Hereford'S Sky TV specialist Rob Elmes came up with the goods again in Saturday's FA Umbro Trophy quarter-final tie at Edgar Street.

Elmes, who scored United's solitary goal when the cameras came to Hereford for last season's FA Cup second round tie with Hartlepool United, repeated the trick when he headed home Matt Clarke's excellent cross after eight minutes.

"This one was probably a better header," said Elmes. "But it was an important for us to get a good start as we've been putting ourselves under pressure this season, particularly at Edgar Street, by not getting early goals and then falling behind."

Elmes shared some of his starring role on Saturday with goalkeeper Scott Cooksey who came to United's rescue on 34 minutes when Wirral referee Steve Brand awarded an unexpected Burton penalty-kick.

The ball seemed to be played against player-coach Phil Robinson's hand by Christian Moore but Brand had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

But Cooksey, who had received a few words of advice from Robinson, redeemed the situation by diving to his left and grasping Moore's poorly-struck spot-kick.

Probably the only Hereford player whose memory of the day will be soured was full-back Paul Sturgess who was sent off eight minutes from time for a second bookable offence.

Hereford consequently had to endure rather more pressure than they would have hoped during the closing stages of the game but it would have been rough justice if they had failed to clinch their first semi-final spot in this competition for 30 years.

The Bulls had much the better of play and carved out several chances, particularly in the early stages through Robinson and Jimmy Quiggin, but Gavin Williams missed the game's best opening, lifting his 70th minute shot over the bar after a typically quicksilver run had taken him through the Brewers defence.

But Burton went home feeling somewhat aggrieved that referee Brand had not pointed to the spot a second time when most on the ground, including both managers, felt that Clarke had impeded Dale Anderson in the penalty area 14 minutes from time.

This was Hereford's biggest scare although Cooksey had to be alert to tip a cross-cum-shot from substitute David Holmes over the bar in the 85th minute.

"We don't mind who we get in the semi-finals," said man-of-the-match Clarke afterwards. "We've got to fancy ourselves against anyone over two legs."

Hereford: Cooksey, Clarke, Sturgess, Robinson, Wright, James, Quiggin, Snape, Elmes, Williams, Rodgerson (Giddings 78 mins). Subs not used: Wall, Baker, Bull, Parry.

Burton: Duke, Davies, Henshaw, Glasser, Rennie (Holmes 85 mins), Kavanagh, Stride, Anderson, Moore (Starbuck 72 mins), Lyons, Webster. Subs not used: Garner, Crosby, Goodwin.

Referee: S Brand (Wirrall).

Attendance: 3,238.