MIDFIELD maestro Paul Edwards says Malvern Town must bounce back to winning ways after they slipped up in the West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division promotion hunt over the weekend.
Following their 3-2 after extra-time victory over Birstall United in an FA Vase second qualifying round replay last Wednesday (September 28), a jaded Malvern suffered a 1-0 defeat to local rivals Pegasus Juniors on Saturday (October 1).
Jack Lewis’ goal on the stroke of half-time ensured the Hillsiders slumped to their second defeat of the campaign and they will feel it is a missed opportunity to close the gap on runaway leaders Wolverhampton Sporting Community who were held to a 2-2 draw by Ellesmere Rangers.
The defeat leaves Les Jones’ side third in the table, eight points off the league leaders, and with a difficult trip to in-form Bewdley Town this Saturday (October 8), Edwards told the Observer it’s important to return to winning ways.
He said: “The result at Pegasus was a little unfortunate. It was a case of a hangover from two games where we have played 120 minutes and that showed because we were sluggish which is nothing like we have been performing all season.
“Hopefully we will be able to bounce back from it and get the win at Bewdley.
“At the moment it certainly looks like we are going to be chasing Wolverhampton but it’s a long old season – we will see what happens after Christmas as that’s when it starts to tell with injuries.”
Bewdley held Malvern to a 1-1 draw earlier in the season at the HDAnywhere Community Stadium, bringing an end to the Hillsiders’ incredible 13-game winning streak in the league which dated back to March 19.
Nathan Hayward (holiday) is expected to make a return on Saturday while Sam Rathbone, Chris Parker and Louis Loader remain sidelined with long-term knee injuries.
Jamie Smith (ankle) and Luke Corbett (hamstring) are also out.
Meanwhile, Malvern will face Northern Counties East League Premier Division outfit Worksop Town on Saturday, October 22.