Next Game: Preseason Friendly - Newport County At Edgar Street on Saturday 21th July at 3.00pm

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Bulls Leave Wantage Wanting

A very wet afternoon trip to Wantage Town FC, in Oxfordshire, brought drama and a winning goal for Hereford FC to maintain their 10 point lead at the top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One South & West.

Anticipated to be a high scoring match from Hereford, turned out to be anything but. With more action off the pitch, this match was a stark contrast to the dramatic 3 all draw to away neighbours North Leigh, earlier in the week.

However, Bulls News was able to obtain and “exclusive interview” with the Referee after the match... more on that later.

The Bulls were captained by Joel Edwards, playing in their Black & Red away strip to face Wantage Town FC in Green & White on a soggy, uneven but level pitch. Hereford, winning the toss and choosing to play away from the Clubhouse, make an early attack pushing the ball deep into the Wantage half, a pass across the area to Haysham is rewarded as Haysham expertly shoots the ball through the legs of the keeper and into the net. A perfect Nutmeg! GOAL! Hereford go 1-0 up inside 2 minutes.

Sadly, some of the Hereford fans had this goal obscured by the release of a green smoke bomb, pitch side, in front of the stands. As we understand it, neither Hereford or Wantage fans contributed to either this incident or the later one in the 2nd half. There is a separate blog with more detail available.

An excellent start by the Bulls, Haysham making the most of his match today as he is due to start a 4 match ban.

With a challenging pitch and weather, Hereford struggled to find the back of the net, Wantage very strong in defence and a very hard working goalie, all the action was mainly in the Wantage half. An early chance for Wantage from outside the area sent the ball curling over the top of the goal but Harris was under little threat throughout the remainder of the match.

Opportunities from Molyneux, Haysham & Oates saw the ball go wide or over the target, Hereford struggling to finish on the soggy surface. A header from Fortune direct at the keeper and an excellent backward overhead kick from Mills was also saved by the young goalie. There was only one substitution, for Wantage, the Bulls remaining unchanged throughout and a yellow card for Wantage as Molyneux was heavily tackled and brought down.

Hereford come away with another victory and 3 points to keep them at the top of the table, strongly defended by Wantage to stop the runaway train of potential goals against them and Hereford maintaining the pressure in the Wantage half to get the “job done” but this was an unexciting game and without the thrills and spills Hereford are becoming renowned for.

FT Score: Wantage Town FC 0 -1 Hereford FC

Following the match, Bulls News took the opportunity of catching up with Referee Paul Forrester and asked about the decision regarding the Wantage free kick following John Mills being offside and it actually being taken a yard inside the Wantage half and not back inside the Hereford half where the offside offence was committed.

The reason given by the Referee is due to a clarification in the offside rule..

The law now states the halfway line is neutral, meaning a player must have part of the body (excluding arms or hands) in the opponents' half to be flagged offside. A free-kick resulting from an offside will now always take place where the offence is committed.

So... in relation to the incident with Mills, he was called offside but it's what happens next with Mills' action on the ball that decides the offence. In this case, Mills runs back over the halfway line and plays the ball unhindered. Exactly where he touched the ball is now where the offence has been committed. Had another team member or opposition got to the ball first, no offence would have been committed by Mills. This offence would also apply should the offside player be deemed to “interfere” with how the ball is played by the opposition immediately after being called offside.

Therefore, in conclusion, a free-kick from an offside offence can be taken in the oppositions own half at the point the ball was played by the offside player.

Bulls News MOTM
In an uneventful match on the pitch, no particular Hereford player stood out as the shining star, albeit working well together as a squad. Haysham, as the goal scorer so soon into the match deserves a mention for scoring the eventual winning goal but the player who was involved in most of the match and to his credit saved two potential goals was Wantage Towns' young goalie Eddie Cavanagh.

Bulls News would like to thank Wantage Town for their excellent hospitality and fabulous bacon butty's and their kindness and support shown to those Bulls fans unfortunately caught up in the incidents off the pitch. We wish you every success with the remainder of the season.

TEAM: Harris, Oates, Edwards, Edge, Green, Fortune, Molyneux, McGrath, Mills, Haysham, Symons

SUBS: Sinclair, Horsell, Purdie, Preece, Barnes (Plummer out with a hamstring injury)

Next Match at Edgar Street: Hereford FC v Yate Town - Saturday 17th December - KO 3pm