Next Game: Pre-Season Friendly - Melksham Town Away on Saturday 7th July

Saturday, July 22, 2006

City seal deserved win

Bristol City fought back from a goal down to beat Hereford 2-1 in an entertaining encounter. Stuart Fleetwood had given The Bulls the lead with a powerful free-kick but a goal from Phil Jevons levelled things up before Dean Beckwith sliced past Wayne Brown with four minutes left to play to give the away side the victory.

United started with a strong side, which included Andy Ferrell at left back and Richard Rose in central midfield. Brown returned in goal whilst Tim Sills partnered Andy Williams up front. The start to the game was a very patient one with both sides looking comfortable in possesion but not creating any real chances, Tamika Mkandawire's header from a Rob Purdie free-kick which was straight at City goalie Adriano Basso, was the only real chance in the opening twenty minutes.

The away side signalled their intention of grabbing the first goal when Liam Fontaine unleashed a long range effort which whistled just past Brown's post. Ten minutes later, Steve Brooker's acrobatical effort from a right foot cross took an awkward bounce which had Brown beaten but the crossbar came to the rescue as the ball struck it and went over. Sills intelligent ball back to Wallis, created a chance for the former Gillingham player, but his shot deflected into the arms of Basso. Former Yeovil striker Jevons hit a half volley over before the ref called the first half to a close.

Williams was replaced by Fleetwood at half time, but despite this change, it was City who came out creating the chances. David Cotteril ran at the Hereford defence and created a decent chance for himself but his shot was weak and Brown made an easy save. Jevon's curling free-kick went close to the first goal, only Brown's excellent diving catch stopped him from opening his account. Bristol kept on coming back at Hereford, subsitute Enoch Showunmi missed a decent opportunity whilst Jevons volleyed wide after an excellent turn.

In the 58th minute though, Hereford took the lead completely against the run of play. Wallis won a free-kick in the "D" and Fleetwood stepped up to score, Basso got a hand to it but the power of the strike was too much for 'keeper to handle. Alex Jeannin then replaced Gareth Sheldon, slotting in at left back whilst Ferrell moved into midfield with Purdie pushing out to the left wing. City looked to find a reply; Skuse's shot was blocked by Brown. Showunmi's pace and power was too much for Hereford to handle, running down the left wing before cutting back to Skuse but his shot was excellent blocked by Dean Beckwith. Sills was then replaced by Alan Connell as Hereford looked to change their options up front

Still City attacked and Jevons once again went close with a header which from close range, went just over Brown's bar. With sixteen minutes remaining, the away side finally got their reward for the constant pressure they put on Hereford. Jevons met a cross, and despite strong appeals that he handled to control, his second touch saw him slot home past Brown to equalise. New signing Phil Gulliver and Sam Gwynne both got short run outs, replacing Mkandawire and Wallis but with four minutes remaining, Bristol City won the game. A cross came in from the right hand side and Beckwith sliced into his own net to hand the away side a late win.

An attendance of 1117 fans including 322 away supporters saw a deserved win for City, but Hereford can take much from the game. Richard Rose looked comfortable in midfield whilst Andy Ferrell also impressed at left back. Once again, Fleetwood looked lively when he came on with his running but at the end of the day, fitness and class shown through for Bristol City. On Tuesday, United travel to Forest Green for their first ever visit to "The New Lawn". Coupled with a decent away following, Hereford will be looking to return to winning ways against the Conference outfit.

Hereford: Brown, Travis, Ferrell, Mkandawire, Beckwith, Wallis, Rose, Purdie, Sheldon, Sills, Williams.

Subs: Jeannin, Fleetwood, Connell, Gwynne, Gulliver.