COACH Bill Athey hopes that table-topping Worcestershire's two-day County Division Two defeat against Sussex at New Road is "just a blip in our progress."

Sussex won by eight wickets to send the County crashing to their first Championship reversal of the season which also ended an unbeaten run of 11 matches in all cricket.

Athey said: "Obviously we are very disappointed. We let ourselves down. We were always going to lose a game somewhere along the line, but to lose it like that is particularly disappointing.

"As far as I'm concerned it's just a blip in our progress. It's not the end of the world by any means.

"We didn't bat, field or bowl as well as they did and we suffered the consequences. It's made the players aware we're never going to steamroller every team that's put in front of us.

"If we don't play well other sides will punish us and that's exactly what's happened."

Worcestershire were pushed towards defeat by Sussex paceman Jason Lewry who grabbed a seasonal-best 5-29. His deadly display sent the County reeling to 110 all out leaving the visitors with the simple task of scoring 64 to win.

Sussex had resumed yesterday on 144-3 in reply to Worcestershire's 230.

Toby Peirce, on 33 overnight, went on to make 42, but it was Tony Cottey who helped his side forge a valuable first innings lead of 47 by cracking a fine 76. He was last out after hitting one six and 13 fours off 97 balls.

He eventually became part of Glenn McGrath's 3-39 which was backed up by Kabir Ali's 3-66.

His and Ali's efforts, however, were wasted by a poor batting display by the County who lost Ryan Driver, Vikram Solanki and David Leather-dale before wiping out their first innings deficit.

Steve Rhodes kept the Sussex attack at bay for a short while before Lewry and Billy Taylor tightened the screw.

Lewry removed Rhodes for 14 before Taylor stepped in to oust Stuart Lampitt and Richard Illingworth.

Opener Elliott Wilson put up some resistance by making 36, containing three fours off 85 balls.

Paul Pollard, sidelined during the day because of a virus, was called into emergency action lower down the order, but managed just three.

McGrath fell for his second 'duck' of the game before Ali (15 not out) and Alamgir Sheriyar (14) put on a defiant 30 for the last wicket.