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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Poor Bulls fail at Forest Green

Forest Green recorded a two goal victory over Hereford United this evening after a shocking performances by The Bulls. It was the first time that United fans had been able to see their side play at The New Lawn. Two second half goals from Sam Litchfield and Adrian Bellamy was enough to defeat Hereford, who never looked like scoring throughout the game.

Hereford fielded a strong starting eleven including the partnership of Andy Williams and Alan Connell up top. Trialist Paul Jones partnered Andy Ferrell in midfield, whilst another trialist, Marcus Palmer, who featured at Ludlow, started on the bench but did not feature. Forest Green gave former Bull Jamie Pitman the captaincy and another former Bull, Danny Williams, started on the bench at The New Lawn.

Forest Green looked lively in the opening minutes, and in particular Charlie Griffin who turned well up against Mkandawire but fired a powerful shot over. Minutes later, Griffin tested Wayne Brown with a 25 yard drive but Brown was equal to it. In the 33rd minute, Alex Meechan shot straight at Brown with a weak effort but in the build up, a clash of heads led to Hereford's Dean Beckwith being taken off after a head wound, he was replaced by Jon Wallis with Simon Travis switching to right back and Richard Rose coming into centre back.

Andy Williams was bought down on the edge of the area but the free-kick was poor by Alex Jeannin, struck the wall with no real power. The impressive Jones, in the heart of United's midfield, set up Ferrell but the former Watford youngster struck a weak shot at Ryan Harrison. Just before half time, Gareth Sheldon volleyed over after a cross from Andy Ferrell.

In an attempt to liven up the game, Stuart Fleetwood and Rob Purdie replaced Alan Connell and Andy Ferrell at half time. Williams mazy run saw him beat a defender but his powerful shot was well saved by Harrision, this was Hereford's best chance of the game and only shot in the second half. Just a minute later, Brown rushed out of his box to meet the oncoming striker but fouled him. The ref blew up but did not hand out a card, the resulting free-kick was deflected wide.

Pitman became livlier as the half went on, his cross met by Bellamy's head went wide. Then Pitman himself tried his luck with a half volley from 25 yards which went far over Brown's bar. Tim Sills took the place of Gareth Sheldon with Andy Williams moving to the left side. Andy's namesake, Danny Williams was also introduced halfway through the second period for Meechan, the former Stevenage winger is looking for a new club after being released from Broadhall Way after just one season.

In the 69th minute, Rovers took the lead. Bellamy placed a through ball for Lichfield, whose touch took him around Brown. Despite over-running it, the former Wigan youngster, struck the post before firing in at the second time of asking. Danny Williams ran well but shot well wide of Karl Lewis's post, who replaced Brown late in the half. Sam Gwynne was also introduced, taking the place of Alex Jeannin. Two minutes into added time, Rovers provided a knock out blow after some strong running down the left from sub Paul Stonhouse. His low cross was met by a poked shot from Bellamy, leaving Lewis with no chance and making the game 2-0 to the home side.

Played in front of 802 supporters at the impressive New Lawn, Forest Green were deserved winners after a lacklustre display by Hereford. The Bulls didn't look like a side and struggled to create any real chances throughout the game although two positives that United can take out of the game is that trialist Paul Jones looked a very assured player, comfortable on the ball and a strong tackler. Richard Rose also impressed with his strong tackling and versatality to play in more than one position. Next up for The Whites is a home friendly against Cheltenham, Graham Turner may choose to treat this as their "first game of the season" to better prepare the players for the opening day trip to Stockport.

Hereford: Brown, Rose, Mkandawire, Beckwith, Jeannin, Travis, Jones, Ferrell, Sheldon, Fleetwood, Connell.

Subs: Lewis, Wallis, Purdie, Gwynne, Palmer, Fleetwood, Sills.