Saturday, December 31, 2011
Northampton (17pts) end the year at the foot of the table after losing 2-1 at home to ten man Swindon. Earlier in the day, Plymouth (18) had their keeper to thank for a goalless draw with Aldershot that keeps the Bulls (19) a point clear of the bottom two. Barnet lost 1-0 at Crawley last night and are joined on 20 points by Dagenham after they beat Gillingham 2-1. Bradford pulled themselves clear with a 3-1 win over Shrewsbury, with Bristol Rovers dropping into the bottom six with a 5-2 home loss to Crewe.
At the top Crawley lead by three points from Cheltenham, who beat Rotherham 1-0 last night, with Southend a further point behind after beating Wimbledon 4-1. The Shrews are fourth, four points short of the last of the automatic promotion spots, with Swindon fifth and Burton, who drew 2-2 at Morecambe, sixth. Gillingham round out the play-off spots, a point ahead of Oxford who had a goalless draw with Torquay. Port Vale are two points further behind after losing 2-1 at Macclesfield.
Exiled Bull’s first game for six weeks leaves him scratching his head.
Horribly aware that the Bulls can only win matches this season when I’m present, guilt has steadily mounted that the Premier League has had my attention in recent weeks. Accrington was my opportunity. As I left my Birmingham city centre office into the cold and teeming rain, I was thinking do I really need this? This concern was reinforced by fog patches and road works on the motorway. I pressed on, mindful that the alternative would have been an evening with the in-laws discussing the price of the bread and the travails of the 405 bus route.
The first new feature of course was the re-opening of the Starlite function suite. Excellent facilities all round and a great tribute to David Keyte. I did note with some astonishment that both the Starlite and Radfords was packed. I’m not sure whether that says Herefordians in general have a drinking problem or that watching the Bulls sober isn’t a terribly good idea.
Another surprise was the astonishing amount of facial hair sported by 50/50 ace seller and all round good egg Nick Brade. It’s hard to do justice in print to these spectacular sideburns . They’d certainly drawn comments all around the ground, the most flattering of which was a single descriptor - “Wolverine.” My theory was that Nick was trying to back the campaign that “Hound of the Baskervilles” was set in Hergest Rocks, near Kington.
But the biggest shock of all was the managerial decision to become the Stoke City of the Fourth Division, launching constant long balls to bypass the midfield. Heavens, are we really that desperate? If we had huge players right across the front line, skilled at winning aerial balls or holding possession, then I’d reluctantly accept it. For me, Arquin, Colbeck and young Tommy are far more comfortable on the grass. Playing Pulis-ball isn’t their game.
I can (and frequently do) applaud workrate and determination. There was much of both during the Accy fixture but entertainment - where’s that gone? The Accrington game was grim. Just one game of course but if this is to be regularly repeated, next time I have a dilemma about whether to travel to the game or not .. the outcome might be different.
Towards the end of last night's fans forum Gary Peters was asked to explain why David Cornell, the sub goalkeeper, was not on the bench.
"We had a spell when David was playing brilliantly," he said.
"Then we went through a spell where he had a really terrible time. From the Yeovil game when he let a terrible one in at the near post and lost a bit of confidence.
"Then Burton when he had two balls that went through him. When we showed them to him he said 'I'm embarrassed, my mum could have saved them'.
"He had a terrible drop in confidence. He wasn't playing well and that co-insidered with the time that Adam Bartlett was coming back.
"We probably brought Adam back a week or two too early but Adam is a good player and he's here next season because he is on a two year contract.
"I can't do anything about the people who has got two year contracts, we work with them and a lot of them are probably people we would keep. Bartlett certainly.
"Can we afford the expense of having Adam sitting on the bench with Dave Cornell, both keepers that want to be playing first team football.
"Cornell wasn't in the team. He was ill. We don't know what he has got but he's back at Swansea. Now on the first of January they are allowed to recall him if they want and I think that is what they will do because he's not in our team.
"Now Dan Hanford is a young keeper showing a lot of promise and he's doing it for next to nothing. He was at Swansea and was let go. We might have a really good keeper for next season.
"So it's better for us to let Cornell go back if he wants to and it saves us all the money we would have to pay for Cornell."
A supporter asked if Peters had thought about playing Ryan Green in mid-field.
"I know a lot of people who write on the Bulls News or Bulls Banter come up with ideas and that one I looked at. I like to know what is going on, what people feel. And I thought that's not a bad idea.
"Ryan is a good defender, he reads games but he had a doubt about it so you can't put him there."
Anothe point Peters made was that there are not many Hereford players who talk in the game.
"We haven't got many talkers in the side. Stef Stam talks, Towner talks, Del talks. Other than that they are a very quiet squad of players.
"To get the best possible team work and ethics you need people who give information all around the place and we don't get enough of that."
Finally Tom Barkhuizen and his loan spell.
"Now I can't take any credit for him because Jamie got him here.
"He's done tremendous for the club. He's on £150 a week. It's not as if lads like that are breaking the club.
"Tom wants to stay. Blackpool love what has happened to him so far.
"So the only reason I can see Tom going back is if someone phones Blackpool from a higher division or a better position geography-wise to say it might help him if he steps up a gear.
"But Tom wants to stay here. He loves the place and he loves the chance he's had.
"Tom probably won't go back but if he does go back we've got Joe Colbeck to play in that position and it would give James McQuilken a chance.
"In January Richard Peniket will be able to play for us. He's on loan and I think Fulham will let us keep him for the season. He's finisher.
"Once he is fit we've definitely got a goal threat."
Gary Peters poured praise on his strikers at the fans forum last night.
"Up front I think we give people a run for their money at the moment," said the Hereford United director of football.
"Yoann is difficult to play against. Del wins every header but they've got to start doing that in the box. We've got to start scoring.
"Del wins every header at the back. He wins every header on the half-way line but I need him to start winning things in their box.
"He's seen the light, he's a very influential player. He must win near enough every header from corners against and we've put him in there to do that after the debarcle against Rotherham where we had three goals against us, two from corners and one from a free-kick.
"Del has a role where he gets just in the six yard box where we think the majority will come in. He just attacks the ball, he doesn't have to mark anyone.
"He's gone from not even playing to being the captain so that's proof it's not about personalities, it's about people prepared to work hard."
Peters was asked about Kenny Lunt who hasn't featured for sometime.
"I don't like knocking any player, even players who are not in the side. Kenny is not as physical. If we have a two man mid-field with Kenny as one of them it would be very hard for us to win a physical battle.
"If we put Kenny and Harry there, Harry is still very weak. He's 6ft 4in and he's going to be a good player one day."
Another question was about James McQuilken who also hasn't featured, bar one game, recently.
"Jimmy has been battling against Harry Pell and maybe Tom Barkhuizen.
"If we put Jimmy and Kenny in there together, I think we would get out-muscled, and I don't think it would work.
"If we put Jimmy instead of Tom Barkhuizen, people would say that's crazy. He's a lovely lad, he's trains hard, he works hard but I can't see him getting in the team.
"We've said to Jimmy you need to be playing some games. If you're not getting involved what do you want to do. We've got him for next year as well. We feel he needs to play some games so he might go out on loan to do so.
"We're not passing the ball so that takes Jimmy out of the game a lot."
Peters continued to press home his view that the mid-field needs to be physical.
"I think Joe Colbeck coming back makes us a little bit more physical than Steve Leslie was."
Next was a question about the experience of manager Jamie Pitman.
"At the moment he is your manager. I came here and Jamie was your manager and Jamie was your manager last year.
"I can here to help Jamie. After ten games this season I got a phone call to say would I consider coming down to help the manager out.
"The chairman didn't feel it would be good for the football club to sack the first manager after ten games, give another manager a two year contract and then sack him after ten games.
