LES Hines has given the thumbs-up to Worcester City's new-look defence and believes it could be the bedrock behind the club's promotion bid.

In three out of four pre-season friendlies, player-manager Andy Preece has stuck to the trio of Chris Smith, Des Lyttle and Shabir Khan in his sweeper-styled back three.

It proved effective on Tuesday night as City kept county rivals Kidderminster Harriers quiet in their 2-0 triumph at St George's Lane.

The threesome shut out danger-man Iyseden Christie and will be keen to register another clean sheet tomorrow when Worcester travel to Southern League Premier Division neighbours Evesham United (3pm).

Wing-back Hines admitted it will take time for the re-jigged defence to settle down and forge a solid partnership, but he has been impressed with events so far.

"There's a few new faces in there and people are trying to get to know each other," said Hines. "That's what these pre-season games are all about.

"We've got a new back three and so far they have played well together, but it will improve as time goes on.

"It's a question of us getting to know them and them getting to know us. It's also about them getting to know what (assistant) Andy Morrison and the gaffer want. If there's any differences or doubts there, they can be ironed out in pre-season. I've been very impressed with Chris Smith. I noticed he was a good player at Stafford and he's settled in very well.

"Des gets his head into everything, picks things up and reads the game ever so well. He will do what Paul Carty did towards the end of last season. But Des will be even better.

"We also have Shabir who is the most athletic lad at the club. If you watch him running, he is like a gazelle. He throws his head on anything and if he works on his communication, he will be a great player."

Striker Adam Webster is expected to return to City's line-up at Common Road after recovering from a stiff neck.

Defenders Lee Knight, Neil O'Sullivan and Adam Cooper could be back in the Evesham side.

The trio missed United's 2-1 win over Nationwide North outfit Moor Green on Tuesday night, a performance that pleased the Robins' assistant manager Paul West.

West said: "It's all about fitness at the moment and we are looking pretty good. We've got good numbers and we're looking pretty solid throughout the team."

Striker Jermaine Clarke is back in the set-up after a bout of mumps.