Thursday, December 26, 2019

Hereford fall to Boxing Day defeat

Reece Styche Scores For Hereford
Kevin reports from Aggborough.

Hereford were comprehensively beaten by Kidderminster Harriers 3-1 at Aggborough this afternoon. Ollie Shenton struck twice in the first-half to hand the hosts a deserved lead, before Reece Styche poked home in the second to give Hereford hope. However, Ashley Hemmings headed home to give Harriers their two goal advantage, which they held on to despite Ryan Johnson seeing red late on.

 Russell Slade made one enforced change following Saturday's 0-0 draw with Guiseley. Martin Riley picked up a shoulder injury in that game, and was replaced by Jak Bodenham at the heart of the defence. 

The game took a little while to get going in the first period before a flurry of half-chances were created by both sides. Styche shot off-target after finding space on the left, whilst at the other-end Shenton touched wide at the near-post after meeting a cross from the right-wing. 

Shenton was soon involved again, heading over on the stretch after a deep Alex Prosser cross. Hereford looked shaky in their play, and were lacking fluidity, but a couple of opportunities were presented to first Jordan Cullinane-Liburd, who saw a shot deflect over the bar after Peter Vincenti won an aerial dual, and secondly, Stephen Dawson's long-range effort was held by Will Mannion, although the 'keeper did need a second attempt to gather.

Harriers took the lead in the 23rd minute after Dawson had been penalised for a shoulder-barge when trying to shield the ball out for a goal-kick. From the resulting set-piece, a ball into the box wasn't fully cleared and eventually broke, following a number of bounces, to Shenton who fired left-footed into the far corner from 12 yards. 

Shenton didn't have to wait long to grab his second - Prosser found room on the right ahead of Danny Greenslade and his cross evaded Cullinane-Liburd and was clinically controlled and powered past Brandon Hall from six yards. 

Hall was called into action towards the end of the half when another right-wing cross caused problems, this time falling to left-back Correy Davidson and his guided volley was diverted around the post with Hall's legs.

Kidderminster continued to threaten early in the second-half as Hemmings whipped a free-kick into the danger area and Johnson found himself unmarked but couldn't place his header on target. Sam Austin was providing good width from right-back and on a number of occasions, found himself in excellent attacking positions - he cut inside Greenslade inside the box but a right-foot shot was deflected behind for a corner. Alex Bray was introduced in place of Taylor Allen, as Hereford looked for a spark to their attacking play, a spark they found a few minutes later when Styche pulled a goal back.

Jordon Nicholson perservered on the left-wing before digging a cross in to the box from the by-line and it fell to Styche at the back-post, who had time to chest and poke home from close-range. 

The Gibraltarian international then volleyed over under pressure inside the box following further good work from Nicholson as the game appeared to be turning in the favour of the away team. 

However, with 20 minutes remaining Kidderminster made the three points safe when Hemmings grabbed the home team's third of the afternoon. Davidon's inch-perfect cross found Hemmings who powered a header past Hall from 8 yards. Hereford had the larger share of the possession in the remaining minutes, but lacked creative threat, even after Johnson was shown a second yellow card in the 83rd minute for a late challenge, and the game ended 3-1.

It was another disappointing performance by the Bulls, who looked toothless in attack at times, and shaky defensively. The only positive to be taken from today's match was the introduction of Bray, who offered some direct running and skill. 2,117 were in attendance in Kidderminster, with 517 making the short journey from Hereford. Next up on Saturday is the visit of Leamington at Edgar Street, with Hereford desparately needing to pick up the points to re-ignite the season.

Hereford: Hall, Hodgkiss, Cullinane-Liburd, Bodenham, Greenslade, Vincenti, Thomas, Allen, Dawson, Nicholson, Styche.

Subs: Pope, Bray, O'Sullivan, Mooney, Sodeinde.

Kidderminster: Mannion, Austin, Moyo, Johnson, Davidson, Prosser, Williams, Butterfield, Shenton, Hemmings, Freemantle.

Subs: Palmer, WIlliams, Peniket, Scott, Higginson.