Graham Turner has spoken to Sky about his hopes for Saturday and, if all goes well, beyond.
"We have a big tie against a team from the division above us," said the Hereford United manager.
"They are not in a great run at the moment although the reports we have had say they have threats from midfield as well as the threats from up front.
"But we know what to expect and will Port Vale be looking forward to coming to Edgar Street? Probably the answer is no.
"Hopefully we can get a victory and then, hopefully, a big club like Manchester United in the next round as happened with Burton and Exeter in the previous two years."
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Graham Turner has spoken to Sky about his hopes for Saturday and, if all goes well, beyond.
BBC Hereford and Worcester are planning to have full coverage of the whole of the FA Cup game between Hereford United and Port Vale on Saturday.
The match starts at 1pm.
Meanwhile in its build up to the game the station is giving listeners a chance to win tickets for the game at Edgar Street.
Listen in from 6.30am tomorrow (Friday) morning for more details of 'the big ticket giveaway'.
Hereford United manager Graham Turner is hopeful about making progress to the Third Round of the FA Cup but has told the Worcester News that he won't tempt fate.
"They (Port Vale) are not currently in good form and are under a bit of pressure, while we're on a decent run.
"If we can match their pace and power, we could have a good opportunity to progress into the third round.
"I won't tempt fate by thinking about getting a Premiership team, because we have to get our name in the hat first.
"They have a good forward line, but our back-three - Tamika Mkandawire, Dean Beckwith and Phil Gulliver - are in good form and don't concede too much."
Turner is hoping for a gate of around 4,500 to watch the game on Saturday.
Lee Probert is listed to be the referee.
Both Chester and Shrewsbury have been charged by the FA following last weeks stormy game between the two sides.
The FA are also to investigate reports that Chester Chairman Stephen Vaughan was involved in a fracas in the tunnel. Vaughan has refused to comment on the allegations. Both sides have until December 13 to respond to the charges.
Port Vale who are the vistors to Edgar Street are a hard working side says Hereford United manager Graham Turner.
"We have had them watched," Turner told the Hereford Times, "and had some help from a couple of other League One clubs who have provided videos of their matches.
"So we have a good picture of what they are like.
"They are a hard-working side and are strong up front, but they have not won in five League games and lost 3-2 at Carlisle last Saturday after leading 2-0 at half time."
(Update: they also lost last night to Crewe 3-2 in the Paint Trophy game)
Turner reports no new injuries and Stuart Fleetwood is back in full training.
"Stuart has been making steady progress and we now have to judge whether he is ready to come back."
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Dover Athletic have confirmed that the loan deal for Jon Wallis has been extended by a futher month. Wallis has helped Dover to top of the Ryman League with a string of impressive performances.
Wallis told Dover's Official Website: "I am enjoying myself at Dover Athletic. It's nice to be getting some games under my belt - because I wasn't getting much football at Hereford.
"I plan to return to Hereford in the New Year and try to impress enough to get back into team. I am desperate to stay a professional football, because it's a great living.
"It's great to stay here for another month and be around my family and girlfriend, who all live in Kent, and help Clive Walker and the boys out in the meantime."
Port Vales' George Pilkington was sent off for a professional foul at Crewe this evening.
Pilkington, Vale's captain for this 'Paint' game, will now miss the Cup game at Edgar Street on Saturday unless Martin Foyle appeals against the decision.
Vale lost the game 3-2 but Leon Constantine scored both their goals late in the second half.
Former Hereford United midfielder Craig Stanley is set to play for the English Non-League team tonight.
Stanley joined Morecambe in the summer after beginning his career with Walsall. He was an integral member of the Hereford United side that clinched promotion to the Football League after play-off victories over his future Morecambe team and Halifax Town in the 2005/06 season. He won two caps in 2005 against Republic or Ireland and Wales.
The game, at Burton, is against Holland.
UPDATE: England defeated Holland 4-1
Graham Turner has said that he is hopeful of strengthening his squad in January.
The Hereford United manager has told BBC Hereford and Worcester that he might need to bring in some fresh faces.
"It's new to us, this transfer window scheme," said Turner.
"Obviously we have been able to bring in emergency loans with John Eustace and Neil MacKenzie so it hasn't changed that dramatically.
"But during the January transfer window we'll obviously be looking to strengthen the squad."
Rob Fielding of onevalefan.co.uk has told Bulls News that he thinks Vale will bring pretty good support to Edgar Street next Saturday for the FA Cup match between Hereford United and Port Vale.
"Vale fans always seem to be able to raise themselves for a cup clash and the outcome of this one could make or break our season," commented Rob.
Asked about whether Martin Foyle, the Port Vale manager, is eager to progress in the Cup, Rob replied that he's probably most occupied with keeping on to his job.
"Vale have suffered a poor slump in form recently. The cup game is regarded as a very important game for Vale. Frankly, we don't stand much chance of making the play-offs and we need as much money into the club as possible. So progression in the cup is of paramount importance with the financial incentive of possibly drawing a big club in the third round."
Which Vale players should Hereford fear most?
"The front duo of Constantine and Sodje are the ones getting all the goals. Constantine may be leading the scoring stakes but don't under-estimate Sodje's role in his success. I think it's fair to say that most Vale fans would credit Sodje's role as targetman, willing runner and battler as key to Constantine's rich scoring vein. If only he (Sodje) knew how to hit a barn door!"
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Rob Powell has been cycling all around Yorkshire today as part of his journey around 61 football clubs in an effort to raise money for the Hereford MS Society.
But he told BBC Hereford and Worcester this evening that his bike is suffering more than he is.
"We've got a few problems with the bike - a few broken spokes and a bit of a wobble. The roads around here are absolutely diabolical.
"I've done 865 miles and I've been to 32 football clubs. I go to Leeds United tomorrow. I'm not expecting a welcome there - I had a letter saying they were not very interested but never mind I'll go and knock on their door and see what happens.
"I had the priviledge of watching Hereford United at Boston last Saturday. Those Bulls fans who remember referee Woolmer from the play-offs a couple of seasons ago - we had him again unfortunately."
Follow Robs progress on his blog: www.backtotheleague.blogspot.com
More importantly please support him at www.justgiving.com/backtotheleague
Earlier this evening a well-known Hereford United supporter, who has been known to take a few pictures in his time, was interviewed by Trevor Owens of BBC Hereford and Worcester about the new book, Onwards and Upwards, which is about to be released.
Andy Compton of the Hereford Journal has been following the Bulls since he was a boy and has become well known with his camera pitch-side at Edgar Street.
He was asked where the idea for the book came from.
"After the play-off final I sat down and wondered what I was going to do with all these photographs. I'd covered virtually every home game of Hereford this season and so I thought it would make a nice book."
Trevor asked Andy about the pictures he had taken that day.
"Part of the secret of a good photographer is that you don't just do the players and the action, a lot of emotion is shown in the supporters who would not be aware you were taking the photographs. There's a picture of a lad almost in tears, next to it is a picture of jubilant supporters."
Asked about how much work went into the book Andy said it was a lot of work.
"I didn't want to leave any player out, even the fringe players, the loan players - they're all memories to Hereford United supporters."
Trevor finished the interview by urging Hereford United fans to get hold of a copy of this book.
"In years to come when you're telling your grandchildren about the season Hereford United won their place back in the Football League, you'll be able to take them through it and prove that it all really did happen," said the BBC Hereford and Worcester's Sports Editor.
Bulls News will have more details of this new book and where it can be obtained later this week.
In a reminder to their fans over the fixture change of the Bulls trip to Meadow Lane on December 22nd, Notts County have admitted that there were three reasons for the change.
Originally, it was announced that the move was made to maximise attendance. However the two added reasons shed a little more light on the reasons behind the move.
They claim one reason was to allow an extra day's rest before the traditional Boxing Day game but the second added reason, a rugby fixture scheduled at the stadium 24 hours after the original date, suggests that the move was done for more than just football financial reasons.
Nottingham rugby club started trialling games at Meadow Lane at the start of the season, but only confirmed a deal to remain for the full season, and play their 24th December fixture there, on October 25th - just two days before the date switch was announced.
A decision to move the game for a better attendance and more rest could have been made in July when the fixtures were announced, so it seems that the decision rested entirely on taking the extra money from the rugby club.
