Hereford managed to keep their dream of an FA Umbro Trophy final appearance alive at Edgar Street on Tuesday - but only just, writes RICHARD PRIME.

After being outplayed for almost all of the 120 minutes, remarkably, considering their appalling record from the penalty spot this season, United succeeded in getting through the spot-kick shoot-out with scarcely a blemish.

The Bulls had fought their way into the game after a slow start and Tony James and John Snape went close with long range efforts before the tie finally saw a goal in first half injury time.

Ian Rodgerson was felled in the penalty area by John Hardiker and Bulls' top scorer Gavin Williams stepped up to drive a perfectly-struck spot-kick into the corner of Mark Smith's net.

This goal, however, inspired Morecambe more than United and only fine work by goalkeeper Scott Cooksey kept the Bulls in the hunt until the 71st minute when the former Shrewsbury stopper had no chance with Stewart Drummond's excellent, low 20-yard drive.

Not even the introduction of Steve Bull could improve United's fortunes. And there was a further lucky let off when Cooksey fumbled a Drummond drive on to the cross bar before grabbing the loose ball as part-time Morecambe finished considerably the stronger.

But matters took a downward turn for the visitors right from start of the shoot-out.

Phil Eastwood, who had replaced Hardiker in the last minute of extra time, presumably because of his expertise from the spot, hit the first penalty against a post.

Williams then put Hereford ahead and the Bulls advantage was further secured when Cooksey saved Andy Fensome's kick. Tony James netted easily for Hereford and when Mark Quayle missed the target with Morecambe's third kick, the home quarter-final tie with Burton took a huge step closer.

James Wall's miss and, finally, a success for Drummond, meant that university student Jimmy Quiggin had to score to send Hereford through. The youngster's firm drive beat Smith to spark off jubilant celebrations among the Hereford team and fans.

HEREFORD: Cooksey, Clarke, Sturgess, Robinson, James, Wall, Quiggin, Snape, Elmes, Williams, Rodgerson (Bull 77 mins). Subs not used: Baker, Shirley, Gardiner, Giddings.

MORECAMBE: Smith, Fensome, Lyons, McKearney, Hardiker (Eastwood 119 mins), Murphy, Lee, Drummond, Quayle, Norman, Thompson (Black, 79 mins (Hunter 102 mins)). Subs not used: Rigoglioso, Banks.

Referee: A Penn (Kingswinford).

Attendance: 1,372