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Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Why no offer for Parry?

Despite several weeks of speculation there does not appear to have been a definite offer from Cardiff City for Hereford United's Paul Parry.

The Bluebirds appear to be desperate to sign a left-winger but have been thwarted in their latest efforts as Rotherham have stopped the possible loan of Andy Monkhouse in time for Sautrday's Cup game with Sheffield United.

Monkhouse was scheduled to arrive at Ninian Park tomorrow to complete a temporary move, but Millers manager Ronnie Moore called a halt to the deal.

"I have 17 fit players and nobody is going out right now," Moore told icwales.

"Maybe in a week or so, but not right now."

If Lennie Lawrence, the Cardiff manager, wants to sign anyone for the Cup game he has to act before midday Friday.

However the quote from the Rotherham manager implies that a loan of Monkhouse is possible shortly. Whether that means that Cardiff will still look to sign Parry is unclear.


Beesley set for first start

Graham Turner is expected to hand new signing Mark Beesley his full debut in tomorrow's Nationwide Conference trip to Exeter City, kick off 1pm.

Hereford United miss the suspended David Brown and Ryan Green, so Beesley is likely to partner Rob Purdie in the United attack.

It is also hoped that Steve Guinan will play a part after his recent knee injury, but he is unlikely to make the starting eleven.

Of the match, United boss Turner told the Evening News: "We have to stay in touch with Chester and that means winning at Exeter. With our trip to St James' Park and Stevenage it's fair to say we've probably got the harder task than Chester who you expect to beat Leigh RMI again.

"But we can't afford to let Chester get nine points in front."

"We know it is going to be a tough game and we've got a couple of suspensions. But Steve Guinan is making good progress and could come into contention while Mark Beesley will probably start."

Chester, though, have not yet wrapped up the title, adds Turner. "There's still a long way to go and a lot of football to be played," he said.


United star in TV draw appearance

Former Liverpool and Wales star Ian Rush will team up with Hereford United attacker Steve Guinan to make the fourth round draw of this season's FA Cup.

Guinan, who scored a hatrick and was handed 'player of the round' for the fourth-qualifying stage of the competition as United beat Harrow Borough 6-1

"This is a real honour for me, the club and supporters," said the ex-Nottingham Forest striker. "I think it shows how the FA is rewarding and acknowledging the achievement of smaller clubs as part of the Player of the Round award."

He added in today's Evening News: "To team up with an FA Cup legend like Ian Rush is a dream, especially when I remember how my dad used to take me to watch him when I was a kid."

Liverpool fan Guinan will join Rush on BBC2 at 1pm on Monday, 5th January.


Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Bulls look for a Happy New Year

Hereford United look forward to gaining revenge on Exeter City for Boxing Day's 1-1 draw when they travel to St. James' Park on New Year's Day, kick off 1pm.

Rob Purdie's goal was cancelled out by Steve Flack's strike at Edgar Street, but the Grecians had goalkeeper James Bittner sent-off for a foul on Paul Parry.

Purdie is confident that Hereford can bounce back. "I think we can go to Exeter and get the three points, and four points over the two fixtures won't be a bad return," he told BBC Hereford & Worcester. "We're good enough, on our day, to beat anyone in the Conference quite comfortably."

Bittner picked up a knee injury in that challenge on Parry, but is fit to play and told the Express & Echo: "I have put the red card to the back of my mind because I am determined not to let it affect me mentally. In hindsight I should have never come for the ball. But I did and the result was costly for me. Instead of dwelling on it I have replaced the disappointment with a fierce determination to make amends on Thursday."

The red card means Bittner misses the FA Trophy third round game against Hereford on January 10th, but he has only picked up a one-match ban after referee Bob Desmond reviewed his initial decision. City boss Eamonn Dolan added: "I was hugely impressed with this referee and his decision is a huge boost for James."

Of Hereford, Bittner continued: "They are very good going forward and show a lot of movement up front. They play a crisp and neat one-touch game but I thought they looked quite vulnerable at the back."

"We are well capable of beating them at home because we are creating a lot of chances at the moment. And we have the psychological edge because we came from a goal behind to earn a draw when they must have thought they would get all three points.

"All in all it is set up to be a real thriller and I hope we can get a bumper crowd to drive us on."

Hereford miss Ryan Green and David Brown through suspension, while defender Andy Tretton is out. Graham Turner waits over the fitness of striker Steve Guinan, and also midfielder Danny Williams, who picked up a knock on Boxing Day.


Monday, December 29, 2003

Lawrence looking for fresh faces

The pressure on Cardiff City boss Lennie Lawrence could tip the balance in favour of signing Paul Parry.

Lawrence is rumoured to be mulling over a possible £100,000 bid for the Hereford United winger, and faces pressure from supporters at Ninian Park to bounce back from a run of four consecutive league defeats.

The Bluebirds manager said after their latest defeat, a 2-1 reversal at Watford yesterday: "Managers have to take all the responsibility and I feel under pressure. We will have to see how the chairman reacts — it’s the first time I’ve faced this situation in two years at the club. We have been making some ridiculous errors and it’s getting to be a huge cause for concern.

"I'm increasingly concerned about our situation. Any cushion we had in the First Division has been wiped out by our own ineptitude," report cardiffcity.com. "We are still in mid-table but unless we put this right and stop the rot we will start looking behind us."

City chairman Sam Hamman is eager to bring success to the Welsh capital, and has the finances to back Lawrence with. "Bringing in new players is a solution but that's easier said than done. I've tried to loan players but that hasn't been easy to do," added Lawrence.

The impetus of fresh faces at Ninian Park could be what is required, and Parry is one player who Lawrence has been tracking with great interest.


Sunday, December 28, 2003

Guinan rues misses - but backs Bulls for the top!

Hereford United's top scorer Steve Guinan not only reckons that the side should have netted fifteen more goals this season, but adds that the Bulls can clinch the Conference championship.

United have netted fity-seven times this season, and Guinan told the Non-League Paper: "We have missed some absolute sitters and been creating an unbelievable amount of chances."

"We are very capable of winning the Conference. We are only halfway through the season, but no one thinks we are genuine contenders.

"It makes no difference to any of us what people think - and in fact, it is adding to our resilience."

However, Guinan recognises the limits of the squad's size. "As long as we stay injury free, we have players who are more than good enough to win this league."

One clash that could decide the destination of the title is on the final day, when Hereford host Chester City at Edgar Street. "No on would want it to go down to the wire and hopefully, we could win the title before that, but I wouldn't be surprised if that game was crucial. If it was than I am sure Edgar Street would be packed to the rafters."


Smith set for England call

The England National Game XI boss Paul Fairclough is looking to call Ben Smith up into his next squad.

Speaking to the Non-League Paper, he said of the Hereford United midfielder: "I have seen Smith a couple of times and he was outstanding on both occasions.

"I like the way that Hereford play their football and Smith is very much a key playmaker. If they do go up, he certainly won't have any problem playing League football."

Smith could participate in a major tournament in the USA in June, involving England, the USA, Haiti, Canada and Trinidad, if the FA backs the idea, while there may be a new European Championships at the end of next year. This could include Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium, Holland, Italy and France.

  • This season's play-off semi-finals and final will be decided with a silver goal, if the scores are level after ninety minutes. Thirty minutes of extra time will then be played, and if one team is ahead after fifteen minutes, then the game will end. Penalties will then follow if required.

