TWO stunning strikes from Jamie Bird and Keyon Reffell helped Hereford keetp the pressure at the top of Evo-Stik South by comfortably seeing off Banbury United 3-0.

John Mills was also scored a penalty, with the win meaning that they wioll go top of the league if they beat King's Lynn Town on Tueaday.

Hereford, who were able to welcome back three first-choices after the flu bug which swept through the camp last week began to recede, made a promising start.

And after some early pressure they took the lead in the 12th minute.

A corner, the third in quick succession, was only partially cleared to Bird 30 yards out and the former Cardiff City midfielder let fly with a superb drive which flew into the net.

Banbury, whose boss Mike Ford was once a ball-boy at Edgar Street where his father Tony had a spell as caretaker-boss, were well organised without creating many openings – the best a shot on the turn from Ricky Johnson which was easily saved by Martin Horsell.

But Hereford extended their lead in the 67th minute.

Cameron Pring raced on to a fine pass from substitute Eliot Richards and was fouled by Conor McDonagh.

Mills made no mistake from the spot to score his 22nd league goal of the season.

Richards was again the provider for the third 11 minutes later, setting up Reffell, who had scored the winner in the first match between the sides, firing home.

Six minutes from time, Jack Self shot just over the bar for Banbury, but that would have been a mere consolatio. 

Hereford: Horsell, Oates (c), Pring, Murphy, Green, Liburd, Reffell, Bird (Richards 66), Mills (Symons 79) Haysham, Smith (Preen 87). Subs: Deaman, Symons, Richards, Preen, Puddy.

Banbury: Harding, Bradbury, Hawtin, Nash (NGathe 56), Wise, Carnell, Self, Finch, Johnson, Sandy (Humphreys 75), Winters (McDonagh 59).

Subs not used: Bryan, Macdonald.

Attendance: 2,932.