It appears that Brian Smikle has returned to West Bromwich from Edgar Street.
Smikle has not featured in any of the recent Hereford United matches despite a useful first appearance at Eastwood.
He was named in the Baggies reserve squad that was due to play against Aston Villa this evening.
Meanwhile Hereford United had not announced any new signings by the transfer deadline, which was at 5pm. However sources close to the club expect manager Graham Turner to reveal any signings at some stage tomorrow.
Thursday, March 31, 2005
It appears that Brian Smikle has returned to West Bromwich from Edgar Street.
Barnet travel to Northwich Victoria on Saturday in a game that could see them seal the Conference title. The Bees are 18 points clear of Aldershot and a win would return them back into the Football League. Barnet are the form side and their boss Paul Fairclough is set to be named manager of the month for March.
Northwich, however, will be hoping to bounce back after their 4-0 defeat at Hereford United last Monday.
Third placed Carlisle United travel to Farnborough Town whose manager Neil Sillett is reported to have left Cherrywood Road earlier today. The Cumbrians are on good form, winning their last five games. Boro on the other hand haven't won in 18 games and a win for the home side looks most unlikely.
Crawley Town have a must win game against fellow play-off challengers Accrington Stanley if they are to get back in with a chance. They are without defender Ian
Simpemba who is banned whereas Accrington's Paul Crighton is likely to be replaced in goal by Jon Kennedy who has been recalled from Whitton Albion after just two days. A victory for Crawley would help Hereford United as Stanley lie fifth in the table.
Of the other play-off contenders, Morecambe play Scarborough and Woking face Dagenham and Redbridge in what are likely to be tough games as both sides need victories to keep up the pressure on the top sides. Exeter travel to Canvey Island whilst Chris Wilder's Halifax Town, who have signed goalkeeper Matty Taylor from Hucknall, entertain bottom placed Leigh RMI at The Shay.
Aldershot are not in action this weekend.
Specially written for Bulls News by Kevin.
Hereford United's stand-in captain Jamie Pitman has warned the top Conference clubs in the race for the play-offs that the Bulls are just getting started.
After scoring ten goals in two games last weekend, Hereford travel to Hertfordshire on Saturday to play fellow play-off contenders Stevenage in what should be an exciting game.
"We're getting into our stride and we're more than capable of going on a long run," he claimed," Pitman told the Non-League Paper.
"Stevenage stifled us at Edgar Street earlier in the season. They robbed us that day and we need to make amends."
Meanwhile Scott Willis has moved to Stalybridge. Willis, who played for Hereford last spring until falling out with manager Graham Turner, was with Halifax but failed to make an impression at the Shay. Recently he has turned out for Runcorn FC Halton.
Hereford United have appointed their first new director for several years.
Dave Preedy, who owns the Express Bathroom and Tile Warehouse Ltd, is a 48 year-old long time supporter. He has recently been helping with the new dressing room extension.
Meanwhile, according to the Hereford Times, only 14 shareholders and 5 directors attended last week's AGM.
They were told that the record profit announced a few weeks ago was three times higher than the previous highest profit and that the debt to Formsole is £1.069 million. All other major debts have been cleared.
"It was not just a remarkable season on the pitch but a remarkable set of financial results have come out of it,too," director Hugh Brooks told the meeting.
He confirmed that the club has received a total of £138,750 for the sale of Paul Parry and Michael Rose and the selling on of Michael McIndoe in the accounting year. Some more money is expected from the Parry sale which will go into the current year.
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Rob Betts who spent a short spell at Hereford towards the end of last season is now playing with Racing Club Warwick.
Betts is no longer a full-time player however he is still enjoying his football although he admits that life at Warwick is much different to what he has been used to.
The midfielder spent six years with Coventry City and then had spells with Rochdale,
Kidderminster Harriers and Hereford United but, now 23, Betts accepts the dream of being a professional footballer will remain simply that.
"I've got to start another career now and think of what to do with the rest of
my life," said Betts, who has a wife and two children to look after. "I don't
know anything but football but I've been in touch with the PFA for advice on
different courses at colleges.
"But I don't regret it. I have had the chance that every kid wants and you can't
keep thinking what if. You can only do your best."
In the article in today's Birmingham Post, Betts tells of his youth group at Coventry and reveals that only three of the 14 in the group remain in professional football.
"Football is all about opinions. Sometimes the manager likes you, sometimes he
doesn't and that's where your fate is decided," he said.
He was released by Coventry in the summer of 2003, then joined Rochdale but come to Kiddermister when Ian Britton was in charge. However he only started one game for successor Jan Molby before leaving in March 2004 to play a part in Hereford's push for promotion in the Conference. However Graham Turner released him at the end of the season. Last summer he moved to Warwick and played a few games for them before being recruited by Forest Green. However after a change of manager at the Lawn, Betts returned to Warwick.
"It's just a case of getting my boots on and playing," said Betts. "I'm enjoying
it, I enjoy the banter of the lads more than anything else."
Tonight's reserve game between Hereford United and Kidderminster Harries at Edgar Street has been postponed due to a water-logged pitch.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Another long away trip for Hereford United fans this coming Saturday with the visit of the Bulls to Stevenage, which has one of the best grounds in the Conference.
Away fans are usually allocated the South Stand, with a seated capacity of 1400, behind the one goal. There is a very good view from this position compared with many other away ends.
To reach the Broadway Stadium, here are some edited details from Boroguide:
Road - From the North, A1(M)
Coming from the North you'll need to make your way onto the A1(M). If you're coming from the M1 and aren't local, you're best advised to head East along the A14 at M1 J19 (M6 junction) for approximately 44 miles, then head south down the A1. Go for a further 34 miles to Stevenage South (Junction 7), take the first exit, and follow the signposts.
Road - From the South-West, A1(M) (probably the route most fans will travel from
Coming from the South-West you'll assumedly be coming around the M25 clockwise. If you're confident then you can cut past St. Albans at Junction 21a saving about 15 minutes on the A405/A414, joining the A1(M) at J3. Else, head on to Junction 23 of the M25 and join the A1(M) northbound at its source. Head up to Stevenage (Junction 7), take the third exit and follow the signposts.
Parking for Broadhall Way is fairly straightforward:
- Fairlands Valley Park car park (across the dual-carriageway from the entrance to the ground)
- Roaring Meg car park
When visiting Boro', there is generally a designated car park for fans to park in. This is the Fairlands Valley Car Park, and is easily reached. Exit the A1(M) (if from the west) at junction 7, and continue along the A602. At the second roundabout (Knebworth B197), carry on forward and shortly on your left will be the signposted car park.
If, however, the circus is in town, the best bet is probably to park in the Roaring Meg Car Park. At the roundabout on which Broadhall Way sits, follow the signs for the Town Centre. Almost immediately on your left is a turning for the retail park which contains Burger King and Pizza Hut. Do NOT park in the car park by Focus Do It All, as they have warned that clamping is in operation.
STEVENAGE sits on the East Coast Main Line, that is served by GNER on a national scale, and WAGN (or whatever the hell its now called) on a regional scale. WAGN trains run between KINGS CROSS and PETERBOROUGH/CAMBRIDGE, with tube connections at FINSBURY PARK (Victoria line to VICTORIA).
GNER trains run between KINGS CROSS and NEWCASTLE/DONCASTER/EDINBURGH. Stevenage Station is adjacent to the Town Centre, and 1 mile from the ground. It's walkable on a nice day in 15-20 minutes, although a taxi rank is provided or you can risk the buses (route 5 from bus stop E passes the ground) found by passing along the walkway through the Gordon Craig Leisure Centre.
HUISA are arranging coach travel as usual for Hereford fans. Please contact the club for more details on 01432 276666
Access to the ground for away supporters, is via the South Stand (Buildbase Stand). Prices are £13 and £10 for concessions.
Match Day programmes cost £2.50.
At last the Conference authorities have confirmed the play-off dates for this season.
NATIONWIDE CONFERENCE PLAY-OFFS:
1st leg-Mon 2 May 2005
5th place vs 2nd place
4th place vs 3rd place
2nd leg-Thurs 5 May 2005
2nd place vs 5th place
3rd place vs 4th place
NATIONWIDE CONFERENCE PROMOTION FINAL
Sat 14 or or Sun 15 May 2005 at Stoke City (unless Stoke City reach the Championship play-offs)
Winners of 2nd v 5th vs Winners of 3rd v 4th
Graham Turner, the Hereford United manager, told the Western Daily Press after yesterday's game with Northwich that there was no excuse for the two sending-offs over the Easter period.
"We had Leroy Williams sent off at Farnborough on Friday and now Carey-Bertram which is absolutely crazy, " said Turner. "It could be put down to the impetuosity of youth but there is no excuse for what he did today.
