Next Game: Slimbridge At Home on Tuesday September 27th at 7:45pm

Tuesday, April 30, 2002

April 2002

April 1st:

HEREFORD United have several injury doubts going into today's match against Woking, kick off 3pm.

For the Nationwide Conference clash, Ian Wright and Ian Rodgerson are likely to face late fitness tests before Graham Turner confirms his starting eleven. New signing Ross Diamond, who was recently released by Birmingham, came on to replace Rodgerson in Hereford's 3-2 defeat at Scarborough and could earn a start if he fails to recover. Goalkeeper Stuart Jones is still out with a hip injury, so Matt Baker continues between the sticks.

Woking boss Geoff Chapple has a clean bill of health, but long-term injury victim Scott Steele is out with pelvic damage. He said: "It's another tough game and you never know what you are going to get from us. Inconsistency has been a problem since I came here."

HEREFORD United 2 - 2 Woking (report by Terry Goodwin)

Another disappointing result for Hereford United at Edgar Street today, as they conceded a third minute injury time goal to share the points against Woking.

If only it was an April fool; no such luck. Hereford have squandered results against several teams, Chester City, Boston United, Nuneaton Borough, and Yeovil Town to name four, in added time and the curse of the last minute goal came back to haunt the Bulls again today.

Hereford were again without goalkeeper Stuart Jones, so Matt Baker continued between the sticks and appears to have regained his position in the first team after missing a couple of games through injury. Matt Clarke replaced Ian Wright in the starting eleven, and Ian Rodgerson missed out so Ross Diamond made his first start in Hereford colours. The changes saw captain Tony James partner coach Phil Robinson in defence, and Gavin Williams continue in attack alongside Paul Parry. Woking named ex-Bull Jamie Pitman in their midfield.

Woking dominated the first half, and should have been several goals ahead at the break. After just nine minutes, Chris Sharpling was second to a ball from Pitman as Hereford's Baker caught the low effort, and the United stopper was called into action again four minutes later when his defence failed to deal with a corner.

Ross Diamond, the former Birmingham City midfielder who has joined the club on non-contract forms, smashed the ball just wide from a corner after fourteen minutes, and he headed another corner at giant Woking goalkeeper Scott Bevan, on loan from Southampton, four minutes later. However, it was Woking who dominated the play. From a Geoff Pitcher corner, Jon Boardman was well placed on the far post to nod a low header into the bottom corner of the net to give Woking the lead.

The away side continued to threaten and Dave Piper crossed for Dominic Reece to head wide, and Warren Patmore missed the target with a close range header on twenty eight minutes. Woking then had the ball in the net are thirty five minutes when a superb Jamie Pitman effort from twenty five yards sailed past Baker. However, the referee disallowed the goal for offside.

In added time at the end of the half, Hereford snatched an equaliser with a well executed move. Paul Parry swung in a cross from the left wing for Matt Clarke to head home on the far post, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance. The Bulls were level, but Woking had good reasons to be disappointed by the half time scoreline.

The second half saw Rob Elmes replace Ross Diamond as Parry dropped back into the Hereford midfield, and the change appeared to revive the Bulls. They were on top for long periods, and Elmes proved his worth jsut three minutes into the half when he headed inches over from a Dean Barrick cross. Geoff Pitcher hit the side netting at the other end in a rare Woking attack, but Parry and Williams both hit narrowly off target as the game progressed.

In the sixty first minute, John Snape swung in a cross from the right corner of the box, and Gavin Williams nodded the ball onto the crossbar. It rebounded back into play and Williams, now on the floor, stuck out his leg to ensure the ball crossed the line, giving Hereford the lead.

Rob Elmes went close again as Hereford searched for a third, but Chris Sharpling threatened Baker as he hit the side netting after sixty four minutes. With twelve minutes left, Paul Parry threaded a low cross towards Gavin Williams, but the Welshman ran a little too far forward so the ball ran behind him. However, this was to be one of Parry's last moves in the game as with five minutes left, referee S. Dorr dismissed him for a second bookable offence. On the day, Dorr's yellow card was seen nine times and his red once, which was a complete over-reaction in a game that was not at all dirty. With two minutes left, Hereford full back Barrick was cautioned, rightly so, for dissent after arguing with the official, but just one of Hereford's five bookings was for a foul.

Woking still searched for a leveller, with substitute Wayne Haughton and attacker Warren Patmore narrowly missing the target. However, two minutes of added time had been played when Geoff Pitcher smashed home a low ball from twenty yards which shot through the defence and past the helpless Baker.

Once again, Hereford gave away two hard-earned points in a lapse of concentration. Let's hope it doesn't turn out to be costly come the end of the season.

Hereford United: Matt Baker, Richard Holmes, Dean Barrick, Phil Robinson, Matt Clarke, Tony James (captain), Scott Goodwin, John Snape, Paul Parry, Gavin Williams, Ross Diamond (off, half time)
Subs: Rob Elmes (on, half time), Lee Evans, Jimmy Quiggin, John Shirley, Jon Hill
Yellow cards: John Snape (foul, 38 minutes), Paul Parry (unsporting behaviour, 51 minutes),Gavin Williams (handball, 56 minutes), Paul Parry (timewasting, 85 minutes), Dean Barrick (dissent, 89 minutes)
Red cards: Paul Parry (two yellow cards, 85 minutes)
Scorers: Matt Clarke (45 minutes), Gavin Williams (62 minutes)
Man of the Match Matt Clarke
Attendance 1,465
Referee Mr. S. Dorr (Worcester)

HEREFORD United will be without both John Snape and Paul Parry for upcoming matches.

Both are expected to be suspended for the match against Dagenham & Redbridge after Snape picked up a fifth yellow card this season today, and Paul Parry was sent off.

Confirmation is expected from the Football Association soon.

Meanwhile, Halifax Town were relegated from Division Three to the Nationwide Conference today after a 5-0 defeat against Darlington. Their fate was sealed as nearest rivals Bristol Rovers beat Kidderminster Harriers 2-1.

Below the Conference, Burton Albion look set to be promoted from the Unibond League, Tamworth have a four point advantage over Kettering Town in the Dr. Martens Premier Division, and Gravesend & Northfleet and Canvey Island are almost level at the top of the Ryman League.

GAVIN Williams, one of the Hereford United scorers in today's Nationwide Conference 2-2 draw against Woking, told of his side's disappoitment at the result.

"We are disappointed," he commented on BBC Hereford & Worcester. "We didn't really start well and they had the best of the first half. We just needed that third goal to kill them off. When it's 2-1 it's always a dodgy scoreline.

"It came in from the right and I got a header onto it," said Williams of his own goal. "It hit the bar and I was on the floor so I got my leg onto it and it was lucky enough to go in."

The referee dished out nine yellows and one red card today. "A lot of the cards were for timewasting and alike and they were really silly decisions," he said. "I thought Paul Parry's sending off was scandalous."

"It was two points dropped today as in the second half, we were in control. We've just got to get a win at Doncaster because we need them as soon as possible. I think Doncaster are third so it will be a tough one up there."

April 2nd:

SEVERAL Hereford United players could be set to play in May's semi-professional home-nations tournament.

The schedule is now confirmed as is as follows:
Tuesday, 14 May
England v Wales, at York Street (Boston United)
Scotland v Republic of Ireland, at Rockingham Road (Kettering Town)

Thursday, 16 May
England v Republic of Ireland, at York Street
Scotland v Wales, at Rockingham Road

Saturday, 18 May
Republic of Ireland v Wales, at York Street
England v Scotland, at Rockingham Road

The FA is currently negotiating for sponsorship of the competition, and Sky has been approached with a view to providing coverage including, it is hoped, the showing of the England v Scotland match live.

Meanwhile, Hereford player-coach Phil Robinson was disappointed at the 'petty' bookings in yesterday's home draw against Woking. He told the Evening News: "Woking hardly looked like scoring a second goal until Parry was sent off for time-wasting and his dismissal for a second yellow card had a huge bearing on the result."

FURTHER to last week's reports, the full press release from Herefordshire Council leader Terry James is published below:

Following the last meeting of Herefordshire Council and the unanimous agreement for the continuing designation of Edgar Street as a football ground, it is now important that we put firmly behind us any suggestion of a major food retail development on the site. We now have to look to the future use of the area that will bring benefit to the Herefordshire community as well as regenerating one of the more run-down parts of Hereford.

Much of what I am proposing for the Edgar Street/Cattle Market site is already in the public domain but it is important that I bring all the elements together as well as give a clear idea of what can and hopefully will happen on the site.

Edgar Street would become a multi-sports and Leisure Centre with the relocation and building of a larger and more modern Leisure Centre, this being incorporated into one end of the development. The other side would be part of a multiplex/cinema development, something long overdue in Hereford. The third stand would be developed to incorporate a separate exhibition/arts and conference area linked to the Courtyard Centre, thereby giving the connection that could link to the building of a new Arts Academy on the Cattle Market site. The final stand of the Edgar Street ground would then be left for development of the hospitality club and social side of Hereford United and this would become the area principally used for commercial activity to help finance the future of the Club.

Because the development would be divided into four elements – two managed by the public sector and a third by the commercial sector - it will then only require 25% of the building to be maintained by the Club itself with the whole ground then being available for other uses like festivals, rallies and large scale events.

The development would become a centre for a number of other sports as well as football, anything from karate to bridge, being a truly multi-sports centre and being in a strategic regeneration zone will give it an extra edge in attracting public funding from a number of sources.

The Council itself would build its own Headquarters on the adjoining area thereby allowing it to dispose of the twenty office buildings it now operates from, using the savings from such a move as well as the capital received from their disposal to finance the development. With the possibility of the Arts Academy being part of the development, a modern hotel, conference facilities, leisure centre, cinema, theatre, sports clubs, arts exhibition centre, cafes and restaurants all within a short distance of each other this will make Hereford the social, leisure and cultural centre of the Marches making Hereford the place to come to and the place to be. Linked to the City Centre this will give support to the commercial heart of Hereford with further retail developments within the City walls.

Already we have received expressions of interest from 22 different development companies interested in working with the Council to develop the area. We are now engaged in the task of deciding which will work with us to give the best deal for Herefordshire.

TERRY JAMES


April 3rd:

THE Hereford United board of directors have released the following statement after Herefordshire Council Leader Terry James outlined his plan for the Edgar Street site.

