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Saturday, November 30, 2002

Ben Smith helped

Steve Guinan, whose hat-trick helped Hereford to their 4-0 win this afternoon, spoke to BBC Hereford and Worcester after the game.

"I'm delighted, the ball landed in the right place at the right time." he said. "I know we have been unlucky recently but there was always going to be a team on the end of a thumping and once the first goal went in today I think we knew they could be the tea.m"

He thought that Ben Smith starting today had helped. "We just clicked and I am looking forward to playing with him for the rest of the season."

Talking about the next few weeks he felt it was a pity there was no game next Saturday. "We want the next game to come as soon as possible, two weeks is a bit long for us".

"We got murdered," said Barnet boss Peter Shreeves in a blunt but realistic interview. "There was not a lot for us to take out of that game, but on that form Hereford were as good a team as we've played for sometime."

Guinan gets hat-trick
Hereford United remembered how to score goals as they defeated Barnet 4-0 this afternoon. Steve Guinan got a hat-trick with Ben Smith getting the other.
Four goals get United going
Hereford United 4 - 0 Barnet
It's been a long time coming, but Hereford United gained their first league win in seven and they did it in style.

Barnet were the visitors at Edgar Street, and were duly overturned by a five-star United performance which included a hatrick from attacker Steve Guinan.

Manager Graham Turner made a bold move before the game. reverting to a 4-4-2 formation and dropping captain Ian Wright in the process. Danny Williams missed out with a knee injury, allowing Ben Smith to make his first start in United colours and John Grant to push into attack, leaving Paul Parry free on the left wing.

Barnet, managed by former Tottenham Hotspur Peter Shreeves, were two places above Hereford in the league but tonight lie below Hereford on goal difference.

It took just four minutes for Hereford to break the deadlock as Paul Parry fired a cross in front of defender Craig Pope over from the left for Guinan to head home at the near post.

The away side had few efforts, as Greg Heald headed over a corner from Mark Gower, and Ben Strevens also missed the target on another occasion. Paul Parry, at the other end on twenty four minutes, knocked over another cross from the left for Ben Smith to smash home from twelve yards to double the Hereford advantage.

Seven minutes later, it was 3-0. A John Grant shot was deflected over, and from the corner, taken by Mick Galloway, was headed down on the far post six yards out by Guinan.

After the break, Barnet made three changes in quick succession to stimulate some life into their team, but to no avail. Junior Agogo tested United stopper Matt Baker with a couple of chances by Hereford were brimming with confidence. It came as no surprise when Guinan headed home another Parry cross for the fourth on sixty four minutes, in what was a near replica of the first goal.

From then on, United continued to pressurise. Parry tested goalkeeper Danny Naisbitt, Michael Rose tried his luck from long range and, in the last minute, Ben Strevens' shot for a Barnet goal was stopped easily by Baker.

The change to 4-4-2 appeared to work well for United, as Parry was free to run the left flank and create three of Hereford's four goals. Everyone played well, to the extent that Barnet boss Shreeves labelled Tony James as the best defender in the Conference. Guinan's hatrick makes him top scorer this season with six goals, which really outlines Hereford's scoring difficultues.

There was no problem this afternoon though, as a first class performance swept aside Barnet.
Written by Terry Goodwin - 30th November 2002.
Hereford United Barnet
Matt Baker Danny Naisbitt
Matt Clarke Craig Pope (off, half time)
Michael Rose Michael Price
Andrew Tretton Lee Pluck
Tony James (captain) Greg Heald (captain)
Ben Smith Mark Gower
Jamie Pitman Ismail Yakubu
Mick Galloway John Doolan (off, half time)
Steve Guinan Frazer Toms (off, 54 minutes)
John Grant (off, 72 minutes) Ben Strevens
Paul Parry Junior Agogo
Subs Subs
Rob Sawyers Lee Harrison
Ken Griffiths Wayne Purser (on, half time)
Rob Purdie (on, 72 minutes) Lee Flynn (on, half time)
Richard Teesdale Jason Soloman
Ian Wright Neil Midgley (on, 54 minutes)
Yellow cards Yellow cards
  Lee Flynn (foul, 46 minutes)
- Frazer Toms (dissent, 53 minutes)
  Lee Pluck (foul, 85 minutes)
Red cards Red cards
- -
Scorers Scorers
Steve Guinan (4, 31, 64 minutes) -
Ben Smith (24 minutes)  
Man of the Match Paul Parry
Attendance 1471
Referee Mr. S. Brand (Wirral)

Friday, November 29, 2002

Sending off decision changed

More has emerged about last Saturday's sending off of Andy Tretton. As reported earlier the decision has been changed.

Graham Turner, the United manager, told BBC Hereford and Worcester the details.

"It was an amazing situation. It was as good a tackle as you could wish to see from a defender. He took the ball as cleanly as anything. After the match their player came to our dressing room and said that it was not a foul and he would testify if need be. The referee to my surprise indicated that he did not think it was a foul but on the evidence of what the linesman had told him felt he had no option than to send Andy Tretton off.

"We had by Wednesday close of business to get all the details to the FA. including the video. With the help of Dagenham we did this and we have been informed that the whole thing has now been rescinded. So Tretton will not face suspension.

"It is unfortunate that we played for thirty minutes with ten men. There is no justice in that but sometimes in the game these things happen and you have got to get over it.

"His record is absolutely clean as far as the incident at Dagenham is concerned."

Fun with red cards

In three weeks time, BOLSA will be running the first of 5 competition days for the Early Bath sweepstakes.

The matches on the weekend of 21 December will provide the opportunity to win £100. If you have the team that includes the first player to be sent off that weekend based on minutes after kick-off as listed by the BBC website then you are the winner. Teams are taken from the English and Scottish leagues as well as the Conference. The competition will involve all Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday games. Email us at to reserve your team.

Payment can then be sent separately to BOLSA c/o MWPC, 98 Widemarsh Street, Hereford, HR4 9PG or using the secure payment option on Cost of entry is £2 per single weekend for a team or £10 to reserve a team for all five gamedays.

Red card decision thrown out

Andy Tretton will not be banned after his sending off at Dagenham & Redbridge last Saturday.

The Hereford United defender has had his red card overturned after an appeal to the FA, and he will play in tomorrow's game at home against Barnet, kick off 3pm.

However, Danny Williams and Matt Clarke are both doubts with leg injuries but United boss Graham Turner is asking fans to be patient.

He told the Evening News: "The league table changes rapidly as we have found with our bad run of results but if we can string a few wins together then the reverse can happen. However there is no room for anxiety about our position and that is something we won't contemplate."

"It is vital we start getting results again," he continued. "You can't always blame luck we need better finishing, to be more alert in the box to pick up ricochets and rebounds. We have not been playing badly performance wise but have not been getting results and just need a little more self belief and that is important with a young squad because the confidence can start to go."

"The impression I have of Barnet is that they like to get the ball down and play. In the Conference there is a stark contrast in styles of play and last week against Dagenham it was a real tough battering ram -- they launched it forward at every opportunity - but Barnet will be a different proposition."

Barnet goalkeeper Lee Harrison will play despite going out on-loan to Peterborough United, as the move has been delayed for two weeks.

Conference aims for Board place

Nationwide Conference chief executive John Moules says the league has 'earned the right' to be part of any proposals for a Professional Game Board that may be established involving the Premier and Football Leagues.

Premiership officials are still in negotiation with the Football Association over a governing board in England, which would end the FA's complete power over the game and forced Adam Crozier's resignations.

