Cambridge United fell to their fourth defeat in their last six outings, despite taking the lead twice at Edgar Street.
Michael Gash found himself on the scoresheet twice, but goals from Ryan Bowman, Sam Clucas and a double from Marlon Jackson made sure the U’s left empty-handed.
Having named an unchanged line-up from the 3-3 draw with AFC Telford, the U’s started brightly, with first Ricky Wellard and then Andy Pugh going close.
It wasn’t long before Jez George’s men found themselves in the lead, Michael Gash turning in Jonathon Thorpe’s low cross on 14 minutes after a Hereford defender failed to clear.
However, the home side began to find their feet in the game and Jonathan Hedge was forced into action, first saving from Bowman and then Clucas.
The hosts made their pressure tell 10 minutes before the interval, Bowman was put through on goal and took the ball round the U’s keeper to level the scores.
Just before the half-time whistle things threatened to get even worse for United, Josh Coulson was adjudged to have fouled Jackson in the area and Hereford were awarded a penalty.
Jackson himself stepped up but fortunately Hedge was equal to the task and made sure the scores remained level at the break.
A crazy opening to the second half first saw United re-take the lead on 47 minutes, Thorpe swing in another dangerous delivery and Gash was once again on hand to tuck the ball home for his third goal in two games.
Within less than a minute, though, Hereford came roaring back with a 20-yard strike from Clucas to once again level proceedings.
Things continued to get worse for United as Jackson pounced on some shaky defending to grab a brace in double-quick time, netting in the 51st and 53rd minutes to complete a whirlwind turnaround.
In the 78th minute, Cambridge were handed a lifeline as Byron Anthony was shown a straight red for the hosts after clattering into Liam Hughes.
The striker was able to continue but the U’s couldn’t make the extra man count and as the final whistle sounded Jez and his men were left to reflect on a defeat which leaves them seven games without a win and just one point above the bottom four.
Hereford: Bittner, Gallinagh, Stam, Pell, Anthony, Graham, Watkins (Heath 79), Clucas, Jackson (Canham 73), Sammons (Evans 71), Bowman. Not used: McQuilkin, Smikle.
United: Hedge, McAuley, Thorpe, Coulson, Andrew, Shaw (Marriott 82), Berry, Wellard (Eades 71), Gash, Hughes, Pugh (Thalassitis 64). Not used: Ross, Wylde.