HEREFORD United are hoping their march into the semi-finals of the FA Umbro Trophy will help boost attendances for the rest of the season, writes Andy Holmes.

A solitary Rob Elmes strike saw them through against Burton Albion and the Bulls are now looking forward to a two-legged affair against their Nationwide Conference rivals Forest Green Rovers.

A season that started brightly, but became stagnant, has now burst into life again for Graham Turner's men and officials hope, as well as lifting morale, that the current Trophy run will boost attendances, a factor crucial to the club's survival.

For the Edgar Street fans the side's Trophy exploits have given them something to talk about, although they are fully aware of the club's lifeblood - the Nationwide Conference.

The welcome revenue from a cup run and any additional sponsorship and television coverage needs to be backed up by the sound of clicking turnstiles at all games and not just the remaining Trophy matches.

The league is United's bread and butter and the final 12 games in the Conference are as important, as a club in Hereford's cash-strapped position needs consistent improvement in gates and not just the odd shot in the arm from cup games.

Of course, supporters will only attend these league games if the club's performances improve, and the final quarter of the season needs all the players to pull together and produce better displays.

This is especially important at home where, for some reason, things have never sparkled since a rather unconvincing goalless draw in August to Southport and a lot of so-called fans have stayed away in droves from a less than fortress like Edgar Street.

The last two months of a busy campaign can do a lot to ensure the club's long term future is secure and perhaps start to change United from a selling club into one that buys and builds towards success and, most importantly, a solid financial grounding.