"We feel the Conference should be part of any Game Board that is established in light of the great strides that have been gained in recent years," said Moules. "All 22 clubs now have full-time administration, and full-time commerical serives. Ground development has been undertaken at a number of clubs and ten clubs are now full-time in terms of playing staff."

"Seventy per cent of players are also on full-time contracts, which speaks volumes, as five or six years ago this figure was considerably less.

"The Conference has earned the right to be included in the proposals, after what has been a staggering transformation in professional infrastructure of all our clubs nationwide."

Meanwhile, the FA Trophy final will be played at Villa Park. The game, proposed for Saturday, 18th May 2003, was won by Yeovil Town last year.

Villa chairman Doug Ellis told the club's official website: "I am delighted that, once again, Villa Park has been selected as the venue for this most prestigious tournament.

"The FA Trophy is the flagship knockout tournament for non-league clubs and is always a memorable competition for those involved throughout the season.

"It is a tremendous honour for us to be staging the final yet again and I look forward to welcoming the finalists to the Midlands in May next year."

Furthermore, Hereford United are thought to be in talks with Burton Albion about moving the Conference fixture at Edgar Street forward to next Saturday, 7th December.

The game is currently set for Saturday, 5th April 2003, on the day of the FA Trophy semi-final first leg.

Wiggin sets the record straight

After publication of our article about the Bill required to move Hereford's livestock market, Leominster MP Bill Wiggin, whose constituency borders Hereford, spoke to

He was keen to set the record straight about his position re the market and Hereford United.

"I am a keen supporter of the football club and am deeply scepital about ideas that developing the site would in any way help the debts of the club. If there our funds available why has the council not them available, why have they not made available any planning permission application so that we can all judge for ourselves?

"The truth is that developing the cattle market for more council offices would do little for the county except increased traffic congestion.

"What the Lib-Dem council must do is tell us where the market is going,tell us who is going to develope the site, and tell us how the football club will benefit."

Mr Wiggin said that the Bill to move the market will probably go to the House of Lords and a decision might take at least twelve months.

He will be campaigning in Hereford tomorrow and, if time allows, is hoping to see the game against Barnet.

Williams missing for Barnet clash

Hereford United have an injury doubt over midfielder Danny Williams ahead of tomorrow's Nationwide Conference clash against Barnet, kick off 3pm.

The ex-Chesterfield man has not fully recovered from a tendon strain picked up in last weekend's defeat at Dagenham, so Ben Smith could start his first league match for United.

Barnet, managed by Peter Shreeves, hve Mark Arber available despite a dispute over his future at Underhill, which is now in the hands of the FA. Attacker Wayne Purser could return, but Lee Flynn and Danny Brown will miss the match.

If you haven't already, send your predictions to the Prediction League through the 'Intercative!' button on the left menu.

Thursday, November 28, 2002

MPs split over market move

An application 'to enable the relocation of Hereford Market outside the current city boundaries' is being made to Parliament by the County of Herefordshire District Council.

The Bill should be heard in the current session of Parliament and any objections may be made by depositing a petition against it by late January or early February depending on whether the Bill is heard in the House of Commons or Lords.

The two county MPs appear to have differing views about the Bill.

According to the Hereford Times, Leominster MP Bill Wiggin says he will oppose the move whilst Hereford MP Paul Keetch will sponsor the Bill which will allow the market to be sited outside Hereford.

Mr Wiggin suggests that the council want to sell off 'the inherited assets of the county' as they are desperate for money.

Terry James, council leader, has referred to Mr Wiggin's remarks as rubbish.

Paul Keetch says that the move of the market would allow improved facilities to come to Hereford as well as saving the Hereford United ground.

The debate as to whether Hereford even needs a new livestock market is ongoing. Since foot and mouth, use has decreased and the auctioneers are believed to be losing money.

Part of the market has been dismantled and is to be sold at auction next Wednesday.

Former director of Hereford Market Auctioneers, Terry Court, told that he did not expect a new market to be viable.

Upturn in fortunes required

The return of John Grant will be a crucial factor if the Bulls are to bolster their ailing league form, according to coach Richard O'Kelly.

Speaking to the Hereford Times, he said: "The return of Grant is like a new signing for us. He was playing well before his injury in September and before Saturday's match at Dagenham we had only lost once when he was involved."

Ben Smith's return brought 'brightness, imagination and composure on the ball,' according to O'Kelly.

Hereford United have picked up one league point in their last six matches and need to get back on track at Edgar Street on Saturday against Barnet, kick off 3pm.

The North Londoners are two places above United in eighth and have the Conference top scorer in their team. Junior Agogo has netted thirteen goals already this season in Peter Shreeves' side, who have won three of their nine away matches so far this season.

Hereford's O'Kelly continued: "Morale in the camp is still very good but the players realise they have to pull their fingers out on Saturday because the most important thing is to get results."

Tournament to go ahead

The Unibond Four Nations Semi-Professional International Tournament could be set to go ahead as planned.

Concerns were expressed by the FAW, who are set to host the competition next May, over funding but a deal with the English FA will see expenses such as accommodation and transport paid for by England.

The Welsh association hope to agree similar deals with their Scottish and Irish counterparts, as well as the Dutch and Northern Irish officials should they enter the competition.

United appeal over Tretton

Hereford United will appeal over Andy Tretton's sending-off at Dagenham & Redbridge last Saturday, report the Hereford Times.

The former Shrewsbury Town defender was dismissed in a controversial decision on the hour mark for a foul on Junior McDougald.

Elsewhere, United's Boxing Day match at Telford United will now kick off at 1pm.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Margate game postponed

As a result of Margate defeating Leyton Orient 1-0 in tonight's FA Cup first round replay, the Conference game between Hereford United and Margate which was to be played on December 7th at Dover will be rearranged.

Search for new striker

Hereford United are searching for a new striker to solve their goalscoring problems.

The Bulls haven't scored in their last four league matches and their last Conference goal came over a month ago in the 1-1 draw against Halifax Town. United are bottom of the form table based on the last six matches.

Graham Turner confirmed that he is looking for a new attacker but is expecting a very hard task - finding a scorer who costs little in terms of wages and available for a free transfer.

Monday, November 25, 2002

Watching the card count

A wrong move in Hereford United's upcoming matches could see any one of three players facing a ban.

Steve Guinan, Danny Williams and Michael Rose all have four yellow cards to their name, and a fifth results in an automatic one match suspension two weeks after the 'target' is reached.

Only Jamie Pitman has been banned so far this season for the Bulls who picked up their first red card at Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday when Andy Tretton was dismissed in the 1-0 defeat.

However, Dagenham attacker Junior McDougald said that Tretton won the ball fairly from him in the incident that saw the ex-Shrewsbury man sent off, and United hope to get the decision overturned. The referee confirmed that he had to support the verdict of the his assistant as he didn't get a clear view of the incident.

Saturday sees the Bulls host Barnet, a side which has strong connections with Hereford. The two have been rivals since the Southern League days, and Rob Sawyers will be hoping to feature against his former club despite only having played a handful of matches since his summer move.

Sunday, November 24, 2002

Sending off disputed

After yesterday's 1-0 defeat at Dagenham & Redbridge, much of the talk was whether the sending off of Hereford United's Andy Tretton was justified.

Ben Smith told BBC Hereford and Worcester: "It looked to me that he (Tretton) had won the ball. It was a very debatable decision."

Garry Hill, the Daggers manager agreed, saying: "I felt the sending-off of Tretton was very harsh."

From behind the far goal, it looked as though the referee was prepared to give a free kick and only changed his mind after consulting with his assistant.

Also, from the press area the reporter for the Non-League Paper wrote: "the official judged Tretton to be the last man in defence and brandished what seemed to be a rather harsh red card."

