NEXT HOME GAME - ALFRETON ON MONDAY APRIL 21TH AT 3.00PM
NEXT AWAY GAME - ALDERSHOT ON SATURDAY APRIL 26TH AT 5.30PM

Sunday, August 31, 2003

Odds drop again

The odds available on Hereford United winning the Conference have dropped at several bookmakers after yesterday's win at Stevenage.

The lowest price quoted is now 5-1 at Victor Chandler. SkyBet are offering 11-2 this morning, and not 6-1 as reported in the Non-League Paper.

Chester remain favourites at 3-1 with Shrewsbury at 4-1. Stevenage are, like Hereford, at 11-2 with SkyBet.



NLP reports on mooning row

The Non-League Paper has confirmed that Aldershot manager, Terry Brown, has received a number of letters from Hereford fans complaining about the actions of Shots midfielder Fiston Manuella at Edgar Street last Monday.

It says that the player could face disciplinary action by his club after making obscene gestures towards the crowd. It is believed that he gave a two-fingered salute and dropped his shorts twice.

NLP photographer James Maggs was directly in front of the fans. "Manuella twice dropped his shorts," he said. "His shirt was outside his shorts. He took them down, then lifted up his shirt. I didn't hear any racial abuse from the crowd then.

Both Terry Brown and Hereford manager Graham Turner are thought to be in with a good chance of receiving the Conference Manager of the Month award for August. Hereford United are unbeaten but some consideration will be given to Brown for steering Aldershot to second place in the league after only gaining promotion to the Conference at the end of last season.


Saturday, August 30, 2003

Guinan happy with goal tally

The scorer of the second goal in today's 2-0 win over Stevenage Borough, Hereford United attacker Steve Guinan told of his delight with the start of the campaign.

The Bulls are top of the league and Guinan told BBC Hereford & Worcester: "We've started really well and picked up a lot of points. Hopefully, we'll just keep the ball rolling; everyone is enjoying it and it's a great club to be with at the moment, because we're top of the league."

Today's opponents, Stevenage, were always likely to be a tough nut to crack because of the financial investment. "They've spent a lot of money here on players, and that's a huge difference between us," added the former Nottingham Forest attacker.

Attacking play as been the name of the game for United, and Guinan is delighted with his current haul of five goals. "It took me six games to get a goal last year," he said. "Hopefully, this time, I won't have a patch where I don't score but we're creating chances and as a team, we've scored the most goals at the moment."

"Hopefully, we've surprised a few teams and they will sit up and notice us."

Stevenage manager Graham Westley was downbeat about his own side's performance, and praised the Hereford team. "It was a very disappointing day," he told BBC Three Counties Radio. "We were well beaten by the better side."

When asked whether United were the best side in the league, he added: "We don't know because we've only played six sides, but they're the best we've so far. They were bright and quick and sharp. They are a good benchmark; if we can go beyond them we won't be far away."

Of the penalty decision, Westley proclaimed: "It shouldn't have been a penalty."


Stevenage penalty miss costly

A penalty save by Matt Baker from Anthony Elding proved costly for the home side as Ben Smith and Steve Guinan secured a 2-0 victory for Hereford at Stevenage.

The report is here.


Friday, August 29, 2003

Yellow cards cause concern for Turner

Hereford United boss Graham Turner has warned his players about the number of bookings that they are receiving ahead of tomorrow's match against Stevenage Borough.

Michael Rose picked up his third yellow card of the season against Aldershot Town on Monday, and Turner said: "With a small squad of players, we can't afford too many injuries and the one concern for me at the moment is the prospect of suspensions. We have had too many bookings for my liking. After five bookings they get automatically suspended so we are hoping that it won't happen that by the middle of September we start to get players suspended.

"We know from experience that referees do tend to be a lot stricter early in the season after directives from the FA. They punish almost every foul even with a yellow card, we realise that, but there is still far too many cards issued to our players than I would have liked."

Looking ahead to tomorrow's battle at Broadhall Way, Turner is quietly upbeat about his side's chances.

"Stevenage are a well fancied side," he told BBC Hereford & Worcester. "They are amongst the favourites to win the Conference this season simply because of the amount of money they have invested. They have got a big strong squad of players but we can look forward to the game with a lot of confidence and I think we will be really ready for it. We are quite capable of going to Stevenage and getting another three points."

"I don't think there is any real reason to change a winning side. I think we have started the season well. I think some of the performances have been excellent and there is no reason to chop and change the side. David Brown was unfortunate not to start the season off because of injury. He has proved to be on several occasions a good substitute. He will be wanting to start as soon as possible but Steve Guinan and Rob Purdie have played exceptionally well together and I don't think at this stage there is any need to change that partnership."

The time lapse before the next home fixture has annoyed Turner, although recent gates have been very impressive. "The level of attendance has been very encouraging. To get two games around the three thousand mark and then one nearly five thousand that's an incredible turnout and it just shows that there is floating support there that will come along if the team are doing well enough. However the most important thing is the spirit within the team. When you get a few results go right for you, that spirit is lifted and that is what we are experiencing at the moment.

After the biggest ever Conference gate at Edgar Street, TUrner added that nearly three weeks is too long to wait for the next home game.

"I think the fixtures has panned out diabolically really. When you look at the first five Saturdays of the season, we have had one at home. I can't figure out how the Conference can come up with that fixture list.

"We will now have almost three weeks without a home fixture just when you want one. The spectical of Monday's game with the big attendance means we want to be at home again.

"Nearly three weeks without a home game is ludicrous."


Turner looking for win

Hereford United manager Graham Turner is confident of collecting all three points from Stevenage Borough tomorrow, kick off 3pm.

"We have to go there looking for a win. It is not beyond us," said Turner in tonight's Evening News "Stevenage caused a stir last year in terms of their trading of managers and players from Farnborough but they are a big, strong squad who are going well but equally we're going there in good heart."

United will aim to continue with their confident run which saw them beat Aldershot 4-3 on Monday and remain at the top of the Conference. David Brown's injury-time winner handed United the points, and Turner added: "It was a confidence booster for Brown who has had limited involvement so far and is just what he needed."

The only player missing for United is midfielder Rob Sawyers, while Daniel Carey-Bertram is fit again after a hamstring injury.

Stevenage have a host of players sidelined but their sizeable match squad has been boosted by the return of attacker Justin Richards from injury, while midfield duo Steve Watson and Danny Carroll are also back in contention.


Thursday, August 28, 2003

Another major test for Bulls

After last week's win over Aldershot Town, Hereford United face another top-of-the-table against Stevenage Borough at Broadhall Way on Saturday, kick off 3pm.

The Bulls hope to have Daniel Carey-Bertram back for the game after he missed the Aldershot with a hamstring injury, but an unchanged line-up is probable.

Speaking to the Hereford Times, United director of football Graham Turner said: "There are no easy matches in the Conference and we are expecting another tough game at Stevenage. They have got a very large squad, some very experienced players, and are coming off the back of a 4-1 win at Margate."

Boro' have seven players missing for the game, but given the size of their squad, they can more than cover for the absences. Goalkeeper Mark Westhead has a knee injury, and defender Jason Goodliffe is missing with a bruised shin. Graham Westley must also do without midfielders James Gould, Simon Wormull and Sam McMahon, while strikers Howard Forinton and Peter Costello also miss out.

A big crowd is expected for the game at Broadhall Way, and Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace told
'Webnews': "We expect a big crowd so I'd recommend supporters get here earlier than usual but I suspect we'll have to get used to this. Graham Westley is working non stop and will not stop until we're the best so I expect this to be the norm for the rest of the season"

After Boro's win over Margate, boss Westley said on BBC Three Counties Radio: "I expect us to get stronger throughout the week and we have a cracking game next weekend when Hereford visit us."


Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Twelve Conference sides in LDV action

Hereford United's entry to the LDV Vans Trophy for this season has been confirmed, report confguide.com.

Hereford are likely to be in the southern area of the competition, alongside sides from Divisions Two and Three and fellow Conference sides Barnet, Dagenham & Redbridge, Exeter City, Forest Green Rovers and Stevenage Borough. Chester City, Halifax Town, Morecambe, Scarborough, Shrewsbury Town and Telford United will play in the northern section. Kidderminster Harriers are likely to be in the northern section, but Cheltenham Town, Swansea City and Yeovil Town will be south of the divide.

The draw will take place on Saturday 13th September on Sky Sports' Soccer AM, and the prize fund for the competition remains unchanged from last season, and payments will be made to clubs at the conclusion of the tournament. The competition winners will receive £50,000, the runners-up £25,000, and the area final losers £20,000 each. The area semi-final losers will pocket £15,000 each, the area quarter-final losers £8,000 each while round two and round one losers will net £4,000 and £2,000 respectively each.

The competition final will be held at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday, 28th March 2004.


Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Bulls stay top

Tonight's only Conference game between the bookies current title favourites Chester City and Shrewsbury Town ended in a 2-1 win for Chester with an attendance of 4665.

This result means Hereford United stay top of the league with thirteen points from five games and Aldershot in second place with twelve points. Stevenage stay third but Chester are now joint fourth with Shrewsbury.

Meanwhile, the average attendance at Edgar Street for the first three home games this season is showing a 76% increase on last year.


Last chance to score


After yesterday's game David Brown, who came on as a sub, told the Western Daily Press how he produced the superb overhead kick that won the match for the Bulls.

"It was an instinctive thing to do," said Brown."I knew it was the last chance to score in a fantastic game."

Reflecting on the game Brown pointed out Hereford produced a great fightback after going two down in the first nine minutes and deserved victory. "At two down many other teams would have crumbled, but we have a good team spirit and that carried us through," said Brown.

Hereford director of football Graham Turner was up-beat about the fightback by his young players. "The game had everything and I am delighted. Tony James kept his nerve when he took the penalty for the second time.

"Aldershot are no mugs and have some useful players but the manner in which we won was excellent."


Where were you?

Fifteen more supporters through the gate would have given a 5,000 attendance figure yesterday at Edgar Street, which was double the next highest crowd of the day, that at Woking. It was also the highest in the Conference so far this season.

It was also United's highest crowd for a league match since 1997, and any match since 1999, when Leicester City were the opponents in the FA Cup.

And there can't have been a supporter for either team that could have complained at the excitement of the game, which was surely one of the best, if not the best, at the ground since Hereford joined the Conference.

The match had everything, goals, a re-taken penalty, a bust up in the Shots dressing room at half-time, yellow cards galore, and a red one near the end. Yet it wasn't a dirty match and a number of cards given were for enthusiatic challenges more than real fouls.

Those fans who set off for the ground at their normal time were faced with queue of ten to fifteen minutes to gain entrance!

The game attracted a few extra reporters and so there should be articles in both the Telegraph and the Times this morning.

As a result of the win, Hereford odds to top the Conference this season have been reduced again to 6-1 by Skybet.

Hereford United will remain top of the Conference even if Shrewsbury Town, currently three points behind the Bulls, beat Chester City this evening unless the margin is by at least six goals. A draw might suit the Bulls.


Monday, August 25, 2003

Late goal in the name of entertainment!

Scorer of Hereford United's second goal, Michael Rose, was exhilerated after beating Aldershot Town 4-3.

"We've got to keep everyone entertained," he joked of the injury-time goal. "We've done really well and it was disappointing to concede three goals but we battled really well to come out on top.

"They caused us a few problems but it's nothing we haven't dealt with before. They looked a decent side but we were the better team on the day."

Talking to BBC Hereford & Worcester, he said of his own goal: "I got the ball and just hit it. I didn't think it was going in but as I looked up, it was!

"We put a lot of pressure on them in the second half. They had one chance and they scored from it, but we kept going."

Aldershot boss Terry Brown was annoyed to have lost the match in injury time and in the process surrender top-spot in the league. "We're just disappointed to have lost a very close encounter," he said. "I thought they were brilliant at times and played good football."

"This game sums up just why we're delighted to be in the Conference," he said. "It was a fantastic football match and I thought it had everything.

However, the switching of goalkeepers at half-time came after a bust-up with Nikki Bull. "There's only room for one gaffer in the dressing room - and that's me," proclaimed Brown, who was also angry at his side's red card. "I thought the Roscoe D'Sane sending-off was diabolical. He didn't make contact with the man or the ball."

United manager Graham Turner was delighted with the outcome. "That was one of the most exciting matches in the eight years I've been at Edgar Street," he said. "Everything we did wrong was exposed in the first ten minutes, but we stuck at it."


Seven goal thriller

Hereford United came off the field with a four-three win over Aldershot this afternoon, in one of the most exciting game at Edgar Street for some years. The Shots went 2-0 up but Hereford improved their game with goals from James, Williams , Rose and the winner from sub David Brown. The attendance was 4985.

Terry's report is here.


Sunday, August 24, 2003

First meeting for twelve years

Tomorrow sees a top of the table clash with the leaders travelling to the 2nd placed club in the Conference, kick off 3pm.

Hereford United host Aldershot at Edgar Street in the first game between the two clubs since October 1991, when a single goal at Edgar Street handed the Bulls the Fourth Division points.

This result, though, was expunged from the records when the old Aldershot club went bust in March 1992, resigning from the Football League. Tomorrow's opponents are the reformed club, and it is the first time the two have met.

In the eleven years since reformation, Aldershot have risen from the Isthmian Division Three to the Conference, where they lie today after last season's Ryman League Premier Division win.

Terry Brown, now manager at the Recreation Ground, has something of an injury problem at the back with Jim Rodwell, Ray Warburton and Dean Hooper all likely to miss out on the game, although Dean Sterling is likely to feature again. Anthony Charles is a long-term injury victim after undergoing a hernia operation.

Hereford United have a doubt over the fitness of striker Daniel Carey-Bertram, who came off with a hamstring strain in yesterday's 1-1 draw at Barnet.


Disappointment over dropped points

Hereford United midfielder Danny Williams was slightly disappointed with the outcome of yesterday's 1-1 draw at Barnet.

Talking to BBC Hereford & Worcester, the ex-Chesterfield man said: "It was a decent point and a decent game. At the moment the lads are a bit disappointed after going one-up and then missing out.

"We came here and lost last season, but this season after they scored we stayed strong."

The Bulls' goal came on seventy-six minutes as Tony James tucked away a penalty awarded for a foul on Ben Smith. "It was a definite penalty, Although a few of their players didn't seem to think so." proclaimed Williams. "Tony James stuck it away well."

Barnet boss Martin Allen wasn't so sure about the decision. "I am not sure it was a penalty, but the referee gave it and we have to respect his decision," he said.

Barnet equalised eight minutes later after a free-kick was laid-off to Barnet's Ian Hendon to storm home from thirty yards. "The free-kick took a bit of a deflection and we all thought it was going wide but it got them back into the game," continued Williams.

Despite dropping two points, Martin Allen was pleased with the outcome. "Hereford are the best team at the moment so it was good to get a point," he added. "If we had played like that last year, we might have ended up being beaten."

"We did not play well, but we have got the draw against the best team in the league."

"I'm not too disappointed," said United director of football Graham Turner after the match. "This is a tough place to get a point. We're second, we have ten points and crucially, we are unbeaten."

The Bulls now play Aldershot on Monday at Edgar Street in a top-of-the-table clash. "We're really looking forward to the match. It should be a good test, and should have a good few fans there," said Williams, who was concerned that striker Daniel Carey-Bertram may have to miss the match with a tweaked hamstring picked up in the game at Underhill.


Saturday, August 23, 2003

Winning streak ends

Barnet today became the first team of the new season to take any points off Hereford. United only managed a draw against a physical Barnet side. The Bulls took the lead in front of their 300 followers with a Tony James penalty (78), but where unable to hold out for the three points after Hendon free-kick was deflected past Matt Baker six minutes later.

Terry's report is here.


Friday, August 22, 2003

Turner looks ahead to weekend games

In an interview with Trevor Owens of BBC Hereford and Worcester, Graham Turner, the Hereford United director of football, has been looking forwrd to this weekend's games and looking back at the season so far.

He said "It's been a great start in terms of the points, goals scored and the goals against column looks very good and I think everybody is enjoying it at the moment. The important thing is not to get carried away. I think there is still room for improvement.

"It's concerned me a couple of times against Morecambe that we conceded chances, good chances to Morecambe at crucial stages of the game. Having said that we had a lot of oppurtunities ourselves from good play, from good passing movements. 3-0 I don't think it flattered us as certainly we could have popped one or two more in but it just concerns me that we have to keep our feet on the floor.

"It will be a tough task at Barnet, to go there and get something and basically the message to the players is that it's been hard work in these three matches and if we continue to work as hard in the next half dozen matches or so we will get a good return from those games as well.

"The two front players that have started off, Steve Guinan and Rob Purdie, have done very well for us not only with goals, Steve's very good return at the moment, but the amount of work they have done, the movement off the ball, the supporting play from the two of them and the combination between the two of them, the understanding, has been first class.

"Obviously we have got David Brown to come in. He has had his first reserve match this week since his collar-bone problem and came through it okay and Daniel Carey-Bertram is doing exceptionally well. He scored a hat-trick for the reserves at Hednesford this week. He got on against Forest Green and scored. He should have scored against Morecambe, probably the easiest chance of the match, but he's looking very lively and has a good attitude towards work and wants to be in that side.

"There is a bit of competition for those front places and we will need that during the course of the season. We have got Steve Guinan at the moment carrying a slight thigh problem. He is getting through the matches but missing the occasional training day and that not the ideal scenario. We are hoping with the rest that he has had this week it might have cleared it up but if at any time he does struggle then we have got adequate replacements to come in.

