NEXT HOME GAME - ARLESEY TOWN ON NOVEMBER 8TH AT 3PM
NEXT AWAY GAME - ST NEOT'S ON SATURDAY OCTOBER 25TH AT 3.00PM

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Fast time for Jamie

Jamie Griffiths (Uncle Larry) completed the Half Marathon he entered at Cardiff on Sunday in a very credible 1hr 43mins.

Jamie, a well-known Bulls supporter, was running to raise money for the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research and following his sucessful run is hoping to run another Half Marathon before attemtping a Full Marathon in London.

Anyone who would like to make a donation for this very worthy cause can contact Jamie on jamie_99_@hotmail.com.


Turner hopes for Police action

Graham Turner, the Bulls manager, is hoping for positive action from the Police regarding those involved with crowd trouble at Burton and Tamworth recently.

He wants genuine supporters to help identify those who have tarnished the good name of Hereford United.

Turner told BBC Hereford & Worcester: " If anybody can identify any of the people who perpertrated the trouble at Burton, there is the crimestoppers number which they can phone quite anomousily and just tip off the police of any identification they can give them.

"When you see kids watching the game with fights going on around them, it not worth going to see a football match, but I think there will be some positive action from the Police before long."


Monday, September 29, 2003

Laurie to trial at Edgar Street

Rob Laurie, a close season acquisition by Cherry Red Records Hellenic League club Pegasus Juniors from Welsh League side Caerleon, is joining Nationwide Conference neighbours Hereford United for a week’s trial reports the NonLeagueDaily.

Laurie, who can play in either midfield or defence, has turned in some impressive solid performances for the Hellenic Premier Division side.

Manager Paul Mann said: “It is a good opportunity for Rob, I wish him well he has a good future in the game.

"It is also good for Pegasus that players have the opportunity to progress to a higher grade of football."


There is no 65% rule

With so much debate recently about squad budgets, HU-FC.co.uk asked John Moules of the Conference to spell out what it is all about.

He has kindly taken the time to clarify the situation and we print his response in full.

The Football Conference do not have a 65% Rule, says Mr Moules.

"Each club have received an agreed budget which following each individual clubs presentation of financial details and request on the budget it required to operate within for season 2003/2004. Details of these budgets are confidential to each club. No club had its budget request refused as they all met the criteria agreed by the 22 member club chairman.

"No club has been disadvantaged by the approved playing budget and they have been agreed by every club in writing.

"Comments being made by certain individuals publicly are inaccurate and wholly misleading as the system has been approved by all clubs and is working to the benefit of all concerned."


Sunday, September 28, 2003

Support for Turner from Northwich

With increased gate money at Edgar Street recently, some supporters are asking what options Graham Turner has to strengthen his squad. However Turner still can not go out and buy players because of the CVA which is still in force at Hereford. He also has to watch that he does not break the new 65% rule.

Northwich Victoria's manager has supported Turner's thoughts as to how the 65% rule is operating in the Conference. The new rule was introduced to stop clubs spending more than they were earning. This was the very problem that caused Hereford United to get into debt back when Hill and Fry were "running" the club.

There is still confusion over how the 65% rule operates. Some months ago when it was introduced it was thought that it related to turnover but how turnover is defined is still uncertain. At Edgar Street, it is easy to ascertain as there are no wealthy benefactors who are supporting the club to any degree. But at some other clubs the situation is far from clear.

Steve Davis, the Nothwich manager told the NLP that some wealthy chairman are allegedly cocking a snook at the squad capping that was supposed to make competion fairer. He suggested that better-off rivals are paying one player as much as the entire Northwich squad put together.

"One player is reported to be on £2,000 a week and there is another striker whose club are paying him £400 a goal.

"Richer clubs will always find ways round the rules, but our chairman and directors are retired and haven't got pots of gold. That effectively puts us in a different league," he said.

In the case of the Bulls, the increased attendance at the first six games this season should have grossed in the region of £100,000. This would imply that Turner could have some £65,000 extra to spend on wages should he wish, but there is confusion whether the turnover rule applies to the present or is historic, probably meaning either last season or the last six months.

The Conference have not made public the 65% rule details and how they intend to police it. Until they do, it makes life unfair for those managers, such as Graham Turner, who appear to be sticking to the rules.

Note: HU-FC.co.uk printed an article dealing with this subject based on an interview with Kellie Discipline of the Conference League on July 8th. It can be found in the news archive section.


No referees, no football!

Of all the topics that football supporters argue about the perceived standard of referees comes up time and time again. Hereford United fans are no different. Usually after a game there are fans complaining about some decision the match referee has taken and how it affected the match. Yesterday would be no different with calls that the officials missed an offside when Gravesend scored their third goal.

Seldom, however, does anyone consider how the game would manage without referees or what can be done to raise the standard of referees particually in the Conference. The comments are almost always negative.

Simple economics says that if a product is short then it rises in price, or if the quality is poor then it does not get sold. But even if referees were better paid would the standard rise?

Or has the game changed so much because of action-replays and more press coverage that mistakes by referees are noticed so much easier than in the past?

What everyone seems to agree on is that more referres of a higher standard are needed but how can this happen?

Anyone with a passion for football can become a referee but it is better to start when young to allow time to progress to a high level. The lowest age you can start is 14 but you can not referee an adult match until 16.

To become a referee you can attend a course organised by your local County Football Association. In Herefordshire courses are usually held at the County Ground, Widemarsh Common, Hereford and details of the next course can be obtained by calling either Val Lambert on 01432 342179 or Phil Smith on 01432 273994. Some courses are free!

The courses can be arranged to suit the applicants but usually comprise either a number of weekly sessions or a weekend course.

At the end of the course there is a written paper which asks you to decide what to do in a game situation and an oral exam when you are tested on your knowledge and understanding of the Laws of the Game. You also have to pass an eyesight and colour test and demonstrate that you can complete a misconduct form correctly.

After you qualify you will be registed as a referee and then offered matches in the local area. More training is usually available so that you can move to a higher level.

For further information go to www.the-fa.org or telephone the Football Association on 0207 745 4545.

www.footballreferee. is another useful site.


Saturday, September 27, 2003

Any side would miss Tretts

After the match Danny Williams told BBC Hereford & Worcester that the Bulls should have won the game.

"We created so many chances we should have won the game in the end. We love going forward and that does leave a few gaps at the back.

Asked if Hereford were missing Andy Tretton in defence, Danny continued: "Any side would miss Tretts. He's a solid player at the back.

"Graham Turner was a bit upset with us after because we had fought so hard to get back in the game at 2-2. We are playing such good football. Going forward we are scoring lots of goals. It's very entertaining and we're still top of the league."


Bulls stay top

Hereford stay top of the Conference tonight although they could only draw with Gravesend three each. Goals by Guinan, Brown and Smith were not enough. An entertaining match to watch but mistakes in the Bull's defence cost dearly.

Terry's report is here.


Late starts upset Exeter fans

Exeter City fans are unhappy with Hereford United as the Bulls are being blamed for the switch from Saturday to Friday next weekend for their visit to Burton.

The Exeter Express and Echo has reported that the Police have ordered the change of date after the crowd trouble at Eton Park.

Once again Burton are using the excuse that they use a clutch of stewards they share with Derby County and the Police say that their resources will be stretched as Stoke City are at home on the Saturday.

To be fair to Exeter they do not have a problem with trouble at away grounds and to make them travel to Burton on a Friday night is harsh to say the least.

However it has to be asked whether this move at Burton to Friday night games is totally because of potential trouble or are they too mean to steward their home games properly and pay for a few police in the ground.

When Hereford went to Burton, the extra revenue received by the home club must have come to some £4,000, if not more. Had a small proportion of that sum been spent on a few stewards who knew how to do their job then the trouble might have been avoided.

Exeter have even told Burton that they would take some of their own stewards to help control their own fans.

Whilst there is no excuse for trouble at Conference games, it could be kept in check with better stewarding.

And coming on top of the likely change to an evening Kick-off on Boxing Day at Edgar Street to accomodate Sky when Exeter are the visitors, supporters of the Grecians have every reason to feel unhappy.


Friday, September 26, 2003

Uncle Larry needs your money

Jamie Griffiths (sometimes also known as Uncle Larry) is swapping his football boots for his running shoes on Sunday so as he can take part in a half marathon to help raise money for The Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research.

Jamie, a strong supporter of Hereford United, is travelling to Cardiff for the run and needs your support.

The Bobby Moore Fund raises money for research into Bowel Cancer from which the Hereford club Doctor recently died.

If you can help Jamie in any way with sponsorship or a donation please e-mail him at jamie_99_@hotmail.com with your support. He has already raised close to £400 but would like to better this figure substantially.

HU-FC.co.uk have sent Jamie a donation and wish him good luck for Sunday.


