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Monday, November 30, 2009

Chester Decision Delayed

Chester's fate has been delayed until an emergency meeting of the Conference committee on Thursday.

Today's deadline, the third one to demand the repayment of outstanding sums to Wrexham and Vauxhall Motors, passed without payment of what is claimed to be just £12,500. The Conference have told Cambridge that their match with Chester tomorrow will go ahead.

A Conference statement (here) says they are extending the deadline "to enable the Football League to provide maximum assistance in drawing matters to a satisfactory conclusion."

Chester's argument over the unpaid debts is that they are owed substantial funds by the Football League for their parachute payment, however they are understood to have failed to qualify for the payment under current terms due to the fact that they are no longer the company that left the League in the summer.


Cobblers 10/11 to defeat Bulls

Northampton Town are firm favourites to defeat Hereford United tomorrow at Sixfields according to Skybet.

Northampton 10/11 Draw 12/5 Hereford 3/1

However the same organisation gives the Bulls hope for three points next Saturday when Sven comes to Edgar Street.

Hereford 2/1 Draw 5/2 Notts Co. 5/4

With the Bulls slowly but surely moving up the League Two table the odds for promotion have slightly dropped to 20/1. For a top of the league finish 125/1 is available.

As for top scorer in the league, no Hereford United player is on the Skybet list. This is assumed to mean that Leon Constantine and Marc Pugh, for example, are at least 150/1 to score more goals tham any other player in League Two.


Bulls Gates Under Expectations

Attendances at Edgar Street this season should be a cause of concern, with numbers dropping below pre-season estimates.

Graham Turner told the press before the start of the season that they were anticipating a 25% drop in income, however gates are currently down 27% - and falling. Last season's average of 3,270 has dropped to 2,402 with the last four home matches, including the derby match with Shrewsbury, have averaged just 2,272 - a 30% drop on the season before.

Gates at Edgar Street have seen the third worst drop of all League sides - with Darlington already recording a 32% drop and Stockport 30% - while nine League Two sides have recorded drops of 10% or more this term.

Finances would have been bouyed by this season's cup sucesses, but an increase in early season loan signings would have dug into that income. Saturday's £7,500 for extended TV highlights also brought about a string of new advertising hoardings at Edgar Street that would have nearly doubled the TV cash, while the prize money for winning the First Round game was also a bonus on last season's takings.

Saturday's match at Edgar Street, against Notts County, has been designated all-ticket for away supporters so should see a good number of Magpies fans through the doors, but the subsequent games against MK Dons and Lincoln are not expected to be huge draws.

The Johnstones Paint Trophy game has been classed as standard general pricing, with discounted kids tickets in advance, rather than the more usual discounts across the board that will likely harm the attendance while the Lincoln game, moved to the Friday night to avoid the Christmas shoppers, is not expected to be a strong draw. For many it will likely to be a case of one game or the other with finances tight and with both games being on cold winter nights a few may decide to skip both.

Falling attendances could have one serious consequence. The Football League will expect revised turnover figures in December and any club deemed to be breaching the wage capping rules on the updated figures will get a transfer embargo.


Cobblers Bemoan Low Gates

Northampton need to win Tuesday's game with the Bulls to get the club's supporters back through the gates.

Gates at Sixfields have dropped 18% on last season, and just 2,800 home fans of their 4,000 average watched Saturday's FA Cup loss with manager Ian Sampson telling the local press that only one thing will get the fans back through the doors: "Without stating the obvious, we just need the results. It doesn't matter how you play, winning football gets fans back into the stadium and that's what we're trying to do.

"We're in a bad spell of results where we haven't had a win, but the past couple of performances have pleased me. The first half at Aldershot was probably the best we've played for a while and I was delighted with our general play against Southampton.

"We've conceded too many goals this season and we know that. We've scored a few, we've been pretty good going forward but we need to tighten up at the back. We just need to be closer to the opposition, whether it's the player crossing the ball or the player in the box."

The Cobblers will be boosted for tomorrow's game by the debut of loan man Danny Swailes. The MK Dons defender missed their FA Cup game with stitches in a knee injury, while ex-Bull Dean Beckwith is back in training after missing two weeks with a hamstring problem and fellow defender John Johnson is also expected to return from injury.


News Round Up

Another day, another rumour of disquiet at Notts County. The Mail on Sunday reports that Sven Goran Ericsson is unhappy after not receiving payments from his contract with the Magpies' parent company. He is reported to have two contracts - one with the club and a second deal working as an Ambassador with the parent company - and the paper says he is owed millions in unpaid fees. County say the matter is nothing to do with them.

Shrewsbury have reported payments to agents of £18,966.66 for the year up to the end of September. Aldershot reported £6,000. Meanwhile the Shrews' major sponsor, kit manufacturer Prostar, is to take legal action against Accrington over unpaid debts. Stanley are wearing a Joma made home kit and the Prostar made away kit after the company pulled the plug on the deal due to the debts.

Dagenham have signed defender Gavyn Dayes on non-contract terms. He arrives from Ryman side Tonbridge Angels, so is allowed to move outside the transfer window as he has not been attached to a qualifying club. Altrincham have asked fans to find the £1,000 application fee to join the Football League should they be in a position to need it at the end of the season. They are currently six points short of the play-offs.

Chester's alleged former owner Stephen Vaughan has told the BBC he has 'retired' from football. The 48 year old will be nearly 60 by the time his ban from being a company director is lifted, but he tells the BBC he will continue to fund the club - words that will be of interest to the footballing authorities. The club have not paid any of the footballing debts that are due for payment today, and the Conference are expected to make a statement later.

Lincoln have ended the loan of striker Rene Howe from Peterboro due to ongoing injury problems. He was due to stay until January, scoring five times for the Imps.


Preview: Northampton vs Bulls

The Bulls travel to Sixfields on Tuesday night looking for their first win against Northampton in seven attempts.

Last season the Cobblers did a League double over the Bulls, winning 2-0 at Edgar Street last November before securing a 2-1 win in a desperate scramble to avoid relegation in April. Those wins add to two narrow LDV wins during the Bulls' Conference years and two victories in the Bulls' final League season mean they are unbeaten against the Bulls all the way back to March 1996, when Tony James (the First) scored the only goal of the game to seperate the two sides.

The Cobblers have had a management change and acquired two ex-Bulls since the two sides met at the end of last season. Stuart Gray's two and a half year reign ended in September after a slow start, but Ian Sampson has failed so far to ignite their season. He has won five of 16 games in charge to leave them 18th and two points behind the Bulls. Dean Beckwith and Steve Guinan were recruited by Gray in the summer to varying degrees of sucess. Beckwith has missed six League games with a variety of injuries, while Guinan has seven goals.

The Bulls are still seeking their first three points on the road this season. It was March when Guinan helped the Bulls to three points at Carlisle, with thirteen League matches passing since. In those games the Bulls have only been beaten by more than one goal twice and have often fallen to a late lapse of concentration just like the one that undid the Bulls on Saturday - the Bulls have now conceded 13 times in the last five minutes of either half. They have also never lost when scoring first - but have also not won when conceding first either.

Northampton Town vs Hereford United, Sixfields, Tuesday 1st December, 7.45pm.


Death of Former Bull

The death of Frank Fidler, a former Hereford United player, has been announced. He was 85.

Fidler was born in Middleton, Lancashire in 1924 and started his footballing career with Manchester United. However his time with them was curtailed by the second world war and he only made one appearance for them before moving to Witton Albion.

He moved to Wrexham in 1950, then to Leeds United in October 1951 and onto Bournemouth in 1954.

A move into non-league football with Yeovil followed before Fidler moved to Hereford United where he spent three seasons.

Fidler was in the team who defeated Queens Park Rangers in the second round of the FA Cup in late 1957. Played in front of 10,131 the Bulls won the game 6-1.

That season Fidler scored 32 goals for the Bulls in all competitions. And in his three seasons with the Bulls he scored 63 goals.

In 1960 Fidler left Hereford and ended his career at Bridgewater Town.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

National Supporters Survey

The Football Supporters Federation (FSF) recently carried out a national supporters survey which was completed by over 6,400 fans. Whilst the FSF are still analysing the data they have released an 'early overview'.

The survey was internet based and 92.6% of the respondents were male and 37.3% were between 18 and 30. 58.6% earn less than £30,000 and 50% were season ticket holders.

Despite being in a recession just 25% plan to go to less games. In fact 20% said they hoped to watch more games.

50% thought ticket prices were too high and 25% were put off by kick-off times having to be moved for TV coverage.

Of particular interest to Hereford United fans might be the subject of travel costs.

30% of all fans travel 51 miles or more to watch home games and 32% thought travel costs were a 'significant factor' in deciding to watch fewer games.