"We will probably need them over this weekend with two games in three days, Barnet tomorrow and Aldershot on Monday. You need that cover and I think this season although we have not got a great deal of numbers, we have got adequate cover in terms of playing strength.

"I watched the Aldershot game on television when they beat Accrington Stanley and I think they are a decent side. At the back they have got two very experienced players in Warburton and Rodwell. Upfront I thought they were a handfull so we know that it's going to be a tough task. They have not taken their nine points by accident. It was a tremendous win for them at Telford 5-2 and Telford were one of the fancied sides this season so I think we will respect them.

"But first of all we have to get through Barnet which is never an easy place to go to. Tony James and Andy Tretton will need all their experience and know-how to cope with the Barnet front two. If we can contain them we have a good chance of taking the points."


United boss impressed with opposite number

Graham Turner is expecting a tough match tomorrow when the Bulls travel to Barnet tomorrow, kick off 3pm.

Steve Guinan is available after overcoming a thigh injury leaving just Rob Sawyers sidelined, but Turner is aware of the threat that Barnet pose after they beat highly-fancied Telford United 2-0 on the opening day.

Turner said he admires Barnet boss Martin Allen's management style. "I was quite impressed with Martin last season, he was a constant source of encouragement from the dugout and they've got a decent team particularly up front with Grazioli and Strevens," he told the Evening News.

"They will be fired up, organised and prepared to work hard, so we will need to impose our character and style on the game but in the mood we are in we can do that."

Fitness is also a major aspect of the game as the Bulls play Aldershot on Monday. "We need to be lucky at Barnet in terms of staying clear of injuries because there's no time to strengthen or replace players," Turner added.

Aldershot won the Ryman League last season and have won their first three matches in the Conference. "The momentum which Aldershot gained from promotion has kept them going," he said. "Aldershot are a solid side, their front two look very strong and they have got some experienced players so perhaps their start to the season is not such a big surprise."


Youth side slump to defeat

Hereford United's debut in the Midland Floodit Youth League Premier Division didn't go quite according to plan last night.

They hosted Sutton Coldfield Town, but went down 3-1 in the match in their second defeat of the week.

On Monday night, the Bulls lost 7-0 at Port Vale in the first round of the Midland Youth Cup.


Thursday, August 21, 2003

Star striker fit for Barnet test

Hereford United's joint top scorer, Steve Guinan, is fit to face Barnet on Saturday.

The attacker, who along with Ben Smith has scored four times in three matches, had a thigh problem but has been passed fit to play at Underhill, leaving midfielder Rob Sawyers as the only doubt with a back injury.

Barnet boss Martin Allen hopes his side can bounce back from a crushing 5-2 defeat against Deganham & Redbridge, and said: "The players will want to put in a good performance after the disappointment of last week."

Top scorer Guiliano Grazioli, with three goals, is expected to the lead the attack against a United side yet to drop a point and having scored eleven goals.


Reserves beat off Hednesford

In last night's Central Conference reserve match, the Bulls won 4-0 against Hednesford Town. Daniel Carey-Bertram scored a hatrick in the game, and United line-up was: Adam Ding, Paul Collins, Dean Craven, Steve O'Kelly, Richard Teesdale, Jordan King, Chris Mortlock, Daniel Carey-Bertram, David Brown, Alex Loban.

Graham Turner will run the reserve side with Richard O'Kelly this season, and Turner said: "The league will be much better run this season and, although Grantham are in it, the agreement is to play them twice at neutral grounds."

The youth side won 5-0 against Lye Town in the pre-season friendly, and the scorers were Chris Mortlock (2), Lewis Jones, Dean Jordan and Ben Jordan.

However, they crashed 7-0 on Tuesday night to Port Vale to exit the Midland Youth Cup at the opening stage.

The Hereford United Disabled Team kick-off the pre-season matches on Sunday, when they play Chelsea at the Leisure Centre, kick off 2pm.

Elsewhere, former United attacker Stewart Phillips has raised over £2,000 from his London Marathon run. The money will go to three-year-old William Gregory, who has cerebral palsy, and will be used to buy a specialist computer and pay for treatment in London.


Bulls' hopes for cash injection dampened

The sale of a proportion of Mark Blandford's shares in Sportingbet could see him inject some of the fortune into Hereford United.

He reportedly raised just under £2.5 million from the sale, previously reported on HU-FC.co.uk, and is known to be an avid supporter of the club.

However, he has other priorities before the football club. "I know there have been expectations from some fans that I may put money into the football club, but my main priority is my family," he told the Hereford Times.

Meanwhile, the trouble at Tamworth has sparked the board of directors to make a statement on the 'hooligan element' attached to the club. The club are worried about a potential points deduction, and fine, the could be levied if the trouble continues from the twenty or so fans involved, report the Hereford Times.

At the liaison meeting, West Mercia Police will be in attendance to enter into discussions about the problem.

"The incidents, when they happen, occur at away matches," said chairman Graham Turner. "However, it must be pointed out that there were no arrests at the match in Tamworth and the problems do not occur at Edgar Street."

Turner added that court exclusion orders are required against culprits, and that four United followers are currently banned from Edgar Street.


Turner's toughest test

Hereford United face their biggest challenge of the new season, according to Graham Turner, as the Bulls go to Barnet on Saturday, kick off 3pm.

Talking to the Hereford Times, Turner said: "In Martin Allen, Barnet have a very lively and enthusiastic manager. Barnet will be fired up, organised and prepared to work hard, so we will need to impose our character and style on the game."

The Bulls could have Rob Sawyers back from injury for the match, and if that happens could name a fit bill of health for the trip.

Barnet, who lost 5-2 to Dagenham & Redbridge last Saturday, will miss Liam Hatch through injury, and could drop goalkeeper Danny Naisbitt after his disappointing showing in the aforementioned match. Nineteen-year-old Ricky Millard is set to deputise.


Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Morecambe pictures online

HU-FC.co.uk has images of the Morecambe game now online.

These can be accessed by clicking here.

Many thanks to Peter Povall for providing these images.

United's next match is at Barnet on Saturday, and those eligible to concessionary rates can collect vouchers from Edgar Street. Those without tickets must pay full price at Underhill.


Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Odds slashed on Guinan golden boot

The chances of Steve Guinan finishing as top scorer in this season's Nationwide Conference have been severely shortened.

A couple of weeks back, the ex-Nottingham Forest striker was 50/1 but Skybet now quote him at 10/1, alongside Giuliano Grazioli from Barnet, Lee Mills of Telford United and Chester City's Daryl Clare. Mark Stein and Luke Rodgers are favourites at 8/1.

Other United players in the leading odds are Ben Smith at 25/1 with David Brown and Rob Purdie at 50/1. On the title odds front, United are 8/1, joint fourth favourites with Dagenham & Redbridge.


Monday, August 18, 2003

Turner delighted with victory

Graham Turner has told the Footballers Channel that in the three games so far this season Hereford United have played extremely well.

"We have scored a lot of goals and we have played extremely well and that's the pleasing thing," he said. "It's never easy at the start of the season. Everybody is fired up, everybody thinks they are going to have a good season.

"Morecambe are a well fancied team, second best team in the League last season. To have got a win in the style that we have done is a terrific acheivement for us.

"I think there was some terrific passing movements. It was quite creative at times and that speaks volumes for the standard of the Conference. There are a lot of full-time teams in there who work very hard at the game and we are no exception. What we have done on the training ground we are now seeing in matches and we have got some talented players. Not the biggest, not the strongest but some talented players and that's in evidence at the moment."

Picking out players, Turner added: "Ben Smith is a forward running mid-field player, eye for a goal and he has started the season off in fine style. But there were so many good performances it is difficult to pick out individuals. It was a magnificent team performance."

Turning to Rob Purdie, he continued: "He's got terrific technique, great endurance, wants to work. He's got good pace and I think he's got the confidence. He's had a man of the match award. All those sorts of things do the world of good for a young player.

"We expected a tough game and I felt they might come at us second-half but the way we defended did not allow them too many clear-cut chances. The game in the end was not easy for us but fairly comfortable the longer the game went on."


Banning orders in the Conference

Home Office figures released today show that seven Conference clubs have so-called supporters with Football Banning Orders.

The clubs involved are Aldershot, Chester, Exeter, Halifax, Hereford, Shrewsbury and Tamworth. Only thirty-four banning orders are currently in force. Shrewsbury head the list with 22 orders.

Cardiff head the national list with 169 bans.


Rose and Baker to collect awards

The confguide.com has reported that Michael Rose and Matt Baker are to collect plaques for being in the England National Game XI (formerly the England Semi-pro XI) which won the Four Nations Tournament in Wales last May.

