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Archived News from November 2007

5th November 2007 19:53

Last season, the Stags' league fixture at Hereford, their first there for exactly ten years but two days, was their first since the shock departure of Richard Barker to Hartlepool, easily one of the worst, if not the very worst, decisions a certain Keith Haslam did during his reign at Field Mill, which ended just a month ago.

To replace Barker, Billy Dearden brought in two much-travelled players, Martin Gritton and Barry Conlon. And both scored in the vital 3-1 win at Edgar Street on January 13, this year. More on that game in the match centre. But one of the above-mentioned players, Gritton, was on the losing side at Field Mill last Saturday, when the Stags routed Macclesfield to a 5-0 score-line, the Stags' fourth consecutive without defeat and the third without even conceding. And the club with which Conlon started last term, Darlington, was slaughtered when the Hereford Bulls hit the Quakers for five with one reply last Saturday, the Bulls putting equally as many past Darlington as they did concede in thirteen previous league outings this season.

But the tale of a current Hereford v Mansfield league game is also a tale of two of the entire Football League's current oldest managerial heads. For the Stags, Billy Dearden, 63, and for the Bulls Graham Turner, 60. The latter managed Shrewsbury when they were promoted to the second tier way back in 1978-79 but has been in the Hereford hot-seat ever since the 1995-96 campaign, Bulls' relegation in 1996-97 and, of course, steered the Bulls back into the League. But will the Bulls think of their forthcoming FA Cup fixture against Leeds at home when playing the Stags on Tuesday night?

In Hereford's very first league season, being elected at Barrow's expense after FA Cup giant-killing (ask Newcastle!), the Bulls 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 on January 13, 1973, (exactly on the day 34 years ago to the Stags' latest trip to Hereford), the teams drew 1-1 in front of 5530 who saw Ellis score for the Stags and Gregory for the Bulls. By that time, Hereford were climbing up the table, already being in sixth position, while the Stags had started to falter, being midway through the first of two costly spells of six games without a victory.

A few years later, the sides clashed 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 5997 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, 1996, a paltry 1889 crowd (but not the lowest that season) saw the Stags slaughter the Bulls to a 3-1 scoreline thanks to goals from Sedgemore, Doolan from the spot and Walker, Hereford goal Preedy. And one promotion manager, Stuart Watkiss, played for the Stags in that game, came from Hereford in July 1996. These goals were also the Stags first league home ones that season. And in the return fixture at Hereford on January 11, 1997, the attendance figure was slightly even worse. Just 1872 at Edgar Street saw Walker score the only goal of that game and send the Stags home with maximum points. Walker managed only ONE more league goal that 1996-97 season. And the Stags haven't lost at Hereford since January 18, 1986. Since then, six visits have rendered five wins, three of them without conceding, and a goal-less draw. And after losing their first four league games at Hereford, the Stags finally broke the hoodoo on September 18, 1982, winning 2-0 with Gary Nicholson netting both in front of 1960.
Quite a few players have appeared 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 player 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. And last season, ex-Stag Neil MacKenzie (now at Notts County), played a few games for the Bulls on loan from Scunthorpe just before Christmas.

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, Neil Mackenzie, Joe Laidlaw, Fred Laycock, Jack Lewis, Brian MacReady, Paul McLoughlin, Darren Rowbotham, Frank Shell, George Simpson, Steve Spooner, Phil Stant, Richard Walker, Stuart Watkiss.

Come on Mansfield!

Home games: P 14, W 7, D 5, L 2, GF 33, GA 14
Away games: P 14, W 6, D 2, L 6, GF 16, GA 19

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
2006-07 4-1 2006-09-09 3-1 2007-01-13 League Two

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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