27% of fans 'cited disillusionment with football in general' as a reason for watching less matches.

Finally the three subjects that usually come up in fans surveys - stewards, police and the stand up and/or sit down question.

54% said they had witnesses unfair stewarding in the past five years and 46% unfair policing.

50% of fans said they would prefer to stand if the option was available and of those 50% around three quarters have been told to sit down when they wanted to stand.

As the FSF commented - which other industry has to harass its 'consumers' into not doing something they actually want to do? We can't think of one.

More on this survey in the lastest edition of The Football Supporter, the official magazine of the FSF.


Guinan's Dream - to play for Barcelona

Although he admits it won't happen, former Hereford United striker Steve Guinan, now with Northampton, has said that his dream would be to play for Barcelona.

Recently interviewed by boys from Northampton's Gateway School, Guinan revealed that he started playing football in a team when his older brother was short of players.

"My very first memory of playing football when I was four years old

"My Dad ran the club's football team with my older brother and he was a few players short so I joined them on a Saturday morning. That's how I started off.

"When I was sixteen I joined Nottingham Forest."

Asked what team he would like to play for the rest of his career, Guinan commented:

"If I was ever good enough I've always been an Aston Villa fan because I'm from Birmimgham. So in this country I would say Villa even if I get a few boos.

"If I had the choice abroad I would say Barcelona or Real Madrid

"You know that you are very priviledged to be a footballer. It's always something I wanted to do when I was very young. I think you realise how lucky you are when you have been in it quite a few years."


Sheldrake to referee at Northampton

Darren Sheldrake is set to referee Hereford United's next League Two game which is at Northampton this coming Tuesday. It is his first season at this level.

Both the Bulls and the Cobblers have met Sheldrake recently. The Surrey based referee was in charge of the Paint Trophy game at Edgar Street against Bristol Rovers which the Bulls won on penalties.

A couple of weeks later he officiated in a League Two home game for the Cobblers, who were defeated 2-1 by Rochdale.

To date this season Sheldrake has been the man in the middle for 11 games in which he has given out 26 yellow and two red cards.


Northampton Travel - Tuesday

Northampton Town v Hereford United
Football League 2
Tuesday 1st December 2009 KO 7.45 pm.
Sixfields Stadium
Upton Way
Northampton
NN5 5QA
Phone 01604 683700

The Cobblers were formed in 1897 and joined The Football League in 1920 following time in The Southern League. For many years their home was at the old three sided County ground which older Bulls may remember from our FA Cup giant-killing days. In the mid-nineties they moved to the new custom-built Sixfields, which is owned by the local council and provides an all-seated capacity of just less than 8000. Visiting fans are accommodated in the South (Paul Cox Panel and Paint) Stand, which has room for 800 fans. Tickets are “pay on the day” and are believed to be priced at Adults £19, Over 60’s and students £15, U16’s £12 and U7’s FOC (with an adult?). Tickets are usually purchased from a sales window at the away end.

Coaches – HUISA departs Legends at 3.30 pm with a fare of £13 (non-members £14). Bookings through the Club office (08442 761939).

FUNBUS departs Wetherspoons at 3.00 pm with an expected fare of £15. Contact Chesh.

BY CAR – Travel to Worcester and join the M5 north before joining the M42 at M5 J4A. Continue on the M42 remembering to bear left at J3A. At J7A, join the M6 south and then the M1 south (sign London Town). Leave the M6 at J16 then at the roundabout, take the first exit onto the A45/A4500 (sign Northampton West). Follow this road through the first major roundabout and then at the roundabout at the junction of the A5076, take the third exit (sign Ring Road – M1 South) into Upton Road. At the next roundabout, take the first exit and the second at the next. Sixfields will be clearly visible. Distance is around 110 miles and you should allow two hours and a half. There are a couple of sizable car parks at the stadium (£3?). You are advised to avoid parking on other properties in the surrounding Leisure complex as some operate a clamping scheme. Postcode is NN5 5QA.

REFRESHMENTS – The Leisure complex offers all the usual plastic food outlets and the nearest “proper” chip shop appears to be on Main Road in Duston Village. From the ground, go back up Upton Road and straight over the A4500 roundabout then take the first left. The Duston Village Chippy is about 400ish yards.

ALEHOUSES – What do you expect? It’s a pretend community with pretend Pubs, which mainly serve pretend beer. Among the nearest are the Sports Bar which is part of a bowling establishment, The Sixfields Tavern which takes exception to away shirts, the Magic Tower which takes exception to visiting fans of most descriptions and a TGI Friday which also fails to fill me with much excitement. Away from the ground, The Cricketers Arms in Hervey Street has received decent reviews as has The King Billy in Commercial Street. Last season, we visited the Malt Shovel Tavern at 121 Bridge Street and found it to be superb... good choice of ale a very decent food at reasonable prices. This includes the local Frog Island Brewery products along with Tetleys and London Pride on hand pump. The Romany Hotel on Trinity Avenue has reportedly got eight or nine pumps mainly from localish micros along with Westons!


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ex-Bull Watch

Alan Connell was booked for Bournemouth as they lost to Notts County. Michael Ingham was booked as York beat Cambridge. Adam Stansfield scored for Exeter but they lost 4-3 at MK Dons. Matt Bailey scored for Northwich as they lost to Lincoln. Marcus Palmer played today for Evesham United and scored the winner in their 2 - 1 win at Bedford Town.

On loan Bull Lee Morris came on early in the second half for Mansfield, but they conceded shortly after and lost 2-1 at Ebbsfleet.


Results Round Up

Forest Green and York are the only two non-league sides definitely through to the Third Round.

The Gumpers won 2-1 against Bath City, while York beat Cambridge 2-1. Of the League Two sides Notts County, 2-1 winners at Bournemouth, and Lincoln, 3-1 winners at Northwich, are the only definite survivors while four more face replays.

In League Two's only game today Macclesfield and Grimsby played out a goalless draw. Both sides remain in the bottom six with the Mariners recording their 11th game without a win.

Of the games to complete in the Conference Kidderminster lost 1-0 at home to AFC Wimbledon, while Stevenage beat Salisbury 1-0 to close the gap to leaders Oxford to two points.


I'm pleased to be through says Boothroyd

Colchester manager Aidy Boothroyd gave his reaction to his side's 1-0 win at Edgar Street this afternoon.

"I'm delighted about it," Boothroyd told BBC Radio Essex. "This was no easy game.

"There had been a few noises in the local press that they (Hereford) fancied their chances. They've got a good home record and it is these games that we must win if we're to win a league.

"Without being disrespectful, we have to put these lesser teams to the sword.

"To score when we did was perfect and I'm just pleased to be through.

"I thought we were by far the stronger team in the last half hour.

"I know they had chances and they hit the bar a couple of times."

Reminded that the U's failed to take their chances in the first half Boothroyd said that was a worry.

"You think here we go again, is it going to be one of those days, the cameras are here, the rain is starting to come down, you think there is going to be a Ronnie Radford moment.

"Thankfully we were tough enough to get the result."


We Matched Them says Valentine

Ryan Valentine gave his thoughts about today's cup game to BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"I think with us doing well in the league especially at home, when the draw came out even though it was a team doing well in league one we fancied our chances," said the Hereford United wing-back.

"I thought over ninety minutes we performed solidly more than spectacularly but the least we deserved was a draw and a chance to go down to their place and go into the third round.

"I think we had one or two (chances) in the first half and one or two in the second. I don't think they were great chances, maybe half chances.

"They've had one good chance over the whole ninety minutes and they've scored with the last kick of the game. So good luck to them in the next round.

"We matched them and deserved to may be scrape through today."


The Lads are Gutted - Lowe

Hereford United's Keith Lowe was brake enough to face the microphone after his side were cruelly put out of the FA Cup this afternoon.

"The lads are gutted," Lowe told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"We've put in a lot of effort against a team doing really well in the league above.

"I think we coped really well. Credit to everybody really how we coped with them.

"But it just takes that little lapse in concentration at the end and teams with a bit of quality will punish you.

"The lads have worked and are devastated to come away with nothing.

"We had to go for it - it's the FA Cup. Everybody wants to get one of the big boys in the next round and we are not going to get the opportunity. There was just 25 seconds left after they scored. It just rubs salt into the wound.

"I think the best thing that can happen is having a game on Tuesday. That will help us and we can forget all about it."


LAST DITCH GOAL SEES BULLS BOW OUT



Any hope of further FA cup progress was cruelly wiped out as higher-graded opponents Colchester United scored the only goal deep into stoppage time. New loanee Jordan Mutch started in place of Sam Gwynne in an otherwise unchanged line up as Hereford dreamed of reaching Round 3 and drawing a top side.

