Farsley Celtic produced a hard-fought 1-0 victory at the Citadel on a cold Saturday afternoon, despite having to withstand the final 15 minutes with 10 men.
The two sides faced each other less than a month ago when Hereford were 2-0 victors at Edgar Street, but Tom Allan’s first-half goal was enough for the Celts to gain revenge and all three points.
For the first half an hour of the contest, neither side were really able to take control of the game, with both largely limited to half-chances.
Farsley managed to force a handful of early corners, Dino Visser having to stay alert to deny Andy Butler at his near post.
The best chance of the opening 20 minutes fell to Hereford’s Dan Jarvis, who guided the ball towards the bottom corner from the edge of the 18-yard, but Max Dearnley got down to his left sharply to tip it around the post.
However, it would be Farsley who made the breakthrough and, perhaps unsurprisingly, it would come from a corner.
Inside the 32nd minute, Lewis Butroid delivered an in-swinging corner with his left foot, Carlton Ubaezuonu climbed the highest and glanced the ball on, and Tom Allan swooped in at the far post and headed into the net off the underside of the crossbar.
Once Farsley took the lead, Hereford failed to react with any particular urgency. Their best attempts at an equaliser before the break came from two tame efforts from Colin Oppong and Ryan McClean, who failed to test Dearnley between the sticks.
If the first half started slow, then the second half began even slower. Both sides struggled to retain possession, on what was a difficult surface, and the game grew increasingly cagey.
The visitors were largely forced to resort to long balls up to Oppong, but Tom Allan and Andy Butler in particular dealt with everything thrown at them superbly, winning everything in the air, and sweeping up excellently when Hereford thought they had found a slight opening.
With just over 10 minutes remaining, the Celts’ hopes of securing the three points would take a blow when Frank Mulhern was shown a straight red card for a raised arm.
And that would spark Hereford into life somewhat, substitute Jack Holmes coming close from distance as his low strike from 25-yards out was brilliantly tipped past the post by Dearnley.
Despite being forced to battle on a man down, the Celts shut down any last-gasp attempts from Hereford and held on for a very well-earned three points.