Lambs lose and unbeaten start ends
24 August 2013
Dale Belford made a change to the unchanged starting elevens that had earned five points from the opening nine with Darren Byfield slotting in alongside Richard Peniket with Justin Richards not featuring.
For The Bulls, pre-season trialist Michael Rankine linked up with previous manager Martin Foyle once again, while Josh O'Keefe - who played no small part in The Lambs 5-2 downfall at Edgar Street last season - featured for the home side once again.
Tamworth kicked off towards the home fans behind the goal, and a half chance fell for Jones in the box but he lifted the ball high over the target from 18 yards.
Jones forced a corner on the left on 4 and Baker trotted over to receive it short from Evans who lifted it into the area and caused a moment of concern for the home defence but it was cleared away to safety.
When Capaldi and Courtney clashed accidentally in the middle of the Lambs half it allowed the home side to advance and win a corner in front of the travelling fans and the dead ball forced Thomas to head behind past the far post for another flagkick on the opposite side which Bulls captain Graham headed up and over the bar from 6 yards.
Belford pulled off a superb save on 12 to deny Rankine's far post header and from the resultant corner Artus nodded the ball over the target in a similar position.
Rankine received the ball in the box and span a shot away at the far post but missed by inches on 18.
Pilkington whipped a left wing cross in on 21 and Thomas sliced it over the crossbar from 8 yards out for a right sided corner which Belford took at height.
Despite the cloudy overcast skies, the warmth forced a drinks break halfway through the first half as both sides recharged their liquid levels.
Smith fed O'Keefe in the box on 27 from the right of the area but the latter's touch let him down and forced Hereford to rebuild but The Lambs managed to regain control and played a bit of keep ball to slow the opposition down while also moving forwards until a wayward pass slipped past Jones and out for a throw.
Both sides continued to press, Tamworth via a couple of Capaldi corners past hte half hour mark, and Hereford through O'Keefe and Walker. But neither keeper was really tested until Capaldi fired a freekick over the wall from 25 yards out and keeper Evans was forced to push the ball to safety.
Jones almost squeezed the ball into the net but found Evans in no mood to be beaten as the home keeper made himself big and saved with his feet inside the box on 39.
Belford made himself big once again on 43 to deny Smith and Pilkington combining the first and follow up shots after the ball ran free on the edge of the area.
A foul on Rankine on the halfway line allowed Hereford one final push before the half time whistle blew but it came to nothing and The Lambs had Belford to thank for the 0-0 scoreline at the break.
Hereford restarted proceedings and immediately went on the attack, but forged nothing in the opening exchanges although they performed well to deny The Lambs crossing the half way line.
GOAL: Then on 51 Smith struck from fully 25 yards and his right footed effort zipped past Belford's left hand side and into the bottom corner (0-1, 51 mins)
Rankine found the Tamworth defence in his way as The Lambs were forced to defend a spell of possession by the Bulls and when Jones was able to set up a freekick from the left wing on 58 it went long and was not a threat to Evans' goal.
Todd came on for Kerry just past the hour, and the player picked up a booking a few minutes later but it was Courtney who picked up a straight red on 68 when he was judged to lead with an elbow and gave the referee no choice to reduce The Lambs to ten men.
Despite the numerical disadvantage Tamworth pushed on and won a corner or two around the 75 minute mark with Peniket looking for a strike on both occasions but finding the home defence in the way.
Hereford seemed content to allow The Lambs to come at them for a short while until Richards-Everton picked up another booking for a foul on Rankine on 85 as he tried to wriggle past the defender into the box. And another foul against Tamworth allowed the home side to whip the ball in and O'Keefe appeared at the far post and forced Belford into another excellent point blank stop to keep it at 0-1 to The Bulls.
And despite a late late push in added time The Lambs had to leave the field after their first defeat of the season.
Belford, Evans, Richards-Everton, Kerry (Todd 63), Baker, Byfield (Hendrie 82), Jones (Woolery75), Courtney, Peniket, Capaldi, Thomas
Subs: Harris, Wren
Hereford United Team:
Evans, Leadbetter, Bush, McDonald, Graham, O'Keefe, Walker, Smith, Rankine (Collins 90), Artus, Pilkington (Sharp 55)
Subs: Purdie, Brown, Gwynne
Referee: Mr Adam Hopkins