A 56th-MINUTE penalty by hot-shot Neil Grayson was enough to give Hereford United a 1-0 Vauxhall Conference victory over rivals Kidderminster Harriers at Edgar Street yesterday.

Grayson was spot on for his 15th goal of the season in front of 4,671 spectators -- the biggest Conference gate so far this term.

The penalty was given just three minutes after Hereford had defender Ian Rodgerson sent off. He received his marching or-ders for being booked twice within the space of two minutes for fouls.

Although Grayson was Hereford's match-winner they were also grateful to keeper Andy Quy who pulled off a number of impressive saves to keep lowly Harriers at bay. Grayson said: ''We needed three points after last week's defeat at Welling and to get it in a local derby is even better.''

The first half, however, never reached any great heights with Quy stopping two efforts in a minute from Ian Arnold and Paul Webb. Earlier Arnold had had a 'goal' disallowed for offside. Hereford also had their mo-ments during the first period and Harriers defender Adie Smith went within inches of turning a Jamie Pitman cross into his own net.

Brian McGorry also went close but it was not until the second period that the match began to provide a more exciting spectacle.

Martin Weir replaced hamstring victim Smith before Rodgerson made his early exit and Grayson hammered his tenth Conference goal of the campaign. The penalty was awarded when Steve Prindiville brought down Richard Leadbeater, who was making his first appearance since joining Hereford on a month's loan from Wolves.

The nearest Kidderminster went to equalising was when Chris Brindley headed a Neil Doherty cross against the post. Shortly afterwards Grayson had a shot well pushed over by keeper Darren Steadman before Quy denied Wayne Thomas. In the last minute Quy again stepped into the limelight to tip over a shot from substitute Anthony Robinson.

HEREFORD: Quy 8, Rodgerson 6, Fishlock 7, Pitman 6, Brough 6, Walker 7, Hargreaves 7, McGorry 7, Grayson 7, Leadbeater 7 (Cook, 82), Mahon 7. Subs (not used): Warner, McCue.