Port Vale boss Martin Foyle has told the press that he is 'a worried man' and that his head could be on the block if results don't improve soon:
"We lack consistency - one minute good and one minute poor - and there were a lot of poor things out there. The effort is there but maybe we need a bit of extra quality. The players have got to learn and learn very quickly.
"Of course there's pressure and I won't hide from the fact that I'm a worried man."
Should the Bulls overcome Port Vale on Saturday, Foyle could become the second manager this season to get axed after a loss at Edgar Street. Brian Horton paid the price after Macclesfield lost 1-0 in September.
Macclesfield's injury problems have deepened after defender Jimmy McNulty broke his leg in training today. The Silkmen had three players stretchered off on Saturday and none will play for at least three months, but they have extended striker John Murphy's loan from Blackpool until January.
Torquay striker Mickey Evans has retired from football after agreeing a settlement with the club. Plymouth born Evans, who only joined the club in the summer, scored just once in 17 games after leaving his home town club. Peterboro forward Aaron McLean has been cleared to resume training after an X-ray confirmed that he had not fractured a foot in Saturday's win over Torquay. Grimsby's Paul Bolland has also received similar good news.
Shrewsbury and Chester are still sweating on the fallout after Saturday's game. The FA are yet to recieve the reports of the game and will wait for videos before making a decision. Chester have already admitted a charge of failing to control their players at a match with Barnet earlier in the season and are awaiting the hearing from that case, while the FA have confirmed that Sagi Burton will miss the Shrews home match with the Bulls after his dismissal on Saturday.
Port Vale will know their way around Edgar Street when they visit next Saturday for the FA Cup game as it was only last November they last set foot on the Hereford United turf.
That time it was for a LDV game which the Bulls won 2-1.
Since then there have been squad changes at both clubs.
For example Craig Mawson was in goal for the Bulls as current 'keeper Wayne Brown was cup-tied by his former club Chester City. Also in the team that evening were Ryan Green, Jon Brady, Jamie Pitman, Guy Ipoua, Craig Stanley, Daniel Carey-Bertram. On the bench were Adam Stansfield and Graham Evans.
Port Vale struggled to put out a strong team as they had several players out with injury.
Included in their side was Michael Husbands who had a spell at Hereford. He is still with Vale.
Of the others that either played or were on the bench just five of them are still with Vale: Pilkington, Sonner, Smith, Lowndes, and Cardle.
The game itself went to extra time. However Tamika Mkandawire's late goal made sure Hereford United were in the next round.
Just 152 Vale fans made the trip out of a poor gate of just 1355. Hopefully there will be a lot more interest next Saturday.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Speculation that John Eustace may be able to stay at Hereford United for another month increased this afternoon after Stoke City suggested that Lee Hendie is set to stay at the Britannia Stadium until the New Year.
The Official Stoke City Website says:
City boss Tony Pullis has confirmed Lee Hendrie's loan spell at the Britannia Stadium is set to be extended until the New Year.
The current deal with Hendie finishes on December 2nd.
LATER: The Stoke manager confirmed to Staffordshire press that Hendrie is staying at Stoke for a further month.
"We've got him for a third month and I can't thank Martin O'Neill enough for his help," said Pullis.
"He's allowed us to have Lee for that extra month and that's got to be fantastic news, for both the player and Stoke City."
Shrewsbury Town defender Sagi Burton has been suspended from all football until the Club have completed three first team matches for a Sending Off in the match played last Saturday against Chester at the Gay Meadow.
He already has one match to miss because of reaching five yellow cards so far this season. That booking was in the FA Cup replay against Hereford last Tuesday.
The first game he will miss is the Shrewsbury Paint Trophy match against Cheltenham tomorrow evening.
He will then miss the next three Shrewsbury games of which the last is the Hereford game at the Gay Meadow on Saturday December 16th.
Port Vale need money to be able to go into the transfer market in the new year according to manager Martin Foyle.
Vale are 17th in League One and travel to Edgar Street on Saturday for a second round FA Cup tie against Hereford United.
Just six points above the drop zone, Vale have lost ten of their last fifteen league games.
Foyle is considering changes for Wednesday's home game against Crewe in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, but injuries have left him short of options.
"They are major games because I want some money in the bank so I can go and do something in the January window," said Foyle.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Bristol Rovers beat Barnet 2-0 in today's League Two encounter, their fifth straight win in all competitions.
The win moves Rovers up to ninth, pushing the Bulls back down to 10th, while Barnet remain 18th after seeing their three match winning run ended. Ex-Bulls Ryan Green and Nicky Nicolau both played for their respective sides, with Nicolau picking up a booking.
Speaking to the press after yesterday's game, Steve Evans was happy with his side's performance:
"For spells I thought we were outstanding, but we possibly overplayed at times and should have got the ball into their penalty area much quicker. We made one mistake and it cost us a goal, although we must admit it was well executed.
"But we've got great character in this squad and that showed when we fought back. A win would have been welcome but we've now put together three unbeaten games, which will hopefully give us a platform for more improvement in the weeks ahead."
Meanwhile, soon to be ousted Torquay manager Ian Atkins told reporters that the midweek announcement of the Torquay Initiative amd the impending arrival of former Czech international Lubos Kubik as manager had affected his players, leading to their worst result of the season:
"The chairman has his own ideas and wants to do things his way. I understand he wants to bring in players from the Czech Republic, Poland and other such countries so it makes sense to have someone in charge who can relate to them.
"But there have been certain comments made during the week that have had an effect on the players. I'm not the sort of manager who makes excuses for poor performances but I think we had a genuine one in this case. I looked at the players on Friday and again before the game and I could tell we would be in for a tough afternoon."
John Eustace, the Stoke mid-fielder on loan to the Bulls, told BBC Hereford and Worcester after yesterdays game that he felt Hereford should have defeated Boston.
"In the second half for a good twenty, thirty minutes we had a great period when we really dominated the game and played some great stuff.
"So we were really disappointed to get a draw.
"It feels like a loss in the dressing room."
Some of the Hereford United coach, John Trewick, comments were printed in the League Paper.
"We were disappointed to take away only one point - even though it keeps us ticking over nicely. In many respects it feels like two lost points.
"We got a good goal and created two more excellent chances, one of which Alex Jeannin really ought to have scored.
"And on that basis we should have one, particularly at the award of the free kick that gave Boston their goal."
The PA stats gave defender Phil Gulliver an eight. Purdie, Brown , Beckwith and Williams were awarded sevens.
Hereford had eight shots of which five were deemed on target and 45% of possession.
As usual they were penalised less than Boston for fouls - seven against thirteen.
One former Bull that has slipped off the radar recently is Mick Galloway.
Now 32, the tough Scottish midfielder who, like current loanees John Eustace and Neil Mackenzie, added bite to an inexperienced midfield has resurfaced as player-manager of Carlisle side Northbank in the Northern Football Alliance. He played eleven times for the Bulls from October 2002, his final appearances in senior full-time football.
Little more than 12 months ago the Bulls announced the signing of Galloway on non-contract terms to strengthen the midfield but, within five days of him travelling to Accrington with the squad for a Friday night fixture, Eastwood Town announced his signing as Player-Coach on a two year deal joining former Notts County team mate Paul Cox on the coaching staff.
Galloway left Eastwood in the summer to return home north, a similar decision that scuppered permanent deals at Edgar Street both last year and in late 2002. He now works as a rep for Crest Teamwear, a football kit supplier.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
It isn't often that two sets of supporters chant together.
But that happened at Boston today where 'Evans out' and some other less printable chants were shouted out from all over the ground, including the Hereford end, at times during today's game.
Steve Evans, the Boston manager, faces a fans forum at the ground next week and it looks as though there will be calls from Boston supporters for him to leave.
Evans was manager at Boston when they were promoted from the Conference. It has since emerged that 'creative accounting' was used in a bid to save paying tax. Recently a court case resulted in Evans being given a suspended sentance.
There were few good words for Evans from Boston supporters today. One said he can't go soon enough because of the adverse publicity the club had received.
However another thought the forum would be 'managed' and Evans would still be in charge this time next week.
Whatever happens to Evans, Boston need to increase their gate. Today's was just 1731. That sort of figure simply isn't high enough to sustain a club in League Two.
