After a mini-break, The Coasters are back in action as they travel to Herefordshire to face the Bulls at Edgar Street.
Fylde will want to return to winning ways following the last minute 3-3 draw to Bradford Park Avenue at Mill Farm at the start of the month and will be hoping for three points in Saturday’s fixture – (3 pm KO).
Hereford Football Club originated as a phoenix club of Hereford United, following the club’s extinction in December 2014. The Hereford United Supporters Trust vowed to create another club, and Jon Hale who was a previous chairman of the HUST registered Hereford F.C. with the Herefordshire County FA founding the club in 2014 with the HUST as the majority shareholder of the club.
The club started in the Midland Football League Premier Division with 2015/16 as the club’s first season. The Bulls’ first league match happened on the 8th of August 2015, where Hereford defeated Dunkirk 4-1 in front of a crowd of 4,062 – a league record which was higher than four attendances that day in the Football League.
The club ended the 2015/16 season as champions and earned a promotion to the Southern League South and West Division. The Bulls went on to also win the Herefordshire County Cup and the Midland Football League Cup nearly making it a clean sweep with the FA Vase but losing in the final at Wembley. 2016/17 would see Hereford achieving back-to-back promotions to Southern Premier League, which they went on to dominate over 2017/18 making it three league titles in a row for the Bulls. The Southern Premier League win also meant that Hereford would start the 2018/19 season in the National League North for the first time in the phoenix club’s history, and the Bulls remain in this league today.
The Manager – Josh Gowling
Josh Gowling initially signed for Hereford as a player, joining the club in December 2018. A little over a year later he took over the position of manager as an interim whilst maintaining his playing position. After impressing in his short spell as manager, Gowling took over the Bulls permanently and remains in the position today. The 37-year-old possesses a psychology degree as well as a UEFA B licence, and he still features several other coaching badges and qualifications making him a strong candidate to take Hereford in the sustainable climb they aspire to achieve.
As a player, Gowling started his career at West Bromwich Albion. Following his release, he moved to the Danish Premier Division signing for Herfølge Boldklub. He returned to England prior to the 2005/06 season joining Bournemouth. He then went on to join Carlisle United, but spent most of the season on loan to Hereford, subsequently marking his first spell with the Bulls. Following a successful loan spell with Gillingham, he joined the Gills on a permanent basis in 2009 before being loaned to Lincoln City. He left in 2012 by mutual consent and signed for Kidderminster Harriers making over 100 appearances for the Worcestershire side. The experienced central defender then represented Grimsby Town and Torquay United before finally joining Hereford.
Club Captain – Jared Hodgkiss
Hereford captain Jared Hodgkiss has been with the club since signing in 2019 prior to the 2019/20 season following a successful trial with the club. The full-back made 28 National League North appearances in his first season, and has been an important presence in Gowling’s side for their 2020/21 campaign.
The 34-year-old right-back started his career at Premier League side West Bromwich Albion, coming through the youth ranks at the club and making his first team debut in 2006 in an away FA Cup fixture against Reading. He went on to make 9 appearances for the Baggies before spending time on loan with Scottish Premiership side Aberdeen and Northampton Town. Following his release from WBA, Hodgkiss had a brief spell maintaining fitness with Market Drayton Town before signing for Forest Green Rovers where he went on to make over 160 appearances as a key player for the club. He then moved on to Kidderminster Harriers following a 5-year spell with Forest Green, experiencing a short loan spell to Torquay United in the process. He left the club in 2017 moving to Macclesfield Town for two seasons, before arriving at Hereford.
1 Paul White
2 Jared Hodgkiss©
12 Kennedy Digie
6 Jamie Grimes
23 Daniel Jones
18 Yan Klukowski
16 James McQuilkin
10 Tom Owen-Evans
17 Ryan Lloyd
14 Lenell John-Lewis
34 Kelsey Mooney
The Bulls are currently experiencing a poo f form which they will be desperate to overturn in Saturday’s fixture. Hereford’s last fixture saw them travel to Chester FC this past Tuesday, where they suffered a 5-3 defeat despite being 2-0 at the minute 38. The Bulls are currently in a 4-match winless streak suffering another defeat to Gloucester mid-November as well as a 2-2 draw to Chorley and 3-3 draw to Kettering, both at home. Their last win saw Hereford beat Blyth Spartans 3-0 away from home. The Bulls have achieved two wins in the season and currently sit in 20th in the National League North table.
Fylde currently sit 2nd in the National League North table, with 21 points. This game will be essential to the Coasters in their goal of reaching the top of the table, with 10 games played against Gloucester’s 12, it will be essential to Fylde to secure the 3 points in this fixture in order to overtake the Tigers when they catch up in games. The Coasters drew 3-3 in their last fixture against Bradford PA, after Lewis Knight’s 90th minute equaliser, but will be wanting to return to their winning ways this Saturday.
This will be the first time that Hereford and AFC Fylde are up against each other.
One to Watch – Tome Owen-Evans
Midfielder Tom Owen-Evans has shown to be an important asset to Hereford this season. He currently sits as top goal scorer for Hereford, tied with Lenell John-Lewis, with 4 goals scoring 2 spectacular braces on two occasions. Owen-Evans last scored 2 goals in Hereford’s last outing against Chester, which placed Hereford in a winning position. He had also previously done this against Blyth Spartans scoring twice in 3 minutes, barely missing out on a perfect hat-trick after hitting the side netting with one of his later chances in the game. Owen-Evans has demonstrated a great level of ability which makes him an important member of Hereford’s current squad.
The 23-year-old exciting midfielder started his career at League Two side Newport County as product of their youth academy. He made his first-team debut during 2014/15 and went on to make 52 appearances for Newport. Throughout his time signed to Newport County, Owen-Evans also spent time on loan with Gloucester City and Truro. In 2018, he moved to Scottish Championship side Falkirk making 2 appearances in his just under four months with the club. He then moved to the Bulls where he still is today, although he spent part of the 2019/20 season in a successful loan at Chippenham Town.