TURNING Sixways into a fortress has played a large role in Worcester Raiders' successful start to the 2022/23 campaign according to boss Karl Gormley ahead of welcoming local rivals Stourport Swifts in the Worcestershire FA Senior Cup (Wednesday, 19:45 KO).

Raiders are yet to lose a game in any competition at their 11,000 seater stadium and it has seen them drop just two points in the league in what is their first ever campaign at Step 5 in the Hellenic Premier.

Gormley wants teams to fear coming to face Raiders as he thinks the impressive facilities almost act as an incentive for teams to enjoy their football more than they should when playing away.

"We have made Sixways more of a fortress this year," said Gormley

"Obviously teams like coming to play here at the stadium but we have tried to drum it into the lads that we want this to be a horrible place for teams to come in regards to on the pitch.

"The facilities and the stand are great and you can always see the opposition players enjoying themselves before the game but we want to try to make it a tough place to come."

Raiders' impressive home record will be put to the test this Wednesday when Quentin Townsend's in-form Swifts arrive at Sixways for their second round tie.

Both teams had a bye in round one and come into the fixture fresh of the back of wins last weekend.

Raiders closed the gap on the top two in the Hellenic League Premier to just three points after a 4-1 win over Lydney Town, whilst Stourport progressed in the FA vase with a 2-1 victory over Loughborough Students.

Swifts are second in the Midland Football League Premier and have enjoyed a terrific start to the 2022/23 campaign, so the tie sees two in-form sides go head-to-head under the lights.

"It's a local derby and I know Quentin (Townsend, Swifts manager) and a lot of the players," added Gormley.

"He will also know a lot of ours but it's a cup game, a big game for us both. We will be going strong looking to progress and win the game like we always do.

"We have a couple of bumps but nothing serious and we should be able to field our strongest possible side so we are looking forward to it."