Saturday, September 10, 2005

Third Consecutive Clean Sheet

The clash between two of the Conference favourites ended 0-0 at Broadhall Way this afternoon, but it will probably be Hereford who will be the most dissapointed in not taking all three points. Stevenage were reduced to ten men in injury time at the end of the game and only really forced Wayne Brown into one save, as he kept his impressive record of not conceding as yet.

United faced a mini injury crisis before the game and it was only Alex Jeannin out of the pre-match doubts who made the starting eleven. Adam Stansfield missed out allowing Graham Evans to deputise. Guy Ipoua is still struggling with a hamstring problem and Simon Travis remains a couple of weeks away from fitness. Jamie Pitman was once again on the bench, as was Tamika Mkandawire. Rob Purdie continued in the place of the suspended Ryan Green.

Hereford had the better of the early stages but failed to create a lot in the way of goalscoring opportunities. Danny Carey-Bertram should have opened the scoring midway through the first half but having done the hard work on latching onto a through ball and rounding 'keeper Alan Julian, his effort was tame and cleared off the line by a recovering defender.

Graham Evans, replaced at half time by Pitman, went close with a snap shot from the edge of the box in The Bulls only other notable chance of the half, following a spell of possession from Boro but they did not capitalise. The other notable incident came when Anthony Elding blantantly pushed Brown into his own goal and then, when they both got to their feet, over-reacted to what he claimed was a raised hand by the 'keeper. Both were booked.

Former Boro favourite Jon Brady fired a free-kick over the bar early in the second period and then forced Julian into a spectacular diving save with a left footed shot from twenty yards out. At the other end Stevenage had a great chance of snatching a goal when substitutue Simon Weatherstone saw his first time shot hit a defender and fall kindly to Darryn Stamp, but was denied brilliantly by Brown, from just six yards out with the goal gaping.

Hereford were to go close twice more, firstly with Craig Stanley, following a brilliant move throught the midfield, but once again Julian denied him and then from man of the match Dean Beckwith, who smashed a rocket of a shot inches wide of the upright from twenty five yards. Tony James was also impressive at the back alongside Darren Blewitt.

In the second of four added minutes at the end of the game, Carey-Bertram was released with a ball over the head of the last man Ronnie Henry but Henry managed to catch up and up-end Carey-Bertram twenty yards out. It could not be said for sure whether Henry was the last man, but he'd already seen a yellow card and was shown another, leaving Stevenage to battle out the remaining moments a man down. Brady came close to winning it with the resulting free kick, but Julian kept Boro level for a final time.

Both sides will be happy that they have not conceded and United would have probably taken a draw before the game, so all in all this is not a bad result for the visitors. However, Hereford cannot afford to drop many more points with Exeter doing so well at the top. United find themselves in tenth place. A bonus is that they haven't conceded in three games, but Hereford haven't scored in more than four hours of football now.

HUFC Team: Brown, James, Blewitt, Beckwith, Purdie, Jeannin, Ferrell, Stanley, Brady, Evans, Carey-Bertram. Subs: Mkandawire, Mawson, Pitman, Coldicott, Williams.

SBFC: Julian, Warner, Gregory, Hocking, Henry, Nurse, Quinn, Bulman, Boyd, Stamp, Elding. Subs: Laker, Gore, Williams, Weatherstone, Berquez.