Hereford United 4 – 1 Basingstoke Town
Attendance – 2,794
Another long way trip, yet another defeat. These reports get tougher and tougher to do.
Let’s be clear, when we have a small squad going up against a big strong confident Hereford side and you lose your hard man in midfield Charlie Kennedy to illness 20 minutes before the start of the match, then you are on a hiding to nothing.
The starting line-up Terry went with was; McAdden in goal, three centre backs of Demuria, Hollamby and Bayliss, two wing backs in Wohlfiel & Bennett, a midfield of Collier, McKnight and Bunting, leaving Argent and Smart upfront.
On the bench just; Atkinson, Zabotti & Goater
The game started quite bright and in the 3rd minute we break down the left, the cross is put out for a corner. The resulting corner is half punched away by the keeper, only to fall to Dan Bayliss whose volleys smashes the back of the net. Stoke take a 1-0 lead.
Two minutes later, Basingstoke break from the back and Smart attacks down the right, but his cross is again put out for another Stoke corner. Stoke win the header from the corner, think it was Hollamby, but the header flies over the bar.
Hereford have their first serious attack down our left and we scramble the ball way for home team’s first corner. Nothing comes from the corner and Stoke clear. Hereford continue to attack but we are able to hold them off.
On 14 mins, Hereford attack again and put more pressure on us, they have their first real shot but is deflected out for a corner. Again, Stoke are able to clear their lines, but the warning signs are looming as our midfield can’t hold them.
On 17 mins in Hereford win another corner down our left after a nice one-two move, is blocked by Wohlfiel. The resulting corner is met by ex-Basingstoke player Deaman who outjumps everybody and is header finds the bottom corner of the net. Hereford 1 – 1 Basingstoke.
The next few minutes, no real efforts by either side, until Hereford again break, this time down our right and despite numerous half tackles, the Hereford forward get a shot on target which is well saved by McAdden.
24 mins in and more attacking by Hereford, but Stoke are able to scramble the ball away.
27 mins in and Stoke win a free-kick 35yds out. The kick is floated straight to the Hereford keeper who makes an easy save.
31 mins in and Hereford strike again, as after more good play down our left, the ball is switched to our right, where an overlapping Hereford player has time to turn and cross the ball, the cross finds another Hereford head, and the ball beats McAdden’s dive and finds the net again. Hereford 2-1 Basingstoke.
Our heads are down, as within 15 seconds of the restart we lose the ball and Hereford waltz through our defence and another free shot is punched away by McAdden, the rebound is met by another Hereford forward who mishits it over the bar.
The next 5-10 mins produces very little attacking play in either box, but Hereford look the more attacking team with little sign of Stoke getting back into this game.
On 39 mins a decent pass from Hollamby over the top to Smart, but his control lets him down and the ball runs out for a goal-kick.
Hereford confirm their superiority as on 42 mins, after Bennett wins the ball he decides to take the ball back towards our goal, loses it and Hereford do a quick one-two pass, and the Hereford forward dummies both McAdden and the sliding tackle of Demuria and he cuts in on his left and puts it into an empty net. Herford 3 – 1 Basingstoke.
Bennett, then tries to redeem himself as he breaks down our left, but his cross is blocked for a corner. The resulting corner is punched away by the keeper, who finds Bennett again 20yds out and his shot on his right foot harmlessly finds the keeper.
Half-time has arrived and the Basingstoke faithful trudge for a warm drink and a visit to some pretty awful toilets.
The second half starts with no changes by Stoke and the first few minutes produces very little quality by either team, but Hereford seem to have this game under control and on 53 mins Hereford have a long range shot which is well saved by the keeper.
58 mins and Hereford attack again and another shot is pushed out for a corner by McAdden. Nothing results from the corner. Demuria goes in the book on 61 mins for a late sliding tackle on a Hereford player.
Hereford now seem happy to pass it around in midfield and take their time, and we are unable to get the ball back as what’s left of our midfield has dropped 10yds deeper again.
Further attacks by Hereford on 64 & 67 mins are scrambled away.
However, on 73 mins from a Stoke throw-in, a poor pass by Bayliss finds a Hereford on his own and for the second time McAdden is left on the floor as the Hereford keeper waltzes round him and slots it into an empty net.
74 mins in and Bennett is replaced by Jordan Goater.
75 mins in and the return of Michael Atkinson who replaces an ineffective Collier.
77 mins and Smart breaks down the right, but his cross is met by the keeper.
Further attacks by Hereford, but nothing is of any danger (thanks Christ).
With 15 mins left the Hereford fans prove that some only came today for the FA Cup replay, as they start drifting off in hordes to get in the ticket queue outside the ground.
Hereford continue to play out time as the game is dead.
On 83 mins another Hereford attack is well-saved by McAdden.
87 mins another attack by Hereford, another shot is palmed away by McAdden, a Hereford forward look to put the ball in the net, but the linesman has flagged for offside.
On 90 mins in Hereford win another corner. Another free header from the corner flies over the bar.
That’s it the ref blows full-time.
Final Score: Hereford Utd 4 – 1 Basingstoke Town
Match Report by Martin French