In a fairly even first half, chances were at a premium. Gavin McCallum grazed the bar with an early cross/shot. New boy Mutch impressed with his probing passes and constructive link play, though the final pass and shot on goal was not forthcoming. Colchester's mighty Kayode Odejayi was causing the Bulls defence, marshalled by the imperious Ryan Green, some problems and he twice came close to setting up strike partner Steven Gillespie. John-Joe O'Toole curled a shot wide of the mark when well placed and Gillespie headed wide from a deep cross. Meanwhile, at the Blackfriar's end, Craig King cleverly played McCallum in, but his shot, like many others in the game, was misdirected. Hereford's best attempt came from a 25 yard Darren Jones thunderbolt which Ben Williams tipped over. As the half time whistle approached, despite the rather dull nature of the game, the Bulls could at least draw confidence from matching their League One opponents.

HT: HUFC 0 COLCHESTER UTD 0

John Trewick substituted Sam Gwynne for Kenny Lunt and Hereford embarked on their best period of the game. With King and Mutch influential, and Ryan Valentine making some useful overlapping runs, the Bulls were in the ascendancy. Mutch headed a desperate clearance straight back into the box, but McCallum was offside, and Valentine sent in a teasing cross which flicked against the bar. King, cutting inside was impeded by the arm of Kem Izzet, an offence for which the referee brandished a card to match his lemon shirt.

L'Orange, in the guise of Mathieu Manset's footwear, then also made an appearance as he replaced Leon Constantine who was not having one of his more influential afternoons. Although we did not use his strength to best effect, his presence lifted the tempo for a while. In one almighty scramble, McCallum did well to evade tacklers but got the ball stuck under his feet and his weak shot was cleared. Once again he burst through, but shot straight at the keeper. Worryingly, Gwynne lost the ball and a sweeping Colchester move ended with a shot over the bar. A curling cross had an assured Adam Bartlett palming the ball for a corner, the first of a series from the visitors which were dealt with efficiently. In an attempt to make a name for himself, Mutch went on a surging run but shot weakly.

As the game petered out, talk was of Sunday's draw and whether it was a good thing to know which number your ball was in the velvet bag in advance. In the dying seconds, four minutes past the ninety, such debate became an irrelevance. Anthony Wordsworth, eyeing some of his daffodil-clad brethren in the box, swung over a cross. Time stood still, as did the defence, and O'Toole fired home to break Hereford hearts. There was barely time for the restart. Ah well. C'est la vie.

FT: HUFC 0 COLCHESTER UTD 1.

Attendance: 2225 including 271 from Essex.

HUFC: Bartlett, Lowe, Green, Jones, Blanchett, King, Lunt (Gwynne 46), Mutch, Valentine, McCallum, Constantine (Manset 60).

COLCHESTER:Williams, Okuonghae, Reid, O'Toole, Izzet, Hackney (Platt 46), Odejayi (Ifil 68), Gillespie (Wordsworth 74), Lisbie, Tierney, White.

Stats from FA Cup-tie at Edgar Street

Below are most of the stats from this afternoon's FA Cup-tie at Edgar Street where Hereford United went down to an injury time last minute goal from Colchester United.

Possession: Bulls 40% U's 60%

Shots on Target: Bulls 5 U's 6

Shots off Target: Bulls 7 U's 2

Corners: Bulls 4 U's 7

Fouls: Bulls 10 U's 5

Cards: No Hereford United player was booked

Man of the Match; The sponsor picked Ryan Valentine

Attendance: 2225 with 271 in the away end


Chester Fans Force Match Abandonment

Chester fans staged a pitch invasion 75 minutes into their match with Eastbourne today, causing it to be abandoned.

Rumours of a player walk-out were unfounded and, with an estimated £2million riding on an Eastbourne win, Chester fielded a full strength team and were 3-2 up when the fans invaded the pitch and refused to move. A number of fans invaded the pitch initially and returned to the stands, but shortly after a reported 'four or five' entered the pitch again and stood their ground.

Just 869 attended the game, down by 200 on the previous week.


Last Ditch Goal Sinks Bulls

A goal with practically the last kick of the game saw the Bulls lose today's FA Cup Second Round match to Colchester 1-0.

On loan Watford midfielder John-Joe O'Toole scored in the fourth minute of injury time to seperate two sides in what was a fairly dismal game of football. O'Toole's effort was just about the only shot on target of the second half and the 2,225 crowd, with 271 visitors, struggled to get value for money.

Full report later.


£33750 if Bulls Win Today

Hereford United stand to collect a total £33,750 if they defeat Colchester United in the FA Cup Second Round this afternoon at Edgar Street.

£27,000 will come from the FA and the other £6,750 from ITV as highlights from the game will be shown later this evening on their football programme.

And, if the Bulls go through or force a replay, there is the third round draw to look forward to, again on ITV, around 3.55pm tomorrow.

The Bulls will be ball number 47 in the draw which will be carried out by Olympic rower Sir Steven Redgrave and Kelly Smith of the England women’s side, who are both ambassadors for England's 2018 World Cup bid. Third round ties will take place on the weekend of January 2nd.

Meanwhile the Hereford United clubhouse, Radfords, will be offering supporters who can prove they watched last Tuesday's League game against Shrewsbury a £1 off a pint this afternoon. That £1 saved could then be used to purchase some raffle tickets from the Junior Bulls who will be outside the ground.

Finally for those unable to get to Edgar Street this afternoon there will be updates on BBC Hereford and Worcester and BBC Radio Essex.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Hereford United - My Hometown Club

One of the presenters of ITV's London Tonight hails from Hereford and writes on their blog. This from Matt Teale:

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the annual Bobby Moore Sports Quiz in Central London. The great and the good of sport and sports broadcasting turned out to raise money for bowel cancer research in the name of one of London and England's greatest sporting ambassadors. On hand to help - everyone from West Ham and England star, Matthew Upson to Fulham manager, Roy Hodgson. Loads of fun and loads of cash raised, but for me the night was noteworthy for two main reasons.

As a former sports presenter at both ITV and Setanta, the pressure was on for me to contribute to the team from Ladbrokes I was in. I wasn't called upon to answer very often, the bookies being pretty encyclopedic on their sport. During dinner, someone asked me which football team I support. "Hereford United, my hometown club", I replied proudly. They nodded their respectful approval.

Then came the next quiz question: "Who scored the first goal in the first leg of Hereford United's famous 1972 FA Cup clash with Newcastle United at St. James's Park?

A) Malcolm Macdonald
B) Brian Owen
C) Ronnie Radford
D) Ricky George

For anyone who doesn't know their football, Hereford's clash with Newcastle is the stuff of legend. Non-League Hereford drawn against the might of top-flight Newcastle United in the third round of the FA Cup. I knew the story well - my dad tells it at least twice a year: Hereford drew 2-2 at Newcastle, which was an astonishing result in itself. Before the replay at Edgar Street, Newcastle star, Malcolm 'Supermac' Macdonald had claimed he would put ten past Hereford and break the all time record. He scored first, but with eight minutes of the game left and with Hereford on the verge of crashing out, part-time carpenter Ronnie Radford booked his place in football folklore with a stunning thirty yarder (which gets further out every time my dad tells the story). Ricky George got Hereford's winner in extra time and the Edgar Street pitch was swamped with most of the county's inhabitants, including my dad and uncles, whose lamb chop sideburns are clearly visible on the 'Match of The Day' coverage, which was John Motson's first commentary, incidentally.

So, "Who scored the first goal in the first leg of Hereford United's famous 1972 FA Cup clash with Newcastle United at St. James's Park?

They stared at me hopefully...and I had absolutely no idea. I should have listened more intently to my dad.

It was B) Brian Owen...after 17 seconds.

And the second noteworthy part of the evening? Me gesturing to a waiter and accidentally bidding £1,300 on a signed picture of the 2009 Ashes winning squad!!!! Thankfully, someone else bid more!


Bulls 3-1 to win Cup-Tie

Here are the latest odds from Skybet for tomorrow's Cup game at Edgar Street:

Hereford 3/1 Draw 5/2 Colchester 10/11

Correct score: (Hereford win)

1-0. 11/1
2-0. 20/1
2-1. 12/1
3-1. 33/1
4-0. 150/1
4-1. 80/1
4-2. 100/1
4-3. 200/1

Draw:

0-0. 11/1
1-1. 6/1
2-2. 14/1
3-3. 66/1

Colchester Win:

1-0. 13/2
2-0. 17/2
2-1. 8/1
3-0. 16/1
3-1. 14/1
3-2. 28/1
4-0. 40/1
4-1. 40/1
4-2. 50/1
4-3. 150/1
5-0. 80/1
5-1. 80/1
5-2. 150/1
6-1. 200/1


Bookies Stop Chester Betting

Bookies have stopped taking bets on Chester's game with Eastbourne tomorrow as rumours circling the club intensify.

