Swan strikes to earn Waterlooville the title

Brett Poate

Defenders provide a big boost for Moneyfields

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Waterlooville wrapped up the premier division title with a 1-1 draw but were made to work hard against a battling AFC Hereford that played with a man short for 25 minutes.

Calvin Swan’s leveller proved crucial for Waterlooville, who missed a late penalty.

Waterlooville had an early scare, Frankie Scott’s defence-splitting pass was met first time by Jim Atkin but his effort found the side netting.

The title-hopefuls settled after that and Wade Johnson launched an acrobatic effort well off target.

But a defensive error nearly gifted Hereford the opener soon after. Jed McKie’s shot from Atkin’s cut back was destined for goal before being deflected out for a corner.

Jimmy Hird flashed a volley narrowly wide as Waterlooville looked to step up a gear. And they should have been ahead on the half-hour mark.

Sam Godfrey looked offside as a Reggie Plumbley charge-down fell to him in the box but he was allowed to shoot, only for his drive to clear the crossbar.

Hereford were defending doggedly and they still posed a threat on the counter, with Steve Philbrick unable to keep his effort down after more good work by Atkin.

Hereford’s role as would-be party-poopers was confirmed when they went ahead on 50 minutes. McKie’s fine run ended with a low shot that hit the hand of a grounded Craig Man and Philbrick buried the resultant spot-kick.

Waterlooville were close to levelling on the hour, Hird’s free-kick was deflected by a defender on to the bar and over for a corner.

Hereford were dealt a blow when they were reduced to 10 men because of an injury. Danny Parkinson broke down in only his second match back after more than a year out with a serious knee injury.

Waterlooville could sense a goal coming but Hereford keeper Carl Watson dived full-length to deny Hird and Danny Wilkes then slipped the ball past the post when clean through.

But the equaliser did come with 15 minutes left and from an unlikely source. Defender Swan received the ball 25 yards from goal and he rifled a shot past Watson.

The 10 men of Hereford were close to regaining the lead soon after as Philbrick floated a free-kick into the box and McKie should have hit the target with his header.

Waterlooville were given the chance to win it late on when Man was brought down in the box but Watson brilliantly kept out Johnson’s spot-kick to earn his side a point.

Portsmouth Saturday League premier division

AFC HEREFORD 1 (Philbrick - pen)