It appeared that the referee first spoke to Michael Rose to further confuse matters.

It is understood that Junior McDougald, the Daggers striker at the centre of the incident, said that Tretton didn't touch him and that the referee may be willing to review the decision.

On the game itself Garry Hill continued: "When Hereford went down to ten men they certainly raised their game.How this game finished 1-0 I don't know."

Ben Smith thought that Hereford had had a lot of chances but "we are not putting the ball in the back of the net."

On a brighter Smith said that he was pleased with his performance after his long layoff. "Medically, I'm fine," Smith continued, and he hopes to be selected to start in next Saturday's game against Barnet at Edgar Street.

Leaderboard changes now online

The Prediction League has been updated, and is now accessible through the 'Interactive!' menu.

After the Dagenham game, Swindon Whites remains in pole position in the monthly league, whilst the Cheesy still leads the overall league.

Saturday, November 23, 2002

United slump to another defeat
Hereford United went down to a 1-0 defeat today at the hands of Dagenham & Redbridge.

United found themselves behind midway through the first half with Steve West getting the goal. In the second half things got worse for the Bulls when defender Andy Tretton got sent off. However, the Whites seemed to play better after going a man down and were unlucky not to get something from the game.
West goal seals Daggers revenge
Dagenham & Redbridge 1 - 0 Hereford United
Garry Hill's Dagenham gainbed revenge on Hereford United for last month's 2-1 defeat at Edgar Street by beating the Bulls 1-0 in a close encounter at Victoria Road.

The Whites recalled captain Ian Wright to the starting line-up after last Saturday's 1-0 FA Cup defeat against Wigan as Chukki Eribenne's loan spell ended. He returned to Bournemouth, and Paul Parry partnered Steve Guinan in attack.

Both sides played good, attacking football in the first half and there was very little to choose between the two. United's best opening came after ten minutes when Paul Parry's shot was blocked in a goalmouth scramble and knocked behind. At the other end, Mark Janney did well before Danny Hill fired wide of Matt Baker's goal.

It was a well--known story for United, they dominated the game in terms of chances and attacking play but failed to find that killer touch in front of goal.

As it was, goals were at a premium. Just one divided the sides, and that came on thirty three minutes from Steve West who collected a long ball twenty yards out, volleying it into the top corner. Baker stood no chance as the home side took a slender advantage.

Half time came and Hereford took off Danny Williams for Ben Smith, who had an impressive second period testing ex-Wales internation 'keeper Tony Roberts ten minutes from time. His header from a Mick Galloway corner was saved by the feet of Roberts as United completely dominated with just ten men.

The sending off of Andy Tretton came on fifty nine minutes after the referee and his assistant consulted over a challenge on McDougald which was not at all malicious or worthy of such a punishment.

However, United still attempted to find the equaliser with John Grant, on as a substitute after returning from injury, and Paul Parry both going close in the dying minutes.
Written by Terry Goodwin - 23rd November 2002.
Dagenham & Redbridge Hereford United
Tony Roberts Matt Baker
Mark Smith Matt Clarke (off, 89 minutes)
Mark Janney Michael Rose
Paul Terry Andrew Tretton
Danny Shipp Ian Wright (captain)
Paul Bruce (off, 23 minutes) Tony James
Junior McDougald Jamie Pitman
Danny Hill (off, 66 minutes) Danny Williams (off, half time)
Steve West Steve Guinan (off, 76 minutes)
Lee Matthews (captain) Mick Galloway
Steve Potts Paul Parry
Subs Subs
Paul Gothard Ben Smith (on, half time)
Tim Cole Ken Griffiths
Ashley Vickers (on, 23 minutes) John Grant (on, 76 minutes)
Triston Chambers Rob Purdie (on, 89 minutes)
Mark Rooney (on, 66 minutes) Richard Teesdale
Yellow cards Yellow cards
Danny Shipp (foul, 51 minutes) Ben Smith (foul, 72 minutes)
Red cards Red cards
- Andy Tretton (foul, 59 minutes)
Scorers Scorers
Steve West (32 minutes) -
Man of the Match Paul Parry
Attendance 1444
Referee Mr. N. Appleby

Friday, November 22, 2002

Injury worry for Bulls

Matt Clarke is struggling to make Hereford United's trip to Dagenham & Redbridge tomorrow.

The right-back has a swollen knee which he picked up in last Saturday's FA Cup defeat to Wigan and Graham Turner may have to line-up a replacement.

Jamie Pitman could fit into the position as he has done on another occasion recently, and John Grant is in contention for a place.

No unneccessary changes for match

Neither Hereford United or Dagenham & Redbridge are likely to make unneccessary changes for tomorrow's match at Victoria Road, kick off 3pm.

Dagenham are set to keep faith in the team that eliminated Havant & Waterlooville from the FA Cup last Saturday, with no new injury worries for boss Garry Hill.

United, coming into the game on the back of a poor run, are likely to be unchanged from last week's 1-0 defeat to Wigan Athletic. Skipper Ian Wright could remain on the bench but attacker John Grant could return after injury since Chukki Eribenne's loan spell from Bournemouth has ended.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Striker decision for Turner

Hereford United are back in league action on Saturday as they make the trip to Dagenham & Redbridge in the Nationwide Conference, kick of 3pm.

The Bulls beat Dagenham at Edgar Street in early October but Garry Hill's side are in good form and are just a place behind United in tenth.

Graham Turner, the United boss, told the Hereford Times: "The players did very well against Wigan and should have won the game. But now it's back to the bred and butter of the Conference and it's about repeating the same level of performance that we showed against Wigan."

"The obvious problem is that we have not been scoring goals and perhaps we have the answer already within the squad," he continued. "Ben Smith is fit again, and he can score goals, Grant comes into the reckoning again, and Paul Parry can play up front. Our aim must be to finish in the top five of the division and I have to say that I have not yet seen five teams in the Conference better than us."

Without Chukki Eribenne who has returned to Bournemouth, United will make changes in attack as John Grant is back in training after a cracked fibula but not expected to feature in the Dagenham game. Scott Voice has extended his loan spell with Hinckley United for a second month.

Dagenham could miss Lee Goodwin and Mark Stein, who has a neck injury, but otherwise, have a fully fit squad to pick from.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that Hereford United's away match at Chester City will be played on Friday 20th December instead of Saturday 21st December, kick off 7.45pm.

United aid new community project

A link has been forged between forged between Hereford United an a multi-disabled football team, report BBC Hereford & Worcester.

The side, to be known as 'Hereford United Multi-disabled team', will wear United shirts and be featured in United's 'Bullseye' magazine.

The team, which is currently based at the Royal National College, will also be able to train at Edgar Street towards the end of the season.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

England suffer defeat

The Hereford United defensive duo of Matt Baker and Michael Rose could not prevent England going down to a 3-2 defeat to their Italian counterparts in Cremona.

The National Game XI were defeated by their Italian Serie C counterparts in an exciting game, which saw the home side 3-0 up at the break. Goals from Canvey Island's John Kennedy and Woking defender Jon Boardman gave England hope, but they couldn't find a late equaliser.

Last Team Standing Update

An update from BOLSA's Last Team Standing competition.

Results from the first round: Slough Town (Jamie Griffiths) 1 Harrogate Railway 2, Team Bath (Richard Price) 2 Mansfield Town 4

As the rules were written, Jamie now takes Harrogate Railway and Richard continues with Mansfield Town

Fixtures for the FA Cup 2nd Round are: Harrogate Railway (Jamie Griffiths) v Bristol City, Crewe Alexandra v Mansfield Town (Richard Price)

Games to be played weekend of December 7th.