Turner pleased with Green

Graham Turner gave an interview to Trevor Owens for BBC Hereford and Worcester this morning. HU-FC.co.uk have printed an edited version below. Turner started by talking about Gravesend who the Bulls play tomorrow.

"We had Gravesend watched at Stevenage on Tuesday where they got a good point despite being reduced to ten men for a long period of the game. So we know it's not going to be easy but we have got enough about us now to both start well and, on the evidence of a couple of home games this season, finish the games well. And it's vital when you have got teams like Gravesend coming that you get off to a good start. It's vital we get at them before they are allowed to settle into their game-plan and I think we are more than capable of doing that.

"Gravesend we know have not had the best of starts to the season, they are not the biggest club in the Conference but despite that I think they have a lot of spirit about them. Their manager is full of enthusiasm and they will come and scrap for everything. So it is up to us to get off to a good start and so it has got to be a fortress here at Edgar Street if we are going to do anything. Out of twenty one games at home you have to be winning seventeen or eighteen so certainly games like this you have to be taking the three points if we have any promotion asperations.

"None of the opposition is ever going to make life easy for us and I thought Telford was a case in point. Very experienced side and a lot of people fancy them to be right up there at the start of the season, particually because of the heavy investment that has been put into the club through the close season. I thought first half we totally out played them. We dominated the game and should really have gone in at half time with the game won.

"There was always that fear with the experience they have got in the side, the quality of players, that they were going to give us problems and I thought they did second-half especially going down the slope. We weathered it in the main very well. I thought they had a little bit of luck with their goal, a deflection off Tony James, left it loping onto Lee Mills' head for the equaliser.

"But we stuck to it and I think the interesting thing was that with only a minute to go we passed the ball all the way. We watched it on video and I think we strung twelve passes together before Ryan Green finished the chance. At any level, at any time in a game to string twelve passes together and finish with a goal is terrific play but in the closing stages of the game ,when you are chasing the points, the tempetation is to hump the ball forward. But we got it out from the left-back position, changed it and got it down the right-hand side and inter-changed passes and movement very well. It was a terrific movement at that stage of the game to produce us the winning goal. It speaks volumes for the players patience, realisience and their ability.

"I think we are particually pleased with Ryan Green. I thought he had an outstanding game. He often made use of any space he could go into and for him to carry on a run after being involved in the move and finish up in the inside-left channel and finish with a volley- I thought it was teriffic play.


More online commentaries!

Following the success of their coverage at Burton last Friday, BBC Hereford & Worcester are to stream two of Hereford United's upcoming matches on the internet.

284 people tuned in for the Burton game online, which was good considering the broadcast was arranged at short notice.

Trevor Owens will provide commentary from the games at Northwich (Tuesday 7th October) and Accrington (Tuesday 11th November) live on the BBC.co.uk/hereford website, and second half coverage will be broadcast on 94.7 FM.


Smith looks for another win

Ben Smith, the Bulls' midfielder, says that nothing less than victory against Gravesend tomorrow will do if they are serious about winning the title or making the Conference play-offs this season.

Speaking to the Evening News, Smith said:"If we've got aspirations of being in the play-offs or even winning the title we have got to be looking at taking three points from these type of games.

"That's not being disrespectful to Gravesend, who will beat some good teams this season, and have been on a decent run of late but we should be looking to win most of our home games.

"If you look at Yeovil and Morecambe last year they only lost two or three games at home all season and that's what we need to do."

Smith was not unduly concerned with the Burton defeat last Friday and admitted it hadn't done them any harm.

"It's put a bit of realism into our situation because the more you win people think you are just going to keep on running and never lose," he continued.

"It was never a 4-1 because I think they had five shots to our 25 but teams are sitting back against us, inviting us to have possession and then trying to hit us on the counter attack.

"Gravesend will probably sit back and try to frustrate us but we've got enough quality and if the crowd is patient we should be okay."


Turner unhappy with Conference Chiefs

Graham Turner is unhappy with plans to move the start-time of the Boxing Day clash with Exeter to the evening so as the game can be shown on Sky.

There will be problems finding enough stewards and there are other issues still to be sorted Turner told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"The Police are far from happy that Sky and the Conference have dictated a 7.45pm kick-off on Boxing Day. They will have to have people working that would not normally. They are not happy about it. There is a bit of talking still to be done" said Turner.


Thursday, September 25, 2003

Bulls aim to remain top

Hereford United will be looking for yet another bumper crowd when Gravesend & Northfleet visit Edgar Street on Saturday afternoon.

Gravesend are currently lying sixteenth in the league having only won one away game so far this season. However, last Saturday, they beat Exeter 3-2 and scored an injury time equaliser on Tuesday night to claim a 2-2 draw away at Stevenage after going down to ten men. Justin Skinner and Steve McKimm are both suspended for the game this weekend.

Hereford are again likely to be without Andy Tretton who has an ankle injury and missed last Tuesdays encounter with Telford United. Richard Teesdale is likely to cover for him. Rob Purdie however, should be back in the squad.

Manager Graham Turner told the club's official website: "Andy's still struggling a little bit and therefore he's a major doubt but it looks like Rob will be available to us again. That will be a bonus as he's started the season well and having him back would give me a bit of a selection headache. It's a nice problem to have though and it's nice to have selection dilemmas of that kind, rather than only having 15 or 16 fit players available to choose from."

Turner will have a selection head-ache should Purdie be fit. David Brown started in attack alongside Steve Guinan against Telford, but Purdie has been impressive so far this season will surely be in with a chance to start.

Another good gate is expected at Edgar Street after Tuesdays attendance of 4190. The Bulls boss is urging fans to get to the ground early.



By Brian Goodwin


Predictions League

The predictions league is currently behind schedule because of a technical problem. We are unable to update the leaderboard at present, but the predictions from Tuesdays game have been received.

You can still make a prediction for the next game in the normal way. We hope to correct the problem as soon as possbile and we will let you know when it's sorted via the news page.


Council move to Bulmers

Herefordshire Council has decided to move many of its staff to new premises at the Plough Lane headquarters of HP Bulmers. It had been suggested that the Council were interested in relocating to a new building close to Edgar Street, possibly on the Market site, but this measure will reduce that likelyhood.

There was also the problem that a large number of staff would need car parking facilities so the move to Plough Lane solves that as well.

It has also been suggested that a large Council building in the heart of the Edgar Street basin could have detered other potential occupants especially if its aim is to be a "Leisure" center.


Sky and Boxing Day

As suggested earlier this week by HU-FC.co.uk, Sky are to cover the Boxing Day Conference clash at Edgar Street against Exeter City.

Hereford United should receive £5,000 from the fixture, which will kick-off at 7.45pm.

The late start is expected to severely cut the number of Exeter fans making the trip to Hereford and it has to be questioned whether United will financially gain from the coverage. A drop in attendance of 700 would negate any gain from Sky.

There is also the fact that television coverage allows other Conference teams to watch and record Hereford performance and tactics.

Meanwhile home attendance at Hereford has averaged 4032 for the first four Conference games this season.


Wednesday, September 24, 2003

No approach from Celtic

There has been no approach from Celtic for Paul Parry says Graham Turner.

Speaking to BBC Hereford and Worcester, Turner said that Hereford United was well aware of some interest in Parry.

"I think most people are aware that Yeovil made an offer sometime ago which was not acceptable. Celtic, I'm not sure who dreamed that one up. We have had no contact with them


Moaning Mick berates Ref

Mick Jones, the Telford manager, was unhappy after last night's game at Edgar Street. He told BBC Shropshire that after Lee Mills had equalised Telford should have won.

"That will be the hardest game Hereford will have all this season" he said. "If they have as much luck over the rest of the season, they will win the championship by March.

He thought Telford had given everything to the game and was critical of not getting a penalty: " To get a penalty I think Telford have got to shoot somebody with a double-barrel shotgun".

He thought they should have had a couple of shouts in the second half. " It's a disgrace, disgrace. Had it been in our box it would have been a penalty."

It is assumed he was referring to one incident when John Grant and Michael Rose collided in the box.

Later in the interview he praised the Hereford team: "The Hereford lads believe they can win games and all credit to them.

Meanwhile Graham Turner told the Nationwide site:"I thought we played ever so well in the first half but we needed a second goal and then Telford really caused us problems as we ran out of steam," said Hereford boss Graham Turner. "But it was great entertainment for another marvellous crowd for the full 93 minutes."

And speaking to the Shropshire Star the manager said about Telford: "When you bring in so many new players like that, it is always difficult to know whether they will settle in straight away. But they have a lot of experience and strength and caused us some problems. I think they will be up there come the end of the season."

Ryan Green, whose great goal gave the Bulls the win they deserved, commented: " I was a bit gutted in the last ten minutes when they equalised but we came through in the end


Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Bulls bounce back

Hereford United left it late to secure all three points at Edgar Street tonight against Telford United.

