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Monday, December 06, 2021

Two Midweek National North Fixtures

No game for Hereford but they are two National North League fixtures set to take place tomorrow evening.

Gateshead v York City

Guiseley v Southport

Should Southport win their game at Guiseley they will move above Hereford (11th).

Prize Bull 500 Club Draw - November Winners


The Prize Bull 500 Club Draw for the month of November was drawn at half-time at Haig Avenue on Saturday during the Bulls match against Southport in the National League North, and was broadcast live on Radio Hereford FC. 

Congratulations to the winners:

£100  216  Di Hutchinson from Lower Bullingham

£75  059  Andrew Thomas from Hereford

£25  050  Jonathan Sandford from Solihull
£25  013  Richard Frost from Weobley
£25  168  Craig Goodall from Smethwick
£25  020  James Sheath from Leicester
£25  189  Stephen Davies from Newent

£10  011  JW Mokler from Eardisley
£10  077  Alan Leighton from London
£10  126  Sally Yemm from Hereford
£10  010  Merle Hancock from Woolhope
£10  241  Alan Turner from Monkland

You can join the Prize Bull 500 Club Draw right away and, if you already have one lucky number, why not double your chances with another go. Indeed, at a mere £5 per month it’s any easy way of helping provide much-needed finance for the club throughout the 2021/22 season.

NEXT IS OUR MAJOR ANNUAL DRAW WITH £1,500 IN PRIZE MONEY UP FOR GRABS! 

So...Back the Bulls – Join TODAY.



Young Bulls Win At Nuneaton

Hereford FC under 18's won their latest league game last Saturday.

They travelled to Nuneaton and returned with a 3-0 victory.

Goals came from Davis (1), Morris (24) and Rees (42). 

Next Saturday the U18's play at Victoria Park, Hereford. Their opponents are Warwickshire U18's. Kick off is at 10.30am. 

Update 5pm: BN has been told that the U18's game next Saturday will be played at Wellington not Victoria Park. 

It's understood that Victoria Park is unavailable.

Highlights From Southport

 

Highlights from last Saturday's game between Southport and Hereford are now available to watch.

Go to: https://southportfc.net/southport-v-hereford-highlights/

Sunday, December 05, 2021

Another National North Manager Loses His Job

Another National North League manager has lost his job.

This time it is Tommy Miller who was until earlier today in charge at Spennymoor.

Yesterday Spennymoor lost 2-0 at Gloucester. Former Hereford loanee striker Ollie Hulbert scored one of Gloucester's goals and two Spennymoor players were red carded during the game.

“Firstly, I’d like to thank Tommy for his years of dedication and hard work for the club," said Tony Wilson, Managing Director at Spennymoor.

“He has been a tireless servant, demanding the very best of himself and his players at all times.

“It’s clear to everyone that the current form of the team falls short of the performance levels required to meet our strategic goals.

“This position is unfamiliar for Spennymoor Town, as we’ve enjoyed constant progress for the last decade.  Despite our form, we are still in touch with the play-offs positions, so I think it’s important to remember this and keep the current situation in perspective.

“For these reasons, we have all been adult enough to recognise that now is the time that a change is required and have acted on this."

Miller took over from Jason Ainsley earlier this year.  Ainsley will take charge until a new manager is appointed.

Wind And Pitch Defeat Hereford


Son of Eric braved the harsh conditions to watch Hereford at Haig Avenue yesterday.

I enjoy visits to Southport you always receive a warm welcome and the good hearts at the club were having a Food Bank collection. Turnstile operators advised Bulls fans going on to the terraces that if it got very windy and wet to upgrade themselves to the main stand at no cost. This is a regular feature of their hospitality and almost all the just over 200 Hereford supporters took advantage in the crowd of 851. Southport face five away games in December so the matchday announcer was jigging away and cranking out the Xmas tunes. The delicatessen takeaway had an impressive selection of food and the compact programme at only £1.50 still had better content than some with twice the price.

The weather spoilt the occasion. Driving rain, blustery but blowing in from the West down and at times across the pitch made for challenging conditions. Southport’s pitch remains one of the poorest in the division with muddy goalmouths especially at the home Scarisbrook end, and lines every 5 yards or so the whole length of the pitch mark futile drainage attempts. Everton women have now moved to their own ground but Everton under-23s now help churn up the pitch and compared to the smoothness of Edgar Street, Haig Avenue provides a very different challenge.

Hereford kept an unchanged defence of Hall, Hodgkiss, Pearce, Haines and Andoh. Lloyd stayed sitting on the left with Vincent coming into the starting line up and Kouhyar dropping to the bench. TOE stayed in the hole and the Smith, Gordon, McLean trident continued. It was good to see Storey and Pollock back on the bench after their recent head injuries.

