Battling Magpies earn crucial point

Hereford United failed to beat Notts County for the first time in four encounters since their return to the Football League.

But the point the Bulls picked up from a disappointing meeting maintains their second position in the League Two table.

County spurned a great chance to take the lead with just four minutes played. Kris Taylor allowed Lawrie Dudfield to drag the ball back from the byline to Richard Butcher, but the midfielder drove his shot high over from a great position.

Hereford quickly hit back and Simon Johnson and Theo Robinson both tested County keeper Kevin Pilkington from distance.

County had another great chance on 13 minutes when the Hereford defence failed to clear a corner from former Bulls loanee Neil MacKenzie.

The ball reached Hector Sam, but the striker somehow slid the ball wide from two yards.
Sam... Two decent oppurtunities on return to the side


With Ben Smith shining in midfield, Hereford had rather the better of the remainder of the first period, but neither side was able to test the opposing goalkeeper as play became stuck in the middle third.

The second period began with a flurry of activity as Butcher, who saw his initial shot blocked, forced a fine diving save from Wayne Brown with a 20-yard effort from the rebound.

Sam then blazed over from a good position as County maintained their lively start to the half.

But Hereford soon regained control and dominated possession without being able often to break through the solid Magpies rearguard.

There were occasional opportunities, however. On 67 minutes, some neat work by the outstanding Smith played in Johnson, but the midfielder's shot flew narrowly over the angle of post and bar.

Then Johnson was the provider of a chance for Steve Guinan with a cross which the experienced striker headed down and wide.

But these were isolated incidents and in the end both sides had to settle for a point.