Sunday, December 26, 2021

Twenty Years Ago Today - Hereford Win At Telford

A look back to Boxing Day in December 2001. Hereford were away at Telford in the Conference and after a poor spell were relieved to take three points from the game.

Dec 26th:

TELFORD 0 Hereford United 1

A goal from midfielder Scott Goodwin ten minutes from time handed Hereford United all three points in Boxing Day's local derby.

The game had been pretty even until Matt Clarke had a goal disallowed for Hereford after he was deemed to be offside. It took three minutes for the Bulls to get the ball in the net again, this time legally, and secure a crucial victory.

Telford United entered the game on the back of an emphatic 5-1 victory at Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday and manager Jeff King was eager to extend an unbeaten run which stretched back seven league games. The New Bucks Head ground was as complete as last year when Hereford visited, still without a stand on the far side of the pitch. Earlier in the year, chairman Andy Shaw pulled the plug on financing the stadium until crowds improved.

The Hereford United side saw no Paul Parry or Alex Kevan in midfield so Ian Rodgerson and Phil Robinson filled in alongside Scott Goodwin and John Snape. Matt Baker's calf injury had recovered sufficiently to start, and Rob Elmes was named in attack to partner Gavin Williams.

The opening period was dominated by neither the Bulls or the Bucks, who played in their change colours for the occasion. Hereford had a few half chances early on and Phil Robinson was brought down after nine minutes by Gareth Hamner which resulted in the Telford man picking up a yellow card.

Hereford retained possession for periods without creating problems for veteran Telford 'keeper Paul Edwards. Home attacker Gary Fitzpatrick had a shot cleared by Tony James after fourteen minutes while Gareth Hamner created problems for Matt Clarke and Ian Rodgerson on the Telford left wing.

Rob Elmes had Hereford's first real chance midway through the half when Matt Clarke played a quick return-pass with Ian Rodgerson before swinging in a superb cross to the far post. Elmes couldn't quite aim his header on target as it flew past the post. Matt Baker was then called into action as he clutched a cross from the left while being pressurised and with five minutes of the first half remaining, a goal for the home side appeared increasingly likely. Shots rained in from all angles as Hereford failed to clear the ball convincingly and Gary Fitzpatrick and Gary Martindale were both frustrated by last ditch blocks.

The second half was similar to the first in that Telford probably shaded chances on goal but Hereford had more possession and appeared more lively for a spell. A corner from Gavin Williams saw Paul Edwards save from a Rob Elmes header in increasingly difficult conditions. The temperature was struggling to stay above freezing and light snow fell at times but both sets of fans remained vocal. In fact, Hereford had a travelling support of nearly five hundred which boosted the crowd to 2,168.

With thirteen minutes left, the ball finally hit the back of the net when Hereford's Matt Clarke had been released in the box before slotting the ball past Edwards. However, referee Keith Wright of Peterborough, took the advice of his assitant and ruled the effort offside.

Three minutes later, though, Clarke turned provider as his long left-hand cross met Scott Goodwin who hit home on the back post to give Hereford a crucial lead.

With eight minutes left, Matt Baker saw Paul Moore, on as a Telford substitute, five a powerful rising shot goalwards which he tipped over to maintain a narrow lead for his side.

The three points have given Hereford some breathing space at the bottom of the Nationwide Conference whilst ending Telford's superb unbeaten league run. The Bucks reamin fourth, twelve points behind new leaders Dagenham & Redbridge, while Hereford are fifteenth having opened up a four point cushion over Stalybridge Celtic, who lie in the drop zone. The Bulls welcome Celtic to Edgar Street on Saturday, kick off 3pm.

Hereford's victory was a team performance and no man can be selected having excelled above his team mates. Therefore, no man of the match award has been made by HU-FC.co.uk.

Hereford United: Matt Baker, Matt Clarke, Tony Capaldi, Phil Robinson, Ian Wright (captain), Tony James, Scott Goodwin, John Snape, Rob Elmes, Gavin Williams, Ian Rodgerson
Subs: Mark Williams, Lee Evans, John Shirley, Scott Voice, Jimmy Quiggin
Scorer:Scott Goodwin (80 minutes)
Man of the Match: "The team!"
Attendance: 2,168
Referee: Mr. Keith Wright (Peterborough)

TELFORD United manager Jake King was full of praise for opponents Hereford United after they beat his side in the Boxing Day Nationwide Conference encounter at Bucks Head.

"Fair play to Hereford, they came here and did a job on us and we can't really have any complaints," reflected the Scot. "Their three midfield players controlled the game and stopped ours from playing and it's a long time since I've seen our midfield outplayed like that. Normally, we run over teams in that part of the pitch, but they won all the second ball and just edged it on the balance of play. After 25 minutes I thought the game had 0-0 written all over it as they don't score many, but they don't let many in either."

"But they nicked the winner ten minutes from the end. Four or five of our lads had the flu and didn't perform how I know they can, but I'm not using that as a an excuse. Sometimes you have to just say well done and Hereford defended really well to get something out of the game. They've got bundles of experience and it was a case of sod's law that with a big crowd present, we've got beat."