Malvern Town put last weekend’s abandonment behind them as they claimed a narrow 2-1 victory over Willenhall Town to give them their first win of the New Year.
A first minute penalty from Lee Hooper and second-half strike from Ben Hayes ensured Malvern picked up their seventh league win in eight outings, while Eddie Wilson replied for Willenhall.
The result sees Malvern move up to eight in the West Midlands Regional League Premier Division table ahead of Smethwick Rangers on goal difference.
Following on from last weekend’s unfortunate mid-game abandonment at Pegasus Juniors, Malvern put that disappointment in the past as they got off to the perfect start.
In the opening minute of the game, Malvern were awarded a penalty after Matthew Turner was brought down in the box following a brilliant run down the left.
Hooper stepped up and calmly slotted home to bag his tenth goal of the season.
Malvern nearly doubled their advantage midway through the first-half but Willenhall keeper Ben Holden kept the score at 1-0 thanks to a fine double save to prevent Hayes from getting on the scoresheet.
Despite the hosts having chances to increase their lead, Willenhall drew level.
Following a whipped free-kick from the left, the ball pinballed in-and-around the Malvern box before eventually falling to Wilson who fired home to send the two sides level into half-time.
Malvern were once again fastest out the traps in the second-half as it took just two minutes to regain their advantage.
After Dave Reynolds failed to collect a cross from the left, Hayes was on hand to capitalise as he calmly slotted home to restore Malvern’s lead.
Reynolds will probably be thinking how he didn’t manage to get on the scoresheet as he spurned a number of chances to increase the advantage.
In the last 15 minutes, he had four opportunities to bag himself a goal but all of his efforts were wide of the target or comfortably saved by Willenhall keeper Holden.
Despite the missed chances, Malvern managed to hold on to claim all three points and their seventh league win in eight.
Malvern’s next game sees them welcome seventh placed Wolverhampton Sporting Community to the HDAnywhere Community Stadium on Saturday, January 30, 3pm kick-off.
Picture courtesy of Malvern Town.