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This Week's Opposition: Hereford FC

Photo Credit: Hereford FC

A 1-1 draw with Wimbledon on Tuesday night saw the Blues progress to the knockout stages of the Papa John’s Trophy. Now it’s time for even more cup action… The FA Cup is back for the new season!

Danny Cowley’s side will contest in the first match of this campaign’s FA Cup First Round - Their tie away at Hereford moved to a Friday night for broadcasting purposes.

The Bulls currently play in the National League North and have had to work their way back up to the sixth tier over the last decade, as the old club known as Hereford United was wound up in 2014.

This new phoenix club was registered by local businessman Jon Hale with the support of the Hereford United Supporters Trust, who worked tirelessly to ensure they were back competing again in time for the 2015/16 season.

Hereford began again from scratch but were able to retain their old stomping ground, Edgar Street, for their return to domestic football, starting off in the 9th tier of the English pyramid in the Midland Football League Premier Division 7 years ago.

3 promotions later and the club are now just 2 steps away from returning to the Football League, having last been a member as Hereford United back in 2012, when they were relegated from League Two and into the Conference.

Times have changed dramatically since and here’s what we know now about the new side…

MANAGER

38-year-old Josh Gowling is currently Hereford’s manager.

The former Bournemouth, Kidderminster and Grimsby centre-back, who came through the youth academy at West Bromwich Albion, has been in charge of The Bulls since January 2020.

Gowling succeeded the departing Russell Slade as Edgar Street but initially on just an interim basis. He was handed the role permanently 5 months later, shortly after the curtailment of lower league football due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

ONE TO WATCH

Once upon a time, a youngster named Miles Storey donned the royal blue shirt of Pompey as part of a loan deal from Swindon Town.

The striker was just 20-years-old at the time and spent just half a season at Fratton Park, scoring 2 league goals in 17 appearances.

Nowadays, he represents Hereford and has done since his arrival to the club last summer, joining on a permanent basis from Scottish outfit Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Storey, now 28, has scored 7 times in the league for his latest club having made 40 appearances in the National League North, though has yet to find the back of the net this season.

TOP SCORER

The club’s leading scorer at this stage of the season comes in the form of veteran forward Tyrone Barnett, who has claimed 6 league goals so far.

Barnett has 4 in his last 4 and was on the scoresheet twice in Hereford’s previous league match against Curzon Ashton last Saturday.

He is now 37 and has so far enjoyed a playing career spanning 17 years, starting off at Rushall Olympic and representing 15 other different clubs before his move to Edgar Street from Eastleigh in the summer.

CURRENT FORM

Although currently 14th in the National League North, Hereford have found a bit of form in recent weeks.

The Bulls have secured 4 victories from their last 6 league outings and 5 in their last 6 in all competitions.

Back-to-back league wins over AFC Fylde and Curzon Ashton represent Josh Gowling’s most recent results.

To reach this stage of The FA Cup, Hereford saw off Bromsgrove, Three Bridges FC and Bromley in the qualifying rounds.

Will the Blues make it through to the Second Round of The FA Cup or is there set to be a big upset on the cards at Edgar Street?

All of the unmissable action on Pompey Live from 7 O'Clock on Friday evening with Matt Drabble and Jake Smith!

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