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FC United slip to defeat on special day for Hereford

FC United of Manchester kicked off the pre-season friendly programme by slipping to a 1-0 defeat as a reborn Hereford hosted its first match at Edgar Street as a new club.

Nathan Hughes got the only goal of the game with 25 minutes to go as 4,257 supporters packed into one of English football’s most iconic and traditional lower league grounds.

The Reds looked the more threatening of the two teams throughout and will feel disappointed to come away defeated. However, as is often the case with FC United friendlies, the result was far from being the most important aspect of the day.

This match was another celebration of supporter owned football as delighted Hereford fans resurrected their 90 year old club after it went into liquidation a week before last Christmas. Hereford United Supporters’ Trust have rebuilt the club and after contacting FC United for advice about coordinating volunteers, the fixture was also arranged.

After an unsurprisingly slow opening due to most players blowing off the cobwebs of six weeks without a game, FC United got into their rhythm and start creating some great chances.

The Reds would have taken the lead on 25 minutes had it not been for a fine save by the Hereford ’keeper. FC United’s man of the match, Rory Fallon crossed from the right and Matthew Wolfenden connected with a great header, sending the ball to the bottom corner of the goal but it was tipped around the post for a corner.

Around 13 minutes later, Fallon was again driving United forward, this time down the left flank. The former Trafford midfielder put in a low cross to the near post where striker Tom Greaves flicked goalwards. The Hereford keeper once again had to be on guard to parry the effort away.

Hereford barely threatened in the first half. So much so, FC United goalkeeper Nick Culkin, back out of retirement again, had more action keeping up with the lighthearted abuse from his own supporters.

It was substitutes aplenty at half-time as manager Karl Marginson decided to take a look at most of his new trialists. One of the debutants, Steven Boothman slipped in club stalwart Michael Norton on the hour and the FC United legend fired goalwards. The Hereford goalkeeper did just enough, saving with his legs and then recovering to stop the ball trickling over the line.

Five minute later, Hereford grabbed the goal to mark their special occasion. A cross from the left was turned home from close range by Hughes and the Bulls fans were in ecstasy.

FC United nearly found a way back into the game five minutes later when three new recruits linked up magnificently down the right wing. Sean Cooke, Adam Thurston and Cameron Murray were zipping the ball around at pace and, at first showing, look like they have the ability to bring a bit of extra quality to the team. The positive move ended with Thurston whipping in a cross to the far post where Norton was unlucky not to connect with the ball after acrobatically launching himself feet first to try to gain the equaliser.

It wasn’t meant to be but it did not matter. The match was a great run out for the newly promoted Vanarama National League North side and a good opportunity for Margy and the FC United faithful to take a look at our new recruits. Off the pitch, more friendships were made and we wish Hereford the very best for their season ahead in the Midland Football League.

Website man of the match: Rory Fallon. Looked busy throughout his first half display. Always wants the ball and always looking to create chances for his team mates.

Report by Matthew Haley

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First Posted ~ 11:33 Sun 12 Jul 2015
News ID ~ 6254
Last Updated ~ 12:35 Sun 12 Jul 2015