WORCESTER Raiders' unbeaten start to the Hellenic Football League Premier season continued on Wednesday night as two first-half goals saw them beat Longlevens AFC 2-1 at Sixways.

Jamie Lucas' cross beat everyone before going in off the crossbar to give Raiders a 20th minute lead.

Rich Smith then slotted home after Syrus Warren-Paul's ball over the top to make it 2-0 just past the hour to hand the hosts a half-time lead.

Worcester keeper Ryan Young had a charged down kick deflected into his own net by Brad Martin to provide some late drama but the home side held firm to move up to joint third in the table, tied with this weekend's FA Cup opponents and rivals Malvern Town on seven points from a possible nine.

Following the weekend's 2-2 draw with Brimscombe and Thrupp and the last game before that tie with Malvern, hosts Raiders were keen to ge back to winning ways.

They began to dominate after a cagey opening ten minutes and captain Joe Billingham went close to giving them the lead but his shot from the edge of the area dragged wide when he should have done better.

The hosts did have the ball in the net soon after but Jamie Lucas was flagged offside after prodding the ball home following a scramble in the box.

But Lucas would be on the score sheet in the 20th minute of the game as his cross from the left beat everyone and went in off the bar and gave Worcester a deserved lead.

The hosts were well on top and they made it count just after the half-hour as Syrus Warren-Paul's ball over the top put Rich Smith clear and the striker took a few touches before slotting past Dan Troke in the Longlevens goal to make it 2-0.

Into the second-half and Raiders picked up where they left off as Billingham's lobbed ball in behind was brilliantly controlled by the impressive Smith, but he could only sky his finish after going 1-on-1 with Troke.

Warren-Paul enjoyed a strong game from left-back and he almost provided a third for the hosts but his cross from the left could not be turned home by Lucas at the front post.

Ryan Young in the Worcester goal had next to nothing to do up until the 60th minute when Lucas Price tried his luck from 25 yards as the defence sat off.

Raiders began to get a little sloppy and Brad Martin produced a smart save out of Young to keep the clean sheet in tact as the keeper tipped a driving effort around the post.

It was a scrappy second half from the hosts and again Young was on hand to first race off his line to deny Martin and then to claw Jordan Alderman's goalbound strike off the line.

And then with time almost up, Young and centre-half Harrison Yates had a breakdown in communication before the Raiders' keeper's clearing kick was charged down by Brad Martin and ended up in the back of the net to provide some late hope for Longlevens.

But it proved to be just a bad mark against the hosts, as they held on for the all important three points ahead of that mouthwatering clash with Malvern on Saturday.