"We've done a lot of work and when I came here I though we were the worst team in the division. I don't think we are anywhere near the worst team now.
"I don't think it is the right time to change the manager. I think we are on the right track."
Port Vale have confirmed they have sacked midfielder Gary Roberts due to his continual breaches of their disciplinary code. The former Crewe man has agreed to join Mansfield. Meanwhile the Valiants' local council has expressed 'concern' about the running of the club in the wake of recent revelations. The council have a £2.25million loan handed to the club that they are receiving monthly repayments from.
Bradford winger Kyel Reid is to miss six weeks after being diagnosed with a hamstring tear. Meanwhile, joint chairman Julian Rhodes has told the press the club will give funds to manager Phil Parkinson to boost the squad: “The balance we have to achieve is to spend as much money to stay up, but while also keeping as much back as we can to really have a go at it next season. We have probably over spent this year but we know we have to stay up as going down is not an option.”
Darlington's Supporters Trust have issued a statement saying they have tried to meet chairman Raj Singh to discuss the club's predicament, but he has ignored their requests. Barnet's hopes of extending the loan of defender Gary Borrowdale from QPR have been put on hold after the player had a contract dispute with the Premier League side. The Bees say he will be unavailable for their match on Monday as a result.
Around 130 supporters attended the meeting which was chaired by HUISA's Keith Dodd and took place in the 'events' room on the first floor of the newly-refurbished Starlite Rooms.
In his opening words, Peters welcomed supporters.
"This is something new, now this has opened up we feel that the people are going to come and spend their money here before the game need to get a little bit extra. So we felt it would be a good idea for me to come in and tell you the team before others can get it unless you've read it already on Bulls News!
"And we'll why there are changes. The team never changes for no reason. It's changed because something has gone on. We want you to know about it.
"We want you to ask some questions. We don't mind how tough the questions are. If you want to ask why someone is not playing, or why the system is what it is, then it helps.
"At the end of the day it is your football club. We want you to take part and get involved in it."
Peters then revealed the team. He mentioned why loan keeper David Cornell was not in the squad.
"Cornell is still at Swansea. He's been ill for a week or so. Chances are he might want to go back to Swansea in January anyway.
"There might be a few people wondering why Harry (Pell) has been left out. I think he's looking a bit tired at the moment. I think he suffered badly in the last game. He wasn't at his best and he's a young lad. I think that over the past four or five games we've been attacking teams very well, we've been in winning position on lots of occasions and it's a travesty that we've given the games away. Especially here.
"We've looked back at every goal we've conceeded since the Swindon match. None of them occasions have we lost the ball, or the goal, by bad play, we've usually lost the ball from a stupid mistake. And a lot of them mistakes have involved the two mid-field players.
"So we are looking to strengthen the mid-field by making sure the two people in mid-field have got a defensive mind, because what we've been playing over the past few weeks is four at the back and six attacking.
"We felt we needed to toughen up because we can't keep getting into winning positions and losing games. We've done that too often. We've got to man up, get a bit tougher, make sure we get in front and see the game out."
Later in the forum Peters was questioned by a lady supporter about the lack of subs at the recent home game against Port Vale.
"I think it's a very good point. They (Vale) were 1-0 down, there was about 20 minutes to go and they brought on a whole new forward line.
"But we were winning. If we were winning 1-0 and you want us to change the side and then we start losing, you'll be saying why did we make the substitutions."
The lady was not pleased with Peters reply.
"I'm here to try and help you," quipped Peters. "I'm here to try and tell you why these things happen. This is new. There's not many other clubs that would do this. Especially when we've just lost five or six games on the trot.
"I'm brave enough to come here. Ask us the questions, we'll tell you why we do it. If you don't like it I can't do anything about that but I'll tell you the truth.
"Their manager was in a position that he had to change the game as he was 1-0 down. We're in the position where we're 1-0 up, we're attacking them and we had four chances.
"Now if we had changed the game then, and we had lost, you'd say we did you change the game. They scored close to the end and then we made a substitution but it was too late - the game was too late because we lost in the last minute."
Asked why the sub wasn't made at 1-1, Peters said "there was only a minute between it being 1-1, there was only a minute in-between. This is the crazy thing. We lose a goal and heads drop.
"If you want us to be better at dealing with that, we have to have players who are tough enough to say look we've let a goal in but we're going to keep at it and we're going to turn this back into a 2-1 for us not a 2-1 for them.
A supporter then questioned Peter's mann-up view. Why pick two of the smallest players in mid-field?
"It doesn't mean if you're 6ft 2in then you're tough and if you're 5ft 6 in you're not, that's rubbish. That's nothing to do with manning up.
"We've got two players there in Purdie and Clist who will run and chase and work as hard as they possibly can. And we need them to do that.
"In Nicky and Harry, they're young lads, not the most physical. They've got good footballing abilities, Harry takes us forward brilliantly, makes great runs and takes us forward. But defensively we've been awful in mid-field for the last four or five games since we changes from three in mid-field to only two.
"We either go back to three in mid-field which no-one wanted. When we were playing 4-5-1 everyone was moaning we didn't have two forwards, everyone wanted 4-4-2.
"We feel as we are getting fitter we can play 4-4-2. We feel we are a better attacking team but we've got to get better defensively and in the last four or five games defensively in mid-field we've been poor near the end of games.
"The two we've put in tonight will make more tackles. We need players in mid-field to run and stop the opposition."
In his post match interview following the 1-1 draw between Hereford United and Accrington, Gary Peters sounded confident that the Bulls can drag themselves out of the relegation area. The Bulls could go bottom of the table by 5pm this afternoon if Northampton and Plymouth can win their games.
"What we've got is getting better all the time," peters told BBC Hereford and Worcester.
"The second half of this season will be very much better than the first half, I can guarantee."
Of the game itself Peters was disappointed with only taking a point.
"Obviously we are disappointed to have given the goal away.
"That is unlikely to happen again when Adam (Bartlett) let the ball slip through his hands - he is not going to do that very often. I thought the game was a bit scrappy - they had an extra man in midfield with five in the middle while we only had four.
"It looked as though Accrington were having a lot of possession, but we didn't have too many saves to make. But I thought we should have taken our chances better in the first half and put the game beyond them.
"We didn't do that and we paid for it in the end. At least when we did concede the goal we looked a lot tougher and a lot stronger and ready to deal with it, whereas we have lost games recently when we have let a goal go in followed by another very quickly."
Meanwhile Stanley manager John Coleman appeared pleased with a point.
"It was scrappy stuff but I lambasted them at half-time and they responded," he said.
Recovering from illness, Ryan Green played an incisive through ball to Yoann Arquin. The youngster lost his marker, showed some instant control, and fired a terrific low shot from the edge of the box which flew into Ian Dunbavin’s net via the far post. Tracking back, Arquin then gave away a free kick from which Bryan Hughes forced Adam Bartlett to make a save. Another Stanley free kick was then cleared firmly by the head of Delroy Facey.
Colbeck looked lively, not allowing the visitors time to clear, and Tom Barkhuizen and Arquin caused a threat, with Facey providing some useful flicks. Townsend and Stam dealt confidently with what attacking moves the visitors could muster. A long clearance by Stam found Arquin who found the side netting from a tight angle, and then Colbeck’s pass found the Frenchman marginally offside. Meanwhile, Craig Lindfield slipped the ball through for Padraig Amond who shot tamely into Bartlett’s arms when well placed. A promising move down the Hereford right saw Green involved twice, and culminated in a shot that was well fielded by Dunbavin.
