MALVERN Town made it five wins on the bounce as they claimed a hard-fought 5-2 victory over local rivals Bromyard Town despite playing more than half the game with ten men.
Ben Hayes and Luke Corbett had given Malvern a comfortable 2-0 lead inside 15 minutes before the visitors levelled through Josh Weatherby and Lee Barnby.
Dene Whittal-Williams was sent for an early shower before half-time after collecting two yellow cards but despite their extra man advantage, Bromyard could not capitalise as second half goals from Bryan Craven, Hayes and Corbett ensured the Hillsiders walked away with all three points.
The victory saw Malvern move up to fourth in the West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division table, leapfrogging Cradley Town who were comprehensively beaten 7-0 by league leaders Shawbury United.
Going into the game on the back of a narrow 2-1 victory over Bilston Town Community, the Hillsiders were quickest out of the traps and found themselves 1-0 up in the fifth minute.
Lewis Platt picked up the ball on the left before crossing the ball to the back post where Corbett knocked the ball down into the path of Hayes to tap home.
Five minutes later, Malvern doubled their lead as some flowing football allowed Matthew Turner to break free before rounding the keeper and squaring to Corbett who blasted home.
Whittal-Williams picked up his first booking of the game in the 19th minute for a tackle on Danny Colburn with the resulting free-kick from 35-yards out rifled into the net by Weatherby.
Malvern almost regained their two-goal advantage just after the half hour mark but from Louis Loader’s corner, Turner’s shot was blocked before Hayes collected the loose ball only to fire over the bar.
Weatherby wasted an opportunity to level the game in the 37th minute but after collecting Chas Weaver’s clearance, his shot went agonisingly over the bar.
Two minutes later, Bromyard eventually got their equaliser when a cross from the right made its way through to Barnby who slotted home.
Whittal-Williams was then sent off five minutes before the break for picking up his second yellow card of the game for a late tackle.
Despite being down to ten men, Malvern regained their lead three minutes after the interval when Craven curled a delightful effort into the net.
Malvern restored their two-goal advantage in the 53rd minute when Hayes used his pace to get past his marker before lifitng over Bromyard keeper Dean Smith.
Weaver ensured the Hillsiders maintained their advantage with two good saves to deny long range strikes before Corbett fired them into a 5-2 lead.
Reece King made a brilliant run before hitting an outside of the boot cross to Corbett who placed a low shot beyond Smith to net his 15th goal of the season and securing the win for Les Jones’ side.
Malvern’s next game sees them make the trip to second-from-bottom outfit Wellington Amateurs on Saturday.
Picture courtesy of Cliff Williams.