At half-time in the full international friendly between England and Croatia at Portman Road, the players from the National Game XI will be awarded their Four Nations winning plaques by Newcastle United boss Sir Bobby Robson, who is The FA's Guest of Honour at the Suffolk club where he made his name almost twenty five years ago.

The game is to be played on Wednesday 20th August.


Sunday, August 17, 2003

Turnover rules unclear

In an article published in today's Non-League Paper, the chairman of Chester City, ex-boxer Stephen Vaughan, estimates that his club has swallowed £1.8 million of his own money and goes on to say that if his manager Mark Wright needs more money to strengthen the side, it will be found.

He also says that he wants to develop a multi-purpose clubroom, capable of catering for up to 400, which without any brewery support will cost another £1 million.

Vaughan is full of praise for the Conference. "It is run on a very professional basis," he said. "The expansion plans are the right way ahead.

"We did vote against the wage-capping, but with our turnover hopefully set to top the £1 million mark, we can live with it."

The 65% rule that was introduced by the Conference for this season means that Chester should be able to pay their players about £650,000 in wages. Although their squad is larger than that at Hereford, some of their players are probably earning more per week as well.

Comparing turnover is difficult. Last season the average gate at the Deva Stadium was 2406 which was 368 more than at Edgar Street. Admission charges were similar so the question has to be where does the rest of Chester's turnover come from?

Graham Turner has suggested that he will have about £400,000 for wages, including National Insurance payments this season. This figure may increase should gate receipts stay close to the current higher level. For the first two home games this season the gate at Chester has averaged 2074 and at Hereford 3068.

Turner recently told Talking Bull that he could not see how certain Conference club managers seem to be spending considerable sums despite the new rule. "I hear that some players are said to be earning £2,000 per week. We don't see how they can be sticking to the rules especially when you consider that some of these clubs have average gates of 800 to 1000."

It is understood that the Conference are likely to look at how clubs are managing the 65% rule during the season, but unless an audit is carried out it is difficult to ascertain how any checks can be accurate. In any case the Conference have refused to tell the press more than a very basic summary of how the rule is to be policed.

Meanwhile Sportingbet has told HU-FC.co.uk that it has withdrawn its 16-1 offer on the Bulls winning the Conference. Its latest price will be available tomorrow.


Reserve team relaunched

Hereford United have announced that the reserve team will play competitive matches this season, after featuring in only friendly matches in 2002/03.

The Bulls will play in the Sygnus Central Conference Reserve League alongside Grantham Town, Hednesford Town, Nuneaton Borough and Stafford Rangers. Two other teams are likely to be added to the line-up, according to the Bullseye magazine.

Hednesford Town is the destination for United in the first match on Wednesday, 20th August.

The 2001/02 Central Conference was not completed, and as a result, only Hednesford and Hereford have entered the new set-up after the competition was not competed last term.

Of the 2001/02 season, Graham Turner said: "It was very foolish to include Boston from so far away in the league last season and, sadly, the league was a complete and utter shambles."


Saturday, August 16, 2003

Performance impresses Pitman

Bulls midfielder Jamie Pitman was delighted with the outcome of today's match against Morecambe.

Talking to BBC Hereford & Worcester, he said: "We're delighted with the start we've had. Today was always going to be a tough game but it turned out that we dominated most of it.

"Our workrate on the pitch is what gets us our results," he continued. "We've worked hard over the summer and it's starting to show in the games."

Of Morecambe, he added: "They had a lot of possession but could not break us down and that's due to an excellent back four, and the midfield lads, who work exceptionally hard."

Graham Turner was obviously very pleased. "It was a magnificent team performance," said the Hereford director of football. "Morecambe have a number of very useful players but in the second half when we expected them to come back at us our covering and tracking back were excellent.

On the quality of the game Turner commented "It speaks volumes for the strength of the Conference"

Meanwhile, once again HU-FC.co.uk reports that the odds on the Bulls winning the Conference are dropping.

Only Sportingbet are still quoting good odds of 16-1. Bet 365 has shortened its price to 7-1 and Skybet is giving 8-1.


Bulls stay top

Hereford United stay top of the Conference tonight with nine points but still only on goal average from newcomers Aldershot. The two clubs meet at Edgar Street on Monday week. Aldershot beat Telford 5-2 at the Bucks Head this afternoon where ex-Bulls striker John Grant scored late on for the home team.

Hereford have scored eleven goals against two and Aldershot nine with four against them. After these two teams come Halifax, Shrewsbury and Chester all on seven points.

Before the Hereford game Ian Wright the former Bulls captain presented Michael Rose with a plaque for reaching last season's Conference team of the year. Wright has moved to Burton but was injured last Tuesday so was able to do the presentation.


Three wins in a row

Hereford United made it three league wins in a row with a 3-0 defeat of Morecambe at Edgar Street. Goals by Ben Smith, Steve Guinan and Ben Smith again proved too much for the Shrimps.

The only disappointment was that the attendance just failed to reach 3000.

Terry's report is here.


General news round-up

  • Going to Barnet, Stevenage or Farnborough? The trips to Barnet and Stevenage depart at 9.30am and cost £16 and £17 respectively, while Farnborough is a 10am departure on the match day costing £15. Bookings for the supporters coach will be taken through the club office and also in Legends before today's match.
  • The HUISA AGM is today, Saturday, at midday in the Richmond Club.
  • Today also sees the first Talking Bull of the new season on sale. The new design has given the publication a fresh feeling, and it will be available for just £1.
  • The club have organised two sports dinners. They will both be held at the Three Counties Hotel, with the first on Thursday 13th November and the next on Thursday 19th February 2004. The November date includes after-dinner speaker Steve Kindon and comedian Ian Lees, and costs £30, while John Conteh and comedian Bob Webb will be the guests in February. Tickets are available now for the November date from the club.
  • In the last few days, HU-FC.co.uk's worldwide appeal has been proven, with users all over the globe. In addition to those in the UK and Ireland, visitors have been recorded in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, France, Greece, the USA, Australia, Cyprus, Belgium, South Africa, Singapore, Italy, Romania, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, Japan and Russia. Thanks to all our visitors.

Friday, August 15, 2003

Bulls aim to maintain lead

Graham Turner hopes that Hereford United can maintain their good start to the season, which sees them lying top of the Nationwide Conference.

The Bulls have had to overcome blistering heat in their opening two matches, and Turner acknowledges that the performances have been great to watch.

He told BBC Hereford & Worcester: "I think we all agree that the opening two matches have been outstanding in both our performances and results. It was a hard fought game at Tamworth. We had to wear them down, and against Forest Green it was,I thought, for a period quite a hard match. It wasn't until we went 2-1 up just before half time, that the mood of the players changed and we could go on and play.

"When you look at this time last year, it was Woking that started off at a sprint and went from almost top to almost bottom in a matter of weeks. We know the pitfalls and this game against Morecambe will be a real test. They were the second best team in the league last year, so it will be a fair test for our ability to see if we can get three points out of this game."

Despite lacking the physical presence of some sides in the Conference, Turner is adamant that the fitness and ability of the squad will shine through.

"The early indications are favourable about our level of fitness, but it's also the desire to work hard," he said. "When we've had the ball, the movement and the supporting ability for the man on the ball has been excellent.

"In Andy Tretton and Tony James, we have excellent headers of the ball. We compare to Yeovil last year in terms of personnel in the side. They weren't the tallest side in the league, but had two centre halves who could head well."

Hereford have fielded the same starting eleven for the first two matches of the season, so several players have not yet seen any action. "We have a reserve match next week for those who haven't played so far to get some football, to gain some match practice ahead of next weekend's games," added the United boss.

At tomorrow's match, the first edition of Talking Bull 2003/04 will be available. It has a new format, and all sales support the club.


Two doubts for Conference battle

Rob Sawyers is likely to miss Hereford United's third match of the season, when they host Morecambe at Edgar Street tomorrow, kick off 3pm.

The former Barnet midfielder has a back injury, and Steve Guinan could also miss out on the match if he is not fit enough to take his place in the line-up.

Turner told BBC Hereford & Worcester: "Steve Guinan is struggling with a quad injury. He's got through the last two matches, but it will be a calculated decision as to whether he starts against Morecambe. If not, David Brown is ready to come in."

"You have to keep your feet on the floor," he added. "What has got us two results will get us the next few results and that was based on hard work and the ability of the players.

"That hard work is definitely in evidence and it's got to continue."

The Shrimps are also injury-free for the match against a Bulls side currently top of the Nationwide Conference.


Thursday, August 14, 2003

James is confident

Tony James, the Hereford United captain, is confident the Bulls can make a serious challenge for the Nationwide Conference title after comprehensive victories in their first two matches.

Speaking to the Western Daily Press, James said: "We couldn't have wished for a better start after beating Tamworth (3-1) and Forest Green Rovers (5-1).

"It was a big disappointment to just miss making the play-offs last April but we are confident we can do better than that this time.

