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Saturday, August 24, 2019

Owen-Evans misses late penalty as Bulls settle for a point

Rowan Liburd Scores For Hereford
A missed penalty from Tom Owen-Evans saw Hereford drop two points in their match against Brackley Town this afternoon.

Owen-Evans – who is usually very reliable for the Bulls from 12 yards – blazed his effort over the bar after referee Scott Simpson pointed to the spot for handball after Jordan Nicholson’s shot was charged down.

In truth, Hereford probably only deserved a point against a Brackley side who have been third in the league for the past two seasons.

Hereford made two changes from the team that beat Blyth 1-0 last week. Jordan Nicholson came in for the injured Mike Symons, while Tommy O’Sullivan replaced Jacob Jagger Cane, who failed a late fitness test. Liam Bishop was one of the five named substitutes and came on late in the game.

There were very few chances in the early exchanges, with Brackley goalkeeper Danny Lewis needing treatment after coming out to deal with an opportunity when Jordan Nicholson went through.

Nicholson then saw a free-kick blocked before Hereford opened the scoring in the 17th minute. Brad Ash this time took a free-kick in a near identical position, but saw his effort hit the crossbar. However, Rowan Liburd was on hand to head home the rebound.

Both sides then saw efforts go over the bar before Brackley levelled eight minutes before the break.

Hesitancy at the back between Josh Gowling and Raheem Hanley led to Matt Lowe beating Gowling to the ball and setting up James Armison to score. 

It really was a shocking goal to concede. Gowling totally misjudged Hanley's poor pass, leading to Lowe to cross the ball. 

Brackley then started to get a stranglehold of the game, with some good interplay just before the half time break.

The first period of the second half saw both sides have plenty of the ball without testing either goalkeeper. Hereford made a double substitution in the 62nd minute, bringing on Reece Styche and Jason Pope for Tommy O’Sullivan and Raheem Hanley respectively.

Brackley had a great chance to take the lead in the 74th minute, but Ellis Myles’ low cross was cleared off the line by Jordan Cullinane-Liburd.

Then at the other end, Gareth Dean’s sliced clearance nearly ended in a spectacular own goal. However, Hereford had a great opportunity to make it 2-1 seven minutes from time when they were awarded the penalty. But less said about Owen-Evans’ effort, the better.

He almost redeemed himself with a great effort that was tipped behind at the death, while at the other end, Hereford had to survive a couple of Brackley chances.

On paper, a point against a team who will probably be there or thereabouts again at the end of the season looks ok, but it was definitely two points lost.

Onto Monday now and a very tough game at Chester, who are unbeaten.

Hereford (4-4-2): Hall; Hodgkiss, Cullinane-Liburd, Gowling, Hanley (Pope 62); Owen-Evans, Maye, O’Sullivan (Styche 62), Nicholson; Ash (Bishop 90), Liburd. Subs not used: Bray, Riley.

Brackley (4-4-2): Lewis; Myles, Langmead, Dean, Franklin; Lowe, Byrne, Murombedzi, Walker; Armison (Baker 81), Ndlovu. Subs not used: Holman, Daire, Fairlomb, Audel.

Attendance: 2,585 (26 away fans).