Margate website: “The pitch at Crabble is still suffering at the moment and we are doing everything we can to help. We are grateful to Hereford and the Conference for agreeing that this fixture be switched. Hopefully it will also make it easier for Margate fans to make it to the game."

Despite the short notice of the change, it is hoped that a good Hereford following will travel to Kent to support the Bulls. Graham Turner is expected to name an unchanged side for the match, and told the Evening News: "I saw Margate in the FA Trophy at Worcester and they looked a solid side so it won't be easy. Margate did okay but Worcester had chances in the first half and should have scored."

Margate manager Chris Kinnear is missing Graham Porter and Terry McFlynn. Porter serves a one-match ban following his dismissal at Gravesend, while McFlynn is on international duty with the Northern Ireland Under-21 squad.


Sunday, February 09, 2003

Doubts over Margate match

There is some doubt as to whether Hereford United's Tuesday night match at Margate will go ahead.

Dover Athletic's game against Hednesford Town at the Crabble was called off today because the pitch was unplayable, and it hosted Margate's 2-0 win over Leigh RMI yesterday.

According to reports, the Crabble pitch looked like a 'sandpit' yesterday, and if there is any rain before Tuesday, the chances of the game being played are slim. Already this season, some sixty two games have been hosted on the pitch.


It's a long way to Margate (or is that Dover?)

Tuesday evening sees a crucial match for the Bulls against Margate, at Dover Athletic's Crabble Ground, which if they win will propel them into third place in the Conference.

Looking at the current form of Margate a draw seems likely as, despite their position in the league, they have a reasonable home record of 5 wins, 7 draws and only 2 defeats.

On the other hand Hereford have one of the best away records, only really bettered by Chester, and will be looking for three points to keep up their challenge for a play-off place. It is to be hoped that the long journey and probable lack of supporters will not affect form.

On Tuesday, the only other Conference mid-week game is between Telford and Dagenham & Redbridge. It will help Hereford if Telford can at least take a point from their visitors who are looking likely to feature in the play-offs at the end of the season if they can continue their recent form.

Graham Turner will have to decide whether to select the new slimline Ian Wright in place of Andy Tretton. Wright had a reasonable game yesterday marking Carl Alford, the Nuneaton striker, but Tretton has done little wrong this season and should not be left out for long. The other possibility is to play both Wright and Tretton and leave out Tony James, who looked to be suffering from the knock he received whilst playing at Farnborough last Tuesday. Rob Purdie looks likely to start again.

It is also uncertain how long on-loan Jay Lovett will be with the Bulls. His first game was against Gravesend on January 18th and so should be available for both the Margate and Northwich (next Saturday) games. However reports suggest that Matt Clarke will not be match-fit for another few weeks so either Lovett's loan could be extended or perhaps a chance given to trialist Troy Douglin if he can play in that position.

Meanwhile, Hereford still have the best discipline record in the Conference with one red card, that of Danny Williams who is currently suspended, and thirty eight yellow cards.


Saturday, February 08, 2003

Two top of table

After today's game, Organicbull and Barnetbull are top of the monthly HU-FC.co.uk Predictions League, while 'len westons last stand' still tops the overall league.

See the latest table under the 'Interactive!" menu.


Lovett happy with goal

Jay Lovett told BBC Hereford & Worcester about his injury time goal this afternoon.

He said: "I am very happy with that. I've come close a couple of times and this week I hit the post before-hand."

It seemed like the game was slipping away before Lovett hit that goal. "It was a very late strike and I am just very happy that it went in," he continued. "We definitely needed the three points and have got back into the play-off position again.I think we deserved the win overall.The first half was scrappy and coming out in the second half it was a completely different thing. I thought they had a very dubious penalty but we were playing well and deserved to win.

"When we play the ball around like that it's only a matter of time before we get a goal. I think we are a very fit side."


Three more points

Hereford United deserved their win against Nuneaton this afternoon even though they left it to injury time to score the decider.

The Bulls went ahead early in the second half when John Grant converted a Rob Purdie cross. Nuneaton got one back with a penalty when Tony James was adjudged to have fouled an attacker but on-loan Jay Lovett smashed home a thirty yard drive to give Hereford the points.