  • Two former Hereford attackers are looking to revive their careers. Scott Voice has joined Redditch United from Hinckley United for a club-record fee, while Adrian Foster had an achilles operation in the summer and is now getting back to full fitness. He is currently on-the-books of Taunton Town.


Saturday, December 27, 2003

Parry - the latest from Ninian Park

The Cardiff City Sleeping Giant website is carrying the following article, written by Sean Wozencraft, which appears to sum-up the latest from Cardiff.

Lennie Lawrence was at Hereford last night to watch Paul Parry in action against Exeter City. Lennie is very interested in the midfielder, who is described as the best player in the Conference.

He has watched Parry a number of times and the youngster has impressed on each occasion. Last night was no exception, Parry putting in a good performance as United recorded a 1-1 draw.

But Lennie has said that he will not make any signings until after the FA Cup match against Sheffield United on January 3. He will have to move quickly to capture Parry's signature as more clubs become interested. Parry carries a price tag of around £100,000.

The time has come for Lennie to stop dithering. Of course there is no guarantee that he would be able to cut it at this level, but for £100,000, it seems like a worthwhile bet. He is a left sided creative player, just what we need to end this slump. If we don't take the risk, someone else will and we may be left regretting it.

Hereford boss Graham Turner has said that he would not stand in Parry's way if a top club made a move for him, but the price has to be right. He spent a couple of days on trial at Ninian Park earlier this month in which he trained with the rest of the squad.


Beesley set for New Year debut

With David Brown missing against Exeter City on January 1st, Hereford United's new signing Mark Beesley could make his first start for the club.

The prolific striker has the potential to bring a lot to the squad, says United midfielder Jamie Pitman: "With suspensions coming up Mark Beesley's arrival is going to help a lot," said Pitman. "When he was at Chester he scored 20 odd goals and has obviously got a knack of finding the net.

"I would imagine he would fit in quite well with the way we play and he's come in from a good level," he told the Evening News.

"He trained for the first time on Monday and he looked fairly sharp. He just needs to get back the pace of the game which will take a little bit of time."

Ryan Green also is banned for the Exeter match because of his sending-off against Tamworth, while Jamie Pitman has picked up five bookings so will miss the visit of Stevenage Borough a week today (Saturday 3rd January). A week later, Danny Williams will be suspended for the FA Trophy trip to Exeter, but James Bittner's dismissal last night means he also misses that match.

Hereford still have Andy Tretton missing with his long-term injury, while Steve Guinan is a doubt after missing the last couple of games.


Dolan disheartened by dismissal

After last night's game, Exeter City manager Eamonn Dolan said he was pleased with the 1-1 draw at Edgar Street.

"If you come to Hereford and take a point, that's not a bad result," he told BBC Radio Devon. "I thought the lads showed great character."

He added that the dismissal of goalkeeper James Bittner was "harsh" and continued: "My main concern now is that he does not have a serious injury because he's the only professional goalkeeper we've got."

United midfielder Rob Purdie looked at the league table and feels that Chester can be overhauled at the top. "Between now and the last month, we've really got to push and get as many points as we can.

"We can't keep dropping points against teams that are lower down. We've got to get three points at home and away if we want to win the league," he told BBC Hereford & Worcester."


Parry watched again

Cardiff City manager Lennie Lawrence watched Paul Parry again last night at Edgar Street, according to today's Evening News.

Lawrence, whose team lost again yesterday, is known to be looking for a left-sided player to replace Julian Gray who recently returned to Crystal Palace.

However, the Western Mail reports that it is unlikely that Lawrence will make any signings until after the third round of the FA.Cup on January 3rd.


Friday, December 26, 2003

Scorer happy, but would have preferred to win

Rob Purdie was delighted with his strike tonight, but was disappointed that it didn't lead to a Hereford United victory.

His goal came eight minutes into the second period, but Steve Flack's equaliser eighteen minutes from time ensured that Exeter City gained a share of the spoils.

"It was one of those shots which either ends up in the corner of the net or flies out of the stadium," he told BBC Hereford & Worcester. "For twenty minutes in the second half, we were passing it around well, we got the goal, and we looked dangerous."

"While I was pleased with it, I would have been much more pleased with three points."


United held by Exeter
 
Hereford United failed to take all three points tonight at Edgar Street. Rob Purdie put the Bulls into the lead in the 53rd minute but Exeter equalised later. An exciting game to watch but with too many missed chances.

Danny Williams was injuried and yellow carded which means he will miss the Trophy game at Exeter.


Bulls drop points against ten-man City

Hereford United 1 - 1 Exeter City

The Bulls shared the points with the Grecians in a game played out on a slippy pitch at Edgar Street.

A bumper crowd of 4,010 turned out, included 242 from the away side, but those that watched saw Hereford fail to take several changes when they should have .

Hereford missed Steve Guinan once again, and it showed in the first half. They missed his creativity in a dull opening period. Exeter also failed to shine, without top scorer Sean Devine, and relied on the lively James Coppinger to lead their attack.

Paul Parry provided several balls from the left channel, but these appeared to prove elusive for David Brown and Rob Purdie, who ran his heart out for the cause. In the eleventh minute, Danny Williams' long-range free-kick found Anwar Uddin in the box, and his header sailed high and wide of James Bittner's goal. Brown's shot a few minutes later should have opened the scoring, but it scraped along the ground.

At the other end, Santos Gaia could make no connection in front of Matt Baker's goal-frame, while Coppinger had several opportunities to cause problems for the United goalkeeper. His long range shot just before the half hour deflected inches wide of goal, and Baker was forced into two difficult saves, from Coppinger and Alex Jeannin, both of which were pushed out for goalkeepers. Skipper Glenn Cronin also struck from the edge of the box with a minute left to play in the first half, but Baker was equal to the strong effort.

In the last minute of the half, Danny Williams was cautioned, which sees him miss the FA Trophy third round tie at Exeter on January 10th.

After the restart, United looked brighter. Rob Purdie found the side netting just three minutes in, and made no mistake four minutes later when he struck a screamer from the left edge of the area, sailing past James Bittner into the top corner to open the scoring. Hereford were ahead, and had opportunities to extend their advantage. Paul Parry fired inches over, while another shot from the Welshman forced the goalkeeper to save at full stretch.

Exeter, though, should have levelled on sixty-seven minutes. Coppinger fed the ball through to Steve Flack, who was five yards out with an open goal ahead of him. Somehow, though, he managed to hit the bar. He found the woodwork again five minutes after receiving a left-wing cross, but the ball rebounded, hit Flack and bounced into the bottom corner to level proceedings.

As the game wore on, United searched for a winner, but couldn't find one. Danny Williams came off injured, while Flack found the net again but Coppinger was flagged offside. Then, with nine minutes left, Paul Parry wa brought down outside the area by James Bittner, when in full flight. The City stopper was dismissed, but United couldn't capitalise on their numerical advantage. Their best chance came in added time, but Michael Rose's central free-kick from twenty yards went just over the top.

