Talking Bull Review: Curzon Ashton 0 – 1 Hereford

Here is the Talking Bull review of today’s trip to Curzon Ashton where Hereford maintained their unbeaten start to the campaign with a 1-0 victory courtesy of the only goal of the game from Harry White.

Simon Wright writes…”New Season – same old teething troubles”.

I didn’t enjoy today’s game very much. The effort of 4 hours driving through holiday traffic and endless roadworks removed much of my zest. I switched from motorway to A road to ultimately a farmers lane somewhere in Staffordshire – and even that was nose to tail with frustrated motorists. Marooned between high hedges, I had one of those “what am I doing this for?” moments.

Much as I am an admirer of Curzon as a club and a community engager and vendor of fine pies, the sparse crowd in a generous but largely unroofed arena made for largely silent watching. The megaphone-mouthed Curzon coaching team were an honourable exception. The Arsenal-supporting, Man City working local groundhopper in front of me explained Curzon were heavily dependent on visiting support to fund their club. Indeed, Chester followers apparently made up two thirds of their last home gate.  Our 200 odd weary travellers made up half of the attendance.  Pleasing, by the way to meet Exiles from the Wirral and Doncaster.

Our boys, lacking three or four starters, were functional without much style. O for a Keyon or -dare I say it – a Pablo. Er Indoors, with Nuneaton on her mind, suggested this may be how the Bulls will roll from now on in our new rarefied level. This is only Game 3. History tells us that every season Hereford FC generally need four games to re-discover their panache. In those early games, regulars are missing and newcomers are still dealing with the trappings of Shire Stardom. Our new reality? Not yet. Please. I enjoy the dream too much.

My fatigue, caused by somnambulant drivers (its always the other bloke), was countered by Mrs W, jigging happily in her seat as WBA rattled in four goals in one game, previously a whole months ration. Some of them apparently spectacular strikes. This is a club where I’ve spectated at 1,700 games. Is it time for me to return? Thus, I was grumpy as well as greedy. Early days of course but he contrast in play today was striking. Meanwhile, Hereford regulars around me coyly discussed what kind of post-match promise I would be on.

Beads listed two changes. Harvey Smith could make an appropriate two-fingered response to those who worried about him replacing the matrimonial-bound Greener. Harvey was quietly assured throughout, winning key headers and making the right decisions. Behind him, the Horse was virtually faultless and so I was rarely concerned that our defence would be breached. Wholly appropriate that Harvey Smith has a horse close to hand. 

Lewis Hall in for the absent Myrie-Williams looked uncomfortable and was eventually hooked. Not really a criticism, he plays most of his football further back these days. Attacking momentum was limited. Again, with mitigating circumstances, not least the players marathon coach journey. .

I was mentally pondering whether the Bulls had ever failed to score two games in succession when Harry White popped up with the winner. A pinched goal which I didn’t feel we deserved against likely strugglers, but I wasn’t going to complain. The strike immediately raised interest levels all round and we had a stretched game.

After three matches our stats look as solid as our defence. Spoilt as I am after three years in the sweetshop, I remain greedy for more joie de vivre.

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