'A New Era at Edgar Street'
12th August 1972
Colchester United 1 Hereford United 0
Hereford United made an impressive start to their Football League career at Layer Road (pictured) and though they failed to gain a point they did more than enough to suggest they would achive success in the Division during the season.
The Bulls had two key players out of the team and a draw would have been a fairer result. Had player-manager Colin Addison, who was serving a two-match suspension, and George Johnston, thigh injury, both been available United may have made a winning start to their Football League programme. Addison would have been able to exert the necessary authority in midfield and Johnston would have relished some of the chances that were created.
Colchester were a very fit side and contained six teenagers in their line up, with the oldest player being Mick Mahon, aged just 24! The pace and the strength of the youngsters was in contrast to the more experienced Bulls' line up, and the difference in style made the game a fascinating one to watch. Despite having to adjust to the faster speed of league football the players came through the initial test well and indeed looked stronger towards the interval and could well have pulled the game out of the fire in the closing stages. With more accuracy in front of goal a draw would certainly have been the outcome.
Although top marks went to goalkeeper Fred Potter, it was wrong to suggest that he was constantly in the action. Whenever Colchester looked like scoring it was invariably Potter who stole the limelight with some gallant saves. Midway through the first half he injured three fingers on his left hand when blocking shots from close blank range but never gave the slightest indication that he was in difficulties. He carried on withoit complaint until he could receive medical treatment after the match.
Brian Owen and Ivan Hollett both missed close range chances which could have given the Bulls an interval lead. Colchester's winner came in the 47th minute when a leftb wing move caught United off guard and after a goalmouth tussle the ball went back to the wing half Steve Foley who netted from ten yards.
Colchester had the edge for a period after this and went close on a couple of occasions but in the 69th minute United missed another golden opportunity as Owen caused confusion when goalkeeper Smith and Noble were in a defensive mix-up and the ball went to Kenny Wallace but with the goal at his mercy the Londoner blazed wide from close range.
Manager Colin Addison considered that the Bulls' had deserved a point: 'The lads played well. It was not a great game but it was hard and we stood up to the pressure well.
'We had a couple of really good chances and did not disgrace ourselves.'
Even referee Keith Walker, a FIFA official, who took charge of the game was impressed by the Bulls' league debut: 'I think they will do well in the Fourth Division,' he said.
A week on Saturday and it will be another 'new ground' for the Bulls as Hereford take on Colchester at League One level, some 36 years on.
Lets hope it's a different result with Hereford able to bag their first away win of the 2008-09 campaign!