HT: HUFC 1 ACCRINGTON STANLEY 0
John Coleman’s half time talk seemed briefly to galvanise the visitors. Bartlett did well to gather a long distance cross from Dean Winnard, when under pressure, and the Bulls keeper was then alert to clear after Townsend misread the flight of another long ball from the visitors. Barkhuizen latched onto a weak back header, knocking it past the keeper, but sadly he could not keep it in play. Arquin’s cross was hoofed for a corner kick, from which Purdie’s downward header was grasped by Dunbavin before the strikeforce could react. Facey’s centre found Colbeck who could not control it and then Arquin was twice unlucky with passes intended for Facey. Clist joined in the fun with an enterprising run as the Bulls created the majority of chances.
Andrew Procter’s long range effort cleared the bar, and then Purdie timed his saving tackle on Lindfield to perfection. These incidents aside, it still seemed likely that Hereford would “see the game out” as Jamie Pitman had advocated. Those present at previous games knew what the script had in store. On 72 minutes, an over-eager Arquin gave away a free kick for a trip on Winnard way out near the touchline. Sean Hessey ballooned the ball towards the far post, Bartlett misjudged its flight and an unholy goal-line scramble ensued. Eventually, the football emerged to safety, and the referee would certainly have played on were it not for the frenetic waving of a flag that persuaded him that it had crossed the line. Substitute Micah Evans’s head had apparently made the telling contact. Cue calls for goal-line technology/ divine intervention/ Acts of Parliament to avoid perceived injustices in future. Suffice it to say that we will never see an adequate replay, and that The Official With The Flag seemed pretty adamant.
The Bulls barely looked like restoring their lead, and managed to survive a couple of late scares. A corner played back to Hessey was belted goalwards, and Peter Murphy could not deflect it home, and Evans then set up Lindfield whose cross was overhit. Another case of what might have been, with the added worrying prospect that by this time tomorrow, Hereford could conceivably hit rock bottom. Perhaps we should have started without them?
FT: HUFC 1 ACCRINGTON STANLEY 1
Attendance: 2057, with 108 Ultras, plus the inevitable drum.
HUFC: Bartlett, Green, Townsend, Stam, Dalibard, Purdie, Clist, Colbeck, Barkhuizen, Arquin (Pell 82), Facey (Elder 76).
ACCRINGTON STANLEY: Dunbavin, Winnard, Hessey, Murphy, Long, Procter, McIntyre, Hughes, Lindfield, Stockley (Evans 53), Amond.
Friday, December 30, 2011
One of the reassons behind this evening's pre-match fans forum was to give director of football Gary Peters to chance to explain his team selection to supporters.
He gave the reasons why he had dropped Nicky Featherstone altogether and relegated Harry Pell to the bench including their, in his words, inability to defend. Instead he had selected a mid-field combination of Rob Purdie and Simon Clist.
Peters pointed out that the Bulls had gone ahead in several matches recently but had failed to hold onto that lead.
However exactly the same senario occured this evening.
The Bulls, playing towards the Meadow End, took the lead through a well-worked goal and deserved to be in front at the break.
But the longer the second half went on Accrington got back into the game and it was only a matter of time before they equalised. Hereford keeper Adam Bartlett appeared to be at fault for their goal. And from that point on Accrington looked the more likely to score.
Gary Peters will have to tinker with this evening's team for the Burton match on Monday as Rob Purdie is suspended.
A couple of other points from the forum. Firstly it looks as though Dave Cornell's spell at Edgar Street is over. Peters is hoping Swansea will recall him. He also felt Cornell had a few poor games recently.
Secondly James McQuilken is expected to go out on loan.
More from the forum tomorrow.
Final Score: Hereford 1-1 Accrington Stanley
Goalscorers: Yoann Arquin (5), Micah Evans (72)
Possession: Hereford 50% Accrington 50%
Shots on target: Hereford 5 Accrington 3
Shots off target: Hereford 2 Accrington 2
Corners: Hereford 2 Accrington 3
Fouls: Hereford 13 Accrington 9
Yellow cards: Rob Purdie (who will miss the game at Burton as he has now collected five cards), Benoit Dalibard, Joe Colbeck.
Attendance: 2,057 including 108 Accrington supporters and a drum.
Bottom of League Two: Hereford drop a place to 22nd.
The Bulls gained a point with a 1-1 draw with Accrington.
In a game of few chances the much altered Bulls went ahead through Yoann Arquin 's neat finish, but a fumble by Adam Bartlett allowed Stanley to equalise and the Bulls never looked like earning a winner.
Full report later.
Online betting exchange site Betfair are reporting that they have 'matched' over £275,000 worth of bets on tonight's Bulls match - mostly in the Bulls favour.
The figure is ten times the usual sum for a League Two game, with none of the other games scheduled for tonight topping the £30,000 mark at present.
Every bookmaker listed on the Oddschecker site reports that they have cut the odds on a Bulls win. The previously quoted 11/5 (22/10) odds available with Victor Chandler, for example, are now just 13/10.
It is not the first time there has been a significant gamble on a game involving Accrington. Back in 2009 six players were fined and banned over betting on a match between Accrington and Bury.
Update 4.30pm: With the sum wagered now past £300,000, Betfair have told the Hereford Times the figure is "not nearly as much as some matches", while another leading bookmaker has told Bulls News that they will investigate any suspicious patterns and are currently examining the market.
Relegation rivals Bradford have missed out in their chase for striker Paul Benson, with Swindon announcing his signing.
The 32 year old will move to the County Ground in exchange for misfit forward Leon Clarke. The Robins had made a late move for Benson in November after Bradford had attempted a last-minute renegotiation on the agreed deal.
Paolo Di Canio has also offloaded a second striker today, with former Torquay man Elliot Benyon joining Southend for an undisclosed fee. The 24 year old joined the Robins in a six-figure move 12 months ago, but started only seven games and spent the first half of this season on loan at Wycombe where he scored only once.
Another departee from the County Ground is former Bulls loanee Jake Jervis, with the 20 year old's loan spell expiring. The Birmingham forward scored five times in 15 games for the club, with Di Canio hoping to secure a longer deal when the transfer window reopens.
According to mid-fielder Nicky Featherstone, he will be watching this evening's game against Accrington Stanley from the stands.
Featherstone has been ever-present in the starting eleven only missing a couple of games at the start of the campaign.
Speculation that there will be other players dropped hasn't been confirmed as yet.
Former Bulls keeper Tony Elliott has turned down the assistant manager's role at Blyth to remain in the same role at Workington. Elliott spent ten years working under new Blyth boss Tommy Cassidy at Workington and other sides. Bradford have extended the loan of Stoke defender Andrew Davies until the end of the season. The 27 year old has played nine times for the Bantams, and has been sent off twice.
Crawley boss Steve Evans says there is 'no crisis' at the club and that he has transfer funds and money to spend on wages despite what co-owner Susan Carter said last week about them failing the League's wage cap rules. Ipswich say Evans' offer for former loanee Andy Drury was half what the clubs had agreed at the start of his loan spell. Meanwhile, defender Kyle McFadzean has laughed off press speculation linking him with a move to Bolton.
Shrewsbury's teenage defender Connor Goldson is being chased by a number of Premier League sides, according to speculation. Southend fans are up in arms over Aldershot's refusal to give refunds for their abandoned match with Southend. The Shots say their policy is to only give refunds if the game fails to reach half time, but they have previously admitted knowing about the electrical problems that forced the abandonment before the match even kicked off.
Plymouth boss Carl Fletcher says he will not have funds to pay transfer fees in January, but he will be looking to sign players. Burton have told full back Kevin Amankwaah that his short term deal will not be renewed in January. The former Swindon man has played eight times for the Brewers since signing in October, but boss Paul Peschisolido has told him he needs the money to strengthen other areas.
Port Vale midfielder Gary Roberts is expected to leave the club in the next week after he was suspended for turning up for training 'not in a fit state' on Wednesday. Boss Micky Adams claims the troubled former Crewe man has been 'tapped up' by a Conference side - reported to be Mansfield - after he was dumped out of the Valiants first team following his previous misdemeanours. Northampton are to sign Birmingham striker Akwasi Asante on loan. The teenager made his Blues debut in the Europa League earlier in the season.