The statement reads: "The Board of Directors of HUFC are delighted to acknowledge the statement of Cllr Terry James that Herefordshire Council have now confirmed their vision for the future development of Edgar Street, including the Football Club.

"We also note with relief that Herefordshire District Council are soon to start negotiations with Chelverton, the lease owners over the purchase of the leases to the Edgar Street ground.

"We hope these negotiations can start immediately and would urge the parties concerned to resolve this issue as a matter of priority given that the debt of £1 million falls due in 13 months time."

April 4th:

HEREFORD United go into Saturday's game at Doncaster Rovers in the Nationwide Conference without midfielder Scott Goodwin, kick off 3pm.

The hard-tackling Goodwin is suspended for the game and also for next Saturday's trip to Northwich Victoria having collected ten bookings this season. Captain Ian Wright is a doubt for the game after picking up a calf strain in Monday's 2-2 draw with Woking.

The Bulls have been boosted, though, by news that young defender Tony James has signed a new two-year deal with the Edgar Street side. He is likely to captain the side on Saturday and told the Hereford Times: "The club has always been very good to me and I have always felt that I have tried my best for the club."

Likely to play alongside James in defence against Doncaster is Dean Barrick, who has joined Hereford on-loan from the Belle Vue-based club. Despite the move, he confirmed: "I am a Hereford United player at the moment, at least until the end of the season and, if I am picked on Saturday, I will be giving it everything I have got."

Of Monday's last minute equaliser against Woking, he said: "It was a very disappointing finish on Monday but we need to keep going and I think a couple of wins would take us to safety."

Saturday's opponents will be no rollover, said Barrick, with the side lying third in the Conference. "They pass the ball very well and in my opinion they have probably the best squad in the division," he commented. "Basically, Doncaster felt that because they were not pushing for promotion, they would give a few of the younger players an opportunity. But I have been told that I am in their plans for next season."

Meanwhile, striker Gavin Williams has been offered a new contract but wants to talk to the club about it, something which will take place soon. "I have been here for five years now and I will just have to wait and see what happens," he said.

Attacking midfielder Paul Parry, sent off against Woking, will not be banned for Saturday's game but is likely to miss the home match against Northwich.

April 5th:

HEREFORD United go to Doncaster Rovers in the Nationwide Conference tomorrow with several injury doubts, kick off 3pm.

The Bulls will wait on the fitness of coach Phil Robinson (groin), skipper Ian Wright (calf), Ian Rodgerson (hamstring), Scott Goodwin (stomach) and Matt Clarke, but all are likely to start due to a player shortage. Steve Piearce is still absent with an ankle injury. are among those with niggling injuries but who will be expected to soldier on.

"We are carrying a lot of injuries and hoping they settle down after two difficult matches at the weekend but the situation at the moment is that we have got to get out there and play through the pain barrier," said Robinson in tonight's Evening News. "It's very tight at the bottom and a good result against Doncaster, who are one of the form teams, will certainly help our cause."

"It's changing all the time and with the bottom clubs continuing to win we have to keep going until we are mathematically safe," he said. "What has not helped us is that all the teams below us have picked up their results to close the gap and a number of teams, including us, have dragged down into trouble."

"It is a case of getting results - that is the most important thing, whether it is by playing good football or just grinding out results it doesn't matter - whatever it takes," he said.

Doncaster boss David Penney will be without his entire first-choice midfield, as Francis Tierney (ankle ligaments), Jimmy Kelly (foot), Gareth Owen (ankle) and Jamie Paterson (knee) were all injured in last Saturday's 2-0 win over Chester. The quartet are joined on the sidelines by suspended pair Ben Futcher and Justin Jackson.

April 6th:

HEREFORD United coach Phil Robinson expects to keep on playing for another two years, but has his mind focused on today's crucial match.

The Bulls go to Doncaster Rovers in the Nationwide Conference with a threat of relegation hanging over them and 'Robbo' told the Evening News: "In this sort of situation when things are going wrong you need 11 captains out on the pitch and we all need to get the best out of each other."

On his playing career, he commented: "I would sooner be out there adding my experience to the team. It is hard when things are not going well and if somebody makes a mistake I get the blame the same as if I'd made a mistake but I still enjoy it.

"It's a testing time and though it can be tough I enjoy a challenge and would sooner be out in the middle than watching from the sidelines. Anybody who has watched us will know I am still one of the fittest players and I plan to play on for another couple of seasons."

DONCASTER 4 Hereford United 0 (report by Terry Goodwin)

Doncaster Rovers crucified Hereford United at Belle Vue this afternoon as the Yorkshire side emerged 4-0 victors.

Following Doncaster's first goal, lifeless Hereford just got worse and worse and the final scoreline came as no surprise to either set of fans in the crowd of 1,735.

One must feel sorry for the 120 or so travelling Bulls who have supported their side so well this season. Their reward for a six-hour round trip was Hereford's biggest defeat of the season. In fact the result is Hereford's biggest league defeat since January 1997, when the Bulls crashed 5-1 at Scunthorpe United in Division Three.

Graham Turner's side were without captain Ian Wright through injury, and midfielder Scott Goodwin, who was suspended. On the flip side, Doncaster missed striker Justin Jackson and several of their first team midfield. The game started with Hereford making the early running. Rob Elmes ran onto a Paul Parry ball after three minutes before firing a weak shot at the home goalkeeper Andy Warrington before Gavin Williams and Elmes again wasted openings.

After fourteen minutes, the deadlock was broken. Doncaster took the lead, slightly against the run of play, as Paul Barnes, Robert Gill and Paul Green combined before Andy Watson fired home from ten yards with Matt Baker, the Bulls goalkeeper, helpless.

The Bulls responded positively at first, with Richard Holmes sailing over a good cross before a Paul Parry corner had to be punched away after Tony James headed it goalwards. Then the tables turned. Andy Watson smashed the ball at Baker after Robert Gill had skinned a Hereford defender, and the away defence appeared to lose its strength. Gill volleyed inches wide from twenty yards after beating the normally-reliable Tony James, and Doncaster grew in confidence.

The home side were eager to find another goal. After Baker had saved from Barnes on the line after twenty five minutes, the home side doubled their advantage on the half hour. Richard Holmes, on-loan from Notts County, was beaten on the right wing by a Gill through ball, and Andy Watson hit an angled volley over Matt Baker.

Holmes continued to make errors, but he was not the only one in the Hereford side. Nobody had a good game, and therefore no man of the match award was given due to the lacklustre disaster today. Watson fired across goal after beating Holmes on thirty two minutes, before full-back Tim Ryan hit a smashing ball wide from a Paul Green corner four minutes later. Gill aimed to make it 3-0 in added time, but Baker was equal to his effort.

Half time couldn't come quick enough for Hereford, as they proceeded to make a change to liven up their chances. The unimpressive Jimmy Quiggin was removed for youngster Ross Diamond. Unfortunately, Diamond didn't sparkle and was lucky not to have been dismissed for some fairly reckless challenges in the second period.

John Snape cleared a ball off the line as Rovers pressed with a Green shot, and soon after Andy Watson could have scored his hatrick when he linked onto a through ball from Tristan Whitman. Baker was equal to the shot, but could do nothing about Doncaster's third goal after fifty eight minutes. Paul Green swung in a corner from the left which Jamie Squires, unmarked on the back post, cooly headed into the net with limited effort. The simplicity of the goal underlined Hereford's severe defensive frailties.

Paul Barnes headed onto the post as Doncaster searched for a fourth nineteen minutes from time, but the ball rebounded out for Dean Barrick, on loan at Hereford from Doncaster, to head out for a corner. Tim Ryan fired over from twenty five yards just a minute later, as the Bulls made little impression. The home side always looked the more likely to get an additional goal, and it came in added time. The ball was knocked out to Paul Green, who smashed a low shot from twenty five yards into the back of the net to complete the rout.

There was no excuse for Hereford's performance today, and with four games left, points are crucially required to stave off a relegation threat. Woking are twentieth with 42 points, Hereford are fifteenth with 46. If Woking win their game in hand, the Bulls could be just one point above the drop zone.

Times are desparate, and results like this don't help.

Hereford United: Matt Baker, Richard Holmes, Dean Barrick, Phil Robinson, Matt Clarke, Tony James (captain), Jimmy Quiggin (off, half time), John Snape, Rob Elmes, Gavin Williams, Paul Parry
Subs: Ross Diamond (on, half time), Lee Evans, John Shirley, Jon Hill, Chris Rowell
Yellow cards: Dean Barrick (foul, 15 minutes), Ross Diamond (foul, 52 minutes), Rob Elmes (foul, 89 minutes)
Man of the Match: Not awarded
Attendance: 1,735
Referee: Mr. P. Crossley (Bromley)

HEREFORD United coach Phil Robinson outlined the dismay at today's 4-0 defeat at Doncaster Rovers.

Robinson told BBC Hereford & Worcester: "As the games got less, it wasn't one we highlighted to get three points from. The manner of the defeat was most disappointing. We prepared very well, we were confidence of putting up a good performance and started quite well but after they scored we caved in."

Ian Wright, Hereford's solid centre back and team captain, was missing, and Robinson commented: "With such a small squad, if you get an important figure missing you can't fill them."

He said of the performance: "The whole shape of the team disappointed me. People weren't being picked up and when you start having runners coming through, it disrupts the team. We're very down but we've got to keep believing that we're good enough. We're going to train morning to night next week until we get things right, and get into the right frame of mind, the right physical shape and the right organisation to get points from these next three home games."

In upcoming fixtures, the Bulls play Hayes, Northwich and Dagenham at home before going to Stevenage on the last day. As Hayes are struggling in the drop zone, Robinson commented: "It's going to be a tough game. They're used to being down there. We've got to make sure that we don't get frightened of the situation and keep believing in ourselves, and I'm sure we're good enough to get the points.

And of Dagenham: "It would be nice to have picked up points before then. We do have a habit of performing quite well against the higher teams and it would be nice to do that against Dagenham."

April 7th:

THE Nationwide Conference are set to secure a new television deal with Sky Sports.

The news comes just a week after the Football League hit trouble with ITV Digital over their TV contract, throwing the future of many clubs into doubt.

