HEREFORD gave as good as they got in an entertaining but goalless friendly against Championship side Birmingham.

The Bulls were without Stefan Stam and Nicky Featherstone, with transfer-listed Janos Kovacs lining up alongside Michael Townsend in central defence.

Birmingham, although fielding a strong side, had only three players remaining from their Carling Cup win.

Hereford had a good chance to open the scoring after just three minutes.

Stuart Fleetwood threaded a perfect pass through to Delroy Facey who did well to hold off Scott Dann as he advanced into the area.

But the Grenada international dragged his shot across goal and wide.

Fleetwood had a chance shortly afterwards when Facey and Joe Colbeck worked the opening.

But the United striker failed to control the ball and the chance was gone.

When Birmingham attacked, Rob Purdie twice showed his defensive capabilities with good tackles.

Liam Ridgewell picked up a caution for a poor challenge on Harry Pell before Michael Madera tested Adam Bartlett with a powerful header from a left-win cross.

With Birmingham now beginning to make the pace, a cross-shot from Chris Burke was headed out for a corner by Kovacs.

The move following Jordan Mutch’s corner ended with Bartlett saving a shot from Keith Fahey.

Hereford moved swiftly on to the counter-attack and Pell fired high over after Colbeck’s pacy break.

The Blues continued to look the more likely scorer and Bartlett had to dive to save a 2o-yard effort from Fahey.

Then a block from Kovacs, five minutes before the break, prevented Madera from firing home.

Birmingham continued to dominate at the start of the second period and Bartlett produced a fine save in the 54th minute, turning a Chris Burke shot behind for a corner.

French triallist Yoann Arquin replaced Facey on the hour and immediately sent Colbeck away on the right to deliver a dangerous cross which was well dealt with by the Blues defence.

Another Bulls substitute, James McQuilkin also produced a threat, firing a fizzing drive just over the bar from 30 yards on 71 minutes.

An excellent run by Purdie took him past half-a dozen defenders and into the area. But his final left-foot shot went over the bar.

With Hereford now pressing forward in numbers, the Bulls forced their first corner on 80 minutes.

And Arquin drilled a shot just over from 25 yards as United produced an impressive spell.

But Birmingham finished strongly and Mutch saw a late shot blocked by Bartlett for corner.

Madera headed a good chance wide from the last move of the game.

Hereford: Bartlett; Green, Townsend, Kovacs, Heath; Colbeck, Pell, Lunt, Purdie; Fleetwood, Facey. Substitutes: McQuilkin (for Lunt), Williams (for Townsend), Arquin (for Facey), Weir (for Pell), McCarthy (for Heath), John (for Fleetwood), Hoult.

Birmingham: Doyle, Carr, Murphy, Ridgewell, Dann, Madera, Burke, Mutchj, Fahey, Rooney. Substitutes: Davies (for Dann), Kerr, Ozturk, Valles (for Ridgewell), Redmond (for Burke), Gomis (for Fahey), Asante (for Rooney), Jervis.

Referee: Phil Gibbs (West Midlands).

Yellow cards: Birmingham – Ridgewell, foul, 20 min.

Attendance: 2,848.