Hereford United were victims of a dubious decision from referee Andy Woolmer at York Street this afternoon as they drew one apiece with Boston United. Bulls fans will remember referee Woolmer for his infamous decision to send off Andy Tretton in the Conference Play Offs three seasons ago, and he did his relations with Hereford fans no good as he gave a suspect free kick to the home side, seconds after Paul Ellender had gone in with a high foot, which led to the equalising goal.
Andy Williams was back for Hereford in place of Gareth Sheldon, and there were returns for John Eustace and Neil MacKenzie as well, but despite this their attacking play was poor once again, for the first half at least. The Whites enjoyed most of the early play, but couldn't force an opening, and so Boston went and did exactly that against the run of play. Phil Gulliver had to be alert to get in a saving challenge as The Pilgrims countered, and a ball was played into the path of Francis Green. He seemed to be away, but Gulliver had something to say about that.
Green was involved again as, again, the hosts did what United were struggling to do, and created another chance. It was his driven shot-come-cross that met the head of Anthony Elding, but the ball flew wide of Wayne Brown's goal. The Bulls were getting the ball wide well, and crosses came in from Williams and Alan Connell in the first half hour, but still didn't make Andy Marriot make a save. It was only after some good patient passing that Marriot had to rush out to deny Williams, but the striker was offside.
On the stroke of half time though, Hereford's attack sprang into life and were unlucky not to go in at the break with a slender lead. Alex Jeannin fed a pass down the flank to Williams, who advanced towards the box while turning defender Ian Miller inside out, before trying to curl in to the far corner. Marriot palmed away, but it was into the path of Eustace who headed towards goal, with Marriot grounded.
Eustace's header with Marriot stranded - Bulls News picture.
Ellender was on the line to deny him with a header that fell to Connell, but his effort was dragged wide of the mark.
The second half was a more entertaining spectacle, and Tim Sills started the fashion with a first time shot that flew wide of the far post no more than a minute after the restart. Green was again making a nuisance of himself as he passed Gulliver before shooting low, but Brown was down to smother the ball. Elding then got a low drive in, but once again Brown was equal to it, before United started to play the sort of football that was to get them their goal. Jeannin attacked down the left before playing a crisp ball along the surface to Rob Purdie. He then knocked the ball on to Williams, on the edge of the box, but his low driven cross was turned behind for a corner.
The next attack for The Bulls was a similar one, but this time it resulted in the opening goal on sixty eight minutes. Connell played a good first time pass inside the left back for Purdie to pace onto, and his powerful low cross made its way to Williams at the far post, who converted with a first time hit. With neither side, until then, looking too threatening it seemed that one goal might be enough, and it would have been if Woolmer hadn't given a free kick against a Hereford player on the very edge of the box six minutes later. The only foul that seemed to occur at the time was from Ellender, who flew in to a challenge with a high foot, but still the set piece was given, and Boston's Jamie Clark scored direct from it, curling into the bottom corner for 1-1.
After the equaliser, both sides had fantastic chances to take all three points but it wasn't to be. Three minutes after scoring, The Pilgrims flashed the ball across the goalface twice in succession, but both times were unable to get the vital final touch. Hereford almost punished them for their misses too, as they went straight down the other end and Williams fired over at the near post, having beaten Ellender to Sills' cross.
Boston's greatest opportunity to win it came from the unlikely Mark Greaves as he thundered a header just inches over from Clark's cross. Graham Turner, with five minutes left, replaced Williams with Sheldon, but was probably regretting the decision within a couple of minutes, as Hereford had a glorious chance to win it, and had it gone in, it would have been almost identical to Williams' goal. Sheldon found Sills with a short pass, and Sills' pass inside the left back Tim Ryan matched Connell's, for Purdie to race onto. Purdie then did as he did before, and delivered a perfect low cross to the far post, and with Marriot seemingly out of contention at the near post, Jeannin arrived at the back stick. The Frenchman had seemed to do everything right as well, but his first time left footed strike was somehow blocked by Marriot, who literally threw himself across the goal.
With the 179 travelling fans left in disbelief, and the home fans in a crowd of 1,731 feeling great relief, the remaining few minutes were played out, and the teams shared the spoils. Both will believe they did enough to get all three points in what was, for the first seventy minutes at least, a pretty poor encounter. Hereford will obviously be pleased at picking up a point on the road, but should really be expecting to do slightly better against teams at the foot of the table.
HUFC: Brown, Beckwith, Gulliver, Mkandawire, Purdie, Jeannin, Eustace, MacKenzie, Connell, Sills, Williams. Subs: Travis, Thompson, Webb, Rose, Sheldon.
BUFC: Marriott, Clarke, Miller, Ellender, Tim Ryan, Kennedy, Greaves, Richie Ryan, Elding, Broughton, Green. Subs: Holland, Stevens, N'Guessan, Farrell, Rowson.
Rob Powell cycled into Boston well in time for this afternoon's game with Hereford United.
The Hereford United supporter, well on his way around 61 football grounds in aid of the Hereford MS Society, watched the whole game before setting off to his 'digs' for tonight.
Rob Powell with several Hereford United supporters - Bulls News picture - click to enlarge
Macclesfield are counting the cost of today's game at Stockport, with three players likely to be out for several months.
The league's bottom club saw Simon Wiles withdrawn with serious knee ligament damage in the first half, then had both goalkeeper Jonny Brain (Compound leg fracture) and Andrew Teague (broken leg) injured in the build up to the Stockport equaliser. All three are likely to miss several months with Wiles, on loan from Blackpool, expected to miss the remainder of the season.
With Brain injured, Macclesfield are now likely to apply to the League for an emergency loan keeper.
In other news, Rushden have persuaded ex-Grimsby defender Curtis Woodhouse back to football on non-contract terms. The 26 year old quit in the summer to pursue a Boxing career winning his only fight, a four round points decision, at the end of September.
It will be David Brown versus Adam Stansfield on Monday night as Burton take on Exeter on Sky Sports 1 (7.45pm).
Danny Carey-Bertram made it two goals in two, in only his sixth start of the season, as Cambridge won 2-1 at Southport. He also provided the cross for their other goal. Scott Tynan retained his place in the Rushden goal but couldn't stop goal machine John Grant from scoring the only goal of the game at Nene Park as Aldershot won 1-0. Grant is now in double figures for the second season running.
Karl Hawley scored one of the goals as Carlisle came from behind to beat Port Vale 3-2. Gavin Williams made his first appearance for Ipswich in two months as they lost to Barnsley 1-0.
Walsall's lead at the top is now seven points after they beat Notts County (7th) 2-1. Swindon move up to second after a last minute own-goal gave them a 2-1 win over Bury. Lincoln slip to third after a 2-1 loss at Wrexham - only their second win in ten league games. Wycombe remain fourth despite losing 2-0 at Hartlepool, and Peterboro are now level on points with them in fifth after Torquay's no-diving initiative failed to pay off as they crashed to their heaviest defeat of the season, 5-2.
Darlington are eighth after spending nearly an hour with 10 men but still coming away with the points in a 1-0 win over MK Dons. Stockport denied Macclesfield their first win thanks a 1-1 draw, needing another Adam Proudlock goal to come from behind.
Grimsby piled on the misery for Accrington beating them 2-0 to make it six straight losses for Stanley, but Rochdale eased their own worries by beating Mansfield 2-0.
In the early kick-off, it all kicked off at the end with Mark Wright tussling with at least one member of the Shrewsbury bench after a last minute highly contentious penalty denied his side a point as Shrewsbury beat Chester 2-1. Chester had five booked during the game, but Shrewsbury defender Sagi Burton was dismissed after the final whistle and the FA are likely to act once the referees report has been filed from this stormy game.
Tomorrow, Barnet travel to Bristol Rovers to complete the weekend action. Meanwhile, our FA Cup opponents, Port Vale, lost 3-2 at Carlisle despite having a 2-0 half time lead.
The Bulls drew with Boston 1-1 in today's League Two clash.
Andy Williams slotted home for the Bulls after good work by Rob Purdie, but Boston levelled after a debatable free kick was awarded by referee Andy Woolmer after Tim Sills was judged to have had his foot up high in clearing the ball. Jamie Clark scored direct with the free kick.
Full Report Later.
The Football League have launched a new online magazine, the League Leader.
It will be published on Fridays with previews and stats of the forthcoming games, a review of the news of the week, plus interviews and stats.
