Bulls burst Blackpool's bubble
Blackpool's attempts to win the LDV Vans trophy three times within four season have been foiled by Hereford United at Edgar Street this evening. An open, attack minded game provided plenty of entertainment for the crowd of 2181 including the 159 travelling supporters in which Lee Mills popped up with a late winner for the hosts, meaning United progress to the area semi finals thanks to their 2-1 success.
Graham Turner made one forced change in which Tom Smith replaced the suspended skipper Tony James in Hereford's backline. Lee Mills and Graham Hyde were named amongst the substitutes as they were rested for the weekends F.A. Cup game. Jamie Pitman and Rob Purdie took their places.
A lively opening saw Danny Williams test 'keeper Lee Jones with a twenty yard free kick before David Brown took the ball on his chest and fired wide on the turn. Matthew Blinkhorn shot form outside the box and Craig Mawson gathered at the second attempt. Mark Robinson's ball over the top of the defence found Adam Stansfield who shot narrowly wide of the far post from eighteen yards. Stansfield was involved once again on fifthteen minutes when, after receiving a high ball from the midfield, he hooked a pass over his head into the path of Pitman. The stand in captain took the ball around a defender before firing in low from around six yards for the opener.
Simon Travis went close soon after and Purdie who impressed again ran a good thirty five yards before striking well over the bar. Travis crossed from the right for Stansfield who cusioned a header towards Williams, but Mark McGregor was able to clear for a corner. Craig Stanley shot from twenty five yards and the ball dipped just over the crossbar before Tamika Mkandawire was booked on the stroke of half time. Robert Edwards crossed from the free kick and Keith Southern headed over.
Colin Hendry decided to make three changes after fifty three minutes; Richie Wellens, Scott Taylor and Peter Clarke were all introduced and it was not long before the Tangerenes equalised. Purdie had hit a tame shot at Jones after good work by Stansfield just before Blackpool attacked down the left flank. A perfect cross found Blinkhorn at the far post who converted from six yards.
Brown headed a Pitman cross wide at the far post before he played Stansfield into a brilliant position with Purdie in support. They against one defender, Purdie took a pass from his team mate before seeing his low effort saved by the hand of the 'keeper. Hereford began to mount some pressure with two counter attacks in quick succession as the game moved from end to end. A first right wing cross was just beyond Purdie in the box and a second, delivered by Travis found Brown who headed inches wide.
Blinkhorn went close again with a header for Blackpool after Keigan Parker's delivery before Parker had a glorious chance to put his side in the lead. Travis was caught out on the right and a cross went through everyone in the box and fell twelve yards out to Parker who hammered wide. With this, Hereford made a double change to their attack. Lee Mills and Danny Carey-Bertram reaplaced Brown and Stansfield in what proved to be a very good piece of subbing by Graham Turner.
After a long range effort by Parker was caught by Mawson Carey-Bertram was fouled around twenty five yards from goal in the eighty sixth minute. Mark Robinson found man of the match Smith in the box who headed towards the far post where Mills was on hand to bundle the ball over the line and send Edgar Street wild. Graham Hyde replaced Pitman as United saw out the remainder of the game with no real threat from their oppenents.
Much like the previous LDV cup ties, there has been plenty of exciting, passing football on display. It seems that the superior opposition that United have challenged has allowed this style to occur more often than it would in the league at Edgar Street. The crowd certainly got good value for their money this evening. Having knocked out the champions, Graham Turner's side must now be confident that they have the ability to go on push for a place in the final in Cardiff.
HUFC Team: Mawson, Travis, Mkandawire, Smith, Robinson, Daniel Williams, Pitman, Stanley, Purdie, Stansfield, Brown. Subs: Tretton, Scott, Carey-Bertram, Hyde, Mills
BFC Team: Jones, Richardson, Doughty, McGregor, Edwards, Wiles, Grayson, Southern, Burns, Blinkhorn, Parker. Subs: Edge, Evans, Wellens, Taylor, Clarke.