Next Game: Preseason Friendly - Newport County At Edgar Street on Saturday 21th July at 3.00pm

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Quadruple Part Three Complete

Hereford FC will be needing a bigger trophy cabinet having won their third title of the season, after a 3-1 victory over Walsall Wood in the Midland Football League Cup at Solihull Moors. Wood took a first-half lead through Louis Harris before Mike Symons curled in to equalise. Ross Staley scored just shy of half-time and Mustapha Bundu added gloss to the result with a late third, in front of 849 supporters.

Having had a break of eight days since the Herefordshire Football Association Cup victory over Westfields, Peter Beadle shuffled his pack, with a number of fringe players handed starts including Harvey Rivers, Max Kontic-Conveney, Staley and stand in captain Dylan Bonella.

Wood looked more the lively in the early stages, Harris hooking a shot from a corner goalwards which Rivers held. John Mills missed a glorious opportunity to open the scoring, following good work from Symons on the byline but Mills's close-range finish somehow didn't find the net as the Walsall 'keeper made an incredible save to deny him. With that chance hanging in the memory, Wood took the lead. A free-kick from the right was superbly delivered and Harris made a clean connection to divert it past Rivers.

Aaron Birch and Dylan Bonella Watch Walsall's Free Kick Sail Past
Walsall could have been two ahead when Joey Butlin forced a fine save from Rivers, driving a low shot towards goal from 30 yards which the Hereford 'keeper diverted behind. Mills then placed a shot wide off the mark, following good work from Symons, before Symons himself popped up with the equaliser. The former Gloucester striker collected a pass, held off the challenge of the defender and span, before firing a left-foot shot into the top corner from the edge of the box.

Mike Symons Scores The Equaliser

Hereford had the bit between their teeth after the equaliser, and soon found themselves the lead. Mills held up the ball on the left, before feeding Staley, who took one touch and looped a shot with his favoured left-foot, which bounced just before finding the far corner. 

Ross Staley With Hereford's Second

It could have been three on the stroke of half-time; Staley delivered a free-kick from the left touchline and Jamie Willets powered a header towards goal, which was superbly pushed around the post by the Walsall 'keeper. 

Powerful Free Kick From Staley
From the corner that followed, Staley saw a rasping left-foot shot tipped over the bar before the referee blew for half-time.

The second-half took a little while to get going, with half-chances at either end missed by Bonella from 20 yards and the Walsall 11 firing over the bar, having rid himself of the challenge of Kontic-Coveney. Jimmy Oates tested the 'keeper with a right-foot strike, following good work from Symons, and John Mills showed good skill inside the box to lose his marker, but fired over the crossbar.

Beadle made a quick-fire sub to freshen up the team; Bundu replaced Joe Tumelty, and soon after, Pablo Haysham came on for Mills. Bundu didn't take long to get involved - bursting past the defender with scintillating pace before seeing a left-foot shot pushed behind. 

At the other end, Walsall had a couple of snapshots but failed to trouble Rivers.

In the final five minutes, Hereford made the result safe and it was Bundu who grabbed the goal. Staley crossed from the left and the ball went all the way to the back stick where Bundu collected, shifted quickly onto his right and blasted the ball through the legs of the goalie. 

Mustapha Bundu with Hereford's Third Goal

In stoppage time, Oates again saw a shot pushed away, before Symons also went close, spinning his man, like he had done in the first-half but a strike from inside the area was deflected past the post by the 'keeper.

Post-match, Hereford were presented with the trophy and Bonella lifted it in front of the main stand at Damson Park. It was the third trophy out of a possible four for the Bulls; only the small matter of a trip to Wembley stands in the way of the quadruple.

Having gone a goal down, Hereford showed good spirit against a determined Walsall Wood team. It was a rain swept encounter but on a good pitch, which helped both teams try to play football on the floor, although Hereford did opt to look long on most occasions for Symons. The sponsors gave their man of the match to Symons; Aaron Birch for me also had an excellent game in the middle of the park. 

Hereford: Rivers, Kontic-Coveney, Summers, Willets, Oates, Tumelty, Birch, Bonella, Staley, Symons, Mills.

Subs: Laird, Robbins, Purdie, Bundu, Haysham.