A re-invigorated, front-facing, Hereford defeated high-flying Scarborough at Edgar Street on Saturday. The next step is to follow that positive performance with another against a team who are extremely unlikely to set up as expansively as the Seadogs were.
However, having found a formation that encourages attacking football, it is vital this style is maintained at Edgar Street. Can the Bulls gain back-to-back victories? Simon Wright looks ahead to Tuesday.
Our financial limitations are small beer compared to those of Farsley.
For step 2, they are not well-supported and are never likely to be in a town of just 22,000 with a Premiership club so close. They’ve lost their two most attractive games in Guiseley and York City and only just staying up last term doesn’t encourage stayaways to return. Two of the current three-man board hold all the club shares. The club have a habit of submitting their annual accounts so late that 3 times in the last 4 years, HMRC have each year threatened to close them down (presumably covid relaxations prevented four in four).
Their 2021 accounts are currently 9 months overdue, and HMRC have already tried twice in 2022 to close the club down. Their last published accounts date back to June 2020 showing an alarming deficit of £375,000.
Farsley were in administration just 13 years ago. How quickly people can forget. I haven’t searched in depth but superficially at least I saw no-one asking awkward questions about why club finances are not available. Sad.
To their credit, the visitors do have 25 teams bearing their name. There are boys’ teams, several ladies team and even a squad of deaf people. Celtic have more players than fans.
Not surprisingly, summer recruitment was low-key for what is quite a mature squad (18 out, 10 in). They have 7 players over 30 including two 39-year-olds.
The Yorkshire club have a relatively new manager in Russ Wilcox, better known for both playing for and managing Scunthorpe. He’s only had 7 months managerial experience in the last seven years and he’s never managed a part-time club before. In some of his early interviews, he sounded baffled about having to give some of his players time off to go on holiday during pre-season. Why does a certain Russell Slade spring to mind here?
Celtic are struggling again this season with one of the worst defences in the division. They are capable of pulling off surprise results having beaten both Kings Lynn and Brackley. Arguably, they are slightly more effective away than home.
Club top scorer isn’t – unusually – senior striker Jimmy Spencer. Currently top of the pile is 25-year-old Irish striker Frank Mulhearn with 8 in all competitions. (Celts are still in the FA Trophy). He’s not a “stayer.” Twelve months at one club is about his limit. Celts are his fifth club in five years.
I must also mention goalkeeper Max Dearnley, partly because at six foot 7, you’re not going to miss him and partly he is annoyingly good at stopping penalties. He has stopped at least 3 in the League and 2 more in penalty shoot-outs.
With Celtics slightly better than expected road record, it’s worth remembering that Farsley were the visitors on the opening day last season and pinched a 1-0 win in front of 2,108. Butlin’s penalty miss in his swansong appearance didn’t help the mood.
With us hosting the Leeds-based club on a no doubt cold January night, there’s a chance the smallest away support record might be broken. Chorley with 3 are the current holders.
In February 2022, Farsley had a night game at Gateshead and the 4 away supporters who turned up had two dedicated stewards to guard them plus their own bar. I’m afraid we won’t be that generous.