This season, Sky have televised ten Conference matches live, including two games involving Hereford United (home against Barnet and away at Boston United). Sky have been pleased with viewing figures, and hope to agree a new contract including a weekly highlights and news programme.

It is hoped that the financial reward will improve from the current level of around £5,000 per home team and £3,000 per away team for each match. Crowds have not been affected by the coverage this season which has seen some superb games, including Hereford's 4-3 win at Boston which threw open the title race.

John Moules, the Conference chief executive, told the Non-League Paper: "We've been absolutely delighted with the coverage we've had from Sky this season. Whenever you move kick-off times you are concious about the opinions of the supporters, but every game they've screened has also been very well attended - and that has been very pleasing.

"We are very encouraged for the future. With everything that is going on with football and television at the moment, the relationship between the Conference and Sky is a real good news story. We are working very hard to ensure this close relationship continues and improves in the future."

The FA is negotiating with Sky about a new non-league TV contract to cover this summer's British Non-League Championships and the FA Trophy. Further details on these developments are expected soon.

Meanwhile, no deal has yet been reached between the Football League, Conference and FA over the two-up two-down issue. Parties failed to agree a financial compensation deal for the relegated clubs in time as the Football League focused on its continued troubles with ITV Digital and loss of sponsor Worthington from the League Cup.

FA spokesman Alex Stone said: "We need to wait and see what happens with the League before decisions about the Conference can be made."

It is thought that the FA will offer an annual payment of around £60,000 for the next five years to all clubs in the Third Division to protect them against a loss of league status, according to the Non-League Paper.

April 8th:

WITH just four games left of the Nationwide Conference season, Hereford United have slumped towards the relegation zone after a run of poor results and vitally require points to ensure they don't go down.

The situation should be clearer after tonight's matches which see several of the teams below Hereford in action, and Scarborough also play on Wednesday. Should results go against the Bulls, they could be one point off the drop zone come Saturday morning.

Next weekend, United host one-from-bottom Hayes at Edgar Street who are under new management and look dead and buried. Terry Brown left the Middlesex club last month to join Aldershot of the Ryman League, but Hereford will not be expecting an easy ride. They lost 4-1 at Church Road against then-bottom Hayes back in September in what was Graham Turner's last game as manager. The following Monday, he relinquished control of the first team, handing over complete control to coach Phil Robinson.

However, Turner has returned to aid Robinson with team affairs, taking training once a week. The ex-Wolves boss and current Bulls chairman also runs the team from the touchline when Robinson is playing on the field.

Robinson, though, understands the challenges ahead for his struggling team. Hereford crashed 4-0 at Doncaster on Saturday, a result which was their biggest defeat in the Nationwide Conference since relegation in 1997. He said: "Pressure is obviously mounting on the lads and I think that we played like a team that is feeling the pressure. But we cannot afford to just roll over and die. We have a lot of work to do."

Usually by this time of the season, Hereford are safely a mid-table side and start planning for the following season. Not knowing which league the team will be in makes the task all the more difficult.

TONIGHT's results in the Nationwide Conference have turned out to be of limited damage to Hereford United as they hope to avoid the drop.

Woking's 2-2 draw at Dover Athletic brings the relegation zone a point closer to the Bulls, but now only Scarborough have a game in hand over Hereford and they host Southport on Wednesday night.

Forest Green Rovers lost 2-0 at Morecambe whilst Stalybridge Celtic lost 2-1 at Dagenham & Redbridge, keeping both teams between Hereford and the drop zone.

The Bulls, with four games left, have 46 points and a goal difference of -2, which is better than all of their rivals except for Chester, who are also on -2. Chester City, Forest Green (played 39) and Scarborough are a point behind Hereford, whilst Woking and Stalybridge have 43 points, with Woking jumping out of the drop zone this evening on goal difference. Hayes and Dover, with three games each left to play, are languishing in the relegation zone with 38 points each. Hereford, Chester and Scarborough have three home games left to play, Woking have two, and the rest have just one.

On Saturday, Stalybridge host Woking in a crucial clash at the bottom. If either side picks up three points, and Dover (away at Chester) and/or Hayes (away at Southport) are defeated, they will be relegated from the Conference.

April 9th:

THE second promotion place to the Football League from the Nationwide Conference could be in place for next season.

The Conference is to keep a low profile and let the FA take centre stage for the bid, due to be voted on by Football League chairman in June.

According the confguide.com, regular meetings have taken place between the FL and FA and a financial package is being finalised for the relegated club as a 'parachute' payment.

The Conference chief executive John Moules told the Times: "If the sums being bandied about are accurate, the offer made to clubs dropping from the third division should give them something to focus upon. It should be clearer after the meeting of all the Football League clubs at Maine Road next week whether it will be a matter of rubber-stamping a second promotion place at their annual meeting."

If the plan is rejected, it will effect the whole of non-league football according to Moules. "It’s all tied together," he said. "If it stays at one-up, the clubs have already decided that next season it will be one-down as well. If the Football League grant the extra place, we will be happy to maintain the status quo."

Moules has promised that the Conference will, if it gets an extra promotion place, go back on its plan to only accept one club from the three feeder leagues.

April 11th:

WELSH semi-professional coach Tommi Morgan as confirmed that he is interested in calling up Tony James, Paul Parry and Gavin Williams to his next squad.

The three stars are likely to be part of the squad for next month's Four Nations Tournament between the home nations. The full squad will be announced shortly.

Meanwhile, the Bulls have confirmed that Third Division Swansea City will play United at Edgar Street in the HFA Senior Invitation Cup Final on Tuesday, April 23, kick-off 7.30pm.

EIGHT Hereford United followers were detained following Saturday's 4-0 defeat Doncaster Rovers.

The 'supporters' were arrested for violent disorder at a pub in Doncaster city centre after it was alledged extensive damage was caused, according to the Hereford Times. The South Yorkshire Police force have said that a number of Hereford fans left the ground early and went to the pub. Most of the trouble took place in the town centre a couple of skirmished outside the ground. A heavily pregnant woman was taken to hospital from the pub and treated for shock.

All have been released on bail until June 9th, and anyone with details should call the South Yorkshire Police on 01302 285219.

HEREFORD United should have captain Ian Wright back in the first team for Saturday's crucial match against Northwich Victoria in the Nationwide Conference, kick off 3pm.

If the Bulls win the game at Edgar Street, they could ease relegation fears that have left them just three points above the drop zone. Scarborough won 2-0 against Southport last night, and jumped above Hereford into sixteenth. Wright resumed training after a calf strain left him out of the recent game at Doncaster Rovers, which Hereford lost 4-0, and the 2-2 draw against Woking.

The ex-Hull defender told the Hereford Times: "We are fully aware that we are in a relegation battle and that we only have four league matches remaining. But the situation is in our hands and we are confident that we are going to survive. Everybody is desperate to do well for the club. And if, for instance, we do go a goal down, then we have to roll up our sleeves and fight back.

"Saturday's performance at Doncaster was dreadful, probably the worst this season, and it was a day when nothing went right for us. But we now have to be positive. We know that we can beat anybody in this league, as we have shown at Boston, and I am confident that we will beat both Northwich and Dagenham."

Wright added: "As a player I have never before been involved in a relegation battle, and I don't enjoy watching from the stands. I will be raring to go on Saturday."

United chairman Graham Turner, the director of football, commented: "It was a nervous experience flicking on to teletext on Monday to check the Conference results but fortunately they went our way.

"Since Saturday, there has been a renewed determination to put things right. Wright's return will be a massive boost which should allow Phil Robinson to push into midfield and Gavin Williams to move up front."

Hereford are without midfielder Scott Goodwin, who is suspended for the game, but he will return for Tuesday's match against title favourites Dagenham & Redbridge. Striker Danny Davidson has not been in contact with the Edgar Street club since he was left out of the side against Scarborough, fuelling speculation that he has quit.

April 12th:

HEREFORD United's veteran midfielder Ian Rodgerson is urging his team-mates to play out of their skins against Northwich Victoria tomorrow, kick off 3pm.

The Bulls are now just three points above the drop zone with four games left in the Nationwide Conference and a win at Edgar Street would ease relegation fears.

Rodgerson could return if he overcomes a hamstring injury, and said: "You could see on the players' faces at Doncaster that there was a little bit of acceptance that we were going to get beat. But we need to have strong character on the field of play and really want the ball and first and foremost we need to work really hard for the team.

"Tomorrow is not about Northwich, it is about how we perform on the day and to that end we need to roll up our sleeves and stand up and be counted."

Coach Phil Robinson, who will be without the suspended Scott Goodwin and injured Scott Voice, told the Evening News: "We are still very positive although it wasn't the best we have played by a long way (in the 4-0 defeat at Doncaster) although we did have players like Ian Wright and Scott Goodwin missing and had to play players out of position."

"We've worked hard in training this week but we know we need to pick up points and it's clear to everybody that we are very much caught up in a relegation battle."

Ian Wright will return after injury, allowing Robinson to push back into midfield. "Ian is a very dominant character in the air and that is something that you need both defensively and from an attacking threat at set pieces," said Robinson.

However, Long-term injury victim Scott Voice remains on the sidelines and Paul Parry plays his final game before a one-match suspension after a recent sending off against Woking.

Northwich boss Jimmy Quinn has a major doubt over midfielder Val Owen, who has a hand injury. Quinn hopes he will be fit as Vics aim to build on their 1-0 win at Nuneaton. Quinn said: "I thought it was a tremendous result at Nuneaton and we put in a lot of hard work. Hopefully we can take that on to Hereford."

April 13th:

HEREFORD United's Ian Rodgerson is set to take a physiotherapy degree at Brunel University next September, and has gained much practical experience at Hereford.

Rodgerson, now thirty five, continues to play and manage the injuries on a day to day basis at the club. "It's been great to be involved with a club like Hereford although it hasn't been easy combining playing with physio duties," he told the Evening News. "I'm getting to that stage of career where I'm looking to concentrate on the physio side and I've been offered a place at Brunel which is something I've got to sit down and think about. However I'm still fit and I'd still like to carry on playing."

Following an illustrious career with Cardiff, Birmingham and Sheffield Wednesday, 'Dodge' finds life tough at the moment with Hereford; "money is really tight and that is just a fact of life at the moment," he said. "When we first entered the Conference we did quite well and were always there and thereabouts but this year the standard has not been good enough and we've drawn far too many home games. It has been surprising to find ourselves drawn into the relegation battle but now is the time to roll up our sleeves and get out of trouble."

