ELIOT Richards said he was delighted to get off the mark for Hereford this week after having to bide his time.

The attacking midfielder signed for the Bulls from Merthyr Town a month ago but had to wait for his international clearance to come through.

But because of Hereford's involvement in the FA Cup and FA Trophy, Richards has only featured twice for his new club due to being cup tied.

However, he has taken his chance on both occasions and opened the scoring on Tuesday night in a vital 3-1 away win Kettering Town.

That victory means Hereford are now just six points off top spot with four games in hand.

"It was good to get off the mark and get the three points," said Richards.

"I only played once beforehand in about four or five weeks so it's nice we've got a run of league games now.

"It was a big game because they are up there fighting for the league but we stayed focused and got the win.

"We've got quite a lot of games coming up until the end of January, most of which are away, so we will need to use the squad well.

"But if anyone picks up any niggles, I know we've got the players who can step up to the plate."

Richards has played in the Football League with Bristol Rovers and Cheltenham Town, but had to take time away from the game two years ago after being diagnosed with testicular cancer.

"I had the operation in March/April of that year then the chemotherapy didn't finish until August – I didn't really get back until the 2016 season," explained Richards.

"I went from playing every week and being fully fit to being out of breath and all my fitness and muscles went.

"I came back too early because I was too eager and after about three months later I was told I didn't have a future at Cheltenham.

"I tried to get back into football but couldn't at full-time level, so went on loan to Bath that season then Weston-Super-Mare before signing for Merthyr."

Richards is rated as one of the best players in the league by Merthyr manager Gavin Williams and Richards said it was a great opportunity to join Hereford.

"It is a big club that has got the momentum of winning games and hopefully they will get to the Football League," said Richards.

This Saturday, Hereford make the long trip to Chesham United before facing Merthyr in an eagerly anticipated derby at Penydarren Park on Boxing Day.

"It will be nice to go back and see some faces," added Richards.

"I don't know the full details of what's gone on there but it was a sad situation what the club has got itself into so hopefully they can get back on their feet."

Richards scored in the seventh minute at Kettering after being set up by Mike Symons.

Kettering had the ball in the net just three minutes, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Hereford goalkeeper Martin Horsell then had to make a fine save following a goalmouth scramble from a corner before John Mills scored an exquisite second goal in the 37th minute.

Horsell again had to make a decent stop nine minutes after the break before Aaron O'Connor hit the side netting.

O'Connor did pull a goal back in the 81st minute before Brett Solkhon was sent off for the home side after bringing down Symons on the edge of the box.

Symons then sealed Hereford's win a minute from time.

Hereford: Horsell, O'Shea, Pring, Murphy (Haysham 46), Green, Deaman, Richards, Dinsley (Preston 90), Mills (Smith 87), Reffell, Symons.

Subs not used: Preen, Harris.

Attendance: 909.