In the first issue the magazine tells us that Stuart Fleetwood has had the second highest number of shots on target in the Division, 25, with only Torquay's Jamie Ward getting more and that the Bulls are now 53 games without a no-score draw.
The magazine, in Adobe PDF format, can be accessed at http://www.football-league.premiumtv.co.uk/page/LeagueLeader
Barnet have been dealt a blow in their League Two survival bid after losing star striker Tresor Kandol to Leeds United on loan.
The striker has bagged 13 goals in 17 games this season, including seven in the last three. He is temporarily replaced at Underhill by Mansfield striker Adam Birchill, but the Bees will try to resurrect a move for Leeds striker Jermaine Beckford in January after they ran out of time trying to sign him for Thursdays deadline.
In other news, Accrington have continued the revolving door at the Fraser Eagle Stadium. They now have seven players out on loan, including star men Ian Craney and Gary Roberts, with five more in on loan. Cardiff pair Joe Jacobson and Curtis McDonald have joined Rob Eliot, Danny Mannix, and Adam Dugdale at the side who have not picked up a point in five games. Shrewsbury have brought in winger Danny Thomas on non-contract terms. The ex-Boston man has not been attached to a club this season after being released by the Pilgrims in the summer.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Hereford United supporter Rob Powell hopes to be at Boston tomorrow afternoon in time to watch the match.
Rob, who is raising money for the Hereford MS Society, is close to half way through his cycling tour of 61 football clubs all over England.
This afternoon he reached Peterborough.
Rob has been writing about the tour on his blog -www.backtotheleague.blogspot.com
"A pattern of pain is the order of each day. It takes about 10 miles to get rid of the stiffness in the leg muscles. Then for 20 miles I feel fine and pedal along well. Then my backside gets a bit sore from hitting numerous potholes and rough surfaces. From 40 miles, my hands go numb and I have to start swinging my arm round to get the feeling back. From 60 miles on, everything hurts. When I come to a small hill the power in the legs I had at the start has dissipated and I have to get into a low gear to wobble my way to the top. When I stop for more than a few minutes my legs seem to scream at me and I feel a little sick until I warm up again so I tend to try and keep going until I get to the destination.
"I have arranged my whole trip around tomorrow when Boston play the Bulls. I hope I get there in time and don't get a puncture!"
Rob is pictured at MK Dons
You can support the Hereford MS Society by going to :www.justgiving.com/backtotheleague
There are a few seats remaining on the HUISA coach for tomorrow's game at Boston.
Any supporter interested in traveling should ensure they are at the Merton Meadow car park well before 8.30am when the coach is due to leave.
The cost is £18.
Graham Turner, the Hereford United manager, has spoken to BBC Hereford and Worcester in advance of tomorrow's match at Boston.
"They got promotion and have survived as a League club and they've done well.
"We know what to expect going there.
"The first thing we've got to do is to stand up and be counted and meet the physical challenge head on and then hope we can impose our passing game onto them."
Meanwhile high winds could affect the football at Boston tomorrow as the rough weather expected across Herefordshire later tonight travels across to Lincolnshire.
Swindon have asked their creditors for a renegotiation of payment terms after missing June's deadline for a £100,000 payment.
The payment is due under the terms of their 2002 exit from Administration, and they have asked the Administrator for more time to make the £100,000 payment plus the final £900,000 instalment due in June.
The club have been dealt a further blow with the news that sponsors Nationwide are to end their backing of the side at the end of the season. The Swindon-based Building Society has been main sponsor of the club for the last 10 years.
Hereford United have confirmed that it is all pay at the gate for the Port Vale FA Cup game next Saturday.
Prices will be the same as for League games.
Port Vale supporters will need to buy their tickets in advance.
UPDATED 5pm: Below is a copy of the details for Port Vale supporters from their Official Website:
Match tickets go on sale to Season Ticket holders, Box Holders and Vice Presidents on production of Voucher C, on Saturday 25th November between 8.30am and 12.30pm, Sunday 26th November 10.00am - 1.00pm and Monday 27th November 9.00am - 5.00am.
Should there be any more tickets available, they will go on general sale on Tuesday 28th November from 9.00am to 5.00pm
Meanwhile, the Hereford Times reports that retrospective planning permission has been given for the Floors-2-Go hoardings that were erected on the former Len Weston Stand.
Hereford United's captain Tamika Mkandawire, Dean Beckwith and Alan Connell all took knocks in the match against Shrewsbury last Tuesday and have been receiving treatment.
However, according to BBC Hereford and Worcester, all three should be able to play against Boston tomorrow.
Hereford will have both loanees John Eustace and Neil MacKenzie available however
Stuart Fleetwood, who is recovering from a virus, is thought unlikely to feature.
Boston have several players close to fitness after injury.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
The Official Wolves Website has reported that Micheal McIndoe has agreed a loan move to the Midland club from Barnsley. It is expected that the move will be made permanent in January.
Hereford United manager Graham Turner was responsible for re-starting McIndoe's career after he was released from Luton.
Now 26 McIndoe was transferred from Hereford to Yeovil for £25,000 at the start of 2001. He then moved to Doncaster, went out on loan to Derby, and onto Barnsley.
Both Graham Turner, the Hereford United manager, and Andy Williams, one of the Bulls' young strikers, have been looking forward to Saturday's game at Boston.
Steve Evans' side are just above Macclesfield at the bottom of League Two.
"I think they are going to be difficult opponents. They are very big, strong and direct but we have done very well on our travels," Turner told the Worcester News.
"The run we have had has given the players confidence. We have to make sure the defeat by Walsall is not too much of a setback and that we get back to winning ways."
Williams told BBC Hereford and Worcester that the game would be a battle.
"They are not doing that well but it's always a tricky place to go. It's a long journey up there," said Williams
"They will be, I imagine, quite a direct side, quite a physical side and we have got to match that.
"Once we've matched it get the ball down and play our football and get a result."
Scunthorpe have confimed that Neil MacKenzie can stay at Edgar Street for another month.
Midfielder Neil MacKenzie has extended his loan spell with Hereford United.
MacKenzie has spent the last month on loan at Edgar Street and has agreed to extend that for a further month.
The Iron have agreed a clause to allow an immediate recall should MacKenzie be needed at Glanford Park and refused permission for him to play for the Bulls in the FA Cup.
As at early evening there have not been any reports of others players going to/from Edgar Street in loan deals.
The transfer window reopens in January.
Luke Webb, who scored his first senior goal for Hereford United on Tuesday evening, has been telling the Western Daily Press about that goal and his career so far.
"It was one of those ones you see in your dreams and hopefully there will be many more of them to come," said Webb.
"It has been a long time coming, to be honest.
"I have had such a frustrating time with injuries that I didn't think I would sleep on Tuesday night, that's how good it felt.
"When I was at the academy at Arsenal I had a bad back problem that kept me out for a couple of years and, from that, I had other bad injuries.
"Unfortunately, they never actually found out what was wrong, I think it was just to do with growth, really.
"Then last year I went to Coventry City, but injuries held me back again and no-one likes an injured footballer, so now I am hoping to push on here.
"The manager (Graham Turner) and John Trewick (club coach) have really helped me out and given me the chance.
"Now it is up to me take it with both hands."
Talking about the game Webb admitted that he had an absolute shocker in the first half.
"There were passes I could see but they were getting intercepted. It could have been easy to go into my shell after that, but the manager told me to keep my head up and keep hunting for the ball and show my character.
"And all the other lads told me to keep my head up, not to worry about it and that I was better than that - hopefully I put it right in the second half."
BBC Hereford and Worcester will provide second half commentary from Boston on Saturday on the game against Hereford United.
Keith Hall will be BBC Hereford and Worcester's reporter at York Street.
There will be first half updates and then, from around 1600 on BBC Hereford and Worcester's 94.7 FM frequency, full second half commentary on the match.
Loan player Neil MacKenzie spell at Edgar Street will be extended by a further month according to the Hereford Times this morning.
Accrington have lost a second star player in a month, with Swansea signing midfielder Ian Craney on loan after lodging a sufficient bid to trigger a release clause in his contract. Accrington have lost all five league matches since winger Gary Roberts left for Ipswich. Manager John Coleman has also allowed winger Sean Doherty and keeper Francois Dubourdeau to join former coach Paul Cook at Southport.