Unconfirmed reports say that the entire professional squad have been granted releases from the club by the FA due to non payment of wages, allowing them to sign for other clubs outside the transfer window, and that both ex-Bull Nick Chadwick and Jon Danby - their only senior goalkeeper - are already on the verge of leaving. Fans fear that they may be forced to follow Weymouth last season in fielding a youth side tomorrow.

The rumours have sparked a betting frenzy against Chester. This afternoon Eastbourne were available at 2/1 to win the game, but most bookmakers pulled their prices during the course of the afternoon. Only the exchanges are currently taking bets on the game with Betfair having already taken 30 times the normal level of bets on the game at the time of writing with Eastbourne now around 2/3 to win at the Deva.

Regardless of whether the games goes ahead or not, the ground will only have three sides open tomorrow due to a lack of stewards.


Boothroyd and Hereford

Colchester United manager Aidy Boothroyd is taking anything for granted ahead of the final whistle at Edgar Street tomorrow afternoon.

"They're a good side and one with a cup pedigree," said Boothroyd.

"One of my favourite goals of all time in the FA Cup is Ronnie Radford's effort against Newcastle, which provides great FA Cup memories for me.

"We know it will be difficult and that we have to be as professional and as ready as we were for Bromley if we want to get into the next round.

"I want to win every game and we'd like to have a cup run and do well in the league."


Trewick pre-Colchester

Hereford United manager John Trewick has given BBC Hereford and Worcester his thoughts about Colchester's visit to Edgar Street in the FA Cup tomorrow.

"They will be a decent side as they will be well organised and they will expect to come here and win," said Trewick.

"But we have done quite well at home and we'll put up a good show I hope.

"I think we have got more than an even chance of going through to the third round."

The Bulls have gone ten games in all competions at home since a defeat.

"The fact that it is ten games is fanastic but my concern is the game against Colchester and deciding how to play against them given their strengths and weaknesses and looking at out strengths as well.

"If we can put on the same sort of energetic performance against them, we have every chance."


More about Mutch

Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish has been talking about the move of Jordon Mutch to Hereford United for the next five weeks. The youngster fractured both feet due to growing pains last season.

"It is a good opportunity for him to go on loan just now," said McLeish.

"He’s still only 17 don’t forget, 18 in December.

"He has been pushed media-wise quite a lot and you tend to look at him and think he’s an old man but he’s only 17.

"He has got to slow down as well because he’s come back from a potentially career-threatening injury.

"To come through that, that kid, to do what he’s done, sit in a wheelchair for two or three months – incredible.

"If he goes and plays at a higher level in terms to reserve football, then it will sharpen him up and if it’s one of the divisions below us then that will toughen him up as well.

"I think it will be great for him."


FL Ask More Magpies Questions

The Football League have asked Notts County more questions about it's ownership.

The Guardian have done more digging into the ownership of the Magpies, producing a graph (PDF here) on the complex ownership structure while a Swiss newspaper claimed convicted fraudster Russell King was still operating within owners Qadbak.

Sonntagszeitung claimed King was leading Qadbak's bid for the BMW Formula 1 team, relying on commercial revenue based on last season's performance to run the side for the coming season. F1 chiefs balked at the idea and refused to hand Quabak a spot in next season's championship, leading to BMW pulling out of the deal earlier this week.

A confirmation that King was not involved in the ownership of the club was key to the Magpies takeover being given clearance, but the revelations that King is still involved in Quabak has seemingly led the League to ask further questions.

Meanwhile the Guardian is also reporting that the financial guarantees handed to the Magpies' Supporters Trust to get them to hand over the shares are virtually unenforcable. Under the terms of the guarantee the football club would not only have to sue it's own 100% owner, but the terms are so vague it would be near impossible to even bring a case.

In other news Weymouth have confirmed that former Cambridge chairman George Rolls has taken control of the club. They had a noon deadline to avoid slipping into liquidation, with Rolls meeting the criteria with a reported ten minutes to spare.



Boothroyd Defends U's Style

Colchester boss Aidy Boothroyd has gone on the defensive after criticism of his side's style of play.

They were criticised after Tuesday's win over Stockport for their direct style, but Boothroyd told the press: "Football is all about winning, first and foremost.

"There are lots of intellectual derelicts professing to play a wonderful continental style passing game but we are all different. I'm the same as anyone as I watch a game at home when I'm not working and I think I know better than some people. That is why it is such a great game, but I've been in it too long to get upset by what other people think.

"The fans here are entitled to their views and they will be here a lot longer than I will be, so they are right to have their opinion. We want to give them something to talk about and something to be proud about. I understand that they want to see their team win every week and see fantastic football.

"But sometimes we all forget that there's actually a team of 11 men trying to stop you from doing that."

Boothroyd is expected to have defender Marc Tierney back after injury forced him to miss Tuesday's game, although Paul Reid will hope to keep him out after only recovering from injury himself to get through 90 minutes against Stockport. Ashley Vincent and Lee Beevers remain out, while Medy Elito is suspended.

All four of their loanees have been given clearance to play tomorrow, including strikers Kevin Lisbie and Kayode Odejayi. The pair have scored 16 times between them this season.



News Round Up

In a late move yesterday, Leeds have signed ex-Bull Tony Capaldi on loan from Cardiff. Histon have confirmed that Bradley Hudson-Odoi will leave the club in January despite scoring at the weekend. He has joined Grays on loan and will official depart the Cambridgeshire club in January. Histon have also rejected an offer from Dagenham for defender Gareth Gwillim, with the Daggers loaning Peterboro defender Jamie Day instead.

The local press have confirmed rumours that Chester's players have not been paid and refused to train. Lincoln have signed midfielder Brian Gilmour on a short term deal. The free agent had been playing in Finland and is a former Scotland youth international. Shrewsbury failed in a loan move for Carlisle defender Peter Murphy, with the Cumbrians turning down the request.

Port Vale missed out on two central defenders yesterday, and may now be forced to play ex-Bull Kris Taylor in that position due to injuries. Accrington have signed Liverpool keeper Dean Bouzanis on loan until January after defender Chris King left the club by mutual consent to allow the loan signing under the 20-man limit enforced by their transfer embargo.

Notts County failed to complete a move for Peterboro defender Craig Morgan yesterday. The loan move would have been followed by a £800,000 transfer in January. Meanwhile their owners, QADBAK, have failed to buy the BMW F1 team after they failed to provide financial guarantees. F1 press sources say they were planning to fund the side on the TV money due for last season's performance, and failed to provide any proof they had funds for anything else.

Kidderminster will receive £75,000 from Luton for striker Matthew Barnes Homer. Crewe have announced that they will listen to offers for defender Billy Jones in January after he rejected a new contract. He is out of contract in the summer.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Sonko doubt for Saturday

Midfielder Eddie Sonko is said to have missed training today at Edgar Street. He told the club he was ill.

Otherwise, with the exception of Craig Jones and barring any problems tomorrow (Friday), Hereford United manager John Trewick should have plenty of players to choose from for Saturday's FA Cup game against Colchester.

Meanwhile it is all pay on the day for the game, other than for young supporters under 10 who can purchase their ticket for just £5 when accompanied by an adult. These tickets have to be bought by 4pm tomorrow.

Finally the Junior Bulls and supporters will be selling tickets for their Grand Christmas Draw outside the stadium on Saturday. There are numerous very good prizes to win, the top one being a 'Fanastic Hereford United Matchday Experience'.

The draw will take place on December 28th when Aldershot are the opponents at Edgar Street.


Trewick hopes for Cup Run

John Trewick is hoping that the Bulls can defeat Aidy Boothroyd's Colchester United on Saturday and have a chance of drawing one of the big sides on Sunday. However Colchester are riding high in League One and the Bulls will have to put in a strong performance if they are to progress in the Cup.

"If we play to our best, then we will have a chance," Trewick told the Worcester News. "They are third in their league and going extremely well.

"But we are going well too. We have lost twice in our last 12 games but we should never have been beaten last weekend at Burton Albion.

"I have been pleased with the performances and hopefully we can keep those going on Saturday.

"It would be terrific to have a good run. Any cup run is welcome as far as I’m concerned.

"If we can beat Colchester, hopefully we can get one of the massive clubs from the Premier League."


Mutch Is Second Signing

Birmingham midfielder Jordon Mutch is the Bulls second loan signing of the day, the club have confirmed.

The 6ft 2in England u17 international, who turns 18 next week, has already played for the Blues in the Carling Cup, playing 45 minutes against Southampton last season while still a 16 year old.

Both Mutch and earlier signing Nathaniel Wedderburn are eligible for this weekend's FA Cup match and the forthcoming Paint Trophy tie.

