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Stanley goal hero Padraig Amond admitted that he thought Hereford keeper Dave Cornell was going to continually thwart him on Saturday.

NO WAY THROUGH: Padraig Amond tries his backheel

Stanley goal hero Padraig Amond admitted that he thought Hereford keeper Dave Cornell was going to continually thwart him on Saturday.

The 23-year-old was through one-on-one with the stopper who denied him; his clever back-heel trick was kept out and his turn and shot was halted by Cornell.

"After the backheel I said to the keeper ‘let one in for me’ as he just seemed to be there every time I shot," said the Stanley striker.

"I did think I was never going to get one as I could have had four goals – he made some great saves."

But Cornell could do nothing about Amond’s winner five minutes from time which secured back-to-back home wins for Paul Cook’s side.

"It’s always nice to score late on especially the winner," continued Amond.

"We seem to like late goals under the new gaffer but it shows our fitness and energy and the way we don’t want to just play the season out.

"There is still a lot to play for in terms of players’ contracts, getting wins for the gaffer and the fans and in terms of other teams. We are professional and we certainly will do our best until the end."

The mid-table Reds are in a secure position and faced the rock-bottom Bulls who desperately needed the three points.

Not so long ago the two sides were battling in the Conference and the Bulls stole a march on the Reds going into League One.

But it looks like two from Barnet, Macclesfield and Hereford will face the return to non-league football after Amond piled on the pressure.

The Reds’ fans certainly enjoyed the victory as Amond admits he feels Cook’s policy of two out-and-out wingers in Bobby Grant and Jamie Devitt and himself up front is paying off.

"I love it up front and I think that has helped me since the gaffer has come in," said Amond, after Cook replaced John Coleman in January.

"I was playing as a winger earlier in the season and I certainly wouldn’t like to be a striker getting on the end of my crosses!

"But to have Jamie and Bobby firing in the crosses is a dream for me.

"It’s exciting football, we are creating a lot of chances and we’re passing the ball well.

"We are probably a little too open at the back but that’s the way the gaffer wants to play and all the lads are enjoying it."

Everton loan defender Toto Nsiala came back into the side after his three-game ban and he was superb at the back alongside Peter Murphy – while also playing the accurate long ball forward for Amond to head home his late winner.

"I didn’t think Toto had it in him!" said Amond. "But it was a great ball in, the defence left it, the keeper hesitated and I was there.

"That’s nine goals for the season now. Peter Murphy confirmed that was definitely mine after a few dubious ones."

How Stanley didn’t lead in the first half was down to Cornell and the woodwork.

Amond ran through one-on-one after a long ball over the top but the Bulls keeper came out and kept him out with his legs.

Grant was on hand for the follow-up but his effort rattled the crossbar.

Cornell then kept out Grant’s 20-yard blast when he and Devitt broke quickly and then the stopper collected a point-blank header which looked a certain goal for Scunthorpe loanee Grant. Hereford’s problems are clear – their lack of goals – although frontman Will Evans did have an effort tipped over by the otherwise quiet Ian Dunbavin in the first half.

Grant has been superb since his return to the Crown Ground in March and he broke the deadlock two minutes after the restart. The 21-year-old got the ball 25 yards out, ran forward and saw space to find the bottom corner of the net for his second goal of his loan spell.

Bulls boss Richard O’Kelly needed to do something and a double substiution of his front pair seemed to give the visitors a new impetus and a deflected free kick from Evans levelled the scores in the 57th minute.

Either side could have grabbed a winner – Charlie Barnett was a livewire for the Reds and kept creating opportunities, Grant remained a threat while Devitt chipped just wide.

At the other end the Bulls forced a succession of corners but couldn’t find a way through.

When Grant handled the ball into the net – and was booked for it – it looked like Stanley’s chance had gone until another late show from the Reds kept Hereford at the bottom and moved them up a place to 12th.

"If you keep creating chances, keep having the belief then you will eventually get your rewards and we did on Monday," said assistant Leam Richardson.

"We always offer a threat and Bobby’s got the class to score. He keeps telling me he will get two or three in one game but he is working really hard for us.

"And Podge (Padraig) deserved his late goal for his tireless work throughout the game. He always tells me he will score too so it’s nice when it comes off."

 

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