Written by Terry Goodwin - 26th December 2003.
Hereford United Exeter City
Matt Baker James Bittner
Ryan Green Dean Moxey
Michael Rose Reinier Moor (off, 82 minutes)
Jamie Pitman Santos Gaia
Anwar Uddin Dwane Lee
Tony James (captain) Scott Hiley
Danny Williams (off, 77 minutes) Gareth Sheldon
Ben Smith Glenn Cronin (captain, off, 66 minutes)
David Brown Steve Flack
Rob Purdie James Coppinger
Paul Parry Alex Jeannin
Subs Subs
Jordan King Martin Rice (on, 82 minutes)
Ben Scott Kwarme Ampadu (on, 66 minutes)
Mark Beesley (on, 77 minutes) Lee Afful
Dean Craven Dominic Rivans
Richard Teesdale Sean Canham
Yellow cards Yellow cards
Danny Williams (foul, 45 minutes) Alex Jeannin (foul, 11 minutes)
- Gareth Sheldon (foul, 31 minutes)
- Kwarme Ampadu (dissent, 90 minutes)
Red cards Red cards
- James Bittner (foul, 82 minutes)
Scorers Scorers
Rob Purdie (53 minutes) Steve Flack (72 minutes)
- -
Man of the Match Rob Purdie
Attendance 4010
Referee Mr. R. Desmond (Gloucestershire)


Game is definitely ON

Tonight's game at Edgar Street is definitely ON.

Hereford United Director Joan Fennessy has confirmed to HU-FC.co.uk late this afternoon that the rain has stopped at Edgar Street and the game goes ahead.


United need to make up ground

Hereford United are now seven points adrift of Chester City, but do have two games in hand, as they scramble for the Conference title.

Mark Wright's men beat Leigh RMI 5-0 at the Deva Stadium this afternoon, while Hereford host Exeter City at Edgar Street this evening. The game, which is currently on, is live on Sky Sports 1.

In the other matches, Aldershot moved to within three points of United with a 3-2 to win at Dagenham & Redbridge, but Barnet remain three points behind the Bulls as Ian Selley's late strike shares the points in a 2-2 draw at Woking.

Shrewsbury Town easily disposed of Northwich Victoria 3-1, while Telford United's home match against Forest Green Rovers was abandoned at half-time with the score at 1-1.

Finally, Graham Westley took his Stevenage Borough side to Farnborough Town, his old club. The struggling Hampshire side won 2-0, with Stevenage dropping into the bottom half of the Nationwide Conference.


Follow the rules, says Turner

In a Sky Sports preview to this evening's game with Exeter City, Graham Turner has once again taken the opportunity to speak out about the potential points deduction facing Exeter as well as hoping to get back the Bulls to the League.

The cameras focused on the old river bridge before moving onto a Bulls training session earlier this week with the reporter commenting about the beautiful city of Hereford. When the camera cut to Turner, he said:"You do miss league status. I've always said to clubs coming down that there is life after the Football League but you don't want to be out of it too long.

"We've been a long time in the Conference. Lovely people, lovely clubs in there but we want to be back in the League.

Turning to Exeter, Turner added: "I just find it a ludicrous situation that a club can challenge a regulation that was brought democratically in the summer and could effect a lot of clubs in the Conference by the amount of money we have to spend to legally uphold the regulations that have been brought in."


Long day for Bulls fans

With three Conference games starting at Midday and Hereford United's game not kicking-off until 7.45pm, Bulls fans will have a long day of football ahead of them.

Of the early starts the game at Dagenham where Aldershot are the visitors will be of most interest to Hereford supporters. Aldershot will be looking to get back to winning ways after their surprise defeat at home by Margate last Saturday if they are to keep up their fight for a play-off place.

Leaders Chester have what should be an excellent chance to take three points off lowly Leigh RMI at the Deva Stadium. That game starts at 3pm as does the Shrewsbury game with Northwich which again should result in a home win.

Of the other play-off candidates Barnet travel to an in-form Woking side who have won four of their last six outings.

Whether knowing the other Conference results will spur Hereford on this evening remains to be seen, but the visit of Exeter for the second time this season to Edgar Street looks likely to produce an exciting game.


Thursday, December 25, 2003

Happy Christmas

Festive greetings to all of our visitors.

Thank you for your support throughout 2003, long may it continue.


Thoughts about the Chester game

With just 121 days to the end of the Conference season, Talie the Dragon Slayer's Dad looks ahead to what could be a potentially cracking game between Hereford United and Chester City at Edgar Street.

This may seem a little premature but I feel it is none the less relevant. We’ve all considered the end of season scenario with regard to the last game at home to Chester City. Just image, both sides go into the match needing some kind of positive result to secure the championship, the flip side to the coin that sent us down on the 3rd May 1997 (last day of the season) against Brighton and Hove Albion.

We, the loyal fans, have been there at the ‘Street’ every other weekend and a fair few midweekers as well and we’ll all be there for the finale, won’t we. Or will we? Because, suddenly all those who only ever turn up for the high profile matches will stand outside in the queue to the club shop and nab a ticket whilst the rest of us are inside (as one of 4,000ish crowd) watching the Bulls play Barnet at home. I’m sure you are starting to get the picture I’m painting here. It doesn’t even have to be a championship decider. Alternatively it could be to secure a place in the play-offs or even (please!) a celebration party with the championship already in the bag and the nation’s media in attendance. Either way, there are going to be some mightily peeved people who, having paid their dues all season long, are going to miss out on the icing on the cake to some 'Glory hunter'.

Now before someone comes on and slates me for using the term 'Glory hunter', I don’t mean someone who has noticed the upturn in results this season and has started attending matches just this year or even only the occasional paying customer who never watches more than a few matches each season. Even when these are added to the die-hard fans and other regular attendees our total attendance would not top much more than 4,500. No I mean the true 'Glory hunters'. You know the type? They were there for match verses Manchester United way back in 1990 but haven't been back since. Most of us know at least one person who fits this profile.

So here’s a stab at a solution. The club put a sizable chuck of tickets for the final game of the season on sale now (or within a reasonable time scale) at current prices and we can all make our purchase now and be safe in the knowledge that our respective places at the big event are assured (barring death, pestilence, war, etc.). Then if/when the big event actually nears the remainder of the tickets (less the appropriate amount put aside for Chester City fans) can be sold off at a considerable mark up on normal admission price so as to boost the club’s coffers.

Even if the match is a meaningless end of season run out the clubs will still have made some money from the enterprise and let's face it no one is having a gun put to their head and being told buy or else. The choice is there for all to make. If you snap up the tickets and the match matters, then you’re quids in. If the match doesn’t matter well, if like me you were going anyway what does it matter? If you don’t take up the offer and the match becomes vital and you’re not there, well tough I say. You’ll have had your chance.


Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Suspensions confirmed for Brown and Green

As expected two Hereford United players will be suspended from Saturday. This means that they will both miss the New Year Day's match at Exeter City.

Details from Confguide:
DAVID ALISTAIR BROWN: Suspended from ALL FOOTBALL until the Club have completed 1 FIRST TEAM MATCH from 27/12/2003 for 5/10/15 Cautions.

RYAN MICHAEL GREEN: Suspended from ALL FOOTBALL until the Club have completed 1 FIRST TEAM MATCH from 27/12/2003 for a Sending Off.


The following players are on four yellow cards:

ANTHONY JAMES ..... 4 Cautions
DANIEL JOSEF WILLIAMS ..... 4 Cautions
BENJIMAN SMITH ..... 4 Cautions


Dolan looks to Bulls' scoring strength

In a preview to the Boxing Day clash between Hereford United and Exeter City, Grecians boss Eamonn Dolan looked at the Bulls' ability to score goals from all over the field as a major strength.

