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Saturday, April 11, 2020

On This Day - April 11th 2009

April 11th 2009, the Bulls were playing in League One and Leicester were the visitors to Edgar Street.

Foxes continue title push

Leicester City continued their push for the title with a 3-1 victory at Edgar Street this afternoon against Hereford United. The Foxes had to come from behind though as Steve Guinan scored from the penalty spot in the first-half but Matt Oakley's powerful free-kick levelled the scores up before the break. Lloyd Dyer put the visitors in front after a defensive mix-up before Steve Howard finished proceedings with a tap in. 4,389 supporters were present with 1,924 making the journey from Leicester.

The Bulls kept the same side as the one that started against Brighton and Hove Albion in mid-week despite the defeat. The visitors included a number of players with Premiership experience and other up and coming prospects. Jack Hobbs started in central defence and will be known to Hereford 'keeper Peter Gulacsi as both are on loan from Liverpool. The Foxes also included winger Dyer in their starting eleven; the pacey former MK Dons man has always been a major threat when playing against United and a foul on him last season saw Guinan sent off when the Dons visited Edgar Street.

The visitors started well in the sunshine with some good passing football and Andy King's header from an Oakley corner was their first opportunity. Soon after, they forced a good save from Gulacsi after a long ball had been flicked on to Dyer who showed neat feet to create a shooting chance for himself but his left-foot shot was pushed around the post by the Hungarian 'keeper. Toumani Diagouraga had a powerful effort blocked after a lay-off by Guinan before Hereford took the lead on the half-hour mark. A pass from Febian Brandy allowed Jennison Myrie-Williams the chance to run at the Leicester left-back and inside the area, Joe Mattock bought the Bristol City loanee down. A penalty was awarded and Guinan took charge, despite his mid-week misery from the same spot in front of the Blackfriars End. Yet despite the efforts of the away support to put Guinan off, he stepped up and fired into the top right hand corner to give Hereford the lead.

This lead though was shortlived as just five minutes later, the visitors were back on level terms. Karl Broadhurst attempted to let the ball run out of play with Matty Fryatt hot on his tail but conceded a soft free-kick in doing so. From a position just left of the penalty area, Oakley fired in a free-kick with pace and precision and it flew directly into the far top corner to make it 1-1. The first-half petered out with little incident although Guinan should have done better with an early left-foot shot which dragged wide, after a Diagouraga header had released him 25 yards out.

The second-half began with a series of half-chances at either end; King screwed a shot past the post after a decent chest control whilst a break from Marc Pugh saw him beat two before a long-range right-foot effort went wide despite the opportunity to play in Brandy. Dyer did well to shift on to his left-foot under pressure from 20 yards but failed to hit the target whilst King beat Ben Smith inside the area but could only hit the side netting with a drilled left-foot shot. At the other end, some good football by Hereford led to a pass into Guinan's feet but he could only shoot tamely at David Stockdale; it looked as though Guinan took the ball off Pugh's feet who was in a much better position to strike.

Nigel Pearson opted to bring on Maxi Gradel for Bruno Berner to freshen up their attack but it was Hereford who looked most threatening, with the crowd enjoying the possession that Hereford were having. Guinan nearly scored his second after controlling a Kris Taylor cross and an audacious overhead kick fell just a foot or two over Stockdale's cross-bar. City perhaps should have been awarded a penalty when Richard Jackson dived into a challenge and appeared to catch King inside the box, but the referee saw it differently, dishing out a yellow card for the Leicester midfielder. Soon after though, Jackson was involved again as Leicester took the lead.

Myrie-Williams failed to run into the space in front of him and played a pass back to Jackson who tried to let it run back to Gulacsi but the Hungarian was pressured by Dyer who blocked a clearence. The ball looped up into the air and Gulacsi punched under pressure before Howard lifted a shot over the 'keeper which Jackson headed onto the bar before Dyer followed up to smash in from close-range. The visitors' tails were up and a 1-2 between King and Dyer saw the central midfielder force Gulacsi into a low save at his near-post before Brandy was replaced by Simon Johnson. A neat turn inside the box saw Fryatt wriggle his way past Broadhurst before Gulacsi blocked his shot with his legs.