Boston have completed a player swap with Darlington ahead of the weekend clash with the Bulls. Defender Mark Albrighton has moved to Darlington on loan with midfielder David Rowson coming to Boston, who was a Steve Evans target in the summer after leaving Northampton. Darlington have also signed Doncaster defender Anthony Griffith on loan.
Barnet have signed Welsh u-21 striker Adam Birchall on loan from Mansfield. The ex-Arsenal trainee has scored three times for the Stags in more than 40 appearances. MK Dons have signed veteran defender Paul Butler from Leeds on loan. The 34 year old has played over 600 games and has commanded two £1million fees in his career.
Bury have added Blackpool striker Matthew Blinkhorn and Hartlepool midfielder Stephen Turnbull to their squad ahead of the loan deadline.
Glynis Wright relives Tuesday's Cup-tie.
Imagine, if you will, Albion and Wolves at loggerheads, but with about 40 miles distance separating the two. That's what you've got with Shrewsbury and The Bulls: believe you me, there's no love lost between the pair of you, and because there's past 'form' aplenty in the ABH and criminal damage stakes, the plods much preferred to play the first game on a Sunday, and with a midday kick-off, so as to spike the guns of the alcoholically enthusiastic.
Not that it would have, mind: where there's a will there's a way, as loads of our followers demonstrated the time we played then non-league Wycombe Wanderers at their place in the FA Cup, around late 1992. In lieu of a pukka pub being open, our lot simply went to the off-licence around a mile or so distant, then completely denuded it of stock instead! So much so, latecomers were told it was a straight choice between some obscure sort of Polish spirit or other, possessing the additional 'bonus' of being able to strip linings from unsuspecting Black Country stomachs within a matter of seconds: either that, or bottles of shampoo!
Well, they certainly packed 'em in for this one: arriving at the ground with around 30 minutes to spare, quickly heading for the Main Stand entrance we wanted, we were completely taken aback to see a queue for The Meadow End (their answer to the Brummie) stretching right around the corner from the turnstile, something we hadn't seen there in years. Clearly, their gate was going to be truly humungous, as you would rightly expect for a replay as mouth-watering as that one.
The outcome lay in the form of Shrewsbury, now taking to the field of play, along with their not-so-amiable bovine 'hosts' for the evening. Incidentally, the characteristic sweet aroma of fast-brewing Bulmers sure hung heavy over the town that night: clearly, the recent apple glut had been very good for business indeed. But the music on the Edgar Street PA as both sides emerged from the tunnel - Frankie Goes To Hollywood, and 'When Two Tribes Go To War!' Not quite the spirit of mutual peace and reconciliation we were aiming for that Tuesday night, chaps, was it, now? Do promise you'll buck up!
The home side? Crippled by injuries of one sort or another, they'd had to resort to putting out a bit of a patched-up side for the night's frolics and festivities. The dearth of useful performers meant an unexpected debut to one Bulls youngster in particular, Luke Webb, (now wearing the number 21 shirt for the cider-slurpers!), and son of Neill Webb, he of former Manchester United and England fame. More about the lad later.
As both sides prepared to get the show on the road, I happened to notice, above what had been the Len Weston Stand, the 'Floors To Go' stand sponsorship advertising still there, despite the fact they'd actually gone into administration - a kind of 'Floors Have Gone', if you like. I could only hope that The Bulls had received payment up front for the sponsorship deal: when you're at that end of the League, the cash-flow situation can end up perilously-close to strangulation-point. In that kind of world, our own football club's rock-solid financial affairs and spending-power must seem to resemble more closely those of Man U, but in proportion, of course.
You could tell it was going to be that sort of game from the very first moment a ball was kicked in anger: within about five minutes of the start, two players, one from each side, had already ended up in the ref's little black book, the more bovine of the two for saying very naughty things indeed, as I saw it. Those opening minutes also revealed another fact: Shrewsbury were going through that Bulls defence like cascara through the human colon: it didn't help either that in keeping with the imminence of the festive season, Hereford were constantly gifting them the ball in some mighty dangerous situations. Add to that your keeper's shocking inability to lamp the ball straight when taking, say, goal-kicks, and you'd got one hell of a problem in the making. Were you on suicide pills, or what?
Time and time again, the visitors got the ball into that box: on each occasion it happened, somehow or another, The Bulls muddled through at the back; that, plus the sad fact the Gay Meadow mob couldn't hit a barn door at ten paces, helped the score stay bloodless, that half. Mind you, not wishing to be rude, it might just have been the case we were judging what was going on out there by the standards we normally apply to our own mob; as His Nibs commented at the time, adjusting to Division Two after the various rigours of the Championship meant a mental U-turn of truly ginormous proportions for the pair of us
But back to the football. Or, should that be the match official that night? Seemed like it: sure, you're not the most tolerant of crowds, sometimes, you Edgar Street lot, but you seemed to have a lot to moan about, justifiably so, I reckoned, as endless refereeing decisions seemed to go totally against you. That really got to one Herefordian lady in particular, sitting about four rows in front of me: let me put it this way, her temper was rising in direct proportion to the number of free-kicks conceded by the home side. And one in particular, where a Hereford player had sinned, the ref indicated the opposition 'play on', they'd done so, the other Shrewsbury lad had accepted the pass, and was about to proceed up the pitch with the ball - but the ref then pulled play back for the original offence! In the end, the lady couldn't contain her anger any longer, her red-mist fury coinciding with one of those strangely-hushed periods during any game when both sets of supporters mutually decide to shut up for a bit.
Swallow yer pea, ref, and give us all a bloody break was the cry, emitted with a wonderfully-fruity country accent, that finally rent the uncharacteristic silence, total agreement being signalled by the various sniggers and snorts of mirth that erupted around me. Actually, as the game progressed, the quality of her invective improved to such a degree, I began to wonder as to whether she was in the business of setting up as a seated rival to our very own John Homer, The Hawthorns answer to Nick Brade. Or Madame De Farge, a la Charles Dickens, and 'A Tale Of Two Cities'. It certainly seemed that way to me: I could only hope her arteries and veins would hold up against a drastically-elevated blood pressure for just long enough!
The half drawing to its close by then, looking at proceedings from both Baggies and Shrewsbury points of view, it seemed to me that the visitors, having missed endless chances that half, including a couple far easier to put into the back of the net than to stuff up, were trying to emulate our abortive Pride Park performance just the other week. There were lots of similarities, not least an astonishing inability to produce the 'killer ball' that would lead to a dead-cert goal, Derby somehow riding their luck completely, then going on to totally wreck our day deep into the second half!
Oh - and on a similar note, young Luke Webb was not having the happiest of debuts either, misplacing passes, losing the ball cheaply, that sort of thing; just about everything he tried to do out there went horribly wrong, landing his defensive colleagues in some pretty awful lumber on more than one occasion. By then, the crowd had picked up on his various deficiencies, and were expressing some displeasure with his performance, to put it mildly. A case of trying too hard, perhaps? That seemed to be what his team-mates thought: on more than one occasion, I spotted various senior pros trying to calm him down.
I must say I felt sorry for the lad, having seen more than one youthful player totally destroyed by a vindictive crowd before their first-team careers had properly started, even. Remember Scott Darton? You lot won't, but John Trewick, Albion's youth team coach back in 1993-94, certainly does. Not that I blame him for what happened, mind: former Baggies gaffer Keith Burkinshaw is the one that should really hang his head in shame over that one. Chucking kids into situations way beyond their capabilities is not a clever thing to do at any time, let alone a fraught game like this - but this particular example still had a massive twist in the tale to come.
With Shrewsbury calling most of the shots that first half, and much-weakened Hereford not in much of a position to do anything about it, the outcome of the second seemed but a formality. Mind you, we'd already arrived at a valid explanation as to why the Bulls weren't performing - it was all down to Marion, our normally minty chum, who'd, erm, forgotten to bring the talismanic half-time goods with her that night! Shame on you! A pox on all your Polos, not to mention tribulations on your Trebors, Marion! Mind you, 'Im Indoors came up with the perfect newspaper headline for her mint-less dilemma: 'United Lack Pep Thanks To No-Mint Marion!' Yersss - now go and have a good lie down, there's a nice lad.