The youthful squad fill find a relegation scrap harder to deal with that old-timers like Rodgerson, who have experience on their side. "I'm sure some of the younger lads are finding it a bit hard and it is a little unnerving to find yourself in this position and under pressure but you have to be strong enough to deal with it," he added.

HEREFORD United 1 - 0 Northwich Victoria (report by Terry Goodwin)

A solitary Gavin Williams goal pulled Hereford United away from the relegation zone as they earned a deserved three points against Northwich Victoria at Edgar Street.

The Bulls managed to hold on through five minutes of injury time as Northwich were left with ten men following the dismissal of defender Denny Ingram.

Phil Robinson welcomed back Ian Wright into defence and the strength showed as Hereford managed to thwart the attacking efforts of Gregg Blundell and John Grant, Northwich's lively frontmen. Scott Goodwin, though, was still suspended and absent in the Hereford midfield. In a desperate attempt to salvage a point, Vics manager Jimmy Quinn came on with ten minutes left but was as effective as he was during his two and a half match spell at Hereford! Also in the Northwich starting eleven was Jake Sedgemore, who started the season with the Bulls.

There were just thirty seconds on the clock when Hereford opened the scoring. Gavin Williams hit a left footed shot at ex-Manchester United reserve goalkeeper Paul Gibsonk, who parried it and Matt Clarke was on hand to sidefoot the ball home. However, the offside flag was raised and the goal disallowed. A minute later, Northwich's John Grant went close with a shot from within the box, and soon after managed to test Matt Baker in the Hereford goal with an angled drive, which was pushed away.

Hereford then had a spell in which they dominated the game. John Snape headed onto the post and from the rebound, Tony James' header was tipped over by Gibson. Parry hit the sidenetting following a throughball from Rob Elmes, and a goal looked likely. It came on nineteen minutes when Elmes passed to Gavin Williams on the edge of the box, and the Welshman ripped through the defence before firing past Gibson from ten yards out. Mark barnard, the Northwich defender, protested to the referee that Elmes had used his hand in the build-up to the goal, but received a yellow card for his troubles.

Dean Barrick on the left hand side hoped to increase the margin when he swung in a cross on twenty five minutes, only for Elmes' header to be tipped over the bar. Hereford continued to dominate with several goalmouth scrambles and Northwich were restricted to counter attacks and half-chances, one of which Gregg Blundell wasted.

With six minutes of the half remaining, Hereford made a substitution. Richard Holmes, the right back on-loan from Notts County, was removed through injury and John Shirley came on to replace him. Matt Clarke pushed back into defence, allowed Shirley freedom in midfield which he used more successfully than he ever did in defence.

The second half began with Northwich having the best of the early stages. Matt Baker had to be equal to several tricky shots as the fifty or so Northwich fans in a crowd of 1,493 thought their team might equalise. However, at the other end Hereford came back into the action. Elmes and Williams combined well on several occasions, and just after the hour Elmes was down on the ground when he managed to hit the post only for the ball to rebound to safety.

Northwich appeared more threatening in the latter stages as the game was completely open. However, the introduction of Jimmy Quinn in attack did little as Baker was equal to almost everything, including a superb Blundell strike on the turn with ten minutes remaining. The away side continued to pressurise and Hereford feared the worst when in injury time, Rob Elmes was forced to exit the arena with a groin strain. Jimmy Quiggin, who came on, instilled some pace into the Hereford side who held on for victory against a ten-man Northwich side. Denny Ingram gained a second yellow card seconds after Quiggin's introduction for ungentlemanly conduct, and was dismissed.

Four points will make the Bulls safe from their last three games, which include the visit of top of the table Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday night. However, the crunch game comes on Saturday when Hayes, one from bottom of the league, travel to Edgar Street. Anything less than an away victory would see the Middlesex side relegated from the Conference.

Hereford United: Matt Baker, Richard Holmes (off, 39 minutes), Dean Barrick, Phil Robinson, Ian Wright (captain), Tony James, Matt Clarke, John Snape, Rob Elmes (off, 90 minutes), Gavin Williams, Paul Parry
Subs:Jimmy Quiggin (on, 90 minutes), Stuart Jones, John Shirley (on, 39 minutes), Ross Diamond, Chris Rowle
Scorers: Gavin Williams (20 minutes) -
Man of the Match: Matt Baker
Attendance: 1,493
Referee: Mr. D. Spicer (Totton)

DOVER Athletic became the first side this season to be relegated from the Conference as they crashed 3-0 at Chester City.

Hayes, though, live to fight another day as they won 3-2 at Southport, but they must win both of their last two matches and hope other results go their way.

The relegation six-pointer was held at Bower Fold this afternoon, with Woking emerging 2-0 victors over Stalybridge Celtic. The result means a three point gap has opened between the two. Forest Green improved their own hopes of survival with a 1-0 win at Barnet, but Scarborough are still in trouble after going down 4-2 at Farnborough Town.

At the other end of the table, Boston United went back level on points with Dagenham, 1-0 winners against Doncaster last night, with a 2-1 win over Leigh RMI. In today's other match, Telford crashed to a 2-0 defeat against Nuneaton.

The results mean Dover are down, and Hayes' chances of survival are extremely slim. Stalybridge remain on 43 points with three games left, and are now three adrift of Woking. Forest Green move up to 48 points with two games to play, whilst Chester and Scarborough are on the same total with three matches remaining. Hereford are still threatened with the drop despite victory today, but if they beat Hayes next week they will be safe and Hayes will drop out of the Conference. The Bulls are on 49 points, along with Stevenage and Southport. At the top, both Dagenham and Boston have three games left and 74 points.

HEREFORD attacker Gavin Williams, who scored the winner in today's 1-0 win over Northwich Victoria, was pleased with the game's outcome.

"It was an important win," he told BBC Hereford & Worcester. "We just needed the three points. It was the hardest we'd worked for a while. We didn't play pretty football, but we got the win we needed."

The goal, scored in the nineteenth minute, was not a spectacular affair. "Rob Elmes had gone through, and got tripped up," said Williams. "The ball just ran loose and I hit it. It wasn't one of my best goals."

United scored in the first minute through Matt Clarke which was ruled out by the officials. Williams commented: "I don't think it was offside."

Upcoming fixtures include Tuesday's visit of Dagenham, which Williams is looking forward to. "It should be a good game," he said "Dagenham are in the top two. We went to Yeovil and gave them a good game when they scored in the last minute and went to Boston and won there. We seem to do well against the top teams so we'll look forward to it."

THE Hereford United HUISA player of the year accolade has been awarded to reliable centre back Tony James at the ceremony in Legends Bar tonight.

James beat off stiff competition from the likes of goalkeeper Matt Baker and attacker Gavin Williams to pick up the award.

HUISA chairman Kevin Wargen wrote in today's programme notes: "The player of the season mirrors our season with only four individuals collecting votes. The eventual winner has won it with only a few votes to spare from the runner-up. The supporter of the year, on the other hand, has had many individuals nominated and the top four were all very close."

The supporter of the year award went to the collective HUISA committee, who have worked tirelessly representing the club in the redevelopment of the stadium.

The awards were voted for by HUISA members in a recent mail poll.

April 15th:

THE Non-League Paper claims that the Conference is ready to impose a wage cap on players, as reported by confguide.com. Bizarrely, given the number of Conference clubs gone bust in recent years (none) compared to the number in the league (none, but about to be loads if you believe them), the paper claims that the FA is concerned about financial probity of Conference clubs. They report that Conference Chief Executive John Moules has met with the FA to discuss salary capping, and "negotiations to implement the changes are underway."

Scarborough chairman Malcolm Reynolds is reported as coming up with a scheme under which a club would be set a per-player cap based on club turnover.

Meanwhile, the official site (herefordunited.co.uk) report that the Tribute Concert details will be revealed soon, and tickets available from the club at £15. Also, Striker Danny Davidson has not reported into the club for either match or training duty since the away fixture at Scarborough, but whether he is still a Hereford United player is not clear.

HEREFORD United take on second placed Dagenham & Redbridge in tomorrow night's Nationwide Conference clash at Edgar Street boosted by the return of Scott Goodwin, kick off 7.45pm.

Goodwin returns after a two match suspension, but Paul Parry serves a one-match ban following his sending off against Woking a couple of weeks ago. There is also a doubt surrounding the fitness of striker Rob Elmes, who suffered cramp in Saturday's 1-0 win over Northwich Victoria. Scott Voice remains on the sidelines.

Dagenham boss Garry Hill will bring his side to Hereford for their second game in two days. Tonight, the Daggers play the final of the Essex Senior Cup against Canvey Island at Southend United's Roots Hall ground. However, the team will containing no players who are likely to be in contention for the game at Hereford on Tuesday.

For the trip to United, Hill has doubts over four players - Ken Charlery, Mark Rooney, Ashley Vickers and Lee Goodwin - who were out of action for the 1-0 win over Doncaster on Friday. Hill also has a triple-suspension problem, with Steve West (two games), Dean Hooper (two games) and Mark Stein (three games) all banned for the trip.

In the event that you cannot make the trip to Edgar Street and are residing in the Essex area, there will be full coverage of the match on BBC Radio Essex. Commentary can be found on 95.3 mhz FM, 1530 khz MW and 765 khz MW. In the Herefordshire & Worcester regions, both Classic Gold 954/1530 AM and BBC Hereford & Worcester 94.7 FM will provide reports from the match.

April 16th:

Hereford United take on Dagenham & Redbridge at Edgar Street tonight, with both sides having different needs, kick off 7.45pm.

Should the Bulls gain three points, they will ensure Conference football next season whilst Garry Hill's Dagenham side need the win to keep up the pressure on Boston United at the top.

Hereford coach Phil Robinson told the Evening News: "I think tonight's clash has all the ingredients to be an open and attacking game. Dagenham have got to come and win because, bearing in mind the form Boston are in, they simply can't afford to drop any points while we still need a point to probably guarantee our survival."

Of the title favourites Boston and Dagenham, Robinson said there is little between the two. "There isn't much between them - both are physical, well-organised and hardworking teams each blessed with a couple of decent strikers," he said.

