Saturday, February 04, 2017

Another away league victory for Hereford

Rob Purdie Captained Hereford This Afternoon
Hereford FC continued their unbeaten away run in the league with a routine 3-0 victory at Slimbridge, in front of a record crowd for the Gloucestershire club of 886. Mike Symons bundled home in the first period and the opener was added to by John Mills and Tristan Plummer mid-way through the second-half to seal a comprehensive victory.

Captain Joel Edwards was left out of the squad completely whilst influential midfielder Mike McGrath served the first game of his two match suspension for picking up 10 yellow cards. Clayton Fortune came into the fold, with Ryan Green reverting to right-back and Jimmy Oates to left-back, whilst Bradley Williams partnered Rob Purdie in central midfield.

The first 45 minutes offered little in terms of entertainment value, with the home team having the first effort of the game when their number 6 struck off-target from 25 yards. Symons was the main threat for the away team and his header from a Green cross from the right clipped the top of the bar. 

The 'Beast' then sent a dipping half-volley narrowly over the crossbar from outside the box, but it was a case of third time lucky, as he netted the opener. Mills evaded the challenge of his marker to pass to Plummer on the right-wing; the former Bristol City youngster created room to fizz a cross towards Symons, who diverted it into the net from close-range.

Hereford upped their game in the second-half, as the home team tired, but Slimbridge had a couple of early opportunities to get themselves level. A lofted cross from the right was headed wide from 11 in a good position in the centre of the area, whilst minutes later, they came even closer; a free-kick from inside the Slimbridge half from the left was sent diagonally to number 10, and his dipping effort beat Alex Harris but struck the crossbar.

Following the chances for Slimbridge, Hereford started to stamp their authority on the game and created chances of their own. Pablo Haysham's through ball sent Mills away in a good position but his left-foot shot was palmed away by the home 'keeper. Soon after though, Mills had his goal and Hereford had their two goal advantage. Mills linked up with Plummer on the right-hand side of the box and the winger found room, crossing hard and low to Symons, who held off his marker before spinning and shooting from six yards out; the goalkeeper got his hand to it but Mills was in the right-time and the right-place to poke home.

A third goal followed soon after, when some neat passing eventually led to Williams finding room inside the box and slotting a pass back to Plummer, who steadied himself before firing low and hard with his left-foot to beat the 'keeper at his near-post. 

A flurry of subs were made by both teams as the game progressed. Jamie Molyneux, Jake Sinclair and Jamie Edge replaced Haysham, Plummer and Mills respectively. Hereford were in control but failed to convert this dominance into chances created, and it was Slimbridge who had the final chance of the game, after good work by their sub number 15, cutting back for number 10, but his powerful shot was straight at Harris.

Referee Talked To Beadle About The 'Litter' Behind The One Goal
Slimbridge defended well in numbers but offered little going-forward. The game followed a similar pattern to the Wantage game back in December, with Hereford failing to create many chances but being rarely troubled on a difficult, bobbly pitch. It was difficult to pick out outstanding performers but both Williams and Purdie grew into the game, whilst Symons was his usual self, holding the ball up well and causing problems for the home defender. 

Next up for Hereford is the visit of Wimborne Town next Saturday at Edgar Street.

Hereford: Harris, Green, Preece, Fortune, Oates, Plummer (Molyneux), Williams, Purdie, Haysham (Sinclair), Symons, Mills (Edge).

Subs not used: Horsell, Barnes.