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Thursday, January 31, 2002

HEREFORD United fans are to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of that Newcastle victory on February 5th, and a local charity will benefit.

A very special copy of the `guaranteed to raise a smile anthem', `Hereford United (We Love You)' is being auctioned off after a signing by Ricky George.

"It's 30 years old and we're going to sing happy birthday to it," said Danny Lee, who sung the song. he told the Hereford Times: "They said on the radio a few weeks ago that `Hereford United' is the most sung song in the county. It makes me laugh when you think of `God Save the Queen' and Beatles songs that it's up there."

It was recorded at Rockfield Studios in 1972 with the Dave Stewart band. The charity auction will be held at Broadleys Inn, Ross Road in Hereford on Friday at 8pm. Danny is donating all proceeds to St Michael's Hospice. To raise extra money on the night Danny will challenge punters to match his unique trick of downing a pint of beer while resting another on his head.

HEREFORD United will be eager to avoid any embarresment when Hampton & Richmond Borough visit Edgar Street next Saturday in the fourth round of the FA Trophy.

The game is undoubtedly Hampton's biggest of the season whilst Hereford are 14/1 tips for the Trophy, their final chance of silverware this season. Surrey Sports quote Hampton at 80/1 shots.

The London side lie fourth from bottom of the Ryman Premier League averaging exactly one point per game, whilst Hereford are just inside the bottom half of the Nationwide Conference. Hampton's league form of late has been variable, they beat Newport County 2-0 in the last round of the Trophy and overcame Yeading 3-1 in the League Cup third round on January 15th. Hereford's recent record is more impressive - they haven't lost since December 8th when they exited the FA Cup 3-2 at Swindon Town and last lost a league match on December 1st when Barnet were 2-0 victors at Underhill.

On hearing of the trip to Hereford in the Trophy fourth round draw, Hampton chairman Vic Searle told the Richmond Guardian: "I'm pleased with the draw and I think, at this level, we can beat anyone on our day. We are good enough and I always fancied us to do well in this competition."

The Beavers have never travelled played at Edgar Street or travelled so far in the Trophy, either in terms of rounds or geography. However, they reached the first round of the FA Cup last season before losing 2-1 to Barnet at Underhill after leading for a long period.

Hampton have a pair of safe hands at the back in the shape of Stuart McKenzie. The thirty six year old 'keeper won the Ryman League with Farnborough last year before joining the Beavers. The former Welsh youth international Matt Flitter and ex-West Ham youngster Steve Omonua are likely to start in defence. Craig Maskell is Hampton's star striker. The thirty three year old attacker moved from Leyton Orient in 1999 after spells with Huddersfield Town, Reading, Swindon Town and Brighton & Hove Albion. He also played in the Premiership with Southampton, and scored twenty seven times last season making him the league's top scorer. Maskell is player/coach at the Beveree Stadium, and has scored fourteen league goals already this season, making him joint-third highest scorer in the division with a certain Robbie Reinelt, who is now with Braintree.

Hereford coach Phil Robinson is expecting a tough tie, as he told the Hereford Times: "Hampton are a direct side with two very tall central midfield players and it will be a tricky match for us."

The Bulls have forward Gavin Williams back after a one-match suspension and Tony James (groin) and Scott Goodwin (bruised foot) should be fit, despite missing training earlier this week. Scott Voice (groin) has been referred to a specialist, while United have signed Kington Town's Jon Hill and Roy Jordan on non-contract forms.

In the event of a draw, the replay will take place at the Beveree Stadium, Hampton, on Tuesday, kick-off 7.45pm.

HEREFORDSHIRE Council Leader Terry James has revealed in today's Hereford Times that he hopes to meet new backers of Hereford United within the next three weeks.

He has already spoken to individuals and will hold further discussions with them soon. The club owe over £1 million to property developers Chelverton which should be repaid on May 19th 2003.

The news came after yesterday's release of letters that saw an end to negotiations between Councillor James and Chelverton's Simon Morgan. Morgan confirmed that Chelverton were not prepared to write off the £1 million investment which had saved United from extinction.

Morgan told the Hereford Times: "We have started the new year with problems. I have been told that there are parties interested in investing in the football club but we don't know their identity and we ourselves have not been contacted. If they are out there, I would appeal for them to come forward."

Councillor James commented: "Nothing is going to happen overnight. Chelverton may wish to hang on and see if the council is going to change its mind over the use of the football ground. But we are very unlikely to change our views."

Chelverton intend to make representations during the UDP process and hope to argue their case at a subsequent inquiry.

Wednesday, January 30, 2002

International Tournament For Bulls?

SOME of Hereford United's brightest stars could feature in an international tournament this summer.

Unfortunately though, it's not the World Cup!

The English, Scottish and Welsh semi-professional teams will be joined by Republic of Ireland to play in a four-team event in May, held at the grounds of Lancashire clubs Southport (Haig Avenue) and Morecambe (Christie Park), both of whom play in the Nationwide Conference.

Tommi Morgan, the Welsh coach who is also manager of League of Wales side Carmarthen Town, could choose to select Gavin Williams and Tony James in his side. England boss John Owens has plenty of options from Hereford, including goalkeepers Matt Baker and Scott Cooksey and defenders Matt Clarke and Ian Wright.

The schedule and locations are only provisional, but are listed below:

Tuesday May 14th - Wales vs England; Scotland vs Republic of Ireland
Thursday May 16th - England vs Republic of Ireland, Wales vs Scotland
Saturday May 18th - England vs Scotland, Republic of Ireland vs Wales


THE future of Hereford United Football Club now hangs in the balance after an exchange of letters between Chelverton's Simon Morgan and Herefordshire Council Leader Terry James. have obtained a letter from Mr. Morgan sent to Councillor James on January 14th, and the reply dated January 28th.


14 January 2002

Dear Councillor James

Hereford United Football Club

I am writing for the record to review the initiative that Chelverton pursued in the last four months of last year with both the Club and Herefordshire Council in respect of the principle of relocating the Football Club funded through the development of the existing ground.
As you are aware a special purpose company called Formsole holds the leases of the ground. Until August of last year Chelverton and Bristol Stadium (BS) equally owned this company. During the course of the last five years this company has advanced two loans of £500,000 each to support the financially ailing Football Club.

I would emphasize that Chelverton are the superior leaseholder to the Club and a property company. As such we are under no obligation whatsoever to provide financial support to the Club and nor is it our business. Irrespective of this the company lent £1 million pounds and without these loans the Club would have failed years ago. During this time Formsole provided further financial assistance as follows:

The conclusion of a joint venture agreement between Formsole and the Football Club whereby 50% of any residual value in the ground would be split 50:50 (tenants residual value).
Postpone the repayment of one of the loans in line with the repayment date for the other namely May 2003.
Acceptance that interest on the interest-bearing loan would not be paid during the term but instead rolled up and paid in May 2003.
Despite the agreement between the Club and Formsole no requests for rent have been made with Formsole accepting repayment in May 2003.
Co-operating in the partial release of the Council bond to allow improvements to be undertaken to the Supporters' Club building.
Until the end of last year Formsole considered that the continued additional modest support of the Football Club was justified as long as there remained the prospect of them being able to repay the debt in May 2003. Both the Club’s Board and Formsole were of the opinion that, in the absence of a philanthropic investor, they would only be able to repay the debt through the provisions of the joint venture agreement between Formsole and the Club. Clearly any income to the Club via the joint venture agreement would only be achieved in the event that that redevelopment value in the ground could be realized. Accordingly the Club’s Board agreed with me that we should jointly make strong representations as part of the emerging UDP process.

During the early part of 2001 I became increasingly frustrated by the unproactive stance being adopted by BS. The Chairman of the company had made a number of public statements signaling their departure from property development and it was clear that they were seeking to sell their interest without, in the meantime, incurring additional costs. Accordingly, Chelverton decided to purchase the BS interest in Formsole thereby enabling us to control a constructive debate to explore the alternatives that the Club was faced with.

In August Chelverton acquired the BS interest and immediately I began a dialogue with the Club's Board, Senior Officers of the Council and latterly, the supporters. I explained to all concerned that the future of the Club must be considered as part of the emerging UDP process and, in light of the publication of the consultation “Proposals for Hereford City” document in September, an opportunity existed to make representations about the future of the Club.

The subsequent discussions that I had with Neil Pringle, the Board of the Club and the supporters sought to set out the alternatives that the Club were faced with, namely:

Accept the consultation Proposals document issued by the Council, which would result in the liquidation of the club because of their inability to repay the debts; unless of course Chelverton were able and prepared to continue with their financial support.
Seek to release value around the margins of the existing ground in the hope that sufficient value could be generated to repay the debt.
Seek to maximise the inherent residual value in the ground thereby funding a relocation and sufficient surplus funds to secure the Club’s future.
I explained to all concerned that Chelverton had carefully considered the three alternatives and wish to avoid the first alternative. I explained that the second alternative, having been considered in detail earlier in the year, would not generate sufficient value to repay the debt, let alone secure the long-term future of the Club. Accordingly, I requested support for the principle of relocation funded by the release of the inherent redevelopment value of the ground integrated with other "Edgar Street grid square properties” to provide a comprehensive development.

Later in October I obtained the support of the Club’s Board following which George Hyde met with you and issued a public statement confirming that the Club would financially fail unless significant value could be released from the ground. In addition, my meeting with the Liaison Committee of the Supporters Clubs had gone well and it was expected that the supporters would vote in favour of the third alternative following a presentation that I was asked to give to the next home game on Saturday 10 November.

You will appreciate that the Club’s support to my initiative was critical to establish any credibility when asking Herefordshire Council to consider the principle of relocation and the redevelopment potential of the ground. I was disappointed to hear shortly before my presentation on Saturday 10 November that certain influential members of HUISA had been lobbied to reject Chelverton's initiative supported by the statements that were incapable of substantiation namely:

That Chelverton's proposal would not generate sufficient value to fund a relocation of the Club and repay the debt.
That Chelverton’s intention was to allow the club to fail in any event thereby saving relocation costs.
That the ground could not be redeveloped due to the Jackson request/covenant, which prevented the site from being used for anything other than a sports ground.
There existed a party who were prepared to purchase Chelverton’s interest and support the Club going forward without the need to relocate.
It became apparent that influential members of the Hereford community, unconnected with the Football Club, were seeking to jeopardize a genuine attempt to identify a sustainable and long-term solution to the Club's financial problems by misleading lobbying.

Nevertheless I gave a presentation to approximately 150 members of the Club on Saturday 10 November and presented the three alternatives. The vast majority of those present supported the principle of relocation and I left the presentation in no doubt that the initiative would be backed. It was therefore to my great surprise that I heard later in the day that the decision was one of deferral (effective rejection) as a result of strong lobbying from a small group of HUISA representatives.

