Turner relieved after Conference play-off drama

May 20, 2006

Jubilant Hereford manager Graham Turner expressed his relief after his side banished their play-off hoodoo to clinch promotion at the third time of asking with a thrilling 3-2 win over Halifax in the Conference play-off final.

The Bulls suffered play-off heartache in each of the last two seasons after crashing out in the semi-final stages in 2004 and 2005 against Aldershot and Stevenage respectively.

Turner's side ended their nine-year exile from the Football League after staging a memorable comeback at Leicester's Walkers Stadium.

Chris Wilder's spirited Halifax side led twice through goals from Lewis Killeen and John Grant but were pegged back as strikes by Andy Williams and Guy Ipoua sent the game into a tense period of extra time.

Former Wolves trainee Ryan Green then took centre stage to fire a dramatic winner and spark a joyous promotion party.

'It's been a long hard nine years to get back in the Football League and the overwhelming feeling at the moment is one of relief,'said Turner, who has been in charge at Edgar Street since August 1995.

'We've been so close on many occasions and it's been heartbreaking not to go up before.

'To come back from the two goals that they scored just shows the character in the side.

'I thought it was a cracking game with some cracking goals and there's also the excitement and joy of the moment. We've brought nearly 10,000 fans here and they've enjoyed every minute it.'

Turner also took the time to pay homage to his Halifax counterpart, as he added: 'Chris has done a great job and a lot of credit has to go to them for the part they have played in the game.

'They looked better for long periods but that's all academic now.

'We are in the Football League and that is all that matters now. But it's our day today and it will be Halifax's day another day.'

Wilder said: 'We've given it a go and there are a lot of things for us to be proud of.

'We said before the game that we needed to play well and I think we did that but we just didn't get the luck and that's not to take anything away from Hereford.

'Maybe it was just their day today.

'We've gone for the game and fair play to them for going on and winning it.'