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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Interview With National League General Manager

BBC Sports correspondent Ollie Bayliss conducted a long interview with Mark Ives, the general manager of the National League, which was broadcast this afternoon.

Although Ives has only been in the job for a couple of months he was well aware of the difficult position of some clubs because of Covid-19.

Some of the points discussed:

The funding meeting with the DCMS

The Independent Review Panel

The current situation at Steps 1 & 2

The future of the League's management

As regards the call by some clubs, including National North York City, to 'let us play', Ives said the League would consider the proposal.

I think it's in the best interest of the league that we should listen to all the clubs, either side of the fence - I believe that's right.

"Do I believe that there's an opportunity to consider an alternative, viable solution - (there was) a very well-crafted letter put to the league on what might possibly happen - do I believe we should consider that, yes, I do.

"The gift of this is in the FA as the resolution that has been put together is not binding and the FA have the ability whether to accept it or not.

"And, the FA, as a central body, are responsible for the National League System, so anything that is suggested would need to go through the Alliance Committee and ultimately, the FA Council.

"So, do I think that it's in our best interests to present everything, so that they can consider what is the right thing to do, yes, of course, I do."

Here's a link to his interview:

MY HEREFORD UNITED STORY | Greg Downs - 1991-1994

The former Hereford United Player Manager is featured today. Looking back he did a good job with a very small budget.

Click for more -> MY HEREFORD UNITED STORY | Greg Downs | Herefordshire’s Independent Source of News & Information (

Phot supplied by Ron Parrott

From The Archives - Bulls Leave It Late At Hornchurch

A look back at the last time the Bulls played at AFC Hornchurch was on October 26th 2013. The two clubs could meet in the FA Trophy in four weeks time.

Last gasp Bulls win at Hornchurch

Scorer Josh O'Keefe Gets A Hug From Chris Bush
An injury time strike from Josh O’Keefe put United in the hat for the First Round Proper of the FA Cup as The Bulls stuttered to victory at Ryman League Hornchurch this afternoon.

Frankie Artus, Jon Brown and Josh O’Keefe got starting nods with Eric Odihambo replacing Ross Dyer to partner Michael Rankine up top.

The hosts collected an early booking when Purcell was late with a challenge on Leadbitter before Odihambo tested keeper Echepare with a snap shot.  A Chris Bush cross was headed wide by Jon Brown then Bushy’s long throw was flicked on by Rankine and Odihambo made ground before firing into the side netting.  Bemer tried a tumble in The Bulls’ box but the referee was unimpressed as he was actually behind Leadbitter when he fell. 

Eddie Odhiambo and Michael Rankine Combine In This Attack
The blustery wind and uneven pitch combined with the longer than usual grass made passing football unlikely and caused uncertainty when receiving the ball.  Rob Purdie and Frankie Artus were both visibly struggling to predict the bounce in midfield and lost out on several occasions due to hesitancy. 

O’Keefe combined well with Frankus on the left but a late saving tackle by Elliot Styles cleared the threat.  Rankine showed a clean pair of heels to two defenders but the ball held up and his shot was blocked by Echepare. 

For Hornchurch, Purcell sent in a shot from the corner of the box which Rhys Evans competently dealt with.  Just before half time, McDonald was forced to leave the field when a side strain picked up in the pre-match warm up failed to ease.  Replacement Dom Collins was quickly into action to clear as Stefan Payne shaped to shoot.

HT Hornchurch 0  Bulls 0

The Bulls started quicker in second period and Bush’s throw was flicked on by O’Keefe but Ranks’ volley whistled just wide of the upright.  

Chris Bush Gets Caught By Styles
Chris Bush skipped past two opposition players in a trademark burst forward but was stopped by a late and dangerous challenge by Styles who was promptly dismissed from the field of play. 

Bush Receiving Attention From Physdio Johnny Evans Whilst The Referee Calls For Styles
With a tall central defender missing, Foyle introduced Chris Sharp in place of Brown and moved Odihambo out wide.  Sharpie’s bustling style soon created him a chance from the left but Echepare was able to push the shot round the post.  The Bulls earned a series of corners without really testing the keeper and were a shade fortunate to see May’s free kick skid wide of the target.

Purdie and Leadbitter combined on the right to release O’Keefe through centre-field and when his weighted pass reached Sharp his shot was, again, blocked away for a corner.

With a replay looking all but certain, the game had entered the four added minutes when Dan Walker replaced Odihambo. 

Walker's Cross Fed The Ball to Josh O'Keefe Who Scored
Walker was fed by Leadbitter and despite a poor first touch Walker got a second bite and fired a low drive across the box to O’Keefe at the back post and “goal machine” made no mistake in his return to the squad.

Michael Rankine On Top Of Scorer Josh O'Keefe And Team-Mates
FT Hornchurch 0  Bulls 1

Attendance: 713

Hereford: Evans, Leadbitter, Graham, McDonald (Collins 39), Bush, Purdie, Artus, O’Keefe, Brown (Sharp 57), Odhiambo, (Walker 76) Rankine. Subs unused: Lloyd-Weston, Gwynne, Edwards, Collins, Krans.

Hornchurch: Echepare, Starkey, Bentley, Hayles, Styles, Curley, Bremner (Bourne 76), May, Payne, Purcell (Rook 85), Spencer. Subs not used: Coyne, Lechmere, Eyong.