The wind made football very difficult. Hereford were kicking into it and struggled to allow for surges with longer forward balls shanking away. When Hall took goal kicks the ball moved at times such was the strength of the gale and he had to reposition it. Southport overhit balls forward and Hereford looked the better side but there was limited entertainment.

Andoh broke down the left, and crossed the clearance fell to Tom on edge of the box but his strike went over the bar. 




An overhit Southport cross came to Hodgkiss in the box and he tried to dribble away but he was dispossessed by Hmami who shot, Hall saving and then another Southport shot was blocked on the line by Haines and Vassalo fired wide, a lucky escape. It was good to see youngster Smith go over to captain Hodgkiss and tell him to clear the ball first and play football later.


The conditions were difficult, but Hereford struggled to adapt. It was like playing golf with a strong wind where if you want to get near the hole you need to aim ten or twenty yards right of the flag. Any slight curl on a passed ball was turned into a shank. Hall’s kicks out would climb and then drop like a stone before they met the halfway line. Add to this an unreliable pitch which was progressively getting worse. Hodgkiss with his experience did adjust flighting balls down the right as close to the touchline as possible knowing the gale coming from the end of the big stand would bring the ball back in. Vincent produced one beautiful slightly sliced half volleyed pass that fought back into the wind, but too many players and especially the youngsters repeatedly wasted possession.

In fairness the best preparation for this game would have been getting on a rugby pitch next to the Wye and hiring a portable wind tunnel. Training on a plastic pitch is no preparation for mud and wet. Just before half time Woods beat Andoh and got to the by-line and clipped an inviting ball to Archer one of Southport’s two big men. He met the cross balletically getting great power into this header and Hall was helpless, but the ball glanced off the top of the bar.


The weather was varying with the rain ceasing, lightening, and returning. The wind gusted and turned a little so that it was a little more across the pitch. Southport immediately showed how comfortable they were with their home conditions regularly putting longer balls down the right into a twilight zone with uneven bounce and a little slight pooling of water, so that the ball did not run true. Local knowledge aiding them to hit the sweet spots or should that be the swamp spots to discombobulate defenders. This was more lottery than football but with the wind added in home advantage was considerable.

Andoh looked good going forward and a whipped cross found Gordon who headed over. Southport immediately replied and crossed from the left. Haines stretched to clear but did not get a clean connection and the ball fell to Woods on the edge of the box who shot. Hall did well to save it, but the ball fell to Archer who made no mistake. This was not the weather or pitch for the tricky close control of McLean, and he was replaced by Storey, but Miles also struggled with the lottery of how the ball would run. 


Gordon put his regular shift in and was replaced by Ismael with Storey moving into the central striking position. Haines normally one of Hereford best passers struggled to distribute and was replaced by Pollock.

Zeli Ismail With An Effort That Went Over The Crossbar


Right winger Woods was a constant threat and got down the by-line, thankfully greedily shooting into the side netting with two amber shirts waiting in the box. Under no pressure Vincent passed back into the quagmire that was the penalty box, the ball did not run true and although Hall got to it the slowing of the ball allowed Carver to challenge and the ball ran free, Woods picked it up knocking it past Hall and into the empty net. You normally see goals like this scored on park pitches. I wonder how many other “assists” the impure Pure stadium pitch gets during a season. It was a poor decision by Vincent, but you do not expect such poor conditions at this level of football.







Hereford kept on trying but still struggle to score the number of goals their possession and play would suggest. It was notable that Southport did not make any substitutions and having not played on Tuesday they were the fresher team. Hereford’s dead balls were not to their usual standard but again conditions were a factor. The run of wins comes to an end. Hereford played the better football but seemed poorly prepared for the conditions. With Burr having managed Southport the wind and pitch could not have come as a surprise and Hereford played too much as if they were at Edgar Street.

The home sponsors rightly gave mudlark Woods the man of the match, for Hereford Lloyd made fewest mistakes in difficult circumstances.

It will be good to be back on grass next week!

Pay Referees More Said Gowling


It's easy to criticise referees. Virtually everyone does it. But there are occasions when referees do make decisions which managers and supporters find baffling.  

Yesterday at Haig Avenue was no exception according to Hereford manager Josh Gowling.

"Before the second goal Ben has made a good tackle in the middle of the park, great tackle that's ended up leading to a goal.

"And I said to him at the end 'what have you seen there'? 

"He said 'I think he's not won the ball' when anyone can see as clear as day that he made full contact with the ball.

"I'm here every week saying the same things, it's just so frustrating.

"Every manager, every week is saying the same thing so it's not just me is it. And I've been saying it even when we've been winning.

"I don't know what to say at the moment because some of the decisions you see you can't fathom.

"The one with Luke who has gone to clear the ball. He's cleared the ball and the guy has run into him in our box and tackled him and kicked him and he gives a corner when it's a foul, putting extra pressure on our players. 

