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AFC Telford United 1 - 1 Hereford

Match Date: 30/10/2018
Competition: National League North
Kick Off: 19:45
Attendance: 1804

Daniel Udoh35
Opposition Own Goals: 0

Team Sheet
Andy Wycherley
Ross White
Stephan Morley
Ellis Deeney
Shane Sutton
Theo Streete
Henry Cowans
Jonathan Royle
Amari Morgan-Smith
Daniel Udoh
Darryl Knights

Dominic Smith
Max Bramley
James McQuilkin ( Replaced Stephan Morley, 85 mins)
Adam Dawson ( Replaced Jonathan Royle, 67 mins)
Andre Brown ( Replaced Amari Morgan-Smith, 64 mins)

Jonathan RoyleY
Shane SuttonY

Referee: Alex Kirkley
Assistant 1: Darren Brown
Assistant 2: Benjamin Wyatt
Official 4: n/a

Possession may be nine-tenths of the law, as the saying goes, but it meant little in terms of the final score as the Bucks were held by Hereford. Gavin Cowan’s team saw much more of the ball, but some snatched goal attempts, some decent saves from keeper Matt Yates and a defensive effort worthy of Stonewall Jackson frustrated the Bucks’ attempts to make it two home wins in four days.

The Bucks made just one change to the side that started the 2-1 win over York City in their previous game, Ross White into the defensive unit in place of the injured Zak Lilly.

The Bucks sought to tame the Bulls straight from the opening whistle; the visitors were on the back foot and in just the third minute Darry Knights put a deflected low shot from the edge of the penalty area just wide of Yates’ left-hand post. From the corner that resulted Shane Sutton almost found the same side of the net, rising imperiously at the far post to head back across goal and just wide.

The early onslaught continued. Daniel Udoh went down under a challenge in the penalty area, and as his appeals were being waved away Knights reacted to fire the ball just side of the post again, this time from around the penalty spot. The visitors were struggling to cope; Udoh was flagged narrowly offside, Cowans brought a low save from Yates and then Udoh was penalised for controlling the ball with his arm as he tried to latch onto a ball forward.

Just as Bucks fans were surely feeling a goal must come, it did, but at entirely the wrong end of the feel for their liking. In the 22nd minute, and on a rare visit to the Bucks half, some loose play gave George Lloyd a chance to get a shot away from around 8 yards; Andy Wycherley partially blocked the effort, but it had enough momentum to roll into the net, tucking itself just inside the keeper’s right-hand post.

The 500 or so away fans in the Frank Nagington Stand end of the ground celebrated with abandon, whilst the Bucks and their followers looked rather non-plussed; “how on earth did that happen?”

The goal sparked Hereford’s most enterprising spell of a game they spent largely defending; Udoh had further penalty appeals denied before Tom Owen-Evans saw a shot deflected wide for a corner. From the kick, Theo Streete’s attentions stopped Jordan Cullinane-Liburd capitalising with a header at the far post. The Bulls’ central defender went down injured shortly after, and from the restart on 35 minutes the Bucks equalised almost immediately. Ellis Deeney forced Hereford to concede possession in tandem with Knights, and when Udoh picked the ball up 20 yards out he still appeared to have work to do; however, Udoh took a touch before powering in a shot that beat a screened Yates and went in off the inside of the keeper’s left post. Yates, perhaps feeling the ball was going wide, had dropped to one knee, and pivoted around to see the ball nestling in the opposite side of his net.

Any thoughts that normal service would be resumed were dismissed, at least for a while, when Lloyd went close again, making headway into the box before putting his shot against Wycherley’s far post before the Bucks cleared. Referee Kirkley was having a busy evening, booking the Bucks’ Royle as well as O’Sullivan and Thomas for the Bulls, all before half-time; the last goal attempt of the half came when, from a free-kick, the visitors didn’t pick up Theo Streete. The defender was stretching for the ball when he directed his effort wide of Yates’ left-hand post.

HALF TIME: AFC Telford United 1 Hereford 1

The Bucks began the second half in a similar way to that in which they began the first half, although the Bulls won an early corner when Sutton and Wycherley had a communication breakdown, giving Lloyd a sniff of a chance. The Bucks defended the opportunity, and then set about creating their own; Steph Morley crossed from the left and Knights, unable to work a shooting chance, set up Ellis Deeney, whose stinging shot was turned around the right post by a deflection. Within a couple of minutes Knights was involved once more; from an attack down the right, a cross into the six-yard box was met by Knights but saved instinctively by Yates, the keeper then blocking his follow-up effort too.

After that initial flurry of excitement, the game became more cagey. The Bucks were still enjoying much of the possession; however, Hereford were sitting deep, often with all but one man behind the ball. The Bucks were moving the ball around from side to side, trying to stretch Hereford and create the opening they sought. Gavin Cowan introduced Andre Brown and Adam Dawson as he looked for a way to break though, but the Bulls weren’t budging, and the chances just wouldn’t come. For the visitors, James Roberts put a free-kick from 30 yards safely into Wycherley’s grasp, then Danny Greenslade cut in off the flank and put his shot across goal wide, the effort not needing any intervention from Wycherley.

At the final whistle, there was little doubt that Hereford were happier with their point than the Bucks were; however, manager Cowan refused to be downbeat, expressing frustration but also satisfaction in his side’s performance, one that had just missed a touch of ruthlessness in front of goal.

FULL TIME: AFC Telford United 1 Hereford 1

Hereford: Yates, Thomas, Greenslade, Cullinane-Liburd, Wassall, Smith, McGrath, O’Sullivan, Roberts, Lloyd, Owen-Evans.

Unused substitutes: Jackson, Murphy, Finn, Horsell.

Scorers: Lloyd (22)

Bookings: O’Sullivan, Thomas, Owen-Evans, Cullinane-Liburd, Lloyd.

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