United were 1-0 victors over Northwich on Saturday to ease relegation fears but is taking nothing for granted. "It went well on Saturday but I would have been even happier if a few of the teams below us had lost," Robinson commented. "It has gone a long way to seeing us safe but until we are mathematically safe no-one is going to be relaxing at all."

The latest team news sees Steve Piearce back in squad after an ankle injury, but right-sided midfielder Matt Clarke faces a late fitness test because of a hamstring strain. Paul Parry is suspended but Scott Goodwin returns from
a two-match ban.

Since Dagenham's return to the Conference in 2000, the Essex side have won every match against the Bulls, but last night their 'reserve' team lost 6-1 to Canvey Island in the Essex Senior Cup final.

HEREFORD United 1 - 0 Dagenham & Redbridge (report by Terry Goodwin)

A late, late goal from player-coach Phil Robinson secured Hereford United's Nationwide Conference status in dramatic fashion tonight, as the Bulls overcame championship favourites Dagenham & Redbridge by a solitary goal.

The result means Hereford jump to thirteenth in the league and Dagenham remain second, behind Boston who lost 2-0 at Scarborough tonight.

The result was even more surprising as Hereford failed to field an out-and-out striker in the starting eleven. Rob Elmes missed out through injury and Paul Parry was suspended, so Jimmy Quiggin partnered Gavin Williams in attack. Matt Clarke passed a late fitness test to start in midfield along with Scott Goodwin, and Richard Holmes reverted to a right-back role. Garry Hill's Dagenham side were without several suspended players but still managed to name a strong starting eleven.

The Daggers opened the stronger of the two sides, and a combination of fussy officials and indifferent Hereford play resulted in some early tension for Bulls fans. Then the game settled down with Hereford having the better of the play over the half. Scott Goodwin headed a Gavin Williams free kick wide after four minutes, and two minutes later Williams launched a deep free kick to Wright, who knocked onto Tony James. The Welsh centreback proceeded to smash the ball against the inside of the post before the ball bounced away to safety.

Dean Barrick was strong at the back after ten minutes when Dagenham's Danny Hill hit the post, before firing the rebound goalwards only for Barrick to clear off the line. The game at this point was an end-to-end affair, with Hereford's defence looking particularly strong. At the other end, Jimmy Quiggin and Gavin Williams moved well together, whilst defender Holmes appeared impressive when advancing forward.

However, it was Dagenham who tested Hereford on twenty six minutes, when a corner was headed off the line by Holmes after being nodded goalwards by Matt Jones. Twelve minutes later, Matt Clarke and Williams connected well before the former launched a low ball across goal, only for Quiggin to fail to connect when just four yards out.

The second half was more subdued but Hereford still held their own against an ambitious and, at times, desperate Dagenham side. Richard Holmes and Matt Clarke were unlucky with efforts at the Dagenham end, whilst the away team's Paul Terry and Danny Hill wildly missed efforts which should have tested United goalkeeper Matt Baker.

After sixty four minutes, Baker was called into action. A first time shot from Jones saw Baker react quickly to tip the ball around the post when it looked destined for the back of the net. Despite dominating, Dagenham created few clear cut chances to trouble Hereford and with ten minutes left, Phil Robinson made a surging run from midfield before knocking the ball out wide to Matt Clarke, but his cross-cum-shot was caught easily by ex-QPR and Wales goalkeeper Tony Roberts.

The away side made two late substitutions in addition to their first half change in the hope fo finding a goal, but it was Hereford who were having the best of the play. A superb cross with six minutes left from Dean Barrick was smashed into the side netting by WIlliams, and penalty appeals were turned down two minutes later when a Dagenham defender appeared to handle the ball.

With two minutes left, the deadlock was broken. A Gavin Williams corner from the left was headed on by Ian Wright on the back post, and coach Phil Robinson turned the ball inside the near post to ensure the home side collected all three points. Dagenham scrambled late on; even 'keeper Roberts advanced to the Hereford penalty area for a couple of set-pieces, but it was to no avail.

Hereford United: Matt Baker, Richard Holmes, Dean Barrick, Phil Robinson, Ian Wright (captain), Tony James, Scott Goodwin, John Snape, Jimmy Quiggin, Gavin Williams, Matt Clarke (off, 81 minutes)
Subs: Ross Diamond, Stuart Jones, Steve Piearce, John Shirley (on, 81 minutes), Chris Rowle
Yellow cards: Ian Wright (foul, 7 minutes) Matt Clarke (foul, 42 minutes) Red cards Scorers: Phil Robinson (88 minutes) -
Man of the Match: Ian Wright
Attendance: 1,583
Referee: Mr. S. R. Brand (The Wirral)

April 17th:

HEREFORD United coach Phil Robinson was delighted after he scored the winner to overcome Dagenham & Redbridge 1-0 last night.

"Recently, we have been the team which has been conceding late goals but tonight it was us who scored," said Robinson in tonight's Evening News. "(Gavin) Williams' free-kicks are always delivered with quality and we thought that we could score from a set-piece."

Meanwhile, Dagenham boss Garry Hill was angry at the inclusion of Hereford striker Williams. Hill claims that Williams' name was initially left off the initial team sheet.

April 18th:

HEREFORD United hope to gain revenge against Hayes on Saturday in the Nationwide Conference, kick off 3pm.

The Bulls were trounced 4-1 at Church Road earlier in the season and anything less than an away victory on Saturday would see Hayes relegated from the Conference.

Following two successive wins, a third would be Hereford's best run in the whole of the season but it is likely Phil Robinson's men will be without Matt Clarke, who has undergone a hernia operation this week.

Meanwhile, United will play Burton Albion in the Conference next season. The Brewers were promoted last night after winning the Unibond League.

HEREFORD United's highly-rated attacker Gavin Williams is set to exit Edgar Street in the summer.

The Hereford Times report that Williams has failed to agree a new contract with the Bulls and after five years with Hereford, he will leave the club on May 4th. The twenty-one year old is expected to attract much attention from Football league sides.

Already, Chester City have expressed an interest in Williams but their £15,000 bid was immediately rejected by Hereford.

United chairman Graham Turner, the director of football, said: "Gavin was offered a contract at the same time as Matt Baker, Tony James and Paul Parry, but he has not accepted. It's in abeyance at the moment but, as it stands, Gavin will be free to have discussions with other clubs after May 4.

"I can see where Gavin is coming from because he's been here for five years and perhaps feels that he needs a change. But I think it's fair to say that in his time with this club he has given his best efforts."

Williams has scored fourteen goals this season in all competitions, and has been a regular in the side side Hereford joined the Conference in 1997.

April 19th:

HEREFORD United can relegate Hayes from the Nationwide Conference at Edgar Street tomorrow, kick off 3pm.

Phil Robinson, the Bulls coach, told the Evening News that a win would boost United's chances of making the LDV Trophy.

"The pressure may be off but we have still got to play with the same tempo and desire which we have shown for the last couple of home games," he said. "It would be great to finish with a flourish and climb as high as we can up the table. If we beat Hayes they will be relegated and they are obviously struggling a little but they are scrapping for survival. If we can beat a team second from top we should have enough about us to beat a team second from bottom.

"We've played some good stuff against against Dagenham and I think the victory against Northwich, though it wasn't too convincing, calmed the nerves on Tuesday night. If we had been going into the last three games needing six points for safety it would have been a nerve-jangling time."

A 1-0 win over Dagenham secured Hereford's Conference status. "From a personal point of view it was nice to get the winning goal that ensured our safety," said Robinson. "In recent games we have lost out to late goals and been on the receiving end but I think we deserved to win. We had some good chances, hit the woodwork and had a couple of goalmouth scrambles and generally gave a good account of ourselves. It didn't look lie a game between a team at the top of the table and another at the wrong end - we more than matched them."

Midfielder Paul Parry is back in the team after serving a one-match suspension, and Rob Elmes could return after missing Tuesday's 1-0 win over Dagenham with a groin injury.

Hayes, under the temporary management of Willy Wordsworth, is without the suspended Kevin Warner. He said: "I might be looking to make one or two changes."

April 20th:

THE injury situation will culminate into several operations in the summer, according to Hereford Unied physio Ian Rodgerson.

Bulls coach Phil Robinson, captain Ian Wright and attacker Scott Voice are all set to seek medical attention over injuries.

Right-footed defender Matt Clarke has already had surgury on his groin problem.

The operations are fairly straightforward and are carried out by a specialist in Manchester. Ian Rodgerson explains in today's Evening News: "Basically they've got tears in the muscle which can only be repaired surgically. You can get away, as the lads have been doing, with playing on but they are in some discomfort and eventually do need surgery."

Attack Rob Elmes also has a groin injury, although nowhere near as troublesome, whilst attacker Scott Voice's first team chances have been severely restricted by his pelvic injury. He is awaiting the results of a scan and could face as long as a year on the sidelines. However, injections may be able to settle the injury down and keep him in the squad. The problem was caused by general wear-and-tear.

Meanwhile, the situation at the top of the Conference feeder leagues is increasingly tense. Burton Albion have already been promoted from the Unibond League, but two wins in four days has put Kettering Town on level terms with Tamworth at the top of the Dr. Martens Premier. Tamworth lead by the narrowist of margins, just one point, and the title could go either way with just two games left.

In the Ryman League, Gravesend & Northfleet lead Canvey Island by two points with two games to go. However, Canvey's goal difference is far superior, giving them the advantage should they pull level. Already, Halifax Town have joined the Conference after being relegated from Division Three, and Dover Athletic have dropped down from the Conference. Hayes can go down today, if they fail to win at Hereford, whilst Stalybridge Celtic are favourites to fill the third promotion slot. At the top of the Conference, Dagenham and Boston are level on points, and both of their final games will be televised by Sky Sports on Sunday, 28th April.

HEREFORD United 0 - 1 Hayes (report by Terry Goodwin)

Hayes fought on against Nationwide Conference relegation today as a late goal secured them victory over Hereford United.

However, the slender 1-0 victory and Woking's 0-0 draw at Nuneaton Borough means that Hayes can stay up - but only if Woking lose their last two matches and Hayes overcome a goal difference deficit of -25, compared with Woking's -9.

