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Match Reports

Full-time: Hereford FC 1, Robins 8

27 July 2021

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Cheltenham Town coasted to a comfortable win against ten-man Hereford in the penultimate pre-season friendly at Edgar Street.

Alfie May and Andy Williams bagged a hattrick apiece while Liam Sercombe added a goal of his own. Will Armitage, the promising 16-year-old defender, made it eight in the closing stages.

The game though was spoiled as a contest following the 11th minute sending off of defender Luke Haines, handing the Bulls an uphill task for the majority of the game.

He clipped Chris Hussey in a goal scoring position and was handed his marching orders, and his side never recovered. Michael Duff campaigned to keep the striker on the pitch but his plea fell on deaf ears, leaving the Bulls to complete the game with a numerical disadvantage.

But despite the lopsided match there were plenty of positives for Duff and his management team on the night.


"We wanted to keep 11 players on the pitch because it doesn't help either side," said assistant manager Russell Milton afterwards.

"They had to adapt, we had to adapt and we had to change it a bit to make sure the game had the right tempo to it.

"We wanted to keep our standards up and keep the tempo high and work on our fitness. We also tried to limit it to three touches to keep the ball moving. We didn't want to get sloppy.

"It was a pleasing night overall."


Williams had shaved the outside of the left upright with only 15 seconds on the clock before he notched his first in the ninth minute, guiding home May's deflected shot on the volley from six yards.

He added his second on the night three minutes after the dismissal, deceiving goalkeeper Brandon Hall with an effort that beat him at his near post. Hall went on to produce a string of decent stops on the night to keep the score in single figures.

The third arrived after 17 minutes when May took advantage of some defensive uncertainty to lob the Hereford number one with a clever effort using the outside of his right boot. Sercombe slotted home from close-range four minutes before the interval.

May rolled home a fifth in the opening minutes of the second half after some good work by Sean Long down the right and completed his hattrick in the 52nd minute, rounding Hall and sliding it home from a tight angle down the right.


Midfielder Elliot Bonds made his return 28 minutes from time, following his lengthy lay-off through an injury collected in the match against Scunthorpe United in October.

Williams completed his hattrick with 18 minutes remaining while 16-year-old defender Armitage made it eight in the closing stages, stabbing home at the third attempt.

The loudest cheer of the night was reserved for Ben Pollock's goal with the final kick of the game, giving the home faithful something to cheer on a tough night for the National League North side.


HEREFORD FC: Hall, Hodgkiss, Hancox, Lloyd, Owen-Evans, Butlin, Haines, Pollock, Forsyth, Kouhyer, Trialist. Subs not used: Klukowski, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist.

CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-5-2): Flinders; Long, Boyle (c) (Raglan 46), Horton; Blair (Freestone 62), Sercombe (Miles 78), Barkers (Trialist 46), Chapman (Bonds 62), Hussey (Armitage 78); May (Lloyd 62), Williams (Ebanks 78). Subs not used: Evans (Gk).


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