AFC Hereford needed a late winner to secure a 2-1 victory over a Horndean side who deserved a point in an entertaining encounter at Fareham’s Henry Cort.
Horndean started brightly and a superb pass from Michael Webb set Stuart Whyte free on the right but Hereford keeper Matt Holder saved his angled shot well with his legs.
After Whyte had again gone close with a header Hereford broke and Anthony Baker nodded just over the bar.
Both teams were playing neat football on a tricky surface but Horndean went ahead from a fortunate strike.
They broke down the left flank and Adam Chant’s cross deceived Holder and flew into the net.
Hereford were behind for only two minutes, though. Paul Netting lost his marker and rose unchallenged to nod in Josh Rance’s cross.
Netting was then denied by Horndean keeper Paul Charlton as Hereford began to dominate.
Horndean had a lucky escape midway through the half. Baker charged down Charlton’s clearance and netted, only for play to be brought back for a handball.
Chant should have grabbed his second on 25 minutes. He raced on to Wayne Fisher’s long ball over the top but shot early and well off target.
As play swung to the other end, Charlton denied Netting again, this time with his legs.
Horndean produced the first real chance of the second half on the hour mark. Right-back Solomon Coolio made ground down the wing. His perfectly-flighted cross reached Ashley Jones who directed his header a foot over the bar.
Baker found space in the box for Hereford but fired wide. And Horndean defender Andy Duffin deflected the ball over his own crossbar from close range as the home side pressed for a winner.
With five minutes left, a scramble in the Horndean box ended with a goalline clearance. But Hereford snatched a winner in the final minute.
Steve Philbrick chased the ball into the box and, after an attempted clearance ricocheted off him, he was able to fire the ball into the net.
AFC HEREFORD 2 (Netting, Philbrick)
HORNDEAN UNITED 1 (Chant)