Saturday, April 08, 2017

Taunton hold Champions Hereford

Hereford FC were held 1-1 at Taunton Town FC on a warm afternoon at the Viridor Stadium. Mike Symons netted after just two minutes before Ed Palmer fired in a free-kick on the half hour mark to level the proceedings. It was a largely uneventful game in front of 1,073 spectators with around 450 of those supporting Hereford

Both Jimmy Oates and Pablo Haysham missed out due to illness. Rob Purdie started at right-back, and Craig Dinsley partnered Michael McGrath in the middle of the park. Former Bull Ross Staley started for second placed Taunton.

Ryan Green was caught late in the opening moments by Jordan Rogers but the referee failed to brandish a card. A minute later, Hereford took the lead after a scrappy piece of play saw the ball eventually break to Symons who diverted it past the 'keeper, despite the strong appeals for offside. 

Mike Symons Gathers

And Shoots

Past The Taunton Keeper For Hereford's Goal

Despite Protests From The Taunton Bench The Goal Stood
John Mills then fired a free-kick into the wall in a first-half that was littered with long balls and a lack of goalmouth activity. 

Taunton equalised in the 29th minute when Staley was upended by McGrath; Palmer stepped up and struck through the wall and into the back of the net, with the bounce beating Harris at his far post. 

Former Hereford Player Rob Staley Was Brought Down

The Free Kick Went Through The Wall And Bounced

Upwards Past Alex Harris

There was little else to report in the first-half, aside from in the final minute, a cross from Ben Palmer found Staley who caught a volley sweetly when unmarked at the back-post but it was straight at Alex Harris.

Hereford started the second-half well, and after a flurry of corners, a deep McGrath cross was headed wide at the back-post by Mark Preece, who had lost his marker. Staley looked the danger man for Taunton, skipping in from the right, before a low left foot shot was diverted away by Harris. Soon after, Staley again broke on the right and cut in, with a left-foot shot this time failing to hit the target.

The best opportunity to win the game fell to Tristan Plummer, after Symons had held the ball up and his pass had squirmed under the left-back's foot; the former Bristol City youngster had time to steady himself but his powerful right-foot shot was superbly tipped away by Lloyd Irish. Rogers then curled over with his left-foot from long-range, whilst Plummer appeared for a penalty after a ball had broken to him inside the box and he went down under the challenge of the home 'keeper. The referee waved away the appeal, but Plummer twisted his knee and was carried off the pitch by Jonny Evans and Peter Beadle.

Jake Sinclair replaced Plummer and looked lively in the closing 10 minutes, but it was Taunton who had a couple of half-chances to win the game. Josh Searle flashed a crisp volley into the side netting from 20 yards, before Pierce Mitchell curled over with his left-foot after racing away from Jamie Molyneux. Just before the ninety minutes were up, Mills did well to find space on the left and crossed for Sinclair, but his header lacked conviction, or belief, and the ball looped over the bar from a promising position.

The game had an end of season feel to it; warm weather and Hereford not really getting out of first gear. The defence looked solid, with Preece and Joel Edwards putting in good shifts. Taunton had a lot of power in their team, but aside from Staley, didn't really threaten. Their tactics were to hit the ball long and it was a tactic that Green and Preece dealt with well. Up next for Hereford is a trip to Didcot on Tuesday evening for the re-arranged league game, which will be held behind closed doors.

Hereford: Harris, Purdie, Green, Preece, Edwards, Plummer (Sinclair), Dinsley, McGrath, Molyneux, Mills, Symons.

Subs not used: Horsell, Barnes, Williams, Edge.