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Full-time: Hereford United 4 Cambridge United 2
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The Edgar Street stats:
Hereford: 4-4-2: Bittner; Gallinagh, Stam, Graham, Anthony; Watkins (Heath 78), Pell, Sammons (Evans 70), Clucas; Jackson (Canham 73), Bowman. Subs not used: Smikle, McQuilkin.
Cambridge: 4-4-2: Hedge; Thorpe, McAuley, Coulson, Andrew; Hughes, Shaw (Marriott 82), Berry, Wellard (Eades 70); Pugh (Thalassitis 64), Gash. Subs not used: Wylde, Ross.
Referee: Declan Ford (Lincolnshire).
Attendance: 1,677 (including 158 from Cambridge).
Goals: Gash, 14 min, 0-1; Bowman, 35 min, 1-1; Gash, 47 min, 1-2; Clucas, 48 min, 2-2; Jackson, 51 min, 3-2; Jackson, 53 min, 4-2.
Red card: Hereford – Anthony, serious foul play, 78 min.
Yellow cards: Hereford – Sammons, foul, 22 min.
Gash sent a flying header just over the bar as the game moved into stoppage time.
The game took another twist on 78 minutes when Anthomy was a straight red card for a lunging challenge on Liam Hughes.
Many thought that Anthony had taken the ball first and he argued the point forcefully before departing.
Jackson almost got in again on 65 minutes when Hedge had to react quickly to boot a short back pass from skipper Rory McAuley clear.
Cambridge, after conceding three goals in five minutes, looked stunned but almost pulled a goal back when Gash headed straight at Bittner after 57 minutes.
And the striker added another two minutes further on.
Andy Gallinagh produced an excellent headed clearance for Pell to race forward before slipping a pass to Jackson.
He neatly side-stepped a challenge before scoring with a left-foot shot into the corner of the net.
There could, though, have been another Cambridge goal almost immediately after some dubious home defending.
But Hereford struck back to go ahead on 51 minutes.
Watkins did well again down the right, bustling into the area before cross into the six-yard box for Jackson to head home.
Hereford, however, were back on terms after another minute’s play.
The ball broke to Clucas on the edge of the area and he shot low into the corner of the net.
Within 90 seconds of the start of the second period, Cambridge were back in front.
Liam Hughes found some space on the right and delivered a deep cross to the far post where Gash rose highest to head back across Bittner and into the corner of the net.
On the stroke of half-time, Jackson raced into the area and was brought down by Josh Coulson.
Jackson took the penalty himself but it was weakly struck and Hedge dived to save.
And the Bulls might have gone ahead within seconds when Stam headed a Sammons free-kick into the path of Pell whose left-foot shot, which lacked pace, was beaten out by Hedge.
Hereford, however, were back on level terms on 35 minutes.
Watkins worked hard to find some space before slipping a perfectly weighted pass to Bowman who rounded Hedge before side-footing into the empty net.
But Cambridge moved back on to the attack and Gash had a chance at the far post but sent his header wide.
Hedge did well again, shortly afterwards to push a Clucas header from Bowman’s cross behind for another corner.
The Bulls sprang to life five minutes later and almost grabbed an equaliser.
Bowman seized on a hopeful ball forward by Sam Clucas and sprinted clear of the Cambridge four.
Hedge came out and blocked the shot, however, with the defence getting back to clear for a corner.
On 22 minutes, Sammons was perhaps fortunate to receive only a yellow cards when his lunge at Luke Berry could easily have warranted a red.
Cambridge took the lead on 14 minutes after a dreadful blunder by Stam.
The centre-back miscued an attempted clearance straight to Michael Gash who had the easy task of scoring.
Hereford forced their first corner after 11 minutes but Ashley Sammons’ flag-kick also caused few problems.
Shortly afterwards, a neat move between Jackson and Marley Watkins saw the returning striker drill a low shot straight at Jonathan Hedge in the Cambridge goal.
After a very scrappy opening, Cambridge forced a corner when Rickey Wellard shot was deflected out for a corner.
Nothing came of the early flag-kick but it was Cambridge who continued to make the early running.