Hereford beat Ludlow to start new year with friendly victory

WITH a long winter break from the league, both sides fielded a combination of first and second-team players in what turned out to be a decent contest as the teams looked to shake off some the holiday rustiness.

With the game lacking much continuity, the constant stream of substitutions disrupting any momentum either side managed to muster, it took a moment of class from Hereford’s first-team captain, Mark Allen, to decide the game just five minutes from the end.

Allen broke from a defensive position inside his own half, carried the ball a full 50 yards before exchanging a neat one-two and firing low past the helpless Henry Downes in the Ludlow goal.

The first half started off well for the home team and they dominated the opening 15 minutes and Matt Thomas neatly tucked away a chance in just the eighth minute.

Ludlow had started to grow into the game, equalising through a Tim Machin effort just before the midway point of the half, but Hereford came straight back at them and a fine volleyed effort by club stalwart Steve Alderton, saw the home side retake the lead just minutes later.

A moment of controversy followed as Ludlow were awarded a penalty flick and a chance to level the scoreline with half time looming.

However, Hereford keeper Pete Preece pulled off a magnificent save from the spot and it looked like his side were going to take a 2-1 lead into the break.

This wasn’t to be as Ludlow, who had looked lively on the break, quickly countered a Hereford attack and the ball eventually found its way to Jake Watts who made no mistake to level the game at 2-2.

The second half lacked the pace and flow of the first as the substitutions continued to be rung.

Neither side created a clear-cut chance until Allen broke free and fired home to give his side a vital morale-boosting win going into the new year's fixtures.

Hereford: Pete Preece, Nigel Mundy, Giles Stokes, Rich Edwards, Steve Owen, Mark Griffiths, George Veltom, Mike Broady, Steve Alderton, Matt Thomas, Dan Volpe, Dale Doore, Charlie Jones, Matt Walker, Leo Mather, Mark Allen.

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