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Full-time: Hereford United 4 Southport 1
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Hereford: 4-4-2: Lloyd-Weston; Collins (Leadbitter 73), McDonald, Graham, Bush; Walker, O’Keefe (Edge 81), Artus (Purdie 87), Brown; Rankine, Sharp. Subs not used: Evans, Edge, Williams.
Southport: 4-5-1: Hurst; Smith, Akrigg, Flynn, Fitzpatrick; Dillon, Brown, Ledsham, George, O’Sullivan (Osawe 72); Brodie. Subs not used: Milligan, Almond, Wimmer, Daly.
Referee: Daniel Cook (Hampshire).
Goals: Brown, 31 min, 1-0; Rankine, 52 min, 2-0; Walker, 54 min, 3-0; Akrigg, 60 min, 3-1; Rankine, 89 min, 4-1.
Red card: Southport - Akrigg, foul, 61 min; foul, 87 min.
Yellow cards: Hereford – Rankine, foul, 8 min; Southport – Flynn, foul, 45 min; Brown, foul, 65 min.
Rankine bags his second a minute from the end when he prods in a cross from Bush at the far post.
Akrigg is sent off for his second yellow on 87 minutes after a shocking challenge on Leadbitter.
Southport press for a while but are rarely able to penetrate the Hereford back line.
Walker wastes a good chance when he shoots weakly on 83 minutes.
Southport win their first corner on the hour but and it brings the first goal.
The ball is half-cleared for O’Sullivan to return a cross which Steve Akrigg heads in.
Southport try to rally and a shot from Scott Brown is saved by Lloyd-Weston at the second attempt.
Hereford extend their lead on 52 minutes.
Rankine receives the ball from Walker on the edge of the area and turns to shoot in off the far post.
Seconds later and it’s 3-0.
Sharp makes good ground down the left and crosses to the far post where Walker prods the ball home.
A shot by Walker is blocked by Hurst as Hereford start the second period with purpose.
An excellent run by Rankine on 38 minutes almost brings a second goal.
The big striker gets to the bye-line and drags the ball back to Sharp whose shot is inches wide.
Hereford take the lead on 31 minutes.
Sharp finds some space on the left and pulls the ball back to Artus. His shot is blocked but the rebound falls to Brown who drives home right-footed into the middle of the goal.
A Brown shot deflects out for a corner on 28 minutes.
But Southport break forward and O’Sullivan’s scuffed shot is easily held by Lloyd-Weston.
Sharp has a chance on 26 minute but his well-struck 25-yard drive rises clear of the goal.
Hereford win a corner on 22 minutes when Hurst palms away an Artus free-kick.
Artus delivers the cross but a Rankine foul brings the move to a close.
Southport’s John O’Sullivan has the first real effort of the game, shooting wide from 25 yards.
Michael Rankine is inches wide with an opportunist effort, racing on to Frankie Artus’ pass and flicking a shot past the on-rushing Danny Hurst from 25 yards with the ball drifting just past an upright.
A scrappy opening sees a flurry of free-kicks for both sides and little in the way of positive action as the players come to terms with the damp conditions.
WITH Micah Evans returning to parent club Burnley, there is a recall for Dan Walker as the Bulls take on Southport at Edgar Street.
Walker, the only player to figure in all of United’s 26 Conference games to date, returns as the only change from the side which drew 1-1 at Forest Green.
Youth-teamer Cory Williams is named among the substitutes.
Southport, who are now managed by John Coleman, the former Accrington boss, names ex-Bulls loanee Richard Brodie in attack.
Hereford: 4-4-2: Lloyd-Weston; Collins, McDonald, Graham, Bush; Walker, O’Keefe, Artus, Brown; Rankine, Sharp. Subs not used: Evans, Leadbitter, Edge, Purdie, Williams.
Southport: 4-5-1: Hurst; Smith, Akrigg, Flynn, Fitzpatrick; Dillon, Brown, Ledsham, George, O’Sullivan; Brodie. Subs not used: Milligan, Almond, Wimmer, Osawe, Daly.
Referee: Daniel Cook (Hampshire).
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