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Hereford United 2-0 Kingstonian
COCK UPS AND BULLS' GLORY

Just two days before they were to play what is their most important game since, oooh, probably the relegation battle three seasons previous, K's had to make the trip to Hereford on a Thursday night. Quite unsurprisingly then, the majority of the first team didn't make the trip; Luckett and Pitcher being the only players who are likely to start on Saturday.

And so it was that a number of reserves and fringe players played for the first team just two days before they clinch their own league title. Mike Lester, Kofi Nyamah, Delton Francis, and Carl Tranter are names to watch. But it was only possible to watch Carl Tranter for two minutes before he limped off the pitch with hamstring trouble. However, Ronaldo Dean Thomas took his place. This is surely the strength in depth that most non league reserve teams wish they could boast. Maybe the pressure of being one of the most experienced players on the pitch went to Kofi Nyamah's head. Whatever it was, it is certain that there was no need for Kofi to foul Williams when he was running away from goal when, if the youngster had just stepped over the ball, K's would have been awarded a goal-kick. Williams certainly made a meal of it, but a penalty was just. He then stepped up to take it and despite the ball rolling off the spot twice, when he did eventually take it he gave Jerome John no chance, and put the home side one goal to the good.

Trying to make up for his earlier misdemeanour, Kofi straight away went to the other end and fired in a good shot. Minutes later though pressure was back on the K's goal and Jerome John made the first of a string of good saves. Meanwhile Kofi Nyamah's misery continued as he got his name taken.

Just before half time Hereford score another. Rodgerson took a good shot from outside of the area. Jerome John was unsighted, and the ball took a nasty bounce in front of him, but he will be disappointed not to have done better when diving to his left.

The second half saw the yellows attacking the end to which their travelling fans were gathered. 35 of them the PA announced. We know better though, it was nearer to 40! Although Wayne Brown was doing his best to stop attacks, all he could do was give away corners, and the pressure continued. But it was Delton Francis who took the chalice of Kingstonian hopes. He had two fine shots from outside of the area, one of which hit the netting. And from where we were standing, well....

He later on set up Ronaldo Dean Thomas on the edge of the area but his shot was poor. The second half saw the emergence of local lad Franklyn Dixon and also saw the substitution of a substitute when Thomas left the field. Pitcher and Luckett looked in a class above their counterparts that night, and Lester was also notably good in the heart of the defence. Delton Francis though was the one player who could bring any excitement to the travelling fans but you sensed there would be no more goals. Not at the right end anyway. However, at the other end there were all sorts of chances. A goal mouth scramble saw an important interception from Brown and then a fine save from John from close range. As the match ended, the Bulls were awarded a free-kick just inches from the area. Nothing came from it, but it was almost a penalty.

But the game ended 2-0 and guaranteed Hereford's place in the Conference next season. It didn't matter to us. As we left the ground, every Hereford fan wished K's the best of luck against Cheltenham, and we, like crying schoolboys proclaimed that tonight it was just our reserves side. And though they lost the boys done good. Considering the majority of the players would normally be happy to get onto the bench, they put on a good show, and had it not have been for two unfortunate errors, would have come away with a point for their troubles. The 2-0 score line flattered the home team, as the travellers had played well. Their time will come.

Date
Thu 8th Apr 1999
 
Venue
Edgar Street
 
Attendance
1288
 
Competition
Football Conference
 
Score
Hereford United2
Kingstonian0
 
Kingstonian
1Jerome John
2Danny Smith
3Colin Luckett
4Mike Lester
5Wayne Brown
6Scott Corbett
7Simon Langley15
8Geoff Pitcher
9Delton Francis
10Carl Tranter12
11Kofi NyamahCautioned
12Dean Thomas10
14Gary Drewett12
15Franklin Dixon7
 
Man of the Match
Delton Francis
 
Match Report By
Gary Ekins