SOUTH SHIELDS failed to win at home for the first time this season as a 0-0 draw secured a hard-fought point for Hereford FC at the First Cloud Arena.

Aaron Martin’s header struck the crossbar for Shields before Hereford’s Yusifu Ceesay saw his strike fly just wide of the post but ultimately neither side could break the deadlock.

Hereford started brightly and goalkeeper Myles Boney was forced into action twice early on, saving headed efforts from Ceesay and Lassana Mendes within the opening 10 minutes.

The Mariners responded and nearly found the opener in the 15th minute after Aaron Martin met Lirak Hasani’s free-kick inside the box, his bullet header rattled the crossbar.

Bulls goalkeeper Curtis Pond was then sharp off his line to deny John Lufudo and keep the scores level after the defender was slid in by his Shields team-mate Gary Liddle in the 22nd minute.

Pond was in action again after the shot stopper spilled Luke James’ 38th minute strike, but Martin could only blaze his rebound over the crossbar.

The beginning of the second half saw Ethan Freemantle bundled over just shy of the box to allow Alex Babos a free-kick opportunity, the midfielder bent his effort just wide of the post after 50 minutes.

Shields’ threat remained and a smart turn from James inside the box allowed the forward to fire a rasping shot towards Pond, who was on hand to tip the effort over the bar.

Hereford continued to threaten as well though, and a swift counter-attack resulted in Ceesay’s deflected effort from the edge of the box flying just wide of the post with half an hour remaining.

Sheilds’ substitute Joao Gomes laid the ball off for Micheal Woods, who saw his curling effort pushed over by Pond in the 78th minute.

With time running out there was a heart in mouth moment for the Bulls as Gomes’ 84th minute effort deflected off Howkins before dropping millimetres over the crossbar.

Shields thought they might have won it when CJ Clarke’s shot slipped through the gloves of Pond in the 95th minute, but the goalkeeper gathered on the second attempt to earn an excellent point.

Hereford: Pond, Skinner, Livingstone, Teixeira, Lyden, Downing, Ceesay, Babos, Mendes (Tolley 68), Freemantle (Arthur), Howkins

Unused Subs: Cranston, Stanley, Rooney