"Although we are still a young side most of us know what Conference football is all about now.

"Last season we picked up only five points from our first five games at Edgar Street and we will be aiming to do much better."

Meanwhile, Hereford are now being quoted at 9-1 to win the Conference by Stanleybet, down one point in just 24 hours.


Shrimps to provide tough test

Hereford United aim to remain in top spot in the Nationwide Conference by collecting the points from Morecambe at Edgar Street on Saturday, kick off 3pm.

Jimmy Harvey's men have won one and lost one of their opening games, as they slumped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Halifax Town on Tuesday night while Hereford were crushing Forest Green Rovers 5-1.

The Shrimps are could field former Bull Chris Lane at right-back, who switched from Southport in the summer and Graham Turner, the United boss, is expecting a tough encounter.

"Morecambe are a very good side, who, like us, try to play some good football, so it should be an interesting encounter," he told the Hereford Times.

The Bulls should have a full squad to choose from, although striker David Brown is still recovering from a broken collarbone.

For the latest match updates throughout the game, including post-match reaction, call Hereford United ClubCall on 09068 121 645. The organisation are trialling the viability of reports in the early stages of the season, so please support their efforts as funds generated go to support the club.


Police use website to monitor trouble-makers

Following the isolated incidents of trouble at Tamworth last Saturday, the police have revealed that they will monitor a website to anticipate the hooligan's moves.

PC Steve Thomas, the football liaison officer in Hereford, said that the internet is 'a key instrument' for the hooligans, report the Hereford Times.

Hereford United boss Graham Turner, who calmed down the trouble during the first half at Tamworth, said: "They are not interested in football but they are sadly associated with this football club and should not be."

The police were effective in stifling any trouble in Hereford on the last day of last season, when Doncaster Rovers were the visitors.


Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Odds cut again

The odds on Hereford United winning the Conference this season have been cut by all but one of the leading bookmakers as the Bulls currently top the league.

Prices have dropped as low as 10-1 at some on-line bookies and the average price appears to be 11-1. Chester are still favourites at prices between 7-2 and 9-2.

United are still quoted at 16/1 with Sportingbet, whose founder and deputy chairman Mark Blandford yesterday sold £2.48 million worth of shares in the online betting group.

Blandford, a Hereford United supporter, has reduced his share by almost third to just 8% in the Channel Island-based organisation. He formed Sportingbet six years ago, as the dot com boom began.


Addison plays up United's promotion credentials

It was certainly en emphatic display from Hereford United last night, who beat local rivals Forest Green Rovers 5-1.

Bulls director of football Graham Turner praised his side's performance highly, after three second-half goals wrapped up the points.

"We were full of running, ideas and creativity," he said. "We never allowed them to upset our rhythm."

In the other dug-out battered Rovers manager Colin Addison had no reply to Hereford's attacking prowess. Summing up after the game, he felt Hereford were among the promotion favourites.

"Hereford are certainly a team to be reckoned with this season. They played some excellent football and scored some great goals," said the former Hereford boss. "They are a team to be reckoned with this season and I congratulate them and Graham Turner on a great performance.

"They've absolutely whipped up tonight and I haven't got any complaint about it. The score was right."


Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Skipper pleased with five-star United

After tonight's 5-1 win over Forest Green Rovers, Hereford United captain Tony James was naturally delighted with the outcome.

"It was a very good win for us," he told Trevor Owens of BBC Hereford & Worcester. "We played some really good football on a nice pitch and got the right result.

"We've been good at finishing all through pre-season and the build-up play in the last third has been exceptional. It's making it easy for us at the back."

The winning run could continue on Saturday at Edgar Street, when the Bulls face Morecambe. However, James reckons that the opening sequence was a tricky one.

"When you look at the fixtures, I thought it was quite a difficult start," said the twenty-four year-old defender. "We've got Morecambe next, but we can't do any better than six points from two games."


Overwhelming

Hereford United capitulated Forest Green Rovers 5-1 tonight, in front of over 3,100 spectators at Edgar Street.

Terry's report is here.


United aim to hold onto top spot

Graham Turner reckons that his Hereford side can stay top of the Nationwide Conference tonight and can build upon Saturday's win at Tamworth.

Another three points will be required though, as the Bulls play at Edgar Street tonight against Forest Green Rovers, kick off 7.45pm.

United won 3-1 at Tamworth and Turner told the Evening News: "I expect another tough battle against Forest Green with all the added spice of them being local rivals. However, we showed we've got the nerve to handle whatever is thrown at us.

"I saw Rovers last week and they remain a decent side, strong with the likes of Neil Grayson still in there causing problems."

Potentially missing for Hereford is midfielder Rob Sawyers, who picked up a knock in training yesterday, but the Bulls should do well against a Forest Green side lacking firepower. Colin Addison lost top scorer Kayode Odejayi and imposing attacker Alex Meechan in the summer as they joined Cheltenham Town and Dagenham & Redbridge respectively, and as a result on-loan youngster Dave Gilroy from Bristol Rovers and veteran attacker Neil Grayson, once of Hereford, are expected to be named in attack. They started in the 0-0 draw with Northwich Victoria on Saturday, with teenager Scott Rogers and former on-loan Bull Steve Cowe named on the bench.

Also missing for Rovers will be Kevin Langan, who is part of the Great Britain football squad playing in the World University Games in South Korea this month,

Rovers boss Addison said: "It will be a hard game as they had a good victory at Tamworth (on Saturday) and I fully expect them to be in at least the play-offs at the end of the season or possibly gaining automatic promotion."

"I may change a few things tactically but we will have to wait and see," he told the Western Daily Press.


Monday, August 11, 2003

Brown in contention for derby match

Hereford United play their first home match of the new Conference season when they host Forest Green Rovers tomorrow night, kick off 7.45pm.

The Bulls hope that striker David Brown will feature after recovering sufficiently from a broken collarbone to be in contention, while Jordan King has also got over his bout on tonsilitis. Defender Andy Tretton is set to continue at centre-back after suffering no reaction to his back injury in Saturday's 3-1 win at Tamworth.

Forest Green, who finished in the top half of the table last term, will be eager to build upon last season's success with a strong start this time.

The Gloucestershire side, managed by Colin Addison, twice boss of Hereford, drew 0-0 with Northwich Victoria on Saturday and are likely to field ex-Bull Neil Grayson in attack.

However, Gareth Stoker, another former Hereford midfielder, will not feature as he is suffering from shoulder cartilage injury.



United to feature on Sky again

Hereford United's match against Dagenham & Redbridge has been switched for live television coverage.

The game, originally scheduled for Saturday, 11th October, will now be played on Monday 13th October and will be shown live by Sky Sports.

Meanwhile, Hereford United will issue concessions vouchers for the Barnet away match a week on Saturday. Anyone wishing to travel to the ground and eligible for reduced rates (ie. those under sixteen or over sixty) must collect a voucher from Edgar Street before the match, or the full price (£10 instead of £4) will be charged.

When Hereford United announce that the vouchers are available, it will be posted on HU-FC.co.uk.

The forum is back, but could be up and down today because of server upgrades.


Sunday, August 10, 2003

Odds cut for Bulls

The odds on Hereford United winning the Conference are dropping. Only Stanleybet and Sportingbet now have the Bulls at 16/1.

14/1 is quoted by several bookies including Ladbrooks whilst 12/1 is available at Bet Direct, Paddy Power, Skybet, Bet365, and Victor Chandler.

The average price is down by about two points.

Chester remain favourites at either 9/2 or 4/1. Then, in order, come Dagenham, Stevenage, Shrewsbury, Morecambe and Exeter. If the bookies are correct this would mean that the Bulls are predicted to finish seventh this season.


Inaccessible fans forum information

We are aware of the problems regarding access to the fans forum and have notified confguide.com of this.

They have replied to us, saying that the server is down and will probably re-appear some time on Monday, as nobody at Positive Internet is available on Sunday.

Apologies for this delay but it is beyond the control of us or confguide.com. The Conference Guide and other forums are also unavailable currently, as they are run from the same server.

In today's Conference match, Aldershot beat Accrington Stanley 2-1, meaning Hereford stay top.


Tamworth boss slams defensive performance

It wasn't a pretty sight in the Tamworth dressing room after yesterday's 3-1 defeat against Hereford.

Manager Darron Gee told the Non-League Paper: "I don't want to make excuses. We defended very poorly for the second and third goals. It was the sort of defending that we might have got away with nin the Dr. Martens, but at this level you get punished.

"What disappointed me most was that we switched off after the first goal and then gave away another couple after the break with poor marking. We have learned fast, because these are painful lessons. The second and third goals killed us off."

Despite the defeat, Gee was upbeat about Tamworth's chances this season. "I thought our football was good for the first twenty minutes and that has given me some encouragement," he added.

Hereford manager Graham Turner, though, was much happier with the outcome which sees the Bulls hold the Conference top-spot after the opening round of matches.