Port Vale Vice Chairman Mike Lloyd says the club's board knew nothing about the second mortgage obtained on the club's ground until ten days after the event, saying that outgoing chairman Peter Miller set the deal up on his own without authorisation. Lloyd himself has refused to resign despite pressure from fans.
Given the inability of the regular strikers to find the back of the net on a regular basis, Hereford United manager Jamie Pitman had been considering giving on loan striker Richard Peniket his debut for the Bulls this evening.
However an injury to his ankle whilst on a run over Christmas means he'll miss out.
"He was knocking on the door to get a start," Pitman told BBC Hereford and Worcester.
"And if not certainly being involved on the bench for coming on in games, because he is a threat and he is a goalscorer. We've seen that in the reserves.
"It's not massively serious but we're in touch with the physio and make sure he is 100%."
There are four League Two games this evening including the one at Edgar Street.
Cheltenham v Rotherham, 19:45
Crawley Town v Barnet, 19:45
Dag & Red v Gillingham, 19:45
Hereford v Accrington Stanley, 19.45
Dagenham only need to take a point more than Hereford from the games to go above the Bulls in the table.
Bottom of League Two:
21 Hereford 18 points G/D -18
22 Dagenham 17 points G/D - 17
23 Northampton 17 points G/D - 19
24 Barnet 17 points G/D - 19
Meanwhile BBC Hereford and Worcester will have live coverage of the game at Edgar Street on 94.7FM from around 7.40pm.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Bulls Director of Football Gary Peters will hold a mini-forum in the Starlite Rooms from 6.15pm tomorrow.
He will unveil the line-up for the Accrington match and answer fans questions over tactics and team selection.
Meanwhile, supporters previously using the ticket window next to the Players Entrance to collect tickets are to now pick them up from the Starlite Rooms reception. Tickets can also be purchased there for blocks C and D.
Accrington boss John Coleman says he won't be underestimating the Bulls, but he sees them as blocking their path to the play-offs.
He told Accrington's official site: "We'll make sure our players are well aware of what we're going to be up against. It'll be a difficult game but we've had them watched and I know a bit about them anyway. It'll be another challenge for us, but they're just another team standing in our way. These are the challenges we look forward to."
Coleman has midfielder Luke Joyce suspended for the trip south, while defender Alan Burton remains sidelined after surgery that has limited him to one sub appearance this term.
Midfielder Ian Craney is also fit after injury and, when asked about Accrington's record of failing to win at Edgar Street in eight previous trips, he told their official site:
"It is a tough place to go but the way we are playing at the moment you can't doubt us going there and getting a result. You do have [the results record] in the back of your mind but we have to go into the game with the same attitude as we have had for the last four or five games.
"There's always a great atmosphere there [Edgar Street] to be fair. Especially in the Conference days when we were both going for the League and there were 3,500/4,000 gates. They were always good games and hopefully Friday night will be another one."
Hereford United manager Jamie Pitman has confirmed that the club are in talks with Blackpool over an extension to the loan deal of winger Tom Barkhuizen. Pitman would like to keep the player at Edgar Street for the rest of the season but he admits the decision is up to Blackpool.
"Tom, obviously, is enjoying himself," Pitman told BBC Hereford and Worcester.
"He's scoring goals, he's playing games, he's happy here.
"For his developement as an 18/19 year old it would be great for him to continue to do that.
"But at the end of the day we are in Blackpool's hands with that."
To date Barkhuizen has scored eight goals in nineteen appearances for the Bulls.
Jamie Pitman has told BBC Hereford and Worcester that the squad are working as hard as they can to put the recent run of defeats behind them.
"The last five or six games we're sitting here saying we should have, could have, would have - it doesn't matter, you have to win games," said the Hereford United manager earlier today.
"Ultimately it's about winning games. Should have, could have, would have will get you relegated."
Reminded that the club can't go another five or six games without winning, Pitman said they knew that.
"We're working as hard as we can to put that right. The spirit within the camp is fantastic."
Pitman was pleased with the improved support last Monday.
"The crowd were fantastic, I have to say that. There were 3,000 people here and a good atmosphere.
"And I think they appreciate that we are not far away. But ultimately they want to see a winning team. We understand that. The players understand that."
Pitman feels it's good that the next game is tomorrow evening.
"We can try and put things right as quickly as possible.
"We always try to pick a team that's going to win a game but also we've got to pick a team that isn't going to lose a game as well because we can't keep going and losing leads like we have done.
"In the last five games we have been leading in four of them while we got back into the Rotherham game.
"We have to make sure that we win those games and understand how to shut out games.
"If that means we have to change personnel, then we will have to change personnel."
Darlington are set to call in the Administrators for the third time in nine years, the local press are reporting.
The Quakers players were reportedly told this morning that December's wage bill would not be paid and that the club would enter Administration in the coming days.
Current owner Raj Singh bought the club out of their previous Administration less than three years ago, but relegation to the Conference followed and the club has seen attendances drop by 25% since the start of the season.
Update: A club statement says that Singh is assessing the club's situation with his advisors and that a statement will be made next week.
Meanwhile, Port Vale have announced that Peter Miller is to step down as chairman of the club. The under fire chief is claimed by the club to have only had an agreement to stay until the end of the year, a fact never revealed to fans previously, with the club statement saying that his £100,000 salary and benefits will also cease although he will remain on the board at present.
Reports in the national press today say that the BBC will pull the plug on The Football League Show at the end of the season.
With the show not due to be back on screens until mid-January rumours began circulating that it had already been axed, but presenter Manish Bhasin told his twitter followers the shows over Christmas were axed as a 'budget decision' and the programme would return.
However today's Mirror reports a BBC insider as saying the show will be scrapped at the end of the season and would not return. The BBC's three year deal to show Football League highlights expires this summer but it is facing making cuts of 15% to it's sports budget.
There's still time to purchase £10 tickets to watch the Accrington game at Edgar Street tomorrow evening.
How? Simply go to the Truffles website, www.truffledeals.com and click on the Hereford Deal.
At the time of writing 58 supporters have already done the deal.
Voucher Valid for the Hereford United v Accrington Stanley Match on 30th Dec 2011 @ 19:45 Kickoff Please take your voucher, order confirmation and ID to any Turnstile, there will be no need to exchange for a ticket. Vouchers will be emailed out on 30th Dec morning after deal has finished Maximum of 4 tickets per purchase
With the Truffles deal a family of four could watch the game for as little as £24.
Port Vale chief executive Perry Deakin says he was only following orders when he agreed to join the board. Despite telling fans that he, personally, had purchased £100,000 worth of shares in the club, he says the deal was that he would 'own' shares purchased by Blue Sky under instruction from the club chairman, Peter Miller. Deakin, who quit last week, will leave the club in February. Meanwhile, the Supporters Club have demanded answers as to why Miller and Deakin lied to them at a December 1st meeting.
Fleetwood have announced the signing of Newport midfielder Danny Rose for an undisclosed fee. Rotherham say they will be looking to sign a new keeper in January with loanee Conrad Logan expected to return to Leicester. Swindon are in negotiations with Crystal Palace to make keeper Wes Foderingham's loan move permanent. The 20 year old has kept eight clean sheets in 13 appearances for the Robins.
Gillingham have blasted Crawley after manager Andy Hessenthaler was cleared by Police of making racist remarks during their match on Boxing Day. Crawley boss Steve Evans is claimed to be the complainant. Plymouth fans are reporting receiving invoices from the club's former Administrator claiming fees for use of the club's function rooms. Several of those who have received bills say they have already paid and can provide proof.