So, both the first team and the U18’s have notched victories in their respective FA competitions this week but this one will be the most welcome as it brings £12,500 into the coffers of HUFC.  The game was scrappy probably down to the unpredictability of the surface and the wind.  A welcome win but still some way from convincing.  I didn’t hear any announcement of the attendance but the respected Independent Supporters Association chairman assured me that he’s counted at least 204 on the Riverside supporting The Bulls.

See you in Salisbury on Thursday.

Foyle Glad To Be In Cup Draw

A Very Relieved Martin Foyle
Speaking to BBC Hereford and Worcester after today's game, Martin Foyle expressed his relief at winning:

"Very relieved. Gale force winds and a very lively pitch. Both sides struggled to put 2/3 passes together. You couldn't get much quality today.

"I made a few changes, four from the other day, I'll keep changing it until I get it right. I can understand a bit of supporter frustration, but I thought they were fantastic today. To come all this way, in the stand behind us. 

"I actually enjoyed having them close to me. I was talking to one or two, explaining things, and they understood where we were coming from from a coaching point of view.

On Rod McDonald's injury, which he originally picked up in the warm-up: "He's got a side strain. It was so late in the day but Dom's done very well. He's been chomping at the bit, had so many injuries.

"I'm pleased we're in the draw, especially for the club. They've had hard times but hopefully we can get into another one. I don't just want to drop out in the next round."

Andy Porter
Asked how big today's win was, Foyle added: "It was needed. Especially for the changing room, more for myself really. I can just relax a bit. My standards, and Andy's (Porter) standards are so high, we've always been in League football. 

"We've just said in there 'we don't want to be non-league, we want to be in the League - do you want to come with me?'"

From The Archives - Woking Deal A Blow To The Bulls


The second of today's look at games played by Hereford at clubs in tomorrow's FA Trophy draw.

This at Woking on February 3rd 2014.

Bulls fall to three Card trick

Hereford United were defeated by three goals to nil this evening in a lethargic display at Kingfield.  First half strikes from Jack Marriott and Keiran Murtagh were followed by a late third from Josh Payne in a game where The Bulls rarely threatened.

The match saw a return to the starting line-up for Kingsley James and a first start for Jamie Edge.  The back four were unchanged with Frankie Artus completing a midfield three with Chris Sharp, Michael Rankine and Jon Brown spread across the front.

The Cards kicked off and were first to threaten as Murtagh broke from centre field but Don Collins made a timely interception.  The hosts signalled their intentions early on as fullback John Nutter got forward on the overlap to whip in a cross which Luke Graham cleared under pressure from Rendell.  A diagonal ball from the right found Nutter on another run but his cross cleared everyone and sailed out for a throw on the far side.

Jon Brown had to hustle back to concede a corner from which McNerney sent a header just over as Woking dominated the early exchanges and looked brighter on the ball.  Josh Payne ballooned a shot over the bar and when an attempted through ball from Artus was intercepted The Cards took the lead on 24 minutes.

The ball was worked across midfield to Nutter on his umpteenth overlap and his precision cross was headed home unchallenged by the diminutive Jack Marriott from 5 yards out.

Just two minutes later the hosts doubled their advantage when Keiran Murtagh was allowed to advance to the edge of the box without being closed down to strike home a low speculative drive past the unsighted Lloyd-Weston.

Rankine worked some space on the right but his cross was cleared without threat and Sharp was a little unlucky not to get on the end of a long clearance from DLW while Chris Bush fired over in a brief period of Bulls pressure.

Chris Bush Gets In Front Of Kevin Betsy
Payne and Betsy both went close before the interval and the half finished with a shot from Rendell missing to the right of the upright.

HT Woking 2 Bulls 0  (Could have been four)

The first period had seen The Bulls outplayed as Woking used Marriott and Rendell as alternating strikers with the spare man dropping into midfield to create problems for United’s already shorthanded central trio as Sharpie and Jon Brown hugged the wide positions and Ranks was left isolated up top without support.

Sharpie made ground down the left and pulled back for Kingsley but his effort rose over the bar.  Then Brown switched a ball inside to James who, in turn, fed Artus but Frankie’s first time shot was just wide of the mark.  Rankine peeled off to the left and got in a driven cross but there was no Bulls’ player on hand to add the finishing touch.

Foyle made a flurry of substitutions with, firstly Walker replacing Artus and shortly afterwards Collins and Sharp departed to be replaced by Leadbitter and Sam Smith.

Sam Smith Came On As A Sub
The shape changed to 4-4-2 but the outcome was, sadly, the same….very little threat.

Rankine got past two defenders and cut the ball across the face of the goal but Smith hadn’t moved and the ball ran through to keeper Beasant.  Danny Leadbitter got forward to test the keeper and win a corner that came to nothing and Bushy pinged a ball in to Rankine but his shot on the turn was safely gathered before Besty drew a fine save from DLW.  As the final whistle approached, Josh Payne waltzed past a static Chris Bush to fire home from 15 yards.

Three added minutes failed to contribute any excitement for the 100 odd Bulls fans in a crowd of 1131.

FT Woking 3 Bulls 0


Bulls: Lloyd-Weston, Collins (Leadbitter 62), Graham, McDonald, Bush, Edge, James, Artus (Walker 55), Brown, Rankine, Sharp (Smith 62). Subs unused: Evans, Purdie.

Woking: Beasant, Newton (Jones 75), McNerney, Johnson, Nutter, Payne (Beckles 90), Murtagh, Goddard, Betsy, Marriott (Sole 85), Rendell. Subs unused: Howe, McNamee.

