Football: Avenger Grayson

Hereford United 2 Grayson 62, pen 73 Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Storer 66 Attendance: 5,787
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The Independent Online
REVENGE, as any Mafiosi will tell you, is a dish best eaten cold. Hereford have had to wait just over six months to get their own back on the side who cast them into the depths of the Conference by forcing a 1-1 draw at Edgar Street on the last day of the season.

Memories of that fateful day almost came back to haunt them when the goalkeeper Andy deBont handed Brighton an equaliser - many still blame him for the Brighton goal that cost them their League place in May. But this was the FA Cup and the romantic element had been played out 12 minutes before when he saved Paul McDonald's 49th-minute penalty.

Hereford had edged the first half and only Nicky Rust's crossbar had denied them a due reward when Garry Cook beat the keeper with a header. A first-half injury to the skipper Ian Rodgerson forced alterations in the home tactics after the break and the addition of Jim McCue's Glaswegian aggression was unsettling for Brighton's defence.

No one could have blamed Hereford for feeling the fates were still against them when Richard Walker's challenge on Craig Maskell in the 49th minute cost them a penalty. Brighton, who had gone more than eight hours without scoring, gave McDonald the job of rectifying matters but deBont read the kicker's intentions and dived to push the ball to safety.

A relieved Hereford took heart and seven minutes later Jamie Pitman back-heeled Murray Fishlock's cross into Neil Grayson's path for the striker to side-step Rust and stroke the ball home. Six minutes later deBont chose to play villain when he flailed at McDonald's corner only to see Stuart Storer's volley fly past him into the net.

But 17 minutes from time Ian Foster pierced the visitors' defence only to be hauled back by Paul Smith. Grayson confidently smacked the penalty past Rust - both his goals scored at the same end as Ronnie Radford's goal that beat Newcastle 25 years ago. The romance of the Cup notwithstanding the Hereford boss Graham Turner pointed out that his side were still in the Conference and Brighton were still in the League.

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