Dolan told the Exeter Express and Echo: "Every (Hereford) player looks as if he wants to score goals. Even the full backs push right forward and it has been paying dividends because they score so many.

"We are totally positive about the prospect of playing Hereford twice within the space of a week. There is no fear because we know we can beat anyone in this league.

"I have been up there to watch them recently and they have assembled a young and vibrant side. They are a credit to the Conference because they will always have a go."

Exeter may have to bring in players from their youth side as several first team members are injury doubts. Dolan continued: "It is a worry having the likes of Santos and Chris struggling ahead of this Christmas programme. But we will have to get on with it."

Meanwhile Sean Devine, the Exeter striker, hopes to rediscover his scoring touch at the expense of the Bulls as he has failed to score in his last three games. He started the season in fine form netting 14 goals in 12 games.

"This is a huge game for the club and I am hungry to get back scoring again," insisted Devine.

"I have set myself high standards and people probably expect me to score every game. But as a striker you have purple patches and then lean spells, that's the way it goes. The most important thing is we start winning again and once we do that I am sure one will fly in off my bum or something like that."


Exeter face double trouble from Pitman

Jamie Pitman, the Hereford United midfielder is looking to collect six points from the Exeter City double-header, a move which would leave Eamonn Dolan's men twelve points behind the Bulls.

"Two wins would put them out of sight," he told the Evening News. "They are both important games and it's important we take maximum points especially with suspensions coming up so we need to get these games over and done with while we have a full squad."

"Anyone is capable of beating anyone in the Conference but if we play to our capabilities we should beat them and that's what we've got to do.

"Our away form has been excellent because we can counter attack but at home there is added pressure with everyone expecting us to hit four or five goals each game.

"The expectation from fans does add pressure but that's the standards we've set ourselves."


Bulls seek festive cheer

Hereford United host Exeter City at Edgar Street on Boxing Day eager to claw back the deficit at the top of the Nationwide Conference, kick off 7.45pm.

The Bulls are four points behind Chester City at the summit of the league, but have been boosted by the signing of former Cestrians attacker Mark Beesley, but are likely to miss top scorer Steve Guinan through injury.

Beesley's signing was a relatively swift one last Friday, according to Graham Turner. "It was one of the quickest deals I've done," he proclaimed in the Hereford Times. "I phoned him at 9am on Friday, he called back half-an-hour later to accept and drove down from his home on Merseyside to sign at 2pm.

"He's coming here to resurrect his career and I like those circumstances. Money was not an object. It's a similar situation to when Michael Rose joined us and I hope it works out as well as that deal did."

However, defender Andy Tretton's thigh injury again keeps him out of the team.

Looking ahead to the game, Turner told BBC Hereford & Worcester: "If there's no interest after the Forest Green result then we are banging our heads against a brick wall. Despite the difficult time of the kick-off, it's still an attractive fixture and I would hope that the supporters are going to turn out in force."

Exeter manager Eamonn Dolan could miss Brazilian centre-back Santos Gaia with a hamstring problem, and striker Barry McConnell is definitely missing with a broken collarbone. Chris Todd sustained concussion in last Saturday's 3-0 home defeat to Telford United, so is in the recovery stage and could feature if this is a success.

The game is live from 7.30pm on Sky Sports 1.


Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Stats look good for hopeful Hereford

With Christmas approaching, Hereford United are second in the Conference and lead many of the statistics tables too.

Steve Guinan has scored fourteen league goals, and Ben Smith has netted thirteen, but Giuliano Grazioli of Barnet is top scorer with eighteen.

Before the Forest Green game, United's top striker was Guinan, with fifty-eight shots, thirty-four of which were on target. Ben Smith has missed the most for the Bulls, hitting off-target twenty-six times, while Paul Parry has supplied the most assists and crosses (sixty-nine in total). Guinan has been caught offside thirty times, conceded thirty fouls, but won thirty-eight free-kicks.

The Bulls are also doing quite well in the team stats tables too. They have been awarded most corners, 168, and committed the least fouls, 232. Their recent form sees them lie fourth in the form table, having collected twelve points from a possible eighteen.

As for their totak number of goals, Hereford's fifty-seven is the highest in any of the national leagues, and also the top level of the feeder leagues too. They have scored four or more goals in a league game five times this season, more so than any other Conference side.


Monday, December 22, 2003

Hereford players score more often

Hereford United players have scored more often than any other team in the top five English leagues.

To date this season the ratio of goals scored to games played for the Bulls is 2.48 or 57 goals in 23 league games.

In the Premiership, Manchester United are top with a ratio of exactly 2.0 goals per game and in Division One Ipswich have the best ratio but it is only 1.79.

Division Two's top scorers are Plymouth with a ratio of 2.18 and Division Three Mansfield come in front also with 2.18 goals per game.

Perhaps it is time for the club shop at Edgar Street to be selling some items connected with this achievement?


Chester still favourites to top league

Chester City are still favourites to win the Conference this season. With more than half of the matches completed they have dropped as low as 4-6 at one bookmaker.

Best prices from a selection of top bookmakers put Chester at 2-1, Hereford at 5-1, Shrewsbury at 13-2 and Barnet at 11-1.

Aldershot can be found at 20-1 but prices for the other clubs are drifting out.

For example, both Telford and Stevenage are available at 66-1 for anyone who really likes a gamble.


Captain aims for Christmas success

Tony James is eager to continue the rich vein of form that saw his Hereford United side beat Forest Green Rovers 7-1 on Friday night.

The Bulls' skipper is looking forward to the double header against Exeter City, which should give them the opportunity to claw back the four point advantage held by Chester City.

"I think the league is quite tight," James told the Evening News. "There are a lot of teams below us with just two or three points between each other and everyone is beating each other and no one is running away with it.

"There is no way we can relax or take things easy we have to carry on full speed ahead."

The festive period is a crucial one, adds James, especially given the number of points on offer. "It's definitely a key time over Christmas with some difficult games and it's going to be hard especially with the pitches getting heavier which will make it harder for us to play the style of football we do.

"But we won't change. We just have to be more careful, not make any silly errors and keep it simple at the back and get it forward and let the others play."


Sunday, December 21, 2003

Lawrence to watch Parry again

Lennie Lawrence is reported to be coming to Edgar Street on Boxing Day to take a final look at Paul Parry.

Conditions were not good at the Lawn on Friday and the Cardiff manager may wish to see how Parry performs on a better pitch when Hereford play Exeter.

Teamtalk reports that Lawrence was left suitably impressed last Friday when the Wales semi-professional international scored a brilliant hat-trick in Hereford's 7-1 win at Forest Green Rovers.

Previous to that, Parry had spent a week on trial at Ninian Park and played in a reserve-team friendly against Derby.

"There's no question at all that Paul will be able to cut it at that level, no question," said Hereford manager Graham Turner. "If it's not to be Cardiff, then it will be another club - and quickly."


Parry impressed Lawrence

Wales on Sunday reports that Paul Parry will have definitely impressed Cardiff City boss Lennie Lawrence last Friday at Forest Green but there are no signs yet of a firm offer for the Bulls star.

