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Sunday, January 06, 2002

Jan 6th 2002 - Parry saves point in local derby

Forest Green Rovers 1 - 1 Hereford United

Hereford United extended their unbeaten run to four games after gaining a hard earned point today at the Lawn against Forest Green Rovers.

The Bulls, who missed the youthful Gavin Williams in attack through injury, won through with a second half performance which could have seen them win the game. Credit where it's due though, and Forest Green played well to hold out for a point after an even first period in difficult conditions. The pitch was perfectly playable but the wet meant some sliding tackles and two sides that got extremely muddy.

With Gavin Williams out, manager Phil Robinson opted to push Paul Parry into attack alongside Rob Elmes whilst Jimmy Quiggin filled in in midfield. At left back, John Shirley was drafted in after the departure of Tony Capaldi, the Irishman having completed his loan spell and returning to Birmingham City.

The first half started brightly but faded away as time progressed. John Snape hit an early twenty five yard effort wide but the real action started after thirteen minutes when Forest Green Rovers were awarded a penalty. A long ball from Kevin Langan was aimed at Alex Meecham, but Hereford goalkeeper Matt Baker misjudged the situation, advancing further and slipping over. Meecham, through on goal, was brought down by Matt Clarke who was booked for his troubles, and from the spot kick, Carl Heggs' effort was well stopped by the legs of Baker. However, defender Rob Cousins was on hand to knock in the rebound from close range.

Paul Parry had a half chance soon afterwards at the other end but the half was not-action packed. The referee and his assistants frustratingly blew up for niggling challenges and offences in a game which was difficult to play in poor conditions.

Both Forest Green's Carl Heggs and captain Mark Cooper were cautioned for dissent as the half progressed, and in the last minute, Jamie Impey picked up a yellow card for a foul on John Snape.

Half time saw a change in the Hereford side with Phil Robinson deciding to take himself off and bringing on striker Danny Davidson to bolster the front line. It turned out to be the only change of the game for the away side and again, although he could have been used later as the Bulls searched for a winner, there was no action for Steve Piearce.

The away side did look much improved and dominated from the start. Danny Davidson had a good early run, cutting inside to see his shot taken by the goalkeeper Steve Perrin. Three minutes later, Davidson crossed from left to pick out Jimmy Quiggin who smashed a low left footed volley onto the post before bouncing behind for a goal kick. Quiggin headed wide a minute later before Rovers had a mini revival.

Matt Baker collected well on the hour when Carl Heggs shot straight at him after running clear of the defence, and five minutes later Simon Travis picked out Martin Foster who shot again at Baker.

Hereford needed to pull themselves back into the game and with twenty minutes left, they did exactly that. A cross from the right picked out Jimmy Quiggin and the ex-Boldmere attacker hit a twenty five yard shot goalwards which Perrin tipped away. However, the loose ball allowed Paul Parry to pounce and level the scores from close range.

Quiggin had a further chance before a double Rovers substitution aimed to put some life back into their squad. Davidson created a late Bulls effort but nobody was capable of breaking the deadlock. Overall, Hereford probably shaded proceedings but cannot be too disappointed by gaining a point in poor conditions and frustating decision making by Mr. Perkin and his assistants.

A healthy crowd of 1,116 turned out including around 350 from Herefordshire. Perhaps the most worrying point from Hereford's view was that just four players were named as substitutes - Steve Piearce, Danny Davidson, Paul Marshall (a youth player) and Lee Evans (the youth team goalkeeper). The man-of-the-match award goes to Paul Parry for his endless running, creativity and the goal in difficult circumstances.

Forest Green Rovers: Steve Perrin, Rob Cousins, Steve Jenkins, Mark Cooper (captain), Jamie Impey, Martin Foster (off, 78 mins), Kevin Langan, Simon Travis, Carl Heggs, Alex Meecham (off, 78 mins), Lee Howey

Subs: Simon Futcher (on, 78 mins), Lee Howey, Daniel Allen, Ade Adams (on, 78 mins), Pritchard

Hereford United: Matt Baker, Matt Clarke, John Shirley, Phil Robinson (off-45mins), Ian Wright (capt), Tony James, Scott Goodwin, John Shape, Rob Elmes, Jimmy Quiqqin, Paul Parry

Subs: Steve Piearce, Lee Evans, Daniel Davidson (on 46mins) Paul Marshall

Yellow cards: Matt Clarke (13 mins)
Man of the Match Paul Parry
Attendance 1,116
Referee Mr. N. Perkin (Gravesend)