The Mutch deal is interesting as he joins the Bulls until 2 January 2010 on a Football League Youth Loan registration.

Birmingham City say Mutch is still eligible to play in non-first team games for Blues, although Hereford games would take precedence if on the same day as a Birmingham City reserve or Academy fixture.

Meanwhile Kidderminster have sold striker Matthew Barnes Homer to Luton for a 'sizable five figure fee'. The Harriers have also received Luton striker Ryan Charles on a months loan as part of the deal, and signed former Cheltenham striker Damien Spencer from Kettering until January.


Bulls Sign Midfielder

England Under 19 defensive midfielder Nathaniel Wedderburn has joined the Bulls on loan until the turn of the year.

Stoke player Wedderburn, 18, has first team experience in a three month loan at Notts County last season but is yet to debut for the Potters. The 6ft 3in teenager has three England u19 caps, and started five games for the Magpies.

The official Bulls website reports a second signing is hoped for before the 5pm loan deadline.


Chester Players Refuse To Train

Chester's squad has refused to train today over unpaid wages.

Strong sources have confirmed that the players are in talks with the PFA over their rights after not being paid for some time, while the club are also in talks with the PFA over a loan to cover the outstanding wages.

Manager Jimmy Harvey is also reported to have stayed away from the club today with rumours suggesting he hasn't been paid since he arrived at the club. Former Bournemouth owner, and former Chester director, Paul Baker told the Devachat forum he had been told three players were also seeking loan moves away from the club.

The club have only around a dozen senior professionals fit and available after they lost their three loan players due to financial problems. They have their rearranged deadline for meeting footballing debts on Monday.


News Round Up

Accrington should be allowed to sign one loan player after coming up to date with their tax payments. Their recent struggle to pay a £308,000 bill saw them build up a secondary £75,000 deficit with the taxman which they cleared yesterday. They have a second embargo on them due to a PFA loan of £55,000 meaning they cannot sign more that twenty - with nineteen currently on the books. Update - they have signed Blackburn defender Johnny Flynn until January.

Bournemouth would be trading profitably if it wasn't for their historic debt. Chairman Eddie Mitchell says they made £20,000 last month, but it was wiped out by their debts. Port Vale defender Gareth Owen refractured his damaged cheekbone on Tuesday night. He played with a mask, but it failed to protect the injury and he needs another operation on it.

Chester have told boss Jimmy Harvey they cannot afford loan recruit Clarke Keltie for a second month. He could be without further players after one told the Daily Post some of the squad were considering refusing to play due to unpaid wages. Torquay will retain loan keeper Michael Poke after the Football League blocked Southampton's recall request.

Rochdale have recalled Jon Shaw from Barrow, and loaned him and Clarke Keltie to Gateshead until January. They have also released Scott Spencer and former Bulls trialist Marc Manga after the pair failed to earn long term deals, but signed transfer listed Port Vale forward Danny Glover until January. Darlington have signed teenage Leeds defender Andrew Milne on loan until January, and taken experienced midfielder Paul Harsley from Chesterfield for a similar spell.

Lincoln have signed Aston Villa midfielder Chris Herd until January. The Australian u20 international had spells at Wycombe and Port Vale last term. Cardiff are the latest club to face a winding up court date with the taxman. They have agreed a 70 day period to repay the debt. Kidderminster say they have had a lot of interest in striker Matthew Barnes-Homer, while Oxford say they turned him down due to wage demands and the transfer fee. Update - Barnes-Homer has signed for Luton for a "substantial" five-figure fee plua loan player in exchange.

Shrewsbury have loaned teenage striker Andre Gray to Telford until January. Cheltenham have signed defender Ashley Eastham on a months loan from Blackpool. The 18 year old has played two first team games for the Tangerines. They have also added Bristol Rovers' combative midfielder David Pipe for the same period. Pipe has not played for the Pirates since being arrested on suspicion of assault in September.

Grimsby have signed Peterboro striker Ben Wright until January on loan and signed free agent former Rotherham midfielder Mark Hudson on contract until the end of the season. Northampton have signed MK Dons defender Danny Swailes until January on loan. Chesterfield have signed young Leeds striker Davide Somma until January and taken Scunthorpe midfielder Ian Morris for a similar spell. Aldershot have signed Reading youngster Oliver Bozanic until January. He had a recent spell with Cheltenham cut short by injury.

Lincoln have signed striker Delroy Facey on loan from Notts County until January. Burton have added Brentford striker Steve Kabba to their squad until December 23rd. Barnet have signed former player Dean Sinclair from Charlton, Spurs' teenage defender Callum Butcher, and Exeter forward Craig McAllister on month long loan deals. Torquay have loaned defender Chris Todd to Salisbury until January.

Swindon have released a statement saying that their issue over a loan with St Modwen, which the property company threatened to take to court, has been resolved 'to the full satisfaction of both parties.'


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Preview: Bulls vs Colchester

The Bulls entertain Colchester on Saturday in the FA Cup, hoping to earn a big money Third Round tie.

The two sides last met in the FA Cup 12 years ago. Bulls physio Jamie Pitman, and the still playing Chris Hargreaves and Gavin Mahon were in the lower graded side that drew with the U's 1-1 at Layer Road before the Bulls dumped them out 5-4 on penalties. In the League last season the away side prevailed in both encounters with Colchester winning 2-0 at Edgar Street in April after the Bulls pulled off a shock 2-1 win at the Weston Homes Community Stadium the previous December.

The Bulls have had good fortune with cup draws so far this season. This will be their seventh cup game, of which five have seen the Bulls pulled out of the hat as the home side. They've already dealt with League One sides Leyton Orient, Bristol Rovers, and Charlton this season so the usual 'no fear' notices will be around Edgar Street this week - and with good reason. Those three sides scored just one goal in 270 minutes against the Bulls, so Colchester's scoring record - barring the opening day demolition of Norwich - of averaging only a goal a game on the road should give the Bulls heart.

The U's are third in League One on their home form rather than their travels. Take out that Norwich match, and they've won once on the road in eight games. In the last round they demolished Bromley 4-0. They have goals in their side - Kevin Lisbie has nine, but hasn't scored away since the opening day, while veteran battering ram Clive Platt and Kayode Odejayi have seven each, but only the ex-Cheltenham man is a regular scorer on the road with four from five. The one thing new boss Aidy Boothroyd has brought to the club is resilience. They've lost only one of fourteen games with the ex-Watford man.

Hereford United vs Colchester United, Edgar Street, Saturday 28th November, 3.00pm.


News Round Up

Accrington are to spend heavily on the pitch in the summer in a bid to stop all the postponements due to bad weather. They spent money hiring machines to keep their pitch playable for last night's match, but it was called off after a late shower left standing water on the pitch. Shrewsbury have extended the loan deals of Jamie Devitt and Waide Fairhurst until the new year.

Bury defender Ryan Cresswell is to miss six weeks after damaging ankle ligaments last night. Lincoln boss Chris Sutton has admitted his FA disorder charge after the fracas during their match with Cheltenham. Torquay have lost the services of loan keeper Michael Poke after Southampton recalled him.

Weymouth's propsective new owner George Rolls has to find £50,000 to invest in the club by Friday to stand a chance of the takeover going ahead. Once ambitious side King's Lynn have been wound up in the High Court over a £67,000 tax debt. They were thrown out of Conf North in the summer over ground issues, but hope to appeal the winding up as Hyde did.


Bulls visit Hereford's Blind College

Chairman Graham Turner and several Hereford United paid a visit to the Hereford's Royal National College for the Blind earlier today to watch their footballers in training for the World Cup which is to be held in Hereford next year.

"I've watched blind football in the past and if anybody comes along and watches they will be enthralled by it," commented Turner.

"It's a terrific competition."

Pictures on BBC Midlands Today showed the blind squad showing off their skills to local youngsters and also some of the Hereford United squad who watched in admiration.

Later in the item Hereford United's Adam Bartlett was asked about the exciting times at Edgar Street.

"Yes very exciting, the FA Cup, the Johnstones Paint Trophy and after last night's result we are six points off the play-offs now," he said.


Marlon Jackson to Aldershot

Ex-Bull Marlon Jackson has joined Aldershot on a months loan.

The Bristol City winger played against Aldershot for the Bulls in the 2-2 draw this season, with the transfer being funded by the supporters. If his loan is extended past the month he would face the Bulls for the Shots at Edgar Street on December 28th.


Sheedy and Addison - Ambassadors for Herefordshire

Two former Hereford United players are to become ambassadors for Herefordshire. The aim is for them, and other well known people, to promote Herefordshire as a 'wonderful county to visit and relocate to'.

The launch of the ambassador programme takes place tomorrow evening at Hampton Court near Hereford and has been arranged by Visit Herefordshire.

