Thursday, April 28, 2005

Reserves win title

Below is a report from Keith Hall of last night's game at Edgar Street. We are indebted to Keith for keeping us informed of the progress of the reserves over the past few days.

Further evidence of an upward curve in Hereford United's overall progress was in evidence at Edgar Street this evening as the Bulls reserve side lifted the Central Conference Western Division Title.

Near neighbours Kidderminster Harriers managed to secure a 0-0 draw on the
night, but it was the Whites players and backroom staff who were opening the
champagne bottles after a terrific campaign.

John Trewick, Gary Stevens, and more recently Wayne Jones, must take credit for
blending together a squad which has seen youth, experienced players, and
trialists utilised in a side which lost just twice all season.

Tonight's match once again featured club captain Tony James, as he continued to
improve on his general fitness levels, prior to a potential return to the first
team squad during the build up to the Nationwide Conference Play-Offs.

Hereford United
1. Ben Scott
2. Stuart Bridges
3. Jimmy Holmes
4. Bruce Wheeler
5. Lewis Jones
6. Tony James
7. Sam Gwynne
8. Paul O'Brien
9. Andy Williams
10. Daniel Lennon
11. Davion Hamilton
12. Adam Worton (used)
GK. Karl Lewis
14. Nathan Hawley (used)
15. Paul Collins (used)

Kidderminster Harriers
1. Danny Lewis
2. Lee Jenkins
3. Steve Burton
4. Gary Birch
5. Abdou Sall
6. Chris McHale
7. Scott Eaton
8. Adam Chambers
9. Iseyden Christie
10. Simon Eldershaw
11. Jimmy Lee Jones
12. Mitch Butler (used)
14. Danny Ludlow (used)
15. Gary Barnett

The Bulls had the better of the opening exchanges with striker Andy Williams guilty of wasting terrific 8th minute opportunity. The young target man intercepted a poor back pass but was forced wide by Harriers keeper Danny Lewis. Williams chose to shoot from an acute angle despite the protestations of his fellow striker Daniel Lennon who was unmarked 8 yards out with the goal gaping.

Tony James showed that despite his injury absence he?s lost none of his intuitive reading of the game, and a timely interception prevented Harriers taking the lead on the quarter hour mark. A neat interchange between Jimmy Lee Jones and Gary Birch had opened up United's defence but James was in the right place at the right time to clear from inside his own penalty area.

Paul O'Brien and Daniel Lennon then went close for the home side, before a speculative 35-yard strike from Lennon dipped agonisingly over the cross bar with keeper Lewis beaten. However, Scott Eaton's right foot effort from the edge of the box just before the break forced Ben Scott into a neat save tipping the ball round his left hand post for a corner.

Into the second half and it was the home side who again showed greater purpose and penetration. Striker Lennon attempted an audacious lob over keeper Lewis as the second period got underway, only to see his effort dip just too late.

Skipper Tony James was substituted ten minutes into the second period, but he must have been pleased with his overall showing especially as Harriers striker Christie had largely failed to make any impression on proceedings. Indeed, none of the visitors impressed and appeared to be generally depressed and lacking in confidence. Hardly surprising following their relegation, but one would have expected some of the players to be out for contract renewals for next season.

On the hour mark Andy Williams blazed over the crossbar with just the advancing keeper to beat, and a neat four man move for the home side ended with a powerful
Davion Hamilton left foot strike fizzing past the post moments later.

The visitors raised the temp slightly as the game entered stoppage time.Christie dived in the box under pressure from Bridges but the referee waived aside his claims for a penalty, and in the very last minute Ben Scott acrobatically tipped over a point blank header from Eldershaw to keep the scoresheet goalless.

The celebrations at the final whistle were low-key but the smiles on the faces of John Trewick and Gary Stevens were clear to everyone as Queen's "We are the Champions" echoed around Edgar Street.

Final Score: Hereford United 0 - 0 Kidderminster Harriers