From the Talking Bull archives…we look back to where Hereford FC were just two short seasons ago. Do you remember watching the last match in the Southern League, South & West against Winchester City at Edgar Street? If so, read on. If not, read on anyway…
You could see the confusion and faint alarm in the eyes of the Winchester support. To leave the calm of their team coach into a wall of noise, – the radio station, outdoor bar and being bawled at by a bucket collector with a megaphone was way out their comfort zone. This is Step 4 Jim but not as we know it.
Winchester is a small club struggling for money and volunteers. And fit players. No soothing hands or technical expertise of Jonny Evans available of course. A few Winchester players have missed months of the season. A couple virtually the whole season. A club with two 16 year olds on the bench and a gaggle of 35+ on it. They’d be more likely to win the Lottery than crowdfund a £10k operation for a player.
Their efforts to raise £2,000 to replace the collapsed café bar have juddered to a halt. City tried but realised they were just tapping up the same people time and again. City are also seeking a new programme editor and website guru, a role which may be combined next term. The relaxation on producing a paper programme will be seized by the Citizens who seek an online alternative next term. Paper programmes, reluctantly produced and sold to just about no-one, just about cover costs.
Their supporters – and their players were trying to enjoy the experience. But it was hard. They felt like reluctantly-admitted gatecrashers at a private party. As one of their players told me “it was hot and hard work out there. It’s always hard work when you don’t have the ball. “ From the time that Jamie Forde added to his own goal in the earlier fixture by conceding an early penalty, the game was over. Keeper Noice saved a Mills penalty in the first match but wasn’t getting close to this one.
Long-term Hereford supporters are far more used to being the “Have-Nots” so savouring a short period in the “have” bracket feels novel.
Exciting too yet faintly uncomfortable.
I tried to empathise with the visiting contingent, however, their world is not our world. Yet.