Next Game: Preseason Friendly - Evesham Away on Tuesday 17th July at 7.45pm

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hereford United V Colchester Match Reports From December 1997

Following on from the earlier BN article featuring video from Hereford United's two games against Colchester in the FA Cup in December 1997, here are match reports from the two games originally published on Peter Povall's HUFC site.

December 6th:

HEREFORD travel to Colchester but will be without the injured Ian Foster, who was one of the heroes of their first-round victory over Brighton, which avenged the defeat that cost Graham Turner's team their League status earlier this year

COLCHESTER 1 Hereford United 1 (report by Peter Povall)

Hereford's meeting with league club Colchester in the FA Cup was about the only left to keep any interest in the season. With the Conference championship looking out of reach and the FA Trophy yet to be started.

From the start Hereford looked dangerous and both Chris Hargreaves and Brian McGorry threatened the home goal in the first ten minutes by breaking through the soon to be reinforced defence.

Colchester took the lead after 10 minutes though with a well deserved move between Paul Buckle and Tony Adcock allowed them to release the ball through to David Gregory who played a beautiful chip shot over Andy DeBont. DeBont in fairness didn't stand a chance.

Hereford didn't give though and chased the game with confidence as again Neil Grayson pressured the home defence, in a formation which left him fighting primarily on his own.

He came close on a number of occasions and eventually got his reward in the 61st minutes when Hereford were gifted a free kick just outside the penalty area thanks to Colchester felling Chris Hargreaves. The following set-piece could be described as a work of art. The formation was laid out for one of Murray Fishlock's curling shots around the wall. But inside Gavin Mahon tapped the ball through to McGorry whose first touch slid the ball clear where Neil Grayson thundered onto it and quite frankly belted it into the back of the net.

Even if Carl Emberson had managed to get behind the ball, it would have likely carried him into the goal as well, considering the power that was placed upon it.

With the Hereford fans hearts racing the play quickened as Hereford looked for the winner but also came close to losing it, had it not been for the excellent efforts of Andy DeBont whose collected a number of corners and cleared a dangerous cross from the head of Mark Sale.

Hereford didn't get any further real chances and the resulting draw and replay at Edgar Street was the best they could hope for. Now all they have to do is maintain some form and take them with a home win.

Dec 16th

HEREFORD United 1 Colchester 1 (Bulls win 6-5 on penalties) (report by Peter Povall)

The match before the penalty shoot out will be forgotten by history. It was a scrappy first half with neither side making any real progress towards a goal.
The second half was far more exciting with Steve Forbes striking home for Colchester in the 48th minute. All 91 of the Colchester support went mad while the ball was re-spotted.

Their celebration was to be short lived though as the game played down the wing with Hargreaves making a super cross for Neil Grayson to head in to equalise within a minute of the Colchester goal.

Pressure then passed from end to end as both teams made spirited attempts to score with saves being made by both DeBont and Emburson.

Full time came and the pressure continued throughout extra time until the inevitable happened with the referee blowing up to bring us into a penalty shoot out. Pridictions in the Meadow End terrace had expected this from the kick-off but worried fans were wishing for the return of Dean "Deano" Smith.

Hereford must have been expecting this as Graham Turner confirmed after the match that the team had been practicing penalties for an hour on Monday night to help sort out the taker's, the order and the aim of each shot.

Neil Grayson was the first man to step forward to face Emburson. His shot drove into the net to start the quintet to goals. Chris Hargreaves, Richard Walker, Brian McGorry and Rob Warner followed suit. Colchester also drove their first four shots past Andy DeBont who did manage to get his fingers to one of them. The dubious task of levelling the score then fell to Colchester's Simon Betts who had been brought on as a substitution.

His shot was low and to the left but Andy DeBont (Penalty Hero) made his dive at full stretch to push the shot past the post. The instant he touched the ball, fans were on the pitch to congratulate him. Simon Betts had fallen to his knees.

Hereford United were through to the third round which would bring Tranmere Rovers to Edgar Street.