United two start for England

Both goalkeeper Matt Baker and left-back Michael Rose is in the starting eleven for today's England National Game XI match against Italy's Serie C today, kick off 1.30pm.

The game, being played in Cremona, near Milan, is the first which Rose has started for England since dropping into the Conference eighteen months ago following his release from Manchester United.

He played last season at Chester City before joining Hereford in the summer.

Baker has been at Edgar Street for a couple of years but is starting his first game for England, since the squad is now an under-23 side.

England manager for match, Steve Avory, told "We have five FA Trophy winners, players who started their careers at Manchester United, Reading, Brighton, Crystal Palace, Oldham and QPR and a striker who has fired his side to third in the Conference."

The line-up in full is:
1. Matt Baker - Hereford United
2. Adam Lockwood - Yeovil Town
3. Michael Rose - Hereford United
4. Lee Johnson (Captain) - Yeovil Town
5. Jonathon Boardman - Woking
6. Warren Peyton - Nuneaton Borough
7. John Kennedy - Canvey Island
8. Wayne Purser - Barnet
9. Garry Thompson - Morecambe
10. Ryan Sugden - Chester City
11. Aaron Webster - Burton Albion

12. Dale Anderson - Burton Albion
13. Chris Weale - Yeovil Town
14. Martin Lancaster - Chester City
15. Chris Blackburn - Chester City
16. Darren Way - Yeovil Town

Striker leaves

Attacker Chukki Eribenne has left Hereford United.

The player had been on-loan at Edgar Street from AFC Bournemouth for the past month, but the decision was taken not to extend the deal.

Eribenne scored twice in his loan spell, with both goals coming in the 4-3 defeat to Northampton Town in the LDV Vans Trophy.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Back to the real thing

Following last week's FA Cup match, Hereford United are back in Conference action next Saturday when they travel to Dagenham & Redbridge.

United have won just once in the league, 2-0 at Leigh RMI, since their home match against Dagenham in early October, which finished 2-1. The Bulls haven't won a league match since October 8th and haven't scored a league goal since October 19th.

Dagenham are just two points and two places behind Hereford in the league, with twenty five points from eighteen games.

At the Victoria Ground, terrace prices are £9.00 for adults and £5.00 for concessions.

Monday, November 18, 2002

Hereford rely on load of bull

The following feature article was written by Tony Francis published in today's Daily Telegraph

Pagan ceremonies can be very moving, I just happen to think syrup of figs does a better job. The Bishop of Hereford obviously agrees otherwise he wouldn't have stayed at home on FA Cup day to take his medicine. He was well advised.

You couldn't move for wassailers blessing the apple trees and men with bells on their feet waving hankies at the sunset as though this revolving planet couldn't take care of things by itself.

Even I got roped in - to a pre-Christian ritual called Worshipping the Swede (not that one). Maybe I was carried away by the occasion. Long before Ronnie Radford scored the most televised goal in history to humiliate Newcastle United, Herefordians had turned cup football into a cross between an agricultural show and charter fair.

Bless 'em, they've only got a one-screen cinema in the city and the video shop lists High Noon among its latest releases.

Admittedly Wigan weren't Newcastle even though they did double the average gate. Then again, Hereford United 2002 are only a watery shadow of the swashbuckling side of 1971 when the only direction seemed to be up. Folklore said the River Wye overflowed with tears the day they sank into the Nationwide Conference.

Graham Turner has done his best to hold them together for six years. He bought 10,000 shares to become chairman as well as coach, chaplain and head of paperclips. "That was foolish," he confessed. Turner would leave tomorrow if the right person came up with the right offer. "It's a living but every day I wonder what the hell I'm doing here."

Ten minutes before kick-off I succumbed to paganism. Along with a dozen supporters I found myself kneeling in the Edgar Street mud to pay homage to a root vegetable with these words: "We pray to you, Oh you noble swede to help us in our hour of need."

Then we hoofed it into the Meadow End goal Radford made famous. "Can you believe they actually missed the target one year?" Though I say it myself, I had a good 45 seconds, more or less controlling midfield. The yellow card was just unfortunate.

By now 4,000 country folk were close to hysteria. They'd already been galvanised by Lower Hope Rembrandt, a pedigree Hereford bull paraded around the pitch in ritualistic fashion. There's nothing like a thousand kilos of prime sirloin to banish the memories of foot and mouth.

My mind went back to the Tottenham Cup tie of 1995 when Alan Sugar refused to allow Hereford to parade their bull at White Hart Lane on the grounds that it might run amok. To prove him wrong, Turner and his fellow directors promptly ushered one of Rembrandt's predecessors into the local china shop.

Although several thousands pounds worth of crockery miraculously escaped damage, the poor bewildered beast caused a major civic incident by evacuating its bowels in the Wedgwood section. Make up your own caption.

Oh yes, the match. United's heathen approach had Wigan running around in crop circles for 90 minutes until the Second Division leaders banged home the winning swede at the Derelict End.

Turner hadn't enjoyed himself so much since the VAT bill arrived. The cheque from Sky Television just about covered it. Sadly the profits made no impression on a £1.3 million debt Hereford must repay by next May or suffer the consequences of having the pitch sown with winter barley.

City councillors continue to enthuse about a £300 million regeneration of the whole area, including the stadium, but don't hold your breath. They're still waiting for a magnificent water feature they were promised when the old Town Hall was demolished. That was in 1864.

Sunday, November 17, 2002

Past players in FA Cup glory

It's good to see some ex-Hereford United favourites featuring in the FA Cup yesterday.

Chris Lane's long-range strike for Southport ensured they made the second draw with a 4-2 win over second division Notts County.

John Brough was booked as Cheltenham Town side beat Conference-topping Yeovil Town 2-0, who played Michael McIndoe in midfield.

Former United midfielder Jimmy Harvey, now manager of Morecambe, saw his side pull off a shock 2-1 victory at Chesterfield of Division Two, whilst third division Leyton Orient, who featured Dean Smith in defence, were held to a 1-1 draw by Conference side Margate.

Stafford Rangers, managed by ex-United coach Phil Robinson and including Danny Davidson in the starting eleven, were hopeful of a result at Shrewsbury Town but went down to a 4-0 defeat.

In today's televised FA Cup tie, the BBC's commentator, John Motson, gave Hereford United plenty of references thanks to Forest Green Rovers' links with the club. The Gloucestershire side, who held higher-graded Exeter City to a goalless draw, are managed by Colin Addison and featured former United favourite Neil Grayson as a substitute.

Also, United striker Scott Voice made an impact yesterday during his loan spell at Hinckley United. The Leicestershire-based side drew 2-2 at Bath City as Voice scored twice, the first goal coming courtesy of a Wayne Dyer cross.

Bates reveals non-league shun

Hereford United have been robbed of an additional £100,000 in television money, according to the chairman of Premier League giant Chelsea.

The Non-League Paper report that Ken Bates claims Premiership sides wanted to double the rewards for a televised match in the first and second round of the competition to £200,000, but this was vetoed by former FA chief executive Adam Crozier.

Bates said: "Team Bath, Forest Green and Hereford were all due to receive £100,000, a figure proposed by the Premiership representatives on the FA board. The Premiership proposed further increases this year, but they were blocked by Crozier. Now that he's gone, perhaps we can get that figure increased retrospectively to £200,000."

The money would be extremely important to the Bulls, who have debts of £1.3 million which are to be paid in May 2003.

However, an FA spokesman responded by saying: "Television fees for matches are not agreed by any one individual but by the FA board. The agreed sums for this year could not be changed in the middle of a season."

