Banbury United 0 Hereford 1
A superb first half strike from Keyon Refell earns Hereford all three points
A superb 20 yard strike from Keyon Reffell just after the half hour mark earns Hereford all three points
After a fairly even, but rather uneventful first 25 minutes, Hereford at this point began to have the better of the game. They went close on 31 minutes when Jack Harding in the Banbury goal made a good save from an Adam Page shot from the edge of the Banbury penalty area down the left and then Mike McGrath fired the rebound well over from 12 yards when he probably should have done better.
But Hereford would go in front two minutes later with Keyon Reffell showing good control from a long cross field pass from the left and then hitting a superb strike from just outside the Banbury penalty area down the right across into the far bottom corner of the net.
The rest of the half saw Hereford very much in control of the game, passing the ball around in some style.
Banbury were improved in the second half. In the 50th minute a Conor McDonagh cross/shot from a narrow angle down the left close to the by-line was well held by Martin Horsell in the Hereford goal at his near post.
Five minutes later and Hereford went close when a 25 yard strike by Lance King went just a few feet over the Banbury crossbar.
On the hour mark a free-kick for Banbury a few yards outside the Hereford penalty area saw Tom Winters lift the ball over the defensive wall but straight at Horsell who saved comfortably.
Four minutes later, Banbury would go as close to scoring as they did all game when goalkeeper Jack Harding took a free-kick just inside his own half and pumped the ball deep into the Hereford penalty area. Horsell came for the ball but Banbury's Luke Carnell got his head to the ball first only to be unfortunate to see his effort go a few feet wide of the goal.
On 72 minutes a lengthy scramble inside the Banbury penalty area ended with Jimmy Oates shooting from the edge of the six yard box down the right, his shot being deflected into the side netting by Harding at his near post.
Though Banbury were much better in the second half and posed more questions to the visiting defence in this perio,d they found the Hereford defence in top form and they basically had the answers to those questions and whilst there were some promising moves from Banbury they struggled to create clear chances with Martin Horsell in the Hereford goal not having to make any saves of note. But with Banbury going forward in search of an equaliser and this opening up at times more quick counter attacks for the visitors it was a much more entertaining half of football.
Overall an improved performance from Banbury, against one of the top sides in the Division, albeit nothing tangible in the way of points to show for it.
Banbury United: Jack Harding, Charlie Hawtin, Marvin Martin, George Nash (Darren Pond 71), Tom Bradbury, Luke Carnell, Jack Westbrook, Ravi Shamsi, Jefferson Louis, Ricky Johnson (Conor McDonagh 42), Tom Winters (Jack Self 76). Subs (not used): Matt Peake-Pijnen, Charlie Wise.
Hereford:Martin Horsell, Jimmy Oates, James Bowen, Rob Purdie, Ryan Green, Jack Deaman, Adam Page, Mike McGrath, John Mills, Keyon Reffell, Lance Smith (Mike Symons 70). Subs (not used): Jamie Bird, Dan Preston, Pablo Haysham, Max Harris.