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Saturday, October 03, 2015

Bulls through in the Vase

Hereford FC have progressed in the FA Vase Second Qualifying Round with a 1-0 victory over fellow Midland League Premier side Bardon Hill FC. The only goal of the game was scored by John Mills; he converted a penalty in the second-period after Pablo Haysham was felled.

Peter Beadle was forced into two changes from Tuesday evening's impressive 6-0 victory at Walsall Wood. Adam Page wasn't available due to cup rules, and Sol Wheatley was ruled out with a back injury. Nathan Hughes came in on the right-wing and Ben Miller started on the left.

After a scrappy opening few minutes, Hereford's usual attacking threat of Mills and Haysham started causing problems. Mills judged the offside trap well to get in behind and his ball across found Haysham; he managed to nudge the ball past the 'keeper but his effort lacked power and was blocked by the covering defender. Another chance followed with the same two involved; Mills collected the ball from a quick throw-in and ghosted past two men inside the area, before cutting back for Haysham but he could only send his 10 yard effort over the bar. Haysham then tried his luck from long-range on two separate occasions. A short-corner routine broke to the striker and his dipping shot was spilled by the home 'keeper before being cleared, whilst a minute later, another Haysham long-range strike, this time from a set-piece, was easily gathered.

The best chance of the first-half fell to Hereford's Joel Edwards, who found himself in an unfamiliar position inside the box after playing a clever one two with Mills, but the left-back got too much on his shot and dragged it past the post. Mills then lifted a shot off-target after Haysham had battled well to flick the ball on whilst at the other end, in a rare attack, Bardon's number 8 headed over after good work from their right-back.

After what was a poor spectacle in the first-period, the watching crowd would have been hoping for a more lively second half, but in honesty, it failed to live up to expectations. A punt forward by Nathan Summers was chased down by Mills, and in normal fashion, the striker turned his marker inside out when cutting in from the right but a left-foot shot cleared the past post. Bardon's number 10 snatched a shot past the post from long-range before Summers rose well to meet a Haysham corner but his header looped over the crossbar.

The decisive moment of the game came around fifteen minutes from time. Haysham did well to control the ball 30 yards from goal, and after a neat flick past one defender, he went into the box and was upended by a lunge from the Bardon left-back. It looked soft, but from my view, looked as though Haysham had just got to the ball before the defender. Mills took up penalty duties and made no mistake, firing in from 12 yards, off the post, to give Hereford the slender advantage.

Was It A Penalty?

Bardon Players Didn't Think It Was

John Mills Took The Penalty

The Keeper Went The Right Way

But Couldn't Make A Save
So Mills Can Add Another Goal To His Count Which Is Now 20

The hosts reacted with a sub and their number 12 made an instant impact with a direct run towards goal, causing problems for the Bulls' back-line; the ball eventually fell into the path of number 8 who sliced wide from 25 yards. Max Kontic-Coveney replaced Miller late on, before Haysham curled a right-foot shot just past the top corner after another short-corner routine.

It wasn't pretty, and given the 6-0 victory on Tuesday, wasn't the performance that fans may have been expecting. Yet it did the job and Hereford progress to the next round of the FA Vase. The defence in particular were strong and well organised; both full-backs in Ryan Green and Edwards contributed well defensively and going forward, whilst the partnership of Summers and Jamie Willets is getting strong with every game. With a solid base, and the threat of Haysham and Mills up front, Hereford have reason to be confident going forward this season, not only in the league, but also in the cup competitions. No Tuesday evening game this week for Beadle's boys but they are back in league action when Long Eaton United are the visitors to Edgar Street on Saturday.

Hereford: Rivers, Green, Summers, Willets, Edwards, Hughes, Bonella, Birch, Miller, Haysham, Mills.

Subs: Kontic- Coveney, Grant, Gwynne, Moreira, Oates.