TWO goals in four first-half minutes propelled Worcester Raiders to the Hellenic League Division One play-off final after they beat local rivals Pershore Town 3-0 at Sixways on Saturday.

Jordan Murphy and Jordan Stoddart scored in quick succession just before half-time to put the hosts in a commanding position at 2-0 in front of a healthy crowd at Sixways.

A record Raiders attendance of 650 watched on from the stands and the vocal home support were in full voice in the 86th minute as Isaac Cooper converted the penalty to seal the semi-final victory.

Hereford Pegasus beat Clanfield 85 4-0 in the other semi-final to set-up the final with Worcester on Friday night, again at Sixways.

The team news ahead of kick-off confirmed that Pershore were without two key players in midfielder Sam Clark and forward Petar Tonchev and the visitors struggled early on.

Former Plum Josh Willis almost put Raiders 1-0 up inside the first four minutes when his attempted lob over Eddie Cox clipped the top of the crossbar.

But the away side eased into it and began to enjoy plenty of the ball, but with little end product.

Raiders were creating chances at the other end and Sam Carey had two opportunities to score but could not convert either from close range.

Then, with 41 minutes on the clock, the home side took the lead as Murphy reacted quickest to a loose ball in the Pershore box to volley home past Cox.

Worcester were on top and then just before the half-time whistle they made it 2-0 as centre half Stoddart rose highest at the back post to nod home from Murphy's inswinging corner.

Pershore knew they had to score next and whilst they pushed harder after the break, they never tested Ewan Mountjoy in the Raiders goal.

The game and result was made safe four minutes from time as Kirk Layton brought down Joe Billingham in the box and Cooper stepped up to thump his penalty home, much to the joy of the raucous Raiders support.