LES JONES says there are plenty of positives to take from Malvern Town’s 7-3 defeat to Midland League Premier outfit Westfields at the HDAnywhere Community Stadium last night (Thursday).
The Hillsiders had taken the lead courtesy of an own goal before Craig Jones and Richard Greaves fired the Herefordshire-based Westfields into a 2-1 lead.
Greaves added his second to extend Westfields’ advantage before Luke Corbett reduced the deficit from the penalty spot.
Greaves then completed his hat-trick to make it 4-2 followed by a brace from James Baldwin to race Westfields into an unassailable 6-2 lead.
Jones added Westfields’ seventh before Sean Smith added a consolation on an eye-opening evening for the Hillsiders.
Despite their first defeat of pre-season, Jones told the Observer it was always going to be tough against a much-improved Westfields outfit.
“Apart from the scoreline I am still delighted with the squad I have and how they are playing,” Jones said.
“Westfields were very good up front, they had cutting edge and we paid the penalty for individual mistakes.
“This was probably the wrong time to play a really strong Westfields side as it was our third game in six days and the legs were looking a bit tired but we’ve got to take the positives from defeat.
“We created several chances and it could easily have been a 9-7 scoreline but they were a very strong unit and punished us.
“Richard Greaves played really well for them and judging by how well they played, Westfields will be fighting up the top end of their league next season.”
Malvern will be hoping for a better result tomorrow (Saturday) when they welcome Western League Premier side Bradford Town.
With the Hillsiders’ FA Cup extra preliminary round tie against Rocester just two weeks away, Jones said making sure his players are fit and available is the club’s top priority.
“Overall I am really pleased with how the squad is shaping up, the fitness levels are improving and we need to maintain that for when we go into our FA Cup game,” Jones added.
“We want everybody at a high level of fitness and we are well on our way to achieving that but we don’t want to pick up any unnecessary injuries due to fatigue in our last two friendlies.”