HEREFORD manager Russell Slade praised his 10-man side for doing ‘everything they could’ to earn a point in a goalless draw at Darlington.

After Tommy O’Sullivan received a 27th minute red card for two bookable offences the Bulls were left with their back against the wall against a Darlington side who had won six on the bounce before the game.

Hereford goalkeeper Brandon Hall was forced to make a handful of saves while Kieran Thomas and Jared Hodgkiss both stopped efforts on the line.

At the other end Slade’s side were limited in chances with Peter Vincenti seeing his effort saved before the break and then Jordan Nicholson fired just over in injury time against his former side.

“I thought our goalkeeper was magnificent, Brandon (Hall), I thought he managed it very well, his kicking was strong, he took things really clean as there was a couple of nasty bounces.

“He didn’t have anything massively to save but in the conditions he had to take the ball.

“I thought our back four put their bodies on the line and our midfield worked tirelessly.

“We did everything we possibly could, they kept going and believing that they could get something. There was just a moment towards the end when (Jordan) Nicholson let fly and that could have quite easily gone in because it has beaten the keeper and just gone so narrowly wide and we might have got something.

“Even in the first half Peter Vincenti’s header. We had a couple of opportunities but most of the afternoon was spent defending our half and not trying to give away unnecessary territory and keeping that ball out of the box and if it did come in and then defend like our life depended on it and we did.

“Let’s hope we put a little marker down today to say look when we haven’t got the ball we can be that good, we can be that effective and we can keep clean sheets when we’re up against it.”

The Bulls had conceded six goals in the previous two away games and Slade said the communication was much better with his side.

He added: “The communication was a lot better and must needed as well, we had too.

“It was must-needed as well, we had to be like that. I was really pleased with that side of it, organising themselves and re-organising themselves if we had to shuffle from one side to the other.

“I thought we did that to a man. It was 102 minutes that they had to defend, incredible, some of the blocks and picking up and tying up with an opponent in the box.

“I thought by and large we did really well.

 Speaking about the impact of the sending off on the game, Slade added: “Obviously the dynamics of the game changed really in the 28th minute when we lost Tom (O’Sullivan) for a second bookable offence, said Slade.

“I’ll have to look at both of those, I think he has caught the top of his arm/shoulder with the second one. The first one I’m not sure, I’d like to have a look at that one again.

“There didn’t seem too much going our way in the early stages, I had just adjusted the team slightly to push Tom (O’Sullivan) further forwards a little bit behind (Reece) Styche.

“That was hopefully going to settle us down a little bit as we were grinding our way back into the game slowly but surely.

“They dynamics of the game changed with that sending off, it’s a different game then and we’ve got to be nice and compact and look for our moments of trying to steal a win if we possibly could.”