Hereford'S supporters have not had much to shout about this season but they were treated to three splendid second-half goals by Ian Wright, Steve Cowe and Gavin Williams as the Bulls completed their home programme in the Nationwide Conference with their first ever win over Rushden.

The three previous matches between the clubs had ended in a Rushden win and two draws.

Diamonds, title challengers for most of the season, came to Edgar Street with the Conference championship already decided in Cheltenham Town's favour. But, when leading 1-0 at half-time, they looked on course to claim a consolation runners-up place.

In the first half they were quicker into the tackle than United - at times far too zealously, resulting in yellow cards for Mark Cooper and Miguel De Souza - and rarely gave the home attack a sight of goal.

In the second minute Mark Taylor blocked a header from De Souza on the line. After that, however, Cooper, Jim Rodwell, Mike McElh-atton and Darren Collins all failed to hit the target from good positions, while Andy Quy did well to tip a Cooper header over the bar. The visitors eventually snatched the lead well into first-half injury time. Collins crossed from the left for Cooper to net with a close-range header.

In the 60th minute, however, central defender Ian Wright, the Bulls' leading scorer this season, changed the direction of the game. He moved into Diamonds' goalmouth for Taylor's free-kick and powered a header well out of keeper Andy Collett's reach for his eighth goal of the campaign.

Five minutes later there did not seem too much threat to Rushden's goal when Cowe gained possession 25-yards out on United's left flank. But the striker stunned the visitors with a quick turn before rifling a ferocious shot into the top far corner of the net.

By now United were full of confidence and in the 81st minute Gavin Williams snapped up a goal he will long remember. He robbed Rodwell by sheer tenacity and then embarked on a 40-yard run. The obvious option looked to be a pass to Paul Parry but, as Rushden defenders retreated, he kept going and picked his spot perfectly to score with a low, left-footed drive.

With three minutes left Collins was left unmarked at the far post and reduced arrears with a looping header from substitute Jon Brady's centre.

United director of football Graham Turner said: "We did not pass the ball about enough in the first half and I thought a few of our players were hiding. But it was an outstanding second-half performance and I doubt whether Rushden could have played better even if they had still been in the title reckoning."

Hereford: Quy, James, Evans, Wright, Rodgerson, Taylor, Snape, Dennison, Parry, Cowe, Williams. Subs not used: Cross, Jones, Dyer.