WORCESTER Raiders kept themselves alive in the race for the play-offs after battling to a 2-1 win over Mangotsfield United at Sixways.

Captain Joe Billingham's stunning volley put the hosts ahead five minutes before the break and that lead was doubled when Louis Monaghan's deflected strike creeped into the bottom corner early in the second period.

Jaydan Crosbie's header halved the deficit on the hour and threatened to set-up an exciting final half-hour.

But Raiders buckled themselves in and shut up shop but were rarely threatened in truth and probably looked more likely to extend their lead than give it away.

It was a first-half that lacked intent and both sides laboured at times but the hosts should really have taken the lead early on when Billingham failed to convert Jade Ferron's cross from close range.

Raiders had the majority of the ball but the visitors were able to sit back and defend comfortably enough without being troubled. 

Mangotsfield did create a few half-chances however and Owen Ridler almost caught Raiders' stand-in keeper Joseph Sidaway off his line with a lob. 

There were also some half-hearted claims for a penalty from the away side but the referee waved them away.

The game was strolling towards half-time goalless but Billingham woke everyone up with a sensational volley.

He controlled Louis Monaghan's cross using his chest before letting it drop and thumping it into the top bin. 

Raiders started the second-half on the front foot and found themselves 2-0 up within ten minutes of the restart as Monaghan's low deflected strike beat Glover at his near post. 

Raiders had looked relatively comfortable for the opening hour of the contest but the away side halved the deficit when Will Ashton's free-kick was headed into the roof of the net from Crosbie.

But the visitors were unable to build on that goal and struggled to threaten Raiders' now single-goal lead.

Raiders actully came closest to scoring as the game wore on and Vanylson Da Costa Silva's cross almost went in off the defender, but the ball came back off the post.

The home side then did enough to see out the game and register a key victory in their quest to stay alive in the race for promotion.

Raiders: Sidaway; Patterson, Warren-Paul, Halpin, Waldron, Ferron, Stratford, Billingham, Monaghan, Olaloko, Cooper.

Subs: Carey, Silva, Sauntson, Gaffney, Lewis.

Mangotsfield: 1. Jakob Glover, 2. Stuart Tovey, 3. Jordan Anstey, 4. Oli Jenkins, 5. Luke Bence, 6. Matthew Binding, 7. Kyrese Morrison, 8. Owen Ridler, 9. Jaydan Crosbie, 10. Tabu Minzamba, 11. Will Ashton. 

Subs: Baker, Flynn, Kendall, Prangley, Smolka.