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

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Late goal devestates United once again

Hereford United fell to a second successive defeat, this time at the hands of Millwall at the New Den. Lewis Grabban struck with just three minutes remaining to give the home side all three points. Referee Andy Woolmer was once again in the action, dishing out two red cards in the second half. Firstly Jimmy Abdou was sent off for a lunge on Clint Easton, before Nick Chadwick was shown his marching orders for a second bookable offence to level the teams up.

The Bulls made four changes to the team that started on Saturday against Stockport, with Richard Jackson missing out due to injury. Richard Rose switched to right-back, and Kris Taylor to left-back, with Ben Smith starting in central midfield. Simon Johnson replaced Sam Gwynne on right-wing, whilst up front, Chadwick and Bradley Hudson-Odoi took the places of Steve Guinan and Andy Williams. Former Barnet and Leeds' striker Tresor Kandol started for the home side, whilst one time United target Dave Martin had to be content with a place on the bench.

In awful footballing conditions, with heavy rain and swirling winds, the first-half created very little in way of goal-mouth action. Kandol headed harmlessly off-target whilst Grabban tried his luck with a volley, but again failed to test Darren Randolph. The Bulls started to look dangerous towards the end of the half with Hudson-Odoi running in behind the defence to cross for Chadwick, but he failed to get any power behind his volley. Taylor registered a shot on target when set up by Hudson-Odoi, but his low left-foot shot lacked power and was held with ease by David Forde.

Kenny Jackett made an enforced change at the break with Andy Frampton taking to the pitch, replacing Zak Whitbread who had picked up a groin strain. Within three minutes of the restart, Millwall were reduced to ten men. Easton went in for a 50/50 with Abdou, and the latter was adjudged to lunge in and show his studs; Woolmer waited for calm from the players before flashing the red card. Jackett reacted quickly, bringing on Martin for Man City loanee Karl Moore. Kandol turned in the middle of the park, but struck well wide with a curling strike. The Bulls' best chance of the second-half, and the game fell to Hudson-Odoi. Johnson crossed from deep and Chadwick chested down to Hudson-Odoi, who shot first-time, but it was straight at Forde who parried and gathered at the second attempt. If the shot was either side of the goalie, The Bulls could have been celebrating a lead. However, they were to regret the miss as soon after, they too were down to ten men.

Having already picked up a silly yellow for kicking the ball away, Chadwick was given his marching orders after being adjudged to foul Kandol. From the away end, it looked as though he won the ball and that Kandol was fouled by his own man, but Woolmer being Woolmer showed the yellow and then the red, and both sides were equal once again. Chris Hackett sent a whipped cross in from the right touch-line and it was met by Kandol, but again he failed to hit the target. Moments later, Grabban found space 25 yards out as the pitch opened up before him but again Randolph was untroubled by a speculative effort.

Toumani Diagouraga was easily turned by Martin as he ran into the box, but a curling effort went over the bar, before two changes were made by Graham Turner. Stephen O'Leary replaced Johnson, whilst Guinan came on for Hudson-Odoi as United looked for someone to hold the ball up. One of the largest cheers of the night occured when Kandol was taken off by Jackett, with Plymouth striker Jermaine Easter taking his place. Towards the end of the game, Millwall started to turn up the heat on the Hereford defence, with Randolph forced to tip over a long-shot by Grabban. The young striker was involved in all the action, as an excellent chip completely outdid the Bulls' back-line, and experienced front-man Neil Harris headed onto the top of the bar after beating the offside trap. The pressure finally paid off for the Lions with three minutes to go. Grabban picked up the ball some 40 yards out, but failure to close the former Crystal Palace front man down allowed him to run into the box and get a strike in on goal which Randolph parried, but Grabban easily slotted in the rebound to send much to the delight and relief of the majority of the 9071 crowd. Matty Done came on for Easton late on, but it was too little, too late for Hereford.

It was another heartbreaking late goal against Hereford, after working hard for the majority of the game and looking to have claimed a decent point. Again the lack of goals is a major concern, and another striker with a proven record seems to be a must should United want to get out of the position they are currently in. A credible 346 away fans made the journey in the poor conditions, with many missing a large chunk of the first-half after coaches were stuck in bad traffic. Next up for Hereford is another hugely difficult away trip to Peterborough, who have Craig Mackail-Smith and Aaron McLean both in good form.

Hereford: Randolph, Rose, Broadhurst, N'Gotty, Taylor, Johnson, Diagouraga, Smith, Easton, Chadwick, Hudson-Odoi.

Subs: Samson, Beckwith, O'Leary, Done, Guinan.

Millwall: Forde, Hackett, Craig, Laird, Robinson, Whitbread, Moore, Abdou, Harris, Kandol, Grabban.

Subs: Edwards, Fuseini, Frampton, Martin, Easter.