Hereford United's shell-shocked players could not hide their disappointment after they slumped to a shock 4-1 defeat to Forest Green Rovers in Saturday's FA Umbro Trophy semi-final second leg at Edgar Street.

The Bulls who had not lost a game by more than the odd goal all season, collapsed against their struggling Gloucestershire rivals and missed out on the chance of a first-ever final appearance in the competition.

"The lads are absolutely gutted," admitted skipper Ian Wright. "We thought we could have won this game comfortably, but we didn't and they did.

"We had some good chances, especially from set pieces, and could easily have been in front. But the Forest Green goalkeeper Steve Perrin made some good saves and they got in a number of good blocks.

"I thought to lose by four goals to one flattered them a bit but in the end that was the score."

Wright's defensive partner, Tony James, who has been one of United's star performers this season, was baffled by the side's display.

"I just can't explain what went wrong," he said.

"The lads are so disappointed and have all just been sitting in the changing room not saying a word. Every player in the team really wanted to get through to the final.

"We were on top but the ball just wouldn't drop for us in the first-half and it looked then as if it wasn't going to be our day.

"But they have some pacy players and they broke away really well."

In contrast to the gloom in the Hereford dressing room, there was nothing but delight in the Forest Green camp.

Joint manager Dave Norton and striker Adrian Foster were especially happy as both turned out for the Bulls in the fateful match against Brighton four years ago when they lost their league status.

"We worked really hard today and battled for the result," said Foster, who scored Green's fourth goal.

"If we play like that for the rest of the season there's no way we'll be relegated.

Nigel Spink, Norton's co-manager and also a former Aston Villa goalkeeper, will now be taking his side back to Villa Park for the final on May 13.

"At the semi-final draw everyone was saying it was going to be a Hereford versus Chester final, but we've just kept on with our job. The final at Villa Park will be a very special occasionfor me."