ANDY Preece believes the gloves are off for Worcester City after chalking up their first Nationwide North win.

Close-season signings Chris Smith and Graham Hyde both hit the target as City beat Gainsborough Trinity 2-1 at St George's Lane.

Victory over the Lincolnshire side pushed Worcester into mid-table following an opening day defeat at Kettering Town and last Monday's goalless drew with Hinckley United.

"We are away and running after that win," said Preece. "We are now looking for a bit of momentum to push us forward. Hopefully, that win will spark us off.

"We want to really do well this season. If we failed to win again, people would start saying, 'You have not won in three games' and the pressure would be on us.

"But we are now unbeaten in two and in mid-table. Three points is the most important thing. To get that win, we've picked up four points from six in our two home games, which is good.

"We thoroughly deserved to beat Gainsborough. We created a lot of chances, enough to have killed the game off. It was a bit nervy towards the end, but that's because we want to win our first game. It's important to us."

Former academy graduate Liam McDonald was picked ahead of midfielder Jai Stanley to claim his first start of the campaign.

Preece praised McDonald and admits his performance on the left-hand side of midfield may justify his selection in next Saturday's trek to promoted Workington Town.

The City boss added: "Liam did well and has been doing well since pre-season. He's developing and that's the pressure that is on the midfield places.

"He's a young lad and he's only going to get better and better. But he's set his own standards with that performance and he's not got to fall below them.

"He knows that other players are desperate to take their opportunity and make it hard for him to get back in.

"The lads have got to be on their toes. I said to everybody that they have got to be at their best or they are not going to stay in the side. Liam deserved his opportunity.

"Jai can count himself a little bit unlucky. But he set standards for himself and I think he's just been below that. He will put the pressure on again to get back in the team."

George Clegg is back from a fortnight's holiday and gets a work-out tonight as City reserves face Burton Albion at St George's Lane in the Central Conference League (7.45).

Preece will also cast his eye over Jimmi-Lee Jones, James Smith, Shabir Khan, Danny Hodnett, Tom Warmer and Lewis Skyers.