Bideford 0 Hereford 0: Robins nullify Southern League leaders for hard-earned point

PUBLISHED: 18:59 11 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:48 13 March 2017

Bideford v Hereford. Picture: Matt Smart

Bideford v Hereford. Picture: Matt Smart

Archant

Bideford extended their unbeaten run by drawing against the runaway leaders of Division One South and West.

Bideford v Hereford. Picture: Matt Smart Bideford v Hereford. Picture: Matt Smart

Bideford secured a hard-fought point against Southern League leaders Hereford this afternoon (Saturday).

The Robins held their opponents to a 0-0 draw at the Sports Ground, in a game that had far more than the scoreline suggests.

Manager Sean Joyce said before the game he wanted his side to try and slow down the Bulls’ charge towards the Division One South and West title, and they did just that with a professional and assured performance.

Although it was Bideford’s second 0-0 in as many games, it was Hereford’s first goalless draw in some 18 months.

Bideford v Hereford. Picture: Matt Smart Bideford v Hereford. Picture: Matt Smart

Both teams had chances to snatch all three points late on too. Ben Watson’s glorious chance was blocked by Clayton Fortune, and minutes later leading goalscorer John Mills fired one just over the bar with only Joe Moore to beat.

The point extends Bideford’s unbeaten run to nine games, but keeps them eighth in the league.

The first half was a cagey one, with chances few and far between for both sides.

Although Hereford had the ball in the net in the first 10 minutes but were denied by the linesman’s flag.

On the whole, both teams’ chances were limited to set-pieces, and it was the Bulls who came closest to breaking the deadlock.

Joe Moore pulled off a fine save on the stroke of half-time, tipping Mike Symonds’ header over the bar.

The second half opened up, and saw both teams enjoying more sights at goal.

Sean Downing had a shot saved by Alex Harris seven minutes after the restart, and Chris McPhee fizzed an effort just over the bar.

Bideford v Hereford. Picture: Matt Smart Bideford v Hereford. Picture: Matt Smart

Hereford had chances of their own, first Ros Purdie was edged out before he could get a shot off in the box, then Pablo Haysham’s deflected shot forced Moore to make a save low at his near post.

Watson was introduced with 20 minutes remaining, and had Bideford’s best chance with five minutes to go.

The ball rebounded into his path, and as the striker took a couple of touches to set himself, Fortune was able to get across and block the substitute’s shot.

With two minutes of the 90 remaining, Hereford had their best chance.

Bideford v Hereford. Picture: Matt Smart Bideford v Hereford. Picture: Matt Smart

Chris McGrath’s header fell to Symonds, who slipped in Mills one-on-one with Moore. The striker took his shot first time but fired over the bar.

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