St Neots Town unable to add their name to the list of cup shocks at Hereford
- Credit: DAVID RICHARDSON/RICH IN VIDEO
St Neots Town put on a brave show but their FA Trophy run has ended with a 3-0 defeat away to Hereford in round two.
It was their best run in the competition but two early goals from the National League North side gave them a mountain to climb and a third, midway through the second half was the final nail in the coffin.
Manager Barry Corr was forced to take an under-strength side, with Luke Chadwick and Dequane Wilson-Braithwaite both serving suspensions and Jake Battersby and Myles Cowling injured, and he included three U18 players on the substitutes bench.
Into the side came Ben Stokes for his first start for more than a year, with Louis Chadwick returning in goal.
Hereford's famous Edgar Street ground has seen plenty of cup shocks in the past, most notably that Ronnie Radford goal against Newcastle United, and it almost saw another after just 16 seconds, Ryan Robbins effort, in what was his final game for the club, rebounded off a post and out.
And in an attempt to maintain their positive start the visitors had a Leon Lobjoit effort pushed for a corner by home custodian Brandon Hall.
However, the Bulls, who play two levels higher than Saints and are full-time, recovered from that early shock and began to dictate the pattern of play.
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They took the lead on16 minutes with a Jamie Grimes header from a corner and five minutes later a 30-yard shot from Kyle Finn was deflected past the despairing Chadwick.
St Neots rallied before the break with Lobjoit a constant threat.
Twice he sent free kicks narrowly wide of their target but despite this and a spirited start to the second period, St Neots failed to get any reward.
And any hopes of a comeback were dashed after 66 minutes when Lennell John-Lewis hit another deflected shot past the stranded Chadwick.
The match continued to be competitive but without any further goals, leaving Saints to turn their attentions back to the Southern League.
St Neots Town: Chadwick, Bennett, Smith, Goode, Dickens, Corr, Stokes, Watkins, Robbins, Lobjoit, Amu
Subs (not used): Smalley, Roe, Martin.
Booked: Watkins 70
Hereford: Hall, Hodgkiss, Grimes, Camwell, Owen-Evans, Finn, John-Lewis (Whittingham 76), McQuilkin, Lloyd (Coke 80), Klukowski (Raison 85), Jones.
Goals: Grimes 16, Finn 21, John-Lewis 66
Subs (not used): White, Nabi.
Booked: Klukowski 39, Owen-Evans 68
Referee: Jonathan Maskrey (Stoke-on-Trent)