HEREFORD FC Head Coach Marc Richards praised his side’s ‘dogged’ performance as they fought to a 2-0 victory over Spennymoor Town.

Lance Smith’s opening 34th minute strike put his side ahead despite a first half onslaught by the hosts.

Tom Owen-Evans’ penalty doubled their advantage before the break and then Richards watch his side see out the tie in the second half.

“The first 15 minutes we were all over the place and we were very fortunate not to concede but it just shows what this group have got because in the second half it was probably one of our best away performances,” said Richards

“We were dogged, determined and ugly at times and I don’t think we had a shot on target in that second half.

“Results have gone our way so we’re starting to look at the top end of the table rather than the bottom.

“Taylor is the top goal scorer in the league and we knew what threat he brings and our analysis was based on how to nullify the threat that he brought.

“There was a few of us that weren’t at the races in the first half. A big change was Mike (Symons) coming on as well to be able to get a bit of a foothold and retain the ball a bit better and that worked well.

“The lads hadn’t really performed in that first half but yet were two goals up. The second half was really good to see them put in a positive performance in a different way.

“It wasn’t beautiful football in the second half performance but it was a very determined and dogged with blocks in the area.

“Away from home especially with the conditions of the pitch today was getting them second balls and we did that very well in probably the latter part of the first half and majority of the second half.

“It is the latter stages and not long to go. Those away performances where the results weren’t there when I came in have now started to materialise.

 Richards handed a debut to striker Rowan Liburd and said that the marksman showed good signs despite not having trained with the squad.

“He hasn’t had a training session and has come straight into the team today,” added Richards

“You got a little glimpse of what he is about today, there was an opportunity late on in the second half when you saw him open up his legs and use his pace in terms of the pace he is about.

“I think we have known the standard of players we need to attract from day one. We weren’t disillusioned in any way about what quality of player we needed but it doesn’t just happen straight away.