Monday, September 20, 2021

Under 18's Trounce Stourport Swifts

Hereford FC Under 18's travelled to Stourport on Saturday Morning for a MPJL fixture.

They were 6-1 ahead at half time.

They scored a further four goals in the second half.

Full Time: Stourport Swifts 1 Hereford 10

Four National League Managers Leave

Four clubs in the National League are looking for new managers after a raft of resignations or dismissals over the weekend.

The lastest to go is Steve Lovell at Welling United.

Earlier Hemel Hempstead Town, Barnet and Aldershot Town parted company with their managers Lee Bircham, Harry Kewell and Danny Searle, respectively.

For Barnet they will be looking for their fourth manager in just over twelve months.

Former Hereford manager Peter Beadle who took over in August 2020 was given the push in December. Then came Tim Flowers who lasted until June when Harry Kewell took over. But now he's gone and Barnet are on the look for another manager.

Match preview - Hereford FC vs Lymington Town

Hereford and Lymington try again to settle their second qualifying round FA Cup tie on Tuesday night at Edgar Street, following a disappointing 2-2 draw on the Hampshire coast on Saturday. It wasn’t the result supporters were hoping for, unless they were quite weird supporters, but it does mean that the Bulls are still in the competition, and now have the opportunity to score a few goals and boost confidence before Saturday’s home league game against Leamington.

That’s not to say that this will be a simple matter of turning up though, even if Craig Stanley’s 38-year-old legs will be sorely tested by back-to-back matches. With the memory of that 2019 penalty shoot-out replay exit to Tamworth still giving me nightmares, complacency is far from being a dominant feeling here. However, if Lymington are to capitulate it can be fairly safely assumed that it won’t be due to being intimidated by a large crowd. There should be plenty of scope for social distancing in the stands and on the terraces for this match, given the start to the season.

With Krystian Pearce and Levi Andoh added to the defence, the sort of individual errors and general porousness that have cost the Bulls dear so far this season, and did so again on Saturday, will hopefully soon be eradicated, although whether Pearce will be risked here or rested for Saturday, following a precautionary early withdrawal at the weekend, remains to be seen.

Goals conceded at Lymington’s level come more often from self-inflicted mistakes rather than a moment of brilliance from the opposition. That becomes less of a trend as you get up to National League North and higher. If Hereford keep bucking that trend by conceding Lymington-level goals from Lymington-level mistakes things aren’t going to be too clever.

At the other end of the pitch, Bristol Rovers youngster Ollie Hulbert will hopefully provide some much-needed support for Dan Smith up front, or possibly, with the number of good players in the squad capable of playing in attacking positions but not as out-and-out strikers, he'll be competing with the Eastleigh loanee for a starting place as the one out-and-out striker the team has room for.

Given that the squad is structured in such a way as to allow room only for one target man (and I personally quite like that given the talent there is in attacking midfield/wide roles), that target man does have to be quite good, and has a fair amount of responsibility on his shoulders. Whether a loanee would be that arsed to embrace that level of responsibility, even if he was quite good, is a moot point. I absolutely never seek to target individuals here, but the point is worth reiterating that the club's current target man has scored two goals in 37 games for Eastleigh.

Tom Owen-Evans, although it was against more-or-less pub-league opposition on Saturday (no disrespect to the blessed Craig Stanley there as he sees out his playing career on the south coast), looked to be coming back post-Covid to the sort of form that should see him get somewhere close to his ten-goals-and-ten assists personal target for the season. TOE has, in the past, done a great deal of the heavy lifting up front for this club when there wasn’t a lot else in the squad to support him, much like Gavin Williams at an admittedly higher level a few years back, and now with one or two other threats for defenders to worry about he could score and assist more freely. Such an asset when fit and firing, and he isn't lumbered with that horrible black-and-white-quartered kit that SuperGav was.

With Lymington now well aware of, and hugely concerned about, the pace of Miles Storey, there should be plenty of room for TOE and others to exploit if the visitors put a couple of defenders on Mr Storey.

James Vincent and Zeli Ismael were both out injured over the weekend, but supporters would be buoyed by either or both returning to feature in some capacity here, given that they could be among the more influential elements in turning round the club’s joyless start to the season. Having said that, Vincent has yet to live up to his pre-season billing as the puller of strings in midfield in his performances so far. Early days yet, of course.

There's the massive carrot of Mertsham away in the next round, and if that doesn't set the pulse racing I don't know what would. Mertsham are the sort of devil-may-care club who have decided that they can't be bothered to spell official properly when describing their own website. Either that or they're a little bit tinpot.

Nice smooth progress into the next round would be lovely here, no panicky defending, no dramas, and certainly no shoot-outs. 