Saturday, November 16, 2002

Disappointment all round

Hereford United defender Matt Clarke was disappointed with today's 1-0 FA Cup defeat to Wigan Athletic.

"We put everything into the game and had the better chances," he said. "I think the goal was the only chance they had. But we came out of the game with a lot of credit. They are the best team in the second division but we have done well against them."

Mick Galloway backed up Clarke's comments, and also mentioned that the sticking point in his transfer to Hereford was with his old club Carlisle United. The Cumbrians are yet to agree certain matters with the player, but the midfielder has completed talks at Edgar Street.

After the game, Latics boss Paul Jewell was full of praise for the Bulls.

"Hereford will feel aggrieved they have not won," he told "They were a credit to the Conference.

"But we have kept a clean sheet and won the game and to win a game 1-0 away from home you have to be pleased."

This is how the official Wigan Athletic website reported the game:

"A tired looking Latics looked as though they were heading for a replay with Conference club Hereford United, who were unlucky not to score twice themselves. However, Scott Green scored with just two minutes of time remaining to take Jewell's men into the Second Round. It was cruel for the Conference side, who were generally the better side on the day, and can count themselves unlucky not to have made another FA scalp."

Meanwhile, United drop to ninth in the Conference after Barnet's 4-0 win over Leigh RMI sees them jump into eighth on goal difference.

United feel Green as Wigan go through
Hereford United undeservedly went out of the FA Cup today, going down 1-0 to Wigan Athletic.

The second division leaders scored a last minute goal through Scott Green to progress, after United's Matt Clarke had had a goal disallowed and Paul Parry struck the woodwork.
Latics rob United of replay
Hereford United 0 - 1 Wigan Athletic
A last minute goal from Scott Green robbed Hereford United on an FA Cup replay as Wigan Athletic won the first round clash by a single goal.

Goalkeeper Matt Baker stood no chance as Green picked up the ball inside the box before turning to volley home from fourteen yards.

The match saw a carnival-style build-up as Hereford paraded a real-life bull, worshipped the swede and sung a fans favourite - Danny Lee's Hereford United song.

However, despite scoring the swede, which is a good omen for United according to their more superstituous fans, the Bulls came unstuck in the last minute after having the upper hand for a long period.

Graham Turner made the surprise decision of dropping skipper Ian Wright for the match and reverting to a 4-4-2 formation, with Jamie Pitman returning on the right of midfield after suspension.

The move appeared the pay off as Hereford had the best chances in the first half, and were unlucky not to be in the lead after just ten minutes when Matt Clarke fired home from close range. As the fans celebrated, a late flag from the linesman ruled the effort offside.

Baker had little to do in the opening period, and United had another superb opportunity to open the scoring on thirty two minutes. Paul Parry connected onto a through ball but smashed his effort onto the post. The ball rebounded out but was eventually hooked behind for a corner as Wigan struggled to deal with United's fast-paced attacking.

Nathan Ellington and Tony Dinning both missed the target with efforts early in the second period, but it soon became clear that the second division leaders looked the more likely to find the winner as the half progressed. Baker was forced to make an agile save from a Neil Roberts quick-fire shot on the hour, and at the other end Mick Galloway tested Australian stopper John Filan with a header.

Then the killer goal came in the last minute, ending Hereford dreams of a replay and an FA Cup run for this year at least. Slightly disappointing was the 315 away following in a crowd of 4005, but United have raised some £120,000 through prize and TV money alone in this year's competition.
Written by Terry Goodwin - 16th November 2002.
Hereford United Wigan Athletic
Matt Baker John Filan
Matt Clarke Nicky Eaden
Michael Rose Jason De Vos (captain)
Andrew Tretton Leighton Baines (off, 75 minutes)
Jamie Pitman (off, 90 minutes) Matt Jackson
Tony James Peter Kennedy
Paul Parry Tony Dinning
Danny Williams Jason Jarrett
Steve Guinan Scott Green
Mick Galloway Neil Roberts
Chukki Eribenne Nathan Ellington
Subs Subs
Richard Teesdale Paul Mitchell
Ken Griffiths Dave Beasant
Rob Purdie Mike Flynn (on, 75 minutes)
Ian Wright (on, 90 minutes) Gary Teale
Ben Smith Iain Breckin
Yellow cards Yellow cards
Paul Parry (foul, 25 minutes) Leighton Baines (foul, 41 minutes)
Steve Guinan (foul, 56 minutes)  
Red cards Red cards
- -
Scorers Scorers
- Scott Green (89 minutes)
Man of the Match Mick Galloway
Attendance 4005
Referee Mr. P. Danson

The day has arrived...

It's Hereford United vs Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup first round today, and you need to make sure you keep up with the action.

You can watch the match live on Sky Sports 2, or listen to updates on BBC Hereford & Worcester.

Kick-off is at 5.35pm, and will bring you a full review, with reports and comments, after the final whistle.

Friday, November 15, 2002

Latest Odds

Skybet have revised their latest odds for tomorrow's game.

9-2 Hereford Win
12-5 Draw
4-7 Wigan Win

William Hill are quoting:
4-1 Hereford Win
23-10 Draw
8-13 Wigan Win

Good Occasions

Graham Turner told BBC Hereford & Worcester that the team is looking forward to the live television coverage.

"Generally we have done quite well when we have been on live television. They are good occasions, they create a lot of interest, and there is a bit of a buzz about the place."

He said that he had watched Wigan three times recently."They are a difficult side to play against as Manchester City found out.

"I just feel that if we can get some inspired performances as we did against Wrexham last year, we are capable of causing another cup upset."

Only Grant missing for big match

Hereford United have only attacker John Grant missing for tomorrow's FA Cup match against Wigan Athletic at Edgar Street, kick off 5.35pm.

The televised first round match is United's biggest of the season, and Grant misses out with a broken leg picked up almost two months ago.

Ben Smith, the former Arsenal midfielder, could feature once again afte rmaking his debut in last Saturday's game against Southport.

United have won just once in their last seven games but that has not hampered the confidence of skipper Ian Wright. The FA Cup has a special place in the calendar and United are one of those clubs who relish the situation.

"We're getting quite used to it after last year and the hype is certainly there because of Sky and it just adds to the occasion," Wright said. "The FA Cup has always been special and for a lot of teams it is the chance to play against higher teams and show what you can do but to be honest I don't think there is a great deal of difference between the Second Division and the Conference."

Recent matches have been disappointing but Wright is still confident, continuing: "The results haven't been good but performance wise we have been playing quite well. Things have just gone against us and we just need a change of luck. Wigan are doing well and I've seen them a few times on television but they are beatable - we don't have anything to fear.

"We can't wait to get into action, we're raring to go and it should be an exciting contest."

Wigan will miss Jason De Vos (thigh) and Lee McCulloch (ankle), and manager Paul Jewell said: "We want to win, but it will be a tough game. We have to match them physically and, hopefully, our ability will then be able to come through.

"We can rest assured that Hereford will be right up for the game. We have had them watched and we are paying them all the respect we can. But I tend not to focus on the opposition, it's about our performance on the day."

Turner hopeful

Graham Turner says Hereford United are looking forward to tomorrows clash with Wigan Athletic.

"We have had our problems in the league over recent games and we can put all that behind us and face Wigan, a very good side, top of their division and going extremely well.," he said. "But for us it is a big challenge, it's an opportunity to further enhance the reputation of the club as giant-killers.

"It's going to be far from easy but it's just a game that we can look forward to. There is no pressure on us.

"Generally we have done quite well when we have been on live television. They are good occasions, they create a lot of interest, there is a bit of buzz about the place.

"We have got everybody available except John Grant.