The strange thing was, though, the expected second-course tatering never happened: in fact, the opposite seemed to apply, Hereford taking the game to them, pushing up, and using the flanks wisely. And they didn't like it one little bit: clearly, their rearguard was no great shakes, and given a goodly dollop of luck, The Bulls might even manage to hurt them a tad along the way. And, as the game progressed, the stronger Hereford seemed to get, and more accurate when shooting, too. What really made the difference, though, was Andy Williams being brought on as sub with around 20 minutes to go.
With the full benefit of his considerable experience now coming to the fore, nicking a result no longer seemed the sick joke it had during the first period. With just five minutes on the clock, and extra-time looming, Williams's proactive style finally paid off, when Shrewsbury conceded a free kick a matter of inches from the edge of the box, just inside the 'D'. Up stepped Connell for the Bulls - and without any fuss whatsoever, lamped it straight into the back of the net. Pandemonium in the Meadow End, naturally enough. As for their Salopian counterparts, situated behind the other goal, it was very much a case of 'The Silence Of The Fans'. I really felt for them: talk about a mugging.
But that wasn't the end of it: just two or so minutes later, United doubled their lead. A strange one, that goal: shades of Darren Carter versus Arsenal last season insofar as the precise moment ball left boot, you could sense exactly where it was headed for, the top left-hand corner of the net, and from a range of around 25 yards, too, possibly more. And even the name of the scorer was an eye-opener: well done, Luke Webb, for a first goal he'll not forget in a bloody long while. As for the visitors, they were headed for the exits in droves, with the strains of -Cheerio, cheerio, cheerio! - ringing in their ears all the way. And judging by the alacrity with which the plods were shifting to catch them up, it seemed highly-likely the town centre itself would shortly be bearing the full brunt of their collective ange. One thing I really love, that - a good Seventies or Eighties revival night!
So, on to the next round go The Bulls: get past ailing Port Vale at Edgar Street, and they're well and truly in the black bag with the big boys. But please, guys, ANYONE but the Baggies. Should that one come flying out of the hat, I don't think my nerves could take it!
Scandal - wot scandal? Heard that same night by the author of this piece, a little tale concerning one of Hereford's finest attending a certain local nightclub on the evening of the first Shrewsbury Cup game. Apparently, my Bulls-loving chum's got a mate who moonlights as a DJ for his sins, and it was while he was at this particular nightclub that one of Hereford's defenders, somewhat 'tired and emotional' by then, came up to him, saying: 'You fancy an 'Asamwah', then? I've had him in my pocket all afternoon!? Mind you, it being around the 25th time my chum's DJ mate had heard the same punch-line, the novelty had completely palled by then!
And, so as not to leave him out of the 'embarrassment stakes' completely, here's a couple for scoring debutant Luke Webb to do a decently coloured 'cherry' over. Once upon a time, there was a young dad who, after playing for Forest, finally got the transfer of his dreams, to Old Trafford, home of Man United, and their then-comparatively youthful gaffer, Alex Ferguson. Having signed on the dotted line for the Mancs, Dad, Mum, plus three-year-old Luke, were then given a tour of the ground by the well-pleased Fergie, finishing up in their Club Shop, where a number of teddy bears, all decked out in red and white, were on display. Handing one over to the awestruck little boy, finally, Fergie, trying like hell to play the 'kindly old Uncle' role, then asked young Luke what he was going to call his cuddly prize. His reply? 'Forest'!
And here's another one. According to my informant, it wasn't just Luke who has a predilection for spectacular debut goals, so did his dad, many moons ago, but for Man U instead. Not that his missus saw it, mind - she was frantically scrabbling around the floor of the stand, trying to locate the whereabouts of young Luke's crayon for him!
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Police paranoia has seen the FA Cup Second Round game with Port Vale set at 1pm on Saturday, December 2nd.
The official Port Vale site says that the original plan was for a 12 noon start, but Vale objected. Vale will be selling tickets, though they do not state the game is all-ticket, from Saturday to certain groups with a general sale - if there are any left - from Tuesday.
There is no confirmation as yet of ticketing details for Bulls fans.
Saturday sees Hereford United travel to Boston. It will be the first time the two clubs have ever met in League Two.
HISTORY of Boston United:
The club was formed in 1934 and nicknamed the Pilgrims. They play at The Staffsmart Stadium, York Street which can house over eight thousand fans. Currently their home colours are orange and black horizontally striped shirt with black shorts.
Boston United are probably best known for all the wrong reasons. The recent court case confirmed that the club hadn't been run correctly during their time in the Conference which they won in 2002. Had the facts been known to the authorities at the time then it possible that Dagenham and Redbridge, who finished second that season, would have been promoted instead.
LAST League game:
The last League game between the two clubs was in February 2002 at Boston and was televised on Sky. It was a game which Hereford fans will remember not only because the Bulls won 4-3 after going 2-0 down but they were one of the few teams to defeat Boston that season.
Scorers that night were Phil Robinson with two, Scott Goodwin and Rob Elmes.
Hereford were so short of fit players that evening so only had four players on the bench.
(The clubs have since met in the FA Cup in December 2004 when Boston defeated Hereford 3-2)
Standing: Adults £14, Senior Citizens £10-50, Children under 16 £7-00.
Seated (Staffmart Stand -shread with home fans): Adults £16, Senior Citizens £11-50, Children under 16 £8-00
Tickets can be purchased in advance by telephoning 0870 757 9266 or via the Boston Official Website.
Boston say: All away team supporters should enter the ground by their designated turnstiles in Spayne Road to get into the Town End terrace.
TRAVEL to Boston:
It's a cross-country trek to Boston from Herefordshire. Probably the easiest route is to go to the M5/M42/M6.
Leave the M42 at junction 7a for the M6. Leave the M6 at junction 2 for the M69. Leave the M69 at its end (exit 3) and join the M1 north until the next junction (21a).
Take the A46 towards Newark. Just north of Newark take the A17 for Boston over rail crossing, bear right at Eagle pub to lights over Haven Bridge, straight-on along John Adams Way (dual carriageway), turn right at traffic lights into Main Ridge, then right again into York Street. Away supporters travelling by car are advised to use the NCP car park off John Adams Way (after crossing the river take the first exit left off John Adams Way into the car park).
Allow around three and a half hours from Hereford.
(Some supporters may prefer to drive join the A607 a few miles after joining the A46. This route goes through Melton Mowbray and Grantham where one joins the A52 to Boston - it is a shorter route but not as good a road)
HUISA are running a coach leaving Edgar Street at 8.30am. Cost is £18. More details on 01432 276666.
The FUNBUS is without its usual driver for this game.
HUMADS are also running transport. However the organiser is currently away. Try 01684 572945.
TRAIN Travel: Probably not feasible from Herefordshire.
Graham Turner has kept silent about any prospects of players coming or going before the close of the loan window.
Currently John Wallis is spending time at Dover and there has been speculation that one or two other players that aren't currently featuring for the Bulls could also go out on loan.
As regards the two players who have come to Edgar Street on loan, Neil MacKenzie's last game will be at Boston on Saturday unless Scunthorpe extend the deal. John Eustace is mid-way through his second month with Hereford. Again, unless any further deal is agreed, he will be on his way back to Stoke next month probably after the Torquay game on December 9th.
Boston, where Hereford play on Saturday, are said to be poised to take a loan player and let a couple out.
Manager Steve Evans had hoped to be able to bring more players in but a couple may go out.
"There is no doubt that the chairman has been working around the clock in relation to the further investment he has spoken of, but it looks likely it will not be secured in time to allow me to add to the squad significantly before tomorrow?s deadline," Evans told the Official Boston website.
Bulls chief Graham Turner has blamed Walsall fans for the fiasco that has left many Walsall fans complaining about the Bulls organisation.
Turner has issued the statement he has sent to the Football League over the entry problems last Saturday, saying that over 600 Walsall fans turned up for the game without tickets after the match was advertised to them as all-ticket:
For our match against Walsall it was decided that for visiting supporters it was all ticket, with them being available for purchase from Walsall Football Club for approximately 2 weeks prior to the match.
Walsall sold to their supporters 535 tickets, the total number of Walsall supporters in the visitors areas was 1174 therefore 639, more than half turned up at Edgar Street without tickets.
The majority arrived at the ground within 15 minutes of kick-off. Despite being repeatedly informed that it was all-ticket for visitors, to have that number turn up especially at such a late time would cause problems for most Clubs at this level. Inevitably under the circumstances there was going to be delays.