Away tie if Hereford win FA Cup replay

Hereford will travel to Mertsham in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup should they beat Lymington in tomorrow night's replay.

Mertsham are members of the Isthmian League Premier Division. Last Saturday they defeated Margate 4-1 in the Cup.

Their ground is close to the M25/M23 junction.

The tie is set to be played on Saturday October 2nd. 

Winners receive £5625 and losers £1875. 

FA Cup Draw At Lunchtime

The draw for the third qualifying round of the FA Cup will be held at around 1pm today.

Hereford are in the draw and will find out whom they will play if they can win their replay against Lymington tomorrow evening.

Tickets for the replay are now available.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Pictures From Cup Draw At Lymington

A selection of pictures from yesterday's FA Cup game between Lymington and Hereford.

Relief As Bulls Draw At Lymington

A draw at Lymington in the FA Cup yesterday afternoon brought much needed relief to the Hereford camp who are still without a win this season.

Although Lymington took the lead, two goals in two minutes in the middle of the first half put Hereford in front and at that stage one would have thought the result would not have been in doubt. But once again the Bulls failed to hold onto their lead and in the 66th minute Lymington levelled the scores. So a replay on Tuesday evening.

The game was played on a bone dry pitch which had a noticable slope towards the main stand. It was also one of the widest pitches played on by Hereford for some time.

Manager Josh Gowling made several chances to his starting eleven from the last time out with Krystian Pearce and Levi Andou making their first appearances. Also in the starting eleven was Maziar Kouyhar and there were seven subs on the bench. However both James Vincent and Zeli Ismail missed out with injuries.

Lymington kicked off and had a couple of half chances before Owen Fee opened the scoring. As in previous games recently Hereford's defence seemed at fault given how easy the chance looked.

The Bulls suffered another blow when recently signed Krystian Pearce had to come off.

On 15 minutes he pulled up and received some treatment then played on for a few more minutes before being replaced by Ben Pollock. 

After the game manager Josh Gowling revealed that Pearce had had a niggle for the previous week or so but wanted to play.

Then several minutes of magic for the Bulls. And that came after a possible handball in the box.

Ryan Lloyd controlled the ball just inside the box and passed it to Miles Storey whose shot caught out Livingston keeper Ross Casey.


Just over a minute later the ball was once again in the back of the Lymington net. Storey charged down the left hand side and squared the ball to Tom Owen-Evans who turned it into goal.

Hereford should have put the game to bed but despite several chances, one in particular by Storey that went a yard wide and another when Dan Smith was one on one with the keeper, they couldn't add to their score and it remained 2-1 to the Bulls at half-time. 

Hereford stated the second period quite brightly with Maziar Kouykar stinging the keeper's hands.

A few minutes later Luke Haines was knocked under the belt when going for a header. The referee called for the physio but brave Haines shouted out he was okay.


A couple of subs for both sides which included Ryan Mclean coming on for Kouyhar seemed to disrupt Hereford more than Lymington and it was the hosts who took advantage with 66 minutes on the clock.

Pollock slipped as he tried to the clear the ball and it fell to Harry McGrath who had no problem finding the back of the net with Hall beaten.

Lymington had one or two more half chances before their manager was shown a yellow card for his colourful language.

And the Hosts might have done better when a corner ball sailed across the front of goal.

Gowling brought on on-loan striker Ollie Hulbert in place of Dan Smith who continues to disappoint. And for the last few minutes of the game it looked like the Bulls could win the tie.

A goal mouth scramble with both Pollock and Hulbert involved saw the ball goes inches wide.

Finally Hulbert rose well to head the ball towards Casey, who had been lucky not to be booked for time-wasting, but the Lymington keeper was equal to it.

A draw was probably the right result on the day but one felt Hereford hadn't done quite enough research on Lymington.

Given how wide the pitch was it begs the question why Hereford didn't make more use of the space and also why were so many balls launched in the air, particularily by captain Jared Hodgkiss, when the team has the pace and ability to get past defenders.

Hereford: Hall, Hodgkiss, Hancox, Pearce, Owen-Evans, Storey, Andoh, Lloyd, Kouhyar, Smith. Subs: McLean, Liburd-Hines, Pollock, Hulbert, Fini, Pinchard, Whittinham.

Replay Tickets On Sale Tomorrow

Tickets for Hereford's FA Cup replay against Lymington on Tuesday evening will go on sale from 10AM tomorrow (Monday) morning.

The prices have been agreed between the two clubs and are slightly lower than usual matchday prices.

It's all pay, season tickets do not cover Cup games.