"We lived dangerously early on, but I never felt uncomfortable," he said. "The goal from Guinan was terrific; he scored fifteen for us last season and I think he could get more this term.

"It was always going to be difficult against Tamworth on their first day in the Conference, but I thought we coped very well."

In the HU-FC.co.uk Predictions League, twelve players are tied in top spot. The full table is in the 'Interactive!' section.


Saturday, August 09, 2003

Delight for Smith after brace

Ben Smith, who netted two goals in Hereford United's 3-1 victory at Tamworth today, was delighted with the outcome.

"It was a excellent start," he told BBC Hereford & Worcester. "We always knew it was going to be a tough game, and they came at us in the first twenty minutes but Steve Guinan scored an excellent goal."

The conditions obviously had an impact on proceedings, particularly with the sun beaming down on the pitch. "It was so hot, and it was really hard to get going, but once Steve scored we had them on the back foot and deserved the win.

"It helped that we played a part-time team because no matter now much they train, they're not training as much as us and in the second half, I think that showed."

Smith was confident that today's victory can be built upon. "Once you start well, then anything can happen but if we have a poor start, then we're always playing catch-up. We've started well and if we get to the top, hopefully we can stay there all season."


Bulls hit top spot after opening day victory

Hereford United lie top of the Nationwide Conference this evening after beating Tamworth 3-1 at the Lamb today.

The scoreline, secured thanks to goals from Ben Smith (two) and Steve Guinan, was only marred by Mark Cooper's late reply.

Terry's report on the game is here.

In today's other Conference matches, the only team to win by more than a single goal margin was Barnet, 2-0 victors over Telford United, while Stevenage Borough and Chester City drew 0-0 and Margate held Shrewsbury Town 1-1. Forest Green Rovers and Northwich Victoria shared the points, as did Exeter City and Halifax Town, and there were also wins for Burton Albion, Leigh RMI, Morecambe and Scarborough.

Meanwhile, in the FA Youth Cup 1st qualifying round, Hereford United have been drawn to play Cinderford Town. If they win that match, they will play the winners of the Yate Town vs Worcester City match in the second round, and the team that progresses to the third qualifying round will be away to Bournemouth.


Friday, August 08, 2003

Coach aims for the top!

In his first year with Hereford United, coach Richard O'Kelly played an important role in one of the Bulls' most successful seasons in recent years.

So how high is HU-FC.co.uk sponsored O'Kelly aiming this season?

"As high as we possibly can! Pre-season training has gone well, we have an enthusiastic squad and we can't praise them highly enough. The work they've done in training, their attitude and everything they do is first class."

"The group of players left from last year had a great team spirit and the new players are of the same ilk; they're young, enthusiastic and want to improve themselves. If you have fifteen or sixteen players with that frame of mind then they'll get better."

One of the pre-season signings, David Brown, is expected to score plenty of goals this season.

"David Brown started off the pre-season training very well, and he's obviously worked at his fitness over the summer because his fitness levels were very high for a player of his type," said O'Kelly. "Unfortunately, we had a training ground collision and he ended up with a cracked collarbone, but the initial diagnosis was about six to eight weeks. After further x-rays, though, it doesn't look so bad."

Another striker, Danny Bertram, signed recently but at Bromyard, was taken off soon after entering the area. O'Kelly explains: "He had a dead leg against Ludlow and there was a little bit of residue left over from that, and I think he just felt a little bit tight when he went on yesterday so, as a precaution, we took him off.

"I signed Danny at West Bromwich Albion when he was fourteen or fifteen and followed his career with interest. I was very surprised that he was released. He is not the finished article, nowhere near, but he has wonderful enthusiasm, a good touch and pace combined with an eye for goal, he can only turn into a better player."

Another player, Danny Moon, has featured in the United team this pre-season, playing at centre back. "Danny was involved with us last year, and he never let himself down," continued O'Kelly "He's a local lad, Hereford through-and-through, and he's still involved with the football club.It's always good to have local lads involved with the team."


Mrs. Turner stuck in the middle!

Hereford United manager Graham Turner has utilised an infrequently-used scouting tactic ahead of tomorrow's matc against Tamworth, kick off 3pm.

Despite missing the match through injury, Graham's son Mark plays for Tamworth and it made for some awkward conversations.

Mark told the Evening News: "Mum is in a state because Dad keeps asking her to get information out of me and I keep quizzing her on what Dad is up to.

"I have played against dad's teams before and they are always very challenging games. The rivalry certainly makes Sunday dinners more interesting."

Tamworth have lost coaches Steve Walsh and David Norton this summer, but manager Darron Gee boosted the squad by signing striker Marc McGregor and goalkeeper Phil Whitehead.

Lambs' commercial manager Russell Moore told the BBC: "We were staring at possible relegation to the Midland League just two years ago, so we've earnt the right to be here through lots of hard work. We know we have a very tough season ahead of us and they don't come much tougher than starting with Hereford."

The opponent's new signings and recent promotion from the Dr. Martens Premier Division does not mean Hereford are not confident, after a successful pre-season.

"It's gone very well both in terms of the matches and the quality of the training," said the United boss Turner. "We took the lads for further fitness tests at Gloucester University and the results have been quite impressive and there's been a big improvement from the start of pre-season."

David Brown, the attacker out with a broken collarbone, is unlike to feature at all but Jordan King's throat infection and Andy Tretton's back injury should have recovered sufficiently.

"Everybody is in the running," continued Turner. "Rob Purdie has done well and all the lads are showing a good touch and mobility."


Thursday, August 07, 2003

Pre-season success provides optimism for Williams

Hereford United midfielder Danny Williams is upbeat about Hereford United's chances in the Conference this season, particularly after an impressive pre-season campaign.

"We've had some good wins, a lot of good goals, and the lads are looking fit and sharp so hopefully it will be a good season," he told HU-FC.co.uk.

"The new signings have impressed us all in training. We haven't seen them much in the games yet but Jordan (King) has done well in the matches and (David) Brown has been unfortunate with his injury. He looked really sharp in the first few weeks of training so looks a good signing."

While Hereford's total transfer spending in the last six years totals zero, the likes of Telford United and Chester City appear to have plenty of money to bolster their promotion push.

That doesn't really worry Williams, who feels that the squad at Hereford United is more than a match for the opposition. "There has been a lot of money spent so we are looking to get into the play-offs," he continued. "We have to aim for the top spot first and play-offs after that."

Elsewhere, former Hereford United director Michael Hancocks has been jailed for eighteen months, reports Sky News.

The sixty-three year old was found guilty of plotting to contaminate Bulmer's cider in a bid to boost the sales of Frosty Jack cider, made by Hancocks' Aston Manor Brewery.

Judge John Foley said: "This was a wicked and evil agreement to achieve what you sought to achieve aimed at a rival and clearly it merits a custodial sentence."


Two doubts for Tamworth opener

Hereford United go into the first Nationwide Conference match of the season with doubts over two players.

Midfielder Jordan King is suffering from a throat infection and striker David Brown is still recovering from a broken collarbone ahead of Saturday's match at Tamworth, kick off 3pm.

The Bulls have been given one thousand places on the terrace at the Lamb, but have just sixty stand seats, all of which will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis on Saturday.

United boss Graham Turner told the Hereford Times: "To be honest, we could not be having a much tougher opening. Tamworth had a terrific season last year and will going all out to leave their mark."

Tamworth, a part-time club under the management of Darron Gee, will be without Graham Turner's son, Mark, but could field ex-Bull Rob Warner at right-back.

Turner senior continued: "It's all about handling the situation well on Saturday. We are expecting a crowd of around 4,000 with about 1,000 travelling from Hereford."


  • Meanwhile, after work at the University of Gloucestershire, Daniel Carey-Bertram achieved the fastest time over ten and thirty metres, while Rob Purdie had the best endurance readings. The Director of Sport, Peter Durham, said: "It's been a pleasure to have worked with such a smashing bunch of lads who are a credit to the city."
  • The club have also struck lucky with the racing fixtures, as the meeting at Hereford on April 3rd clashes with an away match as United travel to Halifax Town. Also, it could be a bumper day on Thursday, April 29th 2004, as there is racing at Hereford scheduled for the day of the Nationwide Conference play-off semi-final first-leg.
  • ASDA's supermarket development is in doubt after the planning process appears to have been put on hold at Belmont. It is unlikely, though, that they will bid for a site on the Edgar Street grid, as they have grown anxious with "Hereford's well known record of dealing with developers".
  • To celebrate the launch of The Nationwide Conference broadband channel on Monday August 11th, TFFC and The Sunday People are giving one lucky person the chance two win two season tickets at a Nationwide Conference club of their choice. To enter, go to www.tffc.tv for competition details, which will also appear in The People Newspaper this Sunday August 10th.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Blades 'keeper joins United on loan

Hereford United have signed a goalkeeper on loan as back-up for Matt Baker.

