Hereford'S barren run continued at Doncaster in the Nationwide Conference on Saturday.

United, who have lost nine of their last 12 games, were never in the hunt at Belle Vue and, after being overwhelmed during a poor first half, they were lucky that the margin of victory was not even more emphatic.

Hereford welcomed back Ian Wright after illness and included Ian Rodgerson in place of the injured Keith Downing.

There was a debut for on-loan striker Christian Roberts, but the Cardiff City youngster had little scope to show what he can do, although he squandered a great chance to level the scores when Paul Parry's cross left him one-on-one with goalkeeper Andy Woods a couple of minutes before the break.

But it would hardly have been a fair reflection if United had reached the break on level terms after Rovers had carved out opening after opening.

Ironically, however, there was more than a touch of misfortune, from United's point of view, about the one opportunity that they did convert after 13 minutes.

Roberts was clearly the victim of a two-footed challenge in midfield but Walsall referee Mark Cooper waved play on and Matt Caudwell slipped a pass through for Ian Duerden to open the scoring.

Only a fine tackle by Wright prevented Scott Maxfield from extending the lead after 24 minutes, and then Andy Quy was forced into acrobatic action, tipping over a powerful 30-yarder from full-back Simon Shaw.

Duerden then headed a Shaw free-kick on to the bar and over and Jamie Barnwell missed a glorious chance to mark his debut with a goal. With his first touch of the ball, he headed another Shaw free-kick over from a great position, shortly after replacing the injured Glenn Kirkwood.

United had further cause to feel aggrieved, though, when the second goal did finally arrive four minutes after the break.

Duerden and Stuart Evans chased a long ball from Steve Nicol and referee Cooper missed a discreet tap on Evans' ankle which left him floundering on the ground and the Rovers striker clean through on Quy. Evans was cautioned for his protest.

Five minutes later and the game was completely out of reach. Caudwell was brought down by Chris Lane on the edge of the penalty area and skipper Dave Penney despatched the spot-kick into the corner of the net. Lane was yellow-carded for the foul.

United reduced arrears on 65 minutes when Wright flicked on a Mark Taylor corner for Steve Cowe to open his Confer-ence account. But even after this Rovers had the best chance to score when substitute Matt Cross cleared a Duerden effort off the line after a Caudwell pass gave the striker his hat- trick opportunity.

Hereford: Quy, Lane (Williams 78 mins), Parry, Evans, Wright, James (Cook 40 mins), Rodgerson, Taylor, Roberts, Cowe, Dennison (Cross 60 mins).