"I know it's tough job and they've got pressure."

So how do we encourage people to become referees?

"The solution would be pay them more and then ex-footballers would become refs. That would be one of the good solutions but whether they would ever do that!

"Who wants to be a ref?"

Hereford Failed To Convert Their Chances

Zeli Ismail's Shot Was Just Over The Crossbar

A disappointing defeat at Southport yesterday but part of the problem was that Hereford failed to convert their chances. However given the conditions that was not all that surprising.

"Owen-Evans had a couple of good opportunities," said manager Josh Gowling.

"Probably should have had one at the end where he's tried to bring it down.

"Zeli has had one, probably should have hit the target.

"We had a couple of opportunities in the first half as well, Ryan had one cleared off the line.

"So we had some good opportunities but away from home you want to be solid first and foremost and I thought we were.

"But then the two moments in the game that's cost us are two moments when we've not dealt with the elements well enough."

Around Haig Avenue

A selection of pictures from around Southport's Haig Avenue yesterday including the Hereford players warming up and applauding the travelling support afterwards.









First Half Pictures From Southport

On an afternoon with strong winds and heavy rain, conditions at Haig Avenue were not at their best for the game between Southport and Hereford.

Here's a few photos from the first half mainly taken from the stand. 











You Go With The Wind Said Southport Manager

Connor Woods Scored Southport's Second Goal Having Rounded Brandon Hall

After their deserved three points against Hereford yesterday, Southport manager Liam Watson felt that knowing Haig Avenue better than the opposition and how the wind can play a big part in any game there was the difference between the two sides.

"We've got good footballers and good footballers doesn't always mean you pass to feet," said Watson.

"Good footballers mean you put the ball into areas where you can ask questions and we did that better than they did against the wind.

"My experience of actually knowing what Haig Avenue is on a day like this, you go with the wind because that's what you tend to do but I fancied going the way we did in the second half anyway.

"Hereford's best opportunity to score came about ten minutes in in the first half after that I don't think our keeper had a save.

"They are a good team, A really good team. They will be right up there as well. They're organised and they've got some good players.

"They probably had the idea that we were just going to be a team of long throws.

"I really fancied Marcus and Jordan to put pressure on their centre-halves and that was the difference, they run them into the ground and we got the joys." 

Saturday, December 04, 2021

Today's Results From The National North

Today's results from the National North League:

AFC Fylde 4 Blyth Spartans 1

Bradford PA 0 Brackley 3

Chester 2 Leamington 1

Curzon Ashton 1 Alfreton 2

Gloucester 2 Spennymoor 0

Guiseley 0 York 1

Kettering 2 Boston 3

Southport 2 Hereford 0

Although Hereford have dropped to 11th place, they are one of four clubs with 22 points the highest being Curzon Ashton who are 8th.

This round up is from the National League:

AFC Fylde we’re too good for Blyth Spartans. Nick Haughton got two as the Coasters we’re 4-1 winners.

Brackley Town didn’t break sweat as they left Bradford PA 3-0.

Jordan Burrow turned things around for Boston United as they came back from 2-0 down at Kettering Town to win 3-2.

York City won late at Guiseley - Kurt Willoughby bagged the winner.

A James Horsfield goal five minutes into time added on handed Chester victory over Leamington.

Southport ended Hereford’s winning run as Gloucester City defeated Spennymoor Town and Alfreton won at Curzon Ashton.

Two Bad Mistakes Cost Us The Game Said Gowling

Josh Gowling Applauds The Travelling Support

Hereford's recent good form came to an end at Southport this afternoon in difficult conditions. Two mistakes gifted the home team three points and afterwards an unhappy manager Josh Gowling spoke to the local media about the defeat.

"Two mistakes aren't they," said Gowling.

"We spoke before the game about coming here. 

"The first goal we tried to get it out when it's just died in the mud.

"The second goal we passed it back to the keeper in the middle bath and it stopped and they put it in.

"I'm not happy."

Keith Hall suggested that Gowling must be pleased with the determination of the side throught the ninty minutes.

"Yes, but we lost 2-0.

"You can put that work in and you make two mistakes which cost you the game so that hard work goes for nothing.

"I thought we had some half decent chances as well but we were a bit flakey in the box that end and the two errors that led to their goals cost us the game.

"We spoke before the game and said first half we'll go against the elements, be solid, be organised and get to half time 0-0 then second half try and play a bit more and go and win the game.

"I thought for large portions of the second half we were the better team but you get a ball in the 18 yard box, and you can see it's not great, and you try and pass the ball back to the keeper, not the smartest idea in the world.

"And then the first goal Yaz has tried to get it out, it's rolling and it's just stopped in the water. He's come in and Brandon has saved it but he's dropped it and they've put it in. Errors that we've not been doing lately. "

Southport mastered the conditions better than Hereford?

