Holders ease past Bulls to book their place in next round

Shane Byrne gave Brackley Town the lead at Hereford
Shane Byrne gave Brackley Town the lead at Hereford

The holders are through to the third round of the Buildbase FA Trophy.

Brackley Town beat Hereford 3-1 in Saturday’s second round tie at Edgar Street where Kevin Wilkin’s side established a 3-0 lead through Shane Byrne, top scorer Lee Ndlovu and Shaun Jeffers before the Bulls grabbed a late consolation through Josh Gowling.

Improving Hereford began brightly and Kyle Finn’s dipping effort scraped the bar while Byrne’s free-kick was deflected off the wall and just wide.

James Roberts fired over before Saints broke the deadlock in the 14th minute after Ndlovu’s effort was deflected wide. From Glenn Walker’s ensuing corner, Jordan Cullinane-Liburd was penalised in the box. Saints had missed four of their previous five penalties but Byrne made no mistake this time as he converted the ensuing spot-kick.

Following the breakthrough, Saints began to get on top with Shep Murombedzi shooting wide while Ndlovu was denied by Matt Yates. Eliot Richards was denied by Danny Lewis before Yates thwarted Matt Lowe at the other end.

Hereford had a couple of chances before the break, Lewis was quickly out of his box to clear after Mike Symons raced through and in stoppage-time Roberts was off target at the near post from Richards’ free-kick. Skipper Gareth Dean looked to have doubled his side’s advantage when he headed home but the referee blew for halftime.

But Saints doubled their advantage immediately after the restart when Lowe’s cross was converted by Ndlovu at the far post.

Dean’s long range effort was deflected wide before Saints increased their lead in the 65th minute when Jeffers curled the ball home past Yates.

Hereford went close when Tom Owen-Evans headed straight at Lewis who then did well to keep out Joel Dielna’s shot. Keyon Reffell also went close for the Bulls before Gowling reduced the arrears when he headed home in the final minute from a corner.