LEE Hughes bagged his eighth goal in as many matches to ensure a winning return to action for Worcester City.

The joint-boss and striker muscled his way through Jack Pearlman’s attempt to wrestle him off a high ball before lashing past Tom Turner half an hour into City's first outing since Boxing Day.

It proved to be the only goal in a match of precious few chances, most of which fell to Worcester on a bobbly pitch that had a telling effect on the quality of football.

Hughes was involved in the first flashpoint after 15 minutes with nothing to stir the senses, tangling with Dan Jones after a foul from behind but managing to keep his cool as the red mist threatened to descend. 

That seemed to spark City into life as Alex Tomkinson rolled to Brad Birch on the corner of the box and took the return as he dashed inside, firing into Turner’s midriff.

Mat Birley’s snap shot forced a simple save and he then cleared the crossbar after Birch’s nudge out to the right hit an almighty divot.

The opener came two minutes later, though, with Hughes holding his nerve in a packed penalty area.

Tomkinson’s drive was pushed away by Turner after a Lye clearance ricocheted into his path with Birch slipping at the vital moment while chasing the rebound.

The visitors then had two openings at the end of the half.

Jamie Smith had started suffering with a back problem, opening up space on the right but Nathan Vaughan mopped up the danger presented by Lee Chilton and then Jack Till.

Wayne Thomas had his head in his hands as Turner repelled his eight-yard shot with a single strong paw three minutes after half-time. 

Hughes had a good chance soon after but opted to nod into the ground Tomkinson’s centre at the near post, an effort Turner gathered easily.

Chilton twice caught out George Forsyth with a high cross-shot held by Vaughan and a rippled side netting causing concern among the home faithful.

However, there was little to worry City late on with Hughes floating a cross-shot just wide having been rolled down the left by Nathan Hayward towards the end.

City: Vaughan, Forsyth, J Smith (Weir, h-t), Stoddart, Thomas, Hayward, Birley, Birch, Hughes, Danks (Reynolds, 54), Tomkinson (M Smith, 80). Unused subs: Baldwin, Gwynne (g/k).

Lye: Turner, Jones, Tye (Mills, 76), Pearlman, Knight, Shilvock, Chilton, Gennard, Rowe, Till (Solomon, 64, Drew 71), Williams. Unused subs: Downes, Finch.

Attendance: 316.

Referee: Mr Peter Woodfield.