Both the Club's Board and Chelverton were shocked with the outcome and the lobbying that had taken place before the 10 November presentation. This lobbying will ultimately prove fatal for the Football Club and I believe it is essential that, as Leader of Herefordshire Council, you are aware of the facts behind this genuine attempt to ensure the Club’s survival.

Chelverton's strategy has been to secure, if at all possible, the future of the club. In strict business terms this was clearly not the most commercial decision, as the residual value of the ground will be diminished by the cost of relocation. However, Chelverton accepted that the survival of the Club was essential and would form the basis of future proposals. Minutes of Chelverton meetings can be provided to evidence this fact. There has therefore been no hidden agenda, seeking to close the Club in any event.
The Board and the vast majority of the supporters that I have spoken to endorse the need to consider releasing value from the ground through relocation. If achieved this would provide the Club with sufficient revenue to repay the debt and for the provision of a new football ground could be designed to ensure off pitch income could be maximized.
Chelverton's Consultants have provided evidence to the Herefordshire Council Planning Department, which evidences sufficient capacity in Hereford to accommodate the scale of development that would be required to fund the relocation.
Chelverton have proven that there is sufficient value to fund a relocation of the club, repay the debt and provide the Council with an appropriate share of the residual value. This information has been provided by the Council’s Estate Department and, to my knowledge, the figures not disputed.
Neither the Council's solicitors nor Chelverton’s solicitors can find any evidence of the Jackson covenant~ which was mentioned periodically last autumn. Accordingly, there is no restrictive covenant on the use of the ground; however, there is a standard user clause in the existing lease preventing the ground from being used for anything other than a sports facility.
Notwithstanding considerable press and public debate no buyer for Chelverton’s interest has come forward. I understand that you are aware of the identity of such a party who would be prepared to support the Club going forward but as yet his identity has not been revealed and no contact has been yet made with Chelverton. If such an approach were made I can confirm Chelverton would be prepared to consider selling our interest at cost. However we remain firmly of the opinion that it is best for the Club and for Hereford as a center to relocate the Club and develop a comprehensive mixed use scheme on the Edgar Street grid square land to enable Hereford to more effectively compete with neighbouring centres such as Worcester, Gloucester and Cheltenham.
On 7 December the Planning Committee of Herefordshire Council endorsed the Planning Officer's recommendation following the consultation period on the Proposals for Hereford City document. This confirms that the Football Club will not be recognized as having redevelopment potential in the emerging UPD, which will be placed on deposit in the spring of this year.

This decision leaves Chelverton in a difficult position with there being no prospect of the Club being able to repay the debt in May 2003, and in fact, it is questionable whether they will still be trading by this date. Although the televised FA Cup game with Wrexham provided a valuable boost to funds, the Club will probably need to raise additional cash to support the business on a day-to-day basis prior to 2003. You need to appreciate that Chelverton will find it difficult to meet any additional cash demands (in light of the Club’s inability to repay the loan) and the inevitability of the situation will be that it will fail between now and 19 May 2003 as a result of pressure from senior creditors.

In the meantime, Chelverton have no other alternative but to make representations at the juncture as part of the UDP process and hope to successfully argue the case at a subsequent Inquiry. For my part I am bitterly disappointed that Hereford United Football Club's struggle to survive will in all probability now fail.

I apologise for the length of this letter; however as the Club’s future will inevitably continue to be a topic of considerable debate over the next 16 months I tought you should have a summary of the facts behind this position. If there are any issues arising out of this letter that you wish to discuss then please contact me at the above address and I would obviously be only to happy to meet you in Hereford.

Yours sincerely

S Morgan


In reply on January 28th, Council Leader Terry James wrote:

Dear Mr. Morgan,
Thank you for your letter of 14th January regarding Hereford United Football Club. You set out the history of the situation which I think we are all well aware of but I have to take issue with you on a number of the points you make in your letter.

Chelverton’s prime objective is not, as you state in your letter, to secure the future of the Club but to make a profit from the demolition of the stadium and the building of a supermarket partly on the site. Chelverton is a development company; nothing more, nothing less, and the loans to Hereford United were given to secure financial benefit for your Company, which is its purpose. That does not mean that I or the Herefordshire Council have to set our policies and priorities to the detriment of our own future in order to secure your financial gain.

I have discussed with you before my desire to develop the Edgar Street area as a multisport and leisure facility, including multiplex cinema and other facilities, which is supported by the public of Herefordshire, but you still persist in forcing your vision upon this county, namely yet another supermarket and allied warehouse type retailing. Indeed the plans you showed me some twelve months ago filled me with horror and would be viewed as such, I am certain, by Herefordshire residents.

When we first met to discuss your interest in this area you stated you wished to work with the Council in partnership to develop the area but all we have subsequently had in effect is a series of ultimatums and threats to Hereford United, its supporters and ourselves which is hardly the basis for a working relationship let alone a partnership. My position has always been that if there was a certainty of sufficient funds to purchase a site, develop and build a new stadium and those monies were guaranteed, that would form the basis of a serious discussion but you know and I know that that is never going to happen. With seven existing food/supermarket retailers in Hereford there is never likely to be serious competition involving the major supermarket chains for the Edgar Street site, indeed if there were a desire by the various companies for a site, their preference would be for the cattle market site not the Edgar Street ground.

All you have placed before the fans and ourselves is that it could produce ‘X’ amount of money, but no guarantee. I have to say I could win the lottery but I am not planning my future on its likelihood.

Let us clear up a number of points:
1. If, as you state you are certain, there is sufficient value in the site after all costs and the repayment of the debt of Hereford United have been met, to purchase a site and build a new stadium, you would be prepared to give a binding legal guarantee to provide sufficient funds to carry out the project. You have not, nor I venture to suggest, will you ever.
2. You make much of the meeting held on the 10th November and your surprise at its outcome. Your description of the meeting is totally at variance with all that I have had reported to me by numerous supporters, and your suggestion that it was improperly run is an insult to those that were there, the HUISA Committee and its Chairman.
3. You state that the Board supports your decision but as I understand it, they are contractually bound by the loan agreement to so do and are not entirely free agents in this matter if I am correct.

Finally, I see no point in continuing what I think is a pointless dialogue over these matters. As you say, you will make your representations during the UDP process but I have to say to you bluntly that they are unlikely to receive any support from the Council, from the planners or from the public and they are unlikely to be successful.

I am disappointed that we are unable to work together on what will be an exciting development for Herefordshire. As the landowners, we are determined that what happens on this site will be what the people of Herefordshire want, not the wishes of a property development company.

Yours sincerely,

LEADER OF THE COUNCIL were unable to contact Simon Morgan for his comments this afternoon.

Tuesday, January 29, 2002

TODAY's expected press statement from Herefordshire Council leader Terry James didn't materialise even though it was publicised in last week's Hereford Times. contacted the council about the press release but councillor James was in London at a meeting today and was unable to provide further details of the news.

However, the statement should be published on tomorrow, after correspondence with Terry James' secretary Jean Wood.

Monday, January 28, 2002

SOUTHPORT drew 1-1 with Hereford United on Saturday and the Evening News has today reported that Bulls player-coach Phil Robinson was disappointed not to win.
He said: "Obviously, I was very disappointed that we conceded a goal when we did. But having scored our goal so early in the second half, I thought that we might have gone on and won the match.

"There's an air of disappointment in the dressing room because we have been playing well lately and we wanted another three points from this game."

Sunday, January 27, 2002

HEREFORD United coach Phil Robinson was satisfied with yesterday's 1-1 draw at Southport.

The Nationwide Conference game was one of just five to beat the weather yesterday and Robinson told the Non-League Paper: "Conditions were very difficult today, and Haig Avenue is one of the better pitches in the league, too."

"This is our eighth match unbeaten and we want to make sure we finish in the top half of the table."

He also commented that Hereford hope to stay full-time despite the poor financial state at the club, as they youngsters were benefitting greatly from the setup.

Southport boss Phil Wilson said: "I never criticise referees, even when they influence the result," as the home side had three penalty appeals turned down. "We played really well in the second half but we didn't get the breaks and gave away a silly goal. But it was good attacking football and exciting to watch."

Saturday, January 26, 2002

SOUTHPORT 1 - 1 Hereford United

Southport still haven't beaten Hereford United since 1972 as today's Nationwide Conference clash at Haig Avenue finished all square.

The result will be considered a fair outcome although both sides had chances to take all three points in a game played in difficult conditions. A strong wind and saturated pitch did little to help the flow of the match, combined with niggling stoppages in the first half particularly from the ex-Scottish Premier League referee Mr. Simpson. The game, watched by 970 spectators, was played after hard work by the Haig Avenue's ground staff but water was evident in areas of the pitch.

Hereford started the match without striker Gavin Williams who was suspended, so Rob Elmes and Paul Parry started in the attacking roles. Danny Davidson overcame an ankle injury to make the bench, and Matt Baker and Ian Rodgerson started the game after recovering from bugs. Southport manager Phil Wilson named ex-Hereford defender Chris Lane at right-back.

The first half was a fairly uneventful affair with Hereford facing the brunt of the wind. John Snape hit a twenty five yard lob goalwards, only for it to be tipped over by the back-peddling Steve Dickinson, and Rob Elmes went close after ten minutes. Southport and Hereford went on to create half-chances but no-one really threatened to break the deadlock.

In the second minute of stoppage time at the end of the first half, Southport took the lead. Lee Elam scored his third goal of the season after picking up a loose ball and lobbing the advancing Matt Baker from the left-hand corner of the box. The Sandgrounders had a slender 1-0 lead.

Whatever was said to the Hereford team in their half-time team-talk, it worked! Less than two minutes into the second half, John Snape crossed from the left, Parry shot, Dickinson blocked and Ian Rodgerson netted from the edge of the box. Hereford were level within two minutes of the restart.

Southport reacted positively, pressurising Hereford and it almost paid off on fifty eight minutes. A corner from Chris Lane was knocked out to Simon Parke who smashed a low shot goalwards which beat Matt Baker but full-back John Shirley was well placed on the goal line to clear.

Various penalty appeals came in from the home side but all were waived away by the referee, much to the disappointment of 'Port boss Phil Wilson. Steve Whitehall also wasted a good opening before Hereford brought on firstly Danny Davidson, and then Steve Piearce, to bolster the attack. Davidson failed to impress whilst Piearce moved well but failed to get the right opening to cause problems for Dickinson. However, the former Halesowen man hit a shot just over six minutes from time on a counter attack after a spell of Southport pressure.

The result, which was a fair one, means Southport lie sixth and Hereford in twelfth in the Nationwide Conference.