United recalled Paul Parry to the line-up after suspension and Jimmy Quiggin continued in attack because Rob Elmes remained sidelined through injury. Hayes, one from bottom of the league at the start of play, named few players that competed in September's 4-1 win over Hereford at Church Road, with Willy Wordsworth taking temporary charge of the side following Terry Brown's departure to Altrincham.

The game was a scrappy affair; neither side could collect themselves successfully and the result was a first half of disjoined passing and few chances. The Bulls' Gavin Williams missed after five minutes when he directed the ball just wide of the near post following a throw-in, and four minutes later Dean Barrick, who impressed on the left, swung in a good cross which Hayes goalkeeper Nikki Bell caught commandingly. Jimmy Quiggin also wasted a good opportunity when Hayes cleared after fourteen minutes, and a minute later another Quiggin effort was saved by Bull.

At the other end, Mark Molesley fired over from close range as Hayes' Ian Jolly swung in a corner. A few moments later, Dean Clark smashed a twenty five yard effort just over Matt Baker's crossbar. Jolly also wasted a chance after being put through by Ian Hodges, as he cut his shot across goal and out for a goal kick.

The game swung from end to end but there were few solid chances. Phil Robinson and Gavin Williams tested Bull but neither side created much. Hereford insisted on playing a long ball style which, with two fairly short striker, was clearly not working.

The second half started with Richard Holmes replaced by John Shirley in the Hereford defence. The Bulls started the better of the two sides, and a Parry cross saw Gavin Williams drive an angled shot across goal. However, chances were few and far between. Hayes didn't look like a team battling relegation but had more of a dead and buried look about them. Dominic Sterling was playing well at both ends of the field and on sixty three minutes, turned a Clark pass over the crossbar.

United brought on Steve Piearce to brighten up their attack in what is likely to be his last home league match for the club, and despite a few flashes, there was little to impress. Gavin Williams fired a Piearce pass just wide but there were still few chances to liven up a crowd of 1,494, including 52 from Hayes.

With eleven minutes left, Hereford's Williams swung over a corner from the right which captain Ian Wright headed over on the back post. Phil Robinson hit a shot from the edge of the box narrowly wide two minutes later but Hayes were producing little. It came as a bit of a surprise, then, with seven minutes left when they took the lead. A freekick was swung over the wall and to Paul Holsgrove, who headed down to substitute Matt Gray. The striker, initially thought to be Jon Case due to a numbers confusion cleared up after the game, turned the ball in from a couple of yards out. There was more than a doubt over whether Gray was offside, but referee Mr. L. Probert or his assistants failed to act.

The result leaves Hereford in fourteenth and Hayes in twentieth. If Woking get a point at home against Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday night then Hayes will be relegated, but they can still mathematically get out of the drop zone at the moment. A win for Hereford on Saturday at Stevenage could, in theory, see them finish tenth.

Hereford United: Matt Baker, Richard Holmes (off, half time), Dean Barrick, Phil Robinson, Ian Wright (captain), Tony James, Scott Goodwin, John Snape, Jimmy Quiggin (off, 63 minutes), Gavin Williams, Paul Parry
Subs: Ross Diamond, Stuart Jones, Steve Piearce (on, 63 minutes), John Shirley (on, half time), Chris Rowle
Yellow cards: Richard Holmes (foul, 35 minutes) Dean Barrick (foul, 62 minutes) Tony James (foul, 67 minutes)
Man of the Match: Tony James
Attendance: 1,494
Referee: Mr. L. Probert (Bridgewater, Somerset)

SEASON tickets can now be purchased from Hereford United for next Nationwide Conference season.

The prices are the same as last season's rates, and those who purchase before May 31st will get an 'early bird' discount of 10%. For further details, contact the club on 01432 276666 or pop into the office. By buying your tickets early, you will help keep the club going through the summer months.

Anyone wishing to travel on the coach to Stevenage Borough next Saturday should book their tickets as soon as possible. The coach costs £17 and departs Edgar Street at 9.30am.

The painting weekend has been split over two Saturdays this year. If you can help, please turn up at the club on 29th June and/or July 6th.

If you wish to participate in the 24 hour football competition, please call into the club shop or office for an application form. There are a few spaces left, but time is running out.

HEREFORD United defender Tony James spoke after today's 1-0 home defeat against Hayes.

Talking to BBC Hereford & Worcester, James said: "It was very disappointing as the last game at home this season. We found it hard to break them down, they attacked well and pressed players forward and when we attacked they got everyone behind the ball and made it very hard for us.

"It was a game where we could get three home wins on the trot and it was just very difficult to break them down. We've been struggling to break teams down and have a good defensive record but we tend to lose 1-0 because we can't get the goal."

The goal appeared to be offside, and James said:"To be honest, I put the lad in. The ball missed about four people and it hit me on the nose to put him in."

HUISA's Player of the Year award was given to Tony James this season. "I think it was because of my consistency," he said. "I've always tried to do my best here, especially at home."

Next week, Hereford go to Stevenage for their final game and James is pleased that the game is away from home. "I enjoy playing away. Our away fans are really good away and it would be nice to see a lot of them down there."

April 21st:

HAYES caretaker boss Willy Wordsworth praised his playing staff following yesterday's 1-0 win at Hereford United.

"It's down to the players," he said in today's Non-League Paper. "We've tinkered a little but, but it's down to their effort, energy and skill that we have won the games. We were up against a full-time team today and had to be a bit cautious, but I thought we were always likely to score."

Fifty two Hayes fans made the trip to Edgar Street, and Wordsworth had a special message for them. "The travelling supporters have been fantastic all the way through and I'd like to thank them all," he commented.

"I hope these wins won't do my chances of getting the job full-time any harm. If managers are sacked on results, there's no reason why they shouldn't be appointed on them too."

The winning goal was scored by Matt Gray with six minutes left. He said: "It was my first league goal and I've only just got back in the side after being injured. Normally I'm a centre back but the boss threw mw up front today and I've got the goal with my first touch. It's sad other results have sent us down, but at least these wins give up a springboard for next season."

Bulls coach Phil Robinson said: "Hayes got a lot of bodies behind the ball and we struggled to break them down."

The Bulls' next match is on Tuesday night when they host Swansea City in the Herefordshire Football Association Invitation Cup Final. The game kicks off at 7.30pm, with adults paying £6 and concessions £3 for entry.

WITH Burton Albion replaced by Stalybridge Celtic in the Northern (Unibond) League this season, things are hotting up in the other two feeder leagues.

Dover Athletic will enter the Southern (Dr. Martens) Premier Division, but their replacements are locked with one game left. Tamworth and Kettering Town are both on 84 points, but Tamworth have a superior goal difference having conceded two goals less (both have scored 78). Next Saturday, Tamworth go to mid-table Folkstone Invicta whilst Kettering have the tougher assignment - at fifth-placed Tiverton Town. Both teams have similar crowds and there is little to choose between them.

It's also tight at the top of the Isthmian (Ryman) League, with Gravesend & Northfleet leading Canvey Island by one point with a goame to play. Canvey have a far superior goal difference, but Gravesend can wrap up the title with a victory next Saturday at Bedford Town. Again, the second-placed team have the tougher assignment with Canvey going to Braintree Town in sixth. Yesterday, Gravesend's crowd was 1,844, more than a thousand higher than Canvey Island (808). Hayes need a mathematical miracle to avoid relegation to the Ryman League despite yesterday's 1-0 victory at Hereford, after Woking practically secured their safety with a 0-0 draw against Nuneaton Borough

Halifax Town have long since been relegated from Division Three but their replacements are likely to be Boston United. The Pilgrims crushed Farnborough Town 4-0 yesterday whilst Dagenham & Redbridge were held 0-0 at Scarborough. Boston are two points clear and have a superior goal difference with two games to go. The crucial games come on Tuesday night, when Boston go to Morecambe and Woking host Dagenham. A Dagenham victory would keep them in the title race, but a draw would relegate Hayes at the other end. Next Sunday, live on Sky Sports, Dagenham play Chester and Boston go to Hayes in an afternoon that should decide the destination of the title.

Meanwhile, the Conference should have two promotion places for next season. The Third Division chairman have agreed to the £70,000 compensation package for five years after relegation for a demoted team, and the plan should be ratified at the Football League AGM on June 8th. John Moules, the Conference chief executive, has been praised for his work by Forest Green chairman Trevor Horsley, who suggested a play-off for the second promotion place should be implemented.

THE boss of a Birmingham brewery has been accused of plotting to poison Britain's best-selling cider brands.

Michael Hancocks, managing director of Aston Manor Brewery, appeared at Bristol Crown Court last Tuesday.

The case was adjourned until July, and the full trial is not expected to take place until next year.

Mr Hancocks, 62, of Haford Road, Hereford, is accused of conspiracy to contaminate goods belonging to cider maker HP Bulmer, of Hereford, with the intention of causing economic loss through the goods being shunned by the public.

Last night, Mr Hancocks, a former director of Hereford United Football Club, told the Sunday Mercury: 'The charge will be fiercely contested.'

The alleged offence, contrary to the Public Order Act, is said to have been committed between September last year and April this year.

Similarly charged are Richard Gay, 50, of Weston Lane, Tyseley, Birmingham, and Paul Harris, 40, of Harpersfield, Kings Caple, Hereford. All three men have been granted bail on condition that they make no contact with staff of Aston Manor Brewery or Bulmer's, with witnesses, or each other.

They have to report daily to police and live only at their home addresses. Mr Hancocks has been required to provide one surety of £100,000 and three of £ 30,000 each.

April 22nd:

HEREFORD United are to feature in their own documentary programme commissioned by BBC Hereford & Worcester.

A twenty five minute programme, due to be broadcast on Sunday, May 26th, will look at why one particular place in one particular ground has such a hold over one group of supporters. The six programme series focused on six venues over the two counties, and Hereford United's Edgar Street ground is one featured.

Titled 'The Meadow End', the programme producer Howard Belgard has interviewed United supporters that experiences the highs (that Newcastle win!) and the lows (Football League relegation). Colin Oliver, the groundsman, is also featured and says he supports relocation, although supporters favour redevelopment of Edgar Street.

Belgard has had problems recording the interviews - it was cancelled twice in the new year due to ill-health, then poor weather resulted in poor sound quality! The big day was then set for the Dagenham & Redbridge match, but it was called off when half of the roof blew off!