In the third and final minute of injury time, a chip into the box from United's midfielder Jamie Pitman was volleyed home by Ryan Green, who had run the length of the pitch to get into the postion.

Bulls' boss Graham Turner changed his starting eleven for the first time this season as David Brown replaced Rob Purdie upfront, whilst Richard Teesdale was handed a start in place of the injured Andy Tretton in the centre of defence.

The game started evenly with both sides creating chances. John Grant struck over the bar in the second minute for Telford after Scott Ricketts played a pass through the defence. However, it was Hereford who netted first. Good, flowing passing in the midfield led to Paul Parry being sent down the left wing. Parry took the ball past ex-Bulls right back, Matt Clarke, and crossed superbly for Steve Guinan to hit a powerful header into the top corner from ten yards out.

The goal seemed to give a boost to Hereford as they started to control the game. Several opportunities arose before half time with Danny Williams and David Brown both going close from within the six-yard box. At the other end Grant won the ball in the air from Green, squared the ball to Ricketts who hit a shot into the side netting.

The second half was scrappy to start, with neither team being able to gain possesion for long periods. There were many hard challenges in the midfield. Both Scott Eustace of Telford and David Brown were booked for reckless tackles. Brown's booking was followed by him being substituted for Danny Carey-Bertram.

On eight-two minutes Telford equalised. A blocked shot from Fitzroy Simpson was met by Lee Mills, who headed the ball over the advancing Matt Baker, and into an empty net.

Telford almost grabbed a winner in the eighty-nineth minute when Trevor Challis blazed a shot over the bar from the edge of Baker's area.

It was in the final minute of the game when Hereford hit Telford on the counter attack to grab a dramatic winner, which sent the vast majority of the crowd of 4190 home delighted.

Report by Brian Goodwin




Win for Hereford

Hereford won at Edgar Street this evening 2-1 against Telford United. Steve Guinan scored a header in the first ten minutes. Telford then equalised eight minutes from time by Lee Mills with a header. In the third minute of injury time, Ryan Green struck with a volley to win.


Police enquires continue

Staffordshire police enquires into the crowd trouble at Burton last Friday are continuing. One Burton spectator was arrested at the game but more arrests are expected.

It has emerged that the Stafford police are to meet with the West Mercia force tomorrow. Armed with both still pictures and TV footage of the trouble at Burton and police video pictures from the trouble at Tamworth, the police are hoping that many of those involved can be identified.

PC Steve Thomas who is the football liasion officer at Hereford and sometimes travels with Hereford supporters is expected to be at the meeting.

It is also understood that the local Hereford press may be asked to help catch any individuals that the Police fail to identify. The quality of the pictures and film is very good said a Police source.


Arrive early for tonights game

Hereford United have asked supporters to arrive early for tonights game with Telford. The Bulls are expecting another large attendance and will not want to delay the start.

"The message is clear, please get here early" Graham Turner told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

Speaking about the game Turner said:"It's a test of character now and the players have proved that they have character when they came back from 2-0 down after ten minutes to beat Aldershot. We have to prove that we are a decent side capable of staying at the top all season."

As at late afternoon it is still uncertain whether Andy Tretton or Rob Purdie will be in the starting line-up. David Brown and Richard Teesdale are the likely replacements should they fail their fitness tests.

Meanwhile as well as the Hereford versus Dagenham game on Oct 13th being on Sky, it is being suggested that the Boxing fixture at Edgar Street against Exeter may also be televised. If so, the game will be an evening kick-off.

This has not been confirmed by Hereford United.


Monday, September 22, 2003

Matchball sponsorship

HU-FC.co.uk have linked up with sponsors Chelgames.com to sponsor this Saturday's match ball as Hereford United host Gravesend & Northfleet.

With the Bulls flying high at the top of the table, the sponsorship cements the link between the website and its main sponsor, as well as our commitment to Hereford United FC.

Let's hope that, on the field, United have a successful day and come up with the goods - another three points.


Police hunt troublemakers

There can be no excuses for the ugly scenes at half-time last Friday during the Burton Albion versus Hereford United match. And according to today's Burton Mail, the police have launched a major hooligan hunt for those involved.

The violence occured when a group of 'away fans' invaded the pitch and charged the Albion supporters.

Vastly outnumbered, the stewards, joined by Hereford's substitutes, tried to restore order without any help from uniformed police. One man was arrested for assulting a steward.

Albion supporters have also claimed that a child was hit in the face by a missile.

Detectives have studied video evidence and photographic footage of the violence and will be liaising with both clubs and their West Mercia Police colleagues.

Albion chairman Ben Robinson said: "From our video tape we can clearly see that just before the start of the second half a group of Hereford fans invaded the pitch and attacked a section of Burton supporters.

"Over the weekend we held a meeting with the police, who are going to investigate the incident and seek out the culprits."

Burton fan Jonathan Buckley added: "The hooligan supporters were throwing coins and plastic bottles. I was standing by a small child of seven who was hit in the face by a coin.

"At half-time around 10 of the thugs jumped into the crowd punching and kicking anything in sight. One poor Albion fan was being kicked and punched on the floor."

Earlier this season, Hereford had meetings with police to try to identify a group of about twenty thugs who they believe are the main ringleaders.

Detective Sergeant Darren Harding, of Burton CID, said today: "Burton Albion is a family club and we will not tolerate hooligan elements carrying out this sort of behaviour.

"We have launched a post-match inquiry and are working with the club to identify the trouble makers. We would appeal to any fans who witnessed the incident to contact us."

Anyone with information is urged to contact DS Darren Harding on 01785 234734.


Turner may change line-up

Doubts over the fitness of two players means that for the first time this season Hereford United are likely to have to change their line-up for tomorrow's game against Telford.

Andy Tretton (ankle) and Rob Purdie (thigh) will be given as much time as possible to prove their fitness for a game that gives Turner's table-toppers the chance to make up for Friday's 4-1 hammering at Burton.

Richard Teesdale and David Brown stand-by to take the places if the aforementioned two fail to prove their fitness.

"It's an opportunity for us to bounce back very quickly," Turner told BBC Sport. "We've had a very good start and we don't want it to go flat for us."


Bucks boss angered by performance

Telford United manager Mick Jones has told his side to buck up their ideas ahead of tomorrow's match at Edgar Street.

The Shropshire side lost 2-0 to Stevenage Borough on Saturday, and the Shropshire Star spent thirty minutes after the game slamming his team.

Jones said today: "After losing on Saturday, it now makes tomorrow's game against Hereford absolutely vital for us. I was really stung by the result and I expect all the players were too because you shouldn't be in football if defeat doesn't hurt.

"We can't put that result behind us and just forget about it but we can bounce back and I will be looking for real character from the lads tomorrow. We are going to need 11 battlers and 11 men out there tomorrow to get anything out of the game because it gets no tougher than going to the league leaders after just having a defeat.

"In a situation like this players will either rise to the occasion or freeze and I am obviously looking for our lads to do the former."

Telford expect to have several defenders missing for the tie. Injections could be administered to Neil Howarth and Scott Eustace, who are suffering with injuries. Skipper Scott Green has a groin injury while Trevor Challis is hoping to get over a bruised leg.

Of Hereford, Jones added: "It's a tough place to go at the best of times. They're a good slick side. They've been developing for three years and now they're putting the cherry on top of the cake."


Sunday, September 21, 2003

Problems continue at Exeter and Chester

Exeter City are due to meet John Moules, chief executive of the Conference, tomorrow to discuss a possible twelve point deduction after being granted permission to set-up a CVA, Company Voluntary Arrangement, last week at Leeds Combined Court.

It is thought that the Conference may be willing to lower the penalty should the Football League set a lower scale at a meeting on September 25th but if no decision is made then twelve points will be deducted.

Should this happen then it will almost certainly stop any likelihood of Exeter reaching the play-offs and having the chance to regain league status at least for this season.

In any case the CVA will stop Exeter buying any new players and any points deduction could have the effect of demoralising the existing squad as they will have little to play for.

City must call a meeting of creditors following the court's ruling that has allowed the club until October 24th to formalise its CVA which to suceed must have the agreement of the major creditors.

Meanwhile, Chester City do not appear to be any nearer settling the dispute with their previous owners.

The NLP has reported that the Smiths, the American family who were thought to have sold the club to present chairman Stephen Vaughan, are alledging that Vaughan has only paid £20,000 out of the £400,000 sale price. The Smiths maintain that as they has not transferred their shares to Vaughan, they still own the club.

However, Vaughan is claiming that as he is Chester's major creditor he could turn the tables on the Smiths by demanding that his reputed £1.8 million investment in the club is paid back.

This story looks as though it could run for some time.


