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

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Bulls draw at Southport

Southport's Main stand - click on any picture to enlarge
Hereford United came away from the curiously named Merseyrail Community Stadium (Haig Avenue to football folk) with a point having taken an early two-goal lead through Sam Clucas and a Ryan Bowman penalty when the hosts hit back with a dubious goal and a slightly fortunate penalty equaliser.

Martin Foyle named an unchanged 4-5-1 side with Josh O’Keefe and Luke Graham added to the bench.

Clucas swung in a cross shortly after the start but it was cleared without threat and Southport forged a cross from the left that Bittner was quickly out to gather.  Then on six minutes The Bulls took the lead.

Marsh provided a through ball that Clucas ran onto before rounding the keeper and slotting into the empty net.  

Joe Heath about to congraulate Sam Clucas
The Sandgrounders responded with a move down the left from which a header went wide before McQuilkin had a chance to double the lead but his shot from the edge of the box was blocked although his darting run was interrupted on thirteen minutes and a penalty resulted.  Bowman took the responsibility of the spot kick and duly fired home from twelve yards.

Bowman Slots Home
Walley made a forceful 40-yard run down the left but his curling effort went wide with Bittner untroubled.  For The Bulls, Marsh cut in from the right before laying off to McQuilkin but James’ shot rose over the bar.  Heath was carded for a late challenge on the dangerous Walley and when the free kick came in to The Bulls’ box, there was some sketchy defending before the ball was hacked away for a corner that was to result in a strange goal for the hosts.

While an inswinging ball was whipped in from the right, Lever (the left back) made a run straight at Bittner and took out the keeper without any attempt to go for the ball.  The result was that the ball curved into the net with Bittner only able to protest to an unsym-pathetic referee.

Will Evans dragged a shot well wide and McQuilkin picked up a yellow card

McQuilken about to be yellow carded
following some pedantic refereeing before Southport were awarded a slightly fortunate penalty (I believe their sixth in eight games) when Tames went down easily following contact with Chris Todd. 

Fullback Lever, the guilty party from the first goal, stepped up to fire past Bittner and level the score.  

 Bitner goes the wrong way
After all this time, I still don’t understand how a slight touch on the shoulder can cause both feet to fly up in the air.

HT Southport 2  Bulls 2

The Bulls were out early for the second half and Bittner was again impeded but the ball was cleared by Stam.  Bowman went on a driving run down the left but was cruelly blocked on the edge of the box and the resulting free kick from Clucas was gathered by keeper McMillan.

The hour mark produced a tactical change from Foyle as The Bulls moved to 4-4-2 with Perry joining Bowman up top in place of Marsh and O’Keefe taking the place of James in midfield.  Heath played a long ball forward that was hoofed out of the ground by the agricultural Parry and Walley produced another cross that Stephenson poked straight at Bittner.  

Another Hereford attack repelled
Clucas cut inside and blazed over the bar and Bowman grafted his way down the right before squaring across the box but no Bulls’ player was on hand to finish.  Smikle replaced a tired Harry Pell before Clucas’ cross was glanced wide by Perry.

Smith blasted against Bittner’s crossbar before, in a final insult, the referee awarded a free kick when home keeper McMillan was apparently impeded.  
Chris Todd impeding McMillan
 A pity that he’d failed to spot the same infringement the resulted in Southport’s first goal.

FT  Southport 2  Bulls 2

Hereford: Bittner, Gallinagh, Stam, Todd, Heath, Marsh (Perry 59), McQuilkin (O’Keefe 59), Evans, Pell (Smikle 77), Clucas, Bowman. Unused subs: Graham, Clist.

Southport: McMillan, Lynch (Smith 68), Grand, Parry, Lever (Willis 89); Whalley, Poku, Moogan, Ledsham; Stephenson (Almond 68), Tames. Unused subs Hibbert, Benjamin.

Attendance: 1,028 (including 143 from The Glorious Shire).

The Bulls worked hard throughout the game and Southport were more than a little fortunate to earn a point and we now look forward to the mouth-watering clash against Shrewsbury Town next Saturday.