Saturday, March 25, 2017

Salisbury 0 – Hereford 4

Almost 12 months since securing a place in the FA Vase Final with a win at Salisbury, Hereford once again had reason to celebrate at the Ray Mac as they were crowned Champions this afternoon.

Peter Beadle’s men effectively had the game wrapped up after 30 minutes, with one of their strongest performances of the season.
One change was made to the Hereford side that beat North Leigh 4-1 last weekend, with Ryan Green returning from suspension to replace Mark Preece in defence.

After a minute’s silence in memory of the victims of Wednesday’s Westminster Terror Attack, the Bulls got the game underway and took the lead with just five minutes on the clock.

John Mills chased a long-ball down the right wing before whipping in a pinpoint cross to Mike Symons. The 30-year old did well to beat two defenders, firmly planting his header into the back of the net.

Eight minutes later it was Mills again with a good run down the wing, but his cross was deflected behind for the first corner of the game. Mike Symons got his head to Pablo Haysham’s delivery at the far-post, but George Colson cleared the ball off the line, but only as far as Jamie Molyneux. The ex-Westfields midfielder headed the ball towards goal, with Salisbury’s stopper unable to get enough on it to prevent Hereford from doubling their lead. 

Moments later the visitors were living dangerously as Franklyn Clark cut the ball back to Jesse Waller-Lassen, but Alex Harris pulled off a fine save to keep the Bulls' early two goal lead intact.

As Salisbury looked vulnerable at the back, Rob Purdie could’ve extended the Bulls’ lead with 29 minutes on the clock, but he fired his low-drive wide of the mark.

In the 31st minute, Hereford put the game further out of reach of the hosts with the third goal of the afternoon. Pablo Haysham scored a certain contender for goal of the season. After cutting in from the left, his rasping right-footed shot from outside the area left Nathan Ball with no chance in goal for Salisbury.

With Evesham taking the lead at home to Taunton on the half hour mark, and Wimborne also finding the back of the net before half time, Hereford were just 45 minutes away from back-to-back promotions.

HT: Salisbury 0 – Hereford 3

The Bulls got the second half off to a slow start, with Salisbury unlucky not to grab a goal back. A quick succession of shots from Lewis Benson's free kick were blocked, but Ryan Green was on hand to get the ball clear. Kane O’Keefe then went close, but his header was denied by the woodwork.

With 59 minutes on the clock, Mike Symons bagged his second goal of the afternoon in front of the 565 travelling fans. A good cross from Mike McGrath was straight to Symons, and with Salisbury's defence nowhere to be seen, he easily knocked the ball past the keeper.

Alex Harris had a good performance between the sticks, in the 69th minute he pulled off a fine double-save to deny O’Keefe from point-blank range.

Two minutes later Mike Symons should've done better when he was one-on-one with the keeper. John Mills latched onto a clearance from Hereford's defence, finding Symons with a neat through-ball. After beating Salisbury’s defence, Symo’s looping effort from outside the box cleared the crossbar. Mike McGrath copied Symons' trick soon after, with the keeper unfazed by the wayward effort.

Despite their four-goal lead, Hereford kept pushing for a fifth. Elliot Wheeler managed to get the slightest of touches on Rob Purdie’s cross to push it out of reach of the onrushing Symons. 

John Mills then saw his shot take a deflection, but Hereford couldn’t make the most of the resulting corner.

FT: Salisbury 0 – Hereford 4

Att: 1,807 with 565 in the away enclosure

With Hereford having done the deed at Salisbury, the terraces turned their eyes to Twitter to wait for the full time score from Evesham.
After an agonising ten minute wait, the ref blew his whistle in Evesham game, confirming the Bulls’ second promotion in as many seasons.

Salisbury: Ball, Colson, Perrett, Whelan, Wheeler, O'Keefe (Herbert – 81’), Benson, Clarke, Wright, Waller Lassen, Mundy (Roberts – 66’).
Subs: Flint, Blake.

Hereford: A. Harris, Oates, Edwards (c), Purdie (Plummer – 84’), Green, Fortune, Molyneux, McGrath, Mills, Haysham (Dinsley – 74’), Symons.
Subs: Edge, Barnes, Horsell.

Next Game: Wantage Town at Home on Saturday 1st April - All Ticket