HEREFORD manager Josh Gowling praised his players and goalkeeper Brandon Hall following their heroic penalty shootout victory over Aldershot in the FA Trophy.
Loanee defender Luke Haines slotted home the winning penalty while goalkeeper Hall made a penalty save.
Hall was left out of the squad in pre-season but since he’s returned to the side in December the Bulls are now 10 games unbeaten.
“I’m so proud,” Gowling told the club’s website after the win.
“Luke (Haines) to take the last penalty as a defender. There were a few lads who it was squeaky bum time when it was time to take the penalties.
“Luke stepped up well and Brandon (Hall) you know he was not involved much at the start of the season.
“He’s been professional, got on with it and since he’s come back in we haven’t lost. It’s a credit to him and he’s won us the game at the end so you’ve got to give real praise to him to start off with.
“To be honest the reason Bradon wasn’t involved at the start of the season was because last season I felt he didn’t come for crosses.
“So I wanted to bring somebody in that had that aerial dominance. He’s obviously took that on board looked at it, watched the games and done it.
“When he puts on performances that he has done he plays. There the parts of the game that he needs to add and he’s adding them all the time.
“His footwork is what it is and shot stopping, he’s been absolutely fantastic since he’s come back in.
“The confidence of the lads to step-up, I wouldn’t have taken a penalty to be honest. They are different class.”
After taking a fifth minute goal through Michael Bakare the Bulls put in a perfect display before Aldershot levelled with the last kick of the game.
“We looked at them and they had a 29% equalising rate at home so we knew that if we scored early there was a good possibility that we would win the game,”
“So we got out the blocks early, we scored and it went to play. We worked on our press and being hard to break them down and I think we did that really well.
“I would have like to have played more, I just think we could have got the ball down and played and retained the ball better.
“In the second half especially we turned too many balls over which caused our own problems and made us go deep.
“In that side of the game there are areas to improve, of course, but it’s a cup game and we won it at the end of the day.”
Gowling was left frustrated as he wanted to make a change in the dying moments to bring on defender Kennedy Digie before Aldershot equalised.
“I spoke to the referee after and he said he didn’t hear it,”
“They wouldn’t let us make the substitute and we were moaning for ages. They went and scored which didn’t help.
“It’s frustrating as the lads could have been deflated, but it didn’t knock us at all.”