Seated: Adults £15, Concessions £13, Under 21 Student £7, Under 16 £1

Standing: Adults £12, Concessions £10, Under 21 Student £6, Under 16 £1 

As well as being available online tickets can be purchased from the club shop between 10am and 4pm both Tomorrow and Tuesday.

They will also be on sale at the ticket office on Tuesday evening.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

REACTION | Craig Stanley on facing Hereford FC

Former Hereford United player Craig Stanley was part of the Lymington Town side who drew against Hereford FC in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup.

Stanley was with United from 2004 to 2006.

Afterwards, he spoke to BN. You can listen to the interview here.

REACTION | New Bulls loanee Hulbert after Lymington draw

New Hereford striker Ollie Hulbert gave his reaction to the Bulls' 2-2 draw with Lymington Town, plus spoke about linking up with the club.

Hulbert has joined on loan from Bristol Rovers.

You can listen to the interview here.

REACTION | Gowling following Hereford's 2-2 draw with Lymington

Hereford manager Josh Gowling spoke to the press after his side could only draw 2-2 with Lymington Town in the FA Cup today.

You can listen to what he had to say here.

Replay at Edgar Street after Hereford draw in FA Cup

Hereford drew 2-2 with lower graded Lymington Town in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup meaning there will be a replay at Edgar Street on Tuesday night.

Miles Storey and Tom Owen-Evans scored for Hereford.

Team news for Lymington match

Both Krystian Pearce and Levi Andoh both start for Hereford as the Bulls travel to Hampshire to face Lymington in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup.

Pearce makes his first start after finally being cleared to play for Josh Gowling's side, while fellow defender Andoh joins on loan from Ipswich. Striker Ollie Hulbert, who is on loan from Bristol Rovers, is on the bench.

Hereford: Hall, Hodgkiss, Hancox, Pearce, Owen-Evans, Storey, Andoh, Lloyd, Kouhyar, Smith. Subs: McLean, Liburd-Hines, Pollock, Hulbert, Fini, Pinchard, Whittinham.

£3375 If Hereford Win At Lymington

Hereford FC will receive £3375 if they win their FA Cup game at Lymington this afternoon.However should they lose then they will get a payment of £1125.

Manager Josh Gowling is hoping a win will kick start Hereford's season.

"It's the FA Cup," Gowling told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"You can not have won a game all season or you could have won every game all season.

"It's the magic of the FA Cup.

"For us we want to get our season going, I think that's the biggest thing for us, so we're taking it as a game that we can get our first win of the season and then that can kick start our season.

"We are taking it very seriously, we want to get through to the next round, financially it helps the football club but also the morale.

"We've had them watched, we make sure we see the opposition we're playing so we can be best prepared.

"It is difficult when you play a team a couple of leagues below us to get videos as their games are not always recorded."

Trevor Owens asked Gowling if everyone was okay.

"I look at the lads who have had Covid this season, Toe had it at the start of the season then he came back in and he's finding his feet again.

"Harry had a bout but he's got himself back in now, the same with George Forsyth.

"It did have effects on the squad but at the moment we're fine."

Both BBC Hereford and Worcester and Radio Hereford FC will have full commentary from the game.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Pearce Problems Resolved

Defender Krystian Pearce has settled his issues and can play for Hereford at Lymington tomorrow.

Pearce whose signing was revealed at Telford on August 30th was unable to play against Spennymoor the follwing Saturday.

Manager Josh Gowling said the that any dispute Pearce might have was nothing to do with Hereford.

"Basically there's been a dispute with Kristian, I can't go into too much detail with it, I know what the dispute is.

"For that reason the FA are not releasing him to play for us. Hopefully it will be resolved pretty sharpish.

"It's nothing to do with us whatsoever."

This afternoon the club revealed that whatever the problem was it had been resolved and Pearce was now free to play.

"We put all the forms in and the FA registration department said that basically they weren't sure whether or not they could register him," Gowling told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"So we got clearance from the FA at the top and we sent them (registration department) an email this morning just to say look we've had clearance from the people at the FA so register him."

Hopefully he'll be in the squad at Lymington tomorrow.


Hulbert and Andoh Loaned To Bulls

Ollie Hulbert and Levi Andoh have joined Hereford FC, both on short term deals.

Hulbert is an 18 year old striker who has been with Bristol Rovers since the age of eight. For part of last season he went on loan to Cardiff Met where he scored 13 goals in 23 appearances. He joins Hereford on a one month loan deal.

21 year old defender Andoh joins from Ipswich. Born in Holland he moved to England aged 6 and soon joined Aston Villa's academy. In more recent years he had spells with Worcester and Solihull before joining Ipswich for whom he has made one appearance to date.  Earlier this season he went on trial with Dartford. He joins Hereford on a 'short term loan'.

