Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Timid Bulls Outplayed By Raging Stanley

Hereford United were comprehensively outplayed at the Crown Ground last night as they went down to a 4-0 defeat by Accrington Stanley. Manager Jamie Pitman made four changes from the team that started against Crewe last Sunday dropping Stuart Fleetwood, Kenny Lunt, Steve Leslie and Nicky Featherstone to the bench and replacing them with Waide Fairhurst, Richard Rose, Rob Purdie and latest loanee, Jason Price.

Playing in their home kit the Bulls kicked off towards the away end with a 4-4-2 formation. However, it was Accrington who started the brighter on a surface which had been recently drained especially in the middle but still appeared bobbly.

Encouraged by a noisy home support complete with an annoying drum. Accrington had several half chances early on whereas the Bulls failed to trouble keeper Alex Cisax.

On 16 minutes Accrington took the lead. A free kick taken by Jimmy Ryan was sent towards the corner on the left of Bartlett's goal and was then centred by Ian Craney for an easy tap in by Terry Gornell.

Stam keeping an eye on Gornell

Accrington had another opportunity from a cross which was well cut out by Stam and Adam Bartlett had to be alert to keep out a shot from Andrew Procter.

Colbeck gets away from Ryan

A free kick from Ryan Green caused some panic in the Accrington goal but was eventually cleared. Rob Purdy, Fairhurst and Colbeck then combined well but Colbeck took one touch too many and the chance was lost. James Mcquilken tried had a shot which appeared to hit the bar after a deflection.

Accrington's second goal looked like a training ground exercise carried out to perfection. On 43 minutes a corner was sent straight along the ground to an unmarked Ryan whose strong shot from 18 yards gave Bartlett little chance.

One minute later and it was 3-0. A long ball from Ryan was controlled by Sean McConville who sent a strong shot past Bartlett from about 15 yards.

As the half time whistle blew Stanley Supporters were singing 'You might as well go home'. Even the Sky Sports cameramen changed ends as he suggested the home side looked more likely to score in the second half.

Half time Accrington Stanley 3 Hereford United 0

The second period started much the same as the first with Stanley having the majority of possession. On 55 minutes an unnecesary backpass from Townsend should have been dealt with by Bartlett, but wasn't. Under pressure from Gornell, Bartlett dithered and tried to play the round him, lost possession and the Accrington striker scored one of the easiest goals of his career!

Purdie did have a decent header that went narrowly wide but, in truth, little was going right for the Bulls and manager Pitman made some changes. Nicky Featherstone came on for Richard Rose. Shortly afterwards Steven Leslie replaced Price who had a disappointing debut.

Price gets the better of Sean Hessey

The introduction of Leslie seemed to lift the spirits of the Bulls and the loanee from Shrewsbury stung the gloves of Cisak with a low shot after some good work from Colbeck. But after this Accrington seemed content to sit on their four goal lead and soak up any pressure.

Full time – Accrington Stanley 4 Hereford United 0.

You have to have to hand it to Accrington's Manager John Coleman who, on the smallest budget in League Two, has put together a competent squad who were generally quicker to the ball and took their opportunities well. Jamie Pitman will need to give consideration to who starts at Gillingham on Saturday. Both Kenny Lunt and Stuart Fleetwood were sorely missed last night.

Ex-Landlord knew which game to miss!

HEREFORD: Bartlett, Green, Townsend, Rose (Featherstone 61), Stam, Heath, McQuilkin, Colbeck, Purdie, Fairhurst (Patulea 83) Price (Leslie 64)

Substitutes: Hoult, Kovacs, Lunt, Featherstone, Leslie, Fleetwood, Patulea

Attendance: 1,632 with about 85 in the away end.