This was a disappointing performance from a Bulls’ team that had previously gone five games without defeat.  The three-man midfield of the first period was undermanned and whilst it was good to see Kingsley back on the pitch, he looked some way from full match fitness.  Ranks battled well without support but when the change of shape arrived it did so without the recently successful partnership with Sharp and minus the creativity of Artus.

3-5-2 might have been worth a shot with fifteen to go and two goals down or was that what it was supposed to be?

It’ll be better on Saturday.

We Looked Leggy Said Foyle

In his post match interview with BBC Hereford and Worcester, Martin Foyle felt that the recent wet conditions which had disrupted training played a part in the 3-0 defeat by Woking.

"We haven't trained on grass," said the Hereford United manager.

"We've had to scrounge bits and pieces.

"To be honest we did look leggy.

"There were three or four I could probably have taken off at half-time.

"But I can't make excuses because they were by far the better side.

"Very disappointed but I've got no complaints, Woking were the better side by a million miles.

"For me their front two, Rendell and Marriot, fanastic loan signings.

"That's bolstered their squad. They certainly look a hand-full."

A Look Back At Games Against The Clubs In The Trophy Semi-Finals


Hereford will play either Notts County, Woking or AFC Hornchurch in the semi-final of the FA Trophy.

The Bulls have played all three of these clubs in recent years So today BN will look back at one of these games against each club.

We'll start with a heavy defeat at Notts County on February 27th 2010

Bulls On Wrong End Of Trouncing.

The first half of this afternoons hammering at Meadow Lane gave little indication of what was to come in the second period as United finished well-beaten 5-0 and down to nine men.

Trewick had wielded the axe following the disappointing display in midweek, culling his defence including Adam Bartlett. In came Adamson, Richard Rose, Sam Gwynne and newcomer Daniel Preston in a new look rearguard with Green, Valentine, Jones and Lowe making way. Matty Done also started in place of Lee Morris.

Notts opened the brighter with a couple of attacks down the left which were comfortably dealt with by The Bulls’ new look defence and after five minutes or so the visitors began to get a grip on the game. A free kick from the right was met by Downing but it was pushed wide by home keeper Schmeichel. From the resulting corner, the ball was cleared up field to Richard Rose who quickly released Matt Done. The winger turned it inside to Lunt who dinked his way passed to defenders before driving the ball hard and low across the face of the goal. Any touch from a Bulls player would surely have found the net but the ball found it’s way through for a goal kick. Former Shrewsbury striker Luke Rogers got the ball in the net on 20 minutes but was rightly adjudged to be several yards offside before a deep cross from the left brought a saving header from Preston with Rogers lurking at the back post. Adamson then marked his rare appearance with a fine reaction save turning a deflected shot away. At the other end, Done charged down a clearance and the ball fell to McCallum inside the box but the United striker fired over when well placed. When the ball ran over the bye line, it went unnoticed by the assistant referee and although the initial danger was cleared, it took good defending by Sam Gwynne to dispossess Westcarr. Unfortunately, as Gwynne shaped to clear he slipped and Westcarr fired passed Adamson to give The Magpies a somewhat lucky opening goal on 34 minutes. Good work by Lunt and McCallum produced a chance for Done but the Bulls’ winger’s low effort was blocked

HT Notts 1 Bulls 0

After a workmanlike first half in which Hereford were slightly unfortunate to fall behind, the second period provided little but goals from the home side and a couple of harsh dismissals by referee Eltringham. Hereford opened with a couple of decent raids down the left but with 10 minutes of the second gone, Westcarr received the ball from Rogers and turned Gwynne before firing in from 10 yards. Trewick responded by adding Lee Morris to The Bulls attack at the expense of Matt Done but the third goal was not long coming. Rogers had twice tumbled in the box trying to convince the referee to award penalties and eventually got his timing and acrobatics right when challenging Adamson for a through ball. The penalty decision looked soft and to add injury, Adamson was shown a straight red. Westcarr drove the spot-kick passed sub keeper Bartlett who had been brought on as Constantine departed to make way. The ten men became nine on 87 minutes when Downing was harshly adjudged to have handled on the goal line. A deflected shot reared off the surface and appeared to strike the young defender on the shoulder but the referee insisted it was deliberate handball and promptly issued a second red card along with awarding a penalty. Rogers blasted in from the spot. Then in the closing moments, a cross from the right found Rogers drifting in between two defenders to force the ball home for the fifth goal.

FT Notts 5 Bulls 0

From the promising start, The Bulls finished a depleted and well-beaten team as the depressing sequence of results continued. The young pairing at the back made a good start but were no mach for the second half antics of Rogers and the referee. Lunt produced some decent passes and McCallum possibly should have found the net early on but Constantine was largely anonymous in the opponent’s goalmouth. A crowd of 6036 watched the game with a surprisingly good turnout of 269 in the visitor’s section. There were calls for a change of management at the final whistle and several suggestions regarding transfers of Nottingham bar-staff back to The Shire.

Notts. Schmeichel, Lee, Thompson, Clapham, Hunt, Ravenhill, Bishop (Edwards 81), Davies, Hawley (Facey 67), Rogers, Westcarr (Hamshaw 74).
Unused – Hoult, Cabham, Fairclough, Akinbiyi.

HUFC. Adamson, Rose, Downing, Preston, Gwynne (Jones 90), Pugh, Lunt, McQuilkin, Done (Morris 59), McCallum, Constantine (Bartlett 72).
Unused – Green, Valentine, Weir, Manset.

