Saturday, August 03, 2019

REPORT: Owen-Evans makes immediate impact as Bulls settle for a point

Tom Owen-Evans made an immediate impact, coming off the bench to grab Hereford an equaliser in an entertaining 2-2 draw against Spennymoor Town this afternoon.

Owen-Evans struck from close range in the 79th minute – just two minutes after coming on to replace fellow goalscorer Jordan Nicholson

It looked like it was going to be one of those days for Hereford after Spennymoor stormed back to lead in the second half.

But a point is a decent result against a side who only missed out on promotion to the National League last season after losing a penalty shoot-out to Chorley in the play-off final.

The opening 10 minutes was befitting of an opening game of the season, with neither keeper tested. In fact it took until the 13th minute for Hereford to have the first effort of the game, although Keiron Thomas’ shot was poor.

However, Hereford managed to get an ascendancy in the game and Matthew Gould (the son of former Hereford player Jonathan Gould) did well to save from Jordan Nicholson in the 19th minute.

And it was Nicholson who opened the scoring seven minutes later. The former Darlington player showed good perseverance before slotting the ball past Gould. 

Spennymoor showed little threat, although the Bulls back line did have to be on the guard to prevent prolific marksman Glen Taylor from getting a shot in on goal.

Nicholson had another chance to score in the 38th minute. However, Gould did enough to tip his effort behind for a corner.

After the break, Raheem Hanley did well on the left before fizzing an effort wide, while Rowan Liburd’s volley was off target.

Hereford made the first change of the game in the 57th minute when Bradley Ash replaced Reece Styche.

However, Spennymoor started to find a foothold in the game and levelled just past the hour mark when Andrew Johnson swept the ball home.

Liburd had a great chance to restore Hereford’s advantage in the 66th minute. After doing well to take the ball down, the Bulls number nine strode forward, only to be met by a good challenge by Spennymoor centre-half James Curtis.

Liburd was subsequently replaced by Mike Symons in the 72nd minute; meaning that both Hereford’s strikers were substituted.

Johnson also left the field for Spennymoor, but that didn’t matter as his side led for the first time in the 76th minute thanks to an excellent strike by Glen Taylor – who was the league’s leading scorer last season.

Hereford would have been disappointed with how both goals were conceded, but showed great resilience to level just three minutes later thanks to Owen-Evans.

It’s encouraging that Hereford seem to have more goals from midfield this season and may not have to rely solely on their strikers. And they will do well to come up against many better sides than Spennymoor this season.

A point on the opening game against one of last season’s frontrunners should be seen as a good result. Hopefully they can back it up with another positive result on Tuesday when they face Gloucester City at Evesham.

Sponsors Man of the Match: Keiran Thomas

Hereford: Hall; Gowling; Cullinane-Liburd, Riley; Hodgkiss, Thomas, Nicholson (Owen-Evans 79), Jagger Cane, Hanley; Liburd (Symons 72), Styche (Ash 57). Subs not used: Pope, O'Sullivan.

Spennymoor: Gould; Magnay, Curtis, Buddle, Henry; McKenna, Chandler, Ward, Johnson (Hall 74); Taylor, Roberts. Subs not used: Williams, Atkinson, Anderson, Boyes.

Attendance: 2,707 (54 away fans)