AT the end of the week that saw schools reopen their doors it was Worcester City’s joint boss Lee Hughes who was teacher’s pet.

The ex-West Bromwich Albion striker picked up an A* of a result courtesy of some midweek homework and a tactical reshuffle at previously-unbeaten Lye Town.

Polished, fluent and entertaining it certainly was not but Worcester’s 1-0 win in the heart of the Black Country was the type that underpins any credible title challenge.

City battled and calmly dealt with the fervent nature of Lye's pressure-based approach.

The savvy visitors did not get caught up with histrionics and although fortune certainly favoured the brave Hughes’ men earned their luck.

In a match of precious few chances the decisive moments arrived within a minute of one another.

City centre-half Mark Smith, already on a booking, upended an opponent on the edge of the box.

Referee Thomas Wainman’s hand was in his pocket until he realised his assistant had flagged for an offside in the build-up.

“I had seen the flag,” said Hughes, affording himself a relieved chuckle afterwards. “I saw the challenge too but had looked across so knew it was offside.”

Less than 60 seconds later the breakthrough arrived when the persistent Mark Danks darted into space in the channel and delivered for Dave Reynolds to guide a bobbling effort inside the near post as Lye keeper Charlie Price began diving the other way.

The hosts had their moments, notably when Ben Billingham’s whipped ball to the far post deceived Worcester keeper Tom Palmer only to land just wide, and they had Alex Dallison’s header chalked off for an infringement that was hard for Lye to comprehend.

But City defended stoutly and in fairness had the better openings either side of the goal.

Tormentor-in-chief Danks was unable to find the finishing touch, particularly when Worcester broke three on two in the first half, but his clever dashes between the lines opened up Lye on occasions and it was fitting he had a part in the decider.

“They were always going to have openings but we kept them to a few half-chances,” said Hughes.

“We created a few ourselves. Dansky had a few in the first half and on another day he might have scored them. Overall I thought we deserved the win.

“We adapted our system after I had watched them on Tuesday and we managed it well because we knew they were going to be well organised and work for each other.

“They were not the best on the ball and I said before the game if we matched their work-rate and desire and got in their faces we had more ability in our changing room and I think that showed.

“It could have gone either way but we had the better chances. I don’t think Tom had that many saves to make and their keeper had a few. The lads responded brilliantly and worked their socks off.”

City: Palmer, Weir, Griffiths, Albert, M Smith, Hayward, Birley (Evans 67), Forsyth, Danks, Reynolds (Sarmento 84), J Smith (Chiwara 76). Subs not used: Baldwin, Gwynne. Attendance: 301.