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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Road to Wembley: Extra Time Mills Breaks Camberley Hearts

With just one sleep left until a Hereford side play at Wembley for the first time, it went right down to the wire in the quarter final game against Camberley in February.

Peter Beadle made two changes from the team that comfortably overcame Sporting Khalsa in midweek. Harvey Rivers was replaced by Martin Horsell in between the sticks and Nathan Summers had recovered from illness to take the place of Ryan Green, who started his three-match ban for his dismissal at Hartley Witney in the last round of the Vase.

Hereford attacked the Blackfriars End in the first-period but the majority of the early stages was at the Meadow End, with the away side pumping long balls towards the Bulls' back-line. It was Hereford though who had the first real opportunity; Bundu made room on the left to roam past his marker and his cut-back was cleared from danger by the defender. Camberley also had a chance throygh Bobby Dormer but his rising shot from 20 yards was never troubling Horsell.

Mid-way through the first-half, Camberley took the lead. Summers was booked for tugging back at the away team's number 9, who was looking to break towards goal. A right-foot cross towards the back-post was met by Bunyan, who rose above Jamie Willets to power a header in off the post.

The header went in off the post
Camberley's directors celebrate

Hereford were forced into a half-time change as Pablo Haysham went off with an injury, and Rob Purdie took his place. Yet, Camberley were still the side threatening and a Dormer header went-close. At the other end, Aaron Birch fed Bundu in a great position on the left but his first-touch was heavy and was gathered by Bradshaw. The Meadow End were in fine voice and calls for Mills were answered just after the hour mark, as he replaced Joe Tumelty. Minutes later, Mills had twisted past his marker, not once but twice and leaving him flat on the floor before crossing to the back-post where Symons threatened but the ball hit a defensive hand, and the referee awarded a penalty. Bundu, fresh from his spot-kick in mid-week against Khalsa, picked up the ball and sent it down the middle to equalise.

Bradshaw couldn't stop Bundu's penalty

Purdie lashed a shot over from 25 yards as the home crowd were eager for Hereford to push on but the visitors had other ideas and went ahead once again. Camberley worked a move up the right-wing and a pass inside was deflected into the path of Bunyan, who beat Horsell to the ball to nick it goalwards with his left boot. Despite Oates' best efforts to clear off the line, the linesman flagged and Camberley were 2-1 up. 

It's over says the linesman
Bundu forced a smart save from the feet of Bradshaw before Hereford equalised minutes later. Bonella's pass was knocked into the path of Purdie by Birch; the sub composed himself and chipped a cross to the back-post where Mills headed down into the path of Symons, who flicked into the net from four yards. 

The keeper can only watch on as Hereford equalise

In to extra time we went with the game on a knife edge. The visitors were starting to tire and Coles was on his last legs but was forced to continue as Camberley had made their three subs for the afternoon. Good hold up play from Symons allowed him to find Purdie, who set up Bundu. The winger hit it first-time, curling a right-foot shot from 20 yards off the post with the 'keeper rooted to the spot; the follow-up effort from Mills went wide but he was given offside.

Ross Staley was introduced as Symons pulled up just before half-time in extra time. The former Shortwood winger nearly made an instant impact, his direct running style saw him ghost past a couple of defenders and create room for a shot but a low drive was pushed away by Bradshaw. Hereford pressed on in the second fifteen minutes, with Mills firing over from the edge of the box with a volley and Purdie's low shot pushed behind by Bradshaw. It all looked set for a replay until the final minute of the game when Camberley's resistance was broken and Hereford found the winner.

Staley took a quick throw on the left-wing to Edwards, who cut inside his marker to play a one-two with Birch. The return ball was driven low by Edwards and Mills found half a yard at the front post on his marker to superbly touch home with his right-foot past Bradshaw. Cue pandemonium from the home support and the Hereford players alike. Heartbreak for Camberley but delirium for Hereford.

Joel Edwards with the cross to Mills

Who makes no mistake
FT (aet): Hereford 3 - Camberley 2
Att: 3329

Hereford: Horsell, Oates, Summers, Willets, Edwards, Tumelty, Birch, Bonella, Bundu, Haysham, Symons.

Subs: Purdie, Staley, Pilling, Grant, Mills.

Read the full report (here).