Gowling Adds To Squad

Hereford FC manager Josh Gowling has added two players to his squad.

Their names are set to be announced later this afternoon

One is thought to be coming to Edgar Street on loan

Meanwhile the position regarding recent signing Krystian Pearce remains unclear. He hasn't been able to play for the Bulls since his signing was announced at the Telford game last month. It was said by Gowling that the defender had an issue with the FA

Hopefully this will have been sorted and he'll be on the teamsheet tomorrow at Lymington.

Lymington Game Goes Ahead

Tomorrow's FA Cup game at Lymington is to go ahead.

Hereford have confirmed that restrictions on them have been lifted.

The restrictions were placed on them after a Covid incident late last week which resulted in their game at York last Saturday being postponed.

Supporters Await Lymington Decision

Hereford FC supporters, particularily those hoping to make the trip to the South Coast, are waiting for news about tomorrow's FA Cup tie at Lymington.

It had been thought that a decision whether the tie would go ahead on Saturday would have been taken yesterday.

But as at 1pm this afternoon it's still not clear if the game will take place.

Manager Josh Gowling spoke to BBC Hereford and Worcester about the situation earlier this morning.

"We're none the wiser," said Gowling.

"We've done everything we need to do."

Gowling can't even prepare his squad for the game if it goes ahead. 

"We can't even train.

"We haven't been given clearance to go back to football."

Meanwhile a former Hereford United player is in the Lymington squad.

Midfielder Craig Stanley was at Edgar Street from 2004 to 2006 and played in the Conference play-off at the Walkers Stadium when Hereford defeated Halifax and were promoted to the Football League.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Match preview - Lymington Town vs Hereford FC

It’s a trip to the seaside for Hereford FC on Saturday as they embark on their 2021/22 FA Cup campaign with a tie at Lymington on the Hampshire coast, a campaign that will hopefully not start and finish on the Hampshire coast, unless it finishes with a quarter-final defeat to Southampton, which would be just about acceptable.

As well as wanting to progress in the tournament, the Bulls will see this as a good opportunity to belatedly get the season started with a win, and transfer the winning habit into their league games.

Lymington Town, founded impressively in 1876, if being really old can be impressive, which I suppose it can, were promoted to the Southern League Division One South last season, two rungs below the National League North, having bounced around some of the lesser-travelled cobwebby corners of the English football pyramid for 150 years.

So, despite being really old, their star has remained a resolutely unshiny presence in the footballing firmament since the late 19th Century, and to put ‘late 19th Century’ into perspective for people reading this on TikTok, that was when a slim Adebayo Akinfenwa first rolled a defender and bundled in a two-yarder.

They’ve never got beyond the qualifying stages of the FA Cup before, they sit in mid-table in the SLDOS (and that lengthy abbreviation is without the additional letters of the divisional sponsor I was too lazy to look up, although with those additional letters it would probably end up spelling ‘asbestos’ in Welsh), and after five games are one point ahead of Evesham. They are, as any club one point better than Evesham would be, eminently beatable.

The Bulls should be raring to go after last Saturday’s trip to York was scuppered by a positive Covid test in the Hereford dressing room, which was followed by what seemed to be a thinly-veiled suggestion from York manager Steve Watson that the test may have been a tactical one. That should add a bit of spice to the fixture when it does actually go ahead.

New signing Krystian Pearce should belatedly make his debut here, possibly in slightly humbler surroundings than he may have expected, and supporters will be keen to see if he is indeed the second coming of Jamie Grimes, or rather the first coming of Krystian Pearce, which is probably how he’d prefer to be seen.

Loanee Dan Smith returns to the home county of his parent club Eastleigh, and will fancy getting off the mark for the season with a goal or two against lower-graded defenders, more the sort of defenders he was prolific against as a Bognor Regis Town player.

With the squad gradually getting better, the league position (now absolute bottom after Darlington’s surprise midweek win at Brackley) looks increasingly to be a false one. If it was a deliberate ploy on the part of the club to start the season with an incomplete squad, and to add the finishing touches when better quality started filtering through once the transfer window closed, it was a brave one. Time will tell whether it was a risk worth taking, but Josh Gowling’s confidence in his charges is always quite seductive, and October should see an upturn (and OK admittedly it can’t actually get any worse in home matches or in being bottom of the table).

For those poor, misguided souls who prefer the coast to the mountains, this will be an attractive opportunity to visit a part of the country seldom invaded by the Hereford visiting contingent.

After Lymington, it’s Leamington. What are the chances eh? Slimmer than an away win here, certainly.