Saturday, September 24, 2005

Third loss sees drop to nineth

Hereford United fell to a disappointing third defeat of the season away against Halifax Town this afternoon. The Bulls were handed a pre-match boost with the news that top scorer Guy Ipoua had recovered from a hamstring injury, but his comeback was short lived as he was replaced with a reoccurance of the injury after fifteen minutes.

By that time though, the visitors were already in front following a three-piece move. Craig Stanley played a delightful pass over to Alex Jeannin on the left flank, and his equally excellent volleyed cross was perfect for the run of Danny Carey-Bertram, who managed to lose his marker, and he headed in at the far post.

Graham Turner had made two changes from the side that drew with Gravesend on Tuesday; Jon Brady was promoted to the starting line up in place of Jamie Pitman and Guy Ipoua replaced Rob Purdie. Purdie was soon back in the action though, when he took the injured Ipoua's place.

Dean Beckwith was booked early on for pulling John Grant's shirt, kick starting a feud between the two that would continue until Beckwith was replaced soon after half time, when he almost received his marching orders. Sugden got the better of Beckwith on ten minutes, and crossed for ex-Bull John Grant, but his shot on the turn went over. Hereford tried hard in attack, but created little and the only other save of the half for Ian Dunbavin was from a Stanely shot that he didn't have to move for.

Wayne Brown had to be alert in United's goal though, to deny a low shot from Grant after some good link up play with Sugden while Carey-Bertram fired wide on the stroke of half time. Halifax made one change at half time seeing Craig Midgley come on for Waybe Jacobs and The Shaymen took charge of the game almost instantly.

After an over hit corner, Danny Forrest returned the ball into the dangerzone, where Grant once again got the better of Beckwith and converted from close range with just two minutes of the half gone. After this, Hereford's heads seemed to drop and they never really looked like getting back into the game. The second half performance was not good to say the least, and in some departments lacked effort.

Purdie fired over after Andy Ferrell had hooked a pass over the defence in a rare attempt from United before Grant shot over once again for Town. Tamika Mkandawire took to the field in Beckwith's place after he was nearly booked again, on 57 minutes and Pitman replaced the ineffective Brady, who took a knock, with twenty minutes to go.

The Shaymen almost took the lead on the counter attack after Mkandawire had over hit a cross, but a brilliant save from man of the match Brown kept the scores level, after Grant had played Sugden through. Adam Quinn had seen a header tipped over by Brown with around ten minutes to go, but once again United conceded late on. With four minutes to go, Grant was played through on goal only to be brilliantly denied by Brown, yet again, but substitute Chris Senior was first to the rebound and fired home the winner.

Chants of "what a load of rubbish" from some in the away end pretty much summed up the second half from The Bulls and there was a confrontation between some "supporters" and Jon Brady as the players left the field. There is a lot of work to be done if Hereford want to acheive their goal this season, and maybe a switch of formation would aid this.

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

HTFC: Dunbavin, Haslam, Quinn, Ingram, Wright, Forrest, Thompson, Foster, Jacobs, Sugden, Grant.Subs: Leister, Bowler, Midgley, Young, Senior.