Hereford FC proved the magic of the FA Cup is still alive by holding Fleetwood Town to a draw but skipper Nathan Pond proved the spirit is also there as he sent a young Bulls fan home with a festive gift.
While Fleetwood might have handed their Southern Premier Division opponents an early Christmas present of a FA Cup second round replay Pond still took time out of his short trip home to spread some festive cheer.
After Saturday’s 1-1 draw, the Town skipper chatted to young Bulls fan Kieran Phillips after they both stopped for a quick refreshment break on their respective journeys home.
Fresh after playing 90 minutes at Highbury the 32-year-old, who has risen from non-league through six promotions with Town, showed he has not forgotten his roots.
He delved into his own pocket at the Starbucks on Fleetwood Road to send Kieran on the three-hour drive back to Hereford with a large coffee.
Kieran’s dad, Chris Phillips, and his son were two of the 977 Hereford fans that had flocked to Fleetwood to watch Calvin Dinsley send the Bulls on their way to a possible cup shock.
It was no Ronnie Radford effort from that famous 1972 giantkilling of Newcastle United but the 23rd minute strike will still go down in history.
Devante Cole popped up with a somewhat fortuitous effort just six minutes later though to stop Uwe Rosler’s men falling to a team 89 places below them in the football pyramid.
Chris Phillips Tweeted his thanks to Pond but warned the Bulls will be no pushover again in the replay at Edgar Street.
He wrote: “He bought my son a Starbucks on our way home to Hereford.
“Top guy but we will make a game of it at Edgar Street Nathan. Nice chap.”
The date for the replay is yet to be set.
If the game is not chosen to be screened on TV it will take place on Tuesday, December 12.
However, it is highly likely the game will be chosen by the TV bosses and could take place on either Wednesday, December 13 or Thursday, December 14.
The club are expecting to find out early next week.
Firstly Town go into the hat with Hereford for the draw on Monday as ball number 63 with the chance of a lucrative glamour tie against one of the big boys up for grabs as the Premier League and Championship clubs enter the competition for the first time.
Speaking before the game Pond was hopeful of earning a glamour tie against a Premier League side in the third round with the club only reaching that stage twice in their history.
Pond featured for Town in the first game, a 5-1 defeat to then Championship club Blackpool in 2012, then twice last season as Championship club Bristol City needed a replay at Highbury to get the better of Uwe Rosler’s side.
And Pond knows exactly how Hereford’s players feel, given he was once in a similar boat with Fleetwood.
He told the BBC: “The FA Cup is very important (to the club).
“When I was in non-league with Fleetwood and we had to go through the qualifying rounds your dream is get to the first round and play a local league team.
“When you are Football League and you start in the first round the first thing on your mind is get to the third round.
“Since I’ve been here we have never faced a Premier League team, time is running out on my career so I’d like to get Man City away because I’m a Man City fan.
“But I don’t know whether that would be a good experience or a nightmare the way they are playing at the moment!”