Hereford'S excellent unbeaten start to the Nationwide Conference season came to a close at one of their long-standing bogey grounds.

The Bulls have won just once in 17 visits to Belle Vue in a run dating back 28 years, and have suffered 13 defeats there during the same period.

And United might well claim that lady luck was not smiling down on them on Saturday when they had a clear penalty decision waved away by Wolverhampton referee Steve Castle and saw a powerful second-half shot from the impressive Kerry Giddings thud against an upright.

Hereford were forced to make only their second team change of the season when Ian Rodgerson failed to shake off a calf injury sustained in the previous Tuesday's win at Nuneaton and withdrew to be replaced by Paul Parry.

Rovers on the other hand were able to welcome back summer signing Carl Alford after injury.

The first hint that it might not be Hereford's day came after nine minutes when Tony James brought down Kevin McIntyre on the edge of the penalty area and received a yellow card.

Scott Cooksey comfortably saved Mark Atkins' free-kick but was helpless eight minutes later when Alford provided the cross for Neil Campbell to head home at the far post.

Rovers continued to have the better of the first-half action but the game's potential turning point came three minutes before the break.

Phil Robinson provided a perceptive through-ball for Giddings who raced into the penalty area, only to be upended by Mark Barnard - a clear penalty to everybody on the ground except referee Castle who waved aside United appeals.

Giddings, who provided a constant threat to the Rovers defence, was finally rewarded for his endeavours eight minutes into the second period.

Home goalkeeper Andy Warrington flapped a Paul Parry corner to the edge of the box where Giddings was waiting to thread a left-foot shot through a crowd of players into the net.

United were back on terms for just nine minutes, however, as skipper Ian Wright, in attempting to make a clearance, sliced the ball on to his own cross-bar. The ball fell conveniently for Campbell to rifle the ball past Cooksey from close range.

Hereford were by no means finished, though, and, after substitute Matt Gardiner had seen an effort hacked off the line, Giddings was once again left cursing his luck when a fine shot from the edge of the area thudded against a post and bounced to safety.

Chris Lane and John Snape were also cautioned for fouls on a day that Hereford will remember with little pleasure.

Hereford: Cooksey, Lane, Clarke (Gardiner 53 mins), Robinson, Wright, James, Parry, Snape, Giddings, Williams, McIndoe (Elmes 78 mins). Subs not used: Hanson, Wall, Baker.

Doncaster: Warrington, Walling (Penney 55 mins), Shaw, Atkins, Hawkins, Barnard, Paterson, Caudwell (Kelly 78 mins), Campbell, Alford (Halliday 33 mins), McIntyre. Subs not used: Richardson, Duerden.

Referee: Steve Castle (Wolver-hampton).

Attendance: 2,380.