He said that he had watched Wigan three times recently." They are a difficult side to play against as Manchester City found out.

"I just feel that if we can get some inspired performances as we did against Wrexham last year, we are capable of causing another cup upset

Thursday, November 14, 2002

Draw on Sunday

Should Hereford United not be defeated in Saturday's game against Wigan, they will feature in the second round FA Cup draw.

Set to be made by Dave Beasant, the current Wigan second-choice goalkeeper, and former Manchester City boss Alan Ball, the draw will be televised from Soho Square by BBC1 at 3pm after Sunday's FA Cup match between Forest Green Rovers and Exeter City.

Sky Sports and BBC Radio 5 Live will also cover the draw as it happens.

Should United be entered, they will be ball 23 out of 40, and second round games will be played on the weekend of the Saturday, 7th December.

Take the plunge

Do you fancy a flutter on Saturday's FA Cup match? are offering various odds on the Hereford United vs Wigan Athletic match including first goalscorer, last goalscorer and various goal combinations.

If Hereford win 4-0 (100/1) and Andy Tretton gets the first goal (50/1), you could be in the money! Click here for more details.

Lilleshall trip for United cup hopefuls

There's no doubt Hereford United are taking the FA Cup seriously, to the extent that boss Graham Turner has decided to take his squad on a morale-boosting trip to the FA's Lilleshall Centre to prepare for the game.

The Bulls only just managed to scrape through against Arlesey Town in the fourth qualifying round, securing a 1-0 victory, but United have a good record in the first round in recent years.

Once they have reached the competition proper, which has tended to cause one or two difficulties over the past few seasons, United generally do quite well. They beat Wrexham last season, York City in 1999/2000 and Brighton & Hove Albion in 1997/98 since relegation to the Conference. All three Football League teams were overcome by a single goal.

Wigan and Hereford have only met once before in the FA Cup. That match came in December 1953, when Wigan won 4-1 at their old home, Springfield Park, in front of a record crowd for a non-league match outside of the major cup finals. Some 27,526 turned up for the game, but a bruising defeat to the Lancashire Combination side sent United home unhappy.

The Hereford Times reports that a special train was put on for some of the 1500 United fans who made the trip to Lancashire, and not one of the 4200 bottles of beer loaded onto the train at the start of the journey was left when it returned to Hereford station!

Bulls ready for carnival atmosphere

Hereford United are aware of this size of the task when they host Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup first round on Saturday, kick off 5.35pm.

Wigan lie top of the second division and are over fifty places above Hereford in the English pyramid, but that will not put off United in the game televised by Sky Sports.

Hereford boss Graham Turner told the Hereford Times: "We know that Wigan are well organised and work hard, and they are not at the top of the Second Division by accident. But it's a cup tie and, if Wigan play below their best and we play out of our skins, there may be a chance of an upset.

"The atmosphere has not been too good at Edgar Street of late but we are the underdogs and the crowd always appreciates this and, hopefully, they will get fully behind us," he continued "I can't say that we can go out there with nothing to lose, because if you lose in the FA Cup it is always a painful experience, whoever it's against. But the players can go out and give it their best shot."

In Hereford's biggest match of the season, the build-up will include a swede worship and parade of a bull - not Billy and Benny but a full-sized real-life one!

United captain Ian Wright is also eager for some good luck in the match. "Too many times this season, the luck has gone against us. We are definitely owed some luck," he said.

Wright scored the winner in last season's first round game, when Hereford beat second division Wrexham 1-0 in front of the BBC television cameras.

The ex-Hull City defender will form a crucial part of the defence in a squad without attacker John Grant. However, there are no other injury worries for the Bulls.

Wigan went out of the LDV Vans Trophy to United's Conference rivals Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday evening and lost their sixteen match unbeaten run. Boss Paul Jewell was eager not to over-hype his side.

"We can rest assured that Hereford will be right up for the game on Saturday," he commented. "We have had them watched and we are paying them all the respect we can. But I tend not to focus on the opposition, it's about our performance on the day."

United fans will be able to see FA Cup hero Ricky George if they watch the game on television. Unlike the BBC, Sky will not be bringing their studio to Edgar Street. There will also be a total crew of fifty covering the game both at the ground and in the West London studio, whilst six cameras, four trucks and twenty five kilometres of cable will be used. George will be part of the Sky Sports team, along with Rob Hawthorne and Brian Little, covering the match for which both sides will receive £100,000. The winner also picks up a £20,000 prize. Any replay will be a week on Tuesday, November 26th, at Wigan's JJB Stadium.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Jewell defiant after Wigan crash out

After Wigan Athletic's 1-0 defeat against Doncaster Rovers in the LDV Vans Trophy last night, manager Paul Jewell is adamant that his side will not repeat the performance and lose to another Conference side when they play Hereford United in the FA Cup first round on Saturday, kick off 5.35pm.

He told the club's official website: "I'm very disappointed, what can I say, we've been very poor tonight, it was like turning the clock back twelve months. The only good thing about it is that we haven't lost any league points. We didn't deal with this game like we did against Manchester City or the last 17 games or so. If you take the foot of the gas, that's what happens."

"It's disappointing because we didn't look like a team tonight, and people have paid money to watch that, but I've got to be careful and not be to hard on them because they deserve credit for going on a good run. It's a lesson we've got to learn tonight, if we go to Hereford and do the same then we'll get beat."

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Anything is possible...

Wigan Athletic have been eliminated from the LDV Vans Trophy, fuelling Hereford United's hopes for an FA Cup upset on Saturday.

The leaders of the second division crashed out of the LDV courtesy of a 1-0 defeat against United's Conference rivals Doncaster Rovers, with Mark Albrighton scoring the goal on sixty seven minutes.

Graham Turner's Hereford side lost 2-0 at Doncaster a couple of weeks ago but will still be eager to overturn the applecart and pull off a shock result.

All set for FA Cup bonanza!

In the build-up to Saturday's big FA Cup first round tie against Wigan Athletic, will focus on Hereford United's chances throughout the week, with odds, team-news and more.

United's second division opponents are in LDV Vans Trophy action tonight whilst the Bulls have a rest. Wigan host Doncaster Rovers in the second round of the competition's northern section, and veteran goalkeeper Dave Beasant will start between the sticks at the JJB Stadium.

The club have confirmed the prices for Saturday's match:
Stands - Adult £10, OAP £7, Children £4
Terrace - Adult £8, OAP / Children £4

Anyone who can't get to the game should watch it live on Sky Sports 1, kick off 5.35pm.

Monday, November 11, 2002

Council confirm United stance

In the Herefordshire Unitary Development Policy, which is publicly available for comments until December, the following confirms their stance over Edgar Street stadium.

"There has been pressure over recent years for the relocation of Hereford United Football Club from its site at Edgar Street on the edge of the city centre to an out of centre site. Such a move would be linked to redevelopment of the Club’s present site. However, the Club’s present location provides a complementary town centre use, assists in improving diversity and widening the choice of experience available within Hereford. The use integrates well with the city centre and is served by both public transport and car park facilities. As landowner, the Council wishes to retain the Club on its present site and the Plan includes no proposals to relocate the Club. Any proposals to redevelop and improve facilities on the present site will be favourably considered, and will be assessed under the overall framework of policy in the Plan."

More details can be found at

Don't forget...

As next weekend's match against Wigan Athletic is a cup match, predictions are NOT being accepted for the Predictions League. The next match is a week on Saturday, when United go to Dagenham & Redbridge.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Swindon pulls away

After the Southport game, Swindon Whites has taken the lead in the monthly league of the Prediction Competition, whilst the prolific Cheesy still leads the overall league. More details under the 'Interactive!' menu.

