HEREFORD captain Josh Gowling said his side had worked on their defensive unit and doing the ‘fundamentals right’ prior to their 0-0 draw at Darlington.

The Bulls had conceded three goals in each of their last two away defeats prior to Saturday’s trip to the North East.

Despite loosing Tommy O’Sullivan to a 27th minute red card the Bulls defended doggedly and put their bodies on the line to earn a goalless draw.

The Bulls had a 10-day break after their last defeat at Southport, which Gowling said gave them time to work on their defence.

“We have come off the back of two 3-2 results, so it gave us that opportunity to work on the training ground and work on the things,” he said.

“We had five clean sheets before that, so it gave us that opportunity to get back to that, do the fundamentals right and come in today and do that, that’s what we did.

“I think the games before the last two away games, I think we were solid, well organised and hard to break down and we hit teams on the counter-attack and played forward quickly.

“I don’t know whether or not we got a bit complacent and thought we had found our way now. You go away and score two goals you expect to win the game so we need to get back to that. That’s what we did today.

“It’s been difficult because if you look at the goals we’ve conceded they’re more team goals. I think at the start of the season we were making errors but they were more like not staying with runners or midfielders scoring, that was annoying.

“We have worked on a back four and a midfield, getting that unit right so we all know our jobs and we rotate around each other. That has paid off today.

“The biggest thing that the gaffer has said to us is that he wants consistency throughout with all units, the back four, the midfield and the strikers.

“We need more consistency and that’s what we’re expecting over the next few weeks.

Gowling received treatment for a cut to his head in the second half resulting in nine minutes of added time.

“I thought I went up and headbutted him (the opponent) in the back of the head, but we have watched the video back and the guy has come across and elbowed me and cut my face,” added Gowling.

“So I’ve got to go to hospital and have some stitches. I wasn’t (knocked) out but it was just painful, so I went down and obviously they played on.

“To be fair to the referee he has come over and apologised to me after because he didn’t see me down.

“I couldn’t go off it’s just a little cut. We had a job to do and obviously we were down to 10 men early and we all had to play our part, we all had to dig in and I had to do that today and that’s what I did today.”

Fellow experienced defender Jared Hodgkiss was a welcome addition to the Bulls defence returning from injury.

Gowling added: “Jarred was excellent, obviously he has been out for a while and to come in for a game like that when you are down to 10 men for a large portion of the game.

“He looked fit and strong, he talks a lot as well and has got that experience, so he did calm us down a bit.”

When talking about the experience of Stephen Dawson, Gowling added: “He talks a lot, he expects a lot and has obviously been at Bury he’s had a good career and he expects a lot from everyone which drives us all forward.

“There is him, Peter (Vincenti), Jarred (Hodgkiss), (Reece) Styche and even Jordan (Cullinane-Liburd) we’ve got a good group who want to push us forwards.

“I think when you’ve got a core of older players you can bring in the younger players and we can kind of talk them thought it.

“It gives us that energy and the legs, especially the lads off the bench they’ve made a really big impact today, they have been lately when they’ve been coming on making a real difference.”