Kettering say that the club's former main sponsor owes them over £400,000, however the club is currently unable to pursue the bill as it cannot afford the legal fees. Plymouth have signed keeper Ollie Chenoweth on a deal until the end of the season. The teenager was a product of their Academy side but was released in the summer due to their financial position.
Tomorrow evening is the last of three Hereford United home games which under 16 supporters can watch for just £2.
As yet it's not been announced whether this offer, or a similar one, will continue for January.
The game, against Accrington, kicks off at 7.45pm.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Port Vale midfielder Gary Roberts is being investigated over a 'serious breach of club discipline'.
Roberts was on the bench for Vale against Hereford United last Monday at Edgar Street.
The ongoing enquiries are said to be of a 'sensitive nature'.
Roberts has already been suspended once this season after he failed to turn up for training on the Sunday following defeat by Shrewsbury the day before.
He was 'unfit to carry out his duties' said manager Micky Adams at the time.
Victor Chandler is currently offering a price of 11/5 for a Hereford United win over Accrington Stanley on Friday evening. Top price for a draw is 12/5 which is available at several bookmakers.
Latest Offer from SkyBet:
Hereford 13/8 Draw 23/10 Accrington 11/8
Hereford United want to make good use of the refurbished Starlite Rooms and so have made some 'matchday' changes as detailed below:
Starting this Friday when The Bulls entertain Accrington, the new matchday Club Reception will be in the entrance to the Starlite Rooms.
Supporters who have previously been using the Matchday Ticket Office next to the players entrance to collect complimentary tickets, 6-game tickets, 12-game tickets or press tickets are asked to collect these from the reception area within the newly refurbished Starlite Rooms.
In addition, tickets for C & D Block will also be on sale from within the Starlite Rooms, and supporters purchasing these tickets will be able to enter the ground via the new door leading from upstairs in the Starlite Rooms to the back of D Block.
Season ticket holders for C & D Block will also be able to use the facilities. They must give-up their matchday voucher on entry to the stand via the Starlite entrance, and use their Season Ticket book to gain entry at half time.
Supporters holding a ticket for C or D Block will also be able to return to the bar at half time via the door at the back of the D Block. It is important for supporters wishing to use the bar at half time to retain their match ticket to gain entry to the bar, and back out for the second half.
Only supporters seated in C & D Block will be able to use these facilities at half time - Radfords will remain open as usual for other areas of the ground.
The Club are keen to make the best possible use of the new facilities, and would ask for patience and feedback from supporters as new systems are tested and improved.
If you have any comments or suggestions about the new Starlite Rooms please contact the club - email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 08442 76 1939.
The Bulls entertain Accrington Stanley in a rare Friday night outing in League Two.
The two sides have shared the same division in seven of the past eight years, coming up from the Conference together in 2007. The Bulls have the better of the League encounters, winning four to Stanley's two, but will want to forget March's 4-0 capitulation at the Crown Ground. Last time at Edgar Street the two sides shared a 1-1 draw in October 2010, one of Jamie Pitman's first matches in charge.
The Bulls' boss has come under increasing pressure after a dismal run of form with a vocal number of supporters calling for a change in the hotseat. With both Dagenham and Plymouth winning on Boxing Day, the four point cushion that the Bulls have had for several weeks has deflated to the slenderest of margins and another defeat could be the final straw for some. On the pitch it could be the last Edgar Street outing for some of the loanees, with the loans of Tom Barkhuizen and Simon Clist both expiring before the next home match.
Stanley are preparing themselves for a second-half tilt at the play-offs and arrive at Edgar Street on the back of four straight wins and seven League games unbeaten. The run has coincided with the arrival of veteran midfielder Brian Hughes and teenager loanee striker Jayden Stockley. The Bournemouth youngster scored twice against the Bulls in the Johnstones Paint Trophy earlier in the season and has scored three goals in six games for Stanley so far, while former Birmingham man Hughes has scored twice in his six matches so far.
Hereford United vs Accrington Stanley, Edgar Street, Friday 30th December, 7.45pm.
Port Vale's outgoing chief executive Perry Deakin has told the local press their latest mortgage was needed 'to keep the club afloat'. He says the club usually has a summer surplus in the bank of £750,000 from season ticket sales but started this season with nothing after having to cover last season's losses and lower sales after a fans campaign against buying season tickets. He claimed most League Two sides were living a 'hand to mouth' existence.
Swindon have loaned striker Jordan Pavett to Heybridge Swifts for an initial month. The 20 year old had a trial with Crewe earlier in the season. Weymouth chief George Rolls has denied the Non-League Paper's report that he is to head a consortium set to buy Kettering. Rolls says he will be remaining with Weymouth.
Council planners have backed plans for Worcester's new stadium. The plans will go to the next planning committee meeting in early January for approval but will still need to be cleared at Government level before work can start, while there still remains doubts on how the club will fund the construction. Cheltenham are to extend the loan of Huddersfield striker James Spencer until the end of the season after seven goals in 23 games so far this term.
Bournemouth say they will not make an increased bid for Swindon winger Matt Richie after having a £500,000 offer turned down. Bristol Rovers boss Paul Buckle's sacking will happen 'sooner rather than later' according to the local press, with a reporter for the Bristol Evening Post claiming that the majority of board members are now against retaining the former Torquay man.
Northampton boss Aidy Boothroyd says the club will be under 'massive transition' over the next two months as he reshapes the squad. The Cobblers boss has confirmed press speculation linking them to veteran defender Christian Dailly, who is currently training with Southend. Former Bristol Rovers midfielder Stuart Campbell has joined US side Tampa Bay Rowdies following his release from the Memorial Ground.
A consortium of local businessmen have told Darlington chairman Raj Singh that they will take over the club if he can keep it running through to the end of January. The group want the club to avoid the strongly rumoured Administration and would be in a position to take on the club within a month. Swindon have had loan defender Liam Ridehalgh recalled by Huddersfield due to an injury to their first choice left back.
Northampton are to appeal the red card handed to defender John Johnson in their loss to Burton on Monday. He was sent off for allegedly elbowing Burton's John McGrath and faces a three game ban. Dagenham say they will be making moves in the January transfer window with both former Bulls trialist Sam Williams and Luke Howell expected to miss the rest of the season.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Former Bulls striker Leon Constantine has continued his footballing trek this season with a move to Conf North side Boston.
The 33 year old had already appeared for Basingstoke, Lewes, and Tooting and Mitcham this season, leaving his most recent side after just six weeks. Boston report the veteran to have relocated to Peterborough, and he made his debut for the Pilgrims in their Boxing Day win over Eastwood as a second half sub.
Tom Barkhuizen's future at Edgar Street remains uncertain this evening after a 'tweet' from the Blackpool loanee.
'Time for what could be my last journey to hereford' is his latest 'tweet'.
Hopefully there will be talks between the two clubs in the next day or two to resolve his future.
James Adcock from Nottingham is set to referee next Friday evening's League two game between Hereford United and Accrington Stanley.
It will be the first time Adcock will have been in charge of a game at Edgar Street or, as far as BN is aware, any game involving the Bulls.
He was only appointed to League level last spring and didn't have the easiest of starts when he had to send three players off after an injury time brawl at Moss Road.
After the game Wycombe boss Gary Waddock described the brawl as "value for money". Later the FA fined both Wycombe and Macclesfield for their part in 21 man punch-up.
To date this season Adcock has been in charge of 16 games in which he has given out 42 yellow cards and 3 red cards.
Departed Darlington captain Ian Miller says the club failed to respond to his requests for a meeting. He says their inaction 'forced his hand' in leaving the club after they failed to pay him for November. Swindon are reported to have rejected a £500,000 offer from Bournemouth for winger Matt Richie. The Cherries say the bid was rejected yesterday and they may make a higher bid soon.