Terry's report on today's game is here.


Friday, February 07, 2003

James could miss Nuneaton clash

Hereford United defender Tony James is a doubt for the game against Nuneaton Borough at Edgar Street tomorrow, kick off 3pm.

He is suffering with the calf knock that meant he came off at half time at Farnborough Town on Tuesday, and will have a fitness test tomorrow morning, as will Rob Purdie, who has a knee injury.

Should James miss out, Ian Wright and Andy Tretton are likely to start in the centre of defence after the ex-Shrewsbury man returns from suspension. Danny Williams, though, is banned and boss Graham Turner is aware of the threat that Nuneaton will pose. He told the Evening News: "I saw Nuneaton play a couple of weeks ago and they've still got some useful players.

"They will be worried about their position so we know it is going to be a tough game especially as they have had battling draws against Morecambe and down at Yeovil Town in their last two games."


Hereford look for future goals

Hereford United have signed striker Justin Rowe on non-contract forms from ICIS Midland Combination side Grosvenor Park.

The nineteen year old has scored twenty five goals already this season, and will continue to play for Grosvenor but is available if required to feature for Hereford. He will also train with the Bulls on occasions.

It appears that Rowe is a long-term prospect rather than a quick solution. It will take him time to develop his game but if things go to plan, he could well be a United star of the future. He will not play for Hereford tomorrow.


Form book makes United favourites

Hereford United have lost just once in their last nine games, and hope that tomorrow's visitors to Edgar Street in the Conference will not end their recent poor run, kick off 3pm.

Nuneaton Borough haven't won for eight games and are perilously close to the relegation zone, just two points above Leigh RMI.

The Bulls are without Danny Williams, who serves a three match ban, and the injured Matt Clarke, but Andy Tretton could return after suspension and on-trial defender Troy Douglin may feature. Three points for United, combined with Morecambe dropping points at Stevenage, would see Hereford move back into the play-off zone.

Nuneaton have injury problems ahead of their game at Hereford. Boss Steve Burr has doubts over the fitness of Terry Angus (hamstring) and Paul Browne (knee), while Richard Lavery is out with a one-match ban.


Thursday, February 06, 2003

Trial for Douglin

Hereford United are reported to have offered a trial to Troy Douglin from Torquay. Douglin has just been released from Plainmoor after being told his contract would not be renewed at the end of the season. He has made six first team appearances for Torquay in 2002/2003.

Bulls boss Graham Turner will now give the 6 foot defender a chance to make an impact with the Conference club. Hereford already have Ken Griffiths on the books who also is an ex-Gull player.

The 20-year-old Coventry-born youngster, who made his debut in a Worthington Cup-tie at Gillingham nearly two-and-a-half years ago, spent a large part of that 2000-2001 season on a tantalising loan to Celtic.

His spell at Parkhead turned out to have been a double-edged sword, because the Glasgow club eventually sent him back to Torquay, and he has struggled to re-establish himself there.

After initially impressing Roy McFarland at the start of last season, he has played in only eleven games since, most of them as a substitute, and it became increasingly clear this season that he was not part of Leroy Rosenior's plans.

Meanwhile Michael Rose will be available for Tuesday night's game with Margate as the National Game XI squad has been repicked from non-conference players.


Turner hopes for Rose availability

Defender Michael Rose may be available for the Margate game after all.

Hereford United manager Graham Turner has faxed the Football Association asking for his release from the National Game XI squad for the game in Belgium on February 11th, the same day that the Bulls go to Margate.

Turner told the Hereford Times: "We are already operating within our means, as the FA indicated a club should do. We also have Danny Williams suspended and both Rob Purdie and Matt Clarke injured, so we cannot afford to be without Michael Rose."

Danny Williams starts a three match ban for Saturday's game against Nuneaton Borough at Edgar Street, kick off 3pm, and but Rob Purdie could return after a knee injury and a bout of 'flu kept him out of the matches at Morecambe and Farnborough Town.