"That's why they are unbeaten at home. They've been on a good run like we have but it's a tough place to play football, you can't really play much on here. So you have to deal with the elements, be solid, be organised.

"I said to the lads at the end that should be 0-0 because they are two bad mistakes"

Miles Storey came on as a sub after several weeks out after his head injury at Guiseley.

"Lads are coming back so we've got more competitiveness for the squad. Obviously we've lost 2-0 so we are going to have to look at it. There'll be players knocking on my door on Monday wanting to start. That's the reality of us, it's good we have competition like that and if we are going to make mistakes then people will be out."

Hereford's pitch will be much better next Saturday (for Curzon Ashton) than this pitch today?

"It better had be or Ben will be in trouble.

"It will be a good game. Obviously they play football, we'll play some football at home and we've got a good home record so we'll be looking to win that game.

"It's a position (8th) we want to be in where they are so we've got to make sure we come home and win the game."

The defeat comes on the back of five League wins.

"I don't care about the run to be honest, we've lost today, that's all I care about. Yes we won five games on the bounce but we've lost today 2-0. We should have taken a point from today.

"Looking at our targets and what we wanted we had a point coming here, we would have taken a point before the game and we should have had a point here today with the chances we created. Not doing those two mistakes you take a point. I'm disappointed.

"Today was one of those games where I realish these games. You head it, kick it, clear your lines and you take a draw.

"To be fair to the back four for a large portion of the game I thought they were solid again but then two individual kind of mistakes have lost us the game.

"That's what happens when it windy, rainy in Southport. My hair went a few ways during the game, you couldn't judge the kicks, when you're sliding balls down the side sometimes it's rolling, sometimes it's stopping.

"But at the end of the day it's not an excuse, we knew it before the game so we should have dealt with that better in those two moments that has cost us the game." 

Gowling brought off Luke Haines and brought on Ben Pollock late in the game.

"Haines was struggling, he didn't train the other day because of his hamstring, we gave him 48 hours rest to see if he was alright, he said he was fine today so he's played most of the game but at the end it started tightening up so make that change to make sure anything doesn't pull.

"Ben trained Thursday, he trained fine without any problems so Aaron checked him over to see if he was alright and he was fine.

"We spoke to him today and he was fine.

"We prepped him for the game today as we were not sure whether Luke would be fit or not so hewas ready to start anyway.

"It was good to see him back on."

Southport 2-0 Hereford

Hereford have fallen to their first league defeat in six games, losing 2-0 at Southport. 

With a strong wind and driving rain affecting conditions, the Bulls conceded twice in the second half. 

Report and reaction to follow from Haig Avenue. 

Former Hereford Keeper Joins Peterborough Sports

 

Former Hereford goalkeeper Paul White has linked up with Peterborough after a spell with St Ives.

He's been signed as cover for regular keeper Lewis Moat. 

White joined the Bulls in July 2020 and was released last May. He started the season as Hereford first choice keeper but a run of mistakes saw Brandon Hall back between the sticks.

Friday, December 03, 2021

Chairman Hales Volunteers

In a interview Hereford FC chairman Jon Hale has praised the work of volunteers at the club. Without them it would be difficult to keep the club running especially on match days.

"The volunteers we have here are fantastic people," said Hale

"Their hearts are in the right place, they just want the best for Hereford FC.

"The work that they cover and the jobs they do and the loyalty they show is just incredible. 

"They are massively appreciated and I hope they know that because I mean it, I really do mean it.

"Without them we couldn't stage a match on a Saturday, we couldn't work through the week, we wouldn't have a clean stadium, we wouldn't have so many other jobs done because we could not afford to do it.

"People have got to understand that we are a relatively small club, we haven't got buckets of money to throw at this.

"These volunteers they just are fantastic people and we really appreciate what they do.

"I would love to see many more volunteers come forward, please get in touch, drop us an email, give us a ring, come and see us on a matchday, see a director, a member of staff or another volunteer to show your interest.

"There are still plenty of jobs here for which we could really do with some more volunteers to improve again what we are doing on a matchday and during the week.

"So please get in touch and get involved because we are basically all about togetherness now. It's a community football club and volunteers are at the very top of that because that's the soul of the club. And we want to make that better and better as we go.

"Please get in touch, we would love to have you along here."

Listen to the full interview at:  https://www.herefordfc.co.uk/interview-jon-hale-speaks-six-months-after-his-return-as-chairman/

Unbeaten At Home Southport Will Be A Stiif Test Said Gowling

Hereford manager Josh Gowling feels that tomorrow's National North League fixture at Southport will be a stiff test.

Southport are unbeaten at home this season to date with four wins and four draws in their League fixtures. 

"We've got to be strong, solid, and resiliant to give ourselves a platform to build off," said Gowling.

"That's the big thing especially away from home.

