MALVERN Town boss Les Jones has urged his players to bounce back to winning ways following the ‘disappointing’ 6-2 defeat to West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division leaders Wolverhampton Sporting Community.
The Hillsiders will hope to put Saturday’s heavy defeat behind them when they take on third placed Smethwick on Wednesday at the HDAnywhere Community Stadium (7.45pm KO).
Malvern suffered their first league defeat since March 19 after a brutal display of attacking football saw Sporting lay down a huge marker in this season’s promotion race.
Despite Dave Reynolds putting the visitors ahead, Malvern had no answer to clinical finishing from the home side’s strike force as Dmitri Dunkley netted a second half hat-trick accompanied by Daniel Westwood’s brace.
This came after defender Mitchell Clarke levelled the scores with a scrappy equaliser after the half hour mark. Lewis Platt also netted on what was a forgettable day for Malvern.
And Jones is urging his side to get their promotion hopes back on track with a win on home soil.
“The players are really distraught from Saturday but it was all self-inflicted,” he said.
“Without question Wolverhampton have been the best side we have played as they have so much pace and firepower and they’re now going to be clear favourites to win the league.
“However, they still have to come to us and we won’t be so gullable at our place.
“We face a good Smethwick side on Wednesday and I want the players to show a reaction as we did not play our football on Saturday like we have been doing throughout our unbeaten streak.
“It’s not an ideal fixture to play a top side but you need a game to bounce back quickly.”
Chris Pinder is likely to remain in goal, Matthew Turner is to make a return while Luke Corbett, Sam Rathbone and Chris Parker remain sidelined.
Malvern started the new campaign at the Black Country-based outfit on August 10 when they ran out comfortable 5-0 winners thanks to a Corbett hat-trick and goals from Aaron Richards and Reynolds.