A Real Hammering - Trewick

Hereford United manager John Trewick spoke to BBC Hereford and Worcester after today's game at Meadow Lane.

"I look back to the first half where we had several opportunities to score then gave away an awful goal and goals change games.

"I thought at the start of the second half we might have had an opportunity to get back in it but very soon we conceded the second from a break-away.

"After that we might as well forget about it as we somebody sent off, then another sent off and ended up with two less players on the pitch.

"Five at the end was a real hammering and that's what it was.

"We might appeal (against Downing's red card)."

Trewick was quite pleased with his young central defender pairing of Preston and Downing.

"For the first half I thought they did well. County didn't have many opportunities, we had better opportunities to score.

"McCallum probably had the best chance of the match. We really should have had a goal, their goal was a gift. It was disappointing to go in 1-0, the two boys did well.

"Second half, everything was disintegrating and it was very very tough."

Meanwhile Notts County manager Steve Coterill did have some symphathy for Hereford.

"I think we have to give a fair amount of credit to Hereford. The two sendings-off were red cards by the letter of the law but you feel sorry for any team when they go down to nine men.

"The one thing we didn't do is pass for the sake of passing when we were a few goals up. We didn't look for the crowd to ole - that would have annoyed me.

"I think we were humble in our play, we actually went looking for more goals." 

It started quite well for the Bulls

It all started quite well at Meadow Lane this afternoon.

Car park right opposite, away entrance directly across the road, good seats towards the middle of the one main stand.

Then the surprises. Who are the players warming up on their own? Are we sure?

Ryan Green, Darren Jones, Mathieu Manset, Lee Morris, Ryan Valentine, Tyler Weir and Adam Bartlett all in a circle away from the rest of the squad. There's some mistake.

There wasn't. John Trewick had decided to change the back four and the keeper. Brave or foolhardy? Two teenagers in the heart of defence.

The game started and in truth for the first 33 minutes there wasn't too much to choose between the two sides.

Excellent support from the surprisingly large Hereford United following. "Where's your money gone" was one of the chants.

Then County scored and sections of the support started to vent their anger on manager John Trewick.

From then on it only got worse.

And Trewick didn't help his cause when he failed to commiserate with youngster Paul Downing after he was sent off.

After the game the inquest. What can be done. Cheltenham will be a six-pointer on Tuesday evening.

Will Trewick be in charge or will Graham Turner take over.

A reserve keeper will have to appear from somewhere.

One thing is certain. Should the Bulls lose on Tuesday, the attendance next Saturday at Edgar Street will be easy to count.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Hereford On Front Page Of Non-League Paper

Hereford are featured on the front page of this weekend's edition of the Non-League Paper after their win on penalties at Aldershot in the FA Trophy this afternoon.

MY HEREFORD STORY | Joel Edwards 2009-2010, 2013-2014 & 2015-2017

The former Hereford United/FC player joined me for a telephone chat this afternoon.

We Play Players For A Specific Game Said Gowling


During his post-victory interview at Aldershot this afternoon, Hereford manager Josh Gowling spoke about his squad and how he rotates them.

"We play players for a specific game," Gowling told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"The lads know that. So we rotate players.

"Kennedy unfortunate not to be playing, he got man of the match at the Leamington game, we swapped him around for Luke because we saw something we thought we could exploit with Luke in there.

"James McQuilken not been in today but he's been excellent all way through.

"But we need to be a bit more clinical at times."

Gowling was reminded there are now only four clubs left in the Trophy.

"I'm so proud the lads have kept their focus.

"We've a goal of focusing on one game at a time and they've done it and now we're in the semi-final of a competition that no-one thought we would be so I'm really proud of every single one of these lads for the application they are putting in. Not just for me but for the football club and they love this football club.

"And the management team love this football club and we want to push this club forward and I would like to think that now people are starting to take notice of us.

"I think we've had a couple of years where we've been in relegation battles and may be people haven't taken us some seriously but I would like to think now people are starting to really understand what we are about and the identity of the football club as a whole and buying into it.

"The odds have been against us a lot this season with budgets and not having a squad pre-season, with lads taking pay cuts, lads going, games not starting and today not making a sub and they score from it, it's been against us the whole time.

"But we've risen to the occasion and we've got through it.

"Now we've got a month to prepare, we'll try and prepare as best we can. Obviously if we get Notts County for example the odds will be stacked against us again.

"But we just have to rise to the occasion and overcome the odds like we did today.

"I don't look at the bookies but someone told me we were odds on favourites to lose the game and that's not what we're about.

"We'll match ourselves against anyone,"

'I'm Really Happy' After Victory At Aldershot Said Gowling

Hereford FC manager Josh Gowling spoke to BBC Hereford and Worcester after his side's victory in the FA Trophy at Aldershot this afternoon.

"It was a really tough game, they made it very difficult for us," said Gowling.

"Obviously to conceed at the end was frustrating but the lads showed their resiliance, showed they are a bit ice-cold, put the ball in the back of the net and Brandon came up with a great save at the end to win us the game then Luke put the ball in the back of the net, no pressure penalty!

"I'm really happy. "

The squad had practised penalties after training games.

"Some of the are drawn so we've ended with penalties in the last couple of weeks, not necessarily in preparation for this but we found the best players so it was good.

"Luke said to me the last time he took a penalty was in the final of a competition and he missed. He said he was a bit nervous.

"He is such an asset to the football club, young lad. I had no doubt about him taking that penalty."