Hereford United: Matt Baker, Matt Clarke, John Shirley, Phil Robinson, Ian Wright (captain), Tony James, Ian Rodgerson (off, 77 minutes), John Snape, Rob Elmes (off, 66 minutes), Paul Parry, Scott Goodwin
Subs: Danny Davidson (on, 66 minutes), Lee Evans, Jimmy Quiggin, Steve Piearce (on, 77 minutes), Jon Hill
Yellow cards: Paul Parry (24 minutes, foul) Scott Goodwin (54 minutes, foul)
Scorer: Ian Rodgerson (46 minutes)
Man of the Match: Tony James
Attendance: 970
Referee: Mr. G. H. Simpson (Harrogate)

SOUTHPORT boss Phil Wilson was disappointed not to have collected all three points in today's Nationwide Conference clash with Hereford United, which finished 1-1.

He said "We had enough chances to have won and I thought one of the penalties which we claimed should have been given.

"But Hereford defended well and considering the conditions I thought both sides produced plenty of entertainment after struggling in the conditions in the first half."

Meanwhile, ex-Hereford United player Kristian James has signed for Neville Southall's Dover Athletic.

Friday, January 25, 2002

SOUTHPORT host Hereford United tomorrow in the Nationwide Conference, kick off 3pm, and Sandgrounders boss Phil Wilson has told the Nationwide website that it will be a difficult tie.

"They are a big strong side that battle and make life difficult," he admitted. "Away from home earlier in the season, when we drew 0-0, we found it hard to cope and we expect the same thing on Saturday. But we will try and play football and play our normal game."

Wilson doesn't see the difference between the sides - sixth and thirteenth - as a major factor. "There is very little in terms of points between fourth and 14th position (six points) so we are not taking anything for granted," he added. "It's always difficult so we'll continue to do our best and see how it goes."

Southport welcome back experienced striker Steve Whitehall and utility player Neil Grayston from suspension after both players missed the defeat at Stevenage Borough because of one-match bans and will be joined in the squad by new signing Andy Scott from Stalybridge Celtic. Southport have not lost in the seaside town since October, but have an atrocious away record.

Hereford coach Phil Robinson told the Evening News: "Southport are another one of the form teams and their home form is excellent. But having said that we managed to go to Telford United when they were the form team and get a good result. If we perform the way we can I would like to think we can maintain our unbeaten run.

"Our away form has let us down this season and that is something I would like to put right. Last year it was excellent while our home form was average but this time it is the other way round and it is hard to put your finger on why that is."

Hereford striker Danny Davidson has an ankle injury and is a doubt to make the team and Gavin Williams is suspended. Goalkeeper Matt Baker is back in training after recovering from an illness, but midfielder and club physio Ian Rodgerson has now been struck down by a bug. Paul Parry (calf) is expected to be part of the Bulls squad but Scott Voice, who went to see a consultant on Friday concerning his groin injury, will not play. Rob Elmes and Jimmy Quiggin are standing by to fill the attacking roles.

Surrey Sports quote Southport as 4/5 favourites to win, with Hereford at 3/1. A draw is priced at 11/5.

Thursday, January 24, 2002

Davies Wants To Play at Edgar Street

EX-Swindon Town defender Gareth Davies, who retired from professional football last week with a knee injury, has said he would love to re-join Hereford United, his first club.

The twenty-eight year old played for Reading and Crystal Palace and would relish a move back to Edgar Street. "At the moment I am looking at all the options, but I may be able to train once a week and play at the weekends," he told the Hereford Times. "I am looking to get into coaching, perhaps to become a manager of a youth team, but I would love to play for Hereford United again - even if it was a one-off match. I support Hereford United and my time with them was priceless. It would be a dream come true if I were to play at Edgar Street again."

Davies joined Hereford at fifteen as a youth trainee before playing ninety five games in the first team, being capped for Wales under-21 and moving to Crystal Palace for £120,000 in 1995.

"After my third knee operation I said to myself that if something happened and my knee swelled up again, I would have to give up playing professionally," said Davies. "And, when it did, I looked at my eight-month-old son Rhys and I knew that I didn't want to be in a wheelchair and unable to play with him when he grows up."

A cousin for the former Ireland and Everton player Kevin Sheedy, Davies has also been linked with Dr. Martens League club Chippenham Town. He added: "At the moment, I am looking at the options, but I don't want people to feel sorry for me. I have had 10 years as a professional footballer and I feel very privileged to have had that."

AFTER finally receiving £18,000 from Swindon Town for their FA Cup second round receipts, Hereford United are challenging the amount paid.

The club have asked to see Swindon's documentation from the game and the investigating FA competitions officer Steve Clark told the Hereford Times: "I understand that Hereford have received most of the money, and we are now dealing with a few queries. As far as I am aware about £18,000 has been paid, although there has been a query from Hereford about some of the payments, which is quite normal."

Initially, the FA investigated the matter when Swindon didn't pay money within the fourteen day deadline - the Wiltshire side claimed the cheque had been posted. Swindon have reported debts of £10 million.

Meanwhile, the official website ( have revealed that all tickets for the sportsmans dinner on February 7th have now been allocated/sold.

HUISA have confirmed that they will no longer enter discussions with Chelverton director Simon Morgan.

The Hereford United Independent Supporters' Association have said that they will deal with the property company, but not Morgan.

In a recent edition of Bullseye, HUISA chairman Kevin Wargen wrote: "I have to tell supporters of a letter I received from Simon Morgan, of Chelverton, who basically accused HUISA members of spreading misinformation and ultimately the destruction of the club. HUISA members spend a lot of time trying to talk to all concerned regarding development. We also raise money for the club, run away travel, paint the ground in the summer and do whatever to keep the club from folding. I feel so upset at this accusation by Morgan that I will not sit around a table with him. Indeed if it means he is in charge of relocation, I would resign. I am not above criticism from anyone - supporters or directors - but I will not be accused of trying to finish the club that I love and would do whatever I can to make it survive. I am happy to know that other people on the committee feel the same as me over the letter."

HUISA met Herefordshire Council leader Terry James on Tuesday and will release an official statement next week regarding the relocation/redevelopment situation.

HEREFORD United go to Southport on Saturday with manager Phil Robinson calling for a more positive performance, kick off 3pm.

The Nationwide Conference trip to Haig Avenue could see Hereford extend their unbeaten run to eight games after crushing Margate 3-0 at Edgar Street last weekend. Robinson told the Hereford Times: "We have to start looking to score a few more goals away and hopefully that will start this Saturday.

"We have scored 23 league goals at home so far this season, but only 10 in 13 away matches. I have asked the players to be more clinical in front of goal."

Southport, in sixth, played out a goalless drew with Hereford at Edgar Street in August and have lost just three times in home league games this
season. However, they slumped at Stevenage Borough last weekend, going down 2-1 at Broadhall Way.

Former Hereford defender Chris Lane is in the Southport squad having scored four goals this season. Hereford will be without striker Gavin Williams who is serving a one-match ban, and Scott Voice is visiting a consultant this week about his long-term groin injury. Goalkeeper Scott Cooksey will be speaking to his surgeon about his wrist injury, so Matt Baker should continue in goal if he recovers from illness. Paul Parry should be fit, despite missing training earlier this week with a calf injury, whilst Danny Davidson hopes to shake off an ankle problem. Available for the Bulls is defender Jon Hill, the ex-Edgar Street YTS player who has signed on non-contract forms from Pegasus Juniors.

Southport manager Phil Wilson could give a debut to former Blackburn Rovers, Cardiff City and Stalybridge Celtic left-midfielder Andy Scott, who has joined today.

Wednesday, January 23, 2002

Williams To Miss Southport Match

Hereford United will be without striker Gavin Williams for Saturday's trip to Southport, according to the Football Association.

The Welshman is suspended for one game and will therefore miss the Nationwide Conference trip to Haig Avenue, kick off 3pm, after collecting five yellow cards this season.

Scott Voice will be out with a calf injury leaving Rob Elmes, Steve Piearce, Danny Davidson and Jimmy Quiggin to fight for the attacking roles, along with Paul Parry.

Monday, January 21, 2002

HEREFORD United are joint-seventh favourites to win this season's FA Umbro Trophy, according to bookmakers Surrey Sports.
The Bulls, who have never won the competition, are quoted at 14/1 to claim the prize in the Villa Park final, equal odds with fellow-Conference sides Farnborough Town and Morecambe. The favourites are Dagenham & Redbridge at 3/1, with Barnet at 6/1, Yeovil Town at 8/1, Stevenage Borough at 9/1, Doncaster Rovers at 10/1 and Margate at 12/1. Current holders Canvey Island, of the Ryman League Premier Division, are just behind the Bulls at 16/1.

Initial favourites Boston United crashed out in the third round thanks to a shock defeat at York Street to Brigg Town. The current rank-outsiders are Bashley, who take on Stevenage Borough at Broadhall Way, whilst the Bulls host struggling Ryman League side Hampton & Richmond Borough. The fourth round ties will take place on the weekend on Saturday, February 2nd.

In the Nationwide Conference, Surrey Sports quote Hereford United at 25/1 to be relegated, equal odds with Farnborough Town and Northwich Victoria. The favourites for the drop, all of who are odds on, are Scarborough, Dover Athletic, Stalybridge Celtic and Leigh RMI. As there are only three relegation places, at least one of the four will survive. 

Sunday, January 20, 2002

Game of Two Halves said Goodwin

HEREFORD United beat off Margate 3-0 at Edgar Street yesterday, and left midfielder Scott Goodwin exstatic not only with his goal but with the game in general.

It was a game of two halves, as Goodwin told BBC Hereford & Worcester's Peter McMillan: "The first half was a bit disappointing. The fans were getting frustrated and so were the players. Margate came out in the first half and we found it hard to break them."

Of his goal, which came on fourty-nine minutes, he recalled: "It was a good move. I think it was Gavin (Williams) and (Matt) Clarke on the right hand so and Clarke put the ball into my chest, I played a one-two with Dodge (Ian Rodgerson) and I saw the 'keeper slightly to an angle and looked up and sneeked it in.

"I went in the dressing room and Phil Robinson said to me you've been trying to do that for weeks in training and it's finally paid off."

John Shirley doubled the lead on the hour mark with a screamer from twenty five yards. "John has just come into the side and he's going to find the pace and power of the Conference hard," said Goodwin. "He really took it well and, I'll let him have it, his goal was better than mine."

Rob Elmes netted a third after coming on for Paul Parry. "They all count at the end of the day. I'm pleased for Rob, he's come off the bench and got the third."

The Bulls are now unbeaten in their last seven games and Goodwin continued: "The morale in the dressing room is brilliant."

John Shirley was equally pleased with his goal, and he told the Non-League Paper's George Sawkins: "I'm delighted with that, you don't get too many goals from left-back."

Coach Phil Robinson commented: "It was a fantastic goal from John. He's come on really well over the last couple of games."

Saturday, January 19, 2002

Shirley Happy To Be Back In Team

ONE player who has returned to the Hereford United team after injury recently is John Shirley, who has started at left back in recent matches.

The twenty year old has moved into the slot vacated by Tony Capaldi at left back when the Irishman's loan spell ended and he rejoined Birmingham City.

