STRIKER Mike Symons bagged his first goal since returning from injury to seal a 3-1 victory over FC United of Manchester.

The 32-year-old suffered a leg fracture in pre-season and played his first full match of the season at Darlington last weekend.

He was influential in Hereford’s fightback from a goal down to earn their place in the first round and capped the performance by sliding home the third goal on the 77th minute.

Jordan Cullinane-Liburd's header cancelled out Jack Banister's first half opener on the 47th minute before substitute Tommy O'Sullivan fired his side ahead a minute later and Symons wrapped up the victory.

“It’s a massive win today, I thought we played well in the first half and after an unfortunate goal the ricochet fell into their path and they scored," said Symons.

“We created a lot of chances and didn’t put them away and then in the second half we came out and could have scored five or six and we were the deserved winners through the 90 minutes.

“I’m gradually getting there as it has been 18 weeks so I was buzzing to be out there. I have been hard work at home and down in the dumps about it but it’s great to be out there and hopefully getting fitter and fitter.

“It has been tough really as I have never been out for that period of time and watching the games you just want to get out there and give them a hand.

“Saturday was good to get 90 minutes and today so hopefully in a couple of weeks I will be fully up to match speed.

“It’s nice to play down the middle when you have willing runners who are good on the ball. They are very young and have got aspirations to get back into the game and you can see their work rate is spot on. So they do some of my running which is nice.

“Some of the youngsters are very hungry and we have still got the balance with the boys from last year. It is refreshing as well but results haven’t gone our way so it is important that we all stick together at a hard period of time and start pushing on as a group.

“I’m there to cause problems, get hold of the ball and be that link to get them boys in and around the box scoring goals.”

Speaking about his goal Symons added: “Great play by Tom Owen-Evans who was excellent throughout the game, he pulled it back and luck right place, right time and I was a bit nervous when it came to me but it went in so I’m really happy.”

The win was Hereford’s first in all competitions since September’s extra-time FA Cup victory against Truro City and first under head coach Marc Richards.

Symons says that the side will now change their focus onto the league and breaking a run of 14 games without a win against Alfreton Town next week.

“We work so hard behind the scenes, the amount of work we do training and analysis we do trying to improve,” Symons added.

We are starting to see the rewards from that today working on our shape in and out of possession so everybody knows their roles and responsibilities.

“This can be the catalyst now to take us into next Saturday and get three points to take us back up that table.

“We need to start getting some points on the board and it’s a big time of year around Christmas and there are a lot of points left to be won and we just need to build that momentum.

“Hopefully we can take the positives from today and really push on. The feedback at the end of the game was to enjoy the result but not get carried away by it as it’s one result and we focus on next Saturday now and will only get more confident if we’re winning games."