Hereford scored after just five minutes when Michael Bakare was on hand to prod the ball in from close range.

"What was frustrating for me before we get on to that we tried to make a sub right at the end. For a minute we were screaming at the fourth official but he didn't want to do it. It was our throw in. Off the back of that they went and scored so that was frustrating.

"We looked at their stats when they go a goal down they got about a 29% equalising rate so we knew if we went a goal up we would more likely win the game so that was our game plan to start quick, get an early goal and then see what they've got.

"It was a cup game away from home and playing against a team from a high level and we didn't gather the ball as much as I would have liked.

"But credit to the lads they were solid, they were resiliant and we got the win in the end."

Today's FA Trophy Results

Today's FA Trophy Quarter Final Results:

Aldershot 1 Hereford 1 (Hereford go through on penalties 5-3)

Darlington 1 AFC Hornchurch 2

Notts County 3 Oxford City 1

Woking 1 Torquay United 0

Probably the biggest surprise this afternoon was AFC Hornchurch winning at Darlington. But every credit as well to Hereford who kept their nerve in the penalty shoot out.

To score five out of five is remarkable, but goalkeeper Brandon Hall is the hero when he saved Aldershot's fourth attempt.

The next round is on March 27th.

Hereford, AFC Hornchurch, Notts County and Woking will be in the draw.

Hereford win dramatic penalty shootout to advance to the semi finals of the FA Trophy

Hereford are through to the semi finals of the FA Trophy following a dramatic penalty shootout win over Aldershot Town.

Brandon Hall saved the home side's fourth spot kick, leaving Luke Haines to slot home the Bulls' fifth and win it 5-3.

Hereford had to pick themselves up quickly after Aldershot had equalised in the third minute of stoppage time after Michael Bakare had put the Bulls ahead.

Even though Hereford United made the semi finals of the FA Trophy on two occasions, this will be the first time that Hereford FC have reached the competition.

However, they will not be able to play any competitive games between now and the semi final date on March 27 after National League North was declared null and void. Two of the sides still in the competition, Notts County and Woking, will both be playing league games in the intervening period.

After teasing that he might play three at the back, Hereford manager Josh Gowling instead had a flat back four with Haines partnering Jamie Grimes in the centre. New loanee Lewis Butroid sotted straight in at left back, while Bakare and Kyle Finn supported target man Joey Butlin up top, with Tom Owen-Evans just behind.

Hereford had already forced an early corner when they took the lead. Jared Hodgkiss whipped in a cross that was headed into the path of Bakare to stab the ball home. It was Bakare's second goal for the Bulls in as many games.

Chris Camwell then fired a free kick straight at Aldershot goalkeeper Mitch Walker as the Bulls dominated the opening 15 minutes.

Later in the half, Finn fired wide but there were few chances for either side. However, the Bulls completely controlled the 45 minutes and you wouldn't have known that they were the lower-graded side.

The home side again struggled to make any inroads during the opening exchanges in the second half, although they did go close in the 65th minute through Ricky Miller shortly after Haines had a headed saved.

Substitute Mo Bettamer then fired wide for Aldershot but it was only during the final 10 minutes that the home side started to look an attacking threat.

Despite not creating any clear-cut chances, Aldershot enjoyed the lions share of possession and Hereford had to withstand a lot of pressure.

And the Shots' perseverance paid off deep into stoppage time when Josh Rees stroked the ball home after Hall had made an initial save.

With there being on extra time, the Hereford players had to pick themselves up quickly as the tie went straight to penalties.

Both sides converted their first three spot kicks, with Owen-Evans, Bakare and Grimes netting for Hereford.

Ryan Lloyd then put the Bulls 4-3 up, but Bettamer saw his penalty saved by Hall. Haines then converted the winning spotkick to send his teammates delirious.

Previous matches between Hereford United and Aldershot were always memorable affairs, and now Hereford FC can add their name to the list following another fantastic performance. They showed great character to win the shootout after Aldershot dramatically equalised with five expertly-taken penalties. It would have been very harsh if they had lost the match after dominating the tie in normal time.

Now they are just one game from Wembley and fans can truly start to dream!

Aldershot: Walker, Lyons-Foster, Rowe (Edser 72), Rees, Kandi (Bettamer 57), Whittingham, Nouble, Anderson, Phillips, Ogie, Miller. Subs not used: Sendles-White, Gillela, Shroll, Rabbetts.

Hereford: Hall, Hodgkiss, Haines, Grimes, Camwell (Pollock 80), Butlin (Rowe 87), Owen-Evans, Finn, Lloyd, Bakare, Butroid. Subs not used: White, Digie, McQuilkin, Klukowski, Jones.

Dream start sees Bulls lead Aldershot in FA Trophy

An early goal from Michael Bakare has seen Hereford go into the halftime break 1-0 up at higher-graded Aldershot Town in the quarter finals of the FA Trophy.

Bakare was on hand to stab the ball home from close range in the 5th minute after a Jared Hodgkiss cross was nodded down into his path.

Hereford thoroughly deserve their lead and have looked comfortable against an Aldershot side who have offered very little.

The Bulls have yet to concede a goal in this season's competition. 

TEAM NEWS | Butroid goes straight into starting line up for Trophy tie

Lewis Butroid, who has joined Hereford on loan from Scunthorpe, goes straight into the Bulls' starting line up for this afternoon's FA Trophy tie with Aldershot.