A central midfielder, Shirley is happy just to be back in team and told the Evening News: "Central midfield is my normal role but just playing is enough at the moment after missing so much of the season. I was out for ages with a bad ankle and was just struggling to get back in the team.

"It was frustrating being injured during pre season as well because that's when the manager picks the team and you have to prove yourself all over again. We didn't know what the injury was - at first we thought it was tendons but it actually turned out to be ligaments."

Shirley grew up in North London before moving to Malvern when he was eleven and after a spell at Wolves, he joined the Bulls as an apprentice. He is in the final year of his contract and he commented: "My aim is to keep fit and stay in the team and hopefully get another contract. Results have picked up for the team lately and everything seems to be coming together and our confidence is growing."

Phil Robinson, the Hereford coach, said of Shirley: "John had a bad injury at the start of the season which didn't settle down but he's been back fit for a month or so now and he's starting to find his form. He's been excellent at left back since replacing Tony Capaldi and he has been very comfortable even though he is right footed."

HEREFORD United 3 - 0 Margate

Hereford continued their excellent recent run with a comfortable 3-0 win over Margate at Edgar Street today. There was one change to Tuesday night’s winning side, 4-0 over Chesham United in the FA Trophy, which was Scott Goodwin's return to the starting line-up instead of Jimmy Quiggin. Goodwin came in at left midfield after his suspension, and Paul Parry was pushed up front to partner Gavin Williams.

The first half was a dull affair, with Hereford doing most of the attacking but no real chances made. The first Bull to make an effort towards the Margate goal was Ian Rodgerson, in the tenth minute, when he headed a John Shirley cross, but Williams managed to get in the way and deflect it wide. Within less than a minute the only real chance of the first half came and went. A cross by Parry was pushed into the path of Williams by Goodwin, but the Margate 'keeper raced off his line to save at point blank range from the Welshman.

The rest of the half saw a new corner routine which resulted in Parry shooting wide, and it was Parry again, who headed a Goodwin cross wide ten minutes later. Margate’s only chance of the first half came in the thirtieth minute when Phil Collins forced Ian Wright into a mistake and ran onto it, but shot high and wide from a tight angle. The only other chance of note was a John Snape shot deflected for a corner.

The second half was far more entertaining, first off was Goodwin’s goal four minutes in. A right wing cross was chested by Goodwin to Rodgerson on the penalty spot, who laid the ball back for Goodwin to hit an eighteen yard screamer in off the post. More pressure by Hereford saw Snape shoot over and Williams forcing Gate goalkeeper Charlie Mitten into another excellent save, after a Parry cross, with a header.

Leon Braithwaite’s pace almost got the better of Hereford when a weak back header by Matt Clarke dropped into no man’s land. Just as he collected the ball, Tony James slid in and took it off his toe; a very important and excellent tackle. Within eleven minutes of the first goal, John Shirley scored Hereford’s second with a twenty yard volley with his left foot. It was a superb goal in which to shut his critics up within Block B, in the first half some guy said 'Shirley! Get off the pitch!’. When he scored Shirley ran over and pointed at him!

Margate were almost back in the game within three minutes when Ian Wright headed against his own post, and between the two goals, two away players were booked for fouls. One of them, Simon Beard, booked in this time, was booked again for a late challenge and sent off. From the resulting free kick Parry almost scored, when he struck the ball towards the top corner, but the Margate keeper made a comfortable save. The next few minutes saw Hereford dominate and make two half chances, Goodwin chipping over the bar from twenty yards and Snape shooting wide. Margate did get a chance on target when Paul Lamb headed gently at Matt Baker in the Hereford goal; this took them seventy eight minutes to achieve.

Another two half chances were made by Hereford before substitute Rob Elmes finished off Margate with a tap in. A run by Williams down the right was stopped by a Margate defender, but as Mitten ran out to collect the ball Williams managed to kick back to Clarke. With the 'keeper nowhere, Clarke kept his cool to pass the ball to Elmes in the six yard area and he made no mistake tapping home. After this, Margate totally lost their rag with three bookings and their central defender was sent off for handling the ball to stop Williams from running on and adding a fourth. Also in the middle of this, Elmes put a header wide of the post, and Clarke was also booked.

So yet another comfortable home win for the Bulls in front of 1,474, with about thirty Margate fans. I felt Chris Kinnear's side lacked any imagination going forward, and they were made to pay by a confident Bulls team. I will give the man of the match award to Ian Rodgerson; I think he has done an excellent job over the last few games and is a bit of an unsung hero.

Written by Tim Ward - 19th January 2002.

Hereford United: Matt Baker, Matt Clarke, John Shirley, Phil Robinson, Ian Wright (captain), Tony James, Ian Rodgerson, John Snape, Paul Parry (off, 73 minutes), Gavin Williams, Scott Goodwin
Subs: Rob Elmes (on, 73 minutes,) Lee Evans, Jimmy Quiggin, Steve Piearce, Jon Hill
Scorers: Scott Goodwin (49 minutes) John Shirley (60 minutes) Rob Elmes (77 minutes)
Man of the Match: Ian Rodgerson
Attendance: 1,474
Referee: Mr. D. Whitestone (Northampton)

Friday, January 18, 2002

Injury Situation Gets Worse For Bulls

HEREFORD United's injury problems have got worse for tomorrow's game at Edgar Street in the Nationwide Conference game against Margate, kick off 3pm.

Boss Phil Robinson could miss striker Rob Elmes (back), skipper Ian Wright (flu), defender Matt Clarke (dead leg), midfielder Ian Rodgerson (thigh), Scott Goodwin and attacker Steve Piearce, whilst Danny Davidson (ankle) and Scott Voice, who is due to see a specialist over his troublesome groin, are out.

"It's a little bit of a crisis at the moment and with the small squad we are operating if you have that amount of injuries, you are struggling for a team," Robinson told the Evening News. "Looking down at my list I have just 12 fit players at the moment and if it stays like that then it is a bit of a worry."

Of fifth placed Margate, he commented: "I think Margate were a bit of a surprise package because they were not one of the fashionable teams but having played them I can understand why they are doing so well, They are very solid and have a lot of pace up front which is why they have a good record away from home."

"I think, apart from the sticky patch we had between the FA Cup ties, we were unlucky in a lot of games and we knew we were close to winning a lot of those matches," added Robinson. "We were never far away and I'm delighted with the current run and we are working hard to maintain that."

"In my two years at the club getting one of the strikers on a regular goalscoring run has always been a bit of a problem but at the moment Gavin Williams is doing that," he said. "And I've always said that if we started to score more goals on a regular basis the results would improve. A few weeks ago we were looking below us in the table but now we are keeping an eye on what is in front of us."

Striker Rob Elmes is one of those which will require a late fitness test but secretary Joan Fennessy told the BBC: "Rob picked up a slight knock but should be OK for Saturday's match."

Scott Goodwin is available in midfield should manager Phil Robinson wish to use him, and Fennessy continued: "Scott was not going to be available for the Margate match, but because of Tuesday's replay, he has now completed his suspension."

Margate haven't won an away league game since early October but could field ex-Woking midfielder Nick Roddis. Boss Chris Kinnear could be without Gareth Graham, who has an ankle problem whilst Lee Williams is likely to return after a bout of food poisoning.

Thursday, January 17, 2002

THE FA XI drew 1-1 with British Universities on Tuesday night without the players of Hereford United, who were required in the 4-0 win over Chesham United in the FA Trophy.
The University side equalised though Rob Eade in the eighty sixth minute at Hednesford Town's Keys Park after Greg Blundell of Northwich Victoria had put the semi-professional side 1-0 up after seventeen minutes.

In last night's action, Hereford United reserves lost their Central Conference League match 3-0 at Tamworth. Mark Hallam scored the opening goal, and Tamworth were 2-0 up at the break Luke Rowlett back heeled the ball over the line following good work by Nuneaton's Jason Peake and Hallam. The scoring was completed in the second half when Richard Follett hammered the ball home at the far post.


HEREFORD United are unbeaten in their last six games and aim to make it seven when they take on Margate at Edgar Street on Saturday, kick off 3pm.
The Kent-based club who were promoted from the Dr. Martens League Premier Division last year, lie fifth in the league despite only winning one of their last eight league encounters. However, they have lost just two of their twelve away encounters so far this campaign.

The Bulls have fitness worries over Scott Voice (groin), Danny Davidson (ankle) and Rob Elmes (back). Midfielder Scott Goodwin is available after suspension, while Alex Kevan remains at Edgar Street on a non-contract basis.

Meanwhile, United's Nationwide Conference tie with Telford at Edgar Street has been re-arranged for Tuesday, March 5.

Wednesday, January 16, 2002

Jan 16th 2002

Billy the Bull and his little helpers will be asking fans on Saturday to donate loose change to the club.

Hereford United take on Margate at Edgar Street, kick off 3pm, and all money raised will help fund a new Bull costume for Billy. Any extra coins will be donated to the Save The Bulls Campaign.

And if you're not a member of Save The Bulls, take a look at what it has to offer. Log onto the official website ( and click the Website Options button, and then 'Save The Bulls Fund'.

Tuesday, January 15, 2002

Jan 15th 2002 - United through to fourth round

Hereford United 4 - 0 Chesham United

Goals from Phil Robinson, Paul Parry, Gavin Williams and Steve Piearce saw Hereford United comfortably progress to the fourth round of the FA Trophy tonight at Edgar Street in a replay against Chesham United.

The 4-0 scoreline reflected the Bulls' dominance although Chesham held their own for long periods of the first half and will perhaps have felt themselves a little unlucky to have been behind at the break. However, a superb second half display saw Hereford extend their scoreline with three well-taken efforts.

The Bulls named Jimmy Quiggin in attack in place of Rob Elmes as coach Phil Robinson made just one change from the team that drew 2-2 at Chesham on Saturday. With Elmes and Danny Davidson injured, Steve Piearce was recalled to the bench and later entered to score the fourth goal. Chesham boss Bob Dowie drafted in Victor Boyle-Renner into midfield after he come on from the bench on Saturday.

Hereford skipper Ian Wright flashed an early effort wide after Paul Parry had received treatment for a knock, but it was Chesham who started to dominate against their high-graded oppenents with little reward in terms of shots on goal. After fifteen minutes, Hereford took the lead as Matt Clarke and Gavin Williams played a slick return pass on the right hand side before Clarke crossed in to Jimmy Quiggin. The ball fell to Phil Robinson, and from two yards out the veteran midfielder fired home to give Hereford a vital lead.

Three minutes later, Chesham stopper Delroy Preddie managed to show off his reflexes when he spilled a Gavin Williams shot and, as the ball fell to Jimmy Quiggin, he jumped back to his feat to prevent the youngster doubling the Hereford advantage with an impressive catch. Gavin Williams headed across goal midway through the half as he failed to connect onto a Parry cross and Ian Rodgerson fired over from twenty five yards as Hereford pushed in attack.

