Boss Paul Buckle was annoyed by the state of the Memorial Stadium pitch as his Bristol Rovers team hit a brick wall in a 0-0 draw against stubborn Hereford.

With Buckle's instructions, sprinklers were turned on during the warm up and at half-time but Buckle still felt the surface was too dry to suit his players.

"I couldn't believe what it was like and it's a lesson learned for the future," said Buckle. "When I was at Torquay I always insisted on a slick surface and I want the same here. There is nothing a visiting side like more than a pitch which slows up the play."

He added: "It sounds like an excuse but it's actually a reason why we didn't get better crosses into the box from the right in the first half.

"The ball kept bobbling up and hitting shins. Players like Jo Kuffour and Chris Zebroski enjoy a fast surface and this one didn't help them one bit."

Hereford boss Jamie Pitman was pleased with his side's effort and said: "We carried on the good work we had put in at Villa Park in the Carling Cup in midweek.

"Villa put out a strong side against us but we held firm until the closing minutes. If they had thrashed us it would have been a blow to confidence but instead it had the opposite effect on us.

"We looked solid against a Premier League side and it was the same story against a Rovers team who are rightly fancied to do well.

"I like my teams to be competitive above all because if you have that as a side, quality tends to shine through.

"This is a result for us to build on. We restricted Rovers to very few chances."

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