CITY lost striker Demetri Brown to Hereford last week - sports reporter Andy Mitchell assesses what Bulls fans can expect from the new recruit.

A SURPRISE, perhaps, but no one could argue Demetri Brown hadn’t earned his shot at Hereford – and the statistics support how much he progressed at City.

READ MORE | City striker to step up three levels with Hereford

Light on goals and at times bereft of confidence during the early months following his summer move from Tividale, where he had been prolific in a title-winning campaign, Brown threatened to become something of a cult hero in blue and white.

The most willing of runners in channels, space creator for others and chaser of those lost causes that occasionally paid off.

That earned the respect of one of the region’s hardest-to-please fanbases from day one, despite fluffing his lines when presented with top, at times huge chances. 

Strikers are judged on numbers and Brown’s were not great to begin with. No goals from seven outings before a breakthrough at Wellington in the FA Vase.

His brace was hardly the tidiest and unsurprisingly bagged through sheer persistence and willingness.

Like Jordan Harrison, it was the break he needed and came at a time when the frontline was under the microscope following an early FA Cup exit as part of three matches without a City goal.

Strikes one and two were quickly followed by a third in the next match at Selston but the next seven, up until the end of October, yielded nothing at a time when different options got drafted in and out in a bid to find the right formula.

But when the gauntlet was thrown down, Brown took on the challenge while knowing the net had to bulge alongside the graft that had become a given.

The FA Vase brought out the best in City and Brown was back on the goal trail against Dunkirk before deciding a Midland Football League Cup tie at Sporting Khalsa late on, scrambling in by hassling tiring defenders having stepped off the bench.

A hat-trick in City’s biggest win for 43 years – a 9-0 demolition of Racing Club Warwick – followed with another goal to help overcome title chasers Newark Flowserve in early December.

Typically, he led by example on a stodgy pitch at Highgate United, providing the double that should have won the game and aided a fightback from two down to draw 2-2 with AFC Wulfrunians.

Injuries have disrupted his progress along the way, probably through not knowing when to curtail his efforts, but Brown is not merely a workhorse.

His 13 goals in 28 starts and five substitute appearances may not have set pulses racing among Hereford fans but a strike rate of 10 in 11 outings before injuries kicked should be noted.

As competition hotted up and the players around him improved, Brown grew. Some players wilt under that scrutiny and that is the main reason to believe he is capable of making the best of his move to Hereford.

Whatever does or doesn’t happen for Brown at Edgar Street, you can bet he will never duck the challenge.