WORCESTER City slipped to just their second defeat in seven games despite a battling second-half display against title hopefuls Telford United.

An early goal from Bucks defender Dan Preston was enough to secure the points but City would have salvaged a point had their finishing been sharper.

Telford dominated the opening exchanges with Richard Munday doing well to block a Shaun Whalley effort before keeper Jose Veiga’s outstretched leg kept out a Matty McGinn free-kick.

With 12 minutes on the clock, it needed another good stop from City’s Portuguese stopper to divert a McGinn effort for a corner but it was from the resulting flag kick that the visitors took the lead with Preston rising unchallenged to head home.

A minute later, the Bucks almost bagged a second when livewire McGinn let fly from 25 yards but his first-time effort skimmed the top of the bar.

Telford continued to torment the City defence and on 20 minutes it was Adam Farrell’s turn to try his luck but his shot was directed straight at Veiga.

Worcester failed to trouble the Telford target throughout the half but at least they carved out a couple of chances as the interval approached.

First, Tyler Weir put an effort wide of the target before Aaron Brown skied an effort over the bar following a slick move that saw George Williams’ cross turned into the midfielder’s path by Daniel Nti.

The accuracy failed to improve after the break with Brown failing to find the net from eight yards despite rising high above the Telford defence to meet a Weir free-kick.

The visitors were having no such trouble and Veiga needed to make another save on 57 minutes to thwart Whalley after the on-loan Luton winger latched on to a through-ball.

As the hour mark approached, the home side finally started to find their range as their neat passing began to carve open the Bucks.

Nti’s low cross was flicked goalwards by Brown but his effort lacked the strength to test Ryan Young in the visitors’ goal.

Five minutes later, Ebby Nelson-Addy drilled a 25-yard effort goalwards which finally forced a decent save.

With 11 minutes to go, Brown was guilty of missing another good chance when he headed a Nelson-Addy cross over the target from six yards.

The giant midfielder had City’s last chance of the game – a long-range free-kick that Young did well to keep out.

But those missed chances proved costly and it was the visitors who left Aggborough with all three points – enough to take them top of the table.

Worcester: Veiga 7, Williams 8, Weir 7, Munday 5 (Aaron Farrell 84), Hutchison 5, Brown 6, Nti 6, DEENEY 8, Moore 6, Nelson-Abby 6, Leslie 5. Subs not used: A Williams, D Williams, Ramsey-Dickson, Bulman.

Attendance: 534.