BOSS Karl Gormley has vowed to make changes as Worcester Raiders go from tackling basement boys to runaway leaders tonight (7.45pm).

Raiders were held 2-2 by lowly Dudley Sports last Friday in a match switched to Malvern Town's HDanywhere Community Stadium.

Now they bid to improve on that disappointment with the daunting prospect of West Midlands League Premier Division table-toppers Shifnal Town.

It will be the long-awaited first competitive game for Raiders under the new Claines Lane floodlights.

Gormley said: “We will be making at least a few changes because what we saw wasn’t good enough on Friday and we now have a really strong bench so we aren’t going to leave those players on the bench and not give them minutes. They’re too good for that.

"If we had won there would be a case for keeping the team the same to build momentum but after Friday we will make some changes because there are players on the bench that need minutes and deserve them.”

The signs are good for the game after the rain deluge had left the Claines Lane surface waterlogged, forcing Raiders to play away from the city.

Gormley continued: “It’s looking good. We’re very optimistic we will get the game on.

"The groundsman has been down there (Claines Lane) working on the pitch and he said it’s like a different pitch to last week so we’re hopeful of playing.

“We have never had the luxury of floodlights. It makes a massive difference because it means we can play games that we need to catch up on during the week instead of at weekends which is what we’ve had to do in the past.

“It’s still going to mean we’re going to be playing two, three or four times a week for the rest of the season which isn’t ideal but that can’t be helped."

On the prospect of facing Shifnal who are six points ahead of second-placed Bewdley Town with two games in hand, Gormley said: “They are a very good side.

"They were probably the one side we have played this season that I’ve held my hands up and said 'fair enough, you were just better than us'.

“They are running away with the league now but we tend to play better against the top teams.

"I don’t know why but our results against the top teams have been good this season.”

But 11th-placed Raiders will need a reaction from the disappointing Dudley draw.

Gormley added: “It was poor from us really. We had a good chat after the game and all said some things that needed to be said.

“Obviously it was a slip-up, a disappointing result and not ideal for our top-four hopes but until it’s mathematically impossible for us to reach that goal we will keep going with it."