Age cap angers Conference chiefs

The FA's new 'National Game XI' will only feature players under the age of twenty four due to new regulations, report today's Non-League Paper.

In a bid to improve young players' chances of making the step up to the Football League, an age restriction has been implemented so that former professionals do not compete in the team as a means of gaining final England caps.

The new side will be managed by Steve Avory, of the Charlton Athletic Youth Academy, following the departure of John Owens. He is in the position on a temporary basis.

However, the age restriction has been criticised by several managers, including Nuneaton Borough boss Steve Burr, who sees his twenty-four year old attacker Mark Quayle ruled out, despite having scored twelve Conference goals already this season.

Saturday, November 09, 2002

The lads played well

Michael Rose spoke to BBC Hereford & Worcester after this afternoon's game.

He said that he was "disappointed with the result obviously but I think the lads played well.It's just a case of finishing our chances. Our chances don't seem to be going in for us. I would have said we were the better team today. It could have been game over in the first half."

Asked about the season so far he continued: "I am enjoying the season so far. I've settled in really well."

Talking about next Saturday's FA Cup match he commented "Wigan are doing well in Division Two and the lads are looking forward to it and we start to prepare for it on Monday.The FA Cup is a completely different tournament and we are looking to do as well we can in that."

Graham Turner was in no doubt where the problem about going five conference games without a win lies."We are nowhere near ruthless enough in the opposition penalty area," he told the Non-League Paper. "We worked hard and tried to play in a constructive way but in your good spells you've got to put the ball in the net."

The stats showed that Hereford had nineteen shots at goal whereas Southport only managed five.

Bulls lose again
Hereford United lost at home to Southport 2-0 this afternoon. Both the goals came from poor defending although there was a hint of offside about the second. The Bulls had chances and should have done better in front of goal.

United drop to eighth.

Defensive errors cost United dear
Hereford United 0 - 2 Southport
Ahead of next weekend's FA Cup first round game against Wigan Athletic, Hereford United would have hoped for better things than a 2-0 defeat to fellow play-off contenders Southport.

With Jamie Pitman suspended, Matt Clarke filled in at right-back after returning from a dead leg and Hereford started the better of the two sides, with some nice early touches. Southport also had chances to push forward, but the first real opening came on the half hour mark.

Steve Guinan flicked the ball through to Chukki Eribenne, who slipped in the box before recovering to pass a couple of defenders. He smashed the ball onto the crossbar, which rebounded out and bobbled around the box. Paul Parry picked up the play, firing a low shot goalwards but it was blocked by the defence.

A few minutes later, Eribenne tried his luck from long range. After a promising build-up, the striker on-loan from Bournemouth hit a curling shot just over the top of Kevin Welsby's goalframe.

The Bulls piled on the pressure before the break, but in the second peroiod it all went pear-shaped.

Just six minutes after the restart, a corner was swung in from the far side for Matt Baker to deal with. He dropped the ball, which caused confusion in the United box, and Southport skipper Steve Soley was on hand to tap the ball home.

The half turned into a relatively subdued affair with Michael Rose firing one of Hereford's few chances wide from thirty yards. Port also gave Baker little to do, until the last minute when Peter Thompson made it 2-0 after Baker had parried a Soley shot. The goal had more than a hint of offside to it though, after the away side had broken away from a United set piece.
Written by Terry Goodwin - 9th November 2002.
Hereford United Southport
Matt Baker Kevin Welsby
Matt Clarke Chris Lane
Michael Rose Dean Howell
Andrew Tretton Mark Winstanley
Ian Wright (captain) Barry Jones
Tony James Martin Clark
Paul Parry Steve Pickford
Danny Williams Neil Gibson
Steve Guinan Peter Thompson (off, 90 minutes)
Mick Galloway Steve Whitehalln (off, 67 minutes)
Chukki Eribenne (off, 67 minutes) Steve Soley (captain)
Subs Subs
Rob Sawyers Tony Sullivan (on, 90 minutes)
Ken Griffiths Marc Lloyd-Williams (on, 67 minutes)
Rob Purdie James Connolly
Richard Teesdale Andy Scott
Ben Smith (on, 67 minutes) Steve Dickinson
Yellow cards Yellow cards
Ian Wright (53 minutes, foul) Chris Lane (35 minutes, foul)
Danny Williams (83 minutes, foul) Barry Jones (53 minutes, dissent)
  Neil Gibson (88 minutes, unsporting behaviour)
Red cards Red cards
- -
Scorers Scorers
- Steve Soley (51 minutes)
  Peter Thompson (90 minutes)
Man of the Match Mick Galloway
Attendance 1646
Referee Mr. P. Gibbs

Attacker return imminent

Hereford United's one remaining injury, John Grant, should return to the side in about two weeks time.

The ex-Crewe Alexandra attacker has been out since September 24th with a cracked fibula, but is eager to get back on the pitch.

"Scott Goodwin was pretty fired up and tackled me from behind me after five minutes but I carried on even though it hurt like hell," he told the Evening News. "I'd broken my fibula but I toughed it out because I wanted to show the manager I wasn't faking it. The assistant manager Richard O'Kelly had said `I'm not sure you fancy it because you haven't scored' so I played on just to prove I wasn't."

Missing the first three games through suspension, and then suffering a long-term injury, Grant's start to his Edgar Street career has not been easy.

"For the first four games I hadn't felt my normal self but the two games prior to the injury I was just finding my sharpness so it's been frustrating to sit out the last six weeks.

"I won't be back for the Wigan FA Cup match but I'm hoping to come back for the match after that."

Grant set for imminent return

The one remaining player on the Hereford United injury list could return within the next two weeks.

Attacker John Grant, who has a cracked fibula, has been out since the game at Kettering Town in late September but is recovering well.

He said: "Scott Goodwin was pretty fired up and tackled me from behind me after five minutes but I carried on even though it hurt like hell. I'd broken my fibula but I toughed it out because I wanted to show the manager I wasn't faking it. The assistant manager Richard O'Kelly had said `I'm not sure you fancy it because you haven't scored' so I played on just to prove I wasn't."

After missing the first three games of the season through suspension, and then a long lay-off with injury, Grant hasn't had the best start to his United career.

"For the first four games I hadn't felt my normal self but the two games prior to the injury I was just finding my sharpness so it's been frustrating to sit out the last six weeks. I won't be back for the Wigan FA Cup match but I'm hoping to come back for the match after that."

Friday, November 08, 2002

Form must improve

We desperately need a win tomorrow against Southport, says Graham Turner in an interview with BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"Our home form of late has not been as good as we would have expected and the biggest problem has been putting the ball in the back of the net. More often than not we have been chasing games having allowed the opposition to score first."

"Southport are a good side. We have had them watched, they are very well organised. They could be a real threat this season for a play-off place. The way we are at the moment we look as though we are lacking a little bit of confidence in front of goal but I think one decent victory will put that right."

"Pitman is suspended for the match. Clarke is back fully fit and Ben Smith is available. So the message to the players is if you don't perform against Southport you might not be in the side against Wigan."

"John Grant is the only long-term injury. He should be in full training next week," continued Turner. "We have had a boost for three of the players this week with involvement in the under 23 England squad to play in Italy.Rose and Baker have been selected with Teesdale on stand-by. For them to go out to Italy and be part of an England set-up will be great experience for them."

Straight swap for banned Pitman

Matt Clarke is likely to replace Jamie Pitman in Hereford United's only change for tomorrow's game against Southport, kick off 3pm.

Clarke has recovered from a dead leg and Pitman is suspended to a straight swap at right wing-back position is almost certain.

