STRIKER Lance Smith felt the time was right to return from injury and seal a vital victory to move Hereford away from the bottom three.

The 27-year-old last played for the Bulls in September in their FA Cup tie against Truro City due to a recurring deltoid ligament injury in his left ankle.

Smith came on as a substitute in the 84th minute before sliding home the fourth in their 4-1 victory five minutes later.

“That is a long time coming,” said Smith.

“You heard the reception and it was quality to be back out there. That goal just topped it off today and was the icing on the cake.

“It has been a long couple of months so hopefully I can repay them with a couple of goals before the end of the season and we can finish strong.

“The first half we gave them two easy goals again. The amount of times which I’ve been watching them that we’ve given easy goals and mistakes.

“It just shows what character as a group of lads that we’ve got. Second half to score four goals as well.

“We kept bombarding them and they just crumbled. Once we got that first goal we got a bit of confidence.

“I don’t know why it takes that goal to get us going like that and we should be at it from the start.

“We’ve got to look up and push for the play-off places, we’re too big to even go down, it’s Hereford.”

Smith said he has learnt to manage his injury and has been working away from the squad to get back fit.

“I took myself away from the club and just tried to get myself fit. I felt today that I could score so I’m just happy,” added Smith.

“I could have been back probably before Christmas and went training and went over on it. I thought that could have been me done for the season.

“But I worked hard and I’ve been doing a lot of swimming in the gym. I’ve come back and I’ve just got to treat it right now as I don’t want to try and run before I can walk.

“It was the deltoid ligament in my left ankle and it had a past injury from when I was at university and I couldn’t have the right treatment then so it was recurring.

“Hopefully I now know how to manage it so going forwards I should be fine.

When asked about the encouragement he has received from the Hereford management team?

Smith added: “They’ve actually been really good and said I can come back in my own time.

“If I didn’t feel right to not worry about it. Hats off to them they have been spot on with me. They never forced me back but just said when I’m ready.

“The time felt right and I felt strong enough.”

When asked how different he was finding training under the new regime?

Smith added: “It’s different and a lot more in depth to each game and each training session has a purpose.

“You have got to prepare correctly and being involved in that is quite a good new experience for me.”