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

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Top of the Table Clash as Bulls take on Shortwood United

Sponsors Man Of The Match Ryan Green Along With Goalscorer Jamie Molyneux
A big game for the Bulls, on a rather dull afternoon, as they met Shortwood United in the clash of 1st and 2nd league places. Hereford FC currently 7 points clear at the top and Shortwood United looking to eat into that with a 3 point win, riding off the back of an impressive away record so far this season. Hereford, in white, with their poppy proudly displayed, take to the field in front of a 2731 strong crowd, Rob Purdie leading out as Captain, for the opening minute's silence to mark Remembrance Sunday.

Shortwood wearing blue, have the kick off and immediately go on the attack, determined to take control of the match from early on. Hereford react taking possession back into the Shortwood half at the Blackfriars end, a mistake by the Shortwood defence gives Mills an early chance for 1 on 1 with the keeper but a poor kick sends the shot across the goal and wide of the far post, missing an opportunity to open the scoring within the first 3 minutes.

John Mills With Only The Keeper To Beat
But He Put It Wide
Shortwood back on the attack puts the Hereford defence immediately under pressure, a shot from Meredith is blocked, Plummer managing to scramble the ball away back towards the Shortwood half setting up another opportunity for a goal for Symons but is blocked. The bulls gain possession again and Oates takes the ball up the line into Haysham who takes a shot at goal but hits the post, caught by Oates who manages to keep the ball in play to feed back to Symons, this time heading the ball into the net but was judged offside and disallowed. Play restarts and McGrath takes control for the Bulls this time taking a left foot shot from 30 yards out but is tipped over the bar by King, the Shortwood keeper, for a corner. Taken by Haysham it goes out for a goal kick.

Shortwood push forward but are met by Fortune who concedes a free kick. The ball feeds through to Harris in the Hereford goal, replacing Horsell who sustained a shoulder injury in last weeks home game against Bideford, sending it straight back deep into the Shortwood half, Hereford can't gain control, finding King who kicks it clear but not far enough as Symons takes on the defender in the penalty with a shot at goal but again, going wide.

Ball back in the Hereford half, Haysham is fouled for a free kick to the Bulls, taken quickly down the centre, cleared out wide to Oates who finds Symons who is fouled from behind in the box, a call for a penalty was ignored by the Ref who awarded a goal kick instead, to the annoyance of the crowd. Hereford gain possession off the goal kick back towards the Shortwood goal, Symonds with a downward header this time, cleared by the defence to Haysham who couldn't find a way in.

Shortwood keeping the pace strong, go on the attack as far as the Hereford penalty area, 2 shots blocked and fouled by Green for a free kick outside the box. No card for Green but a long chat with Purdy by the Ref. The free kick, after hitting the wall was blocked by Preece rebounded back to Shortwood who kicked too high, over the goal for a goal kick. The ball comes straight back towards the Hereford half, Shortwood being denied by Harris for a corner. The ball is cleared back into the Shortwood half by Fortune, Oates taking on the attack to McGrath but the ball comes off the Shortwood defence, Hereford with the backing of the crowd call for handball and a penalty but the Ref again denies the call giving a free kick instead. Hereford feed the ball to Symons and back to Oates, by the corner flag, who shoots across the goal, wide of the far post on the right. Shortwood head back upfield to be met by Purdy, who fouls for a free kick. At this point, there is further delay as the Ref has another long chat with Purdy showing a yellow card for a late tackle. Shortwood take the kick but finds Plummer, through to Mills who loses the ball on the tackle, Plummer tries to retrieve but results in a Shortwood throw in.

Symons is held by Shortwood, the complaint ignored by the Ref, Shortwood attack colliding with Preece who goes down, requiring treatment. One of the Shortwood players takes the opportunity for a shirt change during the stopped play – not sure why!?!

SUBS: Shortwood #3 Nick Humphries OFF- #14 Antonia Alcarez Zamor ON

Corner to Shortwood at the near post, cleared by Green for a goal kick. Haysham takes a distance shot at goal but takes a deflection for a corner, taken by McGrath, a back header from Symons to Haysham, back to McGrath with a curving cross to the nearside but concedes a goal kick. Shortwoods #8 Price, takes the ball on the attack, safely cleared by Harris. A free kick clears to Symons getting the ball through to Mills but is called offside. The free kick is pulled back as deemed too far forward. Haysham goes on the break down the line into the penalty area, the lose ball finding the keeper. Symons, with the ball, back in the Shortwood penalty area, is tripped by Weeks but again the Ref waves play on. Still 0-0

The ball is back with Harris who spins it out on the right wing for Plummer, McGrath on the inside on the half way line, Oates through into the penalty area receives the ball and shoots a great ball just wide. Back in the Hereford half, Fortune powers a header to McGrath, passing along the defence to Haysham who takes it down the line but pressure from Shortwood makes for an easy take back into the Hereford defence, good partnering between Fortune and Green runs the ball back only as far as the half way line, the ball passed back to Harris.