However, Chesham fought back and were eager to equalise before the break. Lee Spiller made some promising moves with little reward due to a sturdy Hereford backline, including John Shirley who looked greatly improved since Saturday. The Ryman League side were let down by the wayward shooting of Wayne Andrews and Paul Fewings who had several openings but squandered efforts.

The second half saw Hereford dominate and Chesham pushed onto the back foot. Fewings headed a ball wide on fifty three minutes, but Hereford responded and three minutes later, made it 2-0. Gavin Williams, after a great turn away from the defender near the half way line, ran to the edge of the box before slipping the ball short to Parry. The midfielder took it in his stride before cutting inside and getting it onto his right foot and smashing it home. His crisp connection gave Preddie little chance of a save, and the Bulls had doubled their lead.

Gary Wooton had a chance for Chesham blocked following a goalmouth scramble from a corner and on a counter attack minutes later, Jimmy Quiggin failed to beat Preddie when clean through as the goalkeeper blocked well with his legs. Quiggin was removed soon after and replaced by Steve Piearce who initially had little impact. Two minutes later, Phil Robinson smashed a drive at Preddie following a Gavin Williams free kick and with nineteen minutes left, a goalmouth scramble increased Hereford's advantage further. A shot came in for Preddie to deal with and the ball was knocked out to Williams who hit a high lob over the defenders and stranded 'keeper which bounced in off the far post. Hereford's domination had paid off, albeit with a dubious deflection.

Matt Clarke and Ian Rodgerson were both withdrawn for Mark Williams and Alex Kevan respectively to freshen up the Hereford team, whilst Chesham brought off defender David Pratt for young midfielder Mark Boyce. The move paid dividends for the Bulls as with ten minutes left, a corner was swung in from the left. The ball was blocked and fell to Williams who knocked it onto the head of Piearce, but the striker nodded just wide. However, he made up a minute or two later when Williams threaded through a superb one-two for Piearce to run goalwards. He didn't hesitate as he approached goal, lifting the ball over the advancing 'keeper who had made a dive forward to increase Hereford's lead to 4-0.

In the aftermath of the goal, Victor Renner-Boyle was sent off for Chesham after arguing with and then pushing over the referee, Mr. Chapman, who had officiated well throughout allowing the game to flow. Despite Chesham going down to ten men, they fought on but failed to create anything of note in the closing stages.

Hereford pick up a place in the fourth round on 2nd February, when they host another Ryman League side, Hampton & Richmond Borough. The Bulls also net a prize of £1,000 for tonight's victory. The man of the match award goes to Gavin Williams who was at the heart of Hereford's attacking play but nobody from the home side played badly. What was particularly encouraging to see was the link-up play between certain players. Paul Parry and John Shirley overlapped well on the left side of the pitch and after his entrance, Steve Piearce made some good moves with Gavin Williams to torment the Chesham defence.

A job well done for Hereford, but the score doesn't reflect Chesham's effort which stretched the Bulls in the first leg.

Written by Terry Goodwin - 15th January 2002.

Hereford United: Matt Baker, Matt Clarke (off, 72 minutes), John Shirley, Phil Robinson, Ian Wright (captain,) Tony James, Ian Rodgerson (off, 79 minutes), John Snape, Jimmy Quiggin (off, 62 minutes),Gavin Williams,
Paul Parry

Subs; Mark Williams (on, 72 minutes), Scott Cooksey, Alex Kevan (on, 79 minutes),Steve Piearce (on, 62 minutes)

Phil Robinson (14 minutes)
Paul Parry (56 minutes)
Gavin Williams (71 minutes)
Steve Piearce (83 minutes)

Man of the Match: Gavin Williams
Attendance: 1,075
Referee: Mr. G. Chapman

Elmes doubt for Trophy replay

Hereford United host Ryman Leaguers Chesham United in the FA Trophy third round replay at Edgar Street today, kick off 7.45pm.

The game on Saturday finished 2-2 and Bulls coach Phil Robinson has doubts over several first teamer for tonight's clash. Striker Rob Elmes, who picked up a bad back on Saturday, is likely to miss out and should be replaced by Danny Davidson.

The winners of the tie will host Hampton & Richmond Borough and Robinson told the Evening News: "Saturday's game was end-to-end and I'm sure this has the makings of a similar game."

"They were a decent side and lived up to expectations. We had reports on them which were quite favourable and they proved to be what they are - a promotion-chasing team in what is the strongest of the three feeder leagues.

"They've got some good players but having said that we were in front twice and it would have been nice to capitalise on that and win through. "But they came back quite strongly and equalised. After 90 minutes, bearing in mind we were away from home and the fact they have only lost once at home, I think it was probably a good result but now we have an opportunity to finish them off."

Chesham's ex-Hereford attacker Paul Fewings is a doubt, but Wayne Andrews will definitely start up front. Hereford have another problem as Paul Parry picked up a knock but should be fit for tonight's encounter. Striker Steve Piearce should be named on the bench after not being named in the squad last weekend. Scott Voice and Scott Cooksey are injured, whilst Scott Goodwin is suspended. Ian Rodgerson should retain his place in midfield after scoring in the initial tie.

Chesham boss Bob Dowie told the Bucks Free Press: "It's not over. We've come a long long way and I quite fancy us down there."

Of the initial tie, he commented: "We've given them two very, very poor goals. It was a shocking decision by our goalie for the first one and it was terrible to concede a goal just before half-time. But the the team showed magnificent character to come back and that's what pleased me the most."

Monday, January 14, 2002

Jan 14th 2002 - Bulls keep players for Trophy tie

As a result of the FA Trophy replay, the England semi-professional team manager John Owens has dropped the Hereford United contingent in his squad.

Bulls goalkeeper Matt Baker and defenders Matt Clarke and Ian Wright will now play at Edgar Street against Chesham United instead of at Hednesford Town against a British Universities side. Chester City and Nuneaton Borough, who have their own FA Trophy replays, will also have all their players released.

Owens has drafted in ten new players, from Burton Albion, Droylsden and Hednesford Town, to compliment a squad made up of players from Northwich Victoria and Telford United.

Hereford at home if Chesham are beaten

Hereford United will play another Ryman League side, Hampton & Richmond Borough, in the FA Trophy fourth round if they overcome Chesham United in tomorrow night's third round replay at Edgar Street.

Chesham held Hereford to a 2-2 draw at their Meadow ground last Saturday and Bulls coach Phil Robinson told the Evening News: "Chesham are a decent team so we are happy to have an opportunity to take them back to Hereford. They have got pace up front and the scouts watching Andrews would have been very pleased with his performance."

The fourth round tie will be played on Saturday, February 2nd. The draw in full is:
1 Morecambe v Southport or Gresley Rovers
2 Farnborough Town or Carshalton Athletic v Burton Albion
3 Histon or Gravesend & Northfleet v Cambridge City or Hendon
4 Chester City or Stourport Swifts v Solihull Borough
5 Woking v Welling United
6 North Ferriby United v Braintree Town
7 Yeovil Town v Doncaster Rovers
8 Margate v Leigh RMI or Emley
9 Vauxhall Motors v Northwich Victoria
10 Dagenham & Redbridge v Telford United
11 Mangotsfield United v Stalybridge Celtic or Nuneaton Borough
12 Forest Green Rovers or Aldershot Town v Worksop Town
13 Grantham Town v Canvey Island or Purfleet
14 Chesham United or Hereford United v Hampton & Richmond Borough
15 Barnet v Scarborough
16 Stevenage Borough v Bashley

Sunday, January 13, 2002

Jan 13th 2002 - Kevan returns

Alex Kevan has rejoined Hereford United after apparently being released by manager Phil Robinson over the festive period.

Kevan is on a non-contract basis with the club and was named on the bench in yesterday's FA Trophy tie at Chesham United, although he didn't feature in the action.

The midfielder could feature in Tuesday's replay at Edgar Street, game which clashes with the England semi-professional game against a British Universities XI at Hednesford Town's Keys Park. England coach John Owens has selected Hereford's Matt Baker, Matt Clarke and Ian Wright in the squad and it is as yet unknown whether the fixture will be moved. Also scheduled to play in replays on Tuesday are Nuneaton Borough and Chester City, both of which have players in the England squad.

If the game goes ahead, admission is free to all Hereford season ticket holders and those wearing England shirts. Otherwise, adults will pay £3, unaccompanied children £1 and OAPs and accompanied children get in for free! Kick off is at 7.30pm.

Saturday, January 12, 2002

Bulls cling on for dear life

Hereford United were lucky not to be eliminated from the FA Umbro Trophy at the third round stage today as Ryman League side Chesham United forced a 2-2 draw at their Meadow ground.

The Bulls had to endure a late period of Chesham pressure and it was only down to some astute goalkeeping of Matt Baker that the Conference hopefuls got away with a draw.

Hereford made two changes to the side that drew at Forest Green Rovers last weekend. The suspended Scott Goodwin was replaced in midfield by Ian Rodgerson, who made his three hundredth competitive appearance for the club, and Jimmy Quiggin dropped to the bench as Gavin Williams returned after injury in attack. Chesham, managed by Bob Dowie, named former Hereford attacker Paul Fewings in their starting line-up, and he partnered the highly-rated Wayne Andrews up front.

The cup tie started with the two sides appearing pretty even over the opening few minutes. Wayne Andrews tested Matt Baker after five minutes following a mistake by Tony James in defence, and six minutes later player/coach Phil Robinson fired an effort wide from the edge of the box concluding a good team move by the visitors.

Paul Fewings fired wide on sixteen minutes as Chesham attempted to find an early goal, and a minute later Ian Rodgerson lobbed goalkeeper Delroy Preddie at the other end - but also lobbed the crossbar. Chesham's Lee Spiller smashed an effort wide before the deadlock was broken after twenty four minutes.

A pass from Robinson released Gavin Williams on the left hand side and the Welshman proceeded to round the goalkeeper before, from an acute angle, knocking the ball past two defenders on the line to hand Hereford a slender but vital advantage.

The goal livened up proceedings in a cup tie that had been entertaining to watch and both Paul Parry and Phil Robinson tested Preddie in the Chesham goal before the home side broke free. With ten minutes of the half left, winger Richard Graham knocked a ball past Matt Baker, who had had a mix-up with full-back Matt Clarke, and the advancing Wayne Andrews ran onto it and had the easy task of knocking it into an unguarded net. Chesham had an equaliser which, to be fair, was deserved.

Andrews went close two minutes later when John Shirley allowed him through, but he scraped the effort wide and the scores appeared to stay level at the break until Ian Rodgerson popped up in the last minute of the half. A long ball from captain Ian Wright found Rodgerson who controlled well and volleyed on the turn to net from close range. The advantage had swung back in Hereford's favour.

