A STRIKE either side of the interval by marksman Paul Fewings clinched Hereford United's revenge victory over Dover Athletic at Edgar Street and dented the Kent club's Nationwide Conference title hopes.

After Saturday's defeat Dover, who beat United 2-0 in September, dropped from fourth to fifth position, while the Bulls climbed three places into ninth spot and extended their unbeaten league run to seven matches.

Fewings, who is topping Hereford's scoring list this season, boosted his Conference goal tally to 13 and his total in league and cup to 15. On Saturday he and fellow striker Leroy May certainly proved a troublesome duo for Dover's defence.

May distributed the ball well in the air and on the ground and earned a pat on the back from United director of football Graham Turner who said: "Leroy has trained hard during the last six weeks and has looked a different player. He deserved a goal himself. "


Turner's overall verdict was: "We played well in the first half and created enough chances to have built up a much bigger lead. After we had gone two up, though, we felt it was too easy and gave Dover the chance to show why they are high up in the table."

United's loan players, keeper Scott Cooksey, from Shrewsbury Town, and central defender Tom White, from Bristol Rovers, both gave good accounts of themselves on their home debuts.

Neither have been on the losing side while in United's colours, but Cooksey, after being virtually a spectator in the first half, made three fine saves to keep his goal intact in the last half-hour. He said: "That's my job. The players in front of me cleared the way and Dover had only three strikes on goal."


White was always looking to play a constructive pass out of defence and he formed an effective central defensive partnership with skipper Ian Wright. They were well supported by full-backs Chris Lane and Tony James. In the first period Dover's only clear-cut chance fell to Steve Brown but he hung his head in shame as he completely failed to connect with the goal at his mercy.

At the other end Mark Taylor and Fewings fired shots into Paul Hyde's hands, May headed just wide from Ian Rodgerson's cross, while Paul Parry twice directed shots across the face of the goal.

Fewings then netted only to have his effort disallowed before he broke the deadlock in the 45th minute. He latched on to a May flick from Lane's throw-in, surged into Dover's penalty area and fired a 12-yard drive out of Hyde's reach. Nine minutes after the break Fewings struck again. Lane crossed for May to get in a header which Hyde could only parry away and Fewings closed in to knock the ball over the line from close range.

Cooksey then showed his prowess with excellent saves from Matt Carruthers, substitute Dave Morrison and Neil Le Behan, while in the closing stages Wright cleared Jimmy Strouts' header off the line.

Hereford United: Cooksey, Lane, Wright, White, James, Rodgerson, Snape, Taylor, Parry (Williams 80 min), Fewings, May. Substitutes not used: Sturgess, Quy, Clarke, Elmes.

Dover Athletic: Hyde, Browne, Norman, Strouts, Shearer, Virgo (Morrison 46 min), Clarke, Carruthers, Vansittart, Brown (Hynes 83 min), Le Bihan. Substitutes not used: Hudson, Daniels.

Referee: Mr G Turner (Chesterfield).

Attendance: 2,003.