Four days later we had an FA Cup replay with Shrewsbury the attendance was similar with 917 visiting supporters. Again it was all ticket for visiting supporters. Of the 917, 907 arrived with tickets, there was absolutely no problems in them getting into the ground in good time.
The obvious reason for Saturday's problem therefore is the number of Walsall supporters who arrived fairly close to kick-off time and without tickets.
Meanwhile, a message on the upthesaddlers forum reportedly from the Walsall safety officer gives a different point of view:
Many thanks for your observations. As the Safety Officer for Walsall FC, I was asked to take 10 of our stewards to Hereford to assist them. I saw everything you did and more at first hand. Like you, I was not happy with the treatment and some 30 minutes before the kick off I asked for the kick off to be delayed so that we could get everyone in. I was told no and I then asked for additional turnstiles to be opened. This did not happen until after kick off and after they had closed other turnstiles for their own supporters. Your comments are noted and I have already complained to their Local Authority Safety Officer (who was with me during the game), the police (I am a retired police Inspector and match day public order Inspector so I know about policing games far bigger than even Walsall have), and the Football Licensing Authority. Believe me, they have already taken notice and they had a meeting with the Club on Monday morning. I am waiting for their reply to my comments. There were a number of other issues I cannot go into, but suffice it to say that something is already being done.
Walsall were certainly selling tickets to their fans prior to the game, though it is unclear whether they were marketed as an all-ticket game. It does appear that the case comes down to whether Hereford United told Walsall that the game was all-ticket and, if they did, was it marketed as such to their supporters for so many to travel without tickets.
Speaking to the press after last night's game, the Shrewsbury official site reported the following comments from manager Gary Peters:
"I can't bellieve we lost that but that's what happens in cup ties. We were attcking them a lot of the time and had a lot of good chances in both halves but if you don't score goals then you don't win games. I was comfortable with the way that we were playing, the shape was good, the effort was there but we've got to get the ball into the net.
"You can look at the officals for decisions that change games but you've got to look at your players first, Gav Cowans caught the lads legs as he's run across him and he looks to have clipped him. I'm encouraged by the performance and I don't think the perforamnces have been the problem, when we are performing well the results haven't gone in line with that.
"We've got to keep doing the right and if we do then things will go right, the way we knocked the ball about today was the right thing. There were some superb performance today, Danny Hall was a different class, Stewart Drummond in midfield was superb, the legs and running from Dave Edwards and Ben Davies was good.
"I've got to be pleased with the performance but not the result. "
Hereford United manager, Graham Turner, spoke to Sky after last night's game.
"You have to score in your good spells.
"Shrewsbury had a spell for the first 45 minutes when they completely outplayed us but did not score.
"But we deserve the second-round match against Port Vale after our second-half performance.
"Our two goals were very good with Luke Webb scoring his first senior goal."
Striker Andy Williams has also spoken about the game.
"It was a poor first half, nothing really happened in the game. We didn't really create anything," Williams told BBC Hereford and Worcester.
"But certainly second half, going down the hill towards the Meadow End like we usually do, we picked the game up.
"Thankfully when I came on I managed to create a few chances and then Alan Connell put in a great first goal and Webbie an equally good second goal."
It can't be much fun being the manager of Boston when your family receives threatening phone calls.
Steve Evans had to call police after members of his family received verbal threats.
After the recent court case Evans admitted to Boston Today that he expected some backlash but he said verbal attacks on his family are a step too far.
"I asked fans to judge me on results and we are still in the process of getting things right on the pitch.
"I can see why some people want to have a go at me. It happened to Neil Thompson, it happened to Greg Fee and it happens to other managers who aren't at Boston United.
"But my wife and daughters have nothing to do with football.
"The police are confident that this will go to court."
Evans is currently in trouble with BBC Radio Lincolnshire after he called one of their reporters a 'numpty'.
Posters saying 'Evans is a numpty' have appeared in Boston and at the clubs ticket office.
Boston had their first away win this season last Saturday.
"The lads were magnificent on Saturday and we need more of the same this weekend against a very good Hereford side," said Evans.
"They've bought well and performed well. We all need to stick together to get a result."
Meanwhile Chester City have allowed Boston to keep Drewe Broughton for another month, following a request from the Lincolnshire club.
Hereford United manager Graham Turner must have wondered whether his team would ever defeat Shrewsbury last night but in the end the goals came.
"We gave quite a good impression of a non-league team in the first-half but, whether we deserve it or not, we have Port Vale here in the second round," said Turner as reported by the Hereford Times.
Meanwhile Hereford's midfield may have been lacking in experience last night but Luke Webb and Andy Ferrell were not lacking in effort. Ferrell seemed to be looking after Webb.
In particular when Webb was visibly annoyed having sent a long ball yards away from its target Ferrell went straight to him with encouragement. It was a good gesture.
Webb spoke to BBC Hereford and Wiorcester after the game:
"I did know I was going to play today so when I got the call I was really excited but you can't take away Alan Connell's strike that gave us the lead. It was an unbeleivable free kick under pressure.
"And the back three has been consistant. Andy Ferrell in mid-field was unbeleivable."
Andy Ferrell's tackle which earnt him a yellow card - picture by Andy Compton of the Hereford Journal
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
A couple of late strikes were enough to squeeze Hereford United through to the second round of the F.A. Cup at Edgar Street this evening. Local rivals Shrewsbury Town were the opponents in the first round replay following a no-score draw at Gay Meadow in the original tie.
Hereford were once again without loan duo John Eustace and Neil MacKenzie, and also striker Stuart Fleetwood missed out. Graham Turner decided to leave young striker Andy Williams on the bench though, and so there was a suprise start for Gareth Sheldon in attack alongside Tim Sills, who recovered from a head injury on the weekend.
The lack of games between the front two was evident as United failed to threaten in attack. That said, Wayne Brown in the Hereford goal had little to do, though Town did come close to breaking the deadlock on more than one occassion. Tamika Mkandawire, at the heart of a strong Bulls backline, had to be on hand to hook clear as David Edwards drilled the ball towards the lurking Andy Cooke at the far post. The Shrews went on from this to enjoy a spell of domination, and it was Neil Ashton who went mighty close with a low effort across the goal face from the left of the box.
Rob Purdie collected a yellow card on twenty five minutes as he lost the ball and then held back the attacker, as he threatened to burst through on goal. Ben Davies saw a glorious chance slide wide of the far post, similarly to Aston's effort before Davies crossed from a free kick to the near post, where Cooke thumped a header over the cross bar unchallenge. Brown was called into action before the interval as he made a low save to deny Cooke, who'd made his own space in the box having received the ball with his back to goal.
United came out a different side in the second half, and it was much needed as Shrewsbury's defence had an easy time in the opening forty five. The pressure soon turned into chances, but it was still set plays that the hosts were looking most likely from. Mkandawire got a flick on to the back post, and it took an outstretched leg by Gavin Cowan to stop Phil Gulliver getting a shot away. A Purdie free kick then made its way to Luke Webb at the far post, but his left footed shot was easily stopped by Scott Shearer.
Shrewsbury tried to freshen things up with the introduction of Derek Asamoah on sixty five, but it was Turner's change a minute later that made the difference. Williams replaced the ineffective Sheldon, and it gave The Bulls just the lift they needed. Gulliver had a fantastic chance to open up his account, but he blazed over at the far post as a long free kick picked him out in space, before the referee made a decision that could have changed the course of the game. Andy Ferrell, who'd been at the centre of United's second half charge, raced back to try to stop a Shrews attack through Davies. With the ball way in front of him, Ferrell simply hacked down the man, and was very fortunate to only pick up a booking.
Shrewsbury had the best chance of the game with seven minutes to go, just three minutes after the introduction of Leo Fortune-West. Dean Beckwith slipped while in possession, and Asamoah capitalised and raced away towards goal. His low drive was pushed away by Brown, but into the path of Fortune-West at the far post. With the goal gaping, somehow Mkandawire came in with a perfectly timed last-ditch tackle to save his side.
It proved to be even more vital, as United took the lead two minutes later. Williams, troublesome for the defence since his introduction, was fouled on the very edge of the box as he tried to latch onto Alan Connell's bal foward. It was Connell who took responsibility, and curled the ball brilliantly just inside the post to the 'keeper's left, delighting the home fans in a crowd of 4,224.