"I treat Sam Hammam's (Cardiff owner) money like my own - I want to make an investment when we pay out for a player," said Lawrence who is stressing that there are unlikely to be a glut of new arrivals at Ninian Park in January.

However Lawrence has missed to buy two wingers already and with Cardiff well-beaten by Milwall yesterday, he is thought to be considering his options for the £100,000 rated player.

Lawrence saw most of the Forest Green game on Friday including Parry's hatrick.

Meanwhile Hereford based official, Andy Williams, was hit by a coin beleived to have been thrown by a Cardiff supporter at Ninian Park yesterday.


Saturday, December 20, 2003

Chester revive lead but others slump

Chester City have re-established their four point lead over Hereford United at the top of the Nationwide Conference this afternoon, but a gap has emerged between the top two after some surprising results elsewhere.

Mark Wright's men did what Hereford could not last weekend, in defeating Tamworth. They did it convincingly too, with a 5-1 win at the Lamb thanks to a Daryl Clare hatrick.

Third placed Barnet slumped to a 2-0 defeat at Underhill to one-from-bottom Farnborough Town, while Shrewsbury Town's home match against Burton Albion was postponed. Aldershot Town lost 2-0 at the Recreation Ground against Margate, and Exeter City also suffered a home defeat, crashing 3-0 against Telford United.

As a result, Chester have fifty points, United are four points behind, and Barnet have forty-three. Two points further adrift are Aldershot. All of these teams have a game in hand over the league leaders.

The next round of games is on Boxing Day. Hereford United host Exeter City in an evening kick-off, live on Sky Sports, while Chester City play Leigh RMI at the Deva Stadium. Shrewsbury Town are also at home, against Northwich Victoria, and Barnet are on their travels, as they go to Woking.


Pitman to miss Stevenage game

Hereford United midfielder Jamie Pitman will miss the Stevenage game on the first Saturday of the New Year as he was booked last night at Forest Green and has now received five yellow cards.

Of the game, Rovers' manager, Colin Addison said: "It was embarrassing. We were beaten by a very good side and, on that performance, I have no doubt they will get back into Division Three."

Many Bulls supporters will have been watching with interest the performance of the Westfields striker Sam Bowen who played for Forest Green. There have been calls from some that Bowen should have been tried out at Edgar Street. But he failed to make much contribution to the game and on that showing it is understandable that Graham Turner has not expressed any interest in him.

Meanwhile, new signing Mark Beesley is twenty-two years-old. He joined Preston North End as a trainee in 1998 and moved to Chester in 2000. Beesley is five foot ten inches tall.

During his time at the Deva Stadium he scored 40 goals and was the leading scorer in the 2001/2002 season with 18 goals but suffered with injuries in the 2002/2003 season. He has recently been out on loan at Southport.

It is believed that Graham Turner only took half an hour to sign Beesley yesterday morning after Mark Wright, the Chester manager, had formally released him.


Beesley joins the Bulls

Hereford United have sealed the signing of former Chester City attacker Mark Beesley.

Graham Turner captured the signature of the player on Friday morning after he was released by the Cestrians earlier this month. The Bulls beat off competition from Northwich Victoria and Leigh RMI to secure his services, and he will be available on Boxing Day.

Twenty-four year-old Beesley, who started out at Preston North End, has featured four times for Chester this season, but in the three previous campaigns netted thirty-two goals in seventy-nine starts.

Turner proclaimed: "He was a player I tried to get last season but because we were both in contention for a play-off place, Chester wouldn't allow him to come to us.

"I think he's a good acquisition," he told BBC Hereford & Worcester.


Win delights Turner

After tonight's 7-1 win at Forest Green Rovers, Hereford United manager Graham Turner told of his delight with the team's work.

A Paul Parry hatrick, a brace from Ben Smith, and goals from ROb Purdie and Jamie Pitman handed United the points, with Damon Searle's late strike nothing more than a consolation for Rovers.

"It was a terrific performance," Turner said on BBC Hereford & Worcester. "The response from the players after last Saturday was incredible, and it speaks volumes for the character that we have got in the side."

Of Paul Parry's performance, Turner added: "It was a good hatrick. I understand that Cardiff were in force tonight, and although the conditions were not brilliant for wing-play, his contribution in terms of goals was excellent."


Friday, December 19, 2003

Seventh heaven
Hereford United recorded their second 7-1 win of the season away at Forest Green Rovers.

Paul Parry netted a hatrick, Ben Smith got two, and Rob Purdie and Jamie Pitman also found the net.
Another cracking win for Hereford

Forest Green Rovers 1 - 7 Hereford United

Almost 700 Hereford fans were in attendance as their side swept Forest Green away at the Lawn.

The result equals Hereford's record post-war league win, which was set just a few weeks ago as they beat Halifax Town at Edgar Street by the same score.

This outcome, though, cannot have come at a better time. United slumped to a 1-0 defeat against Tamworth last weekend and, having collected all three points, are now just a point behind leaders Chester City having played the same number of games.

Graham Turner's men were without striker Steve Guinan again, and new signing Mark Beesley was not registered in time to play in tonight's encounter. Nevertheless, they were not needed. Paul Parry's performance buoyed the team on to victory. The Welshman was being watched by Cardiff City, with whom he recently spent a trial spell, and boss Lennie Lawrence can only have been impressed with what he saw.

But what of Forest Green, who will be naturally disheartened by such a hammering? Colin Addison suggested before the match that United were ready for promotion, and so it proved. The gap between the top teams and those at the other end of the Conference can be huge, but as Tamworth proved last week, this is not always the case. Hereford have now scored twelve goals against their Gloucestershire rivals this season, but they do not look like one of the three worst teams in the league.

United started well, as Parry linked with Ben Smith after just ninety seconds to fire wide of Steve Perrin's goal. The same goalkeeper was forced to save from Smith a few minutes later as he was stung by a strong shot. It was the sign of things to come.

Smith, Rob Purdie, Danny Williams and finally Ryan Green all linked for Parry netted his first on the thirteenth minute at the far post. So, Hereford had the lead, but they almost lost it two minutes later when Steve Cowe's cross from the right flank found Martin Foster behind the United back-line. His shot sailed over Matt Baker's goalframe. Jamie Pitman later blocked a Cowe shot a minute before Parry doubled his tally. He cut in from the left channel to feed onto a Purdie ball and put Hereford further clear.

By half time, it was 4-0. Ben Smith struck from outside the box with ten minutes of the half remaining, giving Perrin no chance, and two minutes later Rob Purdie was played through and chipped the ball over the sprawling goalkeeper to give United a huge half-time advantage.

After the restart, United continued in the same vein of form and two goals in a minute made it 6-0. A Danny Williams free-kick on fifty nine minutes from the edge of the centre circle found Parry in the box, who had broken free to beat the offside trap. He controlled firstly with his chest, and then struck the ball, which bounced in off the far post. From the kick-off, a free-kick was swung in from the right channel which was spilled by Perrin, and Smith was on-hand to hammer it home.

With United sailing, Turner made changes, bringing off the influential Tony James, Ben Smith and Danny Williams. Paul Parry took over as captain, but he couldn't find another goal. Jamie Pitman could, though, as he back-footed the ball into the net with eleven minutes left. It wasn't all one-way traffic though. Forest Green continued to battle, with Scott Rogers' shot being cleared by Anwar Uddin and Matt Baker called into action on a couple of occasions. At the other end, Ben Smith struck the crossbar before Addison's men found a consolation. Matt Baker missed a punch, and Damon Searle struck with five minutes to go.