"We had to take the six points over Easter and we have done that - scoring ten goals and conceding none and that is a job well done."
There are just seven more games for Hereford United in this Conference campaign. Three are at home and the other four away.
The full list is:
Apr 2nd Stevenage Away (3pm)
Apr 5th Carlisle Home (7.45pm)
Apr 9th York Home (3pm)
Apr 12th Forest Green Away (7.45pm)
Apr 16th Halifax Away (3pm)
Apr 19th Woking Away (7.45pm)
Apr 23rd Accrington Home (3pm)
BBC Hereford and Worcester are hoping to cover a couple of the away games. They are unlikely to cover the home games as the club appears to take the view that live coverage can affect the attendance. However should the last game of the season be crucial then that may be broadcast.
Meanwhile Graham Turner has until Thursday afternoon to bring in more players. He said last week that one more was probable, but that was before two of his strikers received red cards.
As the Conference table is so tight at present Bulls News will publish a table of how many points a club could get assuming they win all their outstanding games. This table will be updated after each Hereford game. For clarity we will call it the Potential Points Table:
1 Barnet 96
2 Carlisle 83
3 Hereford United 80
4 Woking 79
5 Exeter 78
8 Accrington Stanley 75
Monday, March 28, 2005
After this afternoon's results Hereford United have moved up to seventh place in the Conference table.
Several play-off teams dropped points.
Accrington were held at home by York, Dagenhan defeated Crawley and Tamworth draw with Stevenage. Later Carlisle defeated Halifax with a goal in controversial circumstances very close to the end of the game.
1 Barnet 37 81
2 Aldershot 38 63
3 Carlisle 35 62
4 Halifax 36 60
5 Accrington Stanley 37 60
6 Stevenage 36 60
7 Hereford 35 59
8 Woking 35 58
9 Exeter 35 57
10 Morecambe 36 57
United made a few changes from the side that began the romp at Farnborough. Rob Purdie, Mark Robinson and Adam Stansfield were all promoted to the starting eleven from the subs bench. Simon Travis was given a rest as he was named on the bench, due to him carrying a hernia. Leeroy Williams began his three match ban and Danny Williams was out with an ankle injury. Tom Smith was left out of the squad as Lee Mills and Andy Williams were recalled to the bench.
A steady first half an hour saw few chances as the visitors frustrated their hosts. Carey-Bertram did have the ball in the net early on though when, after latching onto Stansfield's flick header, he slotted the ball home but Stansfield was deemed offside. Robinson shot wide from thirty yards before his long ball, headed on by Stansfield, led to United first real chance. Carey-Bertram took the ball in his stride, cut inside, before cracking a low shot wide of the near post.
Purdie raced past three players on the left before crossing for Stansfield, who opened the scoring just after the half hour mark. His first touch took him neatly around his marker before he fired into the roof of the net at the near post. Stansfield won another long ball in the penalty area moments after and was seemingly shoved by his maker. The referee waved any appeals away as the ball fell to Purdie, who shot just wide from twenty yards out.
The Bulls doubled their lead four minutes later and had goalkeeper Andy Ralph to thank for his part in the build up. He cleared straight to Carey-Bertram, twenty five yards from goal, and he rounded his marker before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the top corner before Ralph could get back in position. Pitman shot wide from long range as United continued to put pressure on a shell shocked Northwich defence, but it fell wide after a deflection off the back of a defender.
Craig Stanley's quick free kick resulted in United's third goal in ten minutes. He found Pitman on the half way line who then found the run of Carey-Bertram beyond the last man with a delightful pass. Carey-Bertram's first touch hit the goalkeeper, but it fell to Stansfield who fired into the top corner from the edge of the box for his second goal. Stanley shot towards the top corner but Ralph denied him with a decent save before the first half ended.
The second period, like the first, started slowly but Hereford continued to dominate without really having to push too hard. Steve Burr made two half time changes, including a switch in goalkeepers as Ben Connet was introduced. Robinson's corner was met by a towering header by Andy Tretton but it was superbly tipped over by Connet. Purdie skinned two on the left before crossing to the edge of the box where Darryl Taylor sliced his volley. It fell to Stanley and he struck it wide of the mark.
The Bulls broke with Carey-Bertram who then knocked play wide to Stanley. He found Pitman in the area with a low cross before the stand in skipper was denied a goal from a glorious chip, heading for the top corner, as Connet tipped it behind for a corner. Then, in a moment of madness, Carey-Bertram appeared to head butt Jon McCarthey, although there did not seem to be much, if any, contact. The referee missed the incident, but his assistant noticed it and Carey-Bertram was duly shown the red card.
Pitman played another top class pass to the right for Taylor who dribbled forward before finding Stansfield, though his shot on the turn failed to trouble the 'keeper. Tretton then began a quality move from the back, when he nut megged his opponent. Stansfield found Green, who layed on to Taylor at the end of it, but his shot was inches wide of the far post. Lee Mills replaced man of the match Stansfield with twenty minutes to go, probably to give Stansfield a rest before the clash at Stevenage on Saturday.
Purdie caused problems all afternoon for the Northwich defence and won a free kick after skinning two players in a dangerous position in the build up to United's fourth and final goal. He got up to cross in the free-kick to Tamika Mkandawire, whose header rebounded off a defender. Mills was first to it and had a simple task of heading into the back of the net from close range. Graham Hyde and Williams were introduced late on in place of Pitman and Stanley as Graham Turner gave his centre midfield partnership a well-earned break.
Northwich went on to create a couple of good opportunities at the end of the game, but poor finishing let them down. Johnny Allan had three great chances in the final ten minutes. He fired wide from a good position after Mark Quayle had headed down for him and then he fired well over the bar from a good central position. Then he latched onto a good long pass from Karl Munroe, but hit the post when one on one with Craig Mawson. Chris Gaghan had the ball at his feet with the goal in front of him, but was robbed by Ryan Green at the last minute.
Hereford will be more than satisfied with their Easter period, which has seen them score 10 times without conceding. However, they will be disappointed with the two stupid red cards that have been picked up along the way. It would be a good idea to play the HFA Senior Cup semi-final against Kington this Thursday, to get rid of one match on both Carey-Bertram's and Leeroy Williams' suspensions and also allowing Turner to have a look at any trialists before the transfer dead line this Thursday.
The crowd of 2,931, including 76 away fans, saw Hereford's best home win of the season.
HUFC Team: Mawson, Green, Tretton, Mkandawire, Robinson, Purdie, Stanley, Pitman, Taylor, Carey-Bertram, Stansfield. Subs: Travis, Scott, Hyde, A Williams, Mills.
NVFC: Ralph, Charnock, Garner, Handyside, Carr, McCarthy, Gaghan, Garvey, Band, Allan, Quayle. Subs: Munroe, Mayman, Connet, Bailey, Byrne.
Hereford United may give consideration to playing the outstanding Kington game this week after Daniel Carey-Bertram was sent off in the Bulls 4-0 win against Northwich this afternoon.
The young striker committed an identical offence as loanee Leroy Williams did at Farnborough last Friday. He may have been provoked by Northwich's McCarthy, but the assistant referee spotted the headbutt and after consultation the Referee had little option other than to send Carey-Bertram off.
The Cup game would count in getting suspensions over one game quicker. Without it being played Hereford United will be without two strikers for the Stevenage and Carlisle games and just Carey-Bertram for the home game against York.
Jamie Pitmam was reluctant to discuss the sending off when interviewed after the game on BBC Hereford and Worcester.
"They're both young lads and they have got to learn. You just can't do those types of things and it's really put a dampener on the two performances because now we have lost both of them for three games.
"They have got to learn by their mistakes and hopefully they will come back better. We need those players within and weekout.
"In the last few games Danny has been excellent. He's obviously disappointed himself. We are going to miss him.
"With the run in we've got we need every player we can."
Hereford United will aim to take the momentum gained from the impressive victory at Farnborough and use it to overcome a Northwich Victoria side, battling for survival in the Nationwide Conference. The Vics are currently one place above the drop zone, in ninteenth, but only on goal difference. They were deducted ten points earlier in the season for going into a CVA; without that they wouldn't be quite so far down the table.
Northwich have already visited Edgar Street this season, in the GLS Conference Cup, when they progressed to the next round thanks to a 1-0 victory. However it is unlikely that result will play any part in their preparations to the game this afternoon as both teams fielded much weakened sides.
Steve Burr's side, who have lost there last four league games, will be without midfielder Paul Devlin, as he serves a one match ban following his red card, for two bookable offences, in the Vics' 2-1 defeat against Gravesend & Northfleet last Friday.
