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Hereford Utd 0 Harriers 1

Date: 25-03-06 Venue: Edgar Street att: 4223 away fans: 398
Harriers stun the Bulls in derby win
The Harriers stunned a ten man Hereford Utd today with a strong display that made a mockery of the result against Aldershot last week when we crumbled to a 4-1 defeat.    Today a different side turned up in the faded grandeur of Edgar Street to stifle the home side with some classy defending and then sneak all three points mid way through the second half.    The expected barrage from a high flying Utd never came and we saw the game out easily and the team trooped off with applause ringing in their ears.

We had the expected debuts from our two most recent signings and Jon Newby looks a good, if temporary acquisition, along with Simon Rea who never put a foot wrong throughout the game.    Luke Reynolds also made another start following a good showing last week but the other recent new face, Mike McGrath, failed to make the bench.

Michael Blackwood also won a reprieve after a shocking game last week and thank God he did because he got the all important goal for us.

Right from the first whistle the Reds took the game to Hereford, worrying and harrying the hosts into mistakes and poor decisions.    Newby showed his credentials with some intelligent running and almost made an early goal for us when he sent a cross flashing across the face that Reynolds only just failed to get a foot to.

On twenty eight minutes Johnny Mullins forced Wayne Brown into a good save when he sent in a strong header following a Harkness free kick and that was followed up with a further decent save from Brown when Gareth Sheldon sent in a drive from eighteen yards out.

Just after that came the controversial incident that saw the instant dismissal of Andy Ferrell following a clumsy challenge by Terry Fleming.

Ferrell had the ball on the halfway line but as Fleming came sliding in for the tackle he jumped to avoid him but Fleming caught him with his studs.    The tackle from our man would normally have earned a red card but that was given to the Hereford man instead when he appeared to turn around and aim a kick at Terry.

At first everyone thought the red card was for Fleming but it was facing towards Ferrell and it was Ferrell who was the one slowly walking off to jeers from the Harriers contingent.

Utd regrouped but looked a bit nervy now that they were down to ten men and the Harriers almost rubbed salt into their wounds when Luke Reynolds almost grabbed a forty fifth minute lead to take into the break.    Newby again supplied the cross that Luke bought down and turned onto in one swift movement to force Brown into a save that denied him a second goal in consecutive games.
HT: 0 - 0
The second half was a more relaxed affair with the Harriers now having the upperhand numbers wise and we could easily have taken the lead on numerous occasions.    Hereford were being forced onto the back foot and they rarely got a sight of goal let alone getting a clear shot in.

Johnny Mullins was the first to try his luck in this half with a header that easily cleared the bar and only just failed not to clear the stand.    Gareth Sheldon and Luke Reynolds also had chances but Jon Newby was starting to show his lack of match practice and was looking tired.    He was soon to be replaced by Lee Thompson.

It was against the run of play that Hereford almost scored.    Utd had also just bought on a substitute when Adam Stansfield came on for the disappointing Stuart Fleetwood and he pushed a cross into the area after the referee had ignored the fact that he had kicked Mullins in the face.    The ball rolled forward for Andrew Williams and to jeers of derision Williams sent his shot wide of the post when he should really have buried it.

Hereford were to rue that miss because minutes later we had taken the lead that was destined to win the game.

Michael Blackwood saw the chance of a quick break for goal and stormed down the middle until he found himself thirty yards from goal with no defenders near to him.    He sent in a low shot that took a sudden deflection off Tamika Mkandawire and totally wrong footed Brown to fly into the corner of the net.

Blackwood had more than made up for last weeks dismal performance and won back the hearts of the Harriers faithful with that goal.

Hereford bought on Jamie Pitman in an effort to grab the equaliser but the Harriers held on until the final whistle with Hereford just having the one further chance.    This came from Williams again but this time he sent an easy header so high above the bar that it almost left the ground.

When the final whistle went it was a relieved Harriers crowd that stood up for what seemed an eternity applauding their heroes off after such an accomplished performance.    They'll get another chance to repeat that this Tuesday when we take on a Grays side that only seem interested in the FA Trophy now that they're slipping quickly down the table.

They should be there for the taking.
FT: 0 - 1

 Goal for Harriers: Blackwood 73

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Hereford Utd  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Brown     Danby  
Green     Harkness gif
Mkandawire     Rea  
James     Penn  
Jeannin     Mullins  
Taylor     Burgess  
Stanley     Sheldon  
Ferrell gif   Fleming gif
Williams     Reynolds gif
Fleetwood     Newby  
Purdie     Blackwood  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Mawson     Lewis  
Stansfield     Hurren  
Beckwith     Thompson  
Pitman     Sedgemore  
Stansfield     Russell  

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