Port Vale say they took out the second mortgage on their Vale Park home to cover 'short term cashflow issues' relating to them having only one home game scheduled in December. Boss Micky Adams has also told the press he was not told about their off-field dramas. He learnt from the press that chairman Peter Miller had returned to the US, and that Chief Executive Perry Deakin had resigned. Despite this he doesn't plan to have talks with the board at present.
Aldershot say their floodlight problems, that saw yesterday's game with Southend abandoned, meant they were unable to power on more than two floodlights at the same time. The game was abandoned 25 minutes after the half time whistle with engineers unable to rectify the fault. The Non-League Paper claims Kettering are on the verge of a takeover that will see controversial Weymouth chief George Rolls come in with backer Colin Hill. Rolls' wife is currently the main shareholder for the Terras.
Former Plymouth administrator Brendan Guilfoyle says that he will operate future Administation periods at clubs on a strict one month schedule, with no confidentiality agreements and all money to be paid up front. The announcement comes after his firm did a 'post-mortem' on their handling of Plymouth's sale where their offices were targetted by angry fans as their involvement dragged on.
Crawley boss Steve Evans says the club have had a bid for loanee Andy Drury rejected by Ipswich. The midfielder left the Red Devils earlier in the week at the end of his three month loan. Newport say they have accepted a bid from an unnamed club for midfielder Danny Rose. The 23 year old has scored 11 goals this season.
Crawley boss Steve Evans told reporters that Gillingham fans would be celebrating 'as if they've won the World Cup' after the Gills won at the Broadmoor - er - Broadfield Stadium yesterday. Evans was reported to have had an after match spat with a Gills player, and then the lights went out on the Gills as they were warming down after the match. Gillingham winger Chris Whelpdale will be out for a few weeks after tearing open his scrotum during the match.
Darlington are down to just 15 contracted players at the club after defender Jonatan Sanchez-Munoz quit the club this week. The Spaniard had struggled to settle in England and the lack of pay from the club saw him ask for his release to return home.
Monday, December 26, 2011
And if that is not bad enough, they have scored just 20 goals in 22 games.
But perhaps the most telling stat is the inability of the strikers to score, particularily since Gary Peters was appointed director of football.
Whilst in his 12 games with the club 16 goals have been scored, just 5 have come from strikers. Meanwhile young winger Tom Barkhuizen (pictured) has scored 6 in that time, a great return from the Blackpool loanee.
As yet nothing has been confirmed about the future of Barkhuizen at Edgar Street. His current loan spell comes to after the Burton match on January 2nd. Blackpool will be well aware how he is doing and hopefully will extend the loan until the end of the season. There is simply no-one currently at Hereford who could replace him in his role.
Meanwhile Richard Peniket, the young striker on loan from Fulham, wasn't on the bench this afternoon despite warming the bench last Saturday at Plymouth. Sean Canham took his place.
Surely Peniket must be given a chance, sooner as opposed to later, to see what he can do. Neither Delroy Facey, Nathan Elder, nor Yoann Arquin appear to be a real threat in front of goal. To date Facey has scored 2 goals this season, Arquin has scored 3 goals to date and Elder, who often has had to be a lone striker, has also scored just 2 goals. That's not a good enough return.
After another disappointing result at Edgar Street, Jamie Pitman told BBC Hereford and Worcester that he feels that the Bulls are not far away.
"I thought we showed some exciting stuff at times and I think we are not far away," said the Hereford United manager.
"We've getting in front in games but we're not quite just seeing them out. But we're not far away. We keep saying that.
"I said to them in there you can't be a hard luck story, people don't remember them.
"You either get relegated or you graft and keep doing it. And that's certainly what the players are doing.
"I don't think anyone can say they are not working hard enough or they are not committed to it.
"Just things at the moment going against us.
"We've got to make sure we keep their spirits as high as possible and give them all the confidence we can. External things that go on, we can't control it.
"The only thing we can control is what goes on in training. We've just got to work and keep working and battling on."
Listen to the full interview: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/16334836.stm
Port Vale manager Micky Adams spoke to their OS after this afternoon's match at Edgar Street. A triple sub by Adams probably helped Vale win the game.
"We had spoken about the way Hereford do their work; a lot of long balls that you have got to deal with, and I think in the first half we were a little bit disjointed," said Adams.
"Our midfield four weren't close enough to our defensive four, so we lacked a bit of cohesion. But we sorted it out in the second half and looked a bit better, but then we went a goal down, so it was a little bit of a shock to the system.
"It looked at one stage, that for all our efforts we weren't going to make the breakthrough.
"To be fair to Hereford, I thought they caused us problems all afternoon; they stuck the ball into the channels and made it very difficult for us from a defensive point of view. At times we looked ok, and at other times we looked a little bit ragged. But we have ground another one out."
The Bulls stay 21st in the table, but see their safety net cut to just one point after today's results. Plymouth are back on the bottom of the table despite coming back from 2-0 down to beat Bristol Rovers 3-2. They drop to the foot of the table on goal difference after Dagenham beat Barnet 3-0, while Northampton are also on the 17 point mark after squandering a 2-1 lead to lose to Burton 3-2. With the Bulls on 18 points, and the Bees on 20, Bradford moved above Barnet with a 3-0 win over Crewe, moving them up to within a point of Bristol Rovers.
At the top Crawley's lead is down to three points after they went down 2-1 at home to Gillingham. Cheltenham are up to second after a goalless draw with Shrewsbury, while Southend drop to third with their trip to Aldershot abandoned at half time due to floodlight failure. The Shrimpers were 1-0 up at the time, with the Shots having ex-Bull Darren Jones sent off as well. The Shrews are fourth, Burton fifth, and the Gills sixth with Swindon slipping down to seventh after a 1-0 loss at Torquay. Oxford are a point and a place behind their rivals after winning 2-0 at Wimbledon, while Rotherham are three points off the top seven after a goalless draw with Macclesfield. Accrington are two points further behind following their 2-1 win at fast sinking Morecambe.
In the Conference it was shooting practice at Kenilworth Road as Kettering, who took their 13 players in cars because they couldn't pay for a bus, getting one shot on goal all match as they went down 5-0 to Luton. Wrexham lead the table by two points after winning 2-0 at Telford, with Fleetwood drawing 2-2 with Southport. Kidderminster beat Forest Green 1-0, while Stockport lost again, going down 1-0 at Barrow to sit just one place off the bottom.
Whilst the rest of the building isn't quite finished, first impressions appear favourable.
The decor is bright and one particular appeal is that the room looks out onto the Edgar Street pitch. There are a couple of 40in TV's including one above the bar area, well positioned for anyone waiting to be served.
As yet, there is a lack of local beer available. But it's understood that will soon be remedied.
Late goals against cost Hereford United dearly as Port Vale fought back from a goal down to claim three points at Edgar Street. A bumper day Boxing Day crowd of 3,097 saw Tom Barkhuizen's sublime lob hand Jamie Pitman's men the advantage but an Adam Yates strike levelled proceedings, before Marc Richards won it with a penalty.
With Michael Townsend out due to suspension, Ryan Green returned at the heart of defence. Steven Leslie was also an absentee, with Joe Colbeck making his first start since his serious injury at the start of the season. The visitors included three former Bulls in their starting line-up; Lee Collins and John McCombe were regulars in the League Two promotion season of 2007/2008, whilst Jennison Myrie-Williams was a loanee the following season in League One.
With a number of supporters still queueing up outside, a host of chances were created in the opening minutes. Vale's Gareth Owen managed to bring down a deep free-kick, poking an effort goalwards which Adam Bartlett diverted behind. Doug Loft struck straight at the former Kidderminster 'keeper, before Delroy Facey should have opened the scoring with a left-foot effort. A neat flick from Yoann Arquin set up Barkhuizen, who in turn found Facey; the former Lincoln striker had plenty of time and space but rushed an effort which rose over the bar. Following a half hearted penalty appeal for handball, Simon Clist dragged a right-foot past the far post before the game settled into a scrappy affair, on a bobbly pitch.