Tuesday - the grand reunion

Two of Hereford United's current squad face their former side on Tuesday when the Bulls host Telford United at Edgar Street, kick off 3pm.

David Brown and Jordan King left the New Bucks Head in the summer to move to Hereford, while John Grant, Matt Clarke and scout Ron Jukes went in the other direction.

Everyone is re-united, along with former United goalkeeper Chris MacKenzie (now at Telford) on Tuesday with the Shropshire-based club under the stewardship of Mick Jones.

Although Jordan King is unlikely to start for Hereford, Brown will push for a place in the strikeforce after Rob Purdie and Steve Guinan failed to find the net in Friday night's 4-1 defeat at Burton Albion.

Brown told the Evening News: "It's always nice to play against your old team but obviously getting injured in pre-season means I'm likely to be on the bench because I haven't broken through yet.

"However it should be a good game," he added. "They've spent a lot of money on players over the summer and brought in some good ones."

On his departure from Telford, Brown said: "I had a good time there it was just a shame the manager was sacked. I didn't agree with that at the time and in many respects my choosing to leave was down to that.

"The club wanted to keep me and offered me more money to stay but it was not right for me and I wanted a new challenge and got that with Hereford."

Hereford could miss defender Andy Tretton, who picked up a calf injury in the game at Burton, so Richard Teesdale is set to deputise at centre back. Telford, who are just outside the top half, lost 2-0 at home against Stevenage Borough on Saturday, and hope to have Lee Mills and John Grant leading their attack, having scored three goals each this season.


No lie-in for Bulls

Hereford United manager Graham Turner has told his squad to report for training this morning after the defeat at Burton on Friday evening.

Speaking after the game , he told the NLP that he is determined to sort out the Bull's problems. "It's in on Sunday to get things sorted out in time for Telford on Tuesday night," he vowed. "Burton worked very hard for their victory. There can be no complaints from us. The only thing is if you're going to lose you might as well lose in style.

"There's a lot to talk about now and a lot to put right. Sometimes a 1-0 defeat disguises things but a 4-1 defeat can't disguise anything."

The NLP also reports on developments in the Paul Parry transfer story. It suggests that Celtic boss Martin O'Neill may have sent a scout to watch Parry at Burton. O'Neill was manager at Leicester when the two teams met in the FA Cup a few seasons ago.

It also reports that Yeovil's Gary Johnson may look elsewhere for a replacement for Michael McIndoe as Hereford have turned down an offer of £25,000 for Parry. Johnson says that Hereford haven't even acknowledged his faxed bid.

Much of this could simply be the two managers, Turner and Johnson, giving the press information designed to lower or rise the price that Parry could be sold at. In effect the article may be little more than speculation.


Saturday, September 20, 2003

Baker aims for swift comeback

Hereford United goalkeeper Matt Baker was on the end of a 4-1 defeat at Burton Albion yesterday, but is confident that the Bulls can bounce back.

Speaking after the full-time whistle to BBC Hereford & Worcester, Baker said: "4-1 sounds like an absolute mauling, but I can assure you than in the second half we had the lion's share of the possession and were unfortunate not to get one back earlier on.

"At 3-1 we had an outside chance but for them to break and score a fourth killed the game."

United host Telford on Tuesday night, and Baker reckons that the Bulls can bounce back with a win.

"How we respond is important," he said. "There is plenty of spirit in our dressing room and I don't think it'll be a problem.

"We've been a victim of our own success by winning seven out of our first eight games, and people just expect things to happen. We were going to come unstuck at some point, and hopefully we can forget it and start again.

"Our home form has been good this year, and have had excellent backing from the fans. Hopefully, the fans will get behind us on Tuesday night and we can bounce back in the correct manner."


Chester and Hereford four points clear

A late Luke Rodgers penalty handed Shrewsbury Town a share of the points in their away match at Woking.

Luke Rodgers put the third-placed Shrews 2-0 up but goals from Tanzanian frontman Davis Haule, a penalty from Ian Selley and a last minute Amos Foyewa strike meant Rodgers had to net his injury-time spot-kick to gain a share of the spoils. The result leaves Shrewsbury four points behind Hereford United and Chester City.

The Bulls still lead the table on goal difference, but Chester closed in on Hereford with a 2-1 win at Farnborough Town, who had Ross Weatherstone sent off.

Hereford and Chester now have 22 points, while Barnet jump above Aldershot into fourth with a 2-1 win over Aldershot at Underhill. They have eighteen points, level with Shrewsbury and two more than the Shots.

Elsewhere, well done to Worcester City, who recovered from a poor run in the Dr. Martens Premier with a 7-0 win over Bath City.


Burton inspired by Hereford

After Burton Albion beat Hereford United 4-1 last night, Brewers manager Nigel Clough was inspired by the performance.

Despite hammering the Bulls, Clough was impressed with United and tips them for a title challenge.

He told the Derby Evening Telegraph: "Hereford were the sharpest, quickest side we have played against and I think that inspired us.

"We've had to work so hard and that was the fundamental principle why we won the game. We did well in patches but, in terms of fluency, we've played better at times this season.

"The crowd have seen a glimpse of what Robbie Talbot can do and we are delighted for him."

Hatrick hero Talbot added: "I've not scored for a few games, so to get three was brilliant - I could not be happier.

"It was a magnificent moment when the third one went in and we've really deserved this because everyone has worked their socks off."


Scouts out at Burton

Several scouts and managers were expected at Burton last night to watch what turned out to be an exciting game even if the scoreline was not to Hereford's liking.

Garry Hill from Dagenham was there, not doubt seeing how the Bulls performed ahead of the televised game between the two clubs on Oct 13th. Other Conference managers/scouts thought to have attended were Chris Wilder from Halifax and Brian Miller from Farnborough, while ex-United and Shrewsbury physio Simon Shakeshaft was also in attendance.

From Nationwide League clubs were Colin Dobson from Stoke City, Dave Thompson from Chesterfield, Kelvin Gregory from Swindon, Shaun Conner from Lincoln, Mike Betts from Bolton, Andy Billington from Rotherham, and Dick Bradshaw from Birmingham.

Of the game itself, United midfielder Jamie Pitman told the Evening News: "We conceded some bad goals tonight and the lads are very disappointed with the performance.

"We had been excellent until tonight and we will need to bounce back and make amends against Telford on Tuesday."


Friday, September 19, 2003

United slump to first defeat

Hereford United were defeated 4-1 at Burton Albion tonight.

Terry's report is here.


Yeovil wait for Hereford response

Yeovil Town have made another 'undisclosed' offer for Hereford United midfielder Paul Parry.

BBC Radio Bristol report that the Glovers are waiting for a response from United director of football Graham Turner.

"I've read newspapers saying (Hereford boss) Graham Turner has not accepted the offer, but I haven't actually heard from him yet," Glovers boss Gary Johnson said.

"Until we hear from Hereford, or Paul, we don't know."


No special plans from Clough

Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough is not about to change his tactics for the Hereford United match tonight, despite the Bulls leading the Conference and scoring freely.

He told the Daily Telegraph: "We will show them as much respect as league leaders deserve but we'll be making no special plans for them."

"Hereford are a good side playing with a lot of flair. Any side unbeaten in eight games has got to be playing well but for them to win seven out of the eight makes it extra special."

There will be live second-half commentary of the match on BBC Hereford & Worcester's 94.7 fm frequency tonight, as well as streaming internet commentary of the whole game accessible through the BBC website at www.bbc.co.uk/hereford. Follow the links from the front page this evening to the commentary, which requires Real Player to run.


LDV game moved

There's good news on the fixture congestion front, as Hereford United's home game in the first round of the LDV Vans Trophy has been moved.

The Bulls would have faced three matches in six days, but the Football League have allowed United to move the game from Wednesday 15th October to Tuesday 21st October.

Hereford play Exeter City in the game, with the Grecians' official website reporting that adults can sit for £9 and stand for £7 and concessionary prices of £5 and £3 respectively.


Thursday, September 18, 2003

Sawyers to play a part?

Hereford United could see Rob Sawyers making a return for tomorrow's game at Burton Albion.

The midfielder has been struggling with a back injury but should have a fitness test before kick-off at Eton Park to ascertain whether he can take a place in the sixteen-man squad.

The Bulls are searching for their fifth consecutive win, after successes over Aldershot Town, Stevenage Borough, Farnborough Town and, most recently, Scarborough.

Meanwhile, in last night's FA Youth Cup second qualifying match at Edgar Street, Hereford United beat Worcester City 2-1. The Bulls will play at Bournemouth in the next round.


Bulls aim to continue run

Tomorrow sees Hereford United make the trip to Eton Park to play Burton Albion, kick off 7.45pm.

Last season, United crashed to a 2-0 defeat in Staffordshire but are unbeaten so far this term, while Nigel Clough's Burton are mid-table, having won one, drawn one and lost two of their opening four home matches.

