HEREFORD United wrote their way into soccer's history books by beating First Division Newcastle United last Saturday, writes Ted Woodriffe.

A goal down against Newcastle United, with whom they had already drawn 2-2, United hit back with an 86th minute equaliser by Ron Radford and won the game in extra time with a 103rd minute goal from Ricky George.

Radford's goal was a tremendous 30-yarder and he had a hand in the winner when he put Dudley Tyler clear on the right before he presented George with the chance to net the winner, a crowd of 14,313 cheered United to victory.

United's 2-1 win over Newcastle was the first by a non-league club against First Division opponents for 23 years.

After the match, player-manager Colin Addison said: "What can I say. Our side were magnificent. They never gave up and we deserved the win.

"The going was pretty heavy but I wasn't worried about extra-time. We'd been through that twice with Northampton and I was confident that the players would not wilt."

Club trainer Peter Isaac, the backroom boy in a successful Hereford set-up, stated: "Our players were as fit as the Newcastle team. I knew that they wouldn't give up.

"That's the way they are. We may be a non-league team but we have got the same professional approach as any league club and after Newcastle I was certain we could win the replay."

Ron Radford, who put United back in the picture with his 86th minute goal said: "I got a good look at goal in the first half and missed the chance.

"I made up my mind then that the next time I saw an opening I would take a crack.

"It just didn't happen until after Newcastle scored. I played the ball one-two with Brian Owen and then hit it for all I was worth.

"I thought it was going too high to begin with but once it was on its way I knew it was a goal."

Ricky George said: "When I took a pass from Dudley Tyler and turned I couldn't believe my luck. I could see the far corner of the net was unguarded and shot straight."

The soccer world had to wait two decades since Yeovil Town beat Sunderland for giant-killing act of this calibre and Len Shackleton, now a sports writer with a Sunday newspaper, was present on both occasions.

He played for star-studded Sunderland when they lost in 1950 and said: "It's not sour grapes but Yeovil's win was a fluke. They were dead lucky. Hereford deserved their success after drawing at Newcastle."

United, in fact, became the first non-league team since the war to beat a First Division team in a replay, and only the third non-league team to beat a First Division club since the war, following in the footsteps of Yeovil and Colchester United, who as a Southern League side, beat Huddersfield Town.