Updates: Hereford FC v Alfreton Town in National League North

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  • Hereford FC would have been hoping to keep their playoff hopes alive as they looked for a home win against mid-table Alfreton Town, but fell to a 2-1 defeat.
  • Hereford sat eighth, just two points behind Southport in the last playoff place before kick-off, and a win today would have been a real boost to their chances.
  • Two first-half goals from Alfreton left the Bulls with an uphill battle after the break, with Hall letting Hobson's opening goal slip through his fingers before Yusifu Ceesay netting seconds before the break.
  • In the second half, substitutes Ryan Lloyd and Jamie Egan linked up well as Lloyd found the back of the net, but it was too little too late.
  • Before the game, Josh Gowling's side had suffered setbacks, not only losing lively midfield Maziar Kouhyar to league rivals York City, but also getting the news Miles Storey could be out for the remainder of the season with a hamstring injury.
  • The Bulls went into today's game at Edgar Street after a 4-1 win at Blyth Spartans, their first win in recent weeks having drawn the previous four games.
  • For Alfreton, 16th in the National League North table, they only secured three points from the last possible 15, losing three and drawing two.
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  • Hereford: Hall, Hodgkiss (C), Haines, Pearce, McLean, Patten (Lloyd 46'), Touray (Wright 46'), Owen-Evans, Pollock, Revan, Pinchard.
  • Subs not used: Egan, Vincent, Klukowski.
  • Alfreton Town: Willis, Clackstone, Wilde (Butterfield 88'), Branson, Sutton, Wiley, Ceesay (Preston 60'), Lund, Rhead (C), Southwell, Hobdon.
  • Subs: Smith-Eccles, Johnson, Reeves.
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  • 5' Chance for Hereford as Seb Revan crosses into the box after good play from Harry Pinchard, but the ball eventually goes behind for a goal kick.
  • 20' Alfreton take the lead as Bailey Hobson's clean strike is spilled by Brandon Hall and the ball squirms past into the back of the net.
  • 40' Great chance for Tom Owen-Evans to bring Hereford back level, forcing George Willis into his first save of the game. He palms away TOE's close-range, rising effort.
  • 45' George Wills spreads himself to deny Momodou Touray, turning the ball around the post 10-yards out.
  • 45'+2 Alfreton double their lead thanks to a goal by Yusifu Ceesay.
  • 53' Two great chances for Hereford with Willis at full stretch to parry a long-range strike from Andre Wright, and Ryan McLean's follow up.
  • 57' Luke Haines tests the keeper with a powerful header in the box, but it's claimed easily.
  • 80' Substitutes Jamie Egan crosses into the box and Ryan Lloyd is there ready and waiting to put it into the back of the net.
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  • For today's game against Alfreton, Hereford made one change to the side that secured three points at Blyth Spartans with a 4-1 win last week, with Brandon Hall back in goal after week out with Covid.
  • Attacking the Blackfriars End in the first half, Hereford found themselves under some early pressure as a long throw from Adam Lund threatened, but a push in the box saw the danger come to an abrupt end.
  • At the other end, and with only five minute on the clock, Harry Pinchard caused problems for the Alfreton defence. The ball eventually found its way out to Seb Revan on the right, but his cross evaded the white shirts in the box and Alfreton soon had a goal kick.
  • But despite those two early spells, the game lacked quality in what was a sloppy opening 20 minutes.
  • Alfreton then took the lead, with a bad slip-up by Brandon Hall gifting them a goal. After working the ball forward, Alfreton found Baily Hobdon 35-yards out. His well-struck shot was straight at Brandon Hall at the near post, but the ball squirmed through his arms and into the back of the net.
  • The game soon returned to the scrappy nature seen before the goal, with chances for Tom Owen-Evans and Harry Pinchard failing to worry George Willis in goal for Alfreton.
  • Just before half-time, Hereford had two decent chances to bring themselves back level. First, Tom Owen-Evans picked up a poor clearance from Dwayne Wiley, forcing keeper George Willis into a fingertip save to deny him an equaliser with his rising shot from close-range.
  • Moments later it was Touray to threaten, but his effort was pushed wide for a fruitless corner by the spreading Willis.
  • But on the stroke of half time, Alfreton doubled their lead with a goal from Yuifu Ceesay, putting the ball past Hall, and leaving Hereford with it all to do in the second half. Hereford gifted the pace to Ceesay, and when he's put through on goal like that he's always going to threaten.
  • Hereford came out of the blocks quicker and livelier in the second half, with three great chances in the opening 12 minutes.
  • It was a chance first from substitute and home debutant Andre Wright, with his shot from range parried by the keeper, with a similar save made moments later to deny Ryan McLean's follow up. Luke Haines then threatened with a header inside the box, but it was straight and Willis and claimed.
  • Looking to park the bus and taking goalscorer Yusifu Ceesay off the field, Billy Heath's side rarely ventured into Hereford's half. But with 66 minutes on the clock, Hall was called into action to deny captain Matt Rhead after connecting well with Dayle Southwell's cross.
  • Soaking up any Alfreton pressure, Hereford continued to work hard to gain momentum, with a shot from Ryan McLean after being teed up by Ryan Lloyd blazed over the bar.
  • With McLean then making way for Jamie Egan, with the Bulls going to just three at the back, Egan was instrumental as Hereford got a goal back. He crossed into the box for Ryan Lloyd to find the back of the net.
  • But it proved too little too late for Hereford as, despite six minutes of injury time, they couldn't find an equaliser.
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