Ben Pollock drops to the bench after starting in Hereford's last game against Brackley, while Callum Rowe is also in the squad following injury. Ryan McLean is cup tied.

Hereford: Hall, Hodgkiss, Haines, Grimes, Camwell, Butlin, Owen-Evans, Finn, Lloyd, Bakare, Butroid. Subs: White, Pollock, Digie, McQuilkin, Klukowski, Rowe, Jones.

Butroid Joins Bulls On Loan

Lewis Butroid has joined the Bulls on loan from Scunthrope and is expected to go into this afternoon's squad to play Aldershot.

22 year old Butroid is a left back and is a replacement for Dan Jones who left the club recently.

"Lewis has trained with the lads and has fitted in really well, he’s another player who has a great attitude and I am sure he will be a positive addition to the squad for today’s game,” said Hereford manager Josh Gowling. 

Butroid has made four appearances for the Scunthrope this season, making a start in each of the Carabao Cup, Papa John's Trophy and Emirates FA Cup, and a substitute appearance in the league.

In total, in all competitions, he's made 31 appearances for the club, which includes 23 starts.

Ten Years Ago At Aldershot

Ten years ago last month Hereford travelled to Aldershot for a Conference League fixture.

Here's a look back to January 3rd 2011:

Bulls storm up to 23rd

Hereford United fought hard for their victory at Aldershot’s Recreation Ground on Monday afternoon with the goals coming from Stuart Fleetwood and Joe Colbeck moving them off the foot of the table.

Manager Jamie Pitman made just one change from the Torquay starting line-up with Kenny Lunt replacing Guillem Bauza while former Bull Darren Jones started for the Shots in the heart of their defence.

James McQuikin made his now traditional sortie into the opposition half straight from the kick-off but Jones cut out his attempted pass to Manset and the hosts made an early attack down the left. A couple of end to end moves avoided both midfields before the game was eventually brought under control by Kenny Lunt in the centre circle and he lifted a perfectly weighted ball over the Aldershot back line for Fleetwood to fire an unstoppable 20-yard drive past keeper Jamie Young to give The Bulls the lead in just three minutes. Kevin Dillon’s post match description of a “lash” downfield was hardly complimentary of Lunt’s controlled forward pass.

From the restart, the dangerous Jermaine McGlashan crossed from the right but Ryan Green rose majestically to head clear as Guttridge shaped to strike. Marvin Morgan was penalised for backing into Kovacs before getting away with a nasty elbow into the face of the Hungarian. Neat play between McQuilkin and Lunt almost put Manset in on goal but Jones stepped in with a timely clearance before Gutteridge headed just wide from a Morgan. The Shots continued to have the lion’s share of attacking possession with McGlashan, in particular, looking dangerous and giving Joe Heath a torrid time on the flank. Kovacs and Townsend both got in crucial last gasp tackles and Morgan went close when he headed just wide under pressure from Townsend.

Darren Jones blasted well wide from 30 yards and an audacious 50-yard chip from Quilks went narrowly wide before The Bulls should have been given a penalty for a clear foul on the rampaging Fleetwood. Manset had won a flick-on in the air and Fleets was bearing down on goal when he was pushed in the back and bundled to the ground with only the keeper to beat. We’ll have to assume that the referee was busy working out his travelling expenses at the time because he obviously wasn’t watching the game. Then, as the half drew to a close, Lunt produced another chip over the defence and Fleetwood’s 35-yarder was just inches off target.

HT Shots 0 Bulls 1

The hosts started briskly and an early goalmouth scramble saw Bartlett quickly into action after the halftime oranges. A deep cross from the right then brought The Bulls stopper into action again as he came to claim at the back post before a Featherstone/Lunt combination earned a corner on the left for the visitors. McQuilkin’s cross to the FAR POST (!) found Kovacs but the big defenders header was wide of the upright. At the other end, Heath was lucky to get away with some indecision when Rose was quickly across to block McGlashan’s attempted cross.

Aldershot continued to press and the hard-working Fleetwood was twice involved defensively within a minute. Firstly he was right back at the corner flag shepherding the ball out for a goal kick and then breaking up an attack and clearing from the edge of the United box. In a rare attack, Fleets and McQuilkin combined to put The Beast in on goal but the assistant’s flag brought the move to a premature end. The continued home pressure meant that Ryan Green was given little chance to attack but his calm, thoughtful defending was a welcome boost to The Bulls overworked rearguard.

Stratford replaced Lunt with just under 20 minutes of normal time remaining with Joe Colbeck joining the action in place of Fleetwood five minutes later and it was Colbeck that settled the nerves of the travelling Herefordians with he doubled the lead in the 82nd minute. Heath played a long ball out of defence which Manset controlled before feeding the onrushing Colbeck who burst into the box and slid the ball past Young into the corner of the net.

The four minutes of added time caused some nail-biting on both the bench and the visiting terrace but apart from a late strike from Guttridge seconds from the end, The Bulls held out for well overdue three points in front of 2767 including around 200 from The Shire.

FT Shots 1 Bulls 2.

Aldershot: Young, Herd, Jones, Charles, Straker, Harding, Guttridge, Panther (Ngo Baheng 46), McGlashan, Morgan (Connolly 65), Small (Morris 46). Subs unused: Hylton, Fortune, Randall, Clement.

Hereford: Bartlett, Rose, Kovacs, Townsend, Green, Featherstone, McQuilkin, Heath, Lunt (Stratford 74), Fleetwood (Colbeck 78), Manset. Subs unused: Heister, Weir, Evans, Gwynne, Bauza.

