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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Hereford 1 – Salisbury 0

Scorer Mustapha Bundu With Joel Edwards
Ahead of the much anticipated FA Vase Semi-Final first leg, Pete Beadle reverted mainly to the side that won at Loughborough last Saturday after several changes at Highgate on Tuesday. The only change was top goalscorer John Mills dropping to the bench with Mike Symons taking his place in the starting XI. 

With a fourth 4000+ Edgar Street attendance of the season, the record Hereford FC attendance was broken for a second time this season as the Whites entertained Salisbury this afternoon.

Hereford got play underway and attacked the extremely vocal Meadow End in the first half. Seconds after kick off Aaron Birch was left lying in need of treatment following a high kick by Salisbury’s skipper Kane O’Keefe, which resulted in the midfielder playing the rest of the game with a bandaged head. 

Aaron Birch
With the resulting free kick taken short to Ryan Green, he found Mike Symons on the left flank with a diagonal ball; Symons delivered a floating cross into the box to the head of Ross Staley, but his effort was too high to trouble Charlie Searle in the Salisbury goal.

Moments later, another lengthy period of injury followed. Rob Purdie’s inswinging corner was headed behind by Calum Brockway, but after falling awkwardly onto his arm, suffered a dislocated shoulder in what was only his first game back since dislocating it at the end of January. After being stretched off, Hereford restarted play with a corner, but couldn’t get a shot away as the attack petered out.

In the 12th minute, Mustapha Bundu was brought down by George Colson as he tried to break into the box. Haysham stepped up to take the free kick, forcing the keeper into pushing the low drive around the post for a fruitless corner.

The half continued to be dominated by Hereford, and like Highgate on Tuesday, Salisbury were a very physical side. The Bulls kept pressing Salisbury’s defence, but weren’t able to create a clear-cut chance until the 39th minute when Mike Symons broke away down the left. With some neat footwork, Symons worked the ball into the box, but he dragged his right-footed effort wide of the mark.

5 minutes later Ross Staley whipped in a cross from the right into the path of the advancing Pablo Haysham, but when trying to get something on the cross, blatantly handled the ball to redirect it past the keeper and into the back of the net. Despite this, the referee initially awarded the goal with the linesman not flagging, but after protests from Salisbury Boss Steve Claridge and the rest of the squad, the referee eventually reversed his decision and disallowed Haysham’s goal.

Pablo Haysham's Goal Was Disallowed
HT: Hereford 0 - Salisbury 0

Hereford were quick out of the blocks at the start of the second period, scoring 4 minutes after the restart. Salisbury were under pressure with Mike Symons in possession in front of goal, but substitute Elliot Wheeler did manage to clear the ball as far as Jimmy Oates who was in space on the edge of the box. Amongst a congested penalty area, Oates’s cross found Mustapha Bundu at the far post who powerfully headed home to open the scoring.

Jimmy Oates With The Cross

That Mustapha Bundu Heads Into The Goal

And Then Celebrates With Captain Joel Edwards
Hereford were then extremely unlucky not to grab a second 12 minutes later, being denied twice by the woodwork. Jimmy Oates played a neat cross field ball to Mustapha Bundu who did well to control the ball with a great touch. After beating his man, Bundu whipped in a cross from a tight angle on the left, but Ross Staley's rising effort from point blank range hit the underside of the crossbar, before his header from the rebound was denied by the upright.

Ross Staley's Header Hit The Post
Hereford hit the post yet again on the stroke of the 62nd minute after a Rob Purdie corner. Nathan Summers’ header was redirected with a flicked headed effort by Bundu, but his chance clipped the crossbar to keep the score at 1-0.

Bundu's Header Grazed The Crossbar
Hereford’s goalkeeper Martin Horsell pulled off a fine save in the 81st minute to deny Salisbury an equaliser from what was their only real clear-cut chance of the game. With Salisbury taking a free kick short to Thomas Whelan, he played the ball into the box, finding Stephen Walter at the far post. Walter’s powerful headed effort was pushed behind with a  brilliant reflex save by Horsell for a corner which Salisbury couldn’t capitalise on.

Despite a handful of half-chances for both sides in the remaining 10 minutes, neither could carve out anything meaningful as all eyes turn to the second leg at Salisbury in 7 days time.

FT: Hereford 1 – Salisbury 0
Att: 4,683 with 537 from Wiltshire
Sponsors’ MotM: Ryan Green

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Hereford: Horsell, Oates, Green, Summers, Edwards, Staley (Grant – 77’), Birch, Purdie, Bundu, Haysham (Bonella – 87’), Symons (Mills – 84’).
Subs not used: Willets, Pilling.

Salisbury: Searle, Colson, Walker, Brockway, Hart, Demkiv, Whelan, O'Keefe, Young, Mundy, Wilson.
Subs: Jarvis, Matthews, Wheeler, T. Roberts, S. Roberts