Ledbury triumph in front of big crowd

BUMPER CROWD: At Ledbury Town's New Street. Picture: CHRIS PONTER.

BUMPER CROWD: At Ledbury Town's New Street. Picture: CHRIS PONTER.

First published in Football

A BUMPER crowd of 654 flocked to New Street for a friendly between Ledbury Town and the Hereford United Supporters Trust (HUST) team.

Ledbury won 6–2 but the remarkable attendance was the major talking point as fans produced a carnival atmosphere throughout.

The match was arranged by the trust after 95 per cent of their members voted to boycott Bulls’ home matches in protest at the new ownership.

HUST was strengthened by former Bulls midfielder Sam Gwynne but the West Midlands League hosts looked sharper.

Ledbury got off to a flier when Bryan Sewell netted after four minutes and Anthony Bradford doubled their advantage on the half-hour.

Former youth teamer Callum Brennan pulled one back but Ledbury added two further goals in the opening minutes of the second-half through substitute Gavin Hodgkins and Joe Bates.

Max Contic netted for HUST before Ledbury’s superior fitness and cohesion saw them strike twice more late on thanks to joint manager Zac Blood and Zeki Koral.

Ledbury chairman Colin Brandt said: “It was a splendid night and I was very happy with the size of the crowd.”

HUST vice-chairman Martin Watson said: “This showed the solidarity of the fans, who wanted to watch a genuine Hereford United team in Hereford colours.”

Guest HUST manager was Pete Beadle, whose last game in charge of a Hereford side was in the dramatic end-of-season conference win at Aldershot Town.

He said: “This could be the start of something really big. The size of the crowd was unbelievable. It makes a point.

“There was only one winner, the supporters of Hereford United, who are trying to get some honesty and credibility back to the club.”

For Ledbury, admission money was boosted by catering and bar cash.

The HUST team will play a Worcester City XI at Malvern Town on Sunday, August 3.

Hereford, who are due to start their Southern League Premier Division campaign on August 9, remain under a transfer embargo and are back in the High Court on Monday to face a winding-up order from former manager Martin Foyle and HM Revenue and Customs.

The Edgar Street ground remains closed for football by Herefordshire Council because it does not have a safety certificate.

Meanwhile, Ledbury host Quedgeley Wanderers tonight (7.45pm) and a Worcester City XI on Wednesday (7.30pm).

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