Sheffield United stopper Ben Scott will be part of the Bulls squad for a month, and the nineteen year old has experience with Gainsborough Trinity and in the reserve team at Bramall Lane.

Meanwhile, the following squad numbers have been released for the upcoming season:

1- Matt Baker
2- Ryan Green
3- Michael Rose
4- Jamie Pitman
5- Andy Tretton
6- Tony James
7- Danny Williams
8- Ben Smith
9- Steve Guinan
10- David Brown
11- Paul Parry
12- Rob Purdie
15- Richard Teesdale
16- Rob Sawyers
17- Jordan King
18- Danny Carey-Bertram
19- Dean Craven

Ben Scott is expected to wear number 14.

Meanwhile, former Hereford United goalkeeper Ken Griffiths has not been offered a contract by Exeter City after a trial, and is now playing short-term for Taunton Town.


First team place a must for Sawyers

Last season was something of a non-event for Rob Sawyers, who, after signing from Barnet last summer, failed to make an impression in the Hereford United first team.

However, he defiantly says he will make an impact when his chance comes this term.

"Last season, I didn't do myself justice," he told HU-FC.co.uk. "But this season I'm back, feeling fitter and stronger. We need a big squad if we're going to get promotion and that's what we're aiming to achieve. The three additions to the squad are good players, so long may it continue."

Not only is Sawyers aiming to play regularly, he is adamant that he will spur the team onto promotion. "We want to go up automatically, but we're looking to get into a play-off spot and from there, who knows what will happen."

With Hereford facing local derbies against two Shropshire side this season, Sawyers reckons that the area could see all three in the upper echelons of the Conference.

"Everyone knows about Telford and the money they've spent," said the ex-Wolves trainee. "Shrewsbury have a good squad, and there will be three or four teams who will be there or thereabouts, but all we can do is worry about our own performances in our games."


Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Young striker tipped for big things

New Hereford United signing Daniel Carey-Bertram is glad to be at Edgar Street after impressing in a trial period.

It was surprising, though, that he didn't sign a professional deal at West Bromwich Albion.

The striker scored five goals at Ludlow Town in a pre-season friendly, and the next day confirmed a season-long contract with the Bulls.

"It was hard to find a club after I was let go by West Brom but I'm happy here," he explained. "There is a good atmosphere and I like all the fans, and I think I'll enjoy it."

Carey-Bertram, age nineteen, played for West Bromwich Albion reserves last season, as well as having a loan spell at Dr. Martens Premier Division side Stafford Rangers.

Some people at the Hawthorns were sad to see Carey-Bertram go. Simon, of the Grorty Dick fanzine, wrote: "I rated him at the Hawthorns and was surprised that he didn't get a pro. contract. Bar a chunk of the season out on loan to Stafford Rangers last season, he spent much of last season playing in the Premier League Reserve Division. It's a good standard, as good as it gets at reserve level and Danny was regularly up against internationals.

"He didn't score many but nor did anybody at the club at any level last term so that's not necessarily an issue. Danny is strong for his age and can hold the ball well. Richard O'Kelly spent much time coaching Danny during his formative years (and Dean Craven too though to a lesser extent) so knows his talents well."


Monday, August 04, 2003

Oleksy double seals victory

It was all smiles at Edgar Street this evening as the supporters played the players and Graham Turner faced questions at a fans forum.

In the supporters match, Hereford United beat HUISA XI 5-0 in the half-hour long first half, and 8-1 overall albeit with a mixed side in the second period, which lasted eighteen minutes.

Jordan King put United 1-0 up after four minutes, and coach Richard O'Kelly set up Daniel Carey-Bertram two minutes later to make it 2-0. A great save from goalkeeper Allan Hawkins prevented O'Kelly getting on the scoresheet, but a handball from Simon Barrington on seventeen minutes gave Michael Rose the perfect opportunity to make it 4-0. He did so, with a forceful spot-kick.

Andy Tretton made it 5-0 two minutes later, but the players mixed with the fans for the second period. Scott Mann, aka. Smbull, scrambled in a sixth goal five minutes after the restart, while Chris Oleksy's fantastic brace sandwiched Tony James' reply, which was nothing more than a consolation goal.

Hereford United (first half): Matt Baker, Danny Moon, Dean Craven, David Brown, Ben Smith, Jordan King, Rob Sawyers, Daniel Carey-Bertram, Richard Teesdale, Richard O'Kelly, Andy Tretton. Substitutes, all of whom featured: Jamie Pitman, Tony James, Michael Rose, Rob Purdie, Paul Parry, Danny Williams, Ryan Green.

HUISA (first half - twelve players!): Allan Hawkins, Jamie Griffiths, Paul Sharp, Ben Morrison, Rob Leighton, Simon Bayliss, Simon Barrington, James Bolton, Chris Oleksy, Dave White, Harry Weaver, Scott Mann. Chris Richards came on as a substitute.

Guest Referee: Mr. S. Guinan

At the fans forum, Graham Turner was confident that Hereford United could be a force this season. He said that he is still tracking a goalkeeper (having spoken to players as highly thought-of as Tim Flowers) and striker, and hopes to make room in the budget if the right player comes along. Turner was relaxed and scotched rumours that the likes of Paul Parry could be the subject of bids, particularly from Yeovil Town. He said that he wanted to keep the players together, and would only sign additional personnel if they would add something to the squad. In fact, he commented that if players were not good enough for the likes of Cheltenham or Oxford, they were not good enough for Hereford United.

Looking ahead to Saturday's match at Tamworth, Turner said that it would obviously be a tough encounter but hoped that the team were capable of rising to the challenge posed by the newly-promoted club. However, he suggested that the game would come too quickly for attacker David Brown, who is back in training following a collarbone break and could make the Morecambe game a week later.


Pitman plans for a successful future

It's been an eventful summer for Hereford United midfielder Jamie Pitman. After just missing out on the play-offs last April, Pitman wedded Kate Lloyd at the start of June before returning to pre-season training in July.

Despite all the off-field activity, the man who first joined Hereford in February 1996, when United missed out on promotion to Division Two via. the play-offs, is raring to go.

"It's been hard work, but we've enjoyed it, and it's good to get back into the games," he told HU-FC.co.uk. "I think we've done really well."

The timing of Pitman's wedding was unfortunate in that it clashed with Tony James' marraige to Vikki Criasia. "It just happened to fall that way as we couldn't have it at the place we wanted to the week before or week after, so it had to be that weekend," he explained. "Otherwise, if you leave it a bit too late then the honeymoon is right before the start of the season."

This season won't be easy for Pitman. He has competition for his central midfield role, particularly after the signing of Jordan King, but this can only be a positive position for the club. "The boss has brought in a couple of good players," Pitman continued. "We're looking quite lively and hopefully we'll have a good season. We were disappointed last year not to get into the play-offs, so this year we hope to get into the play-offs or get promoted automatically. We will strive to do our best.

"Our performances will prove that we want to achieve something."


Youth teams play in international tournament

Hereford United had various affiliated youth teams playing in the Ian Rush International Tournament at Aberystwyth last week.

The youth team, who play at under-18s level and won the Midland Floodit Youth League Western Division last season and will play in the Premier Division this coming season, finished fourth in their group competition. In the group stage, the side drew 2-2 with Aberystwyth Town, lost 5-4 to Penrhyn Samba and tied 1-1 with a Hereford Select side, featuring players from Wellington. In the third placed play-off, United lost 1-0 to Aberystwyth while Hereford Select won the competition.

The under-17 centre of excellence drew 1-1 with Liberty Soccer, beat Star United 3-1 and were 5-0 victors over TNS before losing to the India National Team by a single goal in the semi-final.

The under-14s won their semi-final 2-1, but lost in the final of the competition, while the under 11s were defeated 2-1 by Meole Breace in the semi-finals.


Sunday, August 03, 2003

Back by popular demand...

After the success of last season's campaign and numerous emails enquiring about its relaunch, the HU-FC.co.uk Predictions League is back.

Entering is easy, you click the 'Interactive!' button in the left menu and register. Then you submit entries for Nationwide Conference matches and collect points according to the rules. A monthly and season award is given.

So, what are you waiting for? Enter now!


Fitness is Smith's primary aim

Ben Smith's 2002/03 season was ruined thanks to a pre-season injury at Bromsgrove Rovers, where he broke his ankle in a friendly match. However, the Londoner is eager to regain the form that took him into the Football League from Yeovil Town to Southend United a couple of years ago, and gain promotion with Hereford United.

So far, things are looking up. Smith has come through pre-season injury-free, and the team's performances have been good too. He told HU-FC.co.uk: "It's nice to get back into it and, personally, I'm just looking to keep as injury-free as possible. The boys have had some good results and we're looking really good.