There were plenty of times when this was far from pretty but both goals were well crafted and the whole squad battled hard and deserved their reward. The marking at the back was tighter than of late although considerable improvement is still required in the distribution and calmness departments.

A win is a win and another on Saturday in The Cup will help the transfer window budget.

Fingers firmly crossed.


Follow The Bulls At Aldershot

Jarrod Bowen On The Ball For The Bulls At Aldershot In 2014

Given it's the quarter finals of the FA Trophy and the Bulls are in the mix, there are likely to be more Hereford supporters following the progress of their side than, perhaps, any other game this season so far.

Aldershot are streaming the game. A 'ticket' costs £11.99. 

Here's how:

-Visit the Shots livestreaming platform HERE

-Click Aldershot Town FC vs Hereford

-Click Watch Now


-Insert your payment details or your voucher code

-Enjoy the game!

If you prefer to listen then both BBC Hereford and Worcester and Radio Hereford FC will have coverage of the game. 

It's FA Trophy Day

It's FA Trophy day and we reached the quarter finals.So teams like Hereford have just two more games to win to secure a trip to Wembley.

Aldershot v Hereford

Darlington v AFC Hornchurch

Notts County v Oxford City

Woking v Torquay United

All games start at 3pm.

Prize money is £7500 for the winners and £2000 for the losers.

The draw for the semi-finals is on Monday around 1.30pm on Talksport2. 

They will take place in four weeks time on March 27th.

Friday, February 26, 2021

On Paper Aldershot Should Beat Us Said Gowling

Hereford FC manager Josh Gowling knows that the game at Aldershot tomorrow in quarter-finals of the FA Trophy will be tough and given the home side are in a higher league will be favourites to win.

"We played Stamford in the last round, it was their last game of the season, it was do or die for them." Gowling told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"They are really tough games and we came through that.

"Now we've got a different test against probably a bit more of a ball-playing team that, on paper, should beat us.

"So a completely different test."

Gowling will be without Ryan McLean who is cup-tied and there is a doubt whether loanee Callum Lowe will be fit.


Wright Joins Mansfield

34 year old defender Jake Wright has joined Mansfield.

Wright, a former Sheffield United and Bolton Wanderers player, had a spell with Hereford earlier this season.

"He has bags of experience and he's up to speed with everything we've been doing in training," said manager Nigel Clough. 

Wright joined Hereford in September but was released in November. 

Latest Talking Bull Fanzine - OUT NOW

In case you missed it, ahead of the FA Trophy Quarter-Final against Aldershot Town, the latest 70-page edition of Talking Bull, the Independent Hereford Football Club fanzine is out now.

Due to the pandemic it's another issue released in digital form - and is completely free - although fans may wish to make a minimum donation of the normal cover price of £3.

Talking Bull is the UK’s fastest fanzine with 12 issues produced during the pandemic. We haven’t charged for our online productions, but surely they’re worth a donation thereby recognising the time and resources involved. These are welcome via this link:!/DONATE-Talking-Bull-Digital/p/84511347/category=0

Around £700 has already been raised. All donations will directly help our club. Articles and letters from old and new contributors are always welcome. All you need to do is email the content to us and we’ll do the rest.

If you’ve missed any of our previous COVID-19 lockdown issues and would like a copy – they too remain available FREE. Just drop us an email: 

Ash Continues His Fight For Barwick And His Board To Resign

Maidstone co-owner Oliver Ash is continuing his fight to get the Chairman, Brian Barwick, and board members of the National League to resign.

So far just one board member has quit, Dover's Jim Parmenter.

"I think ultimately the FA, who are the governing body, despite the fact that they are embroiled in this mess should dismiss the chairman, the vice chairman, the entire board of directors and that should be immediate," said Ash as reported by KentOnline.

"They should supervise the holding of urgent elections for a new board for an interim period of 12 months. (They should) appoint a chairman with an unblemished record of governance of not just football organisations but governance in general and a respect for matters of governance, in fairness and in ethics that have been lacking for the past few months.”

Ash remain furious with how the League has been run this season and in particular with how grants to club were distributed last Autumn.

He also feels that the football family has been split over these issues with local side Tonbridge voting to end the season whilst Dartford and Ebbsfleet wanted to continue.

"Each club operates selfishly and is prepared to ignore principles when self interest doesn’t correspond to them. When I hear ‘football family’ to try and describe clubs as a collection it always grates. We certainly didn’t see much evidence of a family looking after each other when we got screwed by the league back in October with the funding allocation. Hardly any clubs offered sympathy or support.

"A few did and with whom the Stones have developed friendships and meetings of mind and principles in recent months and that includes Dulwich, Telford, Chester, Fylde, Hereford and Dorking among others.

"This is a season where we all lose. In terms of money we have lost £100,000 from the October grant allocation.

“We calculated what the funding allocation would have been had the National League adopted the lost gate receipts basis for a distribution. It is what the government specifically advised. This hurts the accounts.

“We don’t subsidise the club, Terry (Casey, co-owner) and I, we only loan the club money under exceptional short-term circumstances so we are £100,000 down.”

Jersey Bulls To Host Kettering In Pre-Season Friendly

Given all the gloom and doom of the 'past' season, it's good to hear that clubs have started to arrange pre-season friendlies.

And one of the first to confirm a friendly are the Jersey Bulls.

They are set to play National North Kettering Town at Jersey's home ground on July 17th. It will be their first home game for over 16 months. And they are hopeful supporters will be able to attend.

