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Full-time: Gateshead 2 Hereford United 1
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Hereford: 4-4-2: Evans; Leadbitter, McDonald, Graham, Bush; Walker (Brown 63), Purdie (Artus 63), Green, West; Sharp (Rankine 63), Smith. Subs not used: Collins, Gwynne.
Gateshead: 4-3-3: Bartlett; Cummins, Curtis, Clark, O’Brien; Chandler, Turnbull, Walker; Marwood (Brodie 73), Brown (Boyes 68), Larkin. Subs not used: Baxter, Maddison, Hope.
Referee: Jason Whiteley (Leeds).
Attendance: 931 (including 72 from Hereford).
Goals: Walker, 32 min, 1-0; Walker, 42 min 2-0; West, 75 min, 2-1.
But the home defence holds on for the points.
A couple of corners from West keep the Gateshead defence back-pedalling.
Rankine drills a shot wide on 83 minutes after Smith chests the ball back to him with the Bulls finally making most of the running.
Hereford get a goal back on 75 minutes when Rankine and Artus work the ball to West who lashes the ball home.
Bush then gets in a header from a West corner which Bartlett has to reach to tip over.
With Hereford now finally creating some openings, Graham gets on the end of another corner put pulls his shot across goal and a long way wide.
Bush’s long throw is then half-cleared to Frankie Artus whose shot deflects wide for a corner.
Hereford use all three substitutes on 62 minutes as Martin Foyle tries to shake it up.
And Bush comes forward to head a Michael West corner wide a minute later.
The ex-Bulls keeper finally gets in the action on 61 minutes, fisting away a cross from Walker.
Brown then clips a shot across goal and wide.
Hereford meanwhile have yet to test Adam Bartlett with anything approaching a shot.
Hereford continue their poor display at the start of the second half with Marwood and James Brown setting up a shooting chance for Walker who side-foots wide.
Three minutes before the interval, Walker added his second.
A harshly awarded free-kick 25 yards out for a foul by Graham on Larkin set up the chance and Walker curled the ball up and over the wall and into the net.
Gateshead continue to play the better football and a deep cross by Marwood is headed wide by Colin Larkin at the back post.
But the opener was not long in coming.
On 32 minutes, Curtis plays the ball forward to Marwood who slips a pass through to Walker who beats Rhys Evans to net his first goal for the club.
Bush concedes a free-kick on the right by fouling James Marwood but Walker’s cross skids off the head of a home attacker and the ball goes out for a throw.
Then another fine challenge by Graham averts the likelihood of the first goal.
A good challenge by Purdie retrieves a potentially dangerous situation in the 26th minute after Walker’s defensive weakness on the right.
Paul Green has to produce a timely tackle to give Gateshead another corner on 23 minutes but, as with the others, this one is cleared, too.
Hereford win a corner after a good interchange by Leadbitter and Dan Walker but Luke Graham’s header from Rob Purdie’s 20th minute flag-kick flies just over.
A foul on Sharp by James Curtis brings Hereford a free-kick 35 yards out but Chris Bush’s free-kick is headed clear.
There’s another corner on 13 minutes. Walker again swings in the cross but the ball goes straight behind.
Leadbitter concedes an unnecessary corner a minute later and there’s quite a scramble in the goalmouth before the ball is cleared.
The opening phase produces some neat football from both sides but nothing in the way of real chances.
A clumsy challenge by Chris Sharp concedes an eighth minute free-kick but Josh Walker’s cross fails to pick out a home shirt.
HEREFORD boss Martin Foyle is able to welcome back Danny Leadbitter to his squad for the long trip north to Gateshead.
The former Torquay man recovers from an ankle injury and takes the place of Dom Collins who drops to the bench.
United are otherwise unchanged with Michael Rankine remaining on the bench.
Former Bull Adam Bartlett keeps goal for Gateshead but one-time Bulls target Richard Brodie is left on the bench for new boss Gary Mills’ first game in charge.
Hereford: 4-4-2: Evans; Leadbitter, McDonald, Graham, Bush; Walker, Purdie, Green, West; Sharp, Smith. Subs not used: Collins, Gwynne, Brown, Artus, McDonald.
Gateshead: 4-3-3: Bartlett; Cummins, Curtis, Clark, O’Brien; Chandler, Turnbull, Walker; Marwood, Brown, Larkin. Subs not used: Brodie, Boyes, Baxter, Maddison, Hope.
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