Bulls attacker Rob Elmes picked up a knock in the first half and was removed at the break, to be replaced by Danny Davidson. The second period was much less exciting for the opening period with Chesham dominating possession but causing few problems for the Hereford back line. In fact, it was Hereford who came closest to scoring on the hour when a corner met Ian Wright on the back post, and his header was cleared off the line by Mark Boyce. A minute later, Gavin Williams shot over but ten minutes later, Chesham fought back. Paul Fewings' header was caught by Matt Baker on the far post on seventy minutes, and just two minutes later the scores were level. Chesham broke on the counter attack following a Hereford corner and Fewings lobbed the ball over the advancing Baker to equalise.

The closing eighteen minutes were extremely tense. Hereford looked lost and will have been pleased just to get off the pitch. Chesham, on the other hand, played wave after wave off attacks that tested Baker and the nerves of everyone in the ground. Paul Fewings and Wayne Andrews tested Baker's reactions on seventy eight minutes before sustitute Victor Boyle-Renner knocked a ball through Paul Parry's legs for Baker palmed it away. A minute later, Chesham's last real attack saw the ball drop to Andrews, but he couldn't capitalise on the opportunity.

The relief on the faces of everyone to do with Hereford United was evident to see when referee Mr. F. Graham blew for full time. The Bulls would have had few complaints had Chesham found a late goal but they clung on for a replay, which will be held at Edgar Street on Tuesday night, kick off 7.45pm.

No one player for the Bulls deserved the man-of-the-match award. There were mistakes from each of the four members of the defence, as well as goalkeeper Baker, whilst the midfield and attack didn't perform sufficiently to eliminate a side supposedly of lower grading. Had one not known which league Chesham played in, they could have been excused for thinking the teams were on a level par.

The tie was superbly entertaining for a neutral but frustrating in different ways for those involved in the sides competing. The Hereford support probably made about half of those in the crowd of 831.

Chesham United: Delroy Preddie, Alvin Watts (captain), David Pratt, Fitz Hall, Lee Kersey, Mark Boyce (off, 65 minutes), Dereck Brown (off, 65 minutes,) Lee Spiller, Wayne Andrews, Paul Fewings, Richard Graham
Subs: Victor Boyle-Renner (on, 65 minutes), Gary Wotton (on, 65 minutes), Kieran Corcoran, Steve Miles, Richard Wilson

Hereford United: Matt Baker, Matt Clarke, John Shirley, Phil Robinson, Ian Wright (capt), Tony James, Ian Rodgerson, John Snape, Rob Elmes (off half time) Gavin Williams, Paul Parry
Subs: Mark Williams, Lee Evans, Jimmy Quiggan, Alec Kevan, Danny Davidson (on 46mins)

Hereford Yellow cards
Paul Parry (9 minutes, foul) Gavin Williams (88 minutes, unsporting behaviour)

Wayne Andrews (35 minutes) Gavin Williams (25 minutes)
Paul Fewings (72 minutes) Ian Rodgerson (45 minutes)

Man of the Match Not awarded
Attendance 831
Referee Mr. F. Graham

Report by Terry Goodwin

Cooksey - I could have died

Hereford United goalkeeper Scott Cooksey has returned to football after eight months out in which his long-term health was threatened.

The ex-Shrewsbury stopper played for the reserves on Wednesday after months out with a wrist injury. His problems started in February last season when he was given an injection in his wrist to help him through to the end of the season but he eventually ended up in hospital for three weeks. "It was serious and I could have died," admitted Cooksey to the Evening News.

The infection ended up destroying the cartilage and bone surfaces in his wrist which restricted his movement and the strength in the joint. "I will never be back to 100 per cent but it is good to just be back playing again," he said. "The wrist is still sore and I have to have it heavily strapped. It's an injury that takes 18 months to settle down but even then it might not be back to full use."

"It is a very lonely battle when you are out injured and you feel as they you've been left on the shelf but that is football," he said. "You are easily forgotten when you are not playing but you just have to keep plugging away. My contract is up at the end of the season but for now I just want to get some games under my belt. It has been a very difficult eight months and I'm just happy to be on the pitch and can see a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel. I have to keep working and basically it is down to myself to how far I go, how far I push myself."

Matt Baker took over his place in the side and performed excellently. Baker has even had a call-up to the England semi-professional squad, as Cooksey did last year. "I still see myself as an international and hope to be considered for the games against America and Holland in February and March but my first aim is to get a few reserve team games under my belt," Cooksey said. "My ambition is still to play at the highest level but time might run out for me."

Friday, January 11, 2002

Jan 11th 2002 - Bulls hope to avoid another upset

Hereford United will not want to repeat their performances against lower-graded sides like Newport IOW, Hitchin Town and Billericay Town when they take on Chesham United in the FA Trophy tomorrow at the Meadow, kick off 3pm.

The defeats still cause bad memories for Bulls officials and fans alike and with Chesham pushing for a top place in the Ryman League Premier Division, the Generals will be eager to cause another upset. The winner of the third round tie is awarded £1,000.

Hereford United manager Phil Robinson told the Evening News: "In the recent past Hereford have not done very well against teams from lower divisions and this is a potential banana skin so we have to be fully prepared in order to get a result at Chesham.

"I think it will be a fast, furious affair and they will be wound up and keen to show what they can do to a team from a higher division. The manager thinks he has got a good team and believes he has created a lot of interest from Football League scouts. Out of the three feeder leagues into the Conference the Ryman's is probably the strongest and Canvey Island's recent run in the FA Cup shows what they can do."

The date of the Trophy final is May 12th at Villa Park, a date that Robinson is well aware of. "When you embark on a cup competition your ambition is to go all the way even though the final is a long way off," he said. "Obviously you have to take every game as it comes but I would like to think that any team involved has those ambitions to win it and we are exactly the same.

"We had a taste of it last year when we reached the semi-final and hopefully we can go one better this time but we know we have a tricky tie ahead of us."

Hereford have doubts over Gavin Williams' knee and Danny Davidson's ankle. Midfielder Scott Gooodwin starts a two match suspension after his sending off against Stalybridge Celtic.

Thursday, January 10, 2002

Jan 10th 2002 - Chesham Will Be Testing - Robbo

Hereford United go to Chesham United on Saturday hoping to kick off another FA Trophy run at the third round stage, kick off 3pm.

Chesham, of the Ryman Premier League, will be tough opponents and beat Maidenhead 1-0 at their Meadow ground on Tuesday night. They have lost just once at home this season and beat Weymouth 4-0 in the second round of the competition.

The star of the side is Wayne Andrews, a striker who is being watched by several Football League sides including Oldham Athletic. Also on their books is Paul Fewings, a former Hereford attacker.

Hereford should see the return of Gavin Williams, Scott Voice, Mark Williams and Ian Rodgerson after missing out on all three points at Forest Green Rovers last week. If Rodgerson plays, it will be his three hundredth competitive appearance for the club and with midfielder Scott Goodwin suspended, he could be set to play a part.

Quoted in the Hereford Times, Bulls manager Phil Robinson said: "Chesham believe they can compete successfully against the likes of Hereford and other clubs in the Conference and we know that they are hard working, with pace up front. We cannot afford any complacency."

Chesham manager Bob Dowie told the Bucks Free Press: "We've got a very good chance at home. With the exception of Canvey Island, we're unbeaten at home and nobody's going to fancy coming to play us at Chesham. The trophy is a massive game for us. It's a good opportunity to play a full-time team and see how far we've come. We can show what we're made of."

Of Hereford, he commented: "They're a very good side. We've got a lot of respect for them but if we can stop them from scoring we'll get a goal."

Chesham are without the suspended striker Richard Goddard for Saturday's tie, but ex-Hereford forward Paul Fewings available again after suspension.

In the event of a draw the replay will be at Edgar Street on Tuesday, kick-off 7.45pm.

*Graham Turner confirmed in today's Hereford Times that Hereford United are still waiting for the receipt of gate income from the the FA Cup game last month.

The Hereford chairman expected the estimated £20,000 to be received within fourteen days of the match and said: "It's common knowledge that we have had difficulty in running the club and, despite our cash-flow problems, we managed to give Wrexham their cup money on time."

However, Swindon Town director Bob Holt said the money would be paid to Hereford in `due course'. A cheque was posted on December 28th but cancelled when it didn't arrive at Edgar Street. Holt said: "We sent two cheques - one to Hartlepool and one to Hereford - but Hereford did not get theirs. And when the cheque didn't arrive we decided to cancel it. We have also had a query from Hereford about the turnstile turnover which we will be sorting out. The present board at Swindon only took over the day before the Hereford match. But, having said that, we are not making excuses."

The FA have been informed and told on Monday that they are "endeavouring to ensure that Hereford receive their share of the gate receipts from the match."

Turner added: "We know that Swindon have got immense problems financially, but we are entitled to the gate receipts and expenses from our FA Cup tie, which will be almost £20,000. We have contacted the FA, who are now on the case, but there is nothing more that we can do about it."

*Gareth Davies, the Swindon Town defender once of Hereford United, has quit football at the age of twenty eight after struggling with injuries for three years.

A persistant knee injury has dogged Davies' career at the County Ground and he said that he didn't want his eight month old son having a dad in a wheelchair.

He told the Swindon Evening Advertiser: "I love football but I’m not going to cripple myself just for the sake of playing on a bit longer. My knee swelled up in training last week. When I got home, I looked at my little boy Rhys and decided there were some things more important than football. I didn’t want him growing up with daddy in a wheelchair. But I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. I have had 10 years as a professional footballer and I don’t regret a minute of it."

"I want to thank physio Dick Mackey and the club doctor Alan Davies as well as Andy King, Roy Evans and all the coaching staff (at Swindon)," he continued. "The supporters have also been good to me and I will miss the club. But I want to walk and to play football in the garden with my little boy. He made my mind up once and for all."

Davies intends to coach youngsters as he studies for his UEFA B badge and commented: "I’d love to be a youth team manager somewhere but I know such opportunities are scarce. But I have always enjoyed coaching with kids and I feel I’ve a lot to offer. But at the moment it probably hasn’t quite sunk in. However, I know now that I have to get on with life in the ‘real’ world. My wife said it’s an exciting new chapter in my life and that’s the way to look at it."

Current Swindon boss Andy King said: "I feel desperately sorry for the boy. I have friends in the game who are in terrible pain because of injuries they received while playing and I can only respect Gareth’s decision. We all wish him well."

Gareth Davies was a youth team player at Edgar Street having spent his childhood in Talgarth, Powys. He made the first team before joining Crystal Palace for £120,000 in 1995.

*Hereford United goalkeeper Scott Cooksey made his return to competitive football last night when the reserve team drew 1-1 at Worcester City in the Central Conference.

Cooksey, who had not played this season because of a wrist injury, stood between the sticks for the entire ninety minutes as Lee Goodman gave City a lead before Mark Williams equalised in the last ten minutes.

Hereford fielded first team players including Scott Voice, Steve Piearce, Jimmy Quiggin, Daniel Davidson, Scott Goodwin and John Snape.