Shortwood attack again, a corner is blocked by Haysham for a free kick. Ball back with Oates back in the Shortwood half who floats the ball into the box to Mills but goes out for a throw in. Plummer to Green to Haysham who tackles for a corner. Taken quickly, the ball into Haysham to gain another corner from the opposite side. McGrath takes it, headed away to Haysham with a blocked volley back onto Mills, blocked, another attempt at a shot from Symons blocked, back to Haysham, Purdy is pushed in the back but no free kick given, the ball into the box by Oates for a corner at the Blackfriars End. Headed away by Shortwood, gaining quick possession they sprint to the half way line, with only minutes of this half remaining, met by Green through to Mills on the break but is offside.

Oates feeds into Haysham, across field to Plummer who is pushed from behind and this time the Ref gives a free kick to the Bulls! Plummer takes it on down the right hand side but has no support, going out for a goal kick. Shortwood push forward again, Oates takes on the tackle safely back to Harris out to Haysham puts in a cross for a corner, taken by Haysham but Mills heads it away. Another free kick by Shortwood is met by Oates, passing to Haysham down the line, Purdy takes it on finding Green who looks for Plummer. Plummer beats his man and fires a deep cross in that goes behind for a goal kick.

HT Hereford FC 0 – Shortwood United 0

Second half starts with Hereford making changes to the line up.

SUBS Hereford #7 Plummer OFF - #15 Molyneux ON

Hereford now kicking towards the Meadow End, the ball is with Oates but goes out for a goal kick. The Bulls showing more pace and attacking spirit take command of the game from the whistle, the dynamics changing with the introduction of Molyneux who shoots for goal within minutes, ball is defended but back only as far as Symons who meets the keeper, loose ball collected by Molyneux shooting at goal but hits the outside of the upright.

McGrath has the ball, through to Haysham but comes off the Shortwood defence, McGrath again making an excellent run releasing to Haysham but is tackled. Green retrieves the ball, onto Purdy but is lost again to Shortwood in the centre. Shortwoods attack is cut short by Fortune for a throw in to Hereford received by Mills, another break by Shortwood dispossesses Molyneux, picked up again by Purdy, through to Symons who keeps possession, onto Haysham, Purdy, McGrath, finds Oates but loses the ball, Molyneux defending back, pressure still on from Hereford looking for that opening goal. The Bulls win a corner, taken by McGrath, Fortune heads to Purdy but is beaten and headed away by the Shortwood defence. McGrath gains possession onto Fortune who over hits it for a goal kick.

Hereford back in the Shortwood half, McGrath back to Symons who is clearly pushed off the ball by Shortwood but the Ref gives the decision in favour of Shortwood. The free kick takes the ball to the corner flag at Blackfriars End, Hereford are deep in the Shortwood half heading back to defend, a high kick on McGrath is not called by the Ref and waves play on. Hereford finally win a free kick, Symons to Molyneux now back up in the Shortwood half, the ball is cleared as far as Fortune on the centre line who pushes it back into the area to Oates back to Fortune back into Molyneux who weaves round the defence on the right hand side, balanced all the way, and a scorcher of a shot across the goal drives into the roof of the net! GOAL! Hereford go1-0 up - 56th Minute

Hereford attack again, this time Symons takes it on winning a free kick, back to Mills, Oates showing class and pace as he beats the defender but the ball goes out. Shortwood launch another attack but is cleared by Harris putting the ball back in the Shortwood half for a throw in. McGrath on the ball through the centre and out to the corner at the Meadow End forcing the ball out for a long Shortwood throw in, cleared by Fortune to Green who is fouled again as he launches the ball high to Symons who releases the ball into the area for Mills but the keeper takes the ball instead.

Haysham received the goal kick and immediately takes the ball back into the Shortwood half. Being passed around by the Bulls, Shortwood unable to dispossess, Haysham feeds to Symons who heads for goal again but the keeper has it covered.

