THERE were no goals but there was plenty of second-half incident as Hereford United battled out a fiery friendly with local rivals Shrewsbury Town at Edgar Street on Saturday.

One player from each side, Bulls man Matt Clarke and Shrewsbury's Michael Brown, were substituted on the advice of referee Andy Williams.

In ordinary league conditions, the Hereford official would have been busy with his notebook.

The encounter came to a head nine minutes from time when Brown floored Michael McIndoe in an off the ball incident, with what appeared to be a single forearm blow.

It would have been a certain red card in a competitive match but, after much protestation and a confrontation involving most of the players, Brown was replaced by Chris Freestone.

McIndoe found himself the target again just six minutes later when he was unceremoniously clattered near the corner flag by David Hughes.

The resultant free kick, taken by McIndoe, produced the closest opportunity of the game as Dai Thomas, on trial from Cardiff City, rose to meet the cross and directed his header against a post.

However, the aggravation spilled over again almost immediately and an ugly 15-man fracas culminated in Clarke's enforced substitution.

It all left a bad taste in the mouth, especially after the Bulls had looked livelier than their Third Division opponents.

The visitors looked lethargic and less co-ordinated than United and there could have been few complaints if Graham Turner's current outfit had put one over on his former club.

McIndoe forced the first save of the match on eight minutes when he whipped an in-swinging corner under the bar of Shrewsbury 'keeper Paul Edwards, forcing him to tip over.

The rest of the first half was patchy and it took until the 40th minute for a clear chance when Brown split the home defence, but Ryan Lowe fired straight at United 'keeper Scott Cooksey.

In the second half Paul Sturgess forced a header from Hughes off the line and Nigel Jemson, stretching to reach a far-post cross from Brown, hit the ball straight into the arms of Cooksey.

Two minutes into stoppage time, Bulls player-coach Phil Robinson rescued his side when he nodded a powerful six-yard header from substitute Luke Rodgers off the line.

Hereford: Cooksey, Clarke (Beale 88), Sturgess (Pitt 89), Robinson, Wright (Lane 26), Gardiner, Rodgerson (Piearce 52), Snape, Thomas, Williams (Hanson 74), McIndoe.

Attendance: 866.