Hereford United kept their sixth clean sheet in eight games to secure a 1-0 home victory against Morecambe this afternoon. The Shrimps were not lacking in confidence having travelled to Edgar Street on the back of a 5-2 defeat of Aldershot and caused some problems for the mean Hereford defence, but the back three excelled throughout and Wayne Browns goal was rarely endangered.
Jamie Pitman took the place of the injured Graham Evans in the injury struck United side meaning Jon Brady moved into attack alongside Danny Carey-Bertram. The injury list, not helped by the suspension of Ryan Green, is so hefty at the moment that Graham Turner could only name four substitutes.
Michael Twiss pounded a shot wide firstly for The Reds after Garry Thompson had forced his way through a couple of challenges while Pitman fired wide at the other end. Alex Jeannin brought down Twiss on the very edge of the box, after a rather poor start to the game, and received a yellow card, the first of many in the game, for his actions.
Darren Blewitt was booked for a nasty challenge on Thompson before United had a good penalty shout waved away. Andy Ferrell crossed for Craig Stanley and his goalbound header was clearly deflected away by the hand of a defender, but not in the view of the referee. Dean Beckwith placed a superb throughball into the run of Stanley as The Bulls created the best chance of the half. Stanley's run took him beyond the defence and his shot from twenty five yards had beaten the on rushing Ryan Robinson, but it curled just inches wide.
Wayne Curtis forced Brown, who is yet to concede for Hereford, in to a wonderful one handed save moments before the deadlock was broken when he smashed a shot in from the right of the penatly box. Jeannin was the creator, when he beat his man and saw his centre deflected to the edge of the box where Ferrell was on hand to fire a perfectly placed volley into the bottom corner with just four minutes left of the half. Before the half was over, Chris Blackburn was booked for diving.
Thompson almost leveled things up soon after the restart but his right footed effort went inches wide of the far post. Chances were hard to come by in the early stages of the second period, but Hereford did manage to force a number of corners. Stanley had a shot blocked after being picked out by Brady before the Australian was replaced by Andy Williams. Blackburn received his marching orders following a foul on Jeannin down the left, with seven minutes remaining, in which Beckwith was booked and Tamika Mkandawire replaced Carey-Bertram.
The three points were important today against a tough side, who started the day in fifth position. Although work still needs to be done on the attacking side, the cause has not been helped by the absence of Guy Ipoua, Adam Stansfield and Graham Evans. At the other end though, Hereford are looking very safe indeed. Man of the match today was Tony James, who put in an imaculate performance as did Pitman. Both seemed to be everywhere in the defence today; whenever a tackle was needed one of the two were there to make it. In front of 2422, this pleasing result moves The Bulls up three places, to seventh, in the Conference table.
HUFC: Brown, James, Blewitt, Beckwith, Jeannin, Purdie, Pitman, Ferrell, Stanley, Brady, Carey-Bertram. Subs: Mawson, Mkandawire, Gwynne, Williams.
MFC: Robinson, Blackburn, Bentley, Kempson, Howard, Thompson, Perkins, Hunter, Curtis, O'Connor, Twiss. Subs: Walmsely, Carlton, Kelly, Stringfellow, Davis.