Hereford will once again be without Tony James who is still sidelined with an ankle injury and so Andy Tretton will continue to deputise. Danny Williams and Ryan Green are both doubts for the Bulls. Williams was replaced early on in the 6-0 demoltion of Farborough on Friday with an ankle injury and Green may not have recovered from his injury sustained at Morecambe last Tuesday. Rob Purdie is likely to take Williams' place on the wing.
Adam Stansfield could be recalled to the starting eleven in place of Leroy Williams, who was sent off on his goalscoring debut on Friday. He now has to serve a three match ban. Stansfield is favourite to partner Danny Carey-Bertram as he scored two goals in the fifteen minutes that he played against Farnborough. Darryl Taylor will make a home debut as he continues on the wing for United.
Stansfield told BBC Hereford and Worcester that Northwich will be a stiffer test than Farnborough last Friday.
"We played them earlier in the season and beat them 3-1. They weren't bad then but they've had some great results lately so we'll have to work hard."
Hereford will be most disappointed if they cannot follow up the victory on Friday with another three points against another of the league's struggling sides. The Bulls are clear favourites to win and some will expect them to do so by a fair margain, but Graham Turner will be warning his players not to let any complacency slip into their game.
Sunday, March 27, 2005
Aldershot have defeated Woking 4-0 this afternoon and are now second in the Conference table. Woking stay seventh.
It was Woking's worst defeat for two years. They were totally out-played in the first half and although they staged somewhat of a come back in the second half, fate was not on their side as they went down to ten men.
The revised table is as below:
Barnet 36 - 78
Aldershot 38 - 63
Halifax 35 - 60
Carlisle 34 - 59
Accrington 36 - 59
Stevenage 35 - 59
Woking 35 - 58
Hereford 34 - 56
Exeter 34 - 54
Morecambe 35 - 54
Crawley 36 - 54
Tomorrow there are ten Conference games including Hereford/Northwich.However only one game involves two of the play-off challengers so assuming the Bulls win they could find that they are still outside the play-off zone.
It is the Carlisle/Halifax that many supporters will keep on eye on. Carlisle have picked up several results recently, including a 3-0 win at Canvey last Friday, after a disappointing start to the new-year. They will start favourites to defeat Halifax, who could only draw at home to Tamworth last Friday, although a draw would help the Bulls. This game is live on Sky with a 5.35pm start.
Of the other challengers Crawley could slip up at Dagenham and Stevenage may also drop points at Tamworth. But Accrington will be expected to defeat York, Morecambe should return from Leigh with three points, and Exeter must fancy their chances against Farnborough at home.
Only if both Stevenage and Accrington lose, will Hereford, assuming they win, move as high as fifth place.
With just eight games to go Hereford United will probably need to take at least sixteen points from those games to make the Conference play-offs this season.
It can be done but the Bulls will need three points from their game tomorrow against Northwich Victoria to set them on their way.
Sixteen points will give Hereford seventy two points in total. Last season fifth placed Aldershot reached the play-offs with seventy points, however because Chester and Hereford were so far ahead of the rest of the league the number of points needed to reach the play-offs was probably lower than what will be required this time.
Another way to compare seasons is to look at the form of Aldershot last campaign. Their return was twenty wins, ten draws and twelve defeats.
This season fifth-placed Accrington Stanley at present are on seventeen wins, eight draws and eleven defeats. They have six games left to play.
Assuming that their form continues in the same vein as they have acheived so far then they could finish with twenty wins, ten draws and fourteen defeats giving them seventy points. But as they have played two more games than the Bulls then that return will probably not be enough to make the play-offs.
Today's game between Aldershot and Woking could be crucial to the Bulls chances of making the play-offs. Woking are two points ahead of Hereford having played the same number of games. Should they defeat Aldershot they will move up to second place. A draw would take them to fifth position. Either result would mean that Aldershot's campaign would have taken a knock as they have played up to four more games than some of the clubs around them.
As matters stand before the start of the game, which is live on Sky kick-off 1.45pm, the Shots maximum return this season will be seventy-five points. A defeat today could make a play-off place for the Hampshire side that less likely and so help Hereford United's prospects.
And with Accrington Stanley's chances slipping, especially after failing to win at Burton last Friday, there's still plenty to play for. The six goals that Hereford scored on Friday could be crucial if it comes down to goal difference.
Meanwhile Grays Athletic will join the Conference next season. They won promotion from Conference South yesterday, as nearest rivals Cambridge City were defeated. Grays are currently ninteen points ahead of Cambridge.
Saturday, March 26, 2005
When Hereford United score six goals and for most of the time with only ten men, some supporters might think that confusion in the media over who scored the third goal yesterday doesn't really matter.
But to the players each goal scored helps their talley and keeps them in the
Jamie Pitman, standing in as captain for Tony James, was credited with the goal by the report in the Worcester News, but other media, such as the BBC Sport, gave
it to Daniel Carey-Bertram.
Our match reporter hedged his bets:
Six minutes later, after Taylor's run down the right and cross into the middle, Pitman volleyed in the third, although it may be credited to Carey-Bertram who appeared to get the final touch in putting the ball over the line. It would be harsh if this goal is not awarded to Pitman, as he was denied a goal in similar fashion against Morecambe.
However viewed from the side of the pitch it looked as though the ball was over the line before Carey-Bertram got his touch.
BBC Sport reported the goal as : Daniel Carey-Bertram... stabbed home his second from close range.
Worcester News had a different version: Six minutes later, Taylor's cross was clipped in by Jamie Pitman to put the result beyond doubt.
Peter McMillan reporting for BBC Hereford and Worcester also gave the goal to Pitman as he said: "...Jamie Pitman making it three.
And the Western Daily Press said: Midfielder Jamie Pitman claimed their third when he floated the ball over the line.
However Confguide went with Carey-Bertram.
Friday, March 25, 2005
This short comment comes from a Walsall websie, The Saddlers FC:
Leroy Williams had another debut to remember - He has managed to score and get sent off within 30 minutes Hereford won 6-0 and the Farnborough goalkeeper was a Mr Andrew Petterson.
Both Leroy Williams and Daryl Taylor started the game, as did Andrew Petterson who lined up for the relegation threatened Farnborough Town.
Williams opened the scoring with a well executed chip, then got sent for what reports are calling a headbutt. Daryl Taylor is also said to have made a good impression, but the Bulls will now be frustrated to lose Williams for what looks like being a 3 game ban.
How ironic is it to see Petterson let in another 6 on a debut? Especially when you consider that it was one of our own players that started today's six goal rout.
In the two Conference games played this evening both Accrington Stanley and Halifax could only draw with Burton and Tamworth respectively.
Overall it has been a good day for Hereford United with three other play-off challengers, Crawley, Morecambe and Exeter dropping points this afternoon.
There are no Conference games tomorrow but two of the other play-off contenders, Aldershot and Woking, play each other on Sunday.
The table is as below:
1 Barnet 36 47 78
2 Halifax 35 18 60
3 Aldershot 37 8 60
4 Carlisle 34 31 59
5 Accrington Stanley 36 14 59
6 Stevenage 35 11 59
7 Woking 34 16 58
8 Hereford 34 17 56
9 Exeter 34 14 54
10 Morecambe 35 10 54
11 Crawley Town 36 3 54
A full version of the table can be found by clicking the link on the left of this page.
Tony Theo, the ex-Farnborough chairman, spent sometime before the game talking to Hereford United fans and thanking them for their support recently in the battles for control at Cherrywood Road.
Theo is understood to still own one third of the shares but is not involved in the day to day running of the football club.
He and his wife Tracy are well regarded by Farnborough fans many of whom are unhappy with the way the club is run by Higgins and Tuberville.
After the game it was reported that Tracy Theo and Ron Higgins were loudly debating club matters in the boardroom and later it appears that Tony Theo has been reappointed to the Farnborough board.
Lee Mills and Ryan Green were both out injured and so the two new loan signings, Darryl Taylor and Leeroy Williams, went straight into the starting line up. Tamika Mkandawire recovered from flu and so Tom Smith was forced to make way. Graham Hyde dropped to the bench to make way for Taylor in the midfield, and Mark Robinson was reintroduced to the defence, as Green was out. Brian Smikle was once again not included in the squad. Ben Scott had also recovered from his shoulder problem and resumed his place on the bench.
The opening of the game was very stop-start, as neither side really threatened before Lloyd Blackman's shot from outside of the box went well over. It was not until eighteen minutes until United really threatened Boro's goal, but they broke the deadlock with their first shot. The two Williams' in the Bulls side linked up, Danny sending Leeroy through on goal with a good through ball, and the loanee opened his Hereford account with a perfectly executed chip over the on rushing Andy Petterson.
Blackman went closer with a shot from a similar range soon after before Graham Turner was forced to replace Danny Williams, who injured his ankle in a challenge. Rob Purdie took up his place on the left flank. Leeroy Williams' debut saw another big incident just after the half hour mark. He was bundled over the Boro skipper Adam Theophanides and then reacted stupidly by head butting him. It was no suprise when the referee produced his red card and Williams went from hero to zero.
United re-grouped though, and almost doubled their advantage from the free kick. Mark Robinson crossed and Andy Tretton fired against the foot of the post before Farnborough cleared their lines. Boro pressed for an equaliser before the break, but were denied twice by superb saves from Craig Mawson. Michael Johnson crossed for Blackman, who saw his header from six yards out turned away by the 'keeper and then he was denied, once again, after Johnson had crossed, when he was almost on the goal line. Mawson somehow, though, clawed the ball off the line and United went in one goal to the good at half time.
Three minutes had passed in the second half before United were awarded a penalty, and the home sides heads dropped. Carey-Bertram controlled Purdie's pass in the box and went past Jimmy Turner, who then, in the eyes of the referee, tripped the attacker. Carey-Bertram got to his feet and took the responsibility of taking the kick, as Tony James was out injured. He struck the ball powerfully down the middle and put the Bulls two up.
Six minutes later, after Taylor's run down the right and cross into the middle, Pitman volleyed in the third, although it may be credited to Carey-Bertram who appeared to get the final touch in putting the ball over the line. It would be harsh if this goal is not awarded to Pitman, as he was denied a goal in similar fashion against Morecambe. From now on there was no way back for Boro.
Purdie and Carey-Bertram pressured the home defence into a mistake but Carey-Bertram fired wide from twenty yards before he went close once again, having spun past three markers on the edge of the box, but his effort was wide of the far post. Purdie found Taylor in space on the right and he won a corner when his cross was turned behind. Robinson took it and picked out Tretton, whose header was punched behind by Petterson. Robinson's second cross picked out Tretton once again, but he headed back into the middle where man of the match Mkandawire acrobatically shot against the cross bar.
Boro may have been relieved when they saw that Carey-Bertram was being withdrawn, but his replacement, Adam Stansfield, got straight in on the act and scored having been on the pitch for only three minutes. He met Pitman's cross with a powerful header for six yards and beat the helpless Petterson for United's fourth. Stansfield then turned provider as they netted a fifth with three minutes left. He chased Robinson's long ball down the left and squared for Purdie on the edge of the box. His first time drive was too powerful for the outstretched hand of Petterson and it snuck inside the near post.
Taylor went close in the last minute after creating some space on the edge of the box but his shot was off target. He found himself in the same situation moments later but this time he threaded a neat pass behind the defence for Stansfield to run onto and chip over the 'keeper to complete the rout.
United could not have replied to any recent critics in a better way, but their opponents did not provide too much of a challenge. It is no suprise that confidence is so low at Cherrywood Road and that they are a side battling for their lives at the foot of the table. The performance was an improved one compared to those in recent weeks and the Bulls did play for more than an hour with ten men. Hereford fans also turned out in force to see their side bounce back, there were 425 away fans in a crowd of 1,059.
HUFC Team: Mawson, Travis, Tretton, Mkandawire, Robinson, D Williams, Stanley, Pitman, Taylor, L Williams, Carey-Bertram. Subs: Smith, Scott, Hyde, Purdie, Stansfield.
FTFC: Petterson, Turner, Adam Theo, Fenton, Taggart, Traynor, Smith, Heeroo, Johnson, Blackman, Gibbs. Subs: Hughes, Howe, Charles, Ashwood, Allen-Page.
Hereford United defeated Farnborough 6-0 this afternoon but had new on-loan striker Leroy Williams sent off for head-butting a defender.
Adam Stansfield who scored twice after coming on as a substitute thought that the Bulls had got a good result.
"I was sat on the bench for seventy minutes and it looked as though we had twelve men. The workrate was brilliant," Stansfield told BBC Hereford and Worcester.
Talking about Leroy Williams, the on-loan striker who started the game for the Bulls, who scored and was then red-carded, Stansfield described events.
"Great ball through from Danny Williams and a great little chip. Then a rush of blood to the head and then he made that slight movement with his head (towards a Farnborough defender). The ref had no choice really."
Stansfield spoke about his two goals.
"The first goal was a good ball from Travis. I got a diving header and it's gone in. The second another good run from Darryl (Taylor), who played really well on the right wing. He put it through and I knocked it over the keeper. I was really pleased."
Some 425 Hereford fans watched the Bulls this afternoon.
Meanwhile, as a result of the win, Hereford are now eighth in the Conference table.
These thoughts about the outcome of today's game at Farnborough come from a tipster on BetAgainst.com
Right after lot of thought here is my first lay. Please bear with me as I am not alll tht experienced at this laying lark but I remain confident.
The English Conference is a pretty reliable league and I believe this is a key factor we have to take into account. So when Farnborough play at home to Hereford we should be on solid ground.
Check this stat out. Farnborough has not won a league game in sixteen matches! That is pretty astonishing. They have actually lost their last six games in a row as well and are just going further and further down the league.
Hereford has been terrific for the last couple of seasons but has failed to go up. This year life has been a bit tougher but they still sit ninth with a game in hand over some of the teams around them so the Playoffs is certainly in their reach.
In the last five meetings between the two teams, Hereford has won four and the other ended in a 2-2 draw. Both sides have brought in some good signings in the last few days before the transfer window closed.
Home side has a couple of players suspended but the main news lies with Hereford who may be tempted to give a start to Adam Stansfield who is their top-scorer but is still recovering from a hamstring injury. Hereford are much better team and should not lose.
We just hope he's right!
Thursday, March 24, 2005
The Bulls travel to Cherrywood Road for the second away game in four days and are in great need of a victory to trigger a much needed charge up the Conference table.The squad for the Easter period has been strengthened by the arrival of two loanees from Walsall.
Farnborough have also made new signings in time for the match. Andy Petterson, who played for Portsmouth and Charlton, has been signed until the end of this campaign to try to save Boro from the drop. He will provide vital cover in goal for Boro, as young 'keeper Cole suffered fractured ribs in their last game. Ex-Crystal Palace midfielder Gavin Heeroo is another signing made by Neil Sillit in time for the fixture against Hereford, in which his side will hope to end a run that has seen them without a victory in seventeen games. Former Redbridge defender Anthony Fenton is the other man Sillit has drafted in.
Terry Parker and Kevin Helmsley both serve one match bans for Boro and they are also without Chucki Eribenne, who spent a spell with Hereford, as he has been recalled by Weymouth. Farnborough also have a couple of players who are doubtful for the game due to flu. Lee Miles and Scott Canham will both struggle to recover in time.
Hereford should have Tamika Mkandawire back, having recovered from the flu but Ryan Green is unlikely to figure as he has a minor knee injury sustained last Tuesday. Green's knock is likely to mean that Simon Travis will probably play despite suffering from a hernia. He, and Rob Purdie, have had injections to help them play through their injury problems. Ben Scott missed out once again on Tuesday with his shoulder problem and is not expected to have recovered for tomorrows game. Tony James is United's only other absentee.
Darryl Taylor and Leroy Williams, the two loan players, will both go straight into the squad for the trip to Farnborough, but it is unlikely that either will play the full game. Taylor, who can play anywhere in the midfield will surely be an option for Graham Turner as he hope to solve his sides problems on the left flank. Williams may struggle to displace the Bulls strikers straight away.
A repeat performance of the 3-1 win for Hereford on first day of the season when the two sides last met is just what the Bulls need. If they fail to take all three points, the play offs will be looking that much further away for Hereford United.
This weekend brings several top clashes in the Conference with perhaps the highlight on Sunday at Aldershot where the visitors are Woking.
There are nine fixtures tomorrow including the visit of Hereford United to Farnborough. But most of the top clubs, who are playing, look to have relatively easy games.
Leaders Barnet travel to Forest Green and third placed Hailfax are at home against Tamworth. Sixth placed Carlisle, facing the longest trip of their season, are away at Canvey Island.
Accrington Stanley, currently fourth, are away at Burton. The Brewers were having a good run until they lost last Tuesday but still could take at least a point off Stanley which would also help the Bulls.
Other teams still in with a chance of making the play-offs include Stevenage who are at home to Dagenham and Exeter who travel to Morecambe. This is one game which if drawn would benefit Hereford United as all three teams have the same number of points.
Sky cameras will be at the Rec on Sunday for the Aldershot/Woking game which kicks off at 1.45pm. Woking had two players sent off last Wednesday against Scarborough whilst the Shots defeated Burton 3-1 last Tuesday
Tomorrow's game at Farnborough will bring back memories for manager Neil Sillett who told the Aldershot News and Mail he has memories of Edgar Street and Hereford United.
"It's a club that holds fond memories for me, sitting on the bench there when my dad was manager so it's a nice game for me in that respect but nothing would be better than getting the three points off them," said Sillett.
"We had Hereford watched on Tuesday night and they're a very good footballing team. They pass the ball well, they're probably expecting to be higher than where they are, and from what I've heard they probably should be higher than where they are."
Father John Sillett was arguably Hereford's most successful manager, according to HU-FC.co.uk, as he took the club to their biggest triumph - the Third Division championship in 1976. He joined from Bristol City, where he was a coach, in 1973, and stabilised the club before a superb 1975/76 campaign, but then the wheels came off. The Bulls were immediately relegated from Division Two, went straight through Division Three and ended up in Division Four again. Sillett quit in February 1978 and went on to take Coventry City to FA Cup success in 1987, but he returned for an unsuccessful season in 1991.
Amongst items stolen from Edgar Street last weekend was the new Hereford United away shirt for next season.
Described by Graham Turner in today's Hereford Times as "a Nike shirt which is not in the shops yet. It's yellow with a green flash on the sleeves.
"It's a unique item, so if anyone is offered it or sees someone wearing it then I'm sure the police would be interested to hear."
Turner also revealed that although the thieves made a lot of mess they got away with very little as no cash is kept on the premises.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
The following profiles of the two new players at Edgar Street come from the Official Walsall Website.
Name: Daryl Taylor
Date of Birth: 14/11/1984
Height: 5' 10" (178cm)
Weight: 11st 3lbs (71.28kg)
BLESSED with great pace and skill, Daryl Taylor could be seen as a rarity in the modern game - a winger who can beat his man and supply a quality ball.After five years with Aston Villa, the Birmingham-born forward moved across the Midlands to Bescot Stadium and signed professional forms in the summer of 2004.The 19 year-old scored two goals in 17 appearances for Mick Halsall's reserve side last season, where his impressive performances earned him a first-team squad number even though he was still a third-year scholar.He made an explosive Football League debut for The Saddlers, coming on as substitute in our opening day clash with Port Vale and scoring one of our goals in a 3-2 victory. He followed that up with two more strikes in the next two games to really announce his arrival on the first-team stage.He has been used cautiously over the 2004/2005 campaign, but is a player of undoubted skill and ability, with exciting talent.
Name: Leroy Williams
Date of Birth: 22/10/1986
Height: 5' 7" (170cm)
Weight: 11st 0lbs (69.92kg)
A LIVEWIRE striker whose development was rewarded in the summer of 2004 with a one-year professional deal, just a year into his Scholarship programme.Possessing plenty of pace and skill, the 18-year-old is a bubbly character and a player who has the ability to turn the course of a game and have the supporters on the edge of their seats.Last season his appearances were restricted to youth team level, however he has gained a regular reserve team place in 2004/2005 and by working more closely with the senior strikers at the club, his game is expected to continue to come on in leaps and bounds. Made an explosive Football League debut against Port Vale on the opening day of the 2004/2005 season as he scored a fine goal shortly after coming on as substitute.The diminutive Birmingham-born front-man is one to look out for in the future.
Graham Turner has acted on his promise to strength the Hereford United squad with the news that two young players from Walsall are coming to Edgar Street.
Walsall have published the following:
THE SADDLERS have allowed first-year professionals, Daryl Taylor and Leroy Williams to join Nationwide Conference outfit, Hereford United on loan until the end of the season.
The duo burst onto the scene in the opening game of the season as they came off the substitutes' bench to inspire Walsall to victory over Port Vale.
Having scored in each of his first three senior appearances for the club, 20 year-old Taylor has been in and out of the side this term. A player of undoubted pace and ability, it is felt that a spell at a lower level will do him good as was the case with namesake Kris who linked up with Burton Albion earlier in the season.
Meanwhile, livewire front-man, Williams has also failed to make the impact that many expected following his explosive start. The 18-year-old, who was given a professional contract after just one year of his three-year Scholarship programme, has started only two League games this season, coming off the bench on a further eight occasions in all competitions as well as featuring regularly for the reserves.
They join a Hereford United side that are pushing for a place in the Conference play-offs having agonisingly just missed out on promotion back into The Football League last term.
"This is an ideal opportunity for them to further their footballing education," said player-manager Paul Merson. "The Conference is a good standard and they join a well-run club who are pushing for a play-off place."
BBC Hereford and Worcester are to cover the Farnborough game on Friday both on medium wave and the internet.
Details so far are that Peter McMillian will be at Farnborough and Trevor Owens in charge at Worcester.
The broadcast will start shortly before 3pm and will be transmitted on 738 and 1584 AM (or medium wave) frequencies, as well as on the internet at bbc.co.uk/hereford.
Simon Travis is suffering from a hernia problem. After last night's game at Morecambe he was reported to be in a lot of discomfort.
Travis told local media that he had been been playing despite the problem for the last few weeks but the problem needed to be corrected.
He did not know whether he would be able to continue playing for the remainder of the season.
Travis's injury adds pressure to Graham Turner to bolster his squad. With Tony James out for several weeks, Ben Scott sidelined with a shoulder problem and Ryan Green picking up an injury last night, Turner has eight more days to bring in some reinforcements.
Meanwhile rumours that Tamika Mkandawire is moving to Doncaster appear to be total speculation. John Trewick told BBC Hereford and Worcester that he missed last night's game because as he had flu. It is hoped he will be fit for Friday's game at Farnborough.
John Grant is to move from Shrewsbury to Halifax and, just like David Brown, could come back to haunt the Bulls before the end of the season.
Halifax are reported to have been looking for a striker to replace Darren Mansaram who is out with an injury.
23-year-old Grant, whose contract at Gay Meadow was due to expire at the end of the season, arrives at the Shay with plenty of Conference experience according to BBC Sport.
The former Crewe striker played for Northwich, Hereford and Telford, where he scored eight times last season before joining the Shrews in July.
The following has appeared on the Official Shrewsury Website:
Grant caught the eye on the number of times that Town and Telford locked horns last season and was a close season signing by Jimmy Quinn. He's made just short of 20 appearances in that time getting 2 goals. Those goals came in Gary Peters first games in charge when Granty looked to have forced his way in to the first team but this was short lived and he has only made a few appearances as sub since.
"He's not been getting in the side so it's a good move for him to go to Halifax," commented Peters.
"John's a great lad who runs and works very hard for the team and I can't fault him on any of that. He's a player who won't score that many goals and needs to be getting first team games to work on his touch."
Hereford United travel to Halifax on April 16th.
Hereford United's play off hopes are beginning to fade following another disappointing result at Christie Park. The 2-1 defeat leaves United in ninth place and four points out of the play off positions but with the top half so tight the play offs are becoming to look a more difficult target for them.
Hereford were without Tamika Mkandawire, who is thought to have received a knock against Crawley, meaning Tom Smith was drafted into the starting line up. Andy Tretton continued in the place of Tony James and Brian Smikle returned to the side but had to settle for a place on the bench.
The first half panned out in a much similar fashion to how the meeting between the two sides had at Edgar Street at the beginning of the month. Hereford dominated posession and Morecambe sat back and guarded their goal, often with huge numbers behind the ball. Danny Carey-Bertram turned well and shot wide after five minutes before good play around the Morecambe penalty area created a great opening for Carey-Bertram. Graham Hyde's cross to the far post was volleyed into the side netting by Carey-Bertram.
Morecambe had the ball in the net at the other end within a minute, but the goal was ruled out for offside. United continued to enjoy possession but failed to create much in way of goal scoring opportunities. In a rare Shrimps attack Michael Twiss played Wayne Curtis through on goal, but ex-Morecambe stopper Craig Mawson denied him by pushing his shot away.
Danny Williams fired a free-kick over the bar from a good position before captain Jamie Pitman put pressure on his own defence when he lost posession in his own half. However, Kieran Walmsley shot wide from the edge of the box. Carey-Bertram raced onto a brilliant pass to the right flank by Pitman and he picked out the run of Craig Stanley. Stanley's first time shot was wide though, when he would have surely scored if he had hit the target.
Lee Mills came oh so close to breaking the deadlock when he rounded his marker and, while one on one with Ryan Robinson, shot low but the 'keeper got his fingertips to it and the ball rolled inches the wrong side of the post. On the stroke of half time Morecambe came close themselves, Jim Bentley headed a corner into the six yard box and, after a scramble which saw Mawson make a good reaction save, Smith hooked the ball clear. Graham Hyde was booked in injury time.
Wayne Curtis should have put Morecambe in front soon after the restart, but having controlled the cross into the box, he shot straight at Mawson from ten yards out and the Bulls cleared their lines. Mills played a great pass to Simon Travis on the left, who then crossed to the far post where any danger was cleared by Darren Kempson. A second corner was cleared to Ryan Green who played the ball back into the far post. Robinson missed his attempted punch and Stanley swung an instinctive boot at the ball, but it fell wide.
Then, with just over an hour gone, the deadlock was broken. Stanley played a ball to the left flank, which Mills chased and did well to keep in play. He skinned one man on his way to the bye-line, where he rounded another defender and slid the ball across the goal face to the far post. Pitman got an outstretched boot to the ball to put it back into the middle, where Williams was on hand to push it over the line in front the away support of around 100.
Jimmy Harvey reacted to this by making a double substitution, and Morecambe never really looked back after this. Danny Carlton and Garry Thompson, two attacking players, were introduced. The Bulls failed to deal with a ball into the box from the right, and Michael Twiss equalised with a good volley into the top corner just six minutes after Hereford had taken the lead. The Shrimps began to dominate and a second goal seemed inevitable. Tretton headed over a dangerous cross and Pitman scrambled the corner behind for yet another corner.
Green was forced off with an injury with twenty minutes to go; he was replaced by Mark Robinson. Stanley was played through on goal by Mills as United became the side playing on the break, but he shot wide from outside of the box. Twiss found Curtis in space to the right of the box at the other end, but he was denied by a good low save by Mawson. Adam Stansfield was replaced by Lee Mills with little more than ten minutes to go.
With five minutes to go it was looking as though Hereford may hold on for a good away point, but any chances of that were foiled by referee M. Matador of Lancashire. Michael Howard played a long ball towards the Hereford goal, which Carlton chased down. Mawson came out to gather but the referee adjudged Smith to have fouled Carlton and pointed to the penalty spot. Twiss eventually stepped up and executed the penalty perfectly into the bottom corner for his seventeenth goal of the season, much to the delight of the home fans in the crowd of 1,565.
United were left frustrated that they had thrown away the lead having put in an improved first half performance compared to the form shown in recent weeks. The Bulls now face a vital part of their season when they face four of the bottom five sides in the league in their next six games. A change in form is needed quickly, or this season could prove extremely disappointing for everyone involved with Hereford United.
HUFC Team: Mawson, Green, Smith, Tretton, Travis, Stanley, Hyde, Pitman, Williams, Carey-Bertram, Mills. Subs: Robinson, Lewis, Smikle, Purdie, Stansfield.
MFC: Robinson, Heard, Kempson, Bentley, Howard, Blackburn, Walmsley, Hunter, Perkins, Twiss, Curtis. Subs: Thompson, Carlton Elam, Swan, Sollit.
John Trewick told BBC Hereford and Worcester after last night's game at Morecambe that he thought the Bulls gave away two goals.
"We had a number of chances. We knocked the ball around quite well and we felt everything was going as we planned," said the Hereford United coach.
"Morecambe altered things a little bit, came at us and, from our point of view, gave away two goals which we are not best pleased about.
"I'm still a little bit confused about the penalty decision. I am not certain that it was a penalty so it's a bitter pill to swallow."
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
A double from former Chester striker Micheal Twiss condemned Hereford to defeat at Christie Park this evening. Twiss scored a penalty late on to seal victory for the home side, after Tom Smith appeared to bring down a Morecambe attacker in his penalty area. United had taken the lead through Danny Williams on 61 minutes, but Twiss took just five minutes to equalise.
Just under 100 Bulls fans saw a more spirited Hereford performance was it not enough to over-come the Christie Park side.
Ryan Green had to be subbed during the second half. He appeared to have pulled a muscle in his leg.
Stewards had to deal with a small distubance amidst the Hereford fans just before the end of the match. A Turner-out faction was challenged by some other fans.
A full report will be posted late tomorrow morning.
Graham Turner has urged his players to keep on attacking this evening at Morecambe.
"They made it very difficult for us at our place. It will be interesting to see how Morecambe will play at home. I will not be surprised if they play six across midfield with just one forward player," Turner told the Worcester News.
"It is a little frustrating that teams are wanting to defend deep and in numbers. We've got a reputation of wanting to pass the ball and if teams play with a lot of numbers in their half of the field, then it's very difficult to play through.
"We've got to be good enough to break them down. We've got our beliefs in the way we play and we will always go out to be positive."
Meanwhile captain Tony James has seen a specialist who revealed there is no break in his ankle, while Ben Scott is still out with a shoulder problem.
BBC Hereford and Worcester are to have live internet commentary from the Hereford United match at Morecambe this evening.
There will also be updates into the evening sports programme.
Terry Goodwin will be at Morecambe for Hereford and Worcester and the internet transmission will commence around 7.40pm.
Hereford United travel up north to Christie Park for the Nationwide Conference fixture against Morecambe this evening, kick off 7.45. The Bulls, curently three places and three points in front of their hosts, are on a run of six unbeaten league games but need to change draws into victories to push back into the play off places. Morecambe have a good home record and are unbeaten at Christie Park since mid November.
The Shrimps have two major doubts for the visit of the Bulls. David Perkins and Michael Stringfellow both missed the visit to Edgar Street a couple of weeks ago, when the teams drew 1-1, and remain on the sidelines for Jimmy Harvey's side. It is hoped that the game will be more entertaining than the previous meeting this month, in which Morecambe's negative tactics made the game a rather boring spectacle.
Hereford have captain Tony James out with ankle ligament damage so Andy Tretton should continue to cover for him. Ben Scott is the only other doubt having missed the last couple of game with a shoulder injury. It is unknown what the situation with Brian Smikle is; the youngster, on work experience from West Brom, has been absent from the side for the last two games, but there has been no news of him being injured. It will be interesting to see if he returns this evening.
Graham Turner is hopeful that the Shrimps will play a different style at home, which may suit United better as they struggled to break them down at Edgar Street. Speaking to BBC H&W he said, "We go to Morecambe on Tuesday (today) and that's going to be a very difficult game. I think their a decent side, they came here a couple of weeks ago, they defended with ten men and we found it difficult to break them down. I don't know if there will be a different approach at their place, the possibilty of that is that there will be."
"We've got two big games coming up now against Morecambe and Farnborough, but for some of the other Conference sides in contention for the play off places there's some massive big games coming up."
Monday, March 21, 2005
As well as the Morecambe v Hereford game there are two other Conference fixtures tomorrow and one on Wednesday evening.
Aldershot, currently fourth in the table, travel to Burton. The Shots were defeated at home by Stevenage last Saturday whilst Burton, who are having a useful run of results, put four goals past Leigh RMI. As they have played several more games than some of the other play-off contenders, Aldershot need a result from this game, which could be difficult.
Accrington Stanley travel the long distance to Canvey Island for their game. Ex-Hereford United striker David Brown made his debut for Stanley last Saturday but was subbed during the second half. However his new side defeated Morecambe 2-1. Meanwhile Canvey have drawn nine of their sixteen home games this season and would do Hereford a favour if they can increase that to ten.
On Wednesday third-placed Woking are at home to Scarborough. The Seadogs defeated Halifax 3-1 last Saturday whereas Woking could only draw at Exeter. However Woking should be favourites to win this one as Scarborough have a poor away record having been defeated in eleven of their seventeen matches to date.
All the recent success off the pitch at Hereford United, such as the end of the CVA, the highest profit for many years, the new dressing rooms and the possible redevelopement of the Meadow End, will mean little to supporters if performance on the field doesn't improve.
Fans are failing to turn up at Edgar Street in their droves compared with last season. The gate on Saturday for the game against Crwaley was only 2211 and this recent drop in attendance has brought the figure for the average gate at Hereford to less than 3,000 for this campaign to date. (2998 is the latest figure according to Confguide)
This time last year attendances were well over 3,000. For the game against Accrington Stanley on March 13th the figure was 3230. The fall of over 1,000 will mean that gate income is dropping like a stone.
Although Hereford United are now in ninth position in the Conference table, Saturday's game against Crawley should have been an attractive match with the two teams vying for a play-off place. Perhaps some potential fans didn't see it that way and the fixtures themselves may not be the main reason fans are deserting Edgar Street.
Last season, Hereford United played some very attractive football. Much of it was a delight to watch, and of course the team scored lots of goals.
Recently this season, with the noted exception of the two away games at Aldershot and Barnet, the Bulls seem to have gone back to playing either the high ball tactic, in which case possession is often lost, or the slow build-up style of movement which is too easily intercepted by the opposition.
Saturday's game had little entertainment value. Even had the Bulls snatched a late winner, which they probably just deserved, it is doubtful whether many supporters would have classed it as anything other than unexciting display of football by both teams.
