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Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Big Part For Purdie In Play-Off Season

Rob Purdie At The Conference Pay-Off Final
Continuing BN look at Rob Purdie's time, so far, with Hereford we reached the 2005/06 season. The one that proved so important as it ended with promotion to League Two after the Conference play-off final at the Walkers Stadium.

Purdie played a much bigger part in that season with 33 League appearances.

The season started quietly for Hereford and the team couldn't score goals. Purdie wasn't playing in attack.

Interviewed by BBC Hereford and Worcester after a 0-0 draw at Stevenage on September 10th he said he was 'enjoying his new wingback role'

John Trewick mentioned Purdie after Hereford won an FA Cup replay against Alfreton.

'Rob Purdie stepped into the right back area and performed very, very well. It's yet another string to Rob's bow - as he's played in a few positions - which is fantastic.'

It took until November 12th for Purdie to score his first goal of the season. Indeed the home game against Woking was a good day all round as Hereford won 4-0, Purdie scored twice and also selected for the NLP team of the week.

'Ipoua did excellently to hold off a challenge before releasing Brady on the right, and his far post cross was met by Rob Purdie who managed to slide the ball in for 2-0

'Rob Purdie received a return ball from Williams, and continued his run into the penalty area before firing a great shot into the far top corner from around twelve yards.'

"It was also nice to see Rob Purdie among the goals," said Graham Turner. 

Another change of role for Purdie came in January with a partnership alongside Andy Ferrell in mid-field.

'Purdie was brimmimg with effort and was very effective in the centre midfield role. He was obviously far happier there than on the left wing where he's found himself for the most part of the season'.

After the 3-0 home victory over Cambridge on January 31st more praise for Purdie in his new role.

'Purdie again looked happier in his centre midfield role and the team seemed to again have added balance, presumably due to the addition of a left winger in Nicolau. Maybe it is no coincidence that since Purdie moved to the middle, the Bulls have scored five goals in two games.'

All change again for Purdie in March when he played left back against Gravesend mainly because of injury problems in the squad. Then a knee injury kept him out for a couple of games.

Hereford were second in the Conference and the talk was whether it would be third time lucky in the play-offs. 

Purdie helped the cause by scoring from a penalty in a game against Dagenham on April 8th and a 1-0 win over Tamworth on April 17th made certain.

In the final Conference League match which was at York, Purdie was amongst the scorers.

'Some good passing in the midfield managed to release Travis in space on the right flank, and he had time to cross into the middle where Andy Williams challenged Porter for the ball. Neither won it clearly and it rolled out to the far post where Rob Purdie was on hand to tuck in a second for The Bulls.'

The first leg of the play-offs was at Morecambe and Purdie kept Hereford in the game in the 1-1 draw. 

'It was nine minutes into the second half though, when a vital decision by the man in the middle put Hereford back on level terms. Fraser McLachlan appeared to clear the ball behind for a corner when the referee strangely pointed to the penalty spot, though many Hereford fans behind the goal thought he'd given a goal kick. Delighted, as well as shocked, they were when they realised that Purdie had a chance to level things up - which he did, shooting low into the corner, to the 'keepers right.'

And so to the second leg. Once again Purdie was at the heart of the action. 

'Adam Stansfield raced away down the left before nipping a ball inside to Rob Purdie. Purdie played the ball into the feet of Williams who, with his back to goal and a defender behind him, somehow managed to turn and fire, all in one motion, into the bottom corner of the net leaving 'keeper Steven Drench stranded.'

The game went to extra time before Guy Ipoua sealed it for Hereford.

Afterwards Ipoua spoke about Purdie.

"Rob always tries hard. He sees tricks on TV and tries to pull them off in training, they don't always work but he tries!"

May 20th was the date of the Play-Off Final. Ten Thousand Hereford supporters made their way to Leicester. 

Purdie was in the starting eleven but he couldn't do anything about the goal that put Halifax ahead.

Rob Purdie In The Team Line-Up At Leicester
'United were reduced to ten men at the time, as Rob Purdie was receiving stitches to a head wound, when Kileen unleashed a brilliant first time effort that flew into the top left hand corner of Brown's goal from twenty odd yards.' 

Later in the game he was unlucky not to get a penalty shout.

'Purdie had tore down the left wing, knocked the ball past his marker, and paced onto it, now inside the penalty area. Tyrone Thompson, the culprit of Purdie's sprint, then followed the former Leicester youth player and slid in from behind, catching Purdie on the calfs, but again - no penalty for the Bulls'

However Ryan Green scored the winning goal and so League football for Hereford.

Three days after the final Graham Turner made an offer to Purdie. And on June 2nd it was revealed that he had signed for another season.

At just 23, Purdie was the longest serving player at Edgar Street.