The Brewers picked up a useful point in a 2-2 draw at Telford United last Saturday after ex-United attacker John Grant had scored twice and was then sent-off, and Glen Kirkwood's last minute equaliser gave Burton a share of the spoils.

Ian Wright could line-up against his old club, after switching from Edgar Street to Eton Park in the summer, but faces a late fitness test on his injured ankle.

Graham Turner added: "With the game being on a Friday, all our preparation moves forward a day.

"Sometimes playing under lights creates a good spectacle and we are not unhappy about going to Burton on a Friday night," he told the Hereford Times.

"We realise that we will become the side to beat if we stay at the top for very much longer.

"I think we saw those signs on Saturday against Scarborough, who changed their system to play us and challenged us to break them down. We were a bit disappointed with our play but the players did the job they needed to."

Hereford should be unchanged for the game, once again. Burton will miss attacker Christian Moore, who scored twice against United last term and has two goals to his name this term, as he is suspended for the match. Midfielder Andy Sinton, once of Tottenham Hotspur, has broken a bone in his foot, while Darren Stride, Aaron Webster and top scorer Dale Anderson are also doubts.


Get to Edgar Street early

After last Saturday's big crowd, Graham Turner has apologised for the fact that a number of spectators missed the first few minutes of the game as there were delays getting them into the ground.

He told the Hereford Times that at 2.45pm, the chief steward thought that the queues were manageable and that everyone would be in the ground on time. At 2.55pm, however, after it was decided that the match was definitely start at 3pm, there was a big surge of people coming from the direction of the market. It was too late to delay the kick-off at this late stage.

There was a problem with some people being unable to sit in the block they had been given tickets for and a few complaints about adults and children being seperated at some gates.

The manager is asking that, in future, supporters try to get to the ground 15 minutes earlier than usual to help the flow of fans through the turnstiles.

The support at last Saturday's game was excellent and if a few problems occured because of the size of the crowd this should be relayed to the planners currently designing the improvements to the Edgar Street Basin. It is believed that the Merton Meadow car park was unable to take all those who wished to park there for the game.


Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Opposition builds for FA cuts

This season's cuts in FA Cup prize money have been opposed by the MP for Hereford Paul Keetch.

The Liberal Democrat MP has signed an Early Day Motion to reverse the trend, which sees a club winning a second-round tie having their income reduced from £30,000 to £15,000.

Keetch was supportive of the plight of smaller clubs, and is known to be a supporter of Hereford United.

He told the Hereford Journal: "One of the great things about the FA Cup is that it has always given smaller clubs like Hereford a chance to get some much-needed cash.

"A good FA Cup run could really set a club up financially for the rest of the season.

"For the FA to cut the prize money available before the Third Round, when it is only the smaller clubs involved, but keep it at the same level for the later rounds, is ridiculous. Who needs the prize money more - Chelsea or Hereford?"

Twenty five members have signed the EDM so far, including Paul Marsden, the MP for Shrewsbury, and Roger Williams, MP for Brecon and Radnor. The motion was tabled by Adrian Sanders, whose constituency covers Torbay, including Torquay United.


Fundraising attempts sound good

HUISA's latest fundraising efforts are set to make supersonic improvements around Edgar Street.

The events have yet to be announced, but the supporters organisation hope to raise funds to upgrade the PA system in both the Meadow End and Len Weston Stand.

Any work would take about a week to complete, so could be done over a period when United are playing away from home on the Saturday.

Meanwhile, the club are still battling to get the date of their LDV Vans Trophy first round match moved from its current date of Wednesday, 15th October. The Bulls, who are due to play Exeter City, also have a televised league match against Dagenham & Redbridge on the Monday, and then have to go to Chester City on the Saturday after, meaning they face a gruelling schedule of three matches in six days.

Dagenham face a similar schedule, as they play Hereford on Monday, host Leyton Orient in the LDV on Wednesday and then play Burton Albion on Saturday at their Victoria Road ground.


Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Wright looks forward to Friday

Ex-Hereford captain, 31 year-old Ian Wright, is hoping to be fit to face his old team when they meet at Burton on Friday. Wright had a bad ankle injury last Saturday when playing against Telford and had to come off.

In an interview in the Derby Evening Telegraph, he says he's apologised in advance for wrecking the Bulls unbeaten record and has told player-manager Nigel Clough of the strengths and weaknesses of his former team.

He reckons the Brewers can be the first side to beat them when they meet at Eton Park and has already said sorry to striker and joint top-scorer Steve Guinan in readiness of putting one over on his former side.

Wright said: "I'm confident we can get something from them and I'm really looking forward to it. I played golf with Steve Guinan recently and apologised to him beforehand because we are going to beat them. We've got a very good chance with the way we are playing at the moment.

"It was the game I looked for when the fixtures game out and I know plenty about them.

"In the past, Hereford's problem has been scoring goals but I've spoken to some of the lads and they've said everything is going in at the minute.

"That's the only difference they can see. They are scoring a lot and conceding very few.

"Nigel Clough has asked me about them and I think we can be dangerous at set-pieces as they are not very strong in the air.

"Hopefully, I will be all right to play. I jarred my ankle against Telford and it felt bad at the time but it's settled down now and I'm keen to get over it so I can start."

Wright admitted it was a tough decision to leave Hereford but he wanted to begin a new career outside the game and couldn't commit to full-time football.

He is now seeking a job after qualifying as an electrician and added: "It was a wrench to leave as I had been there for so long.

"But you've got to leave some time and I'd got to start doing something else with my life rather than just playing football.

"It's nice to play part-time at Burton but, to be honest, I can not see a difference between us and the full-time sides."


Parry's turn to react to the rumours

Paul Parry has spoken out after transfer rumours surrounded his future at Hereford United.

The midfielder told tffc.tv after Saturday's match against Scarborough that he was not on the transfer list.

"I would like to say that I haven't put in a transfer request, but if a Football League club shows interest I would like to know about it.

"Graham Turner said he'd circulate my name round, and that's the end of it. It's certainly not a transfer request being slammed on the table as it's been said in the newspapers."


Hereford's young bulls on the charge

Ricky George has written a piece for today's Daily Telegraph. The full version is below.

John Charles, one of the world's greatest footballers, was player-manager at non-League Hereford United from 1967 to 1971. Last week the former Wales, Leeds United, Juventus and Roma player returned to the city to sign copies of his autobiography, King John.

The great man could not have timed his visit better. Hereford have started the season in great style, unbeaten and three points clear at the top of the Nationwide Conference.

"It was a privilege to meet John Charles," the Hereford manager, Graham Turner, told me before last Saturday's home game against Scarborough. "He looked as though he had stepped straight out of Burton's window such was his immaculate attire."

Turner doesn't look too bad himself. At 55, there's not a grey hair in sight, which is remarkable considering the seven difficult years he has spent at Edgar Street. The former central defender arrived as manager at the start of the 1995-96 season with a wealth of experience behind him, having managed at Wolverhampton Wanderers, Aston Villa and Shrewsbury Town, where he also made his name as a player.

It was a good first term, the club making the Third Division play-offs and reaching the third round of the FA Cup. The following season, however, 25 years after Hereford's historic 1972 Cup run and election to the Football League, the club were relegated to the Conference.

"The only time we were bottom of the League was on the last day of the season," Turner said, recalling the traumatic events of May 3, 1997, when a 1-1 draw with Brighton at Edgar Street demoted Hereford instead of their opponents, who had been in last place for months.

When the club went into administration and chairman Peter Hill resigned, Turner, assisted by present company secretary Joan Fennessy, took up the majority shareholding.

"It was a big move to make," he admitted, "but the club would certainly have folded and you know what it's like in football, having taken on the responsibility for players, staff and supporters, I was digging a hole that got deeper and deeper."

As chairman and manager there were times when Turner nearly fell into that hole and, for a couple of seasons, he withdrew from coaching to deal with the ever-increasing financial problems. As an administrator, he devised a simple but effective way of keeping the club afloat while seeking recovery on the pitch.

"We managed to stay full-time by signing young players on free transfers and paying sensible wages," he said. "During that period sales generated over £600,000. Now, for the first time in six years, we don't need to sell to survive and I am back on the training pitch."

With an average age of 22, the present squad have delighted their long-suffering boss by rattling in 25 goals in eight games. Assisted by Richard O'Kelly - "a great coach who doubles up as physio" - and with former Olympic weightlifter Tony Ford as fitness coach, the chairman's exuberance reflects the air of optimism at Edgar Street. For the second home game in succession a near 5,000 crowd saw the young Bulls defeat a difficult Scarborough side 2-1.

