Hereford United bounced back from their defeat at Morecambe on Tuesday night with an emphatic victory against lowly Farnborough Town at Cherrywood Road this afternoon. It was the first time Hereford had scored six in the Conference since they defeated Scarborough at Edgar Street in the 2001-2002 campaign.
Lee Mills and Ryan Green were both out injured and so the two new loan signings, Darryl Taylor and Leeroy Williams, went straight into the starting line up. Tamika Mkandawire recovered from flu and so Tom Smith was forced to make way. Graham Hyde dropped to the bench to make way for Taylor in the midfield, and Mark Robinson was reintroduced to the defence, as Green was out. Brian Smikle was once again not included in the squad. Ben Scott had also recovered from his shoulder problem and resumed his place on the bench.
The opening of the game was very stop-start, as neither side really threatened before Lloyd Blackman's shot from outside of the box went well over. It was not until eighteen minutes until United really threatened Boro's goal, but they broke the deadlock with their first shot. The two Williams' in the Bulls side linked up, Danny sending Leeroy through on goal with a good through ball, and the loanee opened his Hereford account with a perfectly executed chip over the on rushing Andy Petterson.
Blackman went closer with a shot from a similar range soon after before Graham Turner was forced to replace Danny Williams, who injured his ankle in a challenge. Rob Purdie took up his place on the left flank. Leeroy Williams' debut saw another big incident just after the half hour mark. He was bundled over the Boro skipper Adam Theophanides and then reacted stupidly by head butting him. It was no suprise when the referee produced his red card and Williams went from hero to zero.
United re-grouped though, and almost doubled their advantage from the free kick. Mark Robinson crossed and Andy Tretton fired against the foot of the post before Farnborough cleared their lines. Boro pressed for an equaliser before the break, but were denied twice by superb saves from Craig Mawson. Michael Johnson crossed for Blackman, who saw his header from six yards out turned away by the 'keeper and then he was denied, once again, after Johnson had crossed, when he was almost on the goal line. Mawson somehow, though, clawed the ball off the line and United went in one goal to the good at half time.
Three minutes had passed in the second half before United were awarded a penalty, and the home sides heads dropped. Carey-Bertram controlled Purdie's pass in the box and went past Jimmy Turner, who then, in the eyes of the referee, tripped the attacker. Carey-Bertram got to his feet and took the responsibility of taking the kick, as Tony James was out injured. He struck the ball powerfully down the middle and put the Bulls two up.
Six minutes later, after Taylor's run down the right and cross into the middle, Pitman volleyed in the third, although it may be credited to Carey-Bertram who appeared to get the final touch in putting the ball over the line. It would be harsh if this goal is not awarded to Pitman, as he was denied a goal in similar fashion against Morecambe. From now on there was no way back for Boro.
Purdie and Carey-Bertram pressured the home defence into a mistake but Carey-Bertram fired wide from twenty yards before he went close once again, having spun past three markers on the edge of the box, but his effort was wide of the far post. Purdie found Taylor in space on the right and he won a corner when his cross was turned behind. Robinson took it and picked out Tretton, whose header was punched behind by Petterson. Robinson's second cross picked out Tretton once again, but he headed back into the middle where man of the match Mkandawire acrobatically shot against the cross bar.
Boro may have been relieved when they saw that Carey-Bertram was being withdrawn, but his replacement, Adam Stansfield, got straight in on the act and scored having been on the pitch for only three minutes. He met Pitman's cross with a powerful header for six yards and beat the helpless Petterson for United's fourth. Stansfield then turned provider as they netted a fifth with three minutes left. He chased Robinson's long ball down the left and squared for Purdie on the edge of the box. His first time drive was too powerful for the outstretched hand of Petterson and it snuck inside the near post.
Taylor went close in the last minute after creating some space on the edge of the box but his shot was off target. He found himself in the same situation moments later but this time he threaded a neat pass behind the defence for Stansfield to run onto and chip over the 'keeper to complete the rout.
United could not have replied to any recent critics in a better way, but their opponents did not provide too much of a challenge. It is no suprise that confidence is so low at Cherrywood Road and that they are a side battling for their lives at the foot of the table. The performance was an improved one compared to those in recent weeks and the Bulls did play for more than an hour with ten men. Hereford fans also turned out in force to see their side bounce back, there were 425 away fans in a crowd of 1,059.
HUFC Team: Mawson, Travis, Tretton, Mkandawire, Robinson, D Williams, Stanley, Pitman, Taylor, L Williams, Carey-Bertram. Subs: Smith, Scott, Hyde, Purdie, Stansfield.
FTFC: Petterson, Turner, Adam Theo, Fenton, Taggart, Traynor, Smith, Heeroo, Johnson, Blackman, Gibbs. Subs: Hughes, Howe, Charles, Ashwood, Allen-Page.