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Worcester City 0 Hereford United 0
WORCESTER City played out a stop-start stalemate against Hereford United to remain unbeaten in pre-season in a game that was soured by a series of flash-points between rival supporters.
A first-half incident saw advertising hoardings ripped off by Hereford fans, leading to a brief stoppage, while a steward was also attacked during the unrest and needed medical treatment, while both sets of fans goaded each other over barriers.
Carl Heeley’s side kept their third clean sheet of the warm-up campaign following shut-outs in the victories over West Bromwich Albion and Stratford Town.
The game, the first between the old rivals since 1999, had its moments with new Bulls signing Marlon Jackson going closest with a first-half strike against the post. Danny Glover also drew a fine save from Dan Hanford with a stinging effort before the interval.
Although the predicted large number of travelling with Hereford never materialised — the Blue Square Bet Premier club bringing around 250 supporters — there was still a decent crowd of 867 inside St George’s Lane.
Securing the fixture against Martin Foyle’s team had come about as part of the deal bringing Tyler Weir to City on loan last season.
However, Weir, now a permanent City addition, was on holiday and that allowed former Cheltenham Town right-back Kyle Haynes an opportunity to audition as cover.
Generally assured, Haynes did his cause no harm as one of only three City players to complete 90 minutes — the others being Matt Sargeant and Ellis Deeney.
Haynes even advanced forward to slip a neat second-half pass into the box for Glover which the striker fired wide.
Centre-half Sam Brooks was another trialist to start, alongside experienced defender Stuart Whitehead. Although not out of place, the prospects of the former Port Vale man getting a deal appear slim with City not short of centre-halves and Shabir Khan able to operate there too.
Khan got 35 minutes as he continues to step up his fitness and has likely shown enough to at least be considered a squad player.
The hosts broke the second-half up with eight substitutions, among which saw Charlie Reece and Matt Breeze enter the fray, the latter having now departed Peterborough United.
All like-for-like changes in a 4-4-2 system, defensive midfielder Jay Denny got another chance to press a claim, while Phil Green finished up front alongside fellow replacement Mike Symons.
Hereford’s main threat came from Jackson, who sliced over seconds after hitting the post. Jackson also split the Worcester defence to free trialist Lloyd Macklin, but the striker blazed over the bar with only Sargeant to beat.
The Edgar Street side included four unnamed trialists in their squad, one which was identified as striker Dan Smith after he came on at half-time, although the second remained a mystery when he appeared with five minutes left.
City: Sargeant, Haynes, Deeney, Brooks (Khan 54), Whitehead (Ayres 75), Thorley (Smith 85), Birley (Reece 57), Elvins (Denny 62), Taylor (Symons H/T), Glover (Green 77), Edwards (Breeze 57). Subs not used: Rowe, Thompson.
Hereford: Hanford, Gallinagh, Clucas, Clist (Evans H/T), Bird (Pell H/T), Graham, Stam (trialist 85), Macklin (Watkins H/T), Jackson (McQuilkin H/T), Bowman (Canham H/T), Brown (Smith H/T). Attendance: 867.