HEREFORD manager Josh Gowling praised the maturity of his side after they took a first win of the season at Chester.

Luke Haines’ piledriving strike five minutes from time secured the Bulls three points after standing up to the test on a night when Hereford goalkeeper Brad Wade was kept busy.

“I thought it was a mature and professional performance,” said Gowling talking to Keith Hall.

“We wanted to press them in the first half and get amongst them and we did that in spells. Credit to them they are the best side we’ve played so far.

“We had the best chance of the first half when Ryan (McLean) goes through one-on-one and when he misses it you are thinking déjà vu.

“I think at this level when you frustrate people they go off-script a little bit and I felt they (Chester) did that in the second half.

“They went longer and direct which played into our hands and with our pace on the break it benefitted us.

“I thought to a man we were excellent, the discipline they showed was immense against a good pressing side and Luke (Haines) goal at the end was fantastic.”

Wade was first called into action on eight minutes tipping Kurt Willoughby’s effort wide after Miles Storey had his effort deflected wide at the other end.

Willoughby went close again moments later this time beating his marker and then volleying the wrong side of the post.

Chester skipper Declan Weeks then almost provided the opener floating his free-kick in for the unmarked Kole Hall who headed wide.

On the 26th minute Hereford had the best chance of the half with Ryan McLean breaking through the defence only to be denied by goalkeeper Harry Tyrer.

Chester also forced Wade into action early in the second half after Kieran Coates released Willoughby but the marksman was again thwarted by the Bulls goalkeeper.

McLean was causing the hosts more problems on 69 minutes driving at the defence before firing into the side-netting.

Wade was then forced into a match winning save at the opposite end as substitute Joe Lynch send his effort goalward but the shot stopper was not to be beaten.

With five minutes left on the clock Haines rifled home the winner with a stunning strike worthy of winning any match.

At the death Hereford were almost punished for not clearing the ball but Matty Williams fired wide.

Gowling added: I’m excited about this season and this squad. It’s going to take time to gel and we’re going to have little blips on the way but you can see the strength we’ve got in the squad.”

Hereford: Wade, Hodgkiss, Evans, Haines, Lilly, Thompson-Sommers, McLean, Lloyd (Hanson 62), Pinchard (Pendley 90+1), Storey, Barnett (Amadi-Holloway 68)

Unused subs: Klukowski, Latty-Fairweather