Veteran bit/part striker Paul Dickov replaced Fryatt late on before Leicester added a third which settled the encounter. A switch of play from left to right was bought down by Gradel who flicked the ball past the challenge of Taylor and raced away from the former Walsall man before running into the box and drawing in a challenge from Gulacsi; just as the Hungarian 'keeper was at his feet, Gradel pulled back to Howard who simply tapped in from six yards. In the closing stages, Guinan dragged a shot wide from 25 yards whilst he went closer after a one-two with Johnson set him free and he shrugged off a challenge from Michael Morrison to force Stockdale into a strong save from an acute angle. In stoppage time, Pearson ran down the clock by replacing Dyer with Astrit Ajdaveric.

Leicester are favourites for the title now after Peterborough slipped up yesterday against Cheltenham and looked a strong unit although Hereford gave them a good test. There was more 'carpet' football played by Hereford today but as has been the case throughout the season, a lack of end product in the final third. In particular, Smith looked good in midfield with more freedom to create but the defensive mix-up leading to the second goal was calamitous to say the least. Next up for Hereford is a trip to Tranmere on Monday; last season United drew 2-2 at Prenton Park with the goals coming from a stunning volley from Smith and a powerful finish by Trevor Benjamin.

Hereford: Gulacsi, Jackson, Broadhurst, Rose, Taylor, Myrie-Williams, Diagouraga, Smith, Pugh, Guinan, Brandy.

Subs: Veiga, Gwynne, O'Leary, Done, Johnson.

Leicester: Stockdale, Morrison, Hobbs, Brown, Mattock, Oakley, Berner, King, Dyer, Howard, Fryatt.

Subs: Warner, Kisnorbo, Gradel, Ajdarevic, Dickov.

And some reaction:

Graham Turner admitted once again that poor defending had cost the Bulls dearly.

"They had one clear-cut chance in the first half which Peter made a good save from," said the Hereford United manager.

"Second half, apart from the first ten minutes when I thought they looked a bit sharper, I thought we started to get a toe-hold in the game, taking the game to them. We had that little spell of passing it and one or two half-decent positions.

"The second goal absolutely destroyed us, the manner of it, and from then on in you could see them go up a notch.

"The manner of the second goal - I can quite understand the feelings of the players when they see a goal like that go in.

"The second one turned the game, the third one is another poor defensive effort to try and keep the ball out of the back of our net.

"At this level you can not concede goals like we have done. The free kick - we should never be giving free kicks away in those sort of positions.

"The second one totally destroys everybody."

Steve Guinan scored his 13th goal of the season this afternoon against Leicester but as he told BBC Hereford and Worcester the side just haven't scored enough goals.

"It's a decent tally for me in a relegation side. It's a good penalty and I made up for my mistake on Tuesday night" said the Hereford United striker.

"It's been a poor season for everyone with me top scorer with 13, then Febian on 4.

"It tells a story, we haven't scored enough goals and conceded too many."

As regards the game itself Guinan thought the Bulls did reasonably well.

"I don't think first half there was much in the game. I think we knew what they would do - pump a lot of balls upto Howard. I think we contained them quite well.

"They had a fair bit of possession first half, all in front of us and never really hurt us. At half time I thought down towards our fans I thought we had a good chance here and we started off the second half with a good spell.

"But again it's another stupid defensive error from us which has cost us then they got their tails up."

Hereford had a good spell in the middle of the second half.

"When we do get the ball down like we did and the fans were 'olaying' we look a good team and we could pass Leicester off the park but we haven't done it often enough. That's our strength but when we play the long ball like we did against Brighton on Tuesday we look a League Two side."