Facey was winning his fairshare of headers; his flick was pushed into the path of Colbeck by Arquin and the winger's drilled shot was held by Stuart Tomlinson. A counter-attack by Vale allowed Guy Madjo space to run, twist and turn before tamely striking at Bartlett. As the half drew to a close, Loft stung the palms of Bartlett with a well-struck half-volley, before United's defence was put to the test, with a number of last ditch tackles and blocks denying the visitors.
Much like the last outing against Plymouth, the second-half produced the goals with top scorer Barkhuizen showing his credentials with another fantastic goal. A throw-in from Rob Purdie on the right-wing was flicked on by Facey to Colbeck, who managed to find Barkhuizen; the Blackpool loanee nodded the ball and delightfully spotted Tomlinson off his line, placing a right-foot lob in off the far post. In reaction to the goal, Micky Adams introduced Sean Rigg, Richards and Ben Williamson with Rob Taylor, Madjo and Tom Pope making way.
However, it was Hereford who were looking the more likely to add to their opener with Featherstone volleying into the arms of Tomlinson from 20 yards. At the other end, a cross to the back-post by Loft was met by Richards, who had shrugged off the challenge of Clist, but could only head back across goal and wide. Good link-up play from Arquin and Facey saw the former power a shot goalwards from an acute angle which Tomlinson smartly saved, whilst soon after, Facey again found his French strike partner and a low-cross was touched goalwards by Colbeck, who did well to get in front of his marker, with Tomlinson denying him with a save he knew little about.
Yet, there was a sting in the tale for United as Vale equalised. A low cross from the left-wing eventually fell to Yates, who stroked home from just inside the box. Buoyed by their goal, Richards went close with an acrobatical effort following a McCombe flick. With 84 minutes on the clock, Vale struck the winner. Collins breezed down the left unchallenged, eventually passing into Myrie-Williams, who managed to sort out his feet before being knocked over by Green. Andy Woolmer pointed to the spot and sub Richards sent Bartlett the wrong-way, much to the delight of the 511 away fans. Nathan Elder came on for Featherstone, with three minutes remaining but had little time to make an impact. A deep corner from Colbeck was nodded into the side netting by an umarked but slightly surprised Purdie, whilst at the other end, Vale could have added a third but Williamson's powerful shot was superbly blocked by a brave Bartlett.
An entertaining encounter for the improved crowd at Edgar Street but again, late goals at home denied the Bulls. The result leaves Hereford in dangerous territory, after wins for Dagenham and Plymouth today. Barkhuizen looked the dangerman throughout, whilst the returning Colbeck made an encouraging performance. For all Arquin's and Facey's work, they rarely threaten in front of goal which is a major frustration for supporters. Next up for Pitman's men is the visit of Accrington Stanley this Friday evening; United desperately need a victory at home to ease their relegation fears.
Hereford: Bartlett, Purdie, Green, Dalibard, Clist, Barkhuizen, Featherstone, Pell, Colbeck, Facey, Arquin.
Subs: Hanford, Stam, Canham, Clucas, Elder.
Port Vale: Tomlinson, Yates, McCombe, Owen, Collins, Taylor, Griffith, Loft, Myrie-Williams, Pope, Madjo.
Subs: McDonald, Roberts, Rigg, Richards, Williamson.
Below are the main stats from Edgar Street where Hereford United lost out to Port Vale 2-1.
Possession: Bulls 43% Vale 57%
Shots on Target: Bulls 6 Vale 5
Shots off Target: Bulls 8 Vale 7
Corners: Bulls 4 Vale 4
Fouls: Bulls 15 Vale 12
Cards: Yellows for Harry Pell, Rob Purdie and Nicky Featherstone
Man of the Match: The sponsors choose Tom Barkhuizen
Attendance: 3097 including 511 from Port Vale.
Bottom of League Two:
Hereford are 22nd, just one point above Dagenham and Redbridge and Plymouth.
The Bulls endeavoured against Port Vale in a game they were not expected to get anything from, but they will be disappointed to have lost 2-1.
Tom Barkhuizen provided another piece of sheer quality to give the Bulls the lead but they failed to hold on, shooting themselves in the foot in conceding a penalty for the winner.
Full report later.
Tickets for just £10 to watch Hereford United's match against Accrington Stanley next Friday evening are available through the 'Trufles' website.
The site says that 'Voucher Valid for the Hereford United v Accrington Stanley Match on 30th Dec 2011 @ 19:45 Kickoff. Please take your voucher, order confirmation and ID to any Turnstile, there will be no need to exchange for a ticket. Vouchers will be emailed out on 30th Dec morning after deal has finished. Maximum of 4 tickets per purchase.
For more details go to: http://www.truffledeals.com/hereford-united-v-accrington-stanley.html#1
Sunday, December 25, 2011
There is no charge to park on the Merton Meadow car park tomorrow, saving fans an additional £1.50.
While the council introduced Sunday charges in their price increases introduced in November, Bank Holidays remain free of charge. Kids tickets are also available for the game for just £2 making a trip to Edgar Street excellent value.
If you are coming to Edgar Street by car, why not use the money saved on parking to buy an extra 50/50 ticket from the sellers around the ground. The half time draw, operated by HUISA, sees all it's profits donated directly to the club.
While normal matchday income has only 55% of its value counted towards the salary capping rules, 100% of the money donated to the club through the likes of HUISA can be used to reinforce the playing budget meaning the more that is donated to HUISA and club funds, the more the club can spend on wages in the January window.
Port Vale fans got an early Christmas present yesterday, but it was one wrapped in yet more disappointment.
They were jubilant when a club statement announced that Chief Executive Perry Deakin has resigned from the role, but then details were revealed that showed the club had obtained a second mortgage on their Vale Park home earlier in the month.
Deakin, who is reported to be remaining with the club for the forseeable future while he works his notice period, had stated only the day before that he would not be resigning. Both he and Chairman Peter Miller have failed to provide proof that they paid for the shares that were issued to them.
Meanwhile, later in the day, documents surfaced showing that a £300,000 second mortgage had been taken out on Vale Park just three weeks ago. There is currently no explanation from the club, believed to be on a financial knife-edge, as to why they took out the loans with a seemingly anonymous Gibraltar-based company two days before their investment deal with Blue Sky collapsed.
Fans are now calling for a Police investigation into club affairs with concerns mounting over the running of the club.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Ahead of Monday's game, Port Vale manager Micky Adams has noted that Hereford United are 21st in the Division Two table but feels there is one man in their management team who could propell them to safety.
"Gary is in there and we know all about his record at this level," Adams told the Sentinel.
"He knows about fitness and organisation and he will be drip feeding that through to Jamie Pitman."
Adams has also revealed that two former Bulls are likely to start for the Valiants on Monday. John McCombe and Lee Collins played for Graham Turner in the 2007/08 season but later moved to Vale. McCombe has recently hasd a spell on the sidelines but Adams feels his form has returned.
"When I came back to this football club I gave players who had been here previously a little bit of slack because I knew what they were capable of, but if I felt they were performing below themselves I'm not scared to do something.
"I don't think John was performing to the high standards we saw at the beginning of last season.
"I did talk to him about going out on loan, but he wanted to stick around and fight for his place and now I think he's back to his best."
Meanwhile the bookies appear to favour Vale to win the game.
Latest Odds from SkyBet:
Hereford 11/5 Draw 12/5 Vale 6/5
However Victor Chandler are offering 5/2 for a Hereford victory and both BetFred and Totesport are offering 5/2 for a draw.
Boxing Day's League Two match against Port Vale at Edgar Street is one manager Jamie Pitman feels the club needs to win.
