HEREFORD United legend Ben Smith had his first look of the season at his former club and saw plenty to be positive about.

“I was impressed,” he said. “I thought they were very solid, it was a good professional away performance.

“They kept the ball well – obviously they didn’t pass the ball about much because on that pitch it was not really an option.

“But they got the ball forward and the forwards made it stick, the midfielders were nice and patient and the wide players were really impressive, really positive, switched wings really well.

“When the ball was on the one side, the other wide player would tuck in and try to get in between the opposition’s defence and midfield and get at their back four.

“It was really impressive and they looked good.”

Smith played under Graham Turner for five seasons at Hereford, sharing in a succesful period as the Bulls moved up to play at League One level.

“When I was at Hereford, we liked to try to play a bit of football although I wouldn’t say that we were a total football team,” he said.

“A lot of lower division teams play with a style where they try to get the ball forward and then play when they get into the opposition half.

“But if you are being a realist, on a pitch like this it only gives you one real option.

“Much as we all want to play great, flee-flowing football, bringing it out from the back, if you do that, then you can be your own worst enemy.

“You have to be pragmatic as well and I thought that Hereford’s game plan worked a treat.

“While the pitch does not look too bad from the stands, it was really heavy and that can take it out of you.

“I always found it harder to get yourself going on a pitch like that because it took all the energy out of you.

“Hereford adapted to the surface really well and, when you consider that Braintree play on it week-in, week-out, you would expect them to deal with it better.”