ASSISTANT manager Chris Cornes considers Saturday's 7-1 success over Telford Juniors as good as a clean sheet ­— but he is still itching to get one for real.

Title-chasing Raiders roared back from shipping "a freak goal" to rack up a 12th-straight West Midlands (Regional) League Division One triumph at Claines Lane.

The only blemish on that enviable record is the lack of a clean sheet in the league since overcoming Old Wulfrunians 2-0 on September 15.

"It has been a while," said Cornes.

"There have been a few little knocks along the way and with Glen (Sitch, defender) being out long term we have not been able to name a settled backline all season.

"It does concern us slightly but we know we are always going to score in games. Conceding one is not the be all and end all but from a manager's point of view you don't want to let any in.

"Saturday was like having a clean sheet because there was nothing that could be done about it. It is something we're focusing on, bringing in George Corbett and Dean Waldron recently, but it is a work in progress.

"It was a freak goal, their lad was on the right wing and hit it with what was his weaker left foot.

"You could not have got it any further into the top bin if you had walked up and put it in there and we had been on top, that was the first time they had come within 30 yards of goal as well.

"We were not overly worried because we know how good we are. I just wish we would start some games a bit quicker but credit to the lads, we seem to get there in the end."

Tomorrow sees Raiders make a 120-mile round trip to Eccleshall to face mid-table Newport Town (3pm).

"Going that way can be tricky with the roadworks on the M5 and M6 but we don't mind," Cornes added.

"They have a different ground this season and I have heard good things about it so we look forward to going there and pushing for the win.

"We are treating every game as a cup final now. Each three points is another step towards the main objective of winning the league and going up.

"We had a bit of a shaky start to the season but since then we have taken every game as it comes rather than looking too far ahead and it seems to have worked."

Sitch is ruled out but Alex Marsh is expected to return from the minor injury that kept him out of the Telford match.

Raiders then head to Stourport for a Division One League Cup tie against Droitwich Spa on Wednesday (7.45).