"I'd like to think we'll take what they've got then we'll dish some back and hopefully get a result from it."

The forecast for Southport tomorrow isn't great. It's set to be cold, quite windy and with frequent showers.

"It's going to be a bit like it was for the Kiddy game here, really windy, blustery, pitch like that (slope).

"They play long, they've got a massive throw, so it going to be similar to Kettering in that sense with set plays and balls getting put in the box. So we've got to deal with that."

Fan Led Review Compared To Death Of Millions By Leeds CEO

The FSF aren't too happy with comments made by Leeds United CEO Angus Kinnear who has compared the fan-led review of football to one of Chairman Mao's ideas.

This from the FSF:

There you are, going about your day, encouraging football clubs to think a little more about their long-term financial health and ways to increase supporter engagement when – BAM! – a club CEO compares your ideas to the Great Leap Forward (Chairman Mao’s disastrous policy which led to the deaths of at least 15m Chinese citizens).

Even the most obsessive supporter might think that the comparison was more than a touch insensitive to those who perished, but it did get us thinking, maybe we should do a run through of Leeds United chief executive Angus Kinnear’s other claims to see how they stack up against, well, reality on planet Earth. 

Drum roll…

Angus Kinnear (CEO, Leeds United): Of the 47 recommendations contained in the Fan-Led Review of Football Governance there was much to applaud. Increased supporter consultation, heritage shares, renewed focus for the women’s game and improving equality and diversity (among others) will all be met with almost unequivocal support.

FSA response: We’re pleased you agree, Angus! Good start. And let’s not forget the Fan-Led Review’s chair Tracey Crouch has been clear that the report is not a tuckshop pick ‘n’ mix. The recommendations all work in sync and come as a package which the Government should implement. Unfortunately for Angus, he lost his way after that promising start…

Angus: We should remember that the European Super League was so repugnant in its conception and so seditious in its execution that the game and its supporters regulated it out of existence without the need for a third party.

FSA: WOAH THERE! Let’s just rewind a little bit, Angus.

Yes, we all remember the breakaway and fans everywhere kicking off about it. But you seem to have forgotten the bit where the actual Prime Minister said he would drop a “legislative bomb” to stop it. At that point the breakaway clubs seemed to come to their senses but to sell that as the Miracle of Premier League Self-Regulation™ might, just might, be overstating things a touch (again).

It’s like a player receiving a red card for a two-footed tackle and arguing they shouldn’t get a suspension for future games as they’ve learned their lesson and they’re really, really sorry and now all reckless tacklers really, really promise they’re going to self-regulate and they really, really won’t do it all again. Don’t buy it.

Angus: However, the two most significant recommendations are as flawed as they are radical. The first is the demand for independent regulation and the second is an increased transfer levy to redistribute increased funds further down the football pyramid. These proposals have been conflated to address the very separate issues of the demise of Bury, the threat of the European Super League and the takeover of Newcastle United.

FSA: The whole point of an independent regulator is that it CAN intervene in a range of issues. This is just a description of what it should be able to do. It wouldn’t be much of a football-wide regulator if it could only intervene in the financial affairs of a League Two club but wasn’t allowed to do likewise at Premier League level. (Even if Angus would quite like that.)

Angus: When it comes to the takeover of Newcastle it is inconceivable that a retired civil servant in the pocket of Westminster would have made the call that, while it is morally acceptable to trade billions of pounds worth of arms to an oppressive regime, it is morally unacceptable for them to own 11 teenage millionaires who kick around an inflated pig’s bladder.

FSA: Is this all our club CEOs think football is? Draw your own conclusions. To all of us a football club is far, far more than that and deserves special protections. The Fan-led Review proposals would see increased transparency and an enhanced ethics test from the banking and insurance sector, which is nowadays regarded by industry as being the most stringent. If that industry is expected to submit owners to such tests, then why can’t football?

Angus: Would an increased redistribution of wealth have saved Bury? The answer is: “Probably not.” There is a false narrative that the English game is unsustainable when a glance at the league table of 50 years ago, all, bar less than a handful of teams, shows all the protagonists are still operating professionally today. Which other industry could boast such sustainability? 

FSA: An independent regulator would have pre-emptive powers so it knows what clubs are spending and, when it spots a problem, it can move fast and intervene to correct. That would have saved Bury. 62 of the current 92 clubs have gone into administration since the formation of the Premier League (see FLR report para 1.20). Is that sustainable? No. The supporters, taxpayer and local businesses pick up the pieces with unpaid invoices and tax bills.

While some football CEOs may boast of football’s “sustainability” it’s worth noting that Premier League debt currently stands at circa £4bn, Championship debt £1.3bn while total operation losses of Championship clubs in 2019-20 was £434m, including a £62m loss for Leeds United. We wonder if Mr Kinnear might have been saying something different if Leeds had not been promoted that season?

