Hereford lost 0-2 to play-off contenders Brackley Town at Edgar Street last night, with Talking Bull co-editor Simon Wright surprised by the strength of the crowd reaction – especially towards the management team.
The Bulls’ were beaten by the better side. That’s the truth of last night’s predictable encounter. The men from Northants had all the confidence that losing only a single League game this year provides, not to mention their impressive central spine of big Gaz Dean at the back (better men than Symo struggle against him), high-scoring Arnson in midfield and even higher scoring Ndlovu.
There was some moans and a bit of a finger pointing from the generally silent and sparse crowd. Honestly folks, it didn’t matter who played where or what our Head Coach did or didn’t do. The outcome would be the same. The Brackley squad were well drilled with their hard core having playing together for years. The stand-in left back Shepherd unpronounceable surname was vulnerable but that was the only chink in the armour I could spot. Good luck to them.
This is surely a bankrolled club as there is no way a small town offering smaller support can sustain the wage bill of so many quality players. Their official party outnumbered their 32 supporters.
I expected defeat last night and that’s what I got. What I didn’t expect is appreciating just how widespread the dislike of Hereford’s management has become. There are some individuals who are unhappy with whoever is in charge who can generally be ignored but this feeling has spread like a virus to people I regard as the heart and soul of the club. Familiar accusations: no charisma, not being Beadle, “tactics”, lack of contacts, too many loans and probably Brexit too. Minds are set and it no longer seems to matter whether the accusations are justified or not.
That’s a tricky one for the Board as our management team have comfortably achieved their immediate aim of staying in the League, are establishing a framework and will rightly say “judge us after next summer.” However, ignoring the issue won’t make it go away. Not with season ticket renewals coming soon.
The football does feel dull. There’s a strong argument that National League North is dull, rather than just our club to which the counter will be, “I don’t watch any other clubs.”
Hereford FC is missing a leader. A Jon Hale type person to articulate our successes and enthuse over our future direction and how we will get there. Morale does generally need lifting. As a club, we no longer communicate effectively enough and that’s far from ideal for a supporter-involved organisation.