Alex Kevan also featured for the side despite being supposedly being released from Edgar Street, and striker Davidson came off with an ankle injured midway through the first half. Jimmy Quiggin also picked up a slight knock.

Geoff Ashby, the City reserve team boss, told the Evening News: "They battled well defensively although we struggled a bit in midfield, but it was a good result. They equalised in the last 10 minutes but they deserved it and a draw was fair."

Meanwhile, Hereford's 1972 FA Cup win over Newcastle will feature in Channel 4's 'The 100 Greatest Sporting Moments' this Saturday at 9pm.

Wednesday, January 09, 2002

Jan 9th 2002 - Cooksey to make comeback tonight

Goalkeeper Scott Cooksey should return to football tonight after a long lay off through injury as he features for the Hereford United reserve team at Worcester City in the Central Conference, kick off 7.45pm.

The 'keeper will play alongside Jimmy Quiggin, John Snape, Scott Voice, Daniel Davidson, Mark Williams, John Shirley and Alex Kevan and coach Phil Robinson said of Cooksey: "At one point it was questioned whether he would ever be able to come back to play at this level but to see his progress in the past month and to reach this position is great news."

Worcester, managed by John Barton, could field Danny McDonnell (a 'keeper rumoured to be joining Hereford in 2000), Martin Weir, Jamie Hyde and Marc Burrow but new signing Adam Webster has 'flu.

Looking ahead to Saturday's FA Trophy clash at Chesham United, Hereford United midfielder Scott Goodwin will miss out through suspension. He has received a two match ban for a sending off against Stalybridge Celtic last month. Ian Rodgerson and Gavin Williams are also doubts for the tie.

Tuesday, January 08, 2002

Jan 8th 2002 - Bulls Hero Gets Another Award

Former Hereford United player/manager John Charles received yet another award for a glittering career in the game last night.

The Swansea-born Charles, now age 70, was awarded with the Merit Award at the 2001 BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year ceremony in recognition for his huge contribution to Welsh sport.

Known as the 'Gentle Giant', Charles played for the Welsh international side at the 1958 World Cup and, on the club scene, for Swansea City, Leeds United, Juventus, Roma, Cardiff City and Merthyr Tydfil as well as at Edgar Street for Hereford.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

An exclusive series, Ron Parrott, author of 'Hereford United - The League Era' reviews a classic programme from the archives...
Part Fourteen - January 2002

Brentwood Town vs Hereford United - FA Trophy first round - January 10th 1970.

With the FA Trophy tie vs Chesham United on the horizon, I have chosen United's first-ever FA Trophy game for January's programme of the month. The season is 1969/70 and the opposition is Brentwood Town who are lying in mid-table of the Southern League Premier Division in their first season in that grade. United, occupying third position, approach the tie with confidence having already completed a league "double" over the Essex side. A crowd of 1,324 see Hereford win 4-2 at "The Hive" back in September with a superlative display by young winger Dudley Tyler, thus ending the "Bees" proud unbeaten home run of 51 weeks. Tyler scores one goal himself, an own goal is added and the other two come from full-backs Timms and Bird (one of only three occasions in United's history that both full-backs have scored in the same game). A healthier crowd of 3,236 turn up at Edgar Street to see United clinch the double in November, an 86th minute goal from David Summerhayes being enough to see them off.

The FA Trophy game is played on Saturday 10th January in terrible conditions, continuous rain turning the pitch into a quagmire. The conditions affect the attendance and only 885 turn out to witness a hard-fought encounter. Stevenson gives the home side the lead two minutes into the second half but the legendary John Charles picks a good time to score his first goal away from home for almost a year and equalises straight away. United's man-of-the-match however, is left-winger Brian Punter, who never stops running and covers every inch of the pitch. In defence, it's rock solid Alan Jones who earns the plaudits. There are no further goals and a 1-1 draw is probably a fair result.

A much better crowd of 3,432 are at Edgar Street the following Wednesday for the replay and see Hereford sneak a 2-1 victory, thanks to two own goals. It's another mud-clinging affair that must have been particularly galling for Brentwood's keeper Dunbar. Having repelled everything that United can throw at him, he's twice beaten by his own defenders!

Hereford go on to beat Andover 2-0 in the next round before bowing out of the competition by a similar scoreline at Barnet in the Third Round. United's team for both games v Brentwood was as follows: John Davies, John Bird, Peter Timms, Alan Jones, Ken Brown, Paddy Mullen, David Summerhayes, John Charles, Micky Lewis & Brian Punter.

Monday, January 07, 2002

Jan 7th 2002 - FA ready to step in

The Football Association are ready to take action against Swindon Town for non-payment of gate receipts from the FA Cup second round tie against Hereford United.

The cash-strapped Division Two side should have paid the money to Hereford United by 22nd December, two weeks after the game, but the Nationwide Conference club are yet to receive a penny. Swindon have had their bank account cancelled and have reported debts of £10 million, including almost £1 million to the inland revenue.

In reply to a query sent to the FA, a spokesman commented: "We are aware of this situation and we are endeavouring to ensure that Hereford receive their share of the gate receipts from the match."

Quiggin Pleased With Draw

Hereford United's 1-1 draw against Forest Green Rovers on Saturday was a good result, according to youthful ex-Boldmere midfielder Jimmy Quiggin.

He told the Evening News: "The conditions were terrible, but the main thing is that we have won a point and managed to keep our unbeaten run going."

Quiggin got the shot in which rebounded for Paul Parry to equalise, and continued: "My effort wasn't too far from the goalkeeper and luckily Parry was on hand to finish it off with a good first-time shot."

Next Saturday, Hereford go to Chesham United in the FA Trophy hoping to kick off another cup run.

Directions courtesy of

By Car

From M25. Junction 18. Take A404 to Amersham. Take A416 signposted to Chesham. You will enter Chesham travelling down Amersham hill. Take very sharp left at roundabout at the foot of this hill into Chesham United`s ground.

From A41. Take junction signposted to Chesham. Continue along through Ashley Green and into Chesham. Follow signs to Amersham until you pass two petrol stations which are opposite each other. At the next roundabout take third exit into Chesham United`s ground.

By Train

Chesham is part of the London Underground network and is on the Metropolitan Line. Walk out of the station and head towards the high street. Turn left and follow signs towards Amersham until you pass two petrol stations which are opposite each other. At the next roundabout take third exit into Chesham United`s ground. Walk takes approx 5 - 10 minutes.

Click here for a map of 'The Meadow', home of Chesham United.

According to Surrey Racing, Chesham are quoted at 6/4 to win with Hereford at 11/8. A draw is 12/5.

Dinner Tickets On Sale Now

To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of Hereford United's shock 2-1 victory over Newcastle, scorer Ricky George and BBC commentator John Motson will hold a dinner at the Three Counties Hotel on Thursday, February 7th.

Tickets are now available priced at £25, and the dinner starts at 7.30pm. Also featuring will be a comedian, and tickets can be purchased from the club office or by calling 01432 276666.

Sunday, January 06, 2002

Jan 6th 2002 - Parry saves point in local derby

Forest Green Rovers 1 - 1 Hereford United

Hereford United extended their unbeaten run to four games after gaining a hard earned point today at the Lawn against Forest Green Rovers.

The Bulls, who missed the youthful Gavin Williams in attack through injury, won through with a second half performance which could have seen them win the game. Credit where it's due though, and Forest Green played well to hold out for a point after an even first period in difficult conditions. The pitch was perfectly playable but the wet meant some sliding tackles and two sides that got extremely muddy.

With Gavin Williams out, manager Phil Robinson opted to push Paul Parry into attack alongside Rob Elmes whilst Jimmy Quiggin filled in in midfield. At left back, John Shirley was drafted in after the departure of Tony Capaldi, the Irishman having completed his loan spell and returning to Birmingham City.

The first half started brightly but faded away as time progressed. John Snape hit an early twenty five yard effort wide but the real action started after thirteen minutes when Forest Green Rovers were awarded a penalty. A long ball from Kevin Langan was aimed at Alex Meecham, but Hereford goalkeeper Matt Baker misjudged the situation, advancing further and slipping over. Meecham, through on goal, was brought down by Matt Clarke who was booked for his troubles, and from the spot kick, Carl Heggs' effort was well stopped by the legs of Baker. However, defender Rob Cousins was on hand to knock in the rebound from close range.

Paul Parry had a half chance soon afterwards at the other end but the half was not-action packed. The referee and his assistants frustratingly blew up for niggling challenges and offences in a game which was difficult to play in poor conditions.

Both Forest Green's Carl Heggs and captain Mark Cooper were cautioned for dissent as the half progressed, and in the last minute, Jamie Impey picked up a yellow card for a foul on John Snape.

Half time saw a change in the Hereford side with Phil Robinson deciding to take himself off and bringing on striker Danny Davidson to bolster the front line. It turned out to be the only change of the game for the away side and again, although he could have been used later as the Bulls searched for a winner, there was no action for Steve Piearce.

The away side did look much improved and dominated from the start. Danny Davidson had a good early run, cutting inside to see his shot taken by the goalkeeper Steve Perrin. Three minutes later, Davidson crossed from left to pick out Jimmy Quiggin who smashed a low left footed volley onto the post before bouncing behind for a goal kick. Quiggin headed wide a minute later before Rovers had a mini revival.

Matt Baker collected well on the hour when Carl Heggs shot straight at him after running clear of the defence, and five minutes later Simon Travis picked out Martin Foster who shot again at Baker.

Hereford needed to pull themselves back into the game and with twenty minutes left, they did exactly that. A cross from the right picked out Jimmy Quiggin and the ex-Boldmere attacker hit a twenty five yard shot goalwards which Perrin tipped away. However, the loose ball allowed Paul Parry to pounce and level the scores from close range.

Quiggin had a further chance before a double Rovers substitution aimed to put some life back into their squad. Davidson created a late Bulls effort but nobody was capable of breaking the deadlock. Overall, Hereford probably shaded proceedings but cannot be too disappointed by gaining a point in poor conditions and frustating decision making by Mr. Perkin and his assistants.

A healthy crowd of 1,116 turned out including around 350 from Herefordshire. Perhaps the most worrying point from Hereford's view was that just four players were named as substitutes - Steve Piearce, Danny Davidson, Paul Marshall (a youth player) and Lee Evans (the youth team goalkeeper). The man-of-the-match award goes to Paul Parry for his endless running, creativity and the goal in difficult circumstances.

Forest Green Rovers: Steve Perrin, Rob Cousins, Steve Jenkins, Mark Cooper (captain), Jamie Impey, Martin Foster (off, 78 mins), Kevin Langan, Simon Travis, Carl Heggs, Alex Meecham (off, 78 mins), Lee Howey

Subs: Simon Futcher (on, 78 mins), Lee Howey, Daniel Allen, Ade Adams (on, 78 mins), Pritchard

Hereford United: Matt Baker, Matt Clarke, John Shirley, Phil Robinson (off-45mins), Ian Wright (capt), Tony James, Scott Goodwin, John Shape, Rob Elmes, Jimmy Quiqqin, Paul Parry

Subs: Steve Piearce, Lee Evans, Daniel Davidson (on 46mins) Paul Marshall

Yellow cards: Matt Clarke (13 mins)
Man of the Match Paul Parry
Attendance 1,116
Referee Mr. N. Perkin (Gravesend)

Saturday, January 05, 2002

Parry tips Boston for league success

Hereford United star Paul Parry has said that he didn't expect Dagenham & Redbridge to be challenging for the title this season.