Coincidentally another CEO who was very happy to talk about football’s sustainability is Aston Villa’s Christian Purslow. Villa lost £69m in 2018-19. Do we really believe Angus and Christian would have held the same viewpoint if their clubs hadn’t been promoted to the Premier League and banked the TV money? 

Here’s a clue to Angus’ old views, from not-so-recent programme notes: “The other hotly debated topic amongst the Championship clubs was the future direction of Financial Fair Play. In a league which is drastically financially distorted by Premier League payments, there are widely differing opinions of the extent to which clubs should be allowed to finance playing squads beyond their natural means. Our belief is that supporters need to be protected from the dangers of short-term speculators and that prudent and responsible long-term financial management of club custodians should be rewarded.”

Angus: However, the most significant political discussions in English football this week did not take place in the corridors of Westminster, but at the home of Eddie and Linda Gray where I was treated to dinner. Eddie passionately regaled us with stories of his lifetime of service and Don Revie, Billy Bremner, Jack Charlton, Norman Hunter et al which reinforced our wonderful and uniquely colourful history.

FSA: This is a corker. After spending 1,000 words arguing against the Fan-led Review proposals Mr Kinnear then tries to win over fans by revelling in nostalgia for a time when football’s money was more evenly distributed, fewer clubs went into administration and FA Rule 34 (removed in 1983) essentially meant clubs were not-for-profit businesses and directors could not take payment. That’s something we can all get behind… if only there was a review which recommended suchlike?!

Final whistle

It’s not often we call out a specific individual in this way but there have been a string of Premier League executives pontificating on the Fan-led Review with claims we take huge issue with, so we’re going to push back on them. For the benefit of doubt though, this is in no way a pop at Leeds United supporters, who follow their club in huge numbers, nor our fantastic affiliates and associates at the club. We’re sure many other football executives will come under our spotlight in the months ahead.

Riley Joins Pitmen

 

Former Hereford defender Martin Riley has joined Hednesford Town.

Since leaving Hereford Riley, who is 35 on Sunday, has played for Stourbridge and Tamworth.

"We wanted some more experience in the squad, and nobody is more experienced than Martin Riley," said Pitmen manager Keenen Meakin-Richards.

"We are excited to bring him in and really feel he will add that strength and aggression to the team."

Eight National North Fixtures Tomorrow

There are eight National North League fixtures set to take place tomorrow.

AFC Fylde v Blyth Spartans

Bradford PA v Brackley

Chester v Leamington

Curzon Ashton v Alfreton

Gloucester v Spennymoor

Guiseley v York

Kettering v Boston

Southport v Hereford.

Thursday, December 02, 2021

Bring Back United?

There is a view that it's time to consider changing the name of Hereford FC back to Hereford United. A resolution was put to the HUST AGM last week, and members are to be balloted in the New Year to assess the strength of feeling for such a change.

Even if this is voted through, and a resolution is eventually put to the Football Club, a minimum of 75% of the club shareholders must then vote for it at a special meeting.

Below is one shareholder's view. Other views are most welcome.

History is priceless

As a volunteer and shareholder of HUFC in the past, and now a HFC shareholder, I recognise that although a limited company died at Edgar Street, the club I supported was to be re-formed as HFC, and promoted as a “continuation”. Indeed, at the very first open meeting at The Welsh Club on the 16th January 2015 a return to Hereford United, after the requisite Football Association delay of 5 years, was outlined.

Yes, there is a passion to regain the history of our Edgar Street club – all of it – both the good and the bad. Even the toxic years when the ownership of the club became so factious, will remain a part of our club history, and to this day there is a collective resolve among many supporters to finally seal the open wound.

For many fans it’s not simply a yearning to return to the good old days of yesteryear (whenever they were precisely), but to reject an outlook that appears to emphasise that HFC stands alone as a totally new entity, a new club, a phoenix club, building from the bottom and creating its own history. I’ve even heard Hereford United described as a ‘toxic’ brand. If that is the case the pretence of ‘Forever United’ must end.

If HFC is a separate club, making its own way and history, it cannot at the same time pick out selected HUFC historical highlights to promote itself when say, an FA Cup tie comes around. There is no club history before 2015. We are United, or we are never going to be United.

Supporters of clubs such as Wimbledon and Newport fought tirelessly to reclaim and restore their clubs back story, roots and history – the hideous and the heroic - in equal measure. Hereford fans should have the right to do the same.

To change a football club name will require Football Association approval. They will look for evidence of support from within the local community for such a move, and so a majority of fans would need to campaign for it. If the support is not in place – it will not happen. That is why ballots of supporters’ trust members, season ticket holders and fans on the turnstiles would be both beneficial and fully transparent.

