Following the Bulls’ 2-1 success at Southport on Saturday, Paul Caddis’ side now turn their attentions to what looks like being a crucial clash against Curzon Ashton this weekend.

Curzon suffered their 8th home defeat of this season last night, going down 3-1 to relegation threatened Darlington. That after having lost their previous two home matches to Peterborough Sports 1-2 and Warrington Town 0-3. However, Hereford fans should not be complacent as the Nash lie just a single point behind Hereford in the race for the play-off positions.

With a very small budget, the Nash have by necessity a limited squad. History proves the absence of one or two of their key players regularly leads to defeat. As an example, think back to our eventful 3-1 victory over Curzon at Edgar Street. Their keeper Cam Mason and defender Devon Matthews were sent off late in the game. As a consequence, they went on to lose their next three games 1-0. We won at their place last season when the Nash were down to their bare bones. We took full advantage of a midfielder playing right back, scored after finding space in the right and were comfortable afterwards.

Their main threat is forward Jimmy Spencer. In his thirties, been around a bit but still a decent striker. He has 9 goals. We need to be aware of Spanish midfielder Stefan Mols with 6 goals. Si Senor. Ex-bull Miles Storey is very much a bit part player. Yes, he’s made 21 appearances but rarely has he managed a whole 90 minutes. His playing total is 1,100 minutes, one goal back in August, and probably several smashed car windows as Miss ‘Em by Miles strikes again.

Curzon’s player manager is younger than some of our players. Midfielder Craig Mahon is 34, from Dublin so probably knows Adam Rooney. His day job is as a coach with the Wigan Academy

Being a co-operative, the Tameside club are obliged to go public with all their income and expenditure, right down to their dirty washing bill. Their 2022 accounts show they spend around £230,000 on players wages and transfer fees. Their bottom line a loss of £72,000. That’s a significant sum for a club who only took £64,000 on the turnstiles.

Curzon is a fine place to visit. Decent stadium, lots of free car parking, a renown playing surface, one of the best food providers at this level and the beer is decent too. Their café and bar are both vital revenue streams for the club. But you do have to get used to the absence of supporters – Curzon and Peterborough Sports are in competition for the lowest gates in the league. On the last table, I checked, Sports were ahead by 11 – 409 to 420. The Nash’s lowest turnout was a paltry 203 for the visit of Blyth… until Curzon hosted Peterborough Sports last midweek and only 149 made it. Curzon are not popular. Either home or away, they feature in 11 of the 20 lowest NLN attendances this season.

Admission is the standard £15 adults or £10 concessions to sit or stand. You can buy online but there is no incentive to do so. Most of the few locals who turn up only pay £8, thanks to a residents’ membership scheme.

Curzon are more effective on the road with 8 away wins. Their home record is a very average 7-3-8. They’ve lost 4 of their last 5 home games, to Buxton, Warrington, Peterborough Sports and then Darlington, hampered by a key defender being suspended.

Curzon aren’t consistent enough to finish in the top seven in my opinion but they will take points off those who do. At full strength with several different ways of playing, Curzon can be both strong and thoroughly irritating opponents. They’ve already beaten Scunthorpe, Alfreton, Brackley and Tamworth (took 4 points off the leaders) this term so our visit will be a test.

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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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