A FEEBLE defensive display saw United tumble to their fourth defeat in five outings in the Vauxhall Conference at Slough on Saturday.

Missing first-choice centre-backs John Brough and Richard Walker through injury, United director of football Graham Turner re-shuffled his formation with Gavin Mahon and Ian Rodgerson moving from their customary, respective midfield and right-back positions to form a three-man defence with veteran Trevor Matthew-son.

Wing-backs Rob Warner and Murray Fishlock pushed forward to support midfielders Brian McGorry and Chris Hargreaves, with Tony Agana slotting in just behind the front two of Neil Grayson and Richard Leadbeater. But the players failed to adapt to the system and never offered much threat to a Slough side unbeaten at Wexham Park since the beginning of November. Only when they were three goals adrift did United provide any sustained pressure and even then they failed to create much in the way of clear cut openings.

The game started evenly enough with most of the initial jousting confined to midfield before the Rebels profited from their first real chance after 13 minutes.

Veteran Gary Brazil cleverly made space for himself on the left-hand side of the Hereford penalty area and his low cross eluded the entire defence for Gary Abbott to sidefoot past the helpless Andy Quy at the far post.

Three minutes later United had their best chance to level when, following a corner, Fishlock's centre was headed firmly goalwards by Leadbeater. Home goalkeeper Paul Wilkerson, who looked vulnerable all afternoon but was put under little pressure, blocked the ball with his legs as far as Agana who volleyed high, wide and not very handsome.

Slough's second goal on 39 minutes had an element of farce about it.

Terry Angus headed the ball forward towards Danny Bolt who was running back from an offside position. Although the ball ran straight past the Slough forward, the officials deemed him not to be interfering with play and Brazil ran through to cross for Abbott to blast home his second.

Four minutes into the second half and it was truly all over.

Brazil broke down the left and crossed to the far post for ex-Stevenage striker Corey Browne to make it 3-0.

In the last five minutes Agana struck a fine left-foot volley which thudded against an upright and substitute Ian Foster, when clean through, was foiled by Wilkerson, but ultimately United got as much from the game as they deserved.

Grayson received a second-half yellow card for a foul on Slough man-of-the-match Matthew Stowell.

Hereford: Quy, Rodgerson, Fishlock, Agana, Warner, Matthewson, Hargreaves, McGorry, Grayson, Leadbeather (sub Foster 77 mins), Mahon. Subs not used: Pitman, McCue.

Attendance: 1,056.