So, despite another sprightly, and at times very positive, performance at The Walks Stadium the Bulls have come away empty handed from a long trip to King’s Lynn. Boss Josh Gowling felt Hereford thoroughly deserved something from the game but ultimately went down 2-1, despite leading through Tyrone Barnett’s 7th goal of the season.
Players are returning to full fitness after injury which is a boost, but – and there’s always a but – Hereford have now lost six of their last 7 games. An instant return to winning ways has become a major priority. Games in hand are one thing – winning them is another!
Chorley arrive at Edgar Street on the back of a comfortable 3-0 home win over Curzon Ashton.
Simon Wright looks ahead to a Tuesday night under the lights at Edgar Street.
Oh great, a midweek home game in December with another to follow the week after in what will surely be one slog of a month.
The good news is that the Lancashire club do not travel well. They are unbeaten at home which explains their healthy League position yet on the road, they have amassed only 7 points from 9 games. They even managed to lose to Telford and Kidderminster.
Chorley only have 2 directors which must make decision making speedy though probably aren’t sufficiently comfortable with each other to make club decisions while in bed unlike say Kings Lynn. The chairman Ken Wright and Vice Chair/ Secretary Graham Watkinson both own 45% of the club. Their club has recorded losses in the last two years, including £70k in 2021 though essentially that figure equates to an outstanding loan from the Vice chairman.
In recent times, Chorley are best remembered for playing Wolves in the FA Cup in January 2021 during covid. The revenues enabled the club to massively reduce their big overdraft rather than launch a spending spree. Prior to that, their most famous win was ironically a FA Cup win over Wolves back in 1986 in a second replay. Otherwise, they are regarded as regular Play-off participants -entering in 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2022. They earned promotion just the once via a penalty shoot-out, found Step One far too competitive and re-joined a season later. A path which Gateshead FC appear to be imitating.
The big shock at the start of this season was long term player and then popular manager Jamie Vermaglio resigning to take over Buxton. He believes the Derbyshire side had more people giving them large chunks of money, sorry were “more ambitious”!
Next Gaffer up for Chorley is Andy Preece (55) who learnt his trade at Worcester City. Chorley is his fifth gig as manager though this time he only had to move downstairs from his club role as director of football. He holds a UEFA Pro Licence. The retired former Premier League manager has acquired a 30-man squad though 7 are currently loaned out. The token Hereford FC connection for our visitors continues to be ex Bull loanee defender Harvey Smith (pause here for a two-fingered gesture). With 60 games behind him. Harvey is moving towards senior player status.
One player to be aware of is striker Connor Hall with 10 goals this term and overall boasts 35 goals in 82 appearances. His strikes are a major reason why Chorley reached the FA Cup Third Round in 2021. The Newcastle-loving striker is ex Bolton, Accrington and Woking. At 24, he may be of interest in the January sales. Behind him, Turkish midfielder Ustabasi has an impressive 6 goals this season. Club Captain is central defender Scott Leather who – happily for us – is likely to miss our game due to suspension.
Chorley have never won at the Street. There were two score draws in our first two meetings with Miles Storey’s late winner giving us a 1-0 victory in November 2021.
Make sure you are there on Tuesday – your team needs you!