HEREFORD manager Pete Beadle says it won't be the 'be all or end all' if his team don't start well in the Southern Premier League, but knows the first month will be vital.

The Bulls will play five matches this month, with the opener taking place at Kings Langley in Hertfordshire.

Hereford are overwhelming favourites to claim another promotion, with some bookmakers quoting them as low as 3/1 to win the league.

But August does throw up some potentially tricky games, with home encounters against Slough and Merthyr standing out.

'It's really important that you start well," said Beadle.

"We didn't play particularly well in the first half at Totton last year, but in the second half, we were really good and went on after that.

"Then against Mangotsfield, we got our way through the game and on another day we could have won 3-0.

"The first month of the season will be vital for us.

"We've got Slough and Merthyr at home, but the others can't be taken lightly either.

"But if we can get off to a good start, it keeps that momentum going.

"No one is going to win the league by the end of August and no one is going to win at Christmas.

"Last year, we got ourselves such a head start that it was always going to be difficult to catch us, but Taunton kept clawing away and at one point I think they got it down to 11 or 12 points.

"It's never over until it's over but the start is important."

Hereford's first home game is against Tiverton this Tuesday and the Bulls know all about the Devon side having faced them in the South & West Division last season.

"We took four points off them last season, but they would have strengthened again and it will be a tough game," said Beadle.