Former Manchester United player Michael Rose lashed home a 25-yard free-kick in the first half and, when Paul Parry's diving header went in at the Meadow End in the 77th minute, the jubilant scenes reminded me of two other goals at the same end more than 31 years ago. Ronnie Radford's wonderful equaliser from 35 yards against Newcastle United, in the epic FA Cup third-round replay, and a slightly less spectacular winner from yours truly are enshrined in the hearts of all Hereford supporters.

Thanks to the indomitable spirits of Turner and Fennessy, the Meadow End is singing again.


Monday, September 15, 2003

Smith could close Chester

First it's Exeter, now it's Chester who have financial problems and both clubs, just like Hereford United, are suffering from decisions taken by previous boards of directors.

Chester City owner Stephen Vaughan and his fellow directors have launched a legal battle against former owner Terry Smith after the club has been ordered to pay £300,000 to the American, according to the Chester Evening Leader.

Terry Smith and his father have warned the club that they will close the club if the debt is not paid but the club is hoping to overturn a county court's ruling. Should the club fail it will have to pay the debt.

Vaughan has reportedly put over a £1 million pounds into Chester and the club was starting to reap the benefits from his investments. It is not yet known when any challenge to the court ruling will be heard.

Meanwhile, Hereford supporters will be delighted to learn that Ben Smith (no relation) has been chosen as the new Conference Television player of the month for August.


Sunday, September 14, 2003

50 on Friday for Rose

Assuming he is picked, which must be a foregone conclusion, Michael Rose will make his 50th appearance for Hereford United next Friday at Burton. Of the intake of players that joined the Bulls in the late summer of 2002, he has made the most starts; five more than Steve Guinan and six more than Andy Tretton and Danny Williams.

His goal tally is six including two this season, the most recent coming yesterday from a free-kick about 25 yards from goal.

Still only 21, Rose joined Hereford after a spell at Chester and as well as being a vital part of the Edgar Street team, he has also played for the English Semi-Professional side on several occasions. He featured in all three English games at the end-of-season International Tourament held in Wales last May.

The only cloud on the horizon for him at present appears to be his collection of four yellow cards already this season. One more and he will have to miss a game as his punishment.


Who writes for the NLP?

The Non-League Paper carries another Parry transfer story this morning with the headline 'Parry set to sign up for Yeovil'.

The paper reports: "High-flying Hereford have reluctantly put their £50,000 rated winger on the transfer list."

It continues: "Conference champions Yeovil emerged last night as firm favourites to sign Parry as the replacement for Michael McIndoe. Yeovil is believed to be the player's first choice. The player told him (Turner) he wanted to leave."

No-one is credited as having written this story so it has to be asked where the information has come from. Although the paper carries part of the statement released by the club last Monday there are no direct quotes by Parry, Turner or Yeovil boss Gary Johnson.

Also, since the article would have been written before yesterday's games how can they write about the situation as at last night?

Parry had a better game yesterday and for him to be sold to Yeovil would not go down well with Bulls fans. Turner does not need to sell him for financial reasons and Parry may yet realise his ambition to play League football with Hereford United.


Turner remembers his book

In yesterday's Bullseye, Graham Turner writes of his honour to meet John Charles again last week at a book signing. "It was good to see the big queue's patiently waiting for their book to be signed and a brief chat to him," he wrote.

Turner then reminisced about his own book signing experience in Wolverhampton some years ago.

"After a successful season there I wrote a diary of the season called The Only Way Is Up and was asked to do a signing session at WH Smith. Embarrassingly only three people turned up, and two of them were expecting to see Graham Taylor and went off in a disgruntled manner without even looking at my literary masterpiece.

"Needless to say that of the 2000 printed there are still available. Several people have told me that they keep a copy by the bedside and when they can't get to sleep they pick it up and after a couple of pages they soon nod off."

Perhaps Turner could be persuaded to put pen to paper again at the end of this season if Hereford United win the Conference. A book of his could then be titled: "The Only Way Is Up- Volume Two".

This book would sell!


Saturday, September 13, 2003

It's now 3-1

Today's win has made SkyBet drop the odds on Hereford United winning the Conference from 7/2 to 3-1. Chester remain the bookies favourites at 9-4 and Shrewsbury are still at 4-1.

Bar these three no other club is available with SkyBet at less than 11-1.

The attendance this afternoon at Edgar Street was the second best in the Conference this season and was more than double that of the home game, which was against Chester, on the same Saturday last season. The average attendance this season so far is 3993, which is the highest in the Conference.

Meanwhile, Chester have changed their mind about the ticket arrangements for the Hereford game on October 18th. It had been reported that it was to be all ticket but an annoucement was made at the end of Chester's game this afternoon that it is now to be pay on the gate.

Former Bulls player John Grant, now with Telford, was sent off this afternoon. However his suspension will not start until after the Hereford versus game next Tuesday week.

It is also being reported that Ian Wright, who now plays for Burton, had a bad knock this afternoon. It is thought that he may miss next Friday's clash with Hereford at Burton.


A reality check from Tretton

Even if the result was not quite as decisive as other recent games, Hereford fans at Edgar Street were in buoyant mood signing We are top of the League as soon as the first goal went in this afternoon.

But Andy Tretton admitted to BBC Hereford and Worcester after the game: "It wasn't as fluid today as we have been in previous weeks but a win is a win. Maybe a bit of a reality check because we are not going to be scoring three or four goals every week.

"Scarborough today set out a game plan putting eight or nine players behind the ball which was a testiment to how we have been playing.

"The first half was a little bit scrappy but we managed to score a tremendous free-kick through Michael Rose. That was important today because we were struggling to break them down from open play."

The second goal also came as a result of a free-kick and Tretton commented: "Today the fans were especially good because it wasn't going very well for us in the first half but they stuck with us and we managed to come through for them in the end. It was a tremendous attendance."

Michael Rose added: "We've not played well, but we've got the three points. It was just one of those games that we needed to win but Scarborough made it hard for us.

"I struck the ball well for my goal and it's always nice to see them go in."

Russell Slade, the Scarborough manager added: "The damage was done from the two set-plays. We knew that they were very strong from set-plays."

"I sat on the bench and said they would score from the second one and that's exacty what they did."


Three more points

Not the most exciting game this afternoon but another win for Hereford United against Scarborough by two goals to one.

An excellent gate of 4,850 saw Michael Rose score from a free kick in the first half and Paul Parry score with a header after a Danny Williams free-kick in the second. The Seadogs got one back very late in the game.

Today's report, by Terry, is here.


No goals, but it doesn't bother Pitman

Jamie Pitman's midfield role may not be getting him the goals, but he's happy because Hereford United lead the Conference.

The twenty-seven year-old will play in a holding role behind Ben Smith today against Scarborough.

Pitman told the Evening News: "Personally I'm more settled now than last year and I'm playing a slightly different role, just sitting in midfield and letting the other lads get forward.

"Ben Smith is doing what I did last year, scoring lots of goals but I don't think I've got near the 18 yard box yet.

"But I'm not bothered as long as the team keep scoring and winning. That breeds confidence and ours is high at the moment."

Despite leading the Conference, Pitman says the Hereford squad know there's a long way to go. He added: "Strangely none of us feel under any pressure, we're not excited yet about what we could achieve and we're keeping our feet on the ground

"There's a long way to go and it's only seven games. We know we are a good side but you are only as good as your last game but we believe if we keep playing well every game the goals and results will follow."

"We've always had the belief we could do something and with the same squad as last year we needed to progress and that meant getting to the play-offs or winning the title," he added. "But it has got better than we anticipated and the reason is that every week we have got 10 or 11 players playing well whereas last year it might have just been five or six. We're all a year older, more mature and better organised."


Home match in LDV

Hereford United have been drawn at home to Conference rivals Exeter City in the first round of this season's LDV Vans Trophy.

The game, scheduled to take place on Wedesday 15th October, is just two days after United's home match with Dagenham & Redbridge and three days before the crucial league trip to Chester City.

Other notable ties include Chester City vs Doncaster Rovers, in a repeat of last season's Conference play-off semi final and Morecambe going to Division Two high-flyers Wrexham in the northern section. In the southern section, Dagenham & Redbridge have a local derby against Leyton Orient, Kidderminster Harriers go to Queens Park Rangers and Forest Green Rovers have a tough debut, travelling to Brighton & Hove Albion.


Friday, September 12, 2003

Leaders must avoid the pot-shots

Hereford United boss Graham Turner is eager to keep the winning run going tomorrow, when the Bulls play Scarborough at Edgar Street, kick off 3pm.

As league leaders, Turner reckons that the Bulls are there to be shot down so maintaining the run is the only option.

Speaking to the Evening News, he said: "Having established ourselves in top spot we're there to be shot at though the fact we scored five goals away from home last week shows we are coping with efforts to stop us."

"We enjoyed the Farnborough victory but now it is down to work against Scarborough," said Turner, in an seperate interview with BBC Hereford & Worcester.

