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Match Reports

Cheltenham v. Hereford, 3.12.12 (FAC)

3 December 2012

Full Time: Robins 1-1 Bulls

A replay at Edgar Street now stands between Cheltenham and a third round FA Cup tie against Everton.

The hosts were held to a 1-1 draw infront of over 5,000 fans at the Abbey Business stadium as they failed to overcome non-league Hereford. The result extends a 42 year jynx that hasn't seen Cheltenham beat Hereford at home since January 1969.

Cheltenham took the lead after a neatly backheeled strike from Harrad but their lead was canceled out when O'Keefe's rebounded effort ensured a replay for the visitors. Both sides were on equal pegging for the majority of the match in an end to end game.

However, neither side were able to capitalise on their chances in the second half and win their place in the FA Cup third round.

Cheltenham made one change from the team that beat Barnet last Saturday. Kaid Mohamed recovered from an ankle injury and came in to replace Zebroski who took a knock during the week in training. Hereford started the match with two former Cheltenham Town players in their starting 11, Andy Gallinagh and Brian Smikle. Gallinagh was at Cheltenham Town for five years, whilst Smikle spent two seasons at the club scoring 6 goals in 47 appearances.

Both sides played their part in a quiet opening 5 minutes, however Cheltenham were looking the more promising. McGlashan was causing numerous problems for Hereford on the right wing but his crosses were unable to find anyone in the hereford 18 yard box.

Cheltenham's first clear cut effort came from a Billy Jones free kick. McGlashan was fouled after carrying the ball and Jones' goalbound effort direct from the 25-yard free kick was tipped wide by Hereford keeper Bittner. Shortly after, Elliott's powerful header fell kindly to the Hereford shot-stopper, then Mohamed's cross from the left wing had to be tipped over the bar by Bittner to prevent an opener. It was Harrad who would score Cheltenham's first goal, McGlashan received the ball from Pack on the wing, his cross found Harrad who back heeled his shot past a diving Bittner into bottom left corner. After the restart, Pack picked up a yellow carded for a foul on Pell in the middle of the pitch after previously receiving a warning for a foul on the same player.

To this point Cheltenham were enjoying the best of the second half, McGlashan chased a Harrad through ball to the corner flag and managed a cross that found Taylor whose header landed marginally wide of the left hand upright. Hereford responded with a sharp reality check, O'Keefe headed the ball at Scott Brown after a neat Bowman one-two resulted in his cross from the byline just inside the 18 yard box. Brown could only parry the header and the rebound fell nicely for O'Keefe who buried his follow up to the left hand side of the Cheltenham keeper. Cheltenham replied instantly, a corner from Jones found Harrad in the 6 yard box but his backheeled effort was blocked by the Hereford defence. Minutes later, Mohammed won the ball on the edge of the 18 yard box but could only fire his left footed shot across the face of goal.

The game was becoming rather end to end. Pell's effort from the edge of the box went marginally wide of goal after a driving run and Clucas found himself in a similar position during Hereford's next attack, his effort could only loop over the top of goal. Again. it was Cheltenham's turn to attack, Carter linked up with Mohamed and Jones on the left wing, the defensive midfielder cut inside onto his right foot only for his goalbound curling effort to be snatched out of the air by Bittner. Cheltenham fans will have felt aggrieved not to have been awarded a penalty after 35 minutes. McGlashan sneaked between two Hereford centre backs onto the end of a floated cross from Mohamed but went down on the penalty spot. The referee wasn't interested but their were plenty of appeals from the Cheltenham supporters behind the Hereford Goal.

Hereford ended the half more threatening, O'Keefe found Bowman on the edge of the box who cut inside only to see his effort on goal blocked. Clucas also looked dangerous on the left wing providing a teasing cross that Smikle could only manage to head well wide for a throw in. At the other end, McGlashan's blocked cross earnt the home side a corner that resulted in a Mohamed volley that fired over the bar after his initial shot was blocked. Hereford ended the first half in control of the game, Smikle crossed from the right and found Bowman who's header zipped past Browns left upright.

Half Time: Cheltenham Town 1 - 1 Hereford United

The opening to the second half was a very Scrappy affair with no real chances for either side in the first 25 minutes. Cheltenham were the first side to make a Substitution. Goulding and Penn replaced Taylor and Carter after 58 minutes. With 20 minutes to go, the game sparked into life. Clucas outran Lowe on the left flank and was played in by Bowman but Clucas' poor shot was fired high and wide of Scott Brown's goal.

The home side responded instantly with a long range effort from 25 yards courtesy of winger Mohamed. The shot was fired straight at Bittner who could only parry the shot but quickly collected the loose ball in presence of an onrunning Shaun Harrad. Much like the first half, it was becoming an end to end affair, Gallignah overlapped on the right wing before firing and effort from the edge of the box high and wide. A Cheltenham counter attack involving Goulding, Harrad and McGlashan came to nothing. Hereford attacked immediately and a 30-yard strike from Evans was tipped over the bar. Bennett had a header easily saved from a Jones free kick and Mohamed forced another save from Bittner. Goulding went down in the box from the follow up but penalty apeals were waved away by referee Craig Pawson.

There were more changes on 78 minutes. Marsh replaced Smikle for the visitors meanwhile Deering replaced McGlashan for the Robins. Straight away, Heath won a corner after a jinking run to the by-line. Evans took the corner short and linked up nicely with Heath before shooting just wide of goal. Their pressure continued as Evans shot from 25 yards after a dangerous run from half way line. At the other end, Harrad played the ball to an advancing Goulding who struggled to get in under control, as a result his shot from 10 yards was convincingly blocked and cleared.

Hereford were to have the final attack of the game, an threatening corner found the head of O'Keefe whose header looped into the arms of Scott Brown.

The draw means Cheltenham face a replay away at Hereford's Edgar Street in a fixture that will decide who will face Everton in the FA Cup third Round.

Full Time: Cheltenham Town 1 - 1 Hereford United

Cheltenham Town FC (4-2-3-1): Brown, Lowe, Bennett, Elliott, Jones, Pack, Carter (Penn 58), McGlashan (Deering 78), Taylor (Goulding, 58), Mohamed, Harrad.

Subs not used: Duffy, Roberts, D'Ath, Jombati

Hereford United FC (4-5-1): Bittner, Gallinagh, Graham, Stam, Heath, Smikle (Marsh, 78), Pell, Evans, O'Keefe, Clucas, Bowman

Subs not used: Clist, Hanford, McQuilkin, Perry

Referee: Mr. Craig Pawson

Attendance: 5070 (1336 away)

Robins Star Man: Alan Bennett

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