Swindon 3 Hereford United 3: Rampant Bulls Frustrate Town
On Saturday League Two strugglers Hereford United were the visitors at the County Ground with the home side expected to record a comfortable victory. However, as we all know all too well, football is not that simple. Reports Andrew Steele-Davis.
Swindon were going into the game having just come off the back of an excellent midweek 2-1 victory over Exeter in the Johnston’s Paint Trophy, a welcome away win after the shambles that was Macclesfield a week earlier.
The visitors, however, were entering the game on a five game streak without a win, which included a 6-1 mauling at the hands of Gillingham. But just who would come out on top?
Hereford made a bright start to the game with Michael Townsend having a chance to open the scoring a minute in but his effort flew wide. This proved a wake-up call for Swindon though with Jake Jervis, fresh from his heroics against Exeter, powering through the Hereford defence but his scuffed effort was saved comfortably by the Bull’s Goalkeeping coach Russell Hoult, emphasising the injury woes the away side were experiencing.
Jervis’ effort was a sign of things to come with the opening goal arriving with just seven minutes on the clock. A free-kick was floated in by Mehdi Kerrouche from the left and the increasingly impressive Raffaele De Vita leapt like a salmon to glance a header home to make it 1-0 Town.
Swindon continued to dominate with further efforts from Jervis and Alan McCormack whose header just crept past the wrong side of the post. However, Town soon scored their second of the afternoon just before half time, Kerrouche collecting the ball inside Hereford’s box with his back to goal before turning and unleashing an unstoppable shot into the bottom left hand corner. A superb effort by Swindon’s new favourite son following in the footsteps of Sam Parkin, Simon Cox and Charlie Austin.
Swindon carried their first half form into the second half, twice coming close to extending their lead before the sixty minute mark. Firstly Kerrouche had a solid claim for a penalty after being brought down in the box but the less than impressive referee waved all appeals away. The menacing Jake Jervis had yet another chance to open his League Two account but his fine drive was parried away by Russell Hoult.
Swindon were made to pay for their missed chances when Hereford pulled a goal back on the 68 minute mark with a very bizarre goal. A cross cum shot from Barkhuizen floated past Mattia Lanzano and into the back of Town’s net, giving the visitors an unlikely glimmer of hope.
Parity was soon restored with Hereford grabbing an equaliser from yet more suspect Town defending. Yoann Arquin, a second half sub and a former Town triallist did you know, stood unmarked in the box and sent a nonchalant header past Lanzano. From seemingly without a hope at half time, Hereford were now level, much to the bemusement of the home fans who within their rights to expect a similar outcome to Barnet a few weeks ago.
Swindon regained the lead with fifteen minutes left, Simon Ferry, who was by far the best player on the pitch, grabbing a deserved goal after good work between Lukas Magera and the rather disappointing Matt Ritchie, put Ferry into great space and clear on goal. After skying an earlier golden opportunity it was a relief to see Ferry slot this one confidently into the back of the net. Surely we’d hold on for a fifth home victory…
However, Hereford’s comeback was completed as they soon equalised again, Harry Pell glancing a superb header home to earn the visitors a share of the spoils. Swindon’s defending or lack of in the air and at set pieces coming to the fore yet again.
Earlier this week didn’t Di Canio suggest the removal of Aden Flint from the team solved our problems from set pieces…
Overall a disappointing afternoon for Town, remarkably their first draw of the 2011/2012 campaign, their lack of dominance in the height department highlighting how important Aden Flint has been this season. This, along with their away form needs to improve if Town are to mount a serious promotion push.