WORCESTER Raiders co-manager Chris Cornes insists nothing quite beats a local derby ahead of their clash at Malvern Town in the opening round of the Worcestershire Senior Invitation Cup tonight (7.45pm kick-off).

Raiders were back in action for the first time in almost six weeks last weekend in their 5-0 defeat to Alvechurch in the new ‘Red Recruitment Trophy’ competition, which also involves Redditch United and Bromsgrove Sporting.

Alvechurch play three levels above Raiders in the non-league ladder but Cornes believes the experience acted as a good warm-up to tonight’s cup tie at the HDanywhere Community Stadium.

“It was positive to get minutes into the lads,” he said.

“We’ve got a game under our belts now and got some minutes into the lads which we really needed.

“We’ve had some training sessions and the boys have done a lot during the lockdown so we will be confident that we have got some minutes into the legs of the players and we can go into the Malvern game confident of getting a result.

“Hopefully we can put on a performance against a side at our level but Malvern are a very good side, they have only lost once this season and they are flying high in their league just like we are.

“They won’t want to lose, we don’t want to lose so it should make for a really good game.

“You can’t beat these local derbies.”

Malvern Town come into the game on the back of two wins in the space of a week having won their second-round FA Vase clash with Atherstone Town at the start of the month before they came from 2-0 down to beat Hereford Pegasus on Saturday to go 12 points clear at the top of the Hellenic League Division One West.

Co-manager Dene Whittal-Williams said the win over Hereford stands them in good stead for this evening’s derby.

“It gives us the confidence to take into what is a big cup week coming up,” he said.

“We’re looking forward to it and we’ll enjoy the occasions and hopefully there will be plenty of positives to come out of it.”