THE record books will show a 2-0 victory for Stalybridge Celtic — but that won’t tell the whole story of Worcester City’s visit to Bower Fold.

Fittingly for Halloween, Carl Heeley’s team gave the Blue Square Bet North leaders a real scare in their own back yard.

To a man, City gave their all against a side not beaten on home soil since early January, a remarkable run which now stands at 20 matches.

Worcester’s four-game winning sequence in the league may have come to an end, but they went down fighting against the best team they have played this season.

Connor Jennings scored in each half for full-time Stalybridge, taking his tally for the season to 13 goals.

But the visitors, led by new captain Kevin O’Connor, who has taken over from Ryan Clarke, had more than enough chances to have taken a point from this contest with Emeka Nwadike and sub Simon Brown both being denied by the woodwork in the second-half.

Tom Thorley, who enjoyed arguably his best display in a City shirt this term, also somehow managed to fire over from six yards three minutes from time.

Disappointingly, having forced 11 corners throughout the match, Worcester didn’t trouble home keeper Jan Budtz as much as they should from the resulting flag-kicks.

As a result, they failed to score on their travels for the first time this season and for only the second time since the campaign began back in August — the other being a 2-0 defeat to Corby at St George’s Lane at the start of September.

Defensively, however, they were well organised and they worked hard to keep Jim Harvey’s side at bay for long periods of the first-half.

The hosts kept the ball with assurance, passed it confidently and made City strain every sinew, their resolve finally breaking nine minutes before the break when Jennings turned in Joel Bembo-Leta’s cross.

At times, the visitors played with just Mike Symons up front with Luke Corbett dropping deep to reinforce the midfield as City looked to hit the hosts on the counter.

But they were the dominant force in the second-half and that they didn’t break through was down to a mixture of Budtz and the woodwork.

City had Stalybridge pinned back, particularly when Danny Edwards and Brown had replaced Corbett and Nwadike.

Even when Jennings had doubled his side’s lead from Stephen Brogan’s 77th-minute free-kick, they kept going with the belief that served them well against Harrogate last time out.

But, equally, Stalybridge could have added to their tally as James Dormand saved from Greg Wilkinson in each half, while opposite number Budtz almost caught him out with a goalkick that bounced inches over the City crossbar.

Dormand was also alert to race off his line and deny Stalybridge sub Craig Hobson a third in injury-time, but that would have been harsh on City.

Repeat of performances like this and Worcester will win more than they will lose this season and can head into games against Guiseley, Droylsden and Altrincham with confidence high.