Hereford have a throw in inside their own half but is won by Shortwood's Meredith who tries a shot at goal, Harris successfully blocking. Ball is back in the Shortwood half for a throw in by Green to Molyneux but Preece covers the ball for another throw in. Shortwood's defence close the door as Mills gets a run in but has no way through, the ball going out for a goal kick.

Purdy takes on the Shortwood defence now, chipping into the box to Oates who is held for a Hereford free kick taken quickly by Haysham but headed off for a corner, cleared into the Hereford half, Shortwood attempting a long ball shot from some 50 yards out but goes straight to Harris. Shortwood are back in possession, 3 in the penalty area, pushing for goal but Purdy and Harris force a throw in. Hereford pass the ball back and forth looking for the break, taken on by Symons with Purdy and McGrath in support, through to Mills who is brought down in the box. No penalty called by the Ref.

Shortwood come again with a push on McGrath for a free kick taken by Harris back into the Shortwood half, Haysham with the ball now running along the goal line but is taken down. A 3rd call for a penalty denied to the Bulls.

SUBS: Shortwood #6 OFF - #12 Hancock ON

Goal kick from Shortwood straight to Hereford defence, Green takes on the forward run with a cross behind Mills, retrieved by Molyneux who wins a throw in for Hereford. Thrown in is taken but met by Shortwood defence, Symons and Mills call for hand ball – Ref agrees and points to the spot! Penalty taken by Mills who scores in front of the Meadow End! GOAL! Hereford go 2-0 up with 10 mins remaining.

Shortwood are not retreating yet as they go on the attack again at the restart, Harris foiling their plans with a return ball straight back into their half, finding Symons, to Haysham, Green out to Molyneux and back to Green for a thrown in. Molyneux's cross is blocked, McGrath feeding a great ball to Haysham through to Purdy who takes a shot but Symons is caught offside.

Fortune's free kick finds Symons, to Mills who turns for a shot on goal but is denied by the keeper sending the ball back to the half way line, retrieved and brought back towards the Meadow End where Oates is tackled for a corner. Purdy on the end of the short corner aims at near post but is taken by the keeper for a goal kick. Shortwood make another attempt to push for a goal with a lob that goes out into the Blackfriars end.

SUBS: Shortwood #8 Price OFF - #15 Withington ON

Free kick inside the Hereford half finds Purdy who forwards it to Symons, controls it in the area, only to slip for a goal kick. Hereford with another throw in – Oates to Purdy to Oates, out to Haysham bringing the ball into the area, Oates again, through to Mills turning for goal, misses, back to Symons who finds the keeper.

SUBS: Hereford #11 Symons OFF - #12 Sinclair ON – Symons receiving a standing ovation

Shortwood are back on the attack, a low cross beaten by Preece, back into the box, this time away by Fortune to Sinclair who clears from the back to Molyneux, back to Sinclair, this time the ball to McGrath then Oates, 10 Hereford players now in the Shortwood half.. Mills through to the area, partially cleared to Green who shoots over the bar!
Shortwood have possession again, deep into stoppage time gaining a throw in from a Sinclair tackle. Linesman calls for offside so awards a goal kick to Harris instead. McGrath collects, onto Purdy, one last chance for a 3rd goal, finds Mills who forces a corner. Purdy to Haysham with a final shot on goal but is punched away by the goalie.

FT Hereford FC 2-0 Shortwood United

Sponsors MOTM: Ryan Green

Bulls News MOTM: Mike McGrath

An action packed match only thwarted by some dubious referring decisions, great pace by both teams, particularly by Hereford in 2nd half, Shortwood having more possession in the first half and Hereford having more chances. There were solid performances by all players today, if a little slow off the draw in the finishing of the goal opportunities. Players that stood out today were McGrath for the work rate, Molyneux for dynamics and Symons for creating opportunities and space. After considerable thought MOTM goes to McGrath as he has consistently shown through this match and his time so far in the team that he is committed and puts in a solid day at the office.

TEAM: Harris, Green, Oates, Purdie, Preece, Fortune, Plummer, McGrath, Mills, Haysham, Symons

SUBS: Sinclair, Edge, Molyneux, Edwards, Davies

Next Match: Hereford FC v Holme Lacy at Edgar Street in the HFA Challenge Cup – Tuesday 15th November 7.45pm KO