Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Bulls off the bottom, as TOE topples York

A Tuesday night at York? That’ll be three points for Hereford then!

A strong, robust and lively performance from the Bulls earned them their first league victory of the season. 

The Bulls saved a penalty and then a slice of luck saw Tom Owen-Evans, recalled to the starting eleven by manager Josh Gowling, capitalise on a mistake by the York goalkeeper to score the game’s only goal. 

Such is the injury situation in the Bulls camp, 17 year old Harley Morris was promoted from the under 18 team to travel with Gowling’s matchday squad. 


Luke Haines was absent after his injury against Leamington at the weekend, so new loan signing Reiss McNally started in defence while Maz Kouyhar replaced Ryan McLean in the starting eleven. Owen-Evans started with Miles Storey absent with a hamstring injury. 

Brandon Hall Checks The Ball Before Kick-Off

The pitch at York’s new LNER Stadium resembled a snooker table, and with the moisture provided by a day of rain, it provided a slick playing surface. Immediately it was the home side who dominated, with veteran striker Clayton Donaldson’s early shot going narrowly wide as Hereford’s net rippled. 

Then the Bulls built a spell of sustained pressure, with a Patric Fini effort deflected wide. 

Brandon Hall played a key role in the Hereford goal, palming wide a strike from Mark Beck and tipping over a 25 yard Mackenzie Heaney drive, while the Bulls’ best effort before half time came from Maziar Kouyhar, with a shot on the turn from the edge of the box going just wide. 

After the restart, the Bulls looked to build on good communication between a group of players recently brought together. Levi Andoh’s low strike went behind for a corner, while a back post header from Dan Smith was tipped behind for a corner. Smith looked well supported by Owen-Evans, Kouyhar and Pinchard, and less isolated than in previous games. 

On 58 minutes, a foul by Andoh on York substitute Harrison Hopper resulted in a penalty to the home side. After protests by Bulls skipper Jared Hodgkiss, up stepped Donaldson, only to find Hall leap to his left hand side to palm the ball away. A let off for Hereford, and a confidence boost. 

But York pushed on. A corner was flashed wide from three yards out. Then cue a mistake at the other end. A poor clearance from Pete Jameson, the York goalkeeper, was robbed by
Owen-Evans, who rounded and struck a low ball from an acute angle to give Hereford the lead. 

There were nervy moments for Hereford to come. Hall pulled up with what appeared to be a muscle injury, but he had to continue as Gowling had already used three substitutes. Then with a minute left, Donaldson scored for York from two yards out, only for it to be ruled offside. 

A slice of luck is what Hereford needed, but they earned this win through hard work, creativity and commitment.  Credit to Reiss McNally who slotted straight into a four-man defence and performed strongly.  A big three points for the Bulls, who are finally on the winning side in the league match. 

York: Jameson, Duckworth, Brown (capt), Dyson, Woods (Gilchrist, 75), Willoughby (Hopper, 53), Donaldson, King, Heaney, Beck, Wright. Unused subs: Jones, Haase, Campbell. 

Hereford: Hall, Hodgkiss, Owen-Evans, Andoh, Lloyd, Pollock, Kouyhar (McLean, 71), Smith (Hulbert, 81), McNally, Fini, Pinchard (Forsyth, 74). Unused subs: Hancox, Liburd-Hines. 

Referee: Adam Williamson

Attendance: 2,483.