It was, though, a matter of much too little, much too late. Hereford go into the next few games full of Christmas cheer, while Rovers will hope that Telford eat too much turkey and slump in their Boxing Day meeting.
Written by Terry Goodwin - 19th December 2003.
Forest Green Rovers Hereford United
Steve Perrin Matt Baker
Denny Ingram Ryan Green
Martin Foster (captain) Michael Rose
Steve Cowe (off, 87 minutes) Jamie Pitman
John Cant (off, half time) Anwar Uddin
Sam Bowen Tony James (captain, off, 66 minutes)
Richard Kennedy (off, 66 minutes) Danny Williams (off, 77 minutes)
Damon Searle Ben Smith (off, 82 minutes)
Lee Phillips Rob Purdie
Darren Jones David Brown
Alex Meechan Paul Parry
Subs Subs
Alex Sykes (on, 66 minutes) Ben Scott
Scott Rogers (on, half time) Richard Teesdale (on, 66 minutes)
Luke Jones (on, 87 minutes) Jordan King (on, 82 minutes)
Adie Adams Danny Carey-Bertram
Chris Giannangelo Dean Craven (on, 77 minutes)
Yellow cards Yellow cards
Darren Jones (foul, 20 minutes) Jamie Pitman (foul, 27 minutes)
Richard Kennedy (foul, 53 minutes) Ryan Green (foul, 71 minutes)
Red cards Red cards
- -
Scorers Scorers
Damon Searle (85 minutes) Paul Parry (13, 25, 59 minutes)
- Ben Smith (35, 60 minutes)
- Rob Purdie (37 minutes)
- Jamie Pitman (79 minutes)
- -
Man of the Match Paul Parry
Attendance 1,576
Referee Mr. K. Stroud (Bournemouth)


Bulls tipped for promotion

Former Hereford United boss Colin Addison has tipped the Bulls to gain promotion ahead of tonight's clash with his current club Forest Green Rovers.

"Hereford are a very good side, that is why they've been in the top three all season and we won't be underestimating them," said Addison in the Evening News. "Under Graham Turner they have a good manager and if they can stay free of injuries they can achieve their aim of getting back into the league."

Turner added: "Forest Green had a good win against Northwich and Colin Addison's sides are well organised and work hard but the biggest thing is how we bounce back from the Tamworth defeat," said Turner.

"We did it after the Shrewsbury defeat when we turned in an excellent performance against Halifax and we must look to do the same."

Meanwhile, unsubstantiated rumours are suggesting that ex-Chester City attacker Mark Beesley has signed for United, snubbing offers from Northwich Victoria and Leigh RMI.


Parry speculation suggests bid is imminent

Ahead of tonight's game against Forest Green Rovers, Hereford United midfielder Paul Parry is the subject of continued interest from Cardiff City.

The Welsh semi-professional international could make the switch to Ninian Park sooner rather than later, according to HTV Wales News Online, and United boss Graham Turner has said that any move would need to be right for both the player and the club.

"Cardiff are genuinely interested," Turner told HTV. "We would not stand in his way to better himself in a deal that we were happy with."

Parry is out of contract at the end of the season, and it is thought that a bid of £100,000 may be made by the Bluebirds.


Turner backs Brown

Graham Turner is backing David Brown to help bring some Christmas cheer to Hereford United and their supporters.

With Steve Guinan out, Brown will lead the attack at Forest Green tonight at the Lawn.

"David Brown has come into the side. He's had a bit of a checkard start to his career at Hereford. He's been in, he's been out. Maybe a little bit of reassurance there and another game might do his confidence a liitle bit of good," Turner told BBC Hereford & Worcester.

"He's got technical ability. He knows where the goal is and he has scored some decent goals this season. So it might be persevere with David and hope that he gets that confidence in front of goal."

Of Forest Green, Turner added that he had seen them play at Exeter and was quite impressed. "I am aware that they are missing seven or eight players and they had a terrific win at Northwich last week 4-0.

"We know it wont be easy so we've got to go there and contain them," he said.


Thursday, December 18, 2003

Parry not going to Cardiff - yet

Paul Parry will not be going to Cardiff City this year.

The Cardiff boss Lennie Lawrence has said that he will not be bringing in any new players until January, but is still expected to be watching the Hereford United midfielder at Forest Green tomorrow night.

"I won't be bringing in anyone this week and it's unlikely that I will be signing anyone until January," said the City chief in the Western Mail. "It's very difficult to sign players at the moment because most clubs are keeping their powder dry.

"They don't want to loan out players because of all the Christmas games coming up. Then the transfer window reopens in January, so they are waiting to see what happens. If something really good emerges and it's beneficial to Cardiff then we will have to look at it."

"I'm not going to pay more than what I think the player is worth. And I'm not going to sign players just for the sake of it. I want to bring in players who will add something to the squad."

However, former Bluebird Ian Walsh has said that boosting the squad would improve the Welshmen's play-off chances. "There are a number of good players in the team, but it is in midfield where Cardiff would benefit from one or two changes. They do need a left-sided player. You need players who can go out wide and break the back of the defence - and chip in with goals."


Striker hopeful of Boxing Day return

Hereford United will want to repeat their 5-1 win earlier in the season when they face Forest Green Rovers at the Lawn tomorrow night, kick off 7.45pm.

The Bulls, though, continue to wait on the fitness of striker Steve Guinan, as his troublesome knee kept him out of last weekend's defeat to Tamworth. He is unlikely to feature, but Graham Turner remains hopeful that Guinan will face Exeter City on Boxing Day.

Forest Green, managed by former Hereford boss Colin Addison, could field Sam Bowen in attack again but are set to miss Kevin Langan, Jamie Moralee, Neil Grayson, Gareth Stoker and Jon Richardson through injury.

Just fifteen players were available for last weekend's 4-0 win over Northwich Victoria, but Alex Sykes, once of Westfields, has returned from suspension, as has Scott Rodgers, and both are in the squad.

A Forest Green club spokesperson added that the game should go ahead, but the club have covers which can be put in place if it is deemed neccessary.


Taxman takes his share

The Inland Revenue has been taking a hardened line with football clubs recently as Graham Turner has found out. In his weekly column in the Hereford Times, he tells of recent dealings with them and again mentions the Exeter situation which is being contested today.

Of the situation at Edgar Street he said: "Two years ago there was an extra bill of £88,000 and we negotiated a deal where we could pay £20,000 down and spread the balance over seven months.

"This year, the shortfall was £47,000... but the Inland Revenue replied that if the full amount was not received within seven days they would start winding up proceedings.

"There was also an additional £10,000 of VAT to pay and they discovered a further £8,000 dating back to 1997 that they asked us to pay."

Luckily, improved gates this season has meant that the club will be able to pay but that leaves less for other purposes. "We recently made an offer to settle our CVA - we had originally paid 40p in the pound, leaving 60p to pay from the planned relocation," Turner added. "Now the relocation is not likely to take place we made an offer but the taxman threw that out, too."

Turner will no doubt watch the outcome of the Exeter City and the Inland Revenue dispute with great interest.


Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Council discuss Edgar Street plans

Hereford Council's cabinet are to discuss the Edgar Street plans tomorrow.

The plan has been out for consulation and Councillors will look at issues put forward by those who have made comments. Included in those comments are suggestions that the football ground should be moved to the edge of the city.

Meanwhile Conservative candidate for Hereford, Virginia Taylor has said it is possible that Waitrose may be interested in the Edgar Street site for a food hall incorporating a Waitrose store.

"Although I have said that I am not particularly keen to see yey another supermarket in Hereford on the Edgar Street site, if the financial viability of the new development dictates that this is the only way forward, I would be very interested to possibility of such a joint venture with Waitrose," she told the Hereford Journal.


Guinan a doubt for Rovers trip

Hereford United look set to be without top scorer Steve Guinan once again as they go to Forest Green Rovers on Friday night, kick off 7.45pm.

The former Nottingham Forest striker had a scan on his knee before the 1-0 defeat to Tamworth last Saturday morning, and Graham Turner told the Hereford Journal: "Steve had no chance of playing on Saturday, and we don't know now about Forest Green. But we did miss him in holding up the ball, and the clever things that he does."

The Bulls must also be careful as Jamie Pitman, Danny Williams, Ben Smith and Tony James are all just one booking away from a one-match ban.

After that Tamworth loss, Turner looked at the video of the match, particularly studying the incident that saw Ryan Green dismissed.

"I think it is difficult to avoid with referees we had like the one that sent off Ryan Green," he said in today's Evening News. "I've studied the video and it's a diabolical sending off. For some of the other bookings I think referees are devoid of common sense and the art of communication.

"Almost every foul prompts a yellow card at our level. Referees seem to be more tolerant higher up but in the Conference they leave you pulling out your hair at times."


Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Rovers expect big following

Forest Green Rovers are expecting a large crowd for the visit of Hereford United on Friday evening and are hoping to keep congestion to a minimum around their Lawn ground.

They have persuaded Stroud College to re-open their car-park next to the ground for the match, and they are also running the Park and Ride scheme from Nailsworth town centre in anticipation of the large crowd expected. Forest Green have not played a Friday night fixture since the season they won promotion to the Conference in 1998 and are keen to see whether the scheduling and provision of parking will attract a substantial home support to counter the 1,500 or so travelling Bulls fans.

"As an experiment for a Friday night, we hope people will turn out to see if it works out," said operations manager Colin Peake. "We are very appreciative of the co-operation from Stroud College to open the car-park. Because the sale of the site is on-going, it is difficult to confirm accessibility well in advance, so we hope supporters will bear with us."

Meanwhile it is not certain whether Sam Bowen will play for Colin Addison's side on Friday. The Herefordshire born striker was called into action last Saturday as Addison's team was facing an injury crisis and scored a hat-trick. Bowen had been playing for Westfields.


Exeter points decision deferred

The appeal by Exeter City against a twelve point deduction for entering a CVA has been deferred to January.

According to the Exeter Official Site, the wrong appeal forum heard the proceedings so all parties have to go through the same procedure with a different forum on January 9th.

It seems that the appeal has to be to a Conference forum not the FA in the first instance. Should this appeal fail then Exeter can then go to the FA.

The cost of today's appeal will be split between Exeter and the Conference.

The effect of today is that Exeter still do not know if they will be deducted twelve points, given a lesser deduction, or indeed given any punishment at all.


Monday, December 15, 2003

Guinan has scan on knee

Hereford United's Steve Guinan had a scan on a knee injury Saturday morning, reports the Western Daily Press.

"I should get the results of the scan tommorrow and hopefully I won't be out for too long," said Guinan.

United's top scorer was badly missed on Saturday, especially as Tamworth had several tall defenders in their squad. Rob Purdie and David Brown lead the attack as Hereford crashed to a 1-0 defeat.

"We were always going to miss a player like Steve who puts the ball into the back of the net regularly," added midfielder Danny Williams.

Meanwhile this afternoon a Hereford United under 20 team played a friendly match at Cardiff City. The result was 1-1.

Hereford scored on 39 minutes but Cardiff equalised early in the second period.


Sunday, December 14, 2003

Bulls miss two for Exeter trip

Hereford United will miss two of their first team for their New Year's Day trip to Exeter City.

Striker David Brown has now collected five yellow cards, earning him a one-match ban, and Ryan Green's sending-off yesterday means he also misses the trip to St. James' Park.

The Bulls are also likely to be without defender Andy Tretton, who is a long-term injury victim, and so Graham Turner will be forced to reshuffle his cards for the visit to the former Football League side.

Jamie Pitman could be shifted to right-back and Jordan King drafted into midfield, while Steve Guinan and Rob Purdie are favourites to lead the attack.

To add to Turner's worries, four players are just one booking away from serving one-match bans too. Jamie Pitman, Tony James, Danny Williams and Ben Smith provide the heart to the team, and if a couple of these players are booked on a single day, it will considerably weaken the United side.

Any of these booked at Forest Green next Friday will miss the crucial home encounter against in-form Stevenage Borough on January 3rd. Graham Westley's men defeated Chester City yesterday and have won four of their last six matches. However, Brown and Green will be available for the Boro' match having served their bans.


Turner supports points deduction for Exeter

In his notes published in yesterday's match programme, Graham Turner put his views on the Exeter situation into print. He watched Exeter play Forest Green last week.

"They are trying to enter a CVA but the tax man is challenging it, which in turn means that Exeter are starting proceedings against the Conference to contest the right of football creditors to be treated as preferential creditors. An appeal to the FA is also in motion contesting the right of the Conference to deduct 12 points for entering the CVA.

"Exeter are currently losing £30,000 per month and that on an average gate of over 3,000. They have a wage bill for 16 players.

"It appears to be a real mess. However their current £4.5 million debt will be reduced to less than £500,000 should they succeed with the CVA. Their ground has undergone significant improvements (which will) produce future income.

"I voted for a points deduction at last years AGM for any club entering into a CVA or administration. It was designed to get Clubs to act with financial responsibilty and not as happened in the past, Clubs running up big debts, as we once did, and being able to relinquish a lot of the responsibilities by entering into a CVA.

"Undoubtedly, Exeter will have advantages, the ground improvements, an academy and an expensive squad of players, whilst the likes of Leigh RMI, Northwich and others live within their means.

"A motion was carried to deduct points and that should be strictly adhered to, it will make a complete mockery of the democratic manner in which the League is run if the FA capitulate."

Exeter City are in Bristol court on Thursday to contest the challenge from the Inland Revenue and they will be in London on Tuesday to launch their appeal against the Conference points deduction.


Cardiff contemplate Parry move

If Paul Parry does the business next Friday at Forest Green Rovers, he will be the subject of a £50,000 bid, report the Non-League Paper.

Cardiff City manager Lennie Lawrence will be at the game, and is eager to see the United star perform after he featured in the Bluebirds' reserve side in his trial period.

The NLP also suggests that Graham Turner wants "around £100,000" for Parry, who attracted interest from Celtic, Liverpool and Leicester City at earlier points in his career.


Saturday, December 13, 2003

Williams slams referee's performance

After Hereford United's defeat to Tamworth at Edgar Street this afternoon, midfielder Danny Williams told BBC Hereford & Worcester that Tamworth's negative tactics denied the Bulls from their third win in a row.

