Our next match from the Video Vault is the FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round tie between FC United of Manchester and Hereford United which took place on Saturday, 20th October 2012.
The game was played at Gigg Lane – the home of Bury – as, at that stage, FC United did not have a stadium of their own having been formed in 2005. This was the first meeting of the clubs with FC United having made rapid progress through the North West Counties League, and were then in the Northern Premier League – one division below the National League North.
Hereford were slight favourites but with the club in financial turmoil off-the-pitch the pressure to win, and gain much needed FA Cup revenue, was palpable. Indeed, an appeal had just been instigated by chairman David Keyte as he hoped fans would raise the money to clear an unpaid tax bill of £35,000.
Martin Foyle managed the club at that stage knowing that a win would acquire £12,500 in FA Cup prize money and go some way towards the ever mounting debts.
With seven players unavailable, Martin Foyle recalled James McQuilkin to the starting line-up with Simon Clist dropping to the bench. The former FC United striker Phil Marsh featured for the Bulls alongside Ryan Bowman up front.
An even first half saw chances fall to Bowman and McQuilkin before Hereford took the lead in the 35th minute. Marsh appeared to be fouled in the box but McQuilkin’s shot on the rebound was handled, and Bowman fired home from the penalty-spot.
FC United had plenty of opportunities to draw level in the second period, with the Bulls’ goalkeeper James Bittner in the thick of the action.
Jerome Wright caught Joe Heath with his boot when attempting a volley and referee Joyce surprisingly issued a straight red card.
This decision may have unsettled the home side and the Bulls took advantage with Bowman, after an individual run, broke into the box and fired past Spencer for the second goal with 10 minutes left on the clock. FC substitute Amadi had an effort that hit the foot of the post and Andy Gallinagh had to hack one away off the line as the hosts desperately tried to claw their way back into the game.
Hereford held on to secure a place in the First Round proper and a tasty encounter at Edgar Street against Shrewsbury Town was the reward.
Attendance: 2,212 (inc 250 Bulls supporters).
FC United: Spencer, Jacobs, Birch, Jones, Neville, Platt, Stott, Cottrell, Wright, Wolfenden, Norton. Subs: Daniels, Worsnop, Amadi, Carr, Cheetham, Krou, McGrath.
Bulls: Bittner, Gallinagh, Todd, Stam, Heath, Clucas, Pell (Clist 55), McQuilkin (Perry), Evans, Marsh (Smikle 88), Bowman. Subs unused: Hanford, Feeley.