Next Up: Guiseley AFC – Talking Bull Preview

Hereford stuttered to a 2-2 draw with rock-bottom club Nuneaton Borough at Edgar Street this afternoon, and now face two tough looking away fixtures this week. It’s Blyth Spartans next Saturday, but before that it’s the re-arranged game at Guiseley AFC on Tuesday night. Here is our Talking Bull preview.

GUISELEY AFC

The original fixture was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.  Much has happened since.

I assume there must be a very good reason why the rearranged date is just four days before we travel almost to Scotland. It does make for an extraordinary amount of travelling. Part One of our Great North Run – over 1,000 miles of travelling for Shire folk in just 4 days – will be a gentle stroll of 385 miles to the edge of Leeds – at Guiseley.   Local population is 22,000.  The town is best known as the home of the original Harry Ramsdens restaurant and the birthplace of Harry Corbett. Remember Sooty and Sweep?

The Tykes were a club without significant history until 1990 when they won the FA Vase and reached the Final again the following year. This was a spur for them to move on up from their Step 5 League.  Guiseley reached Step 2 for the first time in 2010.  Once there, they reached the Play-Offs 5 times in a row. I saw them lose two Play-Off Finals and win one Semi-Final in 2015 as they finally secured promotion.

After two years of struggle, our hosts were relegated from the National League.  By then, the manager who’d got them there and his promotion winning squad were scattered in all directions. The amount of turnover at that squad was unhealthy.  In their relegation year, James Roberts played ten games, and James Wesolowski six times. Not that we’re blaming either of them for the relegation, I hasten to add.  Guiseley are a small club in a small town without a benefactor and found the going hard.  Cue mass exodus of 18 players in the summer.

There are some familiar names such as Kingsley James, one of the unpaid players who we all thought kept Hereford in the Conference. Judging by his squad picture, he still sports a considerable amount of facial hair.

Up front is Kayode Odejayi – ex Forest Green, ex Cheltenham, full Nigerian international etc. Big, big bloke, officially 6 foot three but looks taller. 36 years old, nearly 700 games and still a first team regular. Our defenders had better take a step ladder with them.

The club have joint managers. Brummie Marcus Bignot did great things with Solihull and Birmingham Ladies. He is unfortunately a Bluenose (there are cures) and is married to the Arsenal Ladies goalkeeper. His managerial partner is Russ O’Neill who was assistant manager at Alfreton for a decade.

Competing in two Cup competitions has left the Yorkies with several games in hand and consequently, they slipped down the League. Since mid-October, they’ve won only at Nuneaton and (surprisingly) at Bradford. Recently at home, they’ve drawn 3 times and lost 5-1 to Bradford. Their last home League victory was on October 13th, and today went down to a 0-3 defeat at league leaders Chorley. Indeed, they’ve only won twice in their last 12 games in all competitions. But can the Bulls finally pick up an away win. A draw looks the most likely outcome, as Hereford haven’t won on the road in the division since August – and a 1-0 win at Curzon Ashton!

Nethermoor Park is similar to Brackley, being rather basic and rather open. Ideal for a cold night in January. The 500 seats are located along one touchline, split between two small modern stands. Opposite a small covered terrace, which again is located towards the Railway End.   Both ends are open. The home side average 750 so there will be lots of room. Segregation is rarely enforced.  Expect to pay adults £13, concessions £9, Under18’s £5, Under 11’s £1.

There is no parking at the ground for us, but there is a free car park extremely close on Netherfield Road (LS20 9PD)Access Nethermoor by the footbridge in the back corner. Otherwise street parking but there are local dire warning about ardent patrolling street wardens.

The Clubhouse is within the ground and promises “lots of real ale”.   The nearest alternative is ten minutes away so only the keen or the early will be visiting Coopers along Otley Road.  They do have 8 different real ales.  If you need nosh, the Station restaurant near to Coopers has excellent pizza according to Tripadvisor.

Getting There

By Train:  hopeless

By Reg  Minibus seats £25.  Nearly full. Visit Hereford Awaydays Facebook page

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