The two former Bulls are Kevin Sheedy and Colin Addison. Other celebrities who have agreed to take part include John Challis, Quentin Letts, Mathew Engel, Sir Roy Strong, Richard Johnson, Ian Storey, Walenty Pytel, Sam Llewelyn, Kate Bliss, Eleanor Oldroyd, Miranda Richardson, Lord Alex Carlile, Julian Lloyd Webber, Robert Rogers and Brian Huggett.

Jane Lewis, tourism marketing manager for Herefordshire, said: “It is quite amazing who we have discovered with connections to the county, I am delighted that we have been able to recruit such great Ambassadors and we thank them for their contributions to the new visitor guide."


Former Bulls support John Hartson Foundation

Former Hereford United player Gareth Davies is growing a moustache in support of the John Hartson Foundation. He explains why.

Hi Bulls fans.

At the moment I am growing a mustache for the John Hartson Foundation to raise awareness for testicular cancer. We are running it in conjunction with MO-VEMBER which is a world wide charity event for the month of November.

Having played with John for Wales U21's it is an honour to support such a worthwhile charity.

Ex HUFC physio Simon Shakeshaft is a leading force behind this group having too experienced ill health in previous years and with his guidance I have joined forces with my local football team just over the border in GODS country, 'Rhosgoch FC' to join in this fun event.


I look like a cross between a 'Ginger Freddie Mercury' and a '70's Porn Star' not good either way!

I can't say that I have enjoyed having this growth of hair on my top lip, however the monies raised will go along way towards supporting and improving the awareness campaign targeted at men.

If anybody would be interested in making a donation then please do not hesitate in contacting me at: gmdavies66@yahoo.com


Gareth Davies, a defender born in Hereford who grew up just over the Welsh border, broke into the Hereford United first team in April 1992 and showed obvious skill. After three seasons at Edgar Street, he was sold in the summer of 1995 for £120,000 to Crystal Palace, and then had spells with Cardiff City, Reading and Swindon Town. Davies also gained caps for the Wales under-21 team.

However his career was cut short by injury.


Blanchett Loan Extended

Hereford United have confirmed a third month at Edgar Street for defender Danny Blanchett.

The Peterboro man has started 12 games since arriving from London Road. His time at The Posh appears to be limited after new boss Mark Cooper signed fellow central defender Exodus Geohaghon from former club Kettering this morning.

The extension of Blanchett's loan leaves Mark Marshall as the only loanee not signed up until at least the New Year. Marshall had an impressive first month at Edgar Street, but a change in formation saw all the Bulls' wingers dropped to the bench and he has not featured in any of the last three games.

With Matt Done, Jonny Godsmark, and Marc Pugh all also warming the bench Marshall is likely to be considered a luxury given the current size of the squad.

UPDATE 4.30pm: Marshall has returned to Swindon.

Ahead of Thursday's loan deadline there is likely to be little inwards movement at Edgar Street though, in seasons past, Graham Turner has opted to bring in a loan or non-contract keeper to see the club through the Christmas period. Last season Jose Veiga was the man brought in.


Swarbrick to Referee FA Cup-tie

Neil Swarbrick from Lancashire is set to referee Saturday's second round FA Cup-tie between Hereford United and Colchester United.

The Bulls have already met Swarbrick once this season. That was against Rotherham at the Don Valley athletic stadium. On the day the Gavin McCallum scored an equaliser right at the end of the game. No player from Hereford was booked during the game.

To date this season Swarbrick has officiated 16 games and given out 37 yellow and two red cards.


Bulls get Ball 47

Hereford United have been given ball number 47 should they be in the third round draw of the FA Cup.

Howver to ensure they are in the draw they have to at least draw against Colchester United next Saturday at Edgar Street.

The draw takes place on Sunday afternoon at about 3.55pm and the ties will take place on the first weekend of 2010.


Morris Fell Out With "Him"

Speaking to Mansfield's official site, Bulls striker Lee Morris reveals that a falling out brought about his loan departure from Edgar Street.

Asked about how his time at Edgar Street had been he responded: "Not very good. I played about the first ten games, but we were struggling. We had a whole new team, eleven new players playing, we didn't really gel. And then a few of us just never figured again. I'd had a bit of a fall out with him and I was one of them.

"The last couple of months have been long."

Talking about the move, Morris said it was ideal as he lives in Derby but it was a sudden departure with the deal being done at 2pm yesterday after a flurry of morning phone calls led to Morris being told to get to Mansfield to train 'as soon as possible'.

The loan is until January 4th, but Morris wants a longer stay: "Hopefully I can do well enough to earn myself a deal until the end of the season. The way things have gone at Hereford it's just not worked out, I think me and the gaffer can really agree on that. I think it was the right time for me to get away."


Trewick gets what he asked for

Hereford United defeated Shrewsbury Town 2-1 last night and manager John Trewick appeared delighted with his teams performance.

"Difficult conditions", Trewick remarked to BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"But I what I asked for before the game was a bit of toughness, a bit of resilence and a bit of character and I think the players showed that after last Saturday when we were a bit soft and gave away goals too easily.

"I did not want to see that again and in the second half we didn't pass the ball well. But when we put the two things together we will improve again.

"I thought we started the game well and put some good moves together, I did not get a good look at the penalty.

"But we have been on the wrong end of a few decisions in recent weeks so maybe this has evened it up a bit."

Meanwhile Shrewsbury manager Paul Simpson commented:

"It is disappointing as we have probably done enough to get ourselves back into the game but if you give any team a start like that then they will beat you."


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A49 BRAGGING RIGHTS TO HEREFORD



Hereford mastered their local rivals and the tricky conditions to record a well deserved victory at Edgar Street this evening. Manager John Trewick welcomed Ryan Green back, with Richard Rose reverting to bench warming duties, and opted to continue with Leon Constantine rather than Mathieu Manset who was available having served his suspension.

The Bulls opened the exchanges attacking the Blackfriars end, playing into a blustery wind and driving rain. Darren Jones played a neat one-two with Constantine but the move broke down. The newly energised Constantine appeared to have gained confidence from his two goals at Burton, and five minutes had elapsed when he cleverly played Gavin McCallum in, and he was unceremoniously brought down in the box. A simple decision for the referee, and Ryan Valentine dispatched the spot kick with his customary aplomb. A most welcome early lead for the Bulls.

The wind was causing havoc as Shrewsbury forced a series of corners. Using the wind to help with inswing created some danger, including a header against his own post by a Hereford defender. However, the Bulls weathered the storm, Adam Bartlett was called on to palm a rasping shot to safety, and Constantine and Sam Gwynne assisted the defence with some timely clearances. At the other end, in what was an entertaining period, Craig King had a shot cleared to Gwynne whose follow up was blocked and a swirling, speculative effort from Keith Lowe only narrowly cleared the crossbar.

Then, on the half hour mark, Hereford doubled their lead. The lively McCallum raced on to a well timed through ball from Constantine. His initial shot was saved by Arestidou, surely the only goalkeeper to contain all the vowels (and in the correct order too), but the ball rebounded straight back into his path, and his second effort found the back of the net.

With a two goal cushion, the home side were anticipating a welcome break from their exertions, and their turn to have the wind at their backs. The Shrews could muster only a couple of shots from distance which did not unduly trouble Bartlett. Gwynne was rather harshly penalised for a trip, and the resulting free kick was cleared for a corner. This was scrambled clear for another, and with only a minute left before the break, some fatal hesitancy in the box allowed Waide Fairhurst to prod the ball home.

HT: HUFC 2 SHREWSBURY TOWN 1

Hereford continued to create the better chances as the second half began. After Gwynne was fouled, Valentine's low free kick took the slightest of deflections and whistled only narrowly the wrong side of the post. King and Kenny Lunt skilfully set up McCallum who curled his shot just wide of the mark. McCallum then held up and turned well but the shot lacked power, and a curling Valentine cross cleared Lowe at the far post. On two occasions, Danny Blanchett almost scored direct from corners as he found the required wind assisted trajectory.

McCallum was then felled by what our egg-chasing friends would deem a "high tackle" from the exotically named Cansdell-Sherriff, who would presumably have been handed a period in the sin bin in that code. Mr. Horwood, who it must be said handled the game with fairness and sensitivity, on this occasion thought a yellow card was sufficient punishment. Things might have been different if Mr Pitman's magic bag had contained the fake blood capsules. Anyway, I digress...

As the last quarter of an hour was reached, it became apparent that the Bulls strikeforce was, quite understandably, tired. There were calls for fresh legs from the crowd, but these went strangely unheeded. The defence held strong, despite some worrying moments, notably when a free kick was conceded on the edge of the box. Much trepidation as a shot found its way through a crowd of legs, but there was Lunt to make a goal-line clearance. Manset finally entered the fray as an astonishing five added minutes were announced. Despite ending on the back foot, the Bulls thoroughly deserved their win over a disappointing Shrewsbury outfit, and move up to 16th in the table.

