HEREFORD FC’S play-off hopes were dealt a blow as defender Zak Lilly helped Brackley Town to victory against his former side.

The visitors struggled to create clear goalscoring opportunities after Morgan Roberts had given his side an early lead and with seven minutes to play.

With Hereford hoping for a late equaliser Lilly stepped up to seal the three points.

Hereford’s Curtis Pond was called into action after just two minutes when Roberts tried his luck at goal but his effort was unable to trouble the shot-stopper who saved comfortably.

However, Pond was unable to prevent Brackley’s opening goal in the 12th minute when Roberts found space on the edge of the box to fire a fierce shot into the back of the net.

The hosts nearly doubled their lead two minutes later when Bulls defender Kyle Howkins headed Tommy O’Sullivan’s cross towards his own goal, forcing Pond into a fine save.

Paul Caddis’ side responded in the 34th minute when Jid Okeke’s run down the right wing saw him go down inside the box under a challenge, but the referee waved away his penalty claims.

The Bulls began to find their attacking verve with Andy Williams being played through on goal by Howkins’ pass but the striker was unable to take the ball in his stride.

The start of the second half saw Pond called into action once more when Danny Newton connected with Roberts’ cross inside the area but the forward couldn’t extend his side’s lead.

Hereford were on the attack at the opposite end in the 59th minute with Okeke found Williams on the edge of the box whose cross towards the back post nearly found Alex Babos before it was headed behind.

The away side continued to push for an equaliser and went close again when Okeke kept the ball in play and found Babos on the edge of the box but his effort flew just over the crossbar. Brackley would secure the victory eight minutes from time when Alfie Bates’ bouncing free-kick was met by Lilly who headed home from close range to seal his former side’s fate.

Hereford: Pond, Skinner, Hudson, Teixeira (Obadeyi 80), Downing (Southern 45+2), Babos, Cowley, Williams (Phillips 74), Okeke, Cameron, Howkins

Unused Subs: Mendes, Rooney