MALVERