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

Friday, March 31, 2006

Kiddy game - one in isolation says Turner

Graham Turner is unlikely to make many changes to the side that will take to the pitch at Woking tomorrow afternoon.

The Hereford United manager has been speaking to BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"I can either make a few changes or adopt the attitude- it happened. We've been successful before that, we've had some outstanding results and I tend to treat the Kidderminster game as one in isolation.

"We've had a good run before. We'll start another good run now.

"Don't chop and change the side too much."


Richardsons help Tories

The Richardson Brothers are beleived to be amidst the donors to the Conservative Party.

The information was released earlier this afternoon.

They are understood to be the same Richardsons who are involved with the probable redevelopment of the Edgar Street area and to whom Hereford United owe around £1 million.


Four senior players to miss Woking game

Simon Travis, Guy Ipoua, Stacy Coldicott and Andy Ferrell will all be unavailable for tomorrow's game at Woking.

Travis, Ipoua and Coldicott are said to be training but still short of fitness. Andy Ferrell is suspended after being red-carded last Saturday in the match against Kidderminster.

As for Woking, according to BBC Sport they will give late fitness tests to Karl Murray, who suffered a burst blood vessel behind his eye last week, and Justin Richards (ankle).

Chris Sharpling, who was out with a knee injury, is now out for another month after a hernia operation.

Last Tuesday Woking lost 1-0 at Halifax on a pitch that was described as awful. The goal came after from a free kick which appeared to be taken before the Woking defence was ready.

Later Woking goalkeeper Shwan Jalal was said to have complained bitterly to referee
Rob Shoebridge as the pair went down the tunnel at half-time about the free-kick.

Meanwhile Hereford United's Tony James has told the Worcester News of his thoughts about tomorrow's game at Kingsfield.

"Woking is not an easy place to play," said James. "They are a very dangerous side and they still have something to play for.

"They are a good pacy team and if they get everything together, they can cause us problems. We've got to be careful."

"But the one good thing is our defensive record is the best in the league and it is important we give nothing away."


Cambridge Hold Admission Prices

Cambridge United have decided to hold their admission prices for next season.

They will also continue to offer £25 season tickets to under 10's, and £50 tickets to under 16's - unchanged from this season. Adult season ticket prices will rise in line with the two extra matches covered.

Only Forest Green have confirmed a rise in prices next season, when they move to their new stadium.

Meanwhile, on the FA website, the Bulls lead a poll for the greatest ever FA Cup shock with nearly 33% of the vote. The full poll can be found at http://www.thefa.com/TheFA/.


Accrington Charged Over Ineligible Player

Accrington have been charged with fielding an ineligible player, according to the NLP.

James Robinson, who played a number of times for the reserves but never featured in the first team, was released by Crewe in the summer but spent a spell in Iceland before returning to English football. The charges relate to Accrington not obtaining international clearance from the Icelandic FA.

The player later played a number of games for Altrincham, joining them in November. Altrincham have not been charged as they signed him straight from an English club and had no reason to believe he was registered elsewhere.

Accrington are likely to receive a fine for the offence. No points deduction from the Conference side is likely since the player did not play a game for the first team.


No H&W Internet for Woking game

Because of the coverage of Worcester Warriors rugby match there will be no second half commentary from the Woking/Hereford United game tomorrow on BBC Hereford and Worcester.

However as ever there will be the usual preview, match updates and full time reports with Keith Hall.

There is expected to be some coverage of the game on BBC SCR.

More details later.


Thursday, March 30, 2006

Hyde moves to Hednesford

Graham Hyde is to join Hednesford from Worcester City according to the Worcester News.

He will join former Bulls Ian Wright and Richard Teesdale at the Staffordshire club who are currently bottom of the Conference North.


More money next season at Exeter

Exeter City boss, Alex Inglethorpe, has been promised more money for next season. Recent results have seen Exeter drop down the Conference and they now lie in eighth position in the league table.

Inglethorpe had his budget cut by £160,000 for this season according to the Exeter press.

Last Tuesday the Grecians could only draw at lowly Tamworth. The point leaves them six points adrift of the Conference play-offs and they now have to win at least six of their last eight games to book a top five spot.

However Inglethorpe has been promised that 'his playing budget is to be significantly increased next season'.

"Maybe the squad was not as strong as it needed to be. And it will mean we weren't ready. What it will mean, though, is we are going in the right direction. I believe there is a nucleus of a squad here which is worth holding on to. There are seven or eight contracts we are obligated to at the minute and that gives me a tremendous amount of scope. If you look at the players who are on contracts next year - the likes of Danny Woodards, Lee Phillips, Billy Jones - that gives me a tremendous amount of hope. If we can add around that nucleaus I think there are some exciting times ahead," said Inglethrope.


Did days off contribute to Kiddy defeat?

Last week Hereford United players had two days off, which isn't often the rule, but then on Saturday the Bulls lost to Kidderminster.

Today Graham Turner has told BBC Hereford and Worcester that the squad won't be getting many more days off before the season is over.

"I'd given them Monday and Wednesday off, and we had a really good, hard day on Tuesday," said Turner.

"You look back on that and think whether that was a contributory factor, so the likelihood is that the players won't be getting too many more days off between now and the end of the season.

"I didn't think we worked hard enough against Kidderminster, and I didn't think we worked at the right pace."


Exeter Dealt Winger Blow

Exeter have been dealt a huge blow, with winger Wayne Carlisle ruled out for the rest of the season with a broken leg.

Carlisle, who joined Exeter in January, was injured after just 16 minutes of Tuesday's stormy draw at Tamworth and scans have confirmed a fracture of the tibia. Exeter are currently six points off a play-off spot.

In other Conference news, Burton's Nigel Clough and Halifax's Chris Wilder have shared the Manager of the month award for March.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Stansfield hopes to stay at Hereford

Rumours that Adam Stansfield is a possible target for Exeter has been strongly denied by the player himself.

The Hereford United striker, who has just returned to fitness after a facial injury, has told This is North Devon about how he has settled in the Hereford area.

"A move wouldn't interest us at the moment. These rumours are always hanging around but there's nothing in them.

"We have bought a house up here, my eldest son has settled in very well and we are more than happy."

Stansfield hopes this season will be third time lucky in the play-offs for the Bulls.

"It's been really good here this season apart from my injuries.

"I hope to play a part in the last seven games and I think we can get promotion this time."


Hyde to leave Worcester

Graham Hyde is expected to leave Worcester City shortly.

Midfielder Hyde, now 35, moved to Worcester after being released by Hereford United at the end of last season.

According to the Worcester News, Hyde has been dogged with both family problems and injuries since Christmas.

Hyde was made captain at the beginning of the season and many Hereford United supporters will have seen him in action when Worcester City had the TV cameras at the Lane for a FA Cup game which was played in very wet conditions.


New book launch depends on Bulls winning promotion

For those of you who remember Ron Parrott's book "Hereford United - The League Era", Ron and his team have been writing and planning its successor "Hereford United - The Wilderness Years" and their intent is to publish it when United regain their league status, hopefully at the end of this season. If the unthinkable happens then it will be shelved again until next season.

It will be written in the same style as the previous one and will contain the same high statistical level of content.

Also, alongside this, Ron has been working on a much more ambitious project - the complete history of Hereford United. This has already been in the making for about five years and has proved to be incredibly time-consuming. Thanks to the efforts of Hereford Times Sports Reporter Richard Prime, Ron has managed to get every first-team line-up since the club was founded in 1924, an incredible achievement indeed!

The book will be a very large one, A4 format in the style of the old Christmas football annuals. It will be a match by match, season by season story of events on and off the field at Edgar Street and will be interspersed with loads of photographs and a complete "who's who?" of post-war players to have turned out for United.

Ron is making no predictions yet on an eventual publishing date because there is still a "mountain of work" to do and he has to mix it in with his other mountain, his hobby of mountaineering and ambition to climb all of the 284 "Munros" in Scotland (mountains over 3,000 feet in height) and as at today, he still has 66 more to do.


Woking on Saturday

This information on Woking and how to reach the ground on Saturday is taken from several sources including the Official Woking Site.

The Woking ground, known as the Kingsfield Stadium, is situated on the A247, opposite the entrance to Woking Park, midway between the town centre and Old Woking.

From Herefordshire:

By Coach:

HUISA are running a coach. Full details on 01432276666.

By Car:

Leave the M4 at junction 10 and join A329(M). Continue onto A329/A322 (towards Bagshot). Go under M3 and take the A324 for Woking. Once near Woking head towards Old Woking and the Leisure Centre (which is signposted). The Leisure Centre is opposite the ground.

Park in the streets or in the Leisure Centre.

Allow around three hours from Hereford to Woking.

From London:

Leave the M25 at either junctions 10 (Wisley) or 11 (Chertsey) and follow the signs towards Woking.


By Rail:

From Hereford probably easiest to travel to London.

From London, there are frequent fast services from Waterloo to Woking, with a journey time of about 30 minutes. The ground is about 15 minutes walk from the railway station, which is in the town centre.

Exit the station on the opposite side to the town (Oriental Road side). Turn Right across the car park. In front of you will be the Law Courts/Police Station.

Walk past the Police Station, and keep on that road. Walk past the The Litten Tree pub (Right hand side), and when the road bends sharply to the right take the road on the left (ie sort of straight on).

On your left will be a Hotel/Pub, walk to the end of the road and then turn left. The ground is just along that road. Depends on how fast you walk it will probably take about 15-20 Mins. Or you could get a taxi!

Please note: Woking recommend that, for personal safety reasons, women and young children do not walk unaccompanied to Kingfield Stadium. It would be advisable to take a taxi from Woking Station direct to the ground, costing approximately £4.

Admission:

Terracing, Family & Director's Stands:
Adult - £12
Senior Citizen - £10
Juniors (U16) - £5

Bellway Homes Stand:
Adult - £15
Senior Citizen - £11
Junior (U16) - £6

Catering at Kingfield Stadium:

The Cardinals Club is unlikely to be open for Hereford United supporters. However there is catering for away fans with hot and cold beverages (non-alcohol) hot dogs, hamburgers, hot pies and chips and various snacks, from the time the turnstiles open to just after half time.


Wilson Departs Kiddy As Crowds Fall Again

With their season effectively over, having accumulated the 42 points most people consider to be the safety net, Kidderminster have released another player.

Ex-Burton defender Laurie Wilson has been released after playing 22 times this season. Kidderminster have used 35 players this season, but only 20 remain at Aggborough - including three loan players and several non-contract signings.

Another dismal gate last night, a season low of 1,220, was as much down to their previous home performance as another European match on terrestrial TV, although Tamworth also recorded their season low gate, nearly 25% down on their previous worst and 600 down on Saturday's gate as did Dagenham, who have recorded three successive sub-1000 gates after not recording one in the previous two years.

Meanwhile, Kiddy boss Mark Yates offered a new theory, to the harriers.co.uk site, on their home form after last night's drubbing: "It looks like we're scared to play here at Aggborough. I could've taken off every single one of them at half time. Apart from the few chances we created, there were no positives whatsoever to take from that game. As a team we were just very poor."


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Results don't help Bulls this evening

Supporters of Hereford United looking for crumbs of comfort this evening might look at the Kidderminster result and think that the Bulls really must have had an off day last Saturday.

The Harriers were well beaten by Grays Athletic 5-0 in front of a dismal gate of just 1220 which included 22 from Essex.

Although Hereford stay second in the Conference table the gap over Halifax has been cut to just three points as the Shaymen defeated Woking, who play the Bulls on Saturday, 1-0. However Exeter were held by Tamworth 1-1 and Crawley who have all sorts of off field problems saw off Dagenham 3-0.

Updated Table:

1 Accrington Stanley 36 31 81
2 Hereford 35 22 67
3 Halifax 35 13 64
4 Stevenage 36 14 60
5 York 35 18 57
6 Morecambe 35 16 57
7 Grays Athletic 33 24 56
8 Exeter 34 13 51
9 Burton Albion 35 -1 50


Conference Rewards launched

There's a new way to cut the cost of buying merchandice from Hereford United - by signing up to Conference rewards.

In essence the Conference have done a deal which means that when you shop at certain outlets you can receive Conference Rewards.

The process is simple you sign up online at www.conferencerewards.co.uk and then make your purchases through one of over 200 retailers (many high street brands including ASOS, CDWOW!, Currys, Dixons, Ebay, Expedia, Game, Halfords, HMV, JD Sports, Kitbag, Marks & Spencer, Mothercare, Play.com, Tesco and Thomas Cook), the reward points are added to your account and then you are free to redeem against a whole host of your club's products, you could get your season ticket, your shirt or many money can't buy items only available through Conference rewards.

As is usual with any promotion of this kind, one has to spend some sort of money to, for example, get a signed shirt.

One of the rewards is a years subscription to the Conference magazine. For that 2945 points are required. However to obtain this magazine you would have to send £981.66 at MFI where the reward is 3 points for every £1 spent.

Another reward is a season ticket for which one needs 58950 points. If one decided to go to Tesco Books for example one would need to spend £29475.00!

For more details visit the Football Conference Website - http://www.footballconference.co.uk/

UPDATE: It appears that the Conference Rewards site's security certificate is not currently valid. One would have thought this would have been checked before the launch.


Tough trip to Halifax for Woking

There are four Conference games this evening, several of which involve potential play-off clubs.

Dagenham & Redbridge v Crawley Town
Halifax Town v Woking
Kidderminster Harriers v Grays Athletic
Tamworth v Exeter City

Hereford United supporters will be interested to see how Woking get on at the Shay with the Bulls due to meet the Cards next weekend.

Woking went through to the final of the FA Trophy last Saturday, but they are behind with their Conference fixtures having played three less games than Hereford.


Monday, March 27, 2006

First Talking Bull then the Game

With West Brom playing this evening The Wrights came to Edgar Street early on Saturday as before the game they were selling the latest edition of Talking Bull. As ever Glynis takes up the story:

It all started because those nice folkies behind the Hereford fanzine 'Talking Bull' asked us to assist them in flogging their latest number, the first to hit the streets since the early part of the current season, apparently.

As it was our considerable expertise in that area they prized, how could we possibly refuse? Given also that the weather forecast had promised genuine spring-like temperatures, accompanied by distinctly-sunnier climes than we'd enjoyed of late, Saturday promised to be pretty good fun. Sadly, though, the promised vernal idyll just didn't materialise. How come? Not being a meteorologist by trade, I really don't know - does Hereford enjoy a microclimate radically different to the rest of the British Isles, I wonder? Whatever the reason, the upshot of it all was that by the time we arrived at the ground, slate-grey skies were once more the norm, the mercury had plunged somewhat precipitously, and just to put the metaphorical decorations on top of the iced cake, it began to rain. Not a downpour, just a slight drizzle at worst, but enough to make flogging a distinctly-damp proposition for those about to embark upon such eccentric pre-match activities.

What did amaze me, though, was the rapidity with which 'Im Indoors managed to shift his stock: I'd heard beforehand that the Bulls' persuasion were extremely fanzine-literate, but this enthusiasm for what our own board might term 'The Product' was truly astonishing. Setting up adjacent to some public toilets in close proximity to the ground - some would very unkindly say our location was highly appropriate, I suppose! - we'd originally started with around 200 of the blasted things, but within, literally, minutes of commencing flogging operations, we'd managed to shift no less than fifty copies, and that without really trying! The best bit I managed to miss, though. While hubby was busy doing his thing, I took the opportunity of 'powdering my nose' in the aforementioned ablutions, and it was while I was attending to this basic biological function I missed the arrival of some Baggies supporters badly in need of their customary Saturday afternoon 'fix' - and yes, they did recognise 'Im Indoors, and yes, they did regale him with sundry Baggies 'war cries'!

At least it made a distinct change from the 'cabaret' that greeted us the last time we flogged at that very same spot. Nothing to do with the cider-slurpers, more the sheer amount of cider slurped by the main character in this tale. If you will, cast your minds back to season 1994-95, and our League Cup fate taking us to sunny Edgar Street very early on in that campaign. A first leg at their place, and some serious GD-shifting outside beforehand, of course. Our 'audience'? A tramp, quietly sleeping off his previous alcoholic excesses on a handy bench close by. What he hadn't bargained for, though, was getting a rude awakening of the decibel-laden kind - when he's in full fig, my other half is quite capable of drowning out even the eardrum-rupturing roars of a Brigade of Guards RSM on ceremonial parade. Oh, my dears - the language, the language! Quite a knowledge of anatomy, both male and female, did that old dosser have, and very voluble he was with it, too. Coo, the things they teach 'em in those night shelters these days!

Returning rapidly to the year 2006, within the space of just 45 minutes, my beloved had flogged around 50% of his entire stock. All that, and just one solitary 'Is that the programme?' to contend with as well. Oh - and just one solitary shed-load of abuse from someone who thought it both big and clever to go in for that sort of thing. Strange lot, these country types - it really must be all that scrumpy, dead rats, iron bars, and all, I suppose. Or something. Well, if it can dissolve any or all of the aforementioned foreign bodies within a matter of hours, just what is it capable of doing to the human digestive tract, I wonder? Not to mention brain cells. Talking of 'going in', that was precisely what I'd done by that time, so I'd ended up missing the fun completely.

The game? Kiddy Harriers were the opposition, the latest incarnation of an ongoing local rivalry that has provided more angst for Bulls followers over the years than even the elegant, lovely, but obnoxious Neil Warnock would know what to do with. As their own Conference position wasn't much to write home about, what Kiddy tried to do was stop the home side playing - and boy, was it effective. All helped by the dismissal of a Hereford player for alleged retaliation - the guy had only struck out in complete frustration after being seriously impeded on the blind side of both ref and lino - and from then on in, the dismissal served to totally change the course of the entire game.

Hereford weren't helped at all by the fact that try as they might, they couldn't even hit a barn door at six paces, never mind find the back of the net. Three really juicy chances went begging - then, in the 73rd minute, disaster struck. It all started when Kiddy embarked upon a totally speculative punt from the edge of the box. Nine times out of ten the ball would have simply run for a bog-standard goal kick and be done with it, but not this time, sadly. On its way in, the ball took an almighty deflection off someone - Conference clubs not being in the habit of providing instant TV replays for their punters, I really haven't got a clue as to the identity of the culprit, should you wish to call him that - so one moment there was the sight of a Bulls keeper, in complete control of the situation, diving to his right, the next, the distinctly-depressing one of the ball going over the line in a completely opposite direction to the one originally anticipated! Not in the script, that - oh, whoops!

The reaction of the Kiddy support to that unlikely breakthrough was quite astonishing. Prior to their flukey strike, we hadn't heard a solitary peep from them, not a squeak, even. Were all their followers secret members of a Trappist Order? That was what we'd idly speculated, much earlier in the game. Come the goal, and they suddenly rediscovered their latent lungpower - and, unsurprisingly, didn't shut up for the remainder of the game after that.


Crawley Owners Pull Official Website

Crawley's owners have ordered their official website offline after falling out with the webmaster.

The webmaster, who also controlled the ctfc.net fans forum and was part of the steering committee to form a Supporters Trust, was accused by the Majeed brothers on Saturday of organising a campaign against them when they were approached over the idea of a Supporters Trust. The conversation ended with Azwar Majeed, currently on trial for assault, telling him to "F*** off you mug".

He was told by a text message from Ben Taylor, Assistant General Manager, to 'stick your site', and that his free season ticket - the only reward he received for running the site free of charge - was being revoked.

UPDATE - An partially finished offical site has now been set up in its place.


LDV Money Still In Doubt

The prize fund for the LDV Vans Trophy remains in doubt after the Football League confirmed that the sponsors name would not be used for the final.

The trophy final between Swansea and Carlisle will be billed as the Football League Trophy unless a last-minutes sponsor can be found for this weekend's final, and no decision has yet to be made regarding the prize fund.

Swansea Chairman Huw Jenkins told BBC Wales: "Unless a last-minute sponsor comes in for the actual game on the day, we have to accept we're going to struggle to get any prize money from it. The players are on bouses to get through to the final, and those bonuses are based on prize money so this does hit our earning power on the day. But we have a commitment to honour the bonus contracts so obviosuly we'll do that."

Football League chiefs have stated that the prize fund is "under review".


HUISA Player of the Year Evening

Once again HUISA (Hereford United Independent Supporters Association) will be holding a Player of the Year evening.

This will take place at Saxtys Wine Bar in Hereford on Saturday April 22nd after the last home league game which is against Southport.

Tickets which include a buffet and a disco are priced at £10 and are available from HUISA Committee Members.

Unfortunatly, according to HUISA, any supporter under 16 can only stay at Saxtys until 10.30pm.

HUISA members have been sent forms to vote for their player of the year. They should to be returned by April 15th.

Meanwhile HUISA members are now running the 50/50 draw at home games. They are also promoting a Spring Draw with a first prize of a LCD Flat Screen TV.


Hereford United AGM this evening

The Hereford United Annual General Meeting takes place this evening.

The main business, as ever in an AGM, is to receive the report of the directors and accounts for the year ended last May. The club acheived a profit of £291,880 as reported on Bulls News last week.

Few details of the accounts have yet been revealed to supporters other than those who are shareholders.

For the second season running turnover was over £1M at £1,119,068 However operating profit was down to £176,775.

Turnover includes, amidst other receipts, gate revenue, season ticket sales, sponsorship, transfer fees and club shop sales.

The net figure for gate revenue was £14,000 lower than the previous year. This drop is not surprising as the average attendance in the season was 3068, down from the previous season. However in those figures it is interesting to note that season tickets sales rose from £70,367 to £125,229. Another improvement was in the club shop sales which rose from £40,271 to £66,709.

On the expense side there were much lower bank charges and other interest costs, just £2436 as opposed to £21,126. Otherwise expenses were much in line with the previous season.

Staff costs, including directors pay, rose to £615,202 from £543,780. However the figures incuded, on average through the year, one extra player.

One figure (£50,210 from £36,828) which is well up is the income from advertising boards around the ground.


Preview: Woking vs Bulls

The Bulls travel to Woking looking to end The Cards' play-off hopes.

Twelve points off the play-off zone, Woking hold up to three games in hand on their promotion rivals as a successful FA Trophy campaign saw them into the final after Saturday's win over Boreham Wood and, while the Bulls have the midweek off, Woking travel to Halifax on Tuesday for a rearranged Conference fixture.

The Bulls will look for a quick remedy to the woes of a derby loss to Kidderminster in which they failed to record a shot on goal. The loss of a sixteen match unbeaten run in such a poor performance should hurt the players, with fans looking for an immediate reaction.

Woking have secured just one point from nine after losing a six match unbeaten run in the league, and will surrender any hope of the play-offs if more points are conceded. The Bulls have taken at least a point from each of their last three trips to Kingfield, and a Rob Purdie brace helped The Bulls beat a disjointed Woking 4-0 at Edgar Street in November.


Ferrell Ban Confirmed

The FA have confirmed that Andy Ferrell will miss three matches for his dismissal on Saturday.

Ferrell will miss the trips to Woking and Morecambe, and the home match with Dagenham. Jamie Pitman is likely to step back into the side after injury, and will get invaluable match practice on Wednesday with a reserve friendly arranged against Cardiff.


Howarth Praises Kiddy Win

Kiddy assistant boss Neil Howarth was full of praise for his side after Saturday's derby win, telling the official Kiddy website:

"It was great to come out today and see so many of our supporters there. We had a decent crowd at home last week too, but didn't put in a performance anywhere near to what they deserved.
"So I'm pleased for our fans today. I'm glad so many were able to watch it - it was the very least the players could have done for them after last week really.
"Everyone at the club was so hurt, so angry after the Aldershot game. We wanted to do something about it today and I think we came up with the perfect response. It's a great feeling."


Pair Leave Aldershot

Two players have left Aldershot as they rebuild for next season.

Roscoe D'Sane, who has struggled for fitness for over 18 months and last appeared in their first team in October 2004, has joined Wealdstone. He averaged a goal every other game for the Shots, but has stuggled with damage to both knees.

Veteran defender Greg Heald has also left, to prepare for life outside of football. Heald, 34, played 31 times for Aldershot including Saturday's defeat to Scarboro, but quit the club soon after to concentrate on his studies.


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Trouble At York

Several people were arrested yesterday after a string of incidents in York city centre after Accrington's win over York.

Conflicting reports currently surround events, but Burnley 'fans' are believed to have targeted York supporters. Police are now likely to step up coverage of York's remaining home games, and Bulls supporters can expect a heavy Police presence for their trip to York.


U 18's defeated at Yeovil

Hereford United's under 18 team were defeated 4-1 by Yeovil Town yesterday.

According to Ciderspace, the Bulls played well for the first sixty minutes of the game before Yeovil "found top gear."

Yeovil scored all five goals. However the scores were level at half-time. Yeovil went ahead but then conceded an own goal when a defender attempted a last ditch sliding tackle off a Hereford forward and succeeded only in lobbing into his own goal.

In the second half Yeovil soon took control.

The defeat leaves the Hereford youth team rooted at the bottom of their league.


Chester could be back in the Conference

Just two years after leaving the Conference for Division Two, Chester City could be on their way back.

This lunchtime, Wrexham defeated Chester 2-1 at the Racecourse, the first time the Welsh team had beaten their local rivals for sometime.

The result leaves Chester at the bottom of League Two.

Two seasons ago Hereford United were pipped for the Conference title by Chester. The Bulls defeated Chester 2-1 at Edgar Street on the last day of the season in front of a crowd of 7240. Chester finished the season just one point ahead of the Bulls.

But by the end of this season positions may be reversed with Chester looking likely candidates for the drop and Hereford United expected to be in the Conference Play-offs with the opportunity that brings them to gain promotion.

One player in particular may be pleased to see the sides change places. Wayne Brown, currently on a season's loan at Hereford United, is on contract at Chester until the end of next season but appears to have fallen out with the chairman Stephen Vaughan, and is unlikely to return.

Chester's rule that Brown couldn't play in any cup game hasn't helped the situation although Brown can feature in the play-offs.

On joining the Bulls Graham Turner told the Hereford Times:

"Although, in theory, Chester could recall him during the season as he is on loan, given his current relationship with them that is very unlikely."

Recently Mark Wright rejoined Chester City as their manager.


Saturday, March 25, 2006

Parry still looks out for Hereford

Paul Parry, currently on the side-lines at Cardiff City, still looks out for Hereford United's results.

The ex-Bulls winger has given an interview to the South Wales Echo mainly about his recent injury problems but he also revealed that he still watches the progress of his former club.

"I keep a lookout for their results. They have gone so close over recent seasons and just missed out.

"Surely it's their turn now. They deserve to go up."

As regards his current injury Parry said he remembered how it occurred in a game against Southampton during December.

"I remember the tackle, but it didn't feel too bad and certainly not a long-term injury.

"There were 10 or 15 minutes left when I was injured, but I was having a good game and wanted to stay on.

"I knew my knee wasn't right, but I trained on the Sunday and still felt I might be okay.

"The staff were telling me I wouldn't be able to play, but I travelled to Reading and had my fitness test.

"But as soon as I tried to kick the ball I knew I couldn't do it.

"Then I had a scan and it came as a shock that it was a long-term injury. I didn't need an operation, but it has taken time to heal and I've had a frustrating time since."

Parry has one year remaining on his contract at Cardiff City.


Ferrell apologies for sending-off

To his credit, Andy Ferrell was brave enough to speak to BBC Hereford and Worcester after this afternoon's game and apologise for being sent-off.

The Hereford United mid-fielder looked to react after a strong challenge by a Kidderminster player and was shown a straight red card. He will miss the next three games.

"The ref said I badly reacted which is fair enough.

"All I can do is apologise to my team-mates, the staff and the fans.

"I was just about to play the ball and he caught me, I've got a gash down my leg. I just reacted straight away.

"The ball was there, he was obstructing the ball in between his legs and I was kicking the ball but the referee and the linesman said I was kicking the man.

"Unfortunately for me I'm going to miss three very important games. The way the boys have been playing, whoever comes in and takes my place, they might stay there for the rest of the season.

"It's our first defeat in 17 games. We didn't play very well today. It's not the end of the world, we're still in the play-offs."

Top of the Conference:

1 Accrington Stanley 36 31 81
2 Hereford 35 22 67
3 Halifax 34 12 61
4 Stevenage 36 14 60
5 York 35 18 57
6 Morecambe 35 16 57
7 Grays Athletic 32 19 53
8 Exeter 33 13 50

Potential Points Table:
Accrington 99
Hereford 88
Hailfax 85
Grays 83
Stevenage 78
York 78
Morecambe 78
Exeter 77

At present Hereford United still need to win four of their last seven games to be certain of qualifying for the Play-offs.


Conference Results Round-Up

With the Bulls faltering Accrington extended their lead to 14 points, twice coming from behind to beat York 4-2. Stevenage pulled their form back into shape, beating Gravesend 2-0. Morecambe beat Canvey by a single goal to pull back within three points of the play-offs. Burton beat Altrincham 2-1 to move back within seven points of the play-offs - with Altrincham having six booked.

The bottom two now, Tamworth and Soutport, played out a goalless draw to put the pair in the relegation places. Scarboro moved out of the drop zone with a 1-0 win over a stuttering Aldershot. Forest Green are also firmly back in trouble. Their 3-0 home defeat to Dagenham leaves them safe by only goal difference, collecting just two draws in the last seven games to slide down the table. Crawley beat Cambridge by a single goal to move four points clear of relegation.

The Bulls remain second, 10 points inside the play-off zone. On paper, the Bulls need four more wins to guarantee a play-off spot.


Derby Defeat

On a day when everything could have gone so well for Hereford United, it all went so badly. There were, undoubtedly, a couple of crucial points in the game where the balance was tipped towards the visitors, Kidderminster Harriers, firstly when Andy Ferrell was sent off and later on when Kiddy scored the only goal of the game, moments after Andy Williams had squandered a glorious chance to break the deadlock.

United, who had Daryl Taylor and Ryan Green back in the starting eleven, with Adam Stansfield returning on the bench, started on the back foot and Tony James had to be aware to head a looping header off the line early on. Harriers continued to press forwards and it was Gareth Sheldon who forced Wayne Brown into a low save after a long free kick had fallen at his feet. Moments later Sheldon turned provider with a low cross from the right, but nobody met it as it slid across the goal face.

Stuart Fleetwood had United's first effort, and perhaps should have done better with it. Rob Purdie broke from inside the Hereford half before finding Williams. Williams played the ball onto his strike partner Fleetwood, who past his marker Jon Newby, before placing the ball just wide of the far post when he had just 'keeper John Danby to beat. Johnny Mullins was next to threaten for the visitors; his header from a free kick forced Brown into a wonderful save before Tamika Mkandawire almost netted at the other end, also after a free kick. Alex Jeannin crossed and the skipper stormed in at the near post only to see his bullet header fly inches wide of the near post.

Immediately, at the other end, Kiddy had another good chance, in what was an entertaining first half, when Paul Smith nutmegged Jeannin on his way through to goal, but drilled wide of the far post from the edge of the box. Then, when things seemed to be going well for United, with news (at this point in the game) of Accrington Stanley losing at York City, Ferrell was dismissed after reacting angrily to a nasty challenge from Terry Fleming, which left Ferrell with a gashed leg. Ferrell was straight back up after the initial foul scrapping for the ball at Flemings feet, but the referee judged Ferrell to have aimed a stamp at Fleming. Ferrell received his marching orders while Fleming was booked, with ten minutes of the half remaining.

Johnny Harkness was then booked soon after, as he felled Daryl Taylor who'd beaten him for pace yet again before Luke Reynolds shot into the arms of Brown before the half time whistle was blown.

The game became scrappy after the restart and chances were few and far between. Daryl Burgess should have done better when he headed over a corner from a central position, but it took The Bulls around twenty minutes of the half to even get a shot away, as Jeannin blasted over a free kick from twenty five yards. Fleetwood, now playing on the left wing following Ferrell's red card, was replaced by Stansfield while Mark Yates, the Kiddy boss, withdrew Reynolds and sent on Lee Thompson. Stansfield almost made a difference with one of his first touches as he flicked a long ball from Jeannin onto Williams, who found himself free in the box, through on goal, with just Danby to beat. However, he couldn't compose himself and shot inches wide of the far post.

It was looking as though United wouldn't ever score, and matters were made worse as a moment later the deadlock was broken, in the seventy second minute. Michael Blackwood stormed down the middle of the park and found himself in some space thirty yards out. He cracked in a low shot that took a wicked deflection off Mkandawire, which totally wrong-footed Brown, and flew into the opposite corner that Brown had moved towards.

United didn't have a response to the goal, though they threw Jamie Pitman on to try and help the midfield, as Taylor was replaced. Reynolds forced Brown into another save, with a shot on the turn from the edge of the box, while Hereford's only chance of an equaliser came in injury time, when Pitman crossed to the near post for Williams, but his header was well over the bar.

News had already reached Edgar Street that Accy were 4-2 up at York by the full time whistle, leaving the Hereford fans in a crowd of 4,223, very dejected, while Kiddy fans (all 398 of them) were delirious at a rare win for their side, especially as it pretty much ends any slim title hopes that Bulls fans may have held before the game.

It's back to the drawing board for Hereford, as they put in a third successive poor performance. Maybe Dean Beckwith will return to the side, having missed the past three games, firstly through suspension and then as he couldn't regain his place - quite surprising as he has formed a very good partnership with Mkandawire.

HUFC: Brown, Green, James, Mkandawire, Jeannin, Purdie, Stanley, Ferrell, Taylor, Williams, Fleetwood. Subs: Beckwith, Mawson, Pitman, Nicolau, Stansfield.

KHFC: Danby, Harkness, Burgess, Newby, Mullins, Rea, Penn, Fleming, Blackwood, Sheldon, Reynolds. Subs: Lewis, Hurren, Sedgemore, Thompson, Russell.


Kiddy Stun Faltering Bulls

The Bulls lost today's derby match 1-0 - and deserved what they got.

Andy Ferrell was sent off for aiming a kick at a prone opponent, and a deflected Michael Blackwood goal was enough to end the Bulls 16 match unbeaten run with the Bulls rarely testing the Kiddy keeper.

Full report later.


Talking Bull is out

The latest edition of Talking Bull has reached the bookstalls and will be on sale at Edgar Street this afternoon.

Included in the issue is: An interview with former Bull Tom Smith, a look at the pro and cons of signing Lee Hughes when his jail spell is over, the controversial thoughts of New Meadowender, the start of a new series of Obscure Football Claims to Fame and the long running series of "It was Ten years ago".

Talking Bull costs just £1.


Good Attendance expected this afternoon

Hereford United are expecting a good turnout of supporters this afternoon for the match against Kidderminster Harriers.

Two weeks ago when Accrington Stanley were the visitors, there were long queues at some turnstiles and a few supporters missed the start of the game. So it may be prudent to arrive a little earlier than usual at Edgar Street.

Meanwhile for those unable to watch the match, BBC Hereford and Worcester will have two reporters at the game and a third using a camera.

Keith Hall and Peter MacMillan will share the commentary duties while Jerry Chester will be filming before and after the game for H&W Television.

Coverage of the game will start with the build up from 2.05pm on the Saturday Sports programme and there will be commentary on the whole game starting at 3.00pm on all frequencies and also on the internet (go to BBC Hereford and Worcester's website and click on the listen live button).


Friday, March 24, 2006

Bagnall moves to Grimsby on trial

Grimsby Town boss Russell Slade has taken a Birmingham City goalkeeper on trial.

Andy Bagnall is a second-year scholar at Birmingham's academy and he has said he is looking to move to a league side for a better chance at first team action.

The Brum Academy U-18 regular spent a month at Hereford United earlier this season and is described as 'a good shot-stopper'. He was on the bench for the Bulls at Bognor Regis for the FA Trophy game.

Slade will take a look at the youngster over the next couple of weeks and is likely to play against Hull City Reserves on Monday week.


More stable footing to go up now says Turner

Graham Turner has told BBC Hereford and Worcester that Hereford United are in a much stronger position now than when they were relegated to the Conference.

"There are not too many sides who bounce straight back and I think the couple who have done over recent seasons have been a bit fortunate.

"Certainly Shrewsbury were very fortunate to have gone straight back. We were miles the better side than them throughout the season. We should have gone up that season. But that's all gone.

"Carlisle were not in contention for winning it and went up through the play-offs. How well they've done in the Second Division.

"It is not easy to come down and then bounce straight back up, that's obvious. Kidderminster and Cambridge, the two relegated sides from last season, both in financial difficulties, both need to stabilise the club and get the finances sorted out.

"It's taken us a long time to do and we pleased we have got the club on a more stable footing now.

"And when we go up - the lessons should have been learnt about the over-spending from years gone-by in the League - we got to make sure that we go up a lot stronger than when we came down.

"And that's happening at the moment."


Brown Cleared For Play-Offs

Wayne Brown has been given permission to play in the play-offs by Chester City.

Speaking to Jon Wells, Graham Turner confirmed that Chester had given permission for Brown to play in the end of season games. They had refused him permission to play in any Cup matches for the Bulls this season.

Turner also spoke about new signing Harry Donaghy. The 19 year old Portsmouth player had been recommended to Turner and was being released by Pompey in the summer, giving Turner time to evaluate the player for a permanent contract.

The full interview can be listened to on the offical site.


Brady happy at Cambridge

Jon Brady has told the Cambridge Evening News that he is vying for a new contract at Cambridge United.

The Australian left Hereford United a couple of months ago on a free transfer but feels he hasn't yet been allowed to show his true potential.

"Especially in the last three weeks, I've been asked to be more defensive, and it's probably the same for Courtney (Pitt, on the opposite side), but you've got to do your job for the team.

"It has been frustrating for myself and Courtney as we've felt like we've had to hold back.

"But we're not getting the ball higher up the pitch where we can attack a full-back and take them on.

"I think if we did get the ball in those positions, the quality of myself and Courtney would show through."

Brady reminded the paper that he could have played rugby league in his homeland of New South Wales but opted for the round ball. He was picked for the Australia under-17 team when just 15 and was spotted whilst touring in England.

"Brentford wanted to take me on, but I had to go back and finish my schooling and I came back to England when I was 17," said Brady.

Amidst the clubs he played for were Barnet, Swansea, Mjolner in Norway, then Hayes. He moved to Rushden & Diamonds in 1998 and helped them to the Conference title in 2001.

After a season in League football, he moved on to Woking and Chester before spending last term at Stevenage.

Last summer he moved to Edgar Street but the constant trek from his home in Northamptonshire became too much.

"I was doing a five-hour round trip every day and it was more about getting my life back because it wasn't healthy doing so much travelling.

"I'm really enjoying it here at Cambridge and I'm hoping that I can still be here next season.

"People are playing for their futures, but if you're a winner, hopefully the gaffer and Spearo (assistant manager Tony Spearing) will see that and the fans as well. My attitude is to do the best I can and win at all costs. I think most players should feel the same."


Team News: Bulls vs Kidderminster

The Bulls hope to welcome back several faces. Ryan Green should be back in contention after missing the trip to Burton last week, and Simon Travis will also be available after three weeks out. Dean Beckwith will challenge Tony James for his place in the side, and Matthew Halliday is also available after missing last week's trip to play in a Norwich Academy side.

Up front, Adam Stansfield and Guy Ipoua are both back in training but are unlikely to be risked.

In midfield, mystery surrounds the status of Stacy Coldicott. Coldicott was not mentioned in the Official Site injury report, but is yet to reappear in a Bulls shirt since returning from loan and has been the subject of conflicting reports from the management as to his availability. Jamie Pitman is fit and may start, and Daryl Taylor is back from suspension and is likely to replace Robbie King.

Kidderminster will feature new loan signings Simon Rea and Jon Newby, who is likely to partner Luke Reynolds up front and allow Gareth Sheldon to move back into midfield. Wayne Graves and Paul Smith remain sidelined but Jake Sedgemore, who had a brief spell at Edgar Street in 2001, may return after missing two weeks.


Yates looking for improvement

Mark Yates is looking for an improvement from his side tomorrow after their poor performance against Aldershot last weekend.

The Kidderminster manager has been talking to his Official Website.

I'm looking for a reaction from the players after what went on last Saturday, that's fair to say," said Yates. "I want an improvement; things certainly weren't good enough against Aldershot.

"I've brought a couple of new faces in to freshen things up and we'll be looking to see what they can do.

"Hereford are clearly a very strong side who are on a great run of form. But we can't allow ourselves to be too worried by that.

"We've still got to go there with the right attitude; our aim is still to pick up three points."


Turner talks about the Kiddy game

Graham Turner has told BBC Hereford and Worcester his feelings about the Kidderminster game tomorrow.

"I think Kidderminster will be a particularly hard game; the fact that it's a local derby just adds that little bit of spice to it.

"I don't think in any way, shape or form that their 4-1 defeat last week will help us.

"Following that disappointment, I'm sure Mark Yates will have worked the players hard through the week, possibly on defending; coming here with the intention of keeping things tight."

Turner has once again spoken of his hope that Accrington can still slip-up.

"They've not failed to score all season and, on Tuesday evening, they failed to score and lost the game against a side that was bottom of the table.

"They go to York this weekend, which will not be an easy fixture; York are the form side in the Conference.

"I don't think in any way, shape or form that their 4-1 defeat last week will help us.

"What we've got to do is to ensure we take all three points from our game against Kidderminster, and then we can sit in the dressing room and wait for the Accrington result to come in."


York Down To 16 Professionals

York City have just 16 full time professionals on their books, according to the This Is York site.

A whopping 13 players have departed the Minstermen since Christmas with only one joining on a permanent basis, leaving York with possibly the smallest squad in the Conference. A couple of loan signing bolster the squad, but it is painfully thin for a play-off challenging side.

York remain under severe financial pressure, with payments on a loan from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund already late.


Talking Bull Out Tomorrow

Talking Bull will have it's 91st issue on sale at tomorrow's derby match with Kidderminster.

It will be on sale at the corner of the Meadow End and Merton Stand before the match tomorrow, and inside the ground at half time. The price is still £1.


Another youngster at Edgar Street

Youngster Harry Donaghy has joined Hereford United from Portsmouth.

According to the Official Hereford United Website:

Hereford United made a late signing before the loan deadline yesterday.
19 year old Harry Donaghy from Portsmouth has joined United on work experience terms. Harry is a left sided player that can play at left back and left midfield.


Harriers Fans Expect Thrashing

Surrendering faster than a man wearing a beret, Kidderminster fans are already expecting little joy from tomorrows game.

One preview, posted on the Harriers Online site, describes tomorrow's fixture as "one we've all been dreading", later adding that they expected "less than half" the 1,000 Harriers fans that made their last trip to Edgar Street.

If you'd like to pop on a Leonard Cohen record, and get the valium ready, the full preview can be seen here: http://www.harriers-online.co.uk/season05-06/previews05-06/pre_here24-3-06.shtml


Thursday, March 23, 2006

More from the Hereford United accounts

Further to the article this morning on Bulls News in which the latest good figures from Hereford United were reported, below is a little background to the figures.

In the latest accounts just released there is a short review from the directors.

"The Board of Directors are pleased that the company has shown a significant profit for 2004/2005. The good financial results reflect a successful season on the pitch; it is obviously to everyone's regret that promotion was not acheived.

"The financial situation of the company is now better than it has been for a number of years. We hope that this is a base from which we can build further success in the future.

"It is now clear that in the long term the Club will continue to play at Edgar Street and that the ground will be developed and refurbished in partnership with Developers."


As regards the surplus arising from the settlement of the CVA, the accounts says:

On 28 January 2005 the Notice of Completion of the Voluntary Arrangement was signed by the supervisor. The Company no longer has any liability to the Creditors Voluntary Arrangement (CVA). The surplus of debts written off from the statement of the CVA is £110,074.

Although the club's debt is stated as £1,237,579 which is little different to the previous year, the club's assets have increased to £414,907 from just £132,246.

As regards directors emoluments, once again these are very reasonable for a club of the size of Hereford United. The total amount paid to directors was just £60,800, which includes a pension contribution. This was slightly less than the preceeding year.

The last two years accounts are probably the best results ever for Hereford United. A total profit of £584,042 has transformed the balance sheet of the club. Although both sets of accounts have contained money from transfers and the latest set the CVA surplus, even after stripping these amounts out the club has traded profitably.

Although the current year doesn't finish until the end of May, it looks as though the club is likely to balance the books for the third year running.

No other Conference club has returned such good figures recently.


Maybe a chink of light for Hereford

In his pre-match interview with BBC Hereford and Worcester, Graham Turner, has said that he wants the Bulls to make the most of the fact that Accrington haven't won in their last three games.

"It just adds a little bit of interest to it all now again.

"Although everybody is assuming that Accrington are cut and dried as champoins, maybe there is just a chick of light there for us to go after."

Graham Turner has also spoken to the Hereford Times about the top of the Conference.

"There is just a little chink of hope for us now. It's a long shot but it proves that everything is not over just yet.

"The indications are that, with another sending off (for Accrington), their fourth in four games, and after events in the game here, that nerves are beginning to set in a little.

"I thought that Southport were a game side when they played us last week but I didn't think they would beat Accrington."

Meanwhile the Conference transfer deadline has passed. As at late this afternoon there hadn't been any news of any activity at Edgar Street.

Finally the referee on Saturday will be Mr C D Sarginson.


Kiddy Sign Pair Ahead Of Derby

Kidderminster Harriers have signed striker Jon Newby from League Two strugglers Bury for a month and have added former Peterboro defender Simon Rea, also on loan.

Newby, a former Liverpool trainee, originally cost Bury £100,000 when they took him from Liverpool in 2001, but he failed to live up to expectations and has scored just 29 goals in over 200 appearances for six teams, leaving Bury on a free transfer for Huddersfield but returning after just a season in which he failed to score a first team goal.

This season has been an injury nightmare for the player, racking up just 60 minutes of first team action in the last five months.

Rea, who left Peterboro in the summer, has recently been playing for Nuneaton but has also struggled with injury this season. He racked up 150 games for Peterboro in six years, but has missed most of the last two months for Nuneaton.


Burton Make Shock Swoop For Clare

Burton Albion have announced the deadline day signing of Daryl Clare.

Clare joins on a contract until the end of next season, signalling Burton's intention to put the windfall of their FA Cup run to good use by mounting a serious challenge for the Football League next season.

Clare scored against Burton for Crawley earlier in the season, and will likely face his former side on April 8th when Burton travel to Crawley. Clare is unlikely to get a good reception from Crawley fans.

Meanwhile, Barnet have covered the loss of Giuliano Grazioli by signing Paul Warhurst. Warhurst, 36, has had nine clubs since leaving Bolton in 2003 including Forest Green, and most recently declined a trial at Altrincham.

Other transfers:

Aldershot: In - Ryan Crockford (Reading, Work Exp), Mazin Ahmad (Kingstonian, free)

Altrincham: In - Mark Smyth (Vauxhall Motors, free)

Burton: Out - Dale Anderson (Moor Green, loan)

Cambridge: In - Ayden Duffy (Lincoln, Work Exp)

Forest Green: In - Liam Coleman (Torquay, loan)

Gravesend: In - Peter Hawkins (ex-Rushden, free)

Grays: Out - Tony Battersby (AFC Wimbledon, free)

Morecambe: In - Fraser McLauchlan (Mansfield, loan)

Southport: In - Mark Jackson (Preston, loan), Kyle Armstrong (free)

Tamworth: Out - Scott Stamps (Chester, loan)


Hereford United make another profit

Hereford United have made a profit of £291,880 for the year to May 31st 2005, last season, but the profit includes a one-off contribution of £110,074 arising from the settlement of the CVA.

In essence the club's profit is £181,806, an excellent result following the previous years' profit of £292,162.

Over the last two seasons Graham Turner and his fellow directors have guided the club from a £1.4 million debt situation to a current deficit of £822,672.

The profit includes some transfer fees of £89,375 which will relate to the sales of Paul Parry to Cardiff City and of Gavin Williams from Yeovil to West Ham.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Barnet Suffer Blow In Relegation Fight

Barnet have suffered a massive blow in their fight against relegation from League Two.

Top scorer Giuliano Grazioli has broken his right hand and is now likely to miss the entire relegation run-in. Barnet are just one point above the relegation zone.

Chester, currently bottom, have completed the loan deal for Exeter striker Jake Edwards. Edwards had a successful spell at Tamworth at the end of 2005 scoring 7 in 12 games, but has scored just one goal in 14 appearances for Exeter this season.

Two more Conference winners are also at the wrong end of League Two. Rushden occupy the other relegation spot with just one more point that Chester, and Macclesfield are just four points off the drop zone.


The last time at Edgar Street

With the local derby game between Hereford United and Kidderminster Harriers taking place on Saturday, a look in the archives reveals that it was December 27th 1999 when the two club last met in a Conference game at Edgar Street.

Below is the report on that game from HU-FC.co.uk. It is interesting to note how many of the Hereford United squad are still playing football and just how large the support for Kidderminster was on the day.

Monday 27th December - Hereford United vs Kidderminster Harriers (1pm)

SCORE - Hereford United 1 - 1 Kidderminster Harriers

Nationwide Conference League Match

The first league match between these two sides in the Christmas period was exactly as expected - a hard fought encounter with little between them. Over a thousand Harriers supporters travelled to Edgar Street, and many of them did a spot of bargain-hunting in town before kickoff.

Hereford United lined up with a full strength side after their narrow defeat to Leicester in the FA Cup tie ten days ago. United had slipped to 12th place after their defeat at Scarborough last weekend, and Kidderminster had risen to fourth. A win would have put them top (because of the early kick-off time).

Paul Fewings opened the scoring on six minutes. Tim Clarke dropped the ball at the near post, but Hereford United's star striker was on hand to knock the ball into the back of the net. The former Scunthorpe United goalkeeper didn't have a very good match, with Fewings charging down some of his clearances, one just going wide of the post.

United continued to pressurise the Kidderminster defence throughout the first period. Adie Smith played well snubbing out any decent United attacks, but Kidderminster couldn't get the momentum going. Ian Wright was booked on 26 minutes for a foul, but five minutes previously Tony James was brought off injured after a seemingly unfortunate challenge. He was replaced by James Wall in the centre of defence.

The second half started and Kidderminster came back into the match. Paul Fewings was looking increasingly frustrated by the Kidderminster defence and was booked for a foul after just six minutes. He was also spoken to by the referee in the first half to calm down. Two minutes later came another yellow card, this time to Dean Bennett for another foul. Kidderminster, however, were starting to look like the better side. The referee, Mr Tanner from Bristol, awarded a series free kicks and corners as United fought back but Kidderminster broke and were unlucky not to have a shot when Gavin Williams zoomed back to make the challenge. Paul Parry, usually so influential, didn't get into the match as he would have liked, despite being in acres of space at times. He was brought off midway through the half and replaced by veteran Ian Rodgerson.

Kidderminster started to improve in attacking positions with Stewart Hadley and former United attacker Ian Foster linking well. It was Hadley who eventually opened his sides account with a well taken effort twenty minutes from time. Jones palmed away a shot, but it rebounded off the post for Hadley to bury from three yards. United knew that Kidderminster could now go for the winner. The disappointing Foster was removed for Mark Druce, a £10,000 signing from United last year. He was greeted with a hostile atmosphere from the Edgar Street faithful, but didn't get a decent effort to score the winner. Paul Fewings was then awarded a penalty for a bad challenge, much to the anger of the Kidderminster team. After consulting with his assistant, the penalty was give, but Clarke saved with his legs.

Paul Fewings was removed with six minutes to go, as the crowd greeted the substitute with the cry "Le-roy, Le-roy!". Leroy May came on, but couldn't make the required impact. His first touch was right in front of goal, but his overhead kick flew just over Tim Clarke's cross-bar. A fair result, and all eyes will be on Aggborough next Monday for the second leg of this league fixture.

Attendance = 4,437

Man of the match - Adie Smith (Kidderminster)

Hereford - Jones, Sturgess, Lane, James, Wright, Snape, Williams, Taylor, Fewings, Elmes, Parry

Sub(s) who came on - May, Rodgerson, Wall


Of the Hereford players mentioned here is the latest we know about them:

Mark Jones: Moved onto Merthyr, Newtown, Ludlow and Bridgenorth, beleived retired.
Paul Sturgess: Stevenage then Gravesend, beleived retired.
Chris Lane: Currently with Southport and played against the Bulls last week.
Tony James: The only survivor from that game still at Edgar Street.
Ian Wright: Moved to Burton, then 'retired', now at Hednesford.
John Snape: Went to Worcester, then at Moor Green, now with Bromsgrove.
Gavin Williams: Transferred to Yeovil, then West Ham and now at Ipswich.
Mark Taylor: Moved to Nuneaton, then Halesowen, now with Redditch.
Paul Fewings: Moved to Boston then Kettering and onto Chesham.
Rob Elmes: Joined Halesowen then Moor Green, beleived retired.
Paul Parry: Transferred to Cardiff City.
Leroy May: Moved to Halesowen then Evesham and onto Ciderford, belived retired.
Ian Rodgerson: Moved to Pegasus Juniors then Westfields.
James Wall: Played football in the USA after a spell at Burton, probably retired.


Chas Majeed 'Quits' Crawley

Chas Majeed, who has claimed to be Chairman of Crawley, has 'stepped down' from the post - despite claiming to never have been Chairman in the first place.

The Crawley Observer reports that, following pressure from the FA, Majeed formally declared his non-involvement in the running of the club. The Observer is the club's main sponsor and it's rival, The Argus, had instigated the investigation that has led to Majeed's claimed departure.

Majeed, who is a current bankrupt, is not allowed to be involved in the running of a club - and denied involvement despite being listed as Chairman in club programmes.

Meanwhile, fans are set to demonstrate against the Majeeds on Saturday, with a red card campaign organised by the ctfc.net forum users.


Full Match Commentary On H+W

There will be full match commentary on BBC Hereford and Worcester this Saturday for the derby match with Kidderminster Harriers.

The commentary will be carried on all their frequencies and on their internet feed.


Coleman Confident Squad Will Succeed

Accrington manager John Coleman told the BBC that he was still confident his side would wrap up promotion to the Football League, despite their defeat at Southport:

"Maybe this will shut up some people who say we have won the league. No-one in the club is saying it but everyone else has, so we'll get on with the job and won't talk to anyone else."

"We just have to knuckle down and hope Hereford drop a couple of points to give us a lift. I am confident in my squad and confident in my ability to motivate the players."

Accrington haven't won since Coleman demanded six wins from his side's last ten games and have seen their hopes of getting the all-time record for most consecutive wins disappear - recording their worst run of results since August. They are also beginning to lose sight on Yeovil's record total of 95 points.


Kiddy Bus "Almost Full"

Kidderminster's official site reports that their supporters coach is almost full, with no plans to lay on an additional coach.

Meanwhile, the club have released Junior Osborne. The young defender was on work experience from Watford and was one of the defence that was repeatedly exposed on Saturday by Aldershot, but played just three times for the club in total after joining in January.

Meanwhile, Aldershot manager Terry Brown has commented on Saturday's win at Kidderminster: "It was probably the strangest team talk I've ever had to give, I can't remember being 4-0 up away from home anywhere! It was nice for the fans behind the goal to see the goals go in their end, I can't often remember them singing 'we want five', away from home!"


Double wammy for Stanley

Firstly it was Billy the Bull who alledgedly lost his kit, which had been paid for by Hereford United supporters, now it's Stan the Monkey who has been disowned by Accrington Stanley after his recent appearance in court. The revelation follows Stanley's defeat by Southport last night.

Stan the Monkey, (Accrington Stanley mascot Alan Smith) was branded a "pest" by a judge when he appeared in court on an indecency charge.

Smith, 51, admitted sexual activity with a girl under 16 in February last year.

As this is a family news site we will not publish any more details of the case, other than that Smith, of Carter Street, Accrington, was sentenced to six months imprisonment but as he had already been in custody for five-and-a-half months awaiting trial, he was immediately released. He was placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for seven years.

Accrington Stanley Chief Executive Rob Heys said after the case: "Alan Smith will never be our mascot again and he will not carry out any club duties.

"As a club, we are extremely disappointed to have been dragged into all this."

Smith made his debut as matchday mascot Stan the Monkey at a home game against Scarborough in August 2003.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Sour night for the Milkmen

Southport have defeated Accrington Stanley 2-0 this evening at the Haig Avenue in the Conference this evening. Daly scored both the goals for 'Port, the first on 14 minutes and the second on 61 minutes.

Southport are the first Conference side this season to keep a clean sheet against Accrington and it was the Milkmen's first defeat in twenty games.

The result means that the gap between Stanley and Hereford United at the top of the Conference stays at 11 points but the Bulls have one game in-hand.

Stanley went down to ten men as Robbie Williams was sent off for a professional foul on 43 minutes, but 'Port failed with the resulting penalty.

Stanley also missed a penalty late in the game.

Only around 200 Stanley fans are said to have made the short journey to the Haig Avenue this evening. The attendance was 1414.

In the other game involving possible play-off contenders Woking were defeated by Aldershot 2-1 in front of 3244. The game started late.

Top of the Conference:

1 Accrington Stanley 35 29 78
2 Hereford 34 23 67
3 Halifax 34 12 61
4 York 34 20 57
5 Stevenage 35 12 57
6 Morecambe 34 15 54
7 Grays Athletic 32 19 53
8 Exeter 33 13 50
9 Burton Albion 34 -2 47
10 Aldershot 34 -8 47

Bulls News Potential Points Table:

Accrington 99
Hereford 91
Halifax 85
Grays 83
York 81
Morecambe 78
Stevenage 78
Exeter 77
Woking 75
Burton 71
Aldershot 71


Cambridge Linked To Clare Move

Cambridge United have become a surprise challenger for Daryl Clare's signature after the striker priced himself out of a move to Lincoln.

Imps boss Keith Alexander, who has chased a string of Conference strikers this season without success, told the press: "I spoke to Daryl, but we could not meet his wages."

Peterboro were the original favourites for his signature but have gone quiet on the striker with money tight at London Road, and Yeovil were also linked briefly until Clare refused to move to Somerset for family reasons. Mark Wright is also believed to have made a move to take the striker back to Chester, but that was also refused.

With all the apparent League options now exhaused Clare has been linked to Weymouth, a usual suspect in any transfer talks at the moment, Stevenage and Cambridge.

Stevenage boss Graham Westley told their official site in January that he was being outbid on players and had little space left in his budget, suggesting that any bid will mean players leaving Broadhall Way first. Weymouth have already made unsuccessful bids for Exeter striker Jake Edwards and Carlisle's ex-Woking forward Raphael Nade.


Three Conference Matches Tonight

There are three Conference matches tonight, with Bulls fans most interested in Accrington's trip to Southport.

Bulls fans will be hoping that Southport can at least take points off the leaders, but they've taken points off only one of the promotion contenders at home this season.

Woking take on Aldershot in the first of their three games in hand on most of their play-off rivals. They sit 12 points off the play-off zone, but can make up ground tonight.

In the other match, Canvey travel to Scarboro. Canvey are pretty much safe, 11 points clear of the relegation places, but Scarboro are just a single point clear and will look to get valuable points tonight.


Harriers Allocated Len Weston Terrace

Kidderminster Harriers have told their fans that they will be situated on the Len Weston terrace on Saturday.

Previous derbies have seen the Harriers take up half of the Blackfriars End but, in view of their current situation and dwindling home support, they have been allocated the standard away terracing under the Len Weston stand this season.

The Bulls took around 1,400 to Aggborough for the return fixture, whereas 'hundreds' were said to have left Aggborough at half time of Saturday's 4-1 reverse to Aldershot out of a crowd of just 1,630.


Monday, March 20, 2006

Leicester confirmed for play-off final

Confirmation that the Walkers Stadium at Leicester will hold the Conference Play-off has come from the a statement on the Official Leicester City Website.

The Walkers Stadium has been chosen to host the prestigious Nationwide Conference Play-Off Final on Saturday, May 20 (5.30pm).

The clash will be screened live on Sky Television with a place in the Football League awaiting the winners of the showpiece event.

City chief executive Tim Davies said: "We are delighted that the Walkers Stadium has been chosen to host such a prestigious event.

"We are already looking forward to the game and hope that there will be an electric atmosphere worthy of the occasion."

Joanna Adams, Commercial Director of the Football Conference, added "We are very much looking forward to playing at the Walkers Stadium and we know that this year will continue to build on the success of the previous three years."

The semi-final legs will be played on Saturday, May 6 or Sunday, May 7 with the return legs scheduled for Thursday, May 11.

Ticket prices for the match are yet to be finalised but are likely to be £20 for adults and £10 for concessions.


Conference News Round-Up

If you're an ex-Premiership star, the best advice is to steer clear of Tamworth. Following on from the exits of Paul Merson and Nicky Summerbee, Tommy Johnson has now been ruled out for most of the remainder of the season with a hamstring injury.

Dagenham have lost the services of midfielder Lee Goodwin for the rest of the season with a stress fracture of the leg. The injury was puzzling medical staff at the club after scans failed to reveal the injury until the third time.

Forest Green have cancelled the registration of former Exeter midfielder Barry McConnell, who has joined Tiverton, Scott Rendell, and on loan Cardiff man Byron Anthony, but have signed Craig Dove. The left sided midfielder joins on loan from Chester until the end of the season.

Exeter skipper Glen Cronin is likely to miss the rest of the season after breaking a bone in his foot in Saturday's FA Trophy game with Grays. Meanwhile, Grecians striker Jake Edwards has been linked with a loan move to Chester.

Southport have resigned former Captain Chris Price on loan from Stalybridge until the end of the season to aid their relegation fight.


Bulls Could Benefit From FIFA Legal Case

The Bulls could benefit from a legal case currently beginning in the Belgian courts.

Charleroi, backed by the G14 group of clubs, is claiming compensation from FIFA for a player injured in an international friendly.

Charleroi midfielder Abdelmajid Oulmers was out for eight months after playing against Burkina Faso for Morocco in a friendly in November 2004. Charleroi are suing FIFA for compensation over the loss of the player, and their subsequent failure to win the Belgian League.

FIFA say individual national associations are responsible for the losses but no compensation is currently paid on most players. The G14 group believe that FIFA should have an insurance pool so that all players are adequately covered. The case is likely to end up in the European Courts of Justice in a parallel to the Bosman ruling that changed transfers forever.

The Bulls could benefit over the injury Simon Travis received last summer playing for England in the Four Nations Tournament. Travis, who signed a new contract just weeks before the injury, missed four months of the new season after puncturing a lung depriving the Bulls of one of their most influential players last season. In theory, if Charleroi and the G14 group win, the Bulls would be able to claim compensation for the loss of his services.


Phil Stant interviewed by the Times

Former Hereford United player Phil Stant has been the subject of an article in this morning's Times.

There are no winners in this shooting match by Rick Broadbent

A veteran of the Falkands conflict is building bridges

A FADED, stained photograph is the only item that survives from Phil Stant's Army days. That and the indelible memories of severed legs, the bombing of the Sir Galahad and bizarre football matches with the SAS.

"War is a horrible, dirty, nasty business," he said. "You're freezing cold, living in a hole in the ground, turning into a zombie. I remember one guy walking around in a daze, covered in someone else's skin. The stench. There are no winners. It's always 1-1 going into extra time."

Now Stant, 43, wants to go back. Next year will be the 25th anniversary of the Falklands conflict and the former Reading, Fulham, Cardiff City and Notts County player wants to take a high-profile player with him and revisit the cliffs that he last saw covered in human excrement and the site where he dug his trench.

He hopes to meet islanders, squaddies and Argentinians, make a film and ensure that the horrors of "the forgotten war" endure. If football, a trivial bond, can play a small, humanising role in the project, all the better.

Stant had a successful career in the lower leagues, playing at 17 clubs from Blackpool to Dover Athletic, but it was his spell in a war zone that made him stand out. He would not be here to tell the story had he not been ordered to leave the Sir Tristram for the Port Pleasant shore on June 7, 1982. "I was p****d off because I had to share a trench with a guy I thought was really stuck up," he said.

"The next day a 1,000lb bomb struck the arse-end of Sir Tristram, which is where I'd been. Everyone was killed. I will never forget watching Galahad and Tristram under attack."

It was the day that he grew up and his recollections of what followed are vivid and distressing. "The door on a chopper opened and out on a stretcher came a lad with his leg blown off just above the knee, with stringy bits hanging off. I could look right down it. There were dead bodies everywhere. You don't act like a human any more. Suddenly, it's not an adventure any more, it's not a game."

In the numbing chaos, Stant's mind would drift. He was upset that he would miss the start of the World Cup, could not get the image of the severed leg out his head and would say "Maradona" to Argentine prisoners of war. His experiences mean that he can understand, if not condone, the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners.

"It is easy to criticise when you have not been in that position," he said. "But people do not act normally in a war and who are you to judge? I hated Argentinians back then. It was all part of the process. Now they call it post-traumatic stress syndrome. You're angry all the time. It changes you. You never return to the person you used to be."

Stant is good at explaining the difficulties of soldiers in returning to civilian life. He says that you want to talk to the people in the pavement caf├ęs and explain the reality. "They hear ten people have been killed in a car bomb in Baghdad and then go back to worrying about who Man United are playing on Saturday," he said. "Then there are bomb attacks in London and that brings it into people's lives. That's an outrage, but squaddies driving over a landmine is chip paper."

After the Falklands conflict, Stant worked for the bomb-disposal unit alongside the SAS. He played up front for the SAS football team, who adopted an assumed name, in the local league. "We won everything and decided to have a team photo," he said. Stant noticed that three players were missing, whereupon a helicopter began circling and three men in black jumped out. They parachuted down, ripped off the black uniform and unveiled their full kit. "Sorry we're late, lads," they said.

Hereford United bought Stant out of the Army for £600 and sold him to Notts County for £175,000. He would spend 15 years in league football, including a short, ill-fated spell as manager of Lincoln City. He has applied for another 50 jobs, to no avail. Instead, he works as a youth development monitor for the Football League and has just written his memoirs - Ooh, Ah Stantona (John Blake, £17.99). Unusually, in the molly-coddled world of professional sport, he wrote them himself in several A4 folders; he wanted to lay ghosts, not pay them.

Understandably, he believes that some players need a reality check. "The thing that irritates me is when young players think they have made it," he said. "The bad attitudes. A lot of kids come through the system and have never done a day's work. I want to show them the other side of the coin."

Hence, the plan to go back. His ultimate aim would be to meet Diego Maradona. When Argentina beat England at the 1986 World Cup, Maradona said: "Although we had said before the game that football had nothing to do with the Malvinas (Falklands) war, we knew they had killed a lot of Argentine boys there, killed them like little birds. And this was revenge."

If Stant can get his film made, preserve the memory of the dead of both sides and build some bridges via Maradona and football, he will need to buy a new folder and write a postcript to a remarkable story.


A little about Stant from HU-FC.co.uk: Hereford United's decision to sign Phil Stant out of the army paid off as three years later, they sold him to Notts County for a whopping £175,000. Originally a striker with Reading after returning from the Falklands, Stant was located in Hereford as a member of the bomb disposal squad. He was scoring plenty in the Herefordshire League so United moved quickly to buy him out of the army. Since leaving Hereford, Stant has featured for the likes of Fulham, Cardiff and Lincoln, where he was manager for a period.

Whilst at Hereford he scored 38 goals and made 102 appearances for the club.


Transfer Deadline On Thursday

The transfer deadline for Conference clubs is this Thursday at 5pm. No further deals will be allowed after, except under exceptional circumstances.

The Bulls have struggled to field a fit 16 players for the last few games. Adam Stansfield is not expected to be fit enough to play a full match for another month, and both Guy Ipoua and Stacy Coldicott have been the subject of conflicting reports from management as to their fitness. Daryl Taylor is only eligible for three more matches before his loan ends, and Work Experience signings Robbie King and Matthew Halliday are also subject to recall by their clubs at any time and may not remain with the Bulls for the rest of the season.

Graham Turner has retained the same line all season that the money is available for the 'right player' and it is possible that another signing would be made prior to Thursday.


Harriers Benefit From West Brom Link-Up

It was revealed at last weeks Harriers fans forum that they receive £1000 a game plus gate receipts for each West Brom reserve match hosted at Aggborough.

While gates are low, typically only a couple of hundred at £5 (£3 conc) entry, high profile games like the Wolves 'derby' attracted 440 and a Man Utd reserve side is also expected to draw a reasonable crowd when they play next Monday. Around £25,000 will be generated from hosting ten West Brom reserve matches at Aggborough this season.