MALVERN Town boss Les Jones says it is imperative his side get off to a flying start ahead of tomorrow (Wednesday) night’s West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division opener at Smethwick.
The Hillsiders go into their first league game of the season on the back of a 2-1 FA Cup extra preliminary round defeat to Midland League Premier Division outfit Rocester.
In front of a packed crowd at the HDAnywhere Community Stadium, Callum Riddell had given Rocester the lead on the stroke of half-time before Martyn Smith added a second five minutes from the end with a well-taken free kick which flew into the top corner leaving Malvern keeper Charlie Weaver rooted to his spot.
Malvern eventually got on the scoresheet in the third minute of second-half stoppage time when Nathan Hughes wonderfully scissor-kicked home from Reece King’s cross.
Despite the defeat, Jones was happy with the performance his players put on show and has urged them to come out flying as they take on a Smethwick side who already have three points on the board following their 2-1 victory away at Dudley Town on Saturday.
Jones said: “I was not frustrated with the performance, I was just frustrated with the result because we had more than enough chances to win the game but when you play against sides higher up the pyramid, they’re going to punish you.
“We dominated the game, dominated the possession and got into good situations but the final ball let us down.
“We have a tremendous squad to choose from and we want a similar performance to the Rocester game but just a better result.
“It’s important to get a good start and it’s going to be tough as we come up against a Smethwick side who have already got three points under their belt.
“We’ve got plenty of goals in the squad but it would have been nice to start the season with an FA Cup victory.
“It’s always tough starting the league away from home but I’m confident we can get a positive result.”
Ahead of tomorrow’s game (7.45pm KO), Bryan Craven (ill) could be a doubt but apart from that Jones has a full strength squad to choose from.
Malvern then welcome Bilston Town Community to the HDAnywhere Community Stadium on Saturday (3pm KO) for their first home game of the new season.