As Hereford looked to get as many points on the board as possible to gain home advantage in the ‘Champions’ game later this month, Jamie Molyneux had a speculative early shot from 20-yards, but goalkeeper Steven Oliver watched on as the effort went harmlessly wide of the post.
14 minutes in, another chance for Molyneux saw him test the keeper with a headed effort from Rob Purdie’s cross, but it was tipped over the bar to deny him the opening goal.
Nine minutes later, Mike Symons flicked Rob Purdie’s cross on to John Mills, who rounded the keeper and slotted the ball home; but the goal was ruled out with the linesman’s flag up for offside.
Max Harris, who has played a number of games for the England School Boys squad this year, made his first save of the afternoon on the half hour mark. Lee Francis was denied from point-blank range with a good save from Harris, but moments later the visitors took the lead through Ryan Turner.
After Mark Preece missed a header, Turner was through on-goal and easily able to chip the ball over the youngster to break the deadlock.
With the visitors spurred on after taking the lead, Shaun Copp forced Harris into making a save low at the near post ten minutes before the break. But Liam Gregory was then shown two yellow cards in three minutes by referee Richard Gardner, reducing Barum to ten-men.
HT: Hereford 0 - Barnstaple Town 1
The Bulls had a number of chances early in the second half. Firstly, Jamie Edge teed-up Molyneux but his shot on the turn was an easy save for Oliver. Pablo Haysham’s effort moments later took a deflection off centre-back Aaron Harper-Penman, with the Meadow End calling out for handball.
A scuffed clearance in the 56th minute fell perfectly for Hereford’s captain Joel Edwards, but it was Harper-Penman again who blocked the shot from the edge of the area.
A bullet header from Mike Symons in the 68th minute somehow cleared the crossbar, with the keeper helplessly watching on. The ex-Gloucester striker thought he'd equalised moments later, but after heading Purdie’s cross past the keeper, it was ruled out for offside.
Jamie Edge came close to scoring his first goal of the season in a Hereford shirt, but Barnstaple's defence blocked the shot. After intercepting a clearance, Edge’s right-footed effort hit James Mayne as it sailed behind for a corner.
Two goals in as many minutes sent the home side into raptures as they took the lead.
With 79 minutes on the clock, Joel Edwards linked up well with Rob Purdie and John Mills down the left, with the Bulls skipper bursting into the box. Despite the sprawling keeper getting his foot to Edwards’ shot, it wasn’t enough to prevent it from finding the top right-hand corner of the net.
John Mills then fired Hereford ahead, with Edwards involved in the build-up. Mills took time to control Edwards’ cross from the left, shooting powerfully past the keeper with his left-foot.
The Bulls were unable to hold onto the lead for long, as Barnstaple equalised seven minutes later. Substitute Scott Huxtable delivered a free kick high into the area, but as Max Harris fumbled the ball, Ryan Turner was on hand to stab the ball home to earn the visitors a point.
FT: Hereford 2 – Barnstaple Town 2
Sponsors’ MotM: Joel Edwards
Hereford: M. Harris, Purdie, Edwards, Edge, Green, Preece, Molyneux (Oates – 70’), McGrath (Williams – 70’), Mills, Haysham (Huntbach – 84’), Symons.
Subs not used: Barnes, A. Harris.
Barnstaple Town: Oliver, Allan (Middleton – 78’), Gregory, Heeney, Mayne, A. Harper-Penman, J. Harper-Penman (Huxtable – 72’), Jenkins, Turner, Copp (Paine – 87’), Francis.
Subs not used: Thorne, Blake.
Next Game: Evesham United Away on Monday 17th April at 3pm - All Ticket