Hereford missed the badly needed opportunity to bounce back from their FA Trophy disaster at Hitchin when they went down at Drill Field on Saturday.

United failed to capitalise on their territorial domination and, although they controlled play in two-thirds of the pitch for most of the game, their shortcomings in attack were again clear for all to see.

The signing on Friday of Robbie Dennison from Hednesford at least provided a little extra quality in the Hereford midfield and it was the former Northern Ireland international who had the best chance to equalise four minutes from time. He sent in a low drive from 10 yards which Dean Greygoose did well to push round a post.

The sight of his old Wolves colleague also inspired player-coach Keith Downing whose tigerish midfield battling again singled him out as Hereford's top performer.

Hereford made four changes following the defeat at Hitchin with a first appearance for Dennison and recalls for Matt Clarke, Mark Druce and goalkeeper Andy Quy.

Quy was quickly in the action, diving to push Neil Illman's volley from a Stuart Terry cross round the post after just two minutes play.

From the resulting corner, with the United defence again floundering, Paul Tait glanced Dean Vicary's centre into the net for the decisive goal.

Quy was in action again soon afterwards when he had to dive to prevent Kevin Collins putting through his own goal as Val Owen burst through.

But after these early traumas, the Hereford defence settled down and most of the action took place in the Northwich half of the field.

Dennison looked the most likely Hereford player to score when two openings came his way.

Richard Leadbeater's pass sent him wider than he would have wished and his shot went past the post. Then Wes Simpson got back well to block when a goal looked certain.

The same pattern of play continued after the break but Hereford again failed to turn their dominance into clear-cut openings.

Mark Taylor sent a shot wide after good work by Ian Rodgerson and then the ex-Shrewsbury man failed to bring the ball under control when Leadbeater's flick put him through.

When Taylor did finally get a shot on target after a good free-kick move by Downing and Rodgerson, his effort was directed straight at Greygoose who had no difficulty in saving.

Ian Wright and Downing received yellow cards for fouls.

Hereford: Quy, Clarke, Collins, Downing, Wright, Evans, Druce (sub Cook 71 mins), Taylor, Leadbeater, Rodgerson, Dennison. Subs not used: Snape and Lane.