HEREFORD manger Russell Slade singled out goal-scorer Jordan Nicholson at half-time as the ‘bright spark’ in his side during their 1-0 victory over Kettering Town.

The Bulls made it three wins on the bounce with Nicholson’s 68th minute strike the difference between the sides.

“I actually singled him out at half-time and said we were not bright enough in that first period and the person who was and I singled out was (Jordan) Nicholson,” said Slade.

“He was our bright spark and he was the one who might undo Kettering and it turned out in that second period.

“It was a wonderful little finish to get us the winner.”

The Bulls started well with Josh Gowling seeing his close-range effort blocked before Nicholson also saw his foiled.

It took until the 36th minute for the hosts to test the visitors again with Nicholson initial effort blocked again before Reece Styche’s rebound denied by former Hereford captain Luke Graham.

Nicholson tried his luck again four minutes later and this time saw his top corner bound shot saved by Paul White.

After the re-start, despite being flagged for off-side, Aaron O'Connor kept Brandon Hall on his toes with a header which the stopped flicked onto the bar.

Kettering then controversially had a goal chalked off after Jordan Cullinane-Liburd was fouled in the build-up to Connor Kennedy’s strike.

However, after narrowly surviving a spell of pressure the Bulls took a 68th minute lead with Nicholson picking out the top corner with his effort.

“I’m pleased with the result, it wasn’t a classic and the conditions weren’t ideal to be honest,” added Slade.

“I don’t think I’ll remember the game too much at the end of the season, it’s all about the points. We got them today and did the job.

“We deserved the points because we had more opportunities than what Kettering had today.

“The management of the game and getting control is key, get the ball, keep it and do something with it and we don’t follow that pattern always.

“We are trying to work on that and let that evolve a little bit with some of our young midfield players, but it is not always right and it is a little bit patchy.

We don’t keep control for any length of time but what we are doing is creating openings in the final third and we are looking more of a threat from a set play.”

“We will go there hoping to get a well-earned win again. We will take it one game at a time.

Can we keep improving and keep working hard? If we do then we’ll keep chipping away like we’ve done today. Hopefully that’ll move us towards the top of the table.

“It’s still early days and there is a lot to do. Some of the things we do at times do surprise me but we’ll get better.

“There’s a nice mentality now and they’re starting to get that feel of enjoying a victory and knowing what it takes to win a football match is important.

“They’d have been devastated if they (Kettering) had scored late on. It’s about seeing games out, doing the right things and making the right decisions all the time and we’ve done enough today.

“Was it spectacular? No, but we’ve done enough, got the three points and move on. We’ve got to try and keep improving all the time.

“We can’t sit still because if you stand still you get run over.

Bradley Ash came on moments before Nicholson’s winner with Mike Symons.

Slade added: “That’s exactly what you want from your substitutions.

“Fortunately, when I have made substitutions in recent games players have come on and done well, they’re trying to make a point.

“The thing is can they do it from the start week in and week out? That’s the consistency that we’re striving for.

Talking about opponents Kettering, Slade added: “They came here to frustrate and make it a messy game.

“You’ve got to be prepared for that. They’ve lost their manager in the week so there was a little bit more energy about them as well.

“They were there trying to grind something out of the game and if you’re not careful games like that can slip away from you.

“You might not remember games like that at the end of the season, but we can’t afford little games like this to slip away. We need to take control and make sure we get over the line, which fortunately we did today.”

The visitors did have the ball in the net moments before Hereford’s winner only to see it disallowed.

“I saw it as a disallowed goal,” Slade added.

“I’ve had a quick look at it now and it is a free-kick, he left the referee no choice. It was a blatant push on Jordan (Cullinane-Liburd) in my opinion.”