Last season Hereford United players tended to be more direct with their play. Simon Travis, for example, would run much of the length of the pitch will the ball. No so recently. And the forwards would have a shot in most circumstances if they thought there was a chance of scoring. It was that quick play that tended to catch opposing teams out. This season play seems to take place at a slower rate. It is not bringing results and not entertaining fans.
Again looking back at Saturday, how many times was the ball simply passed back to goalkeeper Mawson. On one particular occasion in the first half the Bulls had the ball in Crawley's penalty area. It was passed back and instead of launching another quick attack it was slowly returned to Mawson who then kicked the ball into the Crawley half and possession was lost.
Hereford United are next at home on Easter Monday. Although the fixture against Northwich is not the most prized this season, it is on a day which usually brings a good gate to Edgar Street. A return of at least four points and a few goals from the two away games this week could bring back some fans.
Sunday, March 20, 2005
Tony James, the Hereford United captain, who is currently out of the squad with injury, has welcomed the arrival of new physio Wayne Jones to Edgar Street.
In an article in today's Non-League Paper, James says that he hopes his season is not yet over.
"I'm not writing the season off totally yet. It just depends on how it heals, how much work I can can done on it - and a little bit of luck."
Describing how his injury occured James said it was after an aerial challenge with Hucknall's Gary Ricketts.
"I landed on his foot and then rolled off his foot onto the floor, so it was pretty painful with all my weight coming onto it from quite a height.
"I can't do an awful lot at the moment. I'm just trying to get the sweeling down and get some of the bruising out, then hopefully next week I'll be able to put a little bit of weight on it and get it moving a bit."
James then welcomed the arrival of full-time physio Wayne Jones whose own playing career was ended by injury when with Bristol Rovers in his early 20's.
"If I do end up coming back I don't think I'll lose too much fitness, because Wayne likes to keep on top of that sort of things.
"It's a good thing he's come in. I can have him there all day whenever I want him.
"If we do get into the play-offs I'll have another couple of weeks to get myself fully fit."
With just twelve days to go, including today, until the transfer deadline line comes into place, many fans think Hereford United need to bring in a couple of players if they are serious about making a play-off challenge.
Graham Turner, is a canny operator, and may well have a number of potential signings ready to be revealed, but by transfer deadline last season he had brought in several players. Supporters who heard his H&W interview yesterday could be forgiven for asking whether Turner was making too many excuses for the lack, as yet, of new faces at Edgar Street.
The Bulls had a squad of 22 players going into the last week of March. Ben Smith was the only long term injury problem. Jordan King had gone to Hednesford but Turner had just brought in Mark Beesley, Bertrand Cozic, Scott Willis and Rob Betts. Travis came in February and Tom Smith at the beginning of March. However players such as Dean Craven, Andy Wells and Richard Teesdale were still in the squad.
The full squad was Baker, Green, Rose, Pitman, Tretton, James, D Williams, Ben Smith, Guinan, Brown, Travis, Purdie, Scott, Teesdale, Carey-Bertram, Craven,
Wells, Willis, Tom Smith, Beesley, Betts, and Cozic.
That squad took the Bulls to second place in the Conference, just one point
Turner said yesterday that he was still looking to strengthen the squad and that
both he and "chief scout John Trewick" had watched lots of league reserve games.
Going on recent performances, they need to look for a proven goalscorer as well
as a left sided player and a midfielder.
Yesterday Turner used Mills and Stansfield, both strikers, after taking off
Pitman and Hyde, both midfielders. But even though the pair had chances
neither found the back of the net. The Bulls have only scored four goals in their
last four Conference games.
Turner is said to still be hoping that Joe Anyinsah would return to Edgar Street.
The Bristol City player was not in the squad for their game yesterday so maybe
there is still a chance the talented youngster could play for the Bulls again
Meanwhile, the recruitment of Wayne Jones to the club as physio, has made some
supporters question whether John Trewick will be retained at Edgar Street after
the end of the season.
In Bullseye yesterday Graham Turner welcomed the new face to the club.
"I have worked with Wayne before and know him to be an outstanding asset. He is a
total football man."
Jones said in his recent interview that he hoped to help with the coaching. He is
a FA Qualified A licence coach and was assistant manager at Gillingham. To have
joined Hereford United seems a step backwards, unless he is destined for a higher
position at the club.
Another remark this weekend leaves a doubt as to how much scouting is being done
by the person appointed recently who still remains nameless to many supporters.
John Trewick was called "chief scout" by Graham Turner in his H&W interview.
If there are new faces at Edgar Street in the next few days it will be
interesting to see if the new scout has been instrumental in bringing them to
UPDATE Monday March 21st.
Bulls News wishes to point out that John Trewick is not chief scout at Hereford. The quote taken from Graham Turner's interview on Saturday was misunderstood.
Saturday, March 19, 2005
Graham Turner will not panic-sign players. In his H&W interview he said that it is no good taking bodies for the sake of it.
"We have tried to strengthen the squad. I could go out and bring four players in tomorrow but they won't neccessarily improve what we have got. Everybody wants to get rid of the players that aren't quite good enough.
"We've set our sites on bringing players in that will make a difference to the side and we've had knock-backs with them, and that's basically why we haven't strengthened the squad as much as we would like.
"It can be panic signing if you are not careful and with the deadline a week on Thursday we want to strengthen the squad, but it will only be with people who feel that we can improve upon it.
"I go to watch a lot of reserve team football as does chief scout John Trewick and the players that we pick out, the big problem is that League clubs also pick the same players out. And the players will go to League clubs rather than come to the Conference.
"But we are hoping over the next eight to ten days that the situation might change."
UPDATE Monday 21st
It has been pointed out to Bulls News that the paragraph starting "I go to watch... may have been printed in correctly.
The implication in our report that John Trewick is chief scout was not intended.
Yet again, Graham Turner has made the excuse that the opposition was difficult to break down for his sides goal-less draw with Crawley Town this afternoon. Interviewed on BBC Hereford and Worcester, he also admitted that the Bulls didn't take the few chances they created.
"Crawley came and played with a very defensive formation, a 4-1-4-1, one sole striker, and we didn't break them down. And the few chances we had, we didn't take them.
"A game like this, there aren't going to be many chances. When they come along you have got to score them and that's the disappointment."
Reminded that Crawley went down to ten men, Turner didn't think it made much difference.
"There were always plenty of men goalside of the box, always plenty of men defending in their penalty area.
"We made one or two changes during the course of the game. We've had six potential goal-scorers on, four strikers on at the end."
Turner put some of the blame for the lack of goals onto the pitch.
"The pitch has got bobbly and the flowing football becomes difficult because they have to take a little bit more care with the bobbly ball. It slows the attacks down, it slows the momentum down, but we are still trying to pass it.
"There is a lot of pressure with ten games left."
Hereford United dominated throughout in their Conference encounter with Crawley Town this afternoon but, not for the first time this season, lacked the finishing touch and were left frustrated by the goal-less draw, which leaves them in nineth position, three points adrift of the final play off spot.
Rob Purdie and Danny Carey-Bertram were recalled to the strike force; Lee Mills and Adams Stansfield, who started in the replay against Hucknall made way for them in dropping to the bench. Andy Tretton started as skipper Tony James is out with an ankle injury, and Jamie Pitman took over the captain's role.
Hereford first threatened following a corner, taken by Danny Williams, when Tamika Mkandawire failed to make full contact with a free header, but it found Purdie at the far post who saw his shot blocked and then turned behind. Ryan Green caused all sorts of problems for Sean Hankin on the Hereford right; he skinned Hankin before squaring the ball towards Craig Stanley and Carey-Bertram but the two got in the way of each other and the chance passed.
Goalkeeper Paul Smith let a pass back roll underneath in feet, but luckily for him it was just wide of the post and went out for a corner. The Red's top scorer was the first of many in the book this afternoon when Charlie McDonald caught Green with a late challenge. Stanley found Carey-Bertram's run out to the left and he then rounded Ben Judge before crossing, but it was just beyond Stanley and Williams.
Neil Jenkins volleyed Crawley's first effort on goal from twenty five yards, but it didn't trouble Craig Mawson. Jenkins was booked moments after for dissent. Quick thinking from Pitman, after being fouled on the edge of the box, resulted in United's best chance of the half. Pitman took it quickly and found Carey-Bertram in space just inside the box, but he sliced his effort wide.
Green and Williams linked up well on the right with the latter suplying a good cross for Stanley, but he directed his header inches the wrong side of the far post. Paul Armstrong and Mo Harkin were booked, and Pitman raced onto Stanley's pass to fire at the 'keeper, who gathered at the second attempt before the interval.