If that goal wasn't good enough, then the one that followed with two minutes to go definately was. Purdie played a ball down the right to Williams, who advanced into the box using some trickery on the way.
Webb's goal - picture by Andy Compton of the Hereford Journal
He then knocked the ball back to the (right) edge of the box, where Webb ran onto it, struck the ball first time and it flew straight into the far top corner of the net for 2-0. Cue wild celebrations all around Edgar Street, except in the away end where most of the 917 away fans were on their way home.
It turned out to be a good result for Hereford, but the first half way definately a cause for concern. With very little success going forward, Turner will definately be looking to make changes for the trip to Boston on the weekend. Eustace and MacKenzie will both be avaliable again, but Webb and Ferrell will definately have given the Gaffer food for though with their second half displays. It will be no suprise though if Williams returns to the starting eleven, as he inspired Hereford to victory. The Bulls can now look forward to a second round tie at Edgar Street with Port Vale of League One.
HUFC: Brown, Beckwith, Gulliver, Mkandawire, Jeannin, Purdie, Ferrell, Webb, Connell, Sills, Sheldon. Subs: McClenahan, Travis, Thompson, Rose, Williams.
STFC: Shearer, Herd, Cowan, Burton, Ashton, Edwards, Drummond, Hall, Davies, Cooke, Symes.Subs: MacKenzie, Jones, Sorvel, Asamoah, Fortune-West.
This evenings FA cup win was worth £16,000 to Hereford United.
Added to that will be a share of the receipts from both tonights game and the first meeting at Shrewsbury ten days ago.
Hereford United will also be pleased that their was no repeat of the long delays for away supporters to get into Edgar Street as happened last Saturday.
This evening there was a queue for the Meadow End. However as the game commenced it became apparant that this part of the ground was fuller than last Saturday, whereas other areas had less fans.
There were some electrical problems at the ground - one area affected was the press box - before the game but nothing during the game which started on time.
Alan Connell's free kick which put Hereford in the lead - picture by Andy Compton of the Hereford Journal
Meanwhile Andy Ferrell was booked for a poor challenge. Some referees might have given him a red card. Sills possibly after reacting to a tackle, and Purdie for a late tackle.
The stats gave Alex Jeannin an eight with all the other Hereford players receiving a six or seven. Both sides had ten goal attempts of which three were on target. But Hereford were penalised for 18 fouls against only 8 against Shrewsbury.
Finally, as expected, Stuart Fleetwood wasn't selected for the squad this evening. He was said to be still recovering from his virus.
Cracking goals from Alan Connell and Luke Webb sealed a 2-0 win over Shrewsbury in tonight's FA Cup replay.
Shrewsbury were guilty of missing repeated first half chances, and it was an Alan Connell free kick from the edge of the area that split the sides before most of the ground encouraged Luke Webb to shoot from 25 yards.
Full report later.
The win means the Bulls will entertain Port Vale on the weekend of December 2nd.
Graham Turner has received an early Christmas present from the Shropshire Star.
A Shropshire Star picture.
Turner was given the first copy of Meadow Memories by James Garrison who covers Shrewsbury Town for the Star.
Meadow Memories is a glossy magazine that recalls Shrewsbury Town's long stay at the Gay Meadow.
Meanwhile reports on the Hereford United Official Website that 'Stuart Fleetwood is available for selection' has surprised some supporters who were expecting Fleetwood to miss several more games.
To recover from a virus which caused the player to lose a stone in weight as quickly as has been reported is remarkable.
Bulls News had been told he would not feature this evening.
Andy Woolmer from Northamptonshire is to referee Saturday's League Two game at Boston when Hereford United are the visitors.
Woolmer will be remembered for being the referee in the Hereford play-off match against Aldershot several seasons ago when he sent Andy Tretton off.
Meanwile former Kidderminster Harriers player Drewe Broughton is hoping to seal a permanent move to Boston.
The 28-year-old's one-month loan spell from Chester is up following Saturday's League Two clash with Hereford. He scored his first goal for the Pilgrims last Saturday.
"I'm loving it at Boston," he told the Lincolnshire press.
Torquay United have announced that they will fine and sack their players for diving, under a new plan labelled the Torquay Initiative.
Under the plan anybody can submit video evidence of a Torquay player diving, or affecting the referees decision unfairly in any other way, within five days of a match. If the player is found guilty he will receive a written warning. A second offence will incur a final warning and a 'maximum Club fine', with a third offence being met with either transfer listing or sacking with no possibility of playing for the club again.
Full details of the plan can be seen at http://www.torquayinitiative.org/
While the plan seems courageous, it also gives a want-away player an easy escape route from a struggling side. In theory, a player could receive their 'three strikes' in just 10 days with midweek matches.
Gary Peters hasn't had much luck recently.
The Shrewsbury manager was quoted in yesterday's Shropshire Star saying that he is confident his team can recover from their recent poor run of form.
"Eight points would have been a good return and we have got two which isn't good enough - but we knew it was a very difficult period we were facing and we were competing with all the sides."
His side went down 2-0 at MK Dons last Saturday and Peters was eager to go through the game yesterday with his squad.
However the tape of the game was blank.
Meanwhile Shrewsbury will have informed Hereford United the number of their supporters who have bought tickets for the replay.
The Bulls will be keen to see that the away supporters are able to get into Edgar Street without undue delay after problems last Saturday when Walsall brought more support than was expected.
Monday, November 20, 2006
BBC Radio Shropshire have confirmed that they will provide live coverage of tomorrow's FA Cup replay between the Bulls and Shrewsbury on the internet from 7pm.
BBC Hereford and Worcester make no mention of coverage on their listings, giving the usual Malcolm Boyden programme from 7pm onwards suggesting that only occasional updates will be available.
The BBC Shropshire coverage can be accessed at http://www.bbc.co.uk/shropshire/content/articles/2006/11/07/fa_cup_commentary_feature.shtml
Chester Chairman Stephen Vaughan has vented his fury at his club's poor form, again rounding on the underperforming side for the third time this season. Chester lie in 15th place, 10 points from the play-off spots, and Vaughan was quick to criticise after a disappointing 1-1 draw with Stockport:
"The first half against Stockport was totally unacceptable, our players looked like strangers and it made you wonder if they knew what system they were being asked to play. I honestly thought that my coaching staff utilised the first half of the game as a form of scouting session, trying to work out the formation that Stockport would be playing. We have only won three of our last 16 league matches and that is causing me concern, it just isn't good enough."
Torquay boss Ian Atkins is also frustrated at his side. Now in 20th place after failing to win any of their last ten league games, Atkins warned his players that they will be out of the club if things don't improve: "It is disappointing that some of my players go away from our plan in some matches. I think that situation comes up because some of them think they are better than they actually are. If that the attitude of any of the players then they are no part of this football club."
Lincoln have terminated the contract of defender Tom Kemp by mutual consent. He is the third player to be allowed to leave Sincil Bank in as many weeks. The former Derby teenager failed to trouble the first team, but spent three months at Tamworth earlier in the season and is expected to join them permanently in January.
Peterborough have signed full back Adam Smith on loan from Southern League side Kings Lynn until January with a view to a permanent deal. Hartlepool are giving trials to Norwegian pair Thomas Ulvestad and Mads-Cato Moldskred after the Norwegian league finished recently. Barnet have told goalkeeper Ross Flitney he can leave the club. The former Fulham man was one of the first signings for the club on their return to the league but has been second choice for most of this season.
In advance of tomorrow's FA Cup replay at Edgar Street with Shrewsbury Town, Hereford United coach John Trewick has been talking to the Worcester News.
"We drew in the first game up at their place so in our minds we have done half a job and we need to complete the task with the view to an attractive home tie against Port Vale in the next round.
"Our attitude mustn't be that we have done the hard part. We mustn't be complacent and turn up thinking we are going to win it. They will want to win it as much as us.
"We know the drill, we know exactly the players we have available to us and, to be fair, the players who played at Shrewsbury did a good job."
Trewick revealed that Andy Williams had taken a slight knock to his knee on Saturday but should be fit. Tim Sills is also expected to play despite his head wound.
He expects Andy Ferrell and Richard Rose to play in mid-field as both loanees, John Eustace and Neil MacKenzie are cup-tied.
Stuart Fleetwood will not feature as he has not fully recovered from his virus.