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STAGSNET`S STATISTICAL PREVIEW
6th September 2006 8:59


League come-back boys Hereford now travel to Field Mill for the first time since the sides clashed in the LDV Vans Trophy last season, when the Bulls won by the only goal of the game. But the Bulls are best known as FA Cup giant-killers, a feat Newcastle United had to endure in a third round replay at Edgar Street in February 1972. The teams had been dead-locked 2-2 up in Newcastle, before the Geordies took the trip to then non-league Hereford. In the replay, Hereford pulled off a major shock by kayoeing Newcastle 2-1 – and in the next round, they held West Ham to a 0-0 home draw before going out at Upton Park 3-1 in front of a near-capacity crowd, 42271 despite the afternoon kick-off due to some fuel crisis. The cup feats helped Hereford gain election to the League a few months later at the expense of Barrow.

And in the second Football League season, Hereford gained revenge on West Ham by winning a third round replay 2-1 in front of 17423 on January 9, 1974. And more top flight sides have had problems at Edgar Street in the FA Cup. Arsenal in 1984-85 and Tottenham in 1995-96 were held to 1-1 draws in the third round, respectively, before winning the replays convincingly. And in 1989-90, the eventual winners Manchester United managed only to scrape through thanks to a 1-0 scoreline in the fourth round. And this season, Hereford have already shown their cup credentials by sending the 1986-87 FA Cup winners Coventry out of the League Cup thanks to a 3-1 scoreline, giving the Bulls a fine home tie against Leicester. But the Stags showed these as well by stuffing Huddersfield away 2-0, thus earning them a fine home fixture against Premiership side Portsmouth at Field Mill in a few weeks' time.

In Hereford's very first league season, they played the Stags, who the previous season had been relegated on goal average, for the first time. The first match was played at Hereford, who had started slowly, eventually went on to be the second side to gain further promotion in their first league campain (the first one was Peterborough in 1960-61) on October 25, 1972 in front of Hereford's then highest league attendance, 10095. The then table-topping Stags lost 3-1 at Hereford (Hereford scorers Redrobe, Wallace, Owen; Stags scorer Wignall), and in the return fixture in January 1973, the teams drew 1-1 in front of 5530 who saw Ellis score for the Stags and Gregory for Hereford. By that time, Hereford were climbing up the table, already being in sixth position.

A few years later, the sides clinched again – in a higher division – within days of each other. First, the teams drew 2-2 at Field Mill on Februay 7, 1976 attended by 55597 who saw Ray Clarke and Kevin Bird strike for the Stags, and four days later, Hereford won by the only goal of the game in front of 8302 at Edgar Street. That defeat was to be the last Stags league one in the 1975-76 campaign - but Hereford went on to be Division Three champions with 63 points, 86 league goals, 35 of those from Dixie McNeil, all club records for the Bulls during their first 25-year stint in the League, which ended by a 1-1 home draw against Brighton on May 3, 1997. In the 1975-76 season, Terry Paine, Southampton's league appearence record holder, did play for Hereford against the Stags just like he did when representing Southampton several years earlier.

But at Field Mill, Hereford have lost heavily on a few occasions. The first was a 4-0 on August 23, 1980 when goals from Bird, Burrows, Austin and Caldwell did the stuffing – and the first-ever Stags victory against the Bulls. Another memorable rout was a 4-0 as well, which happened on the opening day of the 1985-86 season, August 17, 1985, when a hat-trick from Cassells and a goal from Chamberlain sealed it. But the most memorable thrashing must be the 7-1 on December 26, 1994, during a period when the Stags were scoring left, right and centre big style, or nineteen times in four consecutive three-pointers. The 7-1 mauling is remembered for six goals in the second half and the strike from Baraclough. More on that game in the Vintage Stags section.

In the for Hereford fateful 1996-97 season, the Stags beat the Bulls in both league fixtures. The first one was the Stags' first home victory that season, the week after that the Stags had beaten current Premiership side Fulham away 2-1. On September 28, 1986, a paltry 1889 crowd (but not the lowest that season) saw the Stags stuff the Bulls to a 3-1 scoreline thanks to goals from Sedgemore, Doolan from the spot and Walker. These goals were also the Stags first league home ones that season. And in the return fixture at Hereford on January 11, 1977, the attendance figure was slightly even worse. Just 1872 at Edgar Street saw Walker score the only goal of that fixture and send the Stags home with maximum points. And the Stags haven't lost at Hereford since January 18, 1986. Since then, five visites have rendered four wins, three of them without conceding, and a goal-less draw.

So far this season, Hereford have done well in their league comeback. Three wins and a draw, thus in their latest fixture, 1-1 at Rochdale thanks to two late penalties, is proof enough, while the Stags need to get back to winning ways after having lost their latest home fixture 4-2 to Lincoln and then very unluckily by the only goal of the game at Wycombe last Friday.

A few players have been appearing for both sides as well. One ex-Stag, who featured in eleven of Hereford's first league games, was Ivan Hollett, who a few years earlier played in Cambridge United's very first league campaign. Another one was much-travelled Ian Juryeff, yet one more was the most recent Stags promotion side manager. The name: Stuart Watkiss. The hot-shot in the 1991-92 promotion season must also be mentioned: Phil Stant. But even before Hereford's election to the League in 1972, there had been player connections, say Lindy Delapenha. And the players who shot Hereford back to the League after a nine-year absence in the finals against Halifax, Guy Ipoua, played a few games for the Stags in the 2004-05 season.

Played for both sides: (details mainly courtesy of the Players Who's Who on the history CD): George Banks, Michael Carter, Peter Clark (1960's), Lindy Delapenha, Raymond Devey, John Dungworth, Des Finch, Ivan Hollett, Guy Ipoua, Ian Juryeff, Harry Keeling, Joe Laidlaw, Fred Laycock, Jack Lewis, Brian MacReady, Paul McLoughlin, Darren Rowbotham, Frank Shell, George Simpson, Steve Spooner, Phil Stant, Richard Walker, Stuart Watkiss.

Home games: P 13, W 6, D 5, L 2, GF 29, GA 13
Away games: P 13, W 5, D 2, L 6, GF 13, GA 18

Previous league games:

Season Home Date Away Date

1972-73 1-1 1973-01-13 1-3 1972-10-25 Division 4 (old)
1975-76 2-2 1976-02-07 0-1 1976-02-11 Division 3 (old)
1980-81 4-0 1980-08-23 1-2 1981-01-31 Division 4 (old)
1981-82 2-1 1981-11-28 1-3 1982-04-24 Division 4 (old)
1982-83 0-1 1983-01-22 2-0 1982-09-18 Division 4 (old)
1983-84 1-1 1984-02-18 0-0 1983-10-29 Division 4 (old)
1984-85 1-1 1985-03-23 0-3 1984-10-06 Division 4 (old)
1985-86 4-0 1985-08-17 2-4 1986-01-18 Division 4 (old)
1991-92 1-1 1992-02-15 1-0 1992-02-25 Division 4 (old)
1993-94 2-1 1994-01-18 3-2 1994-04-04 Division 3
1994-95 7-1 1994-12-26 0-0 1995-04-17 Division 3
1995-96 1-2 1996-04-20 1-0 1995-11-04 Division 3
1996-97 3-1 1996-09-28 1-0 1997-01-11 Division 3

LDV Vans Trophy:

2005-06 0-1 2005-10-18 (at Field Mill)

Svante Bernhard aka Sweden Stag (pictured, above right)

 

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