Complancy can be a problem but the manager added: "Sometimes players go to the top of the table and can't deal with it for one reason or another. We have to face the fact that when you are top of the table sides do tend to lift their game against you.I don't think that might be happening yet. I think you have to be up there sometime and establish yourself but word is getting about that we are a decent side and when you win 5-0 away from home I think the vibes go through the Conference that Hereford could be a threat this season.

"There are plenty of fixtures that we could slip up on and this is one against Scarborough. They did the double over us last season. They are always difficult to break down, hard to beat, hard to play against so we have got to be at our brightest.

"It is vital we start the game well. We must get at them before they settle into the match and if we can do that and score early on it will make life much easier. But if we can't do that we might have to be patience. If it's the 89th minute it won't matter as long as we come out of the game with three points.

"Sides will look at us and see how we play and try to counter that and some will come here with big defenders and defend deep and defend close to the box and it might be difficult to break those sides but I think we have got enough clever players with a variety in their attacking play to cope with most sides."

Of Scarborough, Turner added: "We're expecting a difficult game because any side that Russell Slade puts out is awkward.

"They haven't had the best of starts picking up a few injuries but they've brought in some new faces much like we did last season."

Goalkeeper Ben Scott, who confirmed a full-time deal yesterday, is likely to start on the bench once again, but that isn't his long term aim.

"Hopefully I will be able to compete with Matt (Baker) for the first-team jersey as it would be silly of me to settle for being on the substitutes bench," he said.


Bulls hopeful of decent draw

Hereford United will ascertain their opponents in the first round of the LDV Vans Trophy this Saturday at 10.05am.

The Bulls are in the southern section of the draw, which includes twenty-eight teams, report confguide.com, while Bury, Huddersfield Town, Northampton Town and Swansea City have had byes to the second round.

Potential opponents include the two Bristol clubs, Rovers and City, and also Football League rivals Brighton. Local opponents Cheltenham TOwn and Kidderminster Harriers are in the southern section, as are Forest Green Rovers and Yeovil Town.

The numbers for the Southern Section of the draw are: (1) AFC Bournemouth, (2) Barnet, (3) Boston United, (4) Brentford, (5) Brighton & Hove Albion, (6) Bristol City, (7) Bristol Rovers, (8) Cambridge United, (9) Cheltenham Town, (10) Colchester United, (11) Dagenham & Redbridge, (12) Exeter City, (13) Forest Green Rovers, (14) Hereford United, (15) Kidderminster Harriers, (16) Leyton Orient, (17) Luton Town, (18) Oxford United, (19) Peterborough United, (20) Plymouth Argyle, (21) Queens Park Rangers, (22) Rushden & Diamonds, (23) Southend United, (24) Stevenage Borough, (25) Swindon Town, (26) Torquay United, (27) Wycombe Wanderers, (28) Yeovil Town.

This year, the "Silver Goal" rule will apply if scores are level at 90 mins: the side leading at the end of the first period of extra time will be declared the winners. If the scores are still tied at the end of the first period a second 15 minute period of extra time will be played. Then penalties if still level.


Thursday, September 11, 2003

Exeter close to CVA

Exeter City are almost certainly going into a CVA. The supporters group now controlling the club believe they will be able to get agreement with the main creditors before a court apperance, which luckily has been postponed from tomorrow to a date to be arranged, when they are due to answer a winding-up call from property developer Eagle One, who are owed £116,000 plus interest.

Stephen Allison, an insolvency expert and incidentally a director of Yeovil, has been advising the club on its finances. He expects that the club could strike a deal with its creditors before the court appearance can be rearranged.

"We are hoping to get the (CVA) sorted for the middle of next week," he said. "We are not anticipating the court case to be any great drama."

It is still possible that Exeter could have 12 points deducted from them for going into a CVA but the Christmas/New Year fixtures with Hereford United now seem assured.

Meanwhile, a very old Hereford United programme was sold at Sotherbys in London this afternoon. The programme, one in a lot of six, was from a game with Kidderminster Harriers in the Birmingham League at Edgar Street from the 1937/38 season. The lot was valued at £650 but sold for £960.


Seadogs next for league leaders

Scarborough are the visitors to Edgar Street for Hereford United's next Nationwide Conference match on Saturday, kick off 3pm.

Scarborough beat United twice last season, but currently lie fourteenth having won two of their seven matches so far. They have yet to win a match away from home, drawing one of their three games on their travels.

United boss Graham Turner said of the game: "The gate could be anything between three and five thousand on Saturday, it's hard to forecast.

"Scarborough have not had the best of starts but they have had a few injuries and have changed a number of faces, like we did fourteen or so months ago," he added in the Hereford Times.

United hope to have Daniel Carey-Bertram available after a hamstring injury after he missed recent matches.

Scarborough miss midfielder David Pounder once again, as he suffers with a knee injury, and first-choice goalkeeper Adam Sollitt has a broken finger.

However, manager Russell Slade is up-beat going into the match after Boro' beat Gravesend & Northfleet 2-0 last Saturday, saying: "I'm just hoping that gives us a bit of a spark going to Hereford. That will be a very difficult game with the way they have been scoring goals.

Any United fans who happen to be in North Yorkshire on Saturday can hear BBC Radio York's live commentary of the game on 666 or 1260 khz AM.


Bulls seal second 'keeper deal

Hereford United have signed goalkeeper Ben Scott on permanent terms.

Scott, age 19, has been on-loan at Edgar Street since the start of the season and manager Graham Turner has finalised the move from Sheffield United, report the Hereford Times.

"Ben has played for Sheffield United reserves but they have agreed to release him because they have a number of other goalkeepers at the club," said Turner.

"He has impressed us with his attitude in training. He's only nineteen but he's shown considerable maturity and willingness over the past month."

Scott was part of the Sheffield United side that won the Avon Insurance League title earlier this year.


Wednesday, September 10, 2003

More delays likely at Edgar Street

Herefordshire Council are having second thoughts as to whether a by-pass of the city should be sited to the east or west. Originally the east route close to the Lugg Meadows had been put forward but there were strong protests from environmentalists and others resulting in the failure of the plan at a public inquiry.

Recently, the Council commissioned another transport study and included in these proposals are some extra road building, the main item being a by-pass to the west of the city.

One of the reasons that the issue has come up again is that the Council need to consult with various bodies that gave evidence to the inquiry. This will be a long process.

The Edgar Street plans will have to take this study on-board and this will mean another delay before any final decisions about the possible improvements to the football ground take place.

This could also have the effect of delaying any settlement of the CVA.


Bulls fan in marathon fundraiser

One of Hereford United's most loyal supporters will be taking part in a marathon attempt to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

Jamie Griffiths will be participating in the Cardiff Half Marathon on Sunday, 28th September, to support the Bobby Moore Fund, which raises fund for research into bowel cancer. He will be running 13.1 miles in the Welsh capital.

Since 1993, the fund has raised more than £2 million and Jamie hopes to add £500 to that total.

If you can sponsor Jamie in his cause, please contact him at jamie_99_@hotmail.com, and he will provide details on how the charity can claim back tax paid on donations.


Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Blocks of games

Next Saturday's game at Edgar Street against Scarborough is the first in what Hereford United's chief coach Richard O'Kelly has described as the manager's second block of games for this season.

"The manager has a little system where he works on blocks of games. It's something that I picked up last year. I'm learning all the time from him. We work on blocks of games and at the moment they are going better than expected," said O'Kelly on BBC Hereford & Worcester.

The first block of seven games produced nineteen points from a possible twenty-one, which was more than Graham Turner had predicted.

For the second block, Turner told the Nationwide football website that he was aiming for at least 17 points.

Those games are against Scarborough, Telford, Gravesend, and Dagenham at home and Burton, Woking and Northwich away. As things stand at present in the league that target looks attainable although Woking may prove a difficult fixture to obtain three points.

The third block could present problems as included in the seven fixtures are away games at both Chester and Shrewsbury.

Meanwhile, next weekend's matches include what should be a very exciting clash at Aldershot, currently fourth, where Shrewsbury, joint second, are the visitors. A draw would suit Hereford who lead the Conference by three points. Chester, also joint second, and still the bookies favourites to win the league, have a relatively easy home game against Halifax.

What ever happens at Edgar Street and elsewhere, Hereford United will remain in top place in the Conference for at least another week as no other club is likely to make up three points and a goal difference of ten.


We've heard it all before!

The recent rumours surrounding Paul Parry's future are little more than a re-hash of comments and speculation from earlier in the year.

Back in January, both the Bristol Rovers manager Ray Graydon and his deputy John Still watched Parry at two games. Still was reported as saying: "I think he's somebody we will be very interested in signing and who could do a good job for us but, ultimately, the decision has to be down to the manager.

