Next Game: Bradford PA At Edgar Street On Saturday 25th August at 3.00pm

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bulls blag point against Port Vale

After taking the lead against the run of play with a fine Marc Pugh finish, The Valiants struck twice through Dodds and Taylor before Triston Plummer converted from the spot to give The Bulls a somewhat fortunate home point.

Manager Trewick had shuffled his pack giving a midfield starts to Sam Gwynne and Jamie Tolley leaving captain Kenny Lunt without a place even on the bench. Ryan Green took the armband. The flanks were occupied by Jonny Godsmark and the returning Marc Pugh while Triston Plummer partnered Constantine up front. For Vale, both Lee Collins and John McCombe started in a central back three but Kris Taylor missed out having incurred a thigh strain during midweek training.

The game started with Hereford defending the Meadowend and under early pressure from a Vale team fresh from their midweek Carling Cup victory. Richards forced a corner off Dennehy, which was taken by Frazer and met with a firm Gareth Owen header that crashed off the crossbar. Shortly afterwards, Richards blazed over from 15 yards when well placed. Dennehy then conceded a free kick on the right edge of the box but Bartlett was quickly off his line to collect Frazer’s cross. Jonny Godsmark landed awkwardly damaging his right arm and was replaced by Lee Morris on the quarter hour mark. Vale continued to boss the proceedings but in a rare Hereford attack, Pugh released Morris who found Tolley on the edge of the box but his effort flew over the bar. A Vale free kick from their right found it’s way to McCombe but the former Hereford player’s shot was deflected for a corner. Corner after corner rained in on the Bulls goal and McCombe came close again when his header thumped off the crossbar. Then, against the run of play, The Bulls took the lead. Leon Constantine worked the ball wide to Marc Pugh who turned his marker one way then the other before cutting in from the left and firing into the far top corner from 18 yards with fifteen minutes remaining of the half. The goal brought some impetus to what had been a lacklustre Bulls performance and Hereford continued to give a good account of themselves up to the break as the game see-sawed from end to end. Pugh fed Morris on the eighteen-yard line, the striker turn his marker and fired just wide as the first period drew to a close.

HT HUFC 1 Port Vale 0

With a half time lead and the opportunity to attack down the slope, fans must have been hopeful that the first League victory was on the way. However, not for the first time this season, it was the visitors who took the initiative after the half time cucumber sandwiches. The noticeable difference between the respective defences was the quality of clearances. While the resolute Vale defenders managed to find their own players, all to often The Bulls back division’s efforts were collected and returned by the Valiant’s midfield. Just five minutes into the second period, a hacked ball upfield was fed back into Louis Dodds who rounded Dennehy and fired home across Bartlett into the far corner of the net.

Just minutes later, Vale took the lead. Rob Taylor who had impressed down the left moved towards the edge of the Bulls box unchallenged before curling a delightful shot passed Bartlett to give the visitors a deserved lead. Port Vale continued to control matters and The Bulls had Bartlett to thank for two fine saves from Richards and Loft. Meanwhile, Constantine was withdrawn and replaced by young Marlon Jackson. However, Hereford still struggled to produce any real chances but as the sub-2000 home crowd must have been fearing the worst, Lord Richard Rose set off on a rampaging run towards the opposing goal. With Pugh expecting to be released on the left, Rose cut into the box and was felled by McCombe’s outstretched leg to provide an equalising chance. Triston Plummer stepped up and dispatched the spot-kick firmly to the keepers right to level the score with his first League goal with ten minutes left on the clock.

Vale responded with more attacking play and Loft, Taylor and Frazer all brought saves from Bartlett as The Bulls hung on earn a less than deserved point in front of 2434 including 445 from Vale Park

FT HUFC 2 Port Vale 2.

This was, yet again, a game that left Bulls fans wondering where a victory would come from. The transfer window swings shut on Tuesday with little sign at this time of any incomers. Fortunately, it’s only a week or so before the emergency loans can be made and it must be hoped that John Trewick’s contacts can produce something special to add to his beleaguered squad.

HUFC - Bartlett; Green, Dennehy, D Jones, Rose; Godsmark (Morris, 16 min), Gwynne, Tolley, Pugh; Constantine (Jackson, 76 min), Plummer.
Subs not used: Adamson, Valentine, Lowe, Southam, Done.

PORT VALE - Martin; Yates, Collins, McCombe, Owen, McCrory; Dodds (Jorgensen, 86 min), Fraser, Loft; Taylor (Horsfield, 86 min), Richards.
Subs not used: Stockley, Griffith, Weston.