"It should be quite an attractive game with Port Vale doing quite well themselves," Pitman told BBC Hereford and Worcester.
"We've got to make sure we get something out of it and put on a show for everyone.
"They've got a very experienced manager in Micky Adams who has done a very good job there this year.
"So it's going to be a tough one, but they are all tough.
"We've had them looked at and they've got some good players.
"We've got to stand up and be counted."
Meanwhile Pitman has said he would be happy with 'five or six' points with the three games to be played over the holiday period.
Dec 26th: Port Vale 1.30pm Home
Dec 30th: Accrington 7.45pm Home
Jan 2nd: Burton 3.00pm Away.
One of birthday-boy Steve Guinan's best performances for Hereford United was at Lincoln on a cold February evening in 2007. Here's a reminder.
IMPudent Guinan bags Hatrick as Bulls Stun Lincoln
It was as usual a game of two halves but on this occasion they both belonged to the rampaging Bulls. Hereford, all too often slow out of the blocks, opened their account as early as the second minute when a cross from the left found Alan Connell lurking 12 yards from goal. His neat turn provided an opportunity and he coolly fired into the right corner of the net beyond the reach of home keeper Alan Marriott. It was clear from early on that the game was going to provide splendid entertainment for the crowd and, indeed, Lincoln's on-loan striker Spencer Weir-Daley tested Wayne Brown with a shot from 15 yards in the eighth minute but Brown was well placed to collect. Around the quarter hour mark, both Connell and Andy Williams saw good efforts narrowly miss the target and as the half entered the final 15 minutes Weir-Daley found himself clear on goal but the excellent Brown was quickly out to smother the shot. The Bulls found the net again in the 35th minute when a Danny Thomas cross was met by a thumping header from Ben Smith. Unfortunately, the "goal" was disallowed for a holding infringement. However, just a minute later United got their just reward. The advancing Trent McClenahan drilled an inch perfect cross to the feet of Guinan who hammered in from 6 yards to give the Bulls a well-deserved two-goal half time lead.
The second half produced another early goal for the visitors. This time, the half was just sixteen seconds old and the mid-match coffee not even drunk when the ball fell to Guinan 12 yards from the target and in a style reminiscent of a few years ago Stevie G planted the ball firmly passed a well-beaten Marriott. Just eight minutes later the hatrick was completed. Andy Williams scorched down the right flank, dropped a shoulder and then cut in to the box to fire in a shot, which Marriott was only able to deflect upwards. As the defence pushed up, Guinan coolly headed the ball high over everyone and into the top left corner of the net. Mass celebrations erupted in the visiting fans section as Guinan raced to the touchline to take a theatrical bow. The fans were, as you would expect, in full voice; immediately enquiring - Turner, Turner, what's the score? The Imps did get a goal back shortly afterwards when Weir-Daley forced home a Nat Brown flick-on but there was no doubt that Hereford were full value for their 4-1 lead.
In general, it was an excellent spectacle for the fans with good quality, fast, passing football from both teams spoilt only by a shocking late tackle on Dean Beckwith by Lincoln substitute Leon Metton whose eight-minute contribution was terminated by a straight red from referee Mr Salisbury. The team performance from the Bulls squad was superb from back to front. Wayne Brown was on top form and the defence was well marshalled by the outstanding Beckwith with Rose rarely putting a foot wrong. Rob Purdie and McClenahan (best game so far) completed a first class defensive 90 minutes while the graft and no small amount of skill from Jennings and Smith gave little scope to the Lincoln midfield. Wide players Thomas and Williams continually tormented the home back division and Connell's non-stop chasing was rewarded with a well earned rest for the final fifteen minutes when he left to be replaced by Tim Sills. Steve Guinan is truly looking back to his best with three goals and a display of his full repertoire of flicks and defence opening passes.
FT Lincoln City 1 Hereford United 4
MOM Dean Beckwith
Attendance 4695 (Away 151 but sounded like at least 300!)
Friday, December 23, 2011
Port Vale fans are reporting sales of only around 300 for their Boxing Day trip to Edgar Street.
With their ongoing protests against their board significantly damaging their recent home attendance, and the authorities currently banning sales to Valiants fans on the day, the travelling support is substantially down on the 800 they brought to Edgar Street last term.
Those attending are not expected to continue their campaign of organised protest against the club board on the day, with the two main protagonists both away from the club and not expected to attend the game, but are planning to resume activities at their next home game.
According to statistics released this morning, twelve Hereford United supporters are currently banned from watching football at league grounds. Four of these bans were imposed last season.
The League Two club with the most banning orders is Bradford City. They have 38 banning orders. Next highest is Plymouth Argyle with 33.
The only club without any banning orders is Dagenham and Redbridge. Gillingham has just one and there are four clubs with just two 'supporters' banned.
Of Hereford's near neighbours, Swindon have 32 banning orders, Shrewsbury have 20 and Bristol Rovers have 19.
Out of a League Two total attendance of 2,306,332 there were 188 arrests last season just two less than the previous season. 11 of those arrested were Hereford United 'supporters'.
Two of these were at Edgar Street and nine at away grounds. One for was violent disorder, seven for public disorder, one for pitch incursion and two for alcohol offences.
Topping the arrest table were Oxford United who had 35 'supporters' arrested last season. Local rivals Shrewsbury had 14 arrested.
The latest revelation in the Port Vale saga is that the shares that board duo Peter Miller and Perry Deakin bought were to be funded by Blue Sky. The Sentinel claims to have seen a document that says the pair and Blue Sky's Hank Julicher were acting together to buy the shares - a deal that is against the club's own rules on shareholders. It is those rules that blocked Mo Chaudry's bid to join the board when he and Mark Sims attempted to buy shares between them.
Aldershot have released midfielder Graeme Montgomery. The 23 year old former Dagenham man signed for the Shots in the summer but failed to make a single first team appearance. Kidderminster chairman Mark Serrell has blasted media reports that Northampton have had three bids rejected for striker Jamille Matt. Serrell called the bids 'derisory' and that the press report was designed to unsettle the player. The 21 year old, plucked from Sutton Coldfield Town last season, has netted eight times in their last 14 games.
Port Vale have released full back Rob Kozluk from his short term deal, but have extended the deals for Clayton McDonald and Phil Roe until the end of the season. Veteran Kozluk made 7 appearances since signing in September but has not featured in the last month. Defender McDonald has extablished himself as a regular since arriving on a six month deal in the summer, while first year pro Roe made his senior debut earlier in the season.
Chelsea have recalled keeper Sam Walker from his loan at Northampton. The decision comes after the Cobblers signed veteran Shane Higgs yesterday.
Several clubs have made appeals for fans in a bid to boost income over Christmas.
With attendances falling heavily, Bulls chairman David Keyte told shareholders at the AGM that every penny was vital and it was hoped that fans would make more use of the club shop and new bars. Other clubs have since echoed this sentiment.
Over at Crawley co-owner Susan Carter, disappointed at the level of gates, called on the fans coming to matches to make more use of club facilities including their own car park, bar, and club shop. At Ebbsfleet, they revealed a £50,000 shortfall in funding to the end of the season and asked fans: "You could buy extra 50/50 tickets, bring a friend along, eat at the ground rather than before arriving, stay after the game for one extra drink."
The Gravesend club has even opened up their own car park in a bid to bring in extra income, while at Bradford chairman Julian Rhodes pleaded with fans who had turned their back on the club to come back and support them over the Christmas period after seeing gates drop by nearly 1,000 this season.
Wrexham have stocked their first replica shirts for four years in a bid to help plug a £100,000 shortfall to the end of the campaign while Grimsby are seeking new investors to retain their current spending levels past the current season, and the situations at Kettering and Darlington are well documented.
Football's general plea this Christmas seems to be - 'Don't forget the club you love.'