Turner told the Evening News: "For some of the games we've not played that badly and Doncaster Rovers last week was a case in point," he said. "For the first 10 minutes we played well and should have gone ahead but didn't take our chances.

"Southport are a good side with some experienced players but we need to start picking our game up. Our recent record is one point out of 12 and that's a blip in our season and something that we have to put right."

"We've been playing well but we just need to start putting our chances away," commented Michael Rose. "We've also had some bad refereeing decisions go against as well which has not helped but every team goes through these stages in a season."

Southport will be without Steve Jones (hamstring) and Steve Soley (calf). Northern Ireland international Ian Nolan is also out with an ankle injury for a match manager Phil Wilson sees as part of a play-off race which is already under way. The Sandgrounders chief said: "Hereford are fighting for a play-off place just like ourselves and we need to get a good result against them."

Teesdale missing from England squad

It appears that Richard Teesdale has not been selected in the England under-23 squad after all.

The Hereford United defender was a notable absentee from the squad released today after it was reported yesterday that he was to be included for the trip to Italy.

Instead, he is on standby should players drop out.

The Under-23 England National Game XI (semi-pro international) game will be played Cremona, Italy, on Wednesday, November 20th at 2.30pm.

The squad for the game in Cremona has been selected by caretaker manager Steve Avory, assistant to former manager John Owens who stepped down from the role of manager in the summer after being offered a full-time role coaching at the Liverpool FC Academy, report

After the game in Cremona, The FA will be stepping up their search for a permanent successor to John Owens, with matches arranged against Belgium in Ostend in February 2003 and against Holland in Eindhoven, in March 2003. The person appointed to this part time role, will be expected to have significant experience of managing and coaching, preferably in the Football League or Football Conference.

The squad in full is: Matt Baker (Hereford United), Chris Weale, Adam Lockwood, Lee Johnson and Darren Way (all Yeovil Town), Jonathon Boardman (Woking), Aaron Webster and Dale Anderson (both Burton Albion), John Kennedy (Canvey Island), Warren Peyton (Nuneaton Borough), Michael Rose (Hereford United), Wayne Purser (Barnet), Gary Thompson (Morecambe) Ryan Sugden, Martin Lancaster and Chris Blackburn (all Chester City).

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Three in England squad

Three Hereford United players have been called up to the England squad.

Goalkeeper Matt Baker, central defender Richard Teesdale and wing-back Michael Rose are all in the squad for England semi-professional's under 23 match against Italy.

The move comes just a few days after Adam Crozier, the chief executive of the Football Association who was responsible for financial support for non-league football and the re-branding of the semi-professional team, quit from his post.

Crozier was also an instrumental figure in concreting a second promotion place from the Conference and United boss Graham Turner commended his efforts.

"He has been a good supporter at our level. The distribution of FA Cup pool money has been extremely beneficial and I think Crozier was instrumental in that share-out," he told the Hereford Times.

"I met him with three other chairmen concerning the extra promotion place to the Football League and, at that time, he made all the right noises. Shortly after that meeting and, after years and years of pushing, the extra place arrived."

Turner added: "I have been totally disgusted with the FA's involvement in Wembley but their case for grass-roots football has been very welcome. It's a shame that somebody of Crozier's ability has now left the FA."

United focus on league encounter

With FA Cup fever in the air, Hereford United have a tough task this weekend as they play Southport in the Nationwide Conference.

The fourth-placed seasiders have yet to beat Hereford in the Conference since the two first met in 1997, but United boss Graham Turner wants his side to focus on the task in hand after four games without a win.

He told the Hereford Times: "Southport are a decent side and they won't be far away from a top-five place at the end of the season. And we need to improve our home form because it has been very disappointing."

The Bulls are without midfielder Jamie Pitman, who serves a one-match ban, so changes to the team that lost 2-0 at Doncaster will occur. Ben Smith and Matt Clarke could feature, whilst John Grant will return to training late this week.

Turner continued: "We all realise that the FA Cup match against Wigan is just around the corner, and the thought of playing in front of the television cameras can act as distraction to the players. But the message to the players is that there is competition for places for the Wigan game and to concentrate on the match with Southport."

In the Wigan match, a Hereford bull could be paraded around the pitch, live on Sky Sports. The club expect some 500 Wigan supporters to make the trip from Lancashire.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Galloway stays for another month

Graham Turner has confirmed that Mick Galloway has extended his loan period at Hereford United.

The Carlisle United midfielder is still hoping to cement his move on a permanent basis but Turner told the Evening News: "We expect to sort out another month's loan period today but there are one or two stumbling blocks getting in the way of making him a permanent signing."

"He's had a very good month with us and we are certainly pleased to have him on board for another month."

Sportingbet shares slip

Internet bookmaker has been hit by lower profits and a court case going on in Australia.

Last week they revealed pre-tax losses over the last six months of £3.8m and their shares have fallen from a high of 167.5p last December to 42p yesterday.

The court case involves fraud at an Australian transport business. A former employee is believed to have stolen about £7.5m and to have lost a portion of the amount whilst betting online with The amount contested is understood to be £1.3m.

Commenting on their results, well-known Hereford United supporter and vice-chairman of Mark Blandford said: "Some might view this as a downgrade. Others will say we are still one of the most profitable internet companies in the world."

Monday, November 04, 2002

Race night

The VP Club annual Race Night is this Saturday, 9th November, in the Vice Presidents Club Lounge. Starting 7.30pm, all are welcome, with Tote betting and a free buffet.

Sunday, November 03, 2002

Wanted - a stand-in quizmaster!

Katy and Peter Jaekel have revived the regular pre-match quiz in Legends before each home game where all proceeds goto help Hereford United.

However, they are unable to get to the ground during November and are looking for help to run it for the next few weeks. If you are able to volunteer to keep the quiz going please contact John Perkins at and he will forward your details to them.

New leaders in monthly league

Three players are tied at the top of the monthly Prediction League, but the leader overall is still Cheesy. More under the 'Interactive!' menu.

Donny lucky to win - boss

Doncaster Rovers boss Dave Penney commented that his side were lucky in yesterday's 2-0 win over Hereford.

He told the Non-League Paper: "There were chances at either end and we were lucky to get the breaks at the right time."

The game was Mick Galloway's last in his month-long loan spell from Carlisle United at Hereford, and boss Graham Turner said that he would like to extend the deal.

"Carlisle's financial difficulties mean he is available and he's done a really good job," Turner told the Worcester Evening News.

"He's a quality player and should still be playing in the league, but he's not and I hope we can tie up for at least another month if not a longer period."

Moules dismisses wage cap

The Nationwide Conference will not introduce salary caps, according to the Non-League Paper.

Chief executive John Moules has heard appeals to introduce such a restriction after the Football League revealed that they were considering such a move.

Moules said: "We hold a different view to the Football League and possibly the PFA, because we think wage capping is very alienating."

Saturday, November 02, 2002

Really our fault

Danny Williams was interviewed after this afternoon's game at Doncaster Rovers.

"We started very brightly, we had a few good chances but we were disappointed with the goal. It was really our fault and then the referee gave a bad decision for the penalty. That killed it off really." he said. "We improved our passing a bit (in the second half) but we did not play particually well today. It's a tough place to come but we are disappointed with the result."

Williams was not happy with the referee. "The standard of the refereeing today was shocking. He made some very poor decisions. We are not using it as an excuse but it does not help."

Andy Giddings reporting for Radio Sheffield also criticised the referee, saying: "Ian Wright forced a good save from Andy Warrington but the referee's performance then started to dominate matters as he seemed to blow his whistle at every given opportunity infuriating the home crowd."