Manchester City 3 Hereford United 1
HEREFORD'S Young Bulls covered themselves with more glory despite an FA Youth Cup fourth-round exit at the Premier League high-fliers.
Although they fell behind with just 20 seconds played, Hereford battled back and took the game to extra-time thanks to Will Haines' late equaliser before bowing out.
"These players keep surprising me with their inner belief and never-say-die attitude," said director of youth Peter Beadle.
"We were playing a fantastic team with fantastic players but we gave them a game.
"We took the richest club in the country, perhaps the richest club in Europe, to extra-time."
Thierry Ambrose put the home side ahead from the first attack of the game.
But Hereford had a chance to equalise on five minutes when Jarrod Bowen was brought down in the area.
Billy Murphy struck his penalty well but goalkeeper Angus Gunn dived to push the ball on to a post.
"It was not a bad penalty but a fantastic save," said Beadle.
"Then they just kept going - they never know when they are beaten."
Hereford's reward came two minutes from the end.
Murphy sent in a cross to the far post where Haines' header hit the roof of the net.
Ambrose restored the City lead early in the second period and a dubiously-awarded free-kick enabled Bersant Celina to wrap up the victory.
"We have been away in five of our seven games in the competition but each time the players have put in a performance," said Beadle.
"They are disappointed because they have not won the game but pleased with what they have achieved.
"But now they know they have to kick on and put themselves in the manager's mind to go into the first-team.
"They have been phenomenal and now is the time to kick on to the next level."
A lap of honour is planned for the team at a forthcoming Conference home match.
But it will not be for this Saturday's clash with Southport as the youngsters will be returning to the scene of their FA Youth Cup third-round victory when they travel to Bournemouth for a league game.
It is not out of the question, however, that one or two may be required by Martin Foyle for first-team duty.
The return of Damon Lathrope to Torquay and the release of Eric Odhiambo has been followed by the recall of Micah Evans, who had impressed in United's last two games against Forest Green, by parent club Burnley.
So Foyle, who will be hoping that Kingsley James will be fit for a return after injury, will have to reshuffle his resources to put out a 16-strong squad.
The Hereford Times has a pair of tickets to give away to the Bulls' home match with Salisbury City on Saturday, January 25.
For your chance to win, send your answer to the following question to The Hereford Times, Holmer Road, Hereford HR4 9UJ, including your telephone number: Who scored for Hereford's youth team in their 3-1 defeat at Manchester City?