The Daggers play Ipswich Town at their Victoria Ground in the FA Cup third round today, and lie second in the league just behind Boston United. However, Parry told the Evening News that Boston will win the league,

"Dagenham have emerged as the surprise package because Boston had a lot of money to spend and were expected to be up there," he said. "I think it will be between those two and possibly Barnet but if I was a gambling man I would have to back Boston because they have the money."

In the recent game between the Bulls and Boston United, the Lincolnshire side won 1-0 with a late winner. "We were unlucky against them and I think we deserved a point. I don't think there is a massive gulf between us although they have an advantage with a bigger squad," Parry continued. "The cup run was brilliant but things have started to pick up in the league now with the recent wins against Telford and Stalybridge. It was a good win against Stalybridge and they didn't have many chances and I think we could have had a few more. We've been creating a lot of chances but not taking them as well as should have done but it is improving.

"We had a good start to the season with a couple of good wins but things have got off the boil a little bit and may be the cup run distracted us a bit. I'm surprised we've been down as far as we have but I think we'll be back in the top half by the end of the season."

Jan 4th:

HEREFORD United have confirmed that they are still awaiting payment of gate receipts from the FA Cup second round tie at Swindon Town last month.

All monies should have been paid within fourteen days and whilst Bulls chairman Graham Turner was sympathetic to the second division's financial problems, he told BBC Hereford & Worcester: "It's common knowledge that it's been difficult to run the club financially. We've sought investors without too much success. All the vibes suggest that we will remain at Edgar Street. We have to obviously satisfy Chelverton's requirements and we have to redevelop Edgar Street. All those problems are at the background at the moment. We've had a little hiccup with our FA Cup money from Swindon and it's a couple of weeks late. We know Swindon have got immense problems financially but so have a lot of other clubs and we would welcome that money being paid on time."

The tax authorities are on the back of Swindon and the possibility of being wound up is likely. They owe £900,000 to the Inland Revenue and a petition is ready for the end of February is they don't pay up. Debts are now at £10 million, according to a club spokesman speaking to HTV West.

"With one or two problems you get a cashflow problem and it was fortunate that we had the televised match that has eased the situation," continued Turner. "We dread the day when a club does go under in the middle of the season but it's looking more and more likely with the amount of debt being carried by football clubs. The game appears to be awash with money but you'd like to see a bit more filter down to the lower levels."

"The FA took a significant step with FA Cup prize money but we'd like to see more in the FA Trophy. They get a lot of money from sponsors like Umbro and the television companies for televising all the FA competition games and the Umbro Trophy is no exception. We got £2,500 for a live game in the FA Trophy and that was paid by the FA and not Sky. The FA deemed the game was worth just £2,500."

The clash against Telford United, which was postponed, caused some worry for Turner. "We were full of confidence and players were raring to go and it was a blow in that respect but putting on the chairman's hat, it's probably cost us a considerable amount of money," he said. "The fact that it's New Year's Day, a generally well supported day, and we were expecting a crowd of over 2,000 for that match. I think we'll get 1,500 for a midweek match perhaps in January or February so it has been a blow to the finances. We were hovering around the wrong end of the table and I think the two victories were well earned."

FOREST Green Rovers have a pitch inspection planned for 10am on Saturday morning to determine whether tomorrow's Nationwide Conference league game against Hereford United can go ahead as planned, kick off 3pm.

The Lawn pitch has been frozen hard for most of the week but a club spokesman said today that although there was a planned inspection, Rovers are "quietly confident" about the game being played.

Again, segregation will be in force this year at the Lawn with travelling supporters asked to use the turnstiles on the main road, towards the bottom of the hill.

Gavin Williams is extremely unlikely to play with an ankle knock, Ian Rodgerson is doubtful with a hip injury and Scott Voice, Mark Williams and Danny Davidson have all had flu. The Bulls will be without Tony Capaldi after his loan spell from Birmingham came to a close.

Forest Green boss Nigel Spink is boosted by the return of two players for the clash with Hereford at The Lawn. Lee Howey is back after a chest infection while Jamie Impey is also fit to start. Spink was not too dismayed after the New Year's Day match against Yeovil was postponed but is looking forward to facing the Bulls.

"Our self-belief has never been in doubt," said Hereford player-coach Phil Robinson to the Evening News. "We always believed we could get results but now we have got back-to-back wins it has given us a big lift."

"The lack of goals from the strikers was an area of concern but hopefully this (the goals against Stlybridge) will be a big boost to them and will mark the start of a little run," he added.

Rovers lost 6-1 to Boston United last time out and Robinson said: "They'll either be determined to get out and put in a good performance having been beaten so heavily or else their confidence might be low. But if we can compete and work the way we have done in recent games then we are in with a chance of getting a result of some description."

Surrey Racing quote a Hereford win at 15/8, a Forest Green victory at 11/10 and a draw at 12/5. 

Jan 3rd:

MIDFIELDER Alex Kevan has been released by Hereford United coach Phil Robinson.

The ex-Burnley man left the club after sustaining a foot injury and missing the holiday matches against Telford United and Stalybridge Celtic. He played three league games for the club, and featured for a short spell in the 3-2 FA Cup second round defeat at Swindon Town.

Meanwhile, Hereford United's Ian Wright, Matt Baker and Matt Clarke have ben selected for the National League XI to play the British Universities' side, which Clarke once featured for, at Hednesford Town FC on Tuesday, January 15th.

HEREFORD United boss Phil Robinson has told midfielder Scott Goodwin to tidy up his game and cut out 'silly fouls' after he was send off against Stalybridge Celtic last Saturday.

The red card was his second of the season and Robinson said to the Evening News: "There is a fine line between combative and being a bit silly. Scott has just got to eliminate the silly bookings. I don't mind if he is booked for a fair, hard challenge while working hard to get the ball back. But his first booking against Stalybridge was unnecessary although his second was unlucky but if he'd not had the first booking he would not have been sent off.

"I don't want to stop him getting around the pitch and winning the ball back for us but I don't want to have to play another game with ten men."

Meanwhile, Football League chief executive David Burns rejected calls by Chelsea managing director Colin Hutchinson for lower division sides to operate as "nursery clubs" for Premiership teams (as reported on January 1st). Hutchinson had claimed the move would save many small clubs from extinction. However, Burns said research on such a proposal had already ruled it out.

He told the press: "The Football League undertook a year-long re-examination of the principles behind the restriction on club associations with a working party of nine club chairmen. It was the unanimous belief that in the interests of fair competition, clubs should continue to be required to maintain their independence and not become subsidiaries of other more senior clubs. In addition fans do not want to see their clubs turned into reserve sides for Premier League clubs. They would lose the sense of identity they currently have with the clubs they support."

HEREFORD United have two fitness doubts for Saturday's Nationwide Conference league clash at Forest Green Rovers, kick off 3pm.

Boss Phil Robinson is sweating over the fitness of striker Gavin Williams, who picked up a knee injury in the first half of Saturday's 3-0 win at Edgar Street against Stalybridge Celtic. Should he not make the game, Robinson has several options open to him with Rob Elmes, Scott Voice, Danny Davidson and Steve Piearce all recognised attackers in the United squad.

Veteran midfielder Ian Rodgerson is also a doubt going into the game at the Lawn. He is struggling with a hip injury but didn't play last weekend, so no changes in midfield are expected.

Hereford are one place above Forest Green on goal difference and Robinson told the Hereford Times: "If we can maintain the form that we have shown recently then we can start moving up the table. We had a great performance at Telford, while we kept another clean sheet against Stalybridge and, at times, we also played som excellent football."

Rovers are not in good form having lost 6-1 to Boston United last weekend and have not won at home in their last six games. However, they have drawn five of those encounters.

Jan 2nd: reported today that the controversial plans for the Nationwide Conference championship to be decided by an end-of-season play-off scheme have been dropped.

Although it had been widely assumed that this was the case following rejection of the scheme by the FA and Nationwide League, we've never seen an announcement from the Nationwide Conference on the issue.

A query to the Conference office has confirmed that the play-offs will NOT go ahead. However, the early finish to the season (which allowed time for the extra matches) remains in place.

THE Worcester Evening News' annual Ray Mercer Trophy award has a new leader at the midway point of the football season - Hereford United's Tony James.

The young defender is now ahead of Stourport Swifts' Asa Charlton having played twenty six games and gaining an average Evening News rating on 7.38 marks per match. James is widely regarded as Hereford's most under rated player and his solid displays in defence have boosted his rating as he rarely puts a foot wrong.

Second-placed Charlton has 7.32 marks, whilst his Stourport team mate Simon Marsh is on 7.20. Hereford's goalkeeper Matt Baker has 6.96 marks, in fourth place in the ratings. All players from Kidderminster Harriers, Hereford United, Worcester City, Evesham United and Stourport Swifts qualify after they have played sixteen games.

Jan 1st:

TODAY's Nationwide Conference clash between Hereford United and Telford United at Edgar Street is off.

The club said a frozen pitch has forced its postponement.

SUPPORT is gathering for small clubs to become nursery clubs to the Premiership giants according to Chelsea managing director Colin Hutchinson.

The system allows clubs to survive but only as virtual reserve teams and the Football League has already rejected the initiative as it would mean smaller clubs losing their identities. However, clubs are instead taking their money elsewhere to the likes of Ireland, Belgium and South Africa.

Hutchinson said: "They (The Football League) have a great opportunity to help the game in the lower divisions with some radical thinking about nursery clubs. The Football League board have previously shunned the idea. But the game is crying out for such a move. Millions of pounds are being invested by Premiership sides in overseas clubs because nursery links are forbidden in this country. Many Football League clubs would welcome a Premiership tie-up. In some cases, it could prevent extinction.

"There are dozens of community clubs that are an important part of local life but with few aspirations to climb to the higher reaches. They would benefit from a helping hand from a Premiership outfit. Assistance with coaching, commercial deals, the loan of young players, investment in youth policies. The scope is unlimited. Instead of investing overseas in nursery clubs, most Premiership sides would prefer to keep the money in the English game. But it won't happen unless the Football League moves into the 21st Century."

Should the initiative been launched, Hereford United would have a number of likely partners. The Bulls have already used two Birmingham City reserve players this season (Tony Capaldi and Neil Barnes) whilst Graham Turner's links with Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa may aid a link. Black Country side West Bromwich Albion are another possible partner, expecially if they continue to push for promotion from Division One.