Tony James, who picked up a knock in the first half at Farnborough, should be fit enough to start in the line-up and Andy Tretton is available once again after suspension. Consequently, Turner is left with a selection headache in the centre of defence, with Ian Wright and Richard Teesdale also pushing for a starting place. Matt Clarke, though, will remain sidelined for about another month following his knee operation.


Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Predictions League Update

After the Farnborough Town game, Organicbull takes over at the top of the monthly HU-FC.co.uk Predictions League, while 'len westons last stand' still tops the overall league.


Rose to miss out after all

Hereford United defender Michael Rose looks as if he might miss the Margate match next Tuesday after all.

Rose has been selected to play in the England National Game XI in Belgium, but it was thought that the Conference chairmen has blocked their players in competing. However, this decision now appears to have been reversed.

Hereford will also miss Danny Williams for the trip, as he serves a three match suspension for his sending off at Morecambe for violent conduct. He will also miss Saturday's game against Nuneaton Borough and the trip to Northwich Victoria a week on Saturday.


A game of two halves

Last night's game was a game of two halves. Although Hereford started brightly, Farnborough took their chances and were probably worth their two goal lead by the end of the first session.

By this time the 150 or so Bulls fans were wondering how their side could have been taken apart by Farnborough, who despite the troubles caused by their chairman and manager leaving for Stevenage, were playing their hearts out. It was freezing; there was hardly any cover; and the Hereford spirits were at rock bottom. Some blamed Ian Wright, back in the team for the suspended Tretton, but the defence looked unsteady from the start. Few predicted what was to come.

The fans swapped ends at the interval. From the outside to the might as well be outside for the Hereford fans. The facilities at Farnborough are probably the worst in the conference although at least you do get a view of the game which is better than Nuneaton!

The second half was so different. Graham Turner must have roasted his players in the interval because they came out looking to attack from the whistle. Also, after Pitman's superb goal the fans sensed that Hereford were in with a chance. Suddenly they were warm, they were signing and the players continued to attack.

Danny Williams' goal was another great strike. The small rusty tin shack containing the Bulls fans rattled and had it not been for the referee Hereford might have had a penalty which could have sealed the game but it was not to be.

A great game, a fair result and a much better journey home than could have been expected at half time.

After the game Graham Turner said that he was pleased with the result considering the half-time deficit. "We allowed Farnborough to take total control in the first half, but we overran them in the second half and I thought that there was only going to be one winner," he said.

"After such a poor first-half performance, we have to be pleased with the result, but at the end we could have won it. They were very good strikes from Jamie Pitman and Danny Williams and we finished the game very very strongly creating a number of good chances. So we have got to be pleased with the outcome."

Speaking about the injury to Tony James, Turner continued: "It was a real jarring tackle, he has got a knock around the shin. It is a kick on it, but I thought Richard Teesdale came on and did very well for us.


Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Bulls fight back to take a point

Hereford United found themselves 2 - 0 down at half time against Farnborough Town tonight. FA Cup star Rocky Baptiste scored after 18 mintues and Gary Patterson doubled the advantage on 32.

In the second half the Bulls pulled one back through Jamie Pitman who rifled a long range shot into the back of the net. Danny Williams completed the come back on 82 minutes. He hit a long range shot that found the top corner of the net.

Terry's report on today's game is here.


Tough test for Bulls

Graham Turner, the Hereford United boss, is sure that the turmoil at Farnborough Town will not stop them putting up a good fight in tonight's match, kick off 7.45pm.

"Farnborough didn't show any signs of turmoil on Saturday. We had them watched and they played very well to beat Telford and get through to the next round of the Trophy," he told the Evening News.

"Sometimes players can respond positively in turmoil but though we know what's gone on at their club for us it is a doing the right things for our players, and making sure approach to the game is right.

"Some of their players have left but they've got a big squad and still got some good players.

"The timing of Westley's move was probably not the best but he's certainly moved Farnborough on as a club."


Monday, February 03, 2003

Away trip for Hereford hopefuls

After an ten day break, Hereford United aim to get their Conference play-off aspirations back on track at Farnborough Town tomorrow, kick off 7.45pm.