"Last season I didn't start my first game until November 30th and then I only had half the season left. Everyone else is a lot further ahead fitness-wise and you can't get that back really. I wasn't properly fit until January or February. This time, I'll be as fit as everyone at the start of the season and will get a full campaign."

As Smith got an injury this time last year, he can sympathise with David Brown, who broke his collarbone in a pre-season training clash. "I don't think David's injury is as bad as first thought," said the midfielder. "I think he was only going to be out for six or eight weeks. Hopefully we can get him back as we are expecting him to score quite a few goals this season.

"Last year, Steve Guinan got fifteen goals but he was pretty much left by himself and didn't really have a regular partner. I think Steve will get his fifteen again this year, and if David Brown gets another fifteen then that's a good base for us. We're looking to get twenty or thirty goals from midfield as well, and if we do that, we'll by up the top."

As with several players, Smith faces a fight for his first-team spot. He continued: "In midfield, there is a lot of competition for places. Paul Parry's the only left-winger but if you look at all the other midfielders, there's Danny Williams, Rob Purdie, Jordan King and Jamie Pitman will all be playing centre midfield as well so it's the one place in the team where there is a lot of competition."

Smith knows the Conference, having played for several years at Yeovil and then last season at Edgar Street, and reckons if Hereford are to gain promotion, they face a tough task.

He commented: "It's a lot more open than it was last year, when Yeovil were by far the best team. This year, you'll have Chester up there again, I fancy Dagenham & Redbridge to be strong, Morecambe will be strong again, Telford have spent a few quid, Stevenage will be up there. It'll be the same old story, with ten or twelve teams going for the five places.

"We've got to be looking to do better than sixth. We'll be disappointed if we're not in the play-offs. We've kept fourteen of the squad, and we've added to it, and once we get a right-back in then we'll be stronger than last year. The key is getting a good start, and to keep the momentum going. We proved, when we went on that run of getting sixteen points out of eighteen, that if you put a steady amount of points together and don't lose games, then you're going to move up the table."

With Smith's problems last season, there was some speculation over whether he would gain a new deal at the club, but Graham Turner felt he was worth the investment.

"The way football's going, everyone's only getting one year deals," said Smith. "Every year, there are going to be six or seven hundred people out of contract. There's no security in it at the moment, and not much money, but it's still a good life."


Looking ahead to the new season

With the new Conference season less than a week away, the Non-League Paper have previewed the big kick-off in some detail.

  • In the opening match, the betting correspondent has Hereford to win at Tamworth, although the pools panel suggests a score-draw. In the title odds, Hereford were at 20s but their odds were slashed after the pre-season campaign. They can now be found at 16/1 with Skybet as joint eighth favourites with Halifax Town, and 7/1 for promotion through the play-offs.
  • Labelled as dead-ball specialists, England National Game XI manager Paul Fairclough has tipped the Bulls to make the play-offs along with Morecambe, Dagenham & Redbridge and Stevenage Borough. Fairclough reckons Mark Wright's Chester City will be champions.
  • There are twelve full-time teams in the Conference this season: Barnet, Chester, Exeter, Halifax, Hereford, Morecambe, Scarborough, Shrewsbury, Stevenage, Telford, Woking and Dagenham, who are in a transition period. The others; Aldershot, Accrington, Burton, Farnborough, Forest Green, Gravesend, Leigh, Margate, Northwich and Tamworth, are all part-time.
  • The Conference TV Channel (tffc.tv) is now fully operational and is providing interviews, match highlights and information. All subscription services are now available.
  • The HUISA vs Hereford United match will be played tomorrow at Edgar Street, with kick-off at 7pm. Following this, there is a fans forum in Legends.


Saturday, August 02, 2003

Scorer pleased with pre-season

Hereford United striker Steve Guinan, who scored the winner in today's pre-season friendly win against Kidderminster Harriers, said the club can build upon their successful pre-season match.

Speaking to BBC Hereford & Worcester, he said of today's match: "It was nice to play a team who are similar to what we'll come up against next week. It was a good workout with a week to go."

Of the summer's activities at Edgar Street, Guinan continued: "The additions he has made to the squad look very useful and it is a long season in the Conference. The players have come in and settled and hopefully, we'll have a good team spirit to carry us through."

The Bulls go to Tamworth on the opening day, and it won't be an easy ride. "They will be buzzing from getting promoted last season," said the striker. "But Hereford will take quite a number of fans with us and hopefully, we'll get our first win next week."

Kidderminster boss Ian Britton commented that Hereford deserved the victory: "To be fair to them, they deserved it but we've had a good pre-season, but that's the worst we've played today.

"Results don't matter in pre-season," he told BBC Hereford & Worcester.


Bulls on top in local clash

Hereford United beat Kidderminster Harriers 2-1 in their final pre-season friendly today.

The report is here.


King eager to win Conference crown

Graham Turner's first summer signing for Hereford United was ex-Telford United midfielder Jordan King, who was released by the club when his father, Jake, departed as manager.

It took Turner little time to snap up the youngster, who had a trial with Everton last season as he appeared destined to step into the big-time.

However, King is happy to be at Hereford and is up-beat about the Bulls' chances this season.

He told HU-FC.co.uk: "There are good facilities, a good bunch of lads and so hopefully we can have a good season."

"I think we can make the play-offs. If we can stay clear of injuries, we can have a good season."

Within a week, King was joined at the club by fellow Telford player David Brown, who scored fifteen goals for the New Bucks Head-based side last term.

Both appear to have settled in well at Edgar Street as Hereford United hope to regain the Football League status that was lost in 1997.

Brown is unlikely to feature in today's friendly match with Kidderminster Harriers at Edgar Street, kick off 3pm.

Andy Tretton and Danny Bertram should return after missing the 1-0 defeat to Birmingham City on Thursday, while Kidderminster could start ex-United attacker John Williams, who is on-trial at Aggborough. Ian Britton's men have added Kenny Coleman, Adam Willis, Nick Heath and Graham Ward to their squad, but Matt Gadsby will miss out with a knee injury.


Friday, August 01, 2003

McIndoe to move to Donny

Hereford United are set for a financial windfall as Michael McIndoe looks set to switch from Yeovil Town to Doncaster Rovers.

The Bulls are eligible for 25% of the transfer fee, which is as yet 'undisclosed' according to Yeovil but 'substantial' from a Rovers point of view.

Both Doncaster and Yeovil were promoted to the Football League last season, but McIndoe told the Glovers that he wanted to move to a higher division. As it is, a sideways switch is likely to occur with him playing in Division Three.


Location has helped

For once the location of Edgar Street has helped in the signing of a player!

Often thought by some as 'in the sticks', Hereford is within easy reach of the home of new full-back Ryan Green, who has Welsh international honours and lives in the capital.

Graham Turner has been speaking to BBC Hereford & Worcester on the events around the signing. "He has moved back down to Cardiff and he asked his agent to phone to see if we would be interested and that's how it came about," said Turner. "It's only an hour into Cardiff so he commutes quite comfortably and he wants to settle. I think it has worked to our advantage, the fact that he has thought about us and wants to come and play for us."

Turner also said that he is not too concerned about the score in tomorrow's friendly with Kidderminster Harriers.

"What I'm looking for is still the fitness, still the shape to the side, the passing, the movement, and then we will start to think about reaching a peak for Tamworth."


Captain ready to send United up

Following the departure of Ian Wright, Hereford United's new captain is Tony James.

Not that he's new to the role, though, as his defensive partnership with Andy Tretton kept Wright out of the team last season, and was given the armband as a reward.

"I'm glad to be captain, I get on with all the lads really well," HU-FC.co.uk heard. "I'm not the biggest talker in the world, but hopefully I can lead the lads on to some good things."

This season's pre-season campaign has been impressive, in that the Bulls haven't lost a match so far. "We've started off quite well, are passing the ball really well and have a fit enough squad at the moment."

Having conceded just three goals so far, James continued: "It can be a bit false and you could go into the first game of the season and get hammered, but you have to try and play games to keep clean sheets and score goals, and that's what we're doing at the moment.

The last of the pre-season matches is a home match against local rivals Kidderminster Harriers. "It will be our toughest game, and a good test a week before the start of the season and hopefully, we'll play our strongest side and give them a really good game.

James, who will be taking Hereford United's penalties this season, commented: "If we can improve on last year, obviously we've got a chance. We've got to take each game as it comes, win as many as we can at home and look for points away."

Meanwhile, several triallists played last night. Ryan Green had signed before the match, but three appeared on the bench. Danny Moon has been written about previously, but defender Pierre Ennis is a new player completely. He played for Aston Villa as a trainee, featuring in their under 17s side a couple of years back. A prominent defender, Ennis is of Irish nationality and has been capped for their under 19 side, as well as at schoolboy level.

Goalkeeper Jamie Hales also has an interesting background. A YTS player with Cheltenham Town, Hales has since played for both Cinderford Town and Wellington.