Francis Vines changed things around at half time, replacing Hankin at left back with an attacker in Daniel Marney. This though, had no real affect on the run of play. Simon Travis played the ball forward to Purdie, but he let it run for Carey-Bertram who had a run on goal. He took a touch too many though and was dispossed by a challenge, which knocked the ball behind for a corner. Williams saw his well struck free kick from thirty yards caught by Smith before Sacha Opinel was received a yellow card and Pitman was replaced by Stansfield.
Stansfield was in action soon after his introduction after Williams flicked Stanley's pass on to him, but he fired across goal and wide. Ian Simpemba was next to be cautioned for the visitors before McDonald was replaced by ex-Bull Danny Davidson. Graham Hyde was taken off by Graham Turner and Mills was sent on, as United pushed for a winner.
Opinal then received a second yellow card when he clattered into man of the match Mkandawire, leaving Crawley to battle on with ten minutes for the last fifthteen minutes. Purdie, Mills and then Williams were involved in a good move before William's pass, intended for Green on the flank, was touched behind for a corner. Williams swung in the corner from the right and Stanfield beat Smith with a bullet header, but unfortunately he was denied by a defender on the line.
Harkin then crossed a free kick in what turned out to be the closest the Reds came all game, but Simpemba's header was inches wide, having taken a touch off Williams. Mills then held play up well in the last minute and picked Carey-Bertram out to his left. Carey-Bertram cracked a cross into the middle where Stansfield connected well with his head, but it went agonisingly wide. A minute later, the first of four added, Mills' twenty five yard effort was saved well, down low by Smith as Crawley hung on for a point, which they really didn't deserve.
The crowd of 2,211, including 66 away fans, will be frustrated with the result more than the performance as yet again the finishing touch was lacking. United need to turn these draws into victories before too long. If not, it is not unlikely that they will find themselves five or six points away from the play off positions rather than two or three.
HUFC Team: Mawson, Green, Mkandawire, Tretton, Travis, Stanley, Hyde, Pitman, Williams, Purdie, Carey-Bertram. Subs: Smith, Robinson, Lewis, Stansfield, Mills.
CTFC: Smith, Judge, Simpemba, Donovan, Hankin, Opinel, Harkin, Gooding, Jenkins, Armstrong, McDonald. Subs: Little, Marney, Tate, Healy, Davidson.
Hereford United failed to take advantage of the majority of the possession at Edgar Street this afternoon against Crawley Town. The game ended goal-less.
The Bulls had by far the most chances but the Crawley goalkeeper was only troubled on a couple of occasions. Full report shortly.
As a consequence of only picking up one point, Hereford have dropped to ninth place in the League. They are now six points behind second-placed Halifax with two games in hand.
Crawley Town are travelling to Edgar Street for this afternoon's clash with Hereford United having signed Scott Gooding from Hornchurch.
Gooding can play in either midfield or defence and has spent time with Crystal Palace and is expected to be in the squad today.
However, the Sussex club will be without John Robinson who is to miss two games after a Disciplinary Hearing of the FA upheld the charges of Misconduct brought against him following an incident after the final whistle at Barnet last weekend.
The Worcester News goes into some detail this morning over why David Brown left Edgar Street.
Brown says that there was a disagreement with firstly John Trewick then Graham Turner after the Eastwood Town game.
The striker had his contract terminated by the Bulls last week and joined Accrington Stanley.
As reported earlier, Brown who lives at Wigan and has recently had his third daughter, was trying to keep training and playing with Hereford whilst studying at Alasger which is part of Manchester University. He lived at Shrewbury during the week.
"It was nothing to do with the training, more the organisation of it. In the end, I had a disagreement with John Trewick and then with the gaffer.
"We had a game on the Tuesday and they sprung it on us after the game that the lads who did not play had to train on Wednesday.
"It was the way it was sprung on me. If I had been told on the Monday, which they usually did, then I would have brought stuff with me. I had to train but had no kit or wash-bag.
"I was out of line with what I said and I later tried to apologise but it was not accepted. The gaffer could not accept that it was out of character for me.
"That was the first and only time I had a disagreement. I never had a problem before.
"I've always trained well and given everything. I've been a model pro, I've never been a bad egg. If I had a day off to go to college, I would still go to the gym and do the training."
Graham Turner has also put his side of the story to the newspaper.
"We bent over backwards to allow David to go to college two days a week. He was told to train with us on Wednesday, the day after the Eastwood game, bearing in mind he would not have been in on Thursday.
"His training had been very limited before that game, so it was not unreasonable for him to come in to training. There was a confrontation with the coach. If he wasn't committed to training, then we did not want him here."
Friday, March 18, 2005
Hereford United will play Carlisle on April 5th at Edgar Street kick off 7.45pm.
Carlisle have agreed to change the date of their fixture against York to April 12th to accomodate the Hereford match.
The change should mean that Hereford United will not have to play more than two Conference games in any week during the rest of the season.
The remaining games are as below:
19 March 2005
Hereford v Crawley Town, 15:00
22 March 2005
Morecambe v Hereford, 19:45
25 March 2005
Farnborough v Hereford, 15:00
28 March 2005
Hereford v Northwich, 15:00
02 April 2005
Stevenage v Hereford, 15:00
05 April 2005
Hereford v Carlisle, 19:45
09 April 2005
Hereford v York, 15:00
12 April 2005
Forest Green v Hereford, 19:45
16 April 2005
Halifax v Hereford, 15:00
19 April 2005
Woking v Hereford, 19:45
23 April 2005
Hereford v Accrington Stanley, 15:00
Tony James, the Hereford United captain, is to see a specialist about his injury after clashing with Gary Ricketts in the Trophy replay. He is currently on crutches and could be out for several weeks if not the rest of the season.
"Tony is seeing a specialist but he's on crutches at the moment and could be out for at least three or four weeks," Graham Turner told the Worcester News.
"There's a possibility that he could be out for the rest of the season but we don't know that.
"Obviously, he is going to be sorely missed, not just on the playing side of things but because he is the skipper of the side.
"But we've got Andy Tretton available and he's a possibility for tomorrow. We also have young Tom Smith. Fortunately, it's the one area of the side where we have a bit of strength in depth."
Looking forward to tomorrow's game with Crawley Town, Turner wants his side to get over the defeat at Hucknall.
"I don't think the Hucknall match will be too difficult to get out of the system. What we've got now is the opportunity to finish in the play-offs and we are more than capable of making it.
"But we've got a tough programme of 11 games in 36 days and it's a big challenge. If we got through the FA Trophy tie, it would have been 13 in 36 days.
"So the result on Tuesday does ease the burden in terms of fixture congestion but it's not to say we didn't try to win because we did.
"Crawley have done extremely well. We went down there earlier this season and should have won but they have gone on to have a good season. It won't be easy because they are a very, very hard-working side."
New Physio Wayne Jones has commented that he thinks the Bulls should be able to climb back into the League.
"The future looks quite rosy. They are desparate to get back into the league. I think they are good enough, but sometimes teams that are good enough don't acheive it, Jones told BBC Hereford and Worcester.
"They will be going hell for leather for it and hopefully getting in the league this summer."
Jones is expected to help with the training as well as doing the physio work.
Hereford United will need to freshen up and shake off their last few results, and what better way to do it than with a victory against fellow play off hopefulls Crawley Town. Crawley are currently level on points with the Bulls but have played two extra games. The two sides met on the second day of the season and shared the points after a 1-1 draw.
Crawley, who played midweek against Margate in the GLC Cup, have a few injury worries for the trip to Edgar Street. Robert Kember and Paul Armstrong were both hurt on Tuesday night with a hamstring injury and cuts and bruising respectivley. Simon Wormull is suspended, as John Robinson might be, depending on the outcome of a misconduct hearing.
Former Hereford United striker Danny Davidson should be fit again though, after a scan revealed that he only had bruising to his knee. Manager Francis Vines has also added a new face to his squad for the game; James Donovan, a centre back, has been recruited from Millwall.
Hereford will be without skipper Tony James who badly injured his ankle against Hucknall Town. The extent of the injury is yet to be confirmed but it's feared that he may be missing for the rest of the season. Tom Smith and Andy Tretton will benefit from this as they both hope to get a look in to the squad. Brian Smikle was absent on Tuesday evening but should be back for this one, with Graham Hyde expected to drop to the bench.
Graham Turner may choose to reshuffle his side once again after the disappointing cup exit, with Rob Purdie, Danny Carey-Bertram and Mark Robinson all hoping for a recall. Ben Scott has a shoulder injury still and is unlikely to have recovered by the weekend and so Carl Lewis, from the youth set up, is expected to continue on the substitute bench.
United will be hoping to get their league campaign back on track following the two disappointing performances, and results, against Morecambe and Tamworth. The Bulls have slipped to eigth but have games in hand on those above them. However, it's often said at this stage of the season it's better to have the points in the bag.