Matches against the Tigers have rarely felt derby-like. They are just a club who are close geographically, and it’s hard to generate much passion. When our paths didn’t cross for over half a century and we don’t share media, it’s hard to build up much enmity.

There was more of a rivalry when we shared training grounds, players and managers. I remember a so-called pre-season friendly at Evesham. Hereford were the lower-ranked club but our players were hell-bent on not losing to a higher ranked side. The game was drawn and a lot of players had a lot of bruises the next morning.

The League match in July 2019 at Evesham was memorable. Two City players were sent off leading to a very comfortable 2-0 win for the bulls. Our support outnumbered Gloucester over two to one that night despite us being the away team. Since then, we’ve been annoyingly mainly second best to them.

Since our last visit, much has changed over the border. Under an astute manager calling in favours from his contact book, the Tigers squeezed into the Playoffs on the last day. Three days later, City were knocked out. The manager resigned and the senior players left knowing the club was reverting to part-time with a smaller budget.

Manager Tim Flowers supported by Yan Klukowski had to pull together a new squad, mainly surplus stock from Chippenham and Yeovil. Meanwhile a couple from Hungerford Town took over day to day running.

Gloucester made a dreadful start. The management were sacked after 7 weeks and later on the Hungerford Two were freed. Ownership remains with the two benefactors McGurk and Petheran who also make up 2 of the 3 directors on the board. The pair are already technically owed a 7-figure sum and presumably are still covering some bills while the manager is publicly asking for more players. You have to wonder how much longer they want to prop up a club already at its ceiling. Gloucester – indeed the whole county of Gloucestershire – isn’t really switched on to football.

Our first taste of “Double Gloucester” started with an amazing 3-2 victory in stoppage time, and wasn’t it great to see Andy Williams scoring twice to pick up the three points after coming on as a late substitute. There didn’t seem anything wrong with Cowley’s header either, so the match could have ended 4-2!

The return match at Edgar Street on New Years Day feels different. City may be improving at home, but their away form is simply awful. They have lost the last six in a row in league and cup. They only have 3 away points all season from three draws in September. This feels very winnable.

There are familiar names in the Gloucester squad. Ex Bull loanee Tyrone Duffus is a regular in centre midfield. He joined last summer from Swindon Supermarine. Harry Pinchard is also a regular, albeit in 4 different positions so far. Pinchy scored against us on Boxing Day and is their only player on a two -year deal. Of the Tigers 19-man squad, 11 of them are primarily midfielders which says much about their style of play.

However, Danny Wright caused the Hereford defence a few problems with his aggressive approach at the Tiger Turf on Boxing Day and could prove to be a tough one to contain in the upcoming return fixture.

This match ought to see the biggest league gate of the season at Edgar Street so far this season. Make sure you are there.

Gloucester City (

Simon Wright

By Editor

Lifelong Hereford supporter who has endured the rise and fall of the club through progressive generations. Sports journalist, broadcaster and commentator who will never forget his Edgar Street roots.

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