WORCESTERSHIRE’S lead at the top of Division Two of the LV County Championship was reduced to seven points after they suffered a 138-run defeat against Derbyshire at Derby.

The visitors faced a 268 target in 57 overs on a wearing pitch, after bowling out Derbyshire for 296, and were dismissed for 129.

Skipper Daryl Mitchell’s side collected six bonus points from the game but Hampshire’s innings win over Leicestershire at the Ageas Bowl — with a maximum 24 points haul — has closed the gap.

Worcestershire now have games with third-placed Surrey (home) and fourth-placed Essex (away) to try and make sure of promotion after two defeats in a row.

They currently lead Surrey by 39 points while Essex, who are 51 points adrift of Worcestershire, have a match in hand.

Worcestershire were almost immediately on the back-foot after losing opener Richard Oliver for a duck in Mark Footitt’s second over.

The left-hander was caught and bowled by the Derbyshire paceman for the second time in the game.

Tom Fell (10) became Footitt’s second victim of the innings — and his 60th in the Championship this season — when his off-stump was knocked back.

Alexei Kervezee launched a counter-attack with three boundaries in an over from Footitt.

But Wayne White, who replaced Tony Palladino after six successive maidens, dismissed the Dutch international for 15 when Ben Slater held onto a one handed catch at square-leg.

Worcestershire reached 67-3 by tea but then lost four wickets in four overs to spinner Wes Durston.

Mitchell, after surviving 71 deliveries for 15, swept at Durston and was caught by Footitt at deep backward square.

Kohler-Cadmore hit five fours in his 29 before he pushed forward to Durston and was caught behind.

Joe Leach (4) nicked through to Wayne Madsen at slip and then Shaaiq Choudhry (0) was caught via the inside edge after the ball popped up to Ben Slater on the off-side.

The other spinner, David Wainwright, accounted for Ben Cox (14) after another nick.

Jack Shantry and Mitchell McClenaghan showed defiance for 14 overs before the former, on 13, was caught via an inside edge on the to give Durston his fifth wicket.

It all ended when McClenaghan was bowled by Chesney Hughes for 15 after surviving 48 deliveries.

Derbyshire had resumed on 145-2, a lead of 116, and went in search of a declaration total.

Madsen had his second let-off of the innings on 13 when the ball went through the hands of Oliver at forward square leg off Charlie Morris.

Madsen went to his 50 off 84 balls with six fours as Derbyshire reached 268-5 at lunch — a lead of 239.

The Derby batsman went on to make 98 as his side were bowled out for 296.

Kiwi paceman McClenaghan finished with 5-78 from 18 overs — his first five-wicket haul for Worcestershire.