FT: HUFC 2 SHREWSBURY TOWN 1

Attendance: 2913 including 630 Salopians.

HUFC: Bartlett, Green, Jones, Blanchett, Valentine, Lowe, Lunt, Gwynne, King, Constantine, McCallum (Manset 90).

Shrewsbury: Arestidou, Holden, Coughlan, Langmead, Cansdell-Sherriff, Dunfield, Murray, Devitt, (Robinson 63), McIntyre, Hibbert (Elder 72), Fairhurst (Riza 72).

Ex-Bull Watch

Adam Stansfield scored Exeter's goal as they drew with Millwall, while Stuart Fleetwood was booked. Febian Brandy and Josh Gowling were booked as Gillingham beat Yeovil. Joe Anyinsah scored the winner as Carlisle beat MK Dons. Steve Guinan was booked for Northampton as they lost at Aldershot.

Ben Smith scored for the second game running as Crawley beat Salisbury. Bradley Hudson-Odoi improved his chances of a new contract by starting and scoring the equaliser for Histon as they drew at Eastbourne. Brian Smikle scored for Kidderminster as they drew at Wrexham. Andy Ferrell was booked as York beat Gateshead.

In the stands at Edgar Street tonight was former Bulls coach Richard O'Kelly.


Stats from the A49 Match

Below are the main stats from this evening's League Two match between Hereford United and Shrewsbury Town which resulted in a 2-1 win for the Bulls.

Possession: Bulls 52% Shrews 48%

Shots on Target: Bulls 7 Shrews 6

Shots off Target: Bulls 4 Shrews 5

Corners: Bulls 7 Shrews 9

Fouls: Bulls 11 Shrews 12

Cards: Both Darren Jones and Ryan Valentine were booked

Attendance: A disappointing 2913 including 630 in the away area

Man of the Match: The sponsors picked Gavin McCallum and Ryan Valentine

League Two Table:

14 Port Vale 18 1 22
15 Crewe 18 0 22
16 Hereford 18 -3 22
17 Accrington 17 -2 21
18 Northampton 18 -3 20
19 Macclesfield 17 -7 19
20 Cheltenham 18 -8 19
21 Lincoln City 18 -12 18


Results Round Up

Bournemouth's lead at the top is a single point after they had a goalless draw with Dagenham, who slip to fourth. Rochdale beat Notts County 2-1 to hold second place from Rotherham, who beat Lincoln 2-0. Chesterfield lost 2-1 at Bury to see the Shakers move into the play-offs. Aldershot move back within a point of seventh place with a 2-1 win over Northampton.

At the bottom Darlington lost 4-0 at home to Morecambe to see their safety gap extend to eight points after Torquay claimed a 2-2 draw with Port Vale. Grimsby's 'new' manager witnessed his worst result - a 3-0 home reverse to Bradford to drift three points, and twelve goals, short of the Gulls. Cheltenham eased their own worries with a shock 5-1 win over Barnet, while Macclesfield and Accrington had their game called off. Crewe can look at the top half of the table after securing back-to-back wins with a 2-1 win over Burton.

In the Conference Oxford's match with Forest Green was delayed for 20 minutes due to a floodlight failure, but they still won 1-0. Stevenage kept up pressure by beating Chester 2-0 while Kettering lost at home to Hayes and Yeading to lose third place to York, who beat Gateshead. Kidderminster inflicted more woes on Wrexham by drawing 2-2 at the Racecourse, with the Dragons 13 points short of the play-offs.



Bulls Blow Shrews Away

A windswept Edgar Street witnessed the Bulls beating Shrewsbury for the third straight game.

A Ryan Valentine penalty, that seemed to be a fair challenge from my angle, and a Gavin McCallum goal sent the Bulls into a two goal lead against the awful conditions. Waide Fairhurst pulled one back, but the Shrews couldn't get back into it and a late goalline clearance kept all three points for the home side.

The Bulls move up to 16th as a result, six points off the play-offs and nine clear of the bottom two.

Full report later.


Lee Morris loaned to Mansfield

Hereford United have agreed to loan out striker Lee Morris to Mansfield Town until January 4th.

Morris has struggled to keep a place in John Trewick's team this season and last made a League appearance for the first team at Bradford.

Currently Trewick has plenty of strikers at Edgar Street and loaning out Morris will take some pressure off the wage bill.

"We are short in attack," said Mansfield manager David Holdsworth.

"Lee will join the ranks for a short period of time,. He has played his part at every club he has been and he is itching to do the best he can here.

"He can certainly 'run the channels' and I am delighted to bring in a man who knows this division."


Reports from Edgar Street

Both BBC local radio stations will have coverage of this evenings League Two match between Hereford United and Shrewsbury Town.

BBC Hereford and Worcester will have updates from the game on all frequencies and, on times, the internet. However the net will have live coverage of the Kidderminster match at Wrexham.

BBC Radio Shropshire which can be picked up in parts of Herefordshire on 96.0FM will have live coverage of the whole game.

The official Shrewsbury Town website will also have live coverage of the game for any supporter who wishes to pay for their commentary.

The official Hereford United website will have text coverage.


Simpson's Thoughts on Tonights A49 Battle

Shrewsbury Town travel down the A49 later this afternoon for their game against Hereford United and manager Paul Simpson have given his pre-match thoughts to the Shrewsbury Official Website.

"It's a local derby, and they have been picking up a few results of late, but had the disappointment on Saturday," said Simpson.

"We know it's going to be a tough game, I look at the side and I see that they have some good individual players. Really what we have got to do is go there and be positive, make sure we maintain this little run in the league we have got, and just keep trying to build. We've got nothing else to think about this season apart from progressing in the league and getting ourselves up there. That's because of our own wrongdoings, our bad play in certain games.

"Now we are in a situation where there is just the league to concentrate on, but I don't think that is a bad situation. We've got a lot of games to play; we all knew at the start of the season what our priority was. That is still the same, we want to be out of this division, we want to be pushing.

"If we can go to Hereford and be positive and be strong and try to do everything we can do to get back to keeping clean sheets, I am quite sure that we can cause problems for them at the other end for them."


News Round Up

No Bulls in the Team of the Week. Ex-Bull Kris Taylor is nominated as a full back for Port Vale, while Burton's Aaron Webster is named for his performance against the Bulls. Three Chesterfield players make the side, as does Shrewsbury defender Graham Coughlan. Another ex-Bull gets into the League One side, with Michael Rose's goalscoring performance for Stockport earning him a nod.

Port Vale have signed Bristol Rovers forward Sean Rigg on loan until January. He was on loan at Forest Green until the weekend, scoring seven times in sixteen games for the Conference side. Meanwhile the Valiant's main sponsors and soon-to-be investors Harlequin Properties are to seek legal action against the Observer newspaper over claims of delays to property deals in a Carribean development operated by them.

York have been warned by the FA after a post-match pitch invasion after their defeat of Crewe at the Kit Kat Crescent. Weymouth have been forced to turn down Chris Ryan's bid for the club after the 'major creditor' - believed to be former owner Malcolm Curtis - made overtures towards an immediate demand for around £250,000 owed to him. They have now accepted George Rolls' offer for the club.


Trewick looks forward to this evening's match

John Trewick is looking forward to this evening's match against local rivals Shresbury Town. The Bulls lost 3-2 at Burton last Saturday and the Hereford United manager has told the Worcester News that he feels his side can bounce back from that defeat.

"The game against Shrewsbury is a good one to have after the disappointment of Saturday," he said.

"They are doing OK at the moment and on the fringes of the play-offs but, for a club of their size, they should be.

"But is their recent form any better than ours? No, so it does set up an interesting local derby.

"There is a school of thought that these games should be played at the weekend but games under the floodlights usually add to the atmosphere.

"Everything seems to be going that much quicker and in a derby match that can make the game even more exciting."

Meanwhile little rain, if any, is expected around Hereford today so there is no likelyhood of the match being postponed.


Monday, November 23, 2009

If You've Both Got The Same Name...

...then you're bound to get confused at some point. Ask Stephen Vaughan.

We reported over the weekend that Vaughan had sold Chester to his son, Stephen Vaughan junior. Apparently that was not the case - as Vaughan claims 'Junior' was the owner all along.

The only problem is Vaughan appears to have confused everybody with his previous statements like the one to the BBC on October 22nd where he declares, in the first 15 seconds of this interview, that he is the '100% owner' of the club. Everybody accepted that as fact, until Vaughan told local radio station Dee106.3 on Saturday in this interview that his son was '100% owner' and 'has been since day one'.

