Next Game: Preseason Friendly - Evesham Away on Tuesday 17th July at 7.45pm

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Opening day draw at Kings Langley

Hereford FC opened their Southern League Premier campaign with a 3-3 draw at Kings Langley in Hertfordshire, conceding an injury time goal having fought back from two down to lead. The hosts took the lead in the third minute through Steve Ward, before they doubled their lead midway through the second when Mitchell Weiss crashed a half-volley past Martin Horsell. Hereford though scored three goals in quick sucession through Jamie Molyneux, Mark Preece and John Mills to turn the game on its head, but the hosts had the last say with Gareth Price heading home after some weak defending from the Bulls.

Peter Beadle opted to start Mills on the bench, much to the dismay of a number of supporters, with Mike Symons leading the line on his own, supported by Pablo Haysham, Keyon Raffell and Garyn Preen. Ryan Green was suspended, whilst Rob Purdie, Mike McGrath and Lance Smith were all injured.

The Whites started poorly and found themselves one down early on. A cross from the right-wing wasn't dealt with by Jack Deaman and it fell to the feet of Steve Ward who crisply shot into the corner of the net from inside the box. There were number of stoppages during the first-half firstly following a high, but accidental boot from Symons on Jorell Johnson eventually led to him being replaced, whilst there was also a stoppage after a supporter threw liquid over the home team's keeper. Hereford appealed for a penalty when Symons went down after a push in the box, but it looked soft, and the referee was having none of it.

Horsell was grateful to Deaman towards the end of the half after he raced out of his goal to head the ball away from danger, but it fell at the feet of a Langley attacker, who then played in his strike partner; with Horsell out of position and closing down the ball, a low shot was goalbound but Deaman adjudged the danger well to position himself on the line and make an excellent clearance. As the half-time whistle loomed, Hereford created their first chance of note. Haysham found some room on the left to cut in and fizzle a right-foot drive towards the top corner, which the 'keeper fumbled onto the post before being cleared.

After the interval, Langley found themselves doubling their advantage. A deep cross from the right wasn't dealt with, and broke for Mitchell Weiss, who powered a left-foot half-volley past the helpless Horsell. The Hereford management reacted, introducing Mills, and Molyneux, who has been struggling with injury and fitness over pre-season, for Preen and Jamie Edge. Both were involved quickly, with Molyneux finding room on the right to fire a cross in the direction of Mills, whose deft touch at the near-post was off-target. They interlinked once again soon after, Molyneux slipping a through ball to Mills. The former Didcot striker turned his marker inside out before firing a left-foot curler a foot past the far post.

With 13 minutes left on the clock, Hereford pulled a goal back. A corner from James Bowen was spilt by the 'keeper and Molyneux reacted quickest to lash the ball into the back of the net. 

Two minutes later and the scores were level. Bowen used his long throw to Hereford's advantage, looping it into the box and Preece, up from the back, flicked a backwards header over the 'keeper. 

There were further chances at either end; firstly Symons fluffed a good opportunity having been set up by Raffell's direct running, whilst at the other end, the home team's 10 span Deaman and honed in on goal, but he couldn't beat Horsell who closed the angle down well to block the shot.

In the 89th minute, Hereford thought they'd won the game when Mills came up trumps. A goal-kick was flicked on by Symons and Mills got in front of his marker to round the 'keeper and finish from an acute angle. 

There were six minutes of injury time to hold on, but it was Kings Langley who mustered up one last chance, which they took. Another deep cross from the right was this time headed back across goal and Price found himself unmarked to nod past Horsell. 

There was still time for Hereford to nearly find the winner; Jimmy Oates slipped a pass to Molyneux in space on the right side of the box and his low right-foot shot hit the base of the post before being cleared.

It was a disappointing way to draw having done the hard work and come back from two goals down. After a poor first-half showing, Hereford offered a lot more coming forward when Molyneux and Mills were introduced. The former offered something that wasn't present on the pitch before; the ability to beat his man and get to the byline, and deliver some quality crosses. Hopefully Molyneux will be fit enough to start on Tuesday, when Tiverton Town visit Edgar Street.

Hereford: Horsell, Oates, Deaman, Preece, Bowen, Edge (Molyneux), Dinsley, Preen (Mills), Raffell, Haysham, Symons.

Subs not used: Harris, Franklin, Williams.

Attendance: 661.