"I know the player very well and I'm sure he's somebody we'd want."

However, later that week Graham Turner confirmed that no bids had been made for the midfielder, although he added that if Parry wants to join Bristol Rovers, then Hereford will not stop him.

Turner continued: "I know they have been at our games. I wouldn't want Paul to leave but I have always said I would never stand in his way though at the moment it is all just speculation."

Parry then gave an interview to the Evening News in March in which he said that he was eager to move into the Football League - with the Bulls.

He said that he hoped to gain promotion with Hereford within the next year and a half as his contract runs out in May 2004.

"I still want to get into the Football League and have got a good opportunity to do it with Hereford," he said. "I'm still only 22 and I've still got another year with Hereford to make that happen. If it doesn't then may be that might be the right time to think about a move."

Speculation then recently turned to Yeovil Town, where Gary Johnson was rumoured to be looking at Parry as a replacement for Michael McIndoe, who joined Doncaster Rovers after a bust-up at Huish Park.

In June, before McIndoe was sidelined, Johnson was quoted as saying: "I'm always following up good players and people like Paul Parry, along with several others, fall into that."

A month later, with McIndoe training alone and banished from the Yeovil first-team set-up, it was again rumoured that Parry would replace the Scotsman at Huish Park.

No bid materialised then, although an offer from Yeovil has been rejected since the start of the new season.

Yesterday's statement labelled it as 'unacceptable'.


Monday, September 08, 2003

Any move must 'be right for the club'

The Paul Parry transfer saga rumbles on today, as Graham Turner confirmed the situation.

He said that Parry is open to offers, but has not been transfer-listed and could be at Edgar Street for "several seasons to come," according to a statement on the club's official website.

On Saturday, coach Richard O'Kelly said that news of Parry's transfer listing had been blown out of all proportion, and that his name had simply been circulated around Football League clubs to alert them of his availability.

Director of football Graham Turner confirmed in today's Western Daily Press, who broke the initial news on Saturday morning, that any transfer which sees Parry leave Edgar Street would only occur if the club were to benefit.

"Paul wants to play in the Football League but it has to be right for the club," said Turner. "If he goes, we have got to replace him and we'll have to get on with it.

"But we don't want to sell players and don't want anyone to leave."

Yeovil Town has already made an offer for Parry this season, but it was considered "unacceptable", according to the statement, which added: "This is a very amicable arrangement with Paul and his agent and it is now a case of waiting to hear of any interest from other clubs."

Turner confirmed: "In the past we have been in the position where we have needed to sell players to bring in money and that isn’t the case now."

It is commendable that the club have clarified the situation swiftly and quashed rumours that Parry was set for a swift exit. Hereford United can wait for the right offer to come along, and Parry remains an integral part of the first-team set-up.


Sunday, September 07, 2003

Turner pleased with result

Commenting after yesterday's game at Farnborough, Hereford manager Graham Turner told the press that to come away from home and score five is an achievement.

"We did well in the first half hour and did the damage then, but we are not getting carried away. Maybe the scoreline flattered us a little but we played well, created chances and we have to take it from here.

"The big fear is if that little bit of complacency starts to creep in and so far I've seen no signs of that. I think the players have adapted and applied themselves well and that was in evidence in the way we worked today."

More praise for Turner has come from Yeovil boss, Gary Johnson, in the Non-League Paper. Commenting on the Bulls, he said that Graham Turner has been at Edgar Street a long time and has worked on a shoestring budget, but still looks to have a dozen quality players on his books.

"His big problem could be if suspensions or injuries start eating into his squad. There is no doubt Hereford are a decent side and scoring plenty of goals with Stephen Guinan and Ben Smith leading the way, but I also like Paul Parry and Michael Rose.

"Guinan is a good target man, but Smith likes to bomb into the box and five goals from each (now six) in their first six matches (now seven) is all you can ask. Smith was at Yeovil for a few years before I arrived and has recovered well from a dislocated shoulder.

"Graham, as chairman, has invested his own money in the club so he has had to watch the pennies and has done well, but may need luck with injuries to stay on top."

There is already champagne on ice in Wakefield, where Hereford's most famous player, Ronnie Radford, is backing the Bulls for promotion. "What a start," he told Colin Mafham. "My pals tell me they are playing some great stuff and I'm so pleased for the club - and Graham Turner."

On Turner, Radford added: "He is such a lovely man. He has put so much time and energy in just keeping the club going. He must have had some really rough times and wondered if it really was worth it. When you have sole responsibility like he has you feel it ten-fold."

"There's a long way to go and they will need a bit of luck, but we're all keeping our fingers crossed."


Saturday, September 06, 2003

Odds drop again

After todays 5-0 win Skybet have dropped their odds on the Bulls winning the Conference to 10-3 making them second favourites.

Chester are now 9-4 and Shrewsbury 4-1.

A couple of other points from today's game:

Michael Rose has now received four yellow cards but, as last week at Stevenage, he may well think he was unlucky to be penalised this afternoon. The assistant referee who was very close to the spot did not signal for a foul but the referee, who was some yards behind, must have thought Rose unfairly challenged a Farnborough player and had no hestitation in showing a yellow card.

Danny Williams was subbed during the second half. He was seen with an ice-pack on his foot after the game.

Although two Hereford fans were ejected during the game, there was no sign of trouble at the ground.

The travelling Hereford support was estimated at 500. No figure could be obtained from Farnborough officials.


Coach happy with Farnborough capitulation

Following today's emphatic 5-0 win over Farnborough Town, Hereford United coach Richard O'Kelly spoke of his delight at the performance.

"The first half an hour of the game was excellent, with our attitude, passing, movement, and also when we lost the ball, we had good team shape," he told BBC Hereford & Worcester. "The players are very confident at the moment obviously because they've been getting some good results. We haven't had too many blips either."

Goals today came from Paul Parry, Ben Smith, Steve Guinan, captain Tony James and substitute David Brown, and O'Kelly added: "With the way the team's set-up, any of the midfielders can get on the scoresheet. Paul Parry was there today, Rob Purdie was very unlucky on a few occasions and also Danny Williams.

"We also got Ryan Green into goalscoring positions on three or four occasions today as well so. Ben Smith's the one who's benefitting at the moment from the good team play, and long may it continue."

Farnborough boss Tommy Taylor was quick to praise Hereford. "They were a far better team than us all over the field. It didn't help when we had one sent off as well. It could have been a different game if we'd scored a couple of goals in the first half but they are a very good footballing team, with a lot of pace."

Of the penalty ten minutes after the restart, speaking to BBC Southern Counties Radio, Taylor commented: "I think the penalty was punishment enough. I don't think, because the ball hit his hand, it was a yellow card. The game was already over."


Parry story a 'mountain out of a molehill'

The news that Paul Parry has handed in a transfer request appears to have been blown out of all proportion.

Today's Western Daily Press reported that Parry had handed in a transfer request, but coach Richard O'Kelly said that this wasn't the case. Instead, Parry's name has been circulated around clubs in the Football League but a move isn't imminent.

O'Kelly told BBC Hereford & Worcester: "The manager has had a chat with Paul, and there is no way he has asked for a transfer. Yeovil did show an interest but Paul is very happy playing for Hereford United and for someone who has supposed to have put in a transfer request, he put in a good show today!"

"Paul Parry is a Hereford United player through and through. He wants to progress his career and wants to play at the highest level he can. To say he's been put on the transfer list at his own request is a little bit out of order."

It is thought that an offer from Bristol Rovers was rejected last season and, although interested, Yeovil Town have yet to make a suitable bid for the Welshman.


Five-star United extend lead at top

Hereford United beat Farnborough Town 5-0 this afternoon to remain at the top of the Nationwide Conference.

The report on the match can be read here.

The Bulls now have nineteen points, and are three clear of second-placed Chester City, who won 2-1 at Margate. Aldershot Town are third with fifteen points, while Shrewsbury Town are fourth but have a game in hand, which could put them joint-second. Hereford's goal-difference is +17, with Chester's +7 as the nearest challenger.


Reports suggest at Parry departure

The Western Daily Press report that Paul Parry has asked to leave Hereford United.

The Hereford United midfielder, and Welsh semi-professional international, has been allowed to talk to Football League clubs.

Hereford's memo to clubs reads: "We have reluctantly agreed to Paul Parry's request to have his name circulated because he wants to play in the Football League."

The paper's reporter, Chris Spittles, writes that Yeovil Town are interested but an unreachable asking price has put off their Third Division rivals Bristol Rovers.

Parry, who has had a quiet start to the season by his own standards, is expected to attract much interest and has started all six matches so far this campaign.

He started his career at Edgar Street, making his league debut in the 1998/99 season, and the twenty-three year-old scored ten Conference goals last season.

Hereford United have yet to confirm the news.