Next Game: Forest Green Rovers at Home on Wednesday 25th July at 7.45pm

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Hereford FC -v- Wellington FC HFA Challenge Cup - Match Report

Tonight saw Hereford FC begin their 2016/17 campaign in the Herefordshire FA Challenge Cup. A campaign they won in the 2015/16 season in a final against Westfields FC on 2nd May 2015 winning with a resounding 5-1 victory.

Drawn at Edgar Street, Hereford faced Wellington FC, who currently sit in 6th place in the Regional League, 2 leagues below Hereford FC, with Hereford winning the toss and choosing to play towards Blackfriars End in front of a crowd of 615 (some 2/3rds higher than some league matches played tonight in the Southern & South West Evo-Stik League!)

Wellington, playing in Tangerine, came up against a younger Hereford side that showed skill and passion throughout the match. Manager, Pete Beadle, giving valuable match minutes to our latest signings Mike McGrath, Calvin Dinsley and Jamie Molyneux, alongside this week’s newly registered: Lewis Clarke, Bradley Williams, Matt McDonald and Harry Franklin and led from the front by our Captain Joel Edwards.

Hereford gained a corner within the 1st minute, Wellington giving all their attention to defend at all costs.  The pace of play in the first 15 minutes was slow, Beads vocal in his “encouragement” to increase the pace to put the defence under pressure, shots on goal from Dinsley and Staley to no avail. Wellingtons' plan to defend at all costs seemed to be paying off as Hereford struggled to break through.  The front line looked sharp and focused and it would only be a matter of time before the defence would crack. 

30 minutes in and still 0-0 with Hereford having 90% of the possession in the Wellington half leaving Alex Harris, Hereford goalie, with little to do.  2 minutes later Herefords' persistence pays off with a GOAL, claimed by Dinsley but which took a deflection off Wellington’s #5, Joe Davies, as an own goal. Hereford go 1-0 up.

The passing between Hereford players was excellent, with both Willetts and Barker also in the Wellington half pushing for the 2nd goal.  McGrath playing at #10 was strong in attack taking a shot at goal with 5 minutes of the first half left to play but it was effectively turned away conceding a corner, taken by Staley, which is also headed away.  A second goal was still not happening for Hereford… despite the pressure being applied.  Hereford attack again and this time the shot at goal from Dinsley goes too high.  However, crosses into the box were not high enough leaving Wellington comfortable to deal with them and force the play back into the Hereford half.  Pace is picking up with more action down the right and Matt McDonald expertly manoeuvres past 2 Wellington players, setting up a great opportunity for Jamie Molyneux, who shoots and scores in the 43rd minute - the 2nd of two goals in 2 matches for Jamie, having scored on Saturday in the League match against Wimborne!!  The Referee blew for half time, Hereford going into the dressing room, 2-0 up.

Both teams came out for the 2nd half with no changes but an increased pace from Hereford forcing a save from Wellington’s goalie, Matt Apperley, from McDonalds shot, now playing towards the Meadow End.  Wellington still determined and not tiring, take the run of play into the Hereford half, giving their #11 Paul Jones a shot at goal, safely saved by Harris.  Hereford come right back with a shot from Staley, pushed round the post to force a corner, Willets attempting to convert in front of goal. 

Joel Edwards, powers down the wing, back into the Wellington half, the ball met by the Wellington defense, driving it back towards the half way line, where McDonald is fouled 3 times before the Ref pulls the game back. Persistence from Hereford pays off and McDonald with excellent foot-work, again manoeuvres past the Wellington defence to drive a winning shot past the keeper and make in 3-0 to Hereford. 

Wellington return again, putting Harris under pressure but it is safely scooped away for a goal kick back into the Wellington half who concede another corner!  This time, driven low again but finds the feet of McGrath who manages to bundle it towards the goal and scores!!  Hereford now go 4-0 up.  

Match restarts and heads straight back into the Wellington half where Staley takes an angled cross shot at goal, passing the keeper and hitting the inside edge of the goal post, dramatically rebounding back out, into the field of play!

Wellington make their first substitution, Nick Britton on for Josh Hunt.  Action still in the Wellington box with a foul on McGrath, giving a free kick on the edge of the penalty area, taken by McGrath who strikes straight into the Wellington, five strong, wall.

Hereford make their first substitution, Dinsley off and Rory Huntbach on. 

Hereford maintain the possession, Bradley Williams corner headed away, McGrath with another precision pass direct to Edwards who’s header at goal lands on top of the net. Molyneux is brought down in the Wellington box, Staley taking the free kick, again too high, over the goal.

Further substitutions for Hereford: Mike Symons on for Molyneux and Harry Franklin on for McGrath.

Within minutes of making his debut for Hereford, Franklin is brought down by Wellington’s #3, Will Perkins, who receives a yellow card for the foul.  Symons injects some pace wide on the left, aided by Huntbach, resulting in another corner for Hereford, again, too low and a poor cross that is easily pushed away by the defence. Hereford push forward again, Staley shooting across the goal and hitting the bar, going wide. Another attack from Huntbach sees the ball canon off Symons to fly over the goal for a goal kick.  

A foul on Bradley Williams, 35 yards out, forces a free kick, taken by Williams but is denied a goal by shooting wide for a corner.  Wellington are still not giving up, albeit 4-0 down and counter attack putting the ball into clear space in the Hereford half but goes straight to Harris for a goal kick straight back into the Wellington box where Franklin takes a shot at goal, which goes over the top.

With 2 minutes to go, Wellington attack again, creating pressure on the Hereford defence, a great angle shot from Wellington’s #10, Matt Williams blasts towards goal but just goes wide. 

More action from Wellington, in the last 15 minutes, raised the pace and action of the game but Hereford were comfortable in the win and were not truly tested, putting them safely into the next round of the Cup.

Full Time: Hereford FC 4 – 0 Wellington FC

The #tangerinearmy came, saw and were conquered but live to fight another day and wish them well for the rest of their season.

So who was my Man of the Match….
Difficult call as there were strong performances by Edwards, Willetts, Dinsley & Molyneux, McGrath excellent up front, Barker & Symons, experienced and solid clearly displayed, Staley with some great passing and creating chances and a great performance put in by Clarke, Williams, Huntbach & Franklin but for me, the player that shone tonight both in this match and the possible potential for the squad for the future goes to Matt McDonald, showing excellent passing, pace, ability to read the game and skills to move the ball around. 
         1 -  Alex Harris
2      2Lewis Clarke
      3- Joel Edwards (c)
      4- Bradley Williams
          5- Jamie Willetts
      6- Chris Barker
      7- Matt McDonald
      8 -Calvin Dinsley
      9- Jamie Molyneux
      10 -Mike McGrath
      11- Ross Staley

12 -Rory Huntbach
14) Mike Symons
15) Chris Parry
16) Harry Franklin
21)   Max Harris

Next League match: Home to Didcott -  Saturday 22nd October – KO 3pm