Safe in the knowledge of who the club's owner actually was, intrepid members of the Devachat forum went off to check whether the correct Stephen Vaughan was registered as owner of the club with Companies House. Apparently he isn't, with the full shareholding being held by Vaughan senior. Neither is claimed chairman Ian Anderson actually registered as a director with them.

Meanwhile Vaughan junior has returned to Chester after a loan spell at Northwich as he's needed to bolster their increasingly thin squad. The move has nothing to do with FA regulations about the owner of a club being involved with another team. For three months. How he fits in playing for another side while running Chester without any help from dad is anyone's guess.

I'm sure it's all a misunderstanding with paperwork, and there probably is no need for an FA investigation...


Bookies slightly favour Shrewsbury

Perhaps surprisingly given Hereford United's recent form, the bookies appear to think Shrewsbury might just win tomorrow evening's local derby at Edgar Street.

These are the latest odds from Skybet:

Hereford 7/4 Draw 12/5 Shrewsbury 6/4

In other pre-match news, Radfords are reported to going to have two real ales on offer tomorrow evening.

They are Hobsons Twisted Spire and Hobsons Best Bitter. Both will cost £2 per pint.

They are brewed at Cleobury Mortimer, which is in Shropshire.


Join the FSF for Free

The Football Supporters’ Federation is offering free membership to all Hereford United supporters. They're offering free membership because they're geared to creating a larger, more vocal campaigning force for fans of all clubs up and down the country.

Recently the FSF backed complaints from Hereford United supporters about stewarding at Bradford City. These complaints have since been discussed at a top-level meeting of their local authority’s safety advisory group.

There has never been a more important time to ensure your voice is heard, and it’s never been easier to get involved. All you need to do to become a member is give them your name and email address – it’s that simple.

All newly joining members are entitled to a free issue of The Football Supporter magazine delivered straight to your door, absolutely free of charge, as well as receiving a £5 discount from TOFFS, the UK’s largest retailer of retro football shirts, just as their thank you to you for getting involved. You can use the code as many times as you like between now and the end of the year, too. You can’t say fairer than that, surely?

Get involved today – visit www.fsf.org.uk/join.php and give them 30 seconds of your time, and become part of something.

If you've got any questions about free membership, then get in touch with them at info@fsf.org.uk.


Shrewsbury's Walking Wounded

Shrewsbury are carrying a hefty injury list as they travel to Edgar Street tomorrow.

Goalkeepers Chris Neal and Glyn Garner are both ruled out, while Mike Jackson, Lewis Neal, Jake Simpson, and Craig Disley are all expected to miss out. Loanee Jamie Devitt, in from Hull, is expected to play some part after missing out at the weekend due to a knee injury, while top scorer Dave Hibbert, midfielder Paul Murray, and striker Jake Robinson all needed to be passed fit to make the weekend draw with Bury.

One brighter bit of news for the Shrews is the return to fitness of midfielder Terry Dunfield. The Canadian came on as a sub at the weekend, his first appearance for the first team for 3 months.




Woods Named Grimsby Manager

Grimsby caretaker boss Neil Woods has been named as their new permanent manager.

Woods, who was the youth team boss at Blundell Park prior to Mike Newell's dismissal, has signed a deal until the end of next season. He has been in charge for six first team games, earning draws in each of the last three League games but dipping out of the FA Cup to non-league Bath City.

The Mariners' last League win came ten games ago at fellow strugglers Torquay, and they have scored only once in the last four games.


FL launches New Supporters Survey

The Football League is giving fans throughout the country the opportunity to help influence the future of professional football with the launch of its third online supporter consultation.

The Football League Supporters Survey 2010 lets fans have their say on a range of important football issues from the introduction of goal-line technology, sin-bins and salary caps to refereeing standards, football on television and diving.

Fans are also invited to give their views about the club they support with a range of topics up for discussion including ticketing, stewarding, communication with supporters and whether they feel valued by their club.

To take part in The Football League Supporters Survey 2010 click here


The 2010 Survey follows on from previous supporter consultations in 2006 and 2008, both of which saw more than 40,000 fans contribute their views.

In launching The Football League Supporters Survey 2010 League Chairman, Lord Mawhinney, encouraged supporters to take part:

"This is the opportunity for fans to tell us their views on the football they watch.

"The opinions expressed by supporters in our two previous surveys contributed to our thinking as we developed our Regulations on Agents, our new Home Grown Players rule and our smoke-free policy at matches.

"They have also given clubs a better understanding of what their fans like and dislike about watching football, which has helped The League identify best practice at club level and improve the supporter experience.

"I hope fans to take this opportunity to make a difference, once again."

Around 400,000 e-mails will be sent to registered supporters, asking them to contribute their views. Additionally, all other supporters will be able to participate online, via The Football League website - www.football-league.co.uk.

By completing the survey, which is being run in conjunction with sports research specialists SportsWise, supporters will have the opportunity to win a 'money can't buy' prize to see their team train and meet the players. There are also 100 Mitre Official Football League balls on offer to lucky winners.

The results of The Football League Supporters' Survey 2010 will be published in the New Year.

To take part in The Football League Supporters Survey 2010 click here.


Example questions from The Football League Supporters Survey 2010:

Would you like to see The Football League trial the use of sin-bins in one of its competitions?

Do you think The Football League should introduce a system that puts a limit on the amount clubs can spend on players' salaries or restricts the number of players they can sign?

Do you think the standard of refereeing in Football League matches is improving?

Why did you start supporting your club?

What might encourage you to attend more of your club's home/away matches?

Do you feel valued by your club?

When would you prefer to watch live Football league matches on television?

Would you be willing to pay to join a subscription service that would enable you to watch your club's away matches on the internet?


News Round Up

Dagenham have signed Chesterfield's veteran winger Darren Currie on loan with a view to a permanent January transfer. The 34 year old will sign an 18 month deal in January if his impresses boss John Still, who had him as a player at Barnet eight years ago. Southend chairman Ron Martin has accused the taxman of trying to damage the club when it demanded £2.1million in unpaid taxes to be paid.

Lincoln have been refused permission to sign Derry City player James McClean as the Irish FA have refused to sanction the move despite Derry having been thrown out of the League and the squad not having been paid for three months. Chester fan Charlie Lambert, of 5live, has written an open letter to the FA asking for them to investigate the transfer of the club from Stephen Vaughan to his son.

Former Bull Simon Osborn has quit playing at the age of 37. He made one sub appearance for the Bulls, turning down a contract to return to the London area. His last appearances were for Cray Wanderers in the Ryman Premier. Lincoln have extended the loans of Aston Villa pair Eric Lihaj and Nathan Baker until January.

Rochdale have loaned winger Adam Rundle to Rotherham for a month, with a view to a permanent summer move.


Horwood to Referee Local Derby

Graham Horwood from Bedfordshire is set to referee tomorrow evening's League Two local derby between Hereford United and Shrewsbury Town.

John Trewick, the Hereford United manager, must be hoping that Horwood will be on top of the game after, in Trewick's opinion, the last two referres officiating games involving the Bulls have made decisions that have gone against his side.

The last time Horwood officiated at Edgar Street was last February when Leeds were defeated by the Bulls 2-0.

To date this season Horwood has been in charge of 14 games in which he has dealt out 36 yellow and 2 red cards.


Preview: Bulls vs Shrewsbury

The Bulls entertain A49 rivals Shrewsbury on Tuesday night in League Two action.

The Bulls recorded their first League double over the Shrews the last season the two sides met. In 07/08, with the Bulls unlikely promotion material and the Shrews again falling short despite their massive resources, the Bulls claimed all six points with a 2-1 win at the Prostar following up a 3-1 win at Edgar Street. Those two wins doubled the total wins from League games against the Shrews in 16 attempts.

The Bulls will look to stretch their unbeaten home record into double figures tomorrow night. In all competitions they have nine matches unbeaten including top three sides Dagenham and Bournemouth failing to extract three points from their visits to Edgar Street. With Mathieu Manset back in contention and a reborn Leon Constantine being joined by the lively Gavin McCallum it will be anyone's guess who will start up top. One thing is likely, the Bulls will probably revent to play wingers with Marc Pugh - six goals in 12 League appearances this term - particularly keen to play against his former employers.

Shrewsbury come into the game on the back of three straight 1-1 draws, and just one win in seven League games including a loss to bottom side Darlington. Their summer striker arrivals have been told to go after disappointing this season, while their keeper problems mirror the Bulls from last season with David Button becoming the fifth keeper to be named in a matchday squad already this term. Top scorer Dave Hibbert has eight goals, but he has been paired with a string of misfiring partners to put another promotion attempt in jeopardy.

Hereford United vs Shrewsbury Town, Edgar Street, Tuesday November 24th, 7.45pm.