"Tamworth have come here today and for 90 minutes and defended and we found it really hard to break them down today," Williams commented.

He also went on to say about the poor standard of the referee today stifled the crowd's hope of watching a decent game. "He was shocking today. Even for their (Tamworth's) guy who got sent off, it was a harsh decision and at the end he's sent Ryan (Green) off, and Ryan's not even touched the guy!

"He must have been going into double figures with the Cards!"

Graham Turner agreed telling the Non-League Paper:"I thought the referee spoiled the game. There was not enough out there to warrent a sending-off. Ryan said he was trying to jump out of the way when he got his second yellow."

Mark Cooper, the Tamworth player-coach, was much more upbeat, however. He told football.nationwide.co.uk: "It was a fantastic team performance," he said. "For all their pressure I don't think they created any clear-cut chances and Jim Rodwell was outstanding on his debut."


Tamworth score then defend
Tamworth came to Edgar Street, scored, and then defended for the rest of the game to defeat the Bulls by 1-0.

Hereford sorely missed Steve Guinan as they failed to finish a number of good moves, and it was another game spoilt by a card-happy referee.
Bulls fail to make up ground

Hereford United 0 - 1 Tamworth

Tamworth nicked the points in a hard-fought game at Edgar Street, as Hereford United failed to make an impact in front of goal.

Without attacker Steve Guinan with a knee injury, David Brown came in alongside Rob Purdie. The Bulls missed Guinan dearly, and as a result were unable to get a stranglehold on the game through their attacking channels. In defence, Tamika Mkandawire returned to West Bromwich Albion so Graham Turner handed a debut to Anwar Uddin, on-loan from Bristol Rovers.

The Bulls had the best of the opening period, and had calls for a penalty turned down early on when Danny Williams went down in the box. However, it was the Lambs who opened the scoring on fifteen minutes when Rob Warner crossed from the right channel, and Mark Cooper's shot at the far post was saved by Matt Baker's legs. The ball ran loose, and Richard Dryden tucked it home from close range.

From then on, it was all United. Much as they huffed and puffed, they could not blow the Tamworth defence down and there was to be no Christmas cheer for the crowd of 2,561, with the exception of the 137 who had made the trip down from Tamworth.

That is not to say that Tamworth had nothing to do. Just four minutes after the goal, Danny Williams' thirty-yard strike forced Richard Brush into a cracking save, as he tipped the ball over the crossbar. United also found the net, but it was ruled out for offside, while David Brown failed to connect on a couple of occasions with the goal at his mercy.

After the restart, the game became much more difficult for United as Rob Warner's second yellow card saw him dismissed. From then on, Darron Gee's men were wholly committed to defending, and hardly ventured from their own half. Such was the United pressure that a goal looked almost inevitable. It never came, though. Uddin fired a ball well over, and hit another at the goalkeeper, while Tony James struck from thirty yards, again without troubling Brush. David Brown had another effort charged down, and Michael Rose went close from twenty-five yards, but not close enough.

In the dying minutes, Ryan Green was dismissed as he picked up a dubious second yellow card and the referee seemed over-zealous in what was not a dirty match. His card count tallied up ten yellow cards, two of which became red, and this in itself didn't aid the spectacle.

Nevertheless, the Bulls remain four points behind Chester City at the top after they lost 2-0 against Stevenage Borough, but Graham Turner's men know that they must recover before Christmas to maintain their promotion challenge.
Written by Terry Goodwin - 13th December 2003.
Hereford United Tamworth
Matt Baker Richard Brush
Ryan Green Richard Follett
Michael Rose James Rodwell
Jamie Pitman Lee Ayres
Anwar Uddin Richard Dryden
Tony James (captain) Mark Cooper
Danny Williams Rob Warner
Ben Smith Alex Baptiste
David Brown Brian Quailey
Rob Purdie (off, 68 minutes) Karl Johnson
Paul Parry Brett Darby
Subs Subs
Jordan King Ben Greenway
Ben Scott Lee Wilson
Daniel Carey-Bertram (on, 68 minutes) Chris Woodhall
Dean Craven James Lindley
Richard Teesdale Norman Sylla
Yellow cards Yellow cards
Michael Rose (foul, 17 minutes) Karl Johnson (foul, 20 minutes)
Ryan Green (foul, 43 minutes) Rob Warner (dissent, 51 minutes)
Jamie Pitman (foul, 64 minutes) Rob Warner (foul, 52 minutes)
Ben Smith (foul, 68 minutes) -
Ryan Green (foul, 89 minutes) -
David Brown (unsporting behaviour, 90 minutes) -
Daniel Carey-Bertram (unsporting behaviour, 90 minutes) -
Red cards Red cards
Ryan Green (second bookable offence, 89 minutes) Rob Warner (second bookable offence, 52 minutes)
Scorers Scorers
- Richard Dryden (15 minutes)
- -
Man of the Match Danny Williams
Attendance 2,561
Referee Mr. K. A. Woolmer (Northampton)


Friday, December 12, 2003

Parry and Cardiff City

Paul Parry is back at Edgar Street after spending a week training at Cardiff. Bulls manager, Graham Turner, has told BBC Hereford & Worcester how he faired at Ninian Park.

"In accordance with the terms of Paul Parry's contract if any league club want him to go and train with them we would allow them to do so," said Turner. "Last week was a ideal time as we had no game on the Saturday. He went and spent a week with them. He played on the Wednesday in a friendly reserve match up at Derby. By all accounts he did extremely well.

"I've spoken to Cardiff since. In fact I've been down there to watch the reserves playing. What they want to do is watch him over the few matches so there will be a contingent from Cardiff watching him play, as I think there have been from other clubs in the League.

"At this stage we don't want anybody to leave as we are going well ourselves. The ambition is to get back into the Football League. But you also have to treat players fairly and Paul has been a terrific servant for the club. I think he is our longest serving player now. If the right sort of offer comes in from Cardiff, we could not stand in his way.

"But right at the moment I want him as part of the side and we want to keep up there in a challenging position.

"He is 23 at the moment, coming 24. His contract is up in the summer but as we have said before there is no certainty that Paul would leave. Yeovil and Bristol Rovers have both asked about him sometime ago. The offers were not acceptable.

"I always thought he was better than a Third Division club. When you get a club the size of Cardiff being interested, you know that's the sort of area he should be looking at and should be going into.

"I think given a few weeks to adjust to the extra pace of first division football, he can go and deal with it comfortably.

"If something materialises over the next four to five weeks for him then that fine. We will face that when it comes."


Shrews may have peaked

Graham Turner has been comparing the form of near-neighbours Shrewsbury Town with that of Hereford united since the two teams met at the Gay Meadow.

"They (Shrewsbury) beat us well and after the game they thought they had won the league. Since then I think they have taken two points from three matches and we have taken six points from two games.

"Having reached a peak they were unable to do it against Exeter, Tamworth and Telford in the three subsequent matches," Turner told BBC Hereford & Worcester.

And in the Evening News, Turner said of tommorrow's encounter with Tamworth: "We expect it to be a tough game. We had difficulty breaking down Farnborough and we expect Tamworth to be similar and make life difficult for us too.

"But we go into the weekend on back of two home wins, full of confidence and refreshed after two weeks off. There is a danger when you've had a break that you can come back rusty but we won't know that till the game."