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Thursday, December 29, 2016

From The Archives - Bulls Defeat Stalybridge


Fifteen years ago today Hereford United defeated Stalybridge Celtic 3-0. Here's a look back.

HEREFORD United 3 - 0 Stalybridge Celtic (December 29th 2001)

Hereford United made it full rewards from their Christmas period with a 3-0 win over relegation-threatened Stalybridge Celtic at Edgar Street this afternoon.

The Bulls won 1-0 at Telford United on Boxing Day and today's win extended their unbeaten run to three games but one couldn't help feeling that the margin should have been wider.

Manager Phil Robinson made one change to the side that won at the Bucks Head with Paul Parry, suspended for the Boxing Day encounter, replacing the veteran Ian Rodgerson in midfield. There was still no place for striker Steve Piearce on the bench. Stalybridge, managed by ex-Southport boss Paul Futcher, were without the suspended Steve Pickford having not played on Boxing Day when their game with Leigh RMI was postponed.

From the start Hereford made most of the forward moves. Phil Robinson headed wide from a Paul Parry freekick at the Blackfriars End after just two minutes, and captain Ian Wright missed with a similar opening soon after.

John Snape had a shot deflected over after twelve minutes following good work from Matt Clarke as Stalybridge had little work to do due to United's wayward shooting. Matt Baker had a save to make at the other end when Gerrard Courtney knocked on a long ball and midway through the half, Richard Peacock was prevented from taking the lead when his volley was tipped over by Baker.

With twenty six minutes on the clock, a Paul Parry shot was deflected to Gavin Williams who skilfully lifted the ball over Celtic stopper David Fish to give Hereford the lead. A minute later, Rob Elmes headed just wide from a Parry shot to squander the chance of extending Hereford's lead.

However, the Bulls fans had to wait literally seconds to see John Snape link onto a Williams pass and hit a smashing volley home from the edge of the box. Hereford deserved their lead and Celtic's defence was in tatters.

Ged Courtney wasted an opening to get Celtic back into the game before the Bulls were presented with the perfect chance to make it 3-0. Gavin Williams was brought down in the area by Chris Perkins with ten minutes of the half remaining and the referee awarded a penalty. Defender Tony James stepped up and hit the ball to the left of the keeper - and the goal - as Hereford's dreadful penalty record continued.

Scott Goodwin tested Fish with a looping shot in the closing minutes of the first half, as did Paul Beesley at the other end with Matt Baker equal to the header.

There were no half time personnel changes, but the away side came out with increased determination and attacking prowess which they were visibly lacking in the opening period. Former Hull City midfielder Richard Peacock threatened with a free kick, and Chris Perkins and Sam Ayorinde both tested the Hereford back line.

Gavin Williams did well to cut inside and create an opening on fifty six minutes which was cleared and the midfield grit of John Snape and Phil Robinson gave Celtic few chances of breaking forward. Rob Elmes had a header cleared off the line by Perkins before Ged Courtney nodded wide at the other end.

Scott Goodwin picked up his second yellow card of the afternoon as he made a rash challenge on Ged Murphy after sixty seven minutes and, despite going down to ten men, Hereford had extended their advantage within two minutes. A left wing run by Gavin Williams allowed Tony Capaldi to overlap and he swung in a perfect cross for Rob Elmes to head home from six yards out.

John Snape had a long range effort sail over with ten minutes left before Ged Murphy came close to scoring a Celtic consolation. However, his shot from just inside the box bounced off the crossbar and was cleared.

The vast majority of the 1,633 crowd will have enjoyed what they saw as the Bulls jump one place in the Nationwide Conference table to fourteenth, and today's showing should urge them to return. Hereford host Telford United on New Years Day, kick off 1pm, looking to make it nine points out of nine over the festive period.

Hereford United: Matt Baker, Matt Clarke, Tony Capaldi, Phil Robinson, Ian Wright (captain), Tony James, Scott Goodwin, John Snap,e Rob Elmes (off 79 minutes), Gavin Williams, Paul Parry
Subs: Jimmy Quiggin, Lee Evans, Mark Williams, Scott Voice (on, 79 minutes), John Shirley
Yellow cards: Scott Goodwin (12 minutes, foul) Rob Elmes (36 minutes, foul)
Red cards: Scott Goodwin (67 minutes, second booking)
Scorers: Gavin Williams (26 minutes) John Snape (28 minute) Rob Elmes (69 minutes)
Man of the Match: Gavin Williams
Attendance: 1,633
Referee: Mr. I. Williamson (Reading)