Adam Finch struck an early blow for Worcestershire Seconds, but they will need early wickets on the final day if they are turn around the fortunes of the Second Eleven Championship match with Gloucestershire at Kidderminster.
The County paceman made the breakthrough in his second over to dismiss Gloucestershire opener Benny Howell who was plumb lbw after scoring all nine runs on the board.
The visitors closed on 24-1 from nine overs in pursuit of a 116 target.
Finch had also made useful late order runs when Worcestershire were bowled out in their second innings for 194 in 82 overs after openers Jack Haynes and Josh Dell had put on 70.
He had needed only two deliveries to wrap up the Gloucestershire Seconds innings at the start of the third day when he bowled Ahmed Syed (6).
Worcestershire claimed three bowling points to add to their two for batting on the opening day.
Haynes and Dell made a positive start to Worcestershire’s second innings with a series of boundaries.
Haynes put away a half volley from Benny Howell through the covers and square drove the same bowler for another four.
Dell turned Harry Hankins through mid-wicket to the ropes and then clipped him off his legs for four as the partnership came up in 96 balls.
The stand was broken in the 23rd over when Haynes (35) aimed a stroke square of the wicket and was caught behind off Hankins, and in his next over, Dell (29) pushed forward and lost his off stump.
There was another wicket for Hankins when Jacques Banton (6) was lbw to a full toss after looking to work to leg immediately after lunch.
Captain Ross Whiteley, who had scored a first-innings half-century, was caught behind for six off-spinner Tom Smith and keeper Alex Milton (8) went lbw to a Howell delivery that jagged back and hit him on the back pad.
Resistance came from youngsters Rehaan Edavalath and Reeve Evitts (9), and they put on 37 before the latter was leg before to Alex Russell.
Triallist George Drissell (14) pushed forward to Russell and was also lbw. Edavalath’s determined knock of 29 ended when he became yet another leg before victim, this time to Zain Ul-Hassan.
Ul-Hassan also accounted for Pat Brown (2), who was caught off a leading edge at short extra cover.
Some lusty blows and defiance from Josh Tongue and Finch lifted the Worcestershire lead past the 100 mark heading into the final hour of the day.
Their partnership of 29 ended when Tongue was caught at cover off Smith to leave Finch unbeaten on 17 from 70 balls and, in terms of deliveries, only Haynes (77) and Edavalath (80) had faced more.