"What helps us as a football club is the season has been curtailed and we can focus on next season," said Jersey director Ian Horswell.

"We’ve got lots of exciting things happening next season which we’re looking to reveal soon.

"We’ve got a pre-season fixture lined up to play Kettering Town and we’re now waiting for government guidance to see what else we can do as we want to attack next season. If we can get a good pre-season programme and get off to a good start, then bring it on."

HUST Need £49K To Complete Club Share Purchase

With the news that HUST have forwarded Hereford FC another £5K, they now need just £49K to complete their purchase of shares in the football club.

This from HUST:

HUST would like to pay tribute to rank and file Hereford FC supporters. Since February 2020 when the Covid-19 emergency started to bite and affect football in particular, supporters have now channeled £35,000 through HUST’s various fund-raising initiatives into our Football Club.

Today HUST is pleased to advise that another tranche of funds, £5,000, has been paid to Hereford FC. For this we get shares in the Club, and to Hereford FC this is a straight cash injection. There are no restrictions on how Hereford FC can use the money for the benefit of the Club.

This takes the HUST Shareholding and Fan Ownership to £240,000, which is 45.4% of the shares issued and paid for. Supporters have given freely in the knowledge that they too can own a part of their Football Club. We would like to thank all those who have taken part in the various fundraisers to help achieve this in these challenging and uncertain times.

The target is to reach is £289,000 by 31st May 2021 and so own 50% of the Hereford FC Share Capital.


Match preview - Aldershot Town vs Hereford FC

Hereford FC travel to an old stamping ground, The Rec, Aldershot, on Saturday for an FA Trophy quarter-final tie against northeast Hampshire’s finest, with all due respect to Farnborough, kick off 3pm. This one looks very much like either a win-win or a lose-lose, depending on whether your glass is half full or half empty.

Optimists would see a victory as being smashing as usual, but a defeat as OK too as the club bank account can then be mothballed for a while ready for next season, with the National League North campaign now officially over. However, pessimists would see a win as a loss, because the squad would have to continue to be paid while the Trophy run continues, probably leaving the club out of pocket as the prize money on offer is what Gareth Bale spends on nostril hair crimping each week, and a loss as a loss’s a loss. Good grief, who writes this stuff? Ah, me.

A glut of new players recently joined the Bulls squad, a squad that has grown in confidence and competitiveness as the season progressed, finishing it nine games unbeaten.

Michael Bakare and Ryan McLean give Josh Gowling new attacking options, along with fellow newcomer Joey Butlin. With Tom Owen Evans and Kyle Finn continuing their good form, there’s hopefully enough threat in the attacking third to cause the Shots a few headaches. Additionally, if the hosts concede free kicks more or less anywhere in their own half they’re at risk of falling victim to a Camwell zinger, which isn't to be confused with a Camberwell Carrot. 

Bakare scored on debut last time out against Brackley in an impressive 2-0 win, and McLean looks like a player who could get supporters out of their seats next season (unless of course they’re already standing up on the terraces – they’d presumably just stay standing rather than suddenly having an urge to sit on the concrete in excitement) with his pace and attacking intent.

It’ll be interesting to see what they can do against a team higher up the pyramid, and if they show potential it’s yet more evidence that the Gowling-Burr partnership can spot a player from a lower division who has the scope to cut the mustard higher up – an ability in a coach worth its weight in gold. Admittedly at 34, Bakare’s days of ‘showing potential’ are probably behind him, but in McLean and young George Forsyth the club have a couple of players who could play an important part next season in pushing the club up towards the top of the table. It could be a big year for the Bulls if a nucleus of staff and players can be persuaded to stay, and be built on.

The Bulls go into this one close to full strength, although defender Dan Jones has left the club for family reasons. If his domestic situation allows in August, I’m sure most supporters would love to see him back at the club. The left-back's ex-defensive colleagues will be keen to show the same dogged determination to keep clean sheets against theoretically tougher opponents on Saturday as has regularly been the case recently in that nine-game unbeaten run.

A week ago Aldershot were bumbling along experiencing a thoroughly humdrum season, but seven goals and two wins, against Wrexham and then Maidenhead, have suddenly given them hope of a leap into the play-offs in the second half of the season. Yes, they've still got half a season to cram in somehow.

They’re currently just two points behind Wrexham, who occupy that final play-off position. With that in mind, it could be that the Trophy is something of a side-attraction to the club, especially with a tough league match at Notts County next up. If so, one or two first-teamers could be rested perhaps. However, a quarter-final's a quarter final, so the Bulls could find themselves facing the recently free-scoring-win-machine first XI after all.

Josh Rees’s hat-trick last time out against Maidenhead put him on seven goals for the season. Defender Giles Phillips rejoined the club in midweek on a one-month loan deal from Wycombe Wanderers, a club currently finding themselves in the wrong division, much like Hereford United did in 1976/77. Manager Danny Searle carries the ‘National League manager of the week’ curse into this one, for those of you so desperate to find positives you’re happy to believe that old garbage.

The real, living and breathing positives are, of course, the HFC players. There’s nothing to lose here, so the players can play with freedom and for contracts, knowing that they’re two wins from Wembley. Historically this is just the sort of game a team playing in black and white representing the city of Hereford would do well in. Just wish we could all go.

I refuse to bullieve that this will be the last game of 2020/21, so I won't do the traditional 'thanks for reading this column, see you in August' end-of-season thing here, but the sentiment is there, like, just in case.