WORCESTER Raiders have been promoted into Step 5 for the first time for the 2022/23 season.

Raiders have gone up as a result of Walton Casuals pulling out of the Southern League South Premier. 

Chairman, Steve Harris, said: "I am over the moon. 

"I always knew there was a chance of sideways movement and promotion after losing the play-off final, now it has finally happened. 

"I have been congratulated by the owners earlier on today and I am already on their case for a bigger budget next season.

"Amazing for the city to have two clubs at Step 5 to support."

As of May 10, Casuals were having to identify new owners and/or investors after financial problems but those efforts proved unsuccessful.

A statement from the club read: "The club has decided that it will now follow a process of managed closure.

"This decision has been very difficult, and we are sure will come as a huge shock and disappointment to the club’s staff, volunteers, fans and all the relationships and associations that the club has built-up over many years.

"During the process, the Board were determined to ensure that (at either the point of acquisition or in the event of closure) the club would be left in a position with no liabilities or indebtedness.

"This has been achieved and despite the anguish that closure will inevitably cause, the club leaves with honour and pride in what it has achieved and with the many wonderful memories.

"The Board will now progress the managed closure of Walton Casuals FC but would like to again thank everyone foe their extraordinary support over many years and their patience and understanding during this recent period”.

The end result is that Merthyr Town are reinstated at Step 3 and Cinderford Town were kept at Step 4 and ultimately saw Raiders, as they were the play-off losers, gain promotion to the Hellenic League Premier.

The Sixways-based side lost in the Divison One play-off final to Hereford Pegasus, but after the massive disappointment, have been given a lifeline and will now play with the likes of Malvern Town at Step 5.