The programme is due to be broadcast on May 26th at 12pm on BBC Hereford & Worcester. The station can be found on 94.7, 104 and 104.6 mHz FM.

Meanwhile, Hereford will take on Swansea City at Edgar Street on Tuesday evening in the Herefordshire Football Association Invitation Cup final. Kick off is at 7.30pm, and HU-FC.co.uk will provide a full report from the match.

April 23rd:

HEREFORD United take on Swansea City at Edgar Street tonight in the Herefordshire Football Association Senior Invitation Cup Final, kick off 7.30pm.

The two sides haven't met since 1996 so tonight's encounter should revive an old rivalry from Football League and Welsh Cup days. Swansea are playing in their third HFA final, but their first two were back in 1950s.

"It has not been played for several years and usually it is held during pre-season but we want to win it and keep the cup in Herefordshire," said Bulls chairman Graham Turner.

Hereford coach Phil Robinson will be without defenders Richard Holmes (hamstring) and Dean Barrick (unavailable) but midfielder Ian Rodgerson is fit again.

After the game, the cup and medals will be presented post-match by Sir Colin Shepherd, president of the Herefordshire Football Association.

PHIL Robinson, the Hereford United coach, has quashed rumours regarding his departure by announcing that he will be first team manager next season.

Once Conference survival was secured, Robinson said that negotiations about his future could start. The Edgar Street board will meet next Monday to discuss, among other things, Robinson's future as player/coach.

"We haven't sat down to discuss anything yet because it is only recently that we've known which league we were going to be in," said the ex-Wolves midfielder in tonight's Evening News. "But if things were right I would like to stay on in my current role because I've thoroughly enjoyed it."

United chairman Graham Turner hopes Robinson will stay and the club will remain full-time. Ian Wright, Matt Clarke, Matt Baker, Tony James, Paul Parry and Scott Voice all on full-time contracts for next season. "Overall I think it has been a disappointment to find ourselves at the wrong end of the table and it is a cause of concern," said Turner. "But we are safe in the Conference and next season things have to improve and next week's board meeting gives us an opportunity to look at the situation."

Gavin Williams has still not signed a new deal, and Turner commented: "I wouldn't be surprised if he was not here next year but we've tried to get him to sign a new contract and it remains in the balance."

HEREFORD United 2 - 1 Swansea City (report by Terry Goodwin)

Two late goals from substitute Steve Piearce ensured the Herefordshire Football Association Senior Invitation Cup remained in its rightful place - the Edgar Street trophy cabinet - as the Bulls overcame third division Swansea City 2-1.

Hereford named a slighty understrength side in preparation for Saturday's trip to Stevenage Borough. Matt Baker and Gavin Williams were left out of the squad, with Stuart Jones and Rob Elmes replacing them. Ross Diamond was also named in the starting eleven as Scott Goodwin dropped into the full-back position. John Shirley also started with Dean Barrick and Richard Holmes both missing. On the bench, Ian Rodgerson returned and Mark Lowery made his first Hereford appearance.

Swansea, under the management of Nick Cusack, played a fairly strong side. Hereford fans welcomed the return of ex-Bulls attacker John Williams.

The opening goal came after just two minutes. Scott Goodwin allowed John Williams through on the Swansea right of the box and as he approached Jones, the ball was cut across. Steve Watkin had no problems tapping it into an empty net from close range.

A couple of minutes later, Hereford had a superb chance to equalise. A long cross ball from Ross Diamond was picked up by Jimmy Quiggin, who cut in from the left before smashing the ball onto the bar. It bounced down and was cleared away by Swans captain Kristian O'Leary.

From then on, the first half was a rather disappointing affair. Swansea should have gone two goals up when a Williams cross ran behind Jonathan Coates, but Hereford had the better of the play. On the half hour mark, Diamond wasted an opening at the other end when his angled run from the left ran across the area and just wide of the far post.

Both sides made use of their five allowed substitutes, with Hereford making four over the whole evening. Graham Turner's final change came twenty minutes from time when Rob Elmes fell to the floor, rolling around in agony. He had appeared to have injured his upper leg and the stretcher was called, although he hobbled off. The ex-Halesowen attacker is now expected to miss Saturday's trip to Stevenage, and Mark Lowery came on to replace him.

With seven minutes left, Hereford were on top. A long pass from John Snape proved the catalyst for a superb run by Paul Parry on the left. He ran inside before crossing a low ball which substitute Steve Piearce converted easily. Swans goalkeeper Jason Jones appeared stunned by the goal!

As the rules read, the teams were set for a penalty shoot-out. Hereford continued to surge forward, with Parry smashing the ball over the bar from a Chris Rowell cross. Then, in added time, Piearce cut in from the left as the Swansea right-back fell over, before send a low shot from close range into the back of the net. In the ninety second minute, Hereford had the lead.

There was little more action on a night which saw Hereford pick up their first Trophy since 1995/96, when they last won the competition. Since then, Bristol City, Shrewsbury Town and Newport County have all won the prize, so it's good to have it back where it belongs - at Edgar Street.

Hereford United: Stuart Jones, John Shirley, Scott Goodwin, Phil Robinson, Ian Wright (captain, off, 56 minutes), Tony James, Ross Diamond, John Snape, Rob Elmes (off, 73 minutes), Jimmy Quiggin (off, 67 minutes), Paul Parry
Subs: Steve Piearce (on, 56 minutes), Lee Evans, Ian Rodgerson (on, half time), Chris Rowell (on, 67 minutes), Mark Lowery (on, 73 minutes)
Scorers: Steve Piearce (83 minutes, 90 minutes)
Man of the Match: "The team!"
Attendance: 435
Referee: Mr. S. Moggs

April 24th:

BOLSA have announced the resignation of their chairman Jon Wells.

The newly-formed internet supporters organisation have begun organising fund-raising efforts to support Hereford United.

Their press release read: "Due to external work commitments, Jon felt he was unable to commit sufficient time to the job, but has indicated that he wishes to remain involved with BOLSA. Graham Johnson, the elected Vice Chairman, has succeeded Jon with immediate effect."

"This means that we now have an open position of Vice Chairman. Consistent with other elections we will accept nominations until midnight 30 April. Assuming that more than one individual is nominated, BOLSA members will be balloted with votes due in by midnight May 7, 2002."

FOLLOWING last night's 2-1 win over Swansea City in the HFA Senior Invitation Cup Final, Hereford United attacker Steve Piearce has hinted at his likely departure.

Piearce, who came on for Ian Wright with just over half an hour left and scored twice, told the Evening News: "It's nice to finish at Edgar Street with a brace and win the cup for Hereford."

Some people, including BBC Hereford & Worcester's Trevor Owens, have called for the match to be played in pre-season and the disappointing crowd of just 435 reflected this.

The United squad members were presented with the Trophy by the former Hereford MP, and President of the Herefordshire Football Association, Sir Colin Shepherd.

Swansea defender Neil Sharp, who was injured in yesterday's match, is expected to recover swiftly and should be fit for their FAW Premier Cup Final tie against Cardiff City in a couple of weeks time.

April 25th:

A Board meeting at Hereford United will determine the club's plans for next season.

The Bulls are working with an extremely limited budget and with several players, including coach Phil Robinson, out of contract, some decisions must be made about players' futures.

Hereford skipper Ian Wright told the Hereford Times: "I think we may see a few changes in the summer and we have to bring in some new players. Since I have been at the club, we have lacked a prolific goalscorer and that is something I feel we desperately need."

Paul Parry, Matt Baker, Matt Clarke, Wright, Scott Voice and Tony James are all contracted for next season, but everyone else is free to leave Edgar Street, including top scorer Gavin Williams.

On Saturday, the Bulls complete their season at Stevenage Borough with Rob Elmes and Richard Holmes both doubts.

Meanwhile, media reports this evening reveal that areas of the Hereford market, which are opposite the ground in Blackfriars Street, are to be converted to car parking. The change comes after the auctioneers who run the market said that under-utilised space could be taken back into council hands.

THE BOLSA Committee has regretfully accepted the resignation of Jon Wells as Chairman.

Due to external work commitments, Jon felt he was unable to commit sufficient time to the job, but has indicated that he wishes to remain involved with BOLSA. Graham Johnson, the elected Vice Chairman, has succeeded Jon with immediate effect. The Committee will seek nominations for a new Committee member soon.

Our interpretation of the constitution was that it was acceptable for Graham Johnson as Vice-Chairman to assume the role of Chairman. However, there was an objection raised on the Hereford United forum to our assumption and after much discussion we feel that it is appropriate for the membership of BOLSA to decide the association’s course of action.

The options as they stand are:
1. Graham Johnson takes over the role of Chairman with immediate effect and we accept nominations for Vice-Chairman to be voted on next week.
2. We call for nominations for the role of Chairman with the vote to be held next week.

We value your opinion on this matter and would ask that you send your vote for Option 1 or Option 2 to us at contact@bolsa-hufc.com . Voting will close at 12 midnight on May 1, 2002 at which point we will accept nominations for the open position as decided by you. If a majority vote is reached before May 1, we will close the poll and ask for nominations for the vacant position.

April 26th:

HEREFORD United have several injury worries as they go to Stevenage Borough in their final Nationwide Conference match of the season, kick off 3pm.

The season has been one of ups and downs for the Bulls, and coach Phil Robinson told the Evening News: "It has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride with the high points the FA Cup run. We had a great game at home to Wrexham live on television and in the next round against Swindon had a great following and were unlucky not to beat them as well.

"We have also had some excellent performances -- when I first took over we had a 4-2 win over Farnborough Town and then a 6-0 victory against Scarborough. Against Boston in the televised game we were 2-0 down after 12 minutes but came back to win 4-3 but on the whole we have been a little bit inconsistent."

"Naturally we want to finish on a high," said Robinson. "It was disappointing on Saturday against Hayes to lose a game we thought we could win and it just shows our inconsistency. In midweek we had beaten Dagenham but we couldn't raise our game for Hayes and it has been the story of our last couple of seasons."

The Bulls have several injury problems, with Ian Wright likely to return after a hernia problem cut short his HFA Senior Invitation Cup final. Gavin Williams, who injured his knee in the warm-up of the Swansea game, is also set to play as is Paul Parry (dead leg), but Rob Elmes (knee) is doubtful. Attacker Steve Piearce and Ian Rodgerson should be part of the squad. Gavin Williams, who has stalled on a new contract, could play his last game for the Bulls.

