Hereford United extended their unbeaten run to six games with an impressive victory at Northwich Victoria's historic Drill Field ground on Saturday.

The Bulls' defence, which has leaked goals on a regular basis over the last couple of years, has now taken on an unaccustomed solidity, racking up an impressive 500 minutes without conceding a goal.

''The key to our recent success has been the clean sheets,'' said director of football Graham Turner. ''That was our downfall earlier in the season.''

Saturday's latest shut-out was achieved with two changes in the back four, Murray Fishlock and Ian Rodgerson, who both turned in outstanding displays, returning after injury in place of Richard Walker, suspended, and Rob Warner, moved to the substitutes' bench.

Skipper Brian McGorry also returned to midfield after suspension and capped his usual energetic midfield display by opening his goal account for the season. He latched on to a Rodgerson pass in the 81st minute and cleverly beat a defender on the edge of the box before powering a shot past Dean Greygoose in the home goal.

McGorry's goal clinched a victory which had never looked in serious doubt from the moment that Richard Leadbeater shot United in front a minute before the interval. The goal was a virtual replay of United's equalising goal at Colchester in the FA Cup. After Chris Hargreaves was brought down on the edge of the box, the home defence was caught cold when Fishlock slipped the ball to McGorry whose quick pass was pushed past Greygoose by Leadbeater.

United might already have been in front as Fishlock's 25-yarder clipped the cross-bar on the way over after 19 minutes.

John Brough was also out of luck four minutes into the second half when his thunderous shot following a McGorry corner also thudded against the bar and went over.

Gary Cook, preferred to Tony Agana in attack, was another denied by the woodwork when his flying header from a Chris Hargreaves cross in the 78th minute hit the post. The only downside to the match was a booking for Jamie Pitman which will cost him a game's suspension in a couple of weeks' time.

He was joined in the referee's notebook by McGorry and Trevor Matthewson as well as Northwich's Wes Simpson and Neil Illman, who gave a Premiership quality display of petulance, if not skill, throughout the match.

Hereford: Quy, Rodgerson, Fishlock, Pitman, Brough, Matthewson, Hargreaves, McGorry, Cook, Leadbeater (sub Agana 56 mins), Mahon. Subs not used: Warner and Williams.

Attendance: 1,002.