The Bulls aim to bounce back after a 3-1 defeat at Morecambe on 25th January, following an unbeaten league run going back to November. However, United will face a tough task at Cherrywood Road against a Farnborough side who defeat Telford United 3-2 in the FA Trophy last Saturday, and fought well but lost 5-1 against Arsenal in the FA Cup fourth round.

Andy Tretton will be missing from the heart of the Hereford defence, as he is suspended, so skipper Ian Wright will return alongside Tony James. United also miss Matt Clarke, who is recovering from a knee operation, and wait on the fitness of Rob Purdie, who also picked up a knee injury in the game at Morecambe.

Farnborough, now under the temporary management of Ian McDonald following the departure of chairman/manager Graham Westley to Stevenage Borough last week, have lost Steve Watson, Michael Warner, Barry Laker and Gary Holloway, who followed Westley to the Broadhall Way-based club. Nathan Bunce and Danny Carroll have had their contracts terminated, while Dean Green has an ankle injury and faces a late fitness test.

McDonald told the BBC: "I am fully aware of the current situation at the club and am delighted to help out. I am pleased to be back with a hands-on role and am very much looking forward to the challenge."


Sunday, February 02, 2003

The games go on...

There's still no clear winner in the BOLSA Last Team Standing Competition.

Jamie Griffith's Leicester City were trounced by Wolves and Richard Price's Bournemouth predictably went out at Stoke.

Now Jamie gets Wolves and Richard gets Stoke for the next round. Wolves are at home to Rochdale and Stoke are at home to Chelsea.


Conference round-up

Sunday's major Conference stories from the Non-League Paper:

The Nationwide Conference will ask clubs who have shown an interest in joining a Conference 2 division to pay a £1,000 application fee, and then develop their plans to provide the FA with more details on ground grading and sponsorship, for example. The FA this week blocked the plans for implementation next season, and the Ryman-Dr. Martens league plan, involving the re-arrangement of the leagues' respective borders, was not even discussed by the FA's National League Systems Committee. The next meeting is in March.

Income into the Nationwide Conference is set to hit £1 million this season, a threefold increase over three years. The figure is reached through estimates for play-off, sponsorship and television revenue. In the play-offs, the gate money is split 25% to the home side, 25% to the away side and 50% to the Conference pool.

At Thursday's meeting in Derby of the Conference club chairmen, it was unanimously agreed that players should be banned from the England National Game XI as they will miss club matches. The chairmen feel that they have not been notified of dates properly, meaning that Hereford United's Michael Rose misses his side's trip to Margate when he travels to Belgium with England on February 11th. England are also set to play Holland in March, which could rob some clubs of crucial players in the run-up to the play-offs. However, Conference chief executive John Moules said: "The Conference fully supports the England team in out-of-season fixtures", such as the Four Nations Semi-Professional Tournament set to be hosted by Wales in May.


Saturday, February 01, 2003

Captain relishes first team chance

Hereford United skipper Ian Wright will aim to grasp his first team opportunity when he fills in for Andy Tretton next Tuesday night at Farnborough Town, kick off 7.45pm.

Tretton is serving a one-match ban, meaning Wright starts for the first time since November and the good run has kept the ex-Hull man out of the line-up.

"I have not been too happy but you just have to get on with it," he told the Evening News. "It stemmed from the injury (a broken bone in the hand in September) and that was it really because the lads have been playing well and there is not a lot you can say.

"It doesn't matter who you are if the team is playing well then you have to patient but now I've got my chance I want to win it back."

The Bulls will play at the Aimita Stadium, Cherrywood Road, which was not able to host Farnborough's FA Cup fourth round tie against Arsenal, which they lost 5-1.

"Farnborough have not got the best of grounds but to be honest that doesn't matter - it's what happens on the pitch that counts," said Wright. "They did well against Arsenal considering they were playing the double champions but we are doing okay."

Meanwhile, attacker Neil Gough, who featured for Hereford United earlier in the season, has joined JT Hughes/Mitsubishi Welsh Premier club Barry Town.