Stevenage boss Wayne Turner hopes to boost his side's confidence for the upcoming FA Trophy final. He said: "I want to finish on a high. We have to finish on 55 points, we played well on Monday after going through a rough patch and I think we deserve it. Hopefully a win at the weekend will build the lads' confidence for the final."

Jean Michel Sigere (hamstring), John Dreyer (hamstring), Scott Houghton (Achilles) are doubtful, as is Adrian Clarke who faces a late fitness test. Ex-Bull Paul Sturgess is unlikely to start with a back injury, but Liam George and Darren Hay are out.

April 27th:

STEVENAGE Borough 3 - 1 Hereford United (report by Terry Goodwin)

A 3-1 defeat at Stevenage Borough today saw Hereford United finish in seventeenth place in the Nationwide Conference, which is their lowest final league position for nearly forty years. The last time Hereford completed the season in such a lowly position was back in 1964/65, when they won the Southern League North West Division following relegation the previous year.

Graham Turner's reign as manager has taken the Bulls from a promising Division Three outfit (after all, he did take United to the play-offs in his first season) to Conference strugglers, losing to the likes of Hayes, Northwich Victoria and Farnborough Town. This season, Phil Robinson has been in charge for a period, but his facial expression and body language after today's game said it all. The players returned to the field following their second half collapse to applaud the two hundred or so travelling fans, and Robinson appeared dejected and demoralised. Gavin Williams, when asked about his future, really had no idea while Scott Goodwin personally apologised to members of the crowd for his own and the side's performance.

It all started so well at Broadhall Way. United started brightly against the FA Trophy finalists and took a deserved lead after nineteen minutes when Steve Piearce, starting just his fourth game of the season, scored his fifth goal when a through ball from Gavin Williams was converted exquisitely by the ex-Halesowen striker. Prior to the goal, Williams and Jimmy Quiggin, playing up-front with Piearce, both made some impressive moves against an average looking Stevenage side.

Quiggin hit the side netting when he could have doubled United's lead soon after Piearce's opener, and Stevenage's on target efforts were limited to long range shots, particularly from midfielders Simon Wormull and Sean Evers. However, United alsost stabbed themselves in the foot on thirty four minutes when Scott Goodwin's clearance appeared goalbound, and a desperate interception by Matt Baker prevented a potentially embarressing equaliser. Seven minutes later, it was Baker that was left with egg on his face when he missed a long cross, and the ball ran onto Martin Williams who shot goalwards. Hereford skipper Ian Wright was on hand to head the ball off the line.

The Bulls had a narrow half time lead and came out in the early stages of the second period eager to add to it. Ian Wright hit the side netting from a Williams corner and Steve Piearce hit a testing shot at Stevenage goalkeeper Paul Wilkerson, only for it to be pushed away. Then Stevenage took control of proceedings. Martin Williams missed the target by inches on fifty five minutes and just seven minutes later, the scores were level. Young substitute Jack Midson floated over a long ball to striker Kirk Jackson who aimed his header past Baker from twelve yards out. The simpliest of moves resulted in the hardest of efforts to save for the ailing Hereford backline.

It got worse. Eight minutes later, the home side took the lead. Another simple move resulted in another superb goal. A Simon Wormull corner was swung into the centre of the area, and Jason Goodliffe was left unmarked. He dived goalwards, and his header left Matt Baker with no chance as Stevenage took a lead they deserved.

Rob Elmes came on from Quiggin to spruce up the Hereford attack, but to no avail. It was now United who were restricted to long-range efforts, with Piearce's twenty yard strike causing few problems for Wilkerson. Stevenage were on top, surging forward at every opportunity. Substitute DJ Campbell headed inches over on eighty minutes, and six minutes later Campbell turned provider as he laid off the ball to Jude Stirling. Another substitute, Stirling calmly aimed the ball past Baker from twelve yards out to ensure Hereford's 12th away league defeat of the season.

Yet again the Bulls threw away another three points. With only four of their sixteen man squad contracted for next season, some wholesale changes are needed this summer. Whether Graham Turner and Phil Robinson will be the ones to implement them remains to be seen.

Hereford United: Matt Baker, Ian Rodgerson, Scott Goodwin, Phil Robinson, Ian Wright (captain, off 68 minutes), Tony James, Jimmy Quiggin (off, 75 minutes), John Snape, Steve Piearce, Gavin Williams, Paul Parry
Subs: Rob Elmes (on, 78 minutes), Stuart Jones, John Shirley (on, 68 minutes), Ross Diamond, Chris Rowle
Yellow cards: John Snape (dissent, 83 minutes)
Scorers: Steve Piearce (19 minutes)
Man of the Match: Steve Piearce
Attendance: 1,949
Referee: Mr. F. Graham (Stanford-le-Hope)

THE future of Graham Turner at Hereford United hangs in the balance following today's defeat at Stevenage Borough, where some of the travelling fans called for his removal.

A board meeting is scheduled for Monday where Turner is thought to be discussing his future at the club, and there is no guarantee that he will still be chairman this time next week.

Phil Robinson's role as manager of the Bulls is also rumoured to be coming to an end. The ex-Stoke City midfielder appeared dejected following today's match, and the team coach left relatively early. Robinson took over as first team manager last October from chairman Graham Turner, but has been job-sharing with the Bulls chairman since around the turn of the year, when Hereford started to slip towards the relegation zone.

It is thought that Robinson is frustrated at the financial restrictions surrounding the squad, such as the lack of available funds to bring in loan players during the FA Trophy run.

Both Gavin Williams and Steve Piearce are set to quit the club at the end of their contracts next week. It is thought Piearce has found alternative employment, whilst Gavin Williams has stalled on the signing of a new deal and after five years at Hereford, may feel it is time to move on. "There is no doubt Steve Piearce can score goals but unfortunately for him and the club he just can't keep himself fit," said Robinson, who has spent the last two years with Piearce at the club. "We have not been able to use Steve or Scott Voice in many games and that is a big drain on a club with resources the size of Hereford. To have them out for so long is quite damaging."

Gavin Williams' situation is still in the balance. "Gavin Williams is one of those players who could play at a higher level," said Robinson. "He has been offered a new contract but is yet to decide whether to sign it - that is how it stands at the moment."

One player who will be at Edgar Street next season is Paul Parry. Coach Phil Robinson told the Evening News: "Paul has worked really hard for the team. He has really got the bit between his teeth and developed a new aspect of his game which is working hard on his defensive responsibilities, hand in hand with his natural ability. He's started to become really passionate about his football and desperate for the team to win. Whereas last year he was quite happy to turn up and play, this year he has really come into his own a little bit."

April 28th:

GRAVESEND & Northfleet and Kettering Town both returned to the Nationwide Conference yesterday by winning their respective feeder leagues.

Gravesend beat off the challenge of Canvey Island to grasp the Ryman League title by four points, and make a return to the Conference after they were relegated in 1981/82.

Kettering Town finished two points clear of Tamworth in the Dr. Martens Premier Division, and return after one season out of the Conference.

The two join Halifax Town and Burton Albion as new members of the Conference.

April 29th:

GRAHAM Turner is set to quit Hereford United FC as both chairman and director of football.

The ex-Wolves boss, who has led the club for four years as chairman, told ClubCall: "I indicated to the board last week that I intended to resign from my position and I think along with that could well be and probably will be the resignation of the company secretary Joan Fennessy. I think it's been very difficult over the last three to three and a half years keeping the club alive. It's been a terrific strain making ends meet and there comes a time when you say hang on - there's no fun in doing this. There's a lot of supporters, quite wealthy ones, who might well be interested in coming and taking on board the problems that we've got."

A board meeting is being held today (Monday) at 2pm, where the directors will discuss the future of the club. Whether anyone else is set to step into the reigns at Edgar Street remains to be seen.

The club have huge financial problems but with Herefordshire Council leader Terry James' plans for the development of the Edgar Street site and news that two promotion places from the Nationwide Conference were likely to be available for next season, there were positive aspects for new investors to look forward to.

Turner commended his off-the-field staff, adding: "We haven't achieved a great deal on the park but we have kept the club afloat and I don't think that should be underestimated."

It is rumoured that a new consortium, headed by Mark Ellis, will are set to take over, but as yet no confirmation or denial of such stories has been made.

HU-FC.co.uk will bring you more details as and when they are released, primarily on the news page.

April 30th:

IN a time of turmoil, Hereford United defender Tony James has received another award for an impressive season.

The Welsh centre back has collected the Evening News' Ray Mercer Trophy, beating off the challenge of opponents from Kidderminster Harriers, Stourport Swifts, Worcester City and Evesham United.

James gained an average mark of 7.37 points over the season, with second placed Simon Marsh of Stourport on 7.11 points.

Bulls coach Phil Robinson told the Evening News: "If I was to pick a player of the season myself it would be him. He started the season really well and what has been impressive is his level of consistency. He's got some ability on the ball and incredible pace and reads the game exceptionally well which you need if you are a centre back."

Hereford United: Tony James - 7.37 (average mark), Ian Wright - 7.06, Matt Baker - 6.93, Gavin Williams - 6.85.

A STATEMENT published on the official Hereford United website revealed that chairman Graham Turner and company secretary Joan Fennessy are to remain at the club - for the time being.

The statement read: "It was agreed at yesterday's board meeting that Graham Turner and Joan Fennessy should withhold their resignations pending further meetings next week."

It is thought that the decision came about so the directors could appoint a new chairman and secretary, and also so first team affairs for next season could be decided. With Turner's understudy Phil Robinson in hospital having a scheduled operation, the Hereford director of football is thought to be signing new contracts with players who are now free agents.

Hugh Brooks, a member of the board, said that the situation was up in the air. He told HU-FC.co.uk: "I can add nothing more to the statement at this time."

FOLLOWING the news that Graham Turner and Joan Fennessy are to stay temporarily at Hereford United, player/coach Phil Robinson is leaving the club.

The ex-Stoke City captain took over as manager in October but will not have his contract renewed, rumoured to be for financial reasons.

Robinson and club captain Ian Wright were set to have hernia operations today, so the news comes a big blow to Graham Turner's understudy.

A retained list is to be released on Friday, with Gavin Williams currently having turned down a new two year deal.