Saturday, August 20,2005

Hereford United moved back to second place in the Nationwide Conference after success on one of their most potentially difficult trips of the season.

Crawley lost only four times at their impressive Broadfield Stadium last season to finish with the second-best home points tally in the division.

The record was built on solid defending and in two games this season they had not conceded a goal.

But Hereford battled hard to find a way through and were rewarded with strikes from Guy Ipoua, the Cameroonian's third in three games, and Tamika Mkandawire.

The centre-back's goal came from an Alex Jeannin corner, United's third such success in three games --positive riches from dead-ball situations, an area in which Hereford have hardly excelled in recent seasons.

Seeking to banish the memory of their mid-week disappointment at Cambridge, Hereford could have taken the lead inside the first minute.

Rob Purdie, restored to the Hereford midfield, and Adam Stansfield combined to set Ryan Green away on the right but the full-back's cross was scooped wide by Jon Brady.

Few clear-cut openings emerged in the first period but the best of those did fall to the home side. Jamie Cade prodded wide and Steve Burton forced a low save from Craig Mawson inside the first 12 minutes.

Mawson then had to produce an excellent stop on 31 minutes, leaping to tip over Burton's long-range effort.

The 'keeper had no chance a couple of minutes later when Stacy Coldicott lost the ball to Simon Wormull who thundered in a shot which bounced back off the post.

Twelve minutes after the break, Hereford took the lead after a fine move down the right. Coldicott and Brady worked the ball to Green who got to the goal-line before dragging back a cross which Ipoua tapped in from inches out.

Predictably, Crawley tried hard to get on level terms and almost did so on 74 minutes when Mawson produced another fine stop to preserve the Hereford lead.

Cade's deflected shot from the edge of the area forced the Hereford 'keeper to change direction swiftly in order to turn the effort around a post.

However, Hereford regained control and, after Purdie had sent a powerful effort just over the bar, forced their first, and only, corner of the match on 81 minutes. Home goalkeeper Phil Smith failed to gather Jeannin's flag-kick and Mkandawire notched his 10th goal for the club.

HEREFORD: Mawson, Green, Mkandawire, James, Beckwith, Jeannin, Brady, Purdie, Coldicott (Stanley 68), Stansfield, Ipoua (Carey-Bertram 78). Subs not used: Brown, Blewitt, Ferrell.