The constitution of HFC has also been amended over the last couple of years meaning a change of club name, colours or ground etc, now requires 75% of the shareholders to vote in favour. Given that the original club investors have ownership of approaching 50%, only with some of their backing will a name change ever occur in the future – otherwise it will not happen. A groundswell of support plus evidence of financial backing is likely to be a pre-requisite for any shareholder before a change is even considered.

A figure of £50,000 has been mooted as to the cost of re-branding. Where is the cost-analysis evidence for this? Have other clubs who have restored their name been approached for factual information? Liaising directly with the Football Association and Newport County might be quite revealing.

Should there be actual evidence (through ballots) that there is a desire among Hereford supporters to become United once more, then an actual timeframe for change would need to kick-in.

This would not be an overnight process, and is unlikely to be until at least 2024 given that the resolution will need, in the first instance, be put to the HFC board at an Annual General Meeting or an Extra-ordinary Meeting.

Supporters would need to appreciate that any such ‘Bring Back United Campaign’ will need to be a separately funded, stand-alone project. Much like the SOS campaign of the 1980s and the Len Weston Stand funding of the 1970s.

All existing revenue streams would have to remain totally unaffected (50/50, Golden Goal, Club Lottery etc). There would have to be total transparency of funds raised, and absolute confirmation that Josh Gowling’s budget WOULD NOT be affected.

Once a minimum ‘re-branding’ cost figure is established ‘Bring Back United’ Crowdfunding, fundraising events and activities, retro-merchandise, donations, etc could be put in place to reach that target – and in what timescale. If the funds are not forthcoming within the timeframe specified - then it will not happen.

A ‘United’ committee, Campaign co-ordinators and volunteers would need to come from a groundswell of supporters who are passionate about a return to the name Hereford United – otherwise it will not happen.

So, maybe it does not have to be an un-costed and ill-thought-out indulgence.

Bulls 24/13 To Win At Southport

 

Hereford travel to Southport on Saturday and the bookmakers are offering odds of around 24/13 for them to return with all three points.

Both Southport and Hereford are in good form at present. Both are unbeaten in their last five games.

Hereford are 9th in the league whereas Southport are 15th but have played two less games.

Southport 11/8  Draw 23/10  Hereford 24/13.

Longest Runs By Hereford Without Conceding A Goal

Hereford historian Ron Parrott has been asked about the club's current run of five games without conceding a goal.

These are the games against Kettering 3-0, Chester 1-0, Blyth Spartans 2-0, Guiseley 2-0 and Chorley 1-0.

He has looked back and kindly given BN his findings.

1) Season 2015/16 - 9 games without conceding - 9 straight wins

2) Season 1984/85 - 7 games without conceding - including one 0-0, all at the start of the season

3) Season 1958/59 - 6 games without conceding - 6 straight wins

4) Season 1987/88 - 6 games without conceding - including one 0-0

5) Season 2000/01 - 6 games without conceding - including two 0-0's, all at the srart of the season

6) Season 2017/18 - 6 games without conceding - 6 straight wins

7) Season 2021/22 - 5 games without conceding - 5 straight wins

8) Season 2016/17 - 5 games without conceding - 5 straight wins

9) Season 1999/2000 - 5 games without conceding - 5 straight wins

10) Season 1999/2000 - 5 games without conceding - including one 0-0

11) Season 2004/05 - 5 games without conceding - including one 0-0.

There are six runs of four games without conceding one of which goes back to 1950/51.

Highlights Of Hereford's Win Over Kettering

 

Highlights of Hereford's 3-0 win over Kettering in the National North League last Tuesday are now available to watch.

Please go to: https://www.herefordfc.co.uk/highlights-hereford-3-0-kettering/

Should Hereford FC Revert To Hereford United?

There is a view that it's time to consider changing the name of Hereford FC back to Hereford United. The idea was talked about at the HUST AGM last week and they are expected to ask their members in the New Year about any possible change.

To enable a change 75% of the club shareholders must vote for it.

Below is one shareholder's view. Other views are most welcome.

Who pays ? Changing a name isn't cheap.

It is suggested that through HUST there are moves afoot to change the name of Hereford Football Club to Hereford United Football Club…..

A positive action some will contend , others will regard it as simply a yearning for the good old days of yesteryear , some may take the complete opposite view that it is a retrograde step , a distraction and an entirely self-indulgent waste  , it matters not a jot which way you view it in those emotional terms … but what it is going to be without doubt is a very expensive and time consuming exercise !!

As a shareholder of HUFC in the past and now an HFC shareholder , I believed that when HUFC died my shares were worth nothing and that the club I supported was dead and if there was to be something in its place it needed to be new , a phoenix , a new club building from the bottom creating its own history and that was why I was happy to invest in buying shares and volunteering for HFC.

So in the light of the what HUST now aspire to …..what I would hope will be made clear over the coming weeks will be :

Who is going to pay for this “rebranding” exercise ? It surely cannot be the existing shareholders using existing shareholder funds  , it cannot come from match day revenues (50/50 or Golden Goal) etc as that is money designated for share purchase by HUST or to support the existing playing budgets.

Who has undertaken a fully detailed cost and risk benefit analysis of the proposals? Has one been commissioned already? Perhaps those who are to vote on any firm name change proposals whoever they are will be provided with the details , so only an informed choice will be made !!

Who is going to manage the process , co-ordinate the activities , contact the sponsors , arrange to change documentation ….etc etc  ,  the activity is list pretty long … these processes don’t just happen they are implemented.

What are the proposed time scales involved ?

The cost of such an exercise even for a modest small enterprise such as HFC is likely to exceed £50,000 , how do those who find this proposal attractive or seek to promote it suggest how it is paid for……. ??????

 How many actual HUST members were present when this matter was promoted ?  I think we should know.

This is an uncosted and ill thought out indulgence driven by a few.

If this change it ahead it will be Josh Gowling's budget that will suffer.

Match preview - Southport FC vs Hereford FC

After a string of home matches and a complete change in fortunes in November, Hereford FC move into December with a trip to the seaside. There are, however, pleasant trips to the seaside you make for fun, and challenging trips to the seaside you make out of obligation. There’s Lymington in September and there’s Southport in December, two very different beasts. Haig Avenue beckons in its challenging, beastly way, and the forecast is for gustiness and long throws, with the latter referring more to Southport’s tactical approach than being some sort of meteorological euphemism.

The Sandgrounders, like the Bulls, endured a slow start to the season, but had to play some strong teams as 2021/22 got started: Fylde, Kidderminster and Brackley for instance. Since then, they’ve put Chorley and Spennymoor out of the Cup and are unbeaten in six, winning four of those matches. They are nine games unbeaten at home. We’re not too far off ‘fortress’ territory with those stats. I’m not sure what the official definition is for being able to justifiably term your home ground a fortress. There’s a case maybe for clubs to move to actual fortresses so that it’s true even if they lose at home every week, but maybe there aren’t that many fortresses to go round these days. Probably all been turned into football pitches over the years.

To continue the medieval theme which seems to have emerged unexpectedly in this preview, this is one in which the Bulls defence will have to resist a battering ram approach at times, and in so doing earn the right to play the sort of football that broke out fitfully against Kettering on Tuesday evening.

Marcus Carver is the danger man for the hosts. Not conspicuously prolific in his career before this season, the ex-Chorley and Accrington Stanley centre forward has recently burst into life and tops the National League North scoring chart, with ten goals from 13 games, which is almost John-Mills-in-the-Midland-League-esque. Fellow forward George Newell, son of ex-Everton and Blackburn striker Mike Newell, has just come back from a long absence following a very nasty double leg fracture.

Josh Gowling’s assistant Steve Burr managed the Port for a grand total of four months during their 2017 relegation season, so hopefully he’ll still be sufficiently bitter and twisted about that to ensure that his pre-match pep-talk is full of motivationally hateful bile.

As for the visitors, the Bulls have now won five league games on the bounce and don’t need to fear anyone, fortress dwellers or not. The first half hour against Kettering wasn’t particularly easy on the eye, but Lady Luck continues to look kindly on the club (after looking daggers at the club in early autumn) and that first slightly fortunate goal gave rise to some lovely flowing football at times in the second half. Performances are gradually starting to match results.

If the likes of Miles Storey (whose concussion protocol absence should now be done and dusted), Harry Pinchard and Ben Pollock are available, the Bulls bench could be a very strong one, but in a different way to the strength of the bench presumably needed to support Kyle Perry on Tuesday before he took to the field of play in the second half.

The second goal on Tuesday was encouraging in that Jaanai Gordon was stood in the six-yard box waiting on the off-chance, and that’s an instinct that has been missing from the squad this season. Dan Smith was presumably brought in with the hope that he had that instinct, but if he can produce a few more passes like the one for the third goal on Tuesday Josh Gowling may be right in employing him a little further out from goal.

There’s something too about Victor Sodeinde, something to suggest that he’s not at all what tiring NLN defenders want to see coming off the bench with half an hour to go, something to suggest that he’ll score and create plenty over the course of the season.

Historically in the NLN, Southport haven’t been very charitable opponents, and in five matches the Bulls remain winless. However, that winless run was during a period of seemingly aimless and occasionally amateurish leadership at Edgar Street, whereas now there’s a real sense of professionalism, purpose, togetherness and intelligence. If the club is finally finding a way to become a force in the NLN, and a promotion candidate, previous head-to-head records, however poor, can be disregarded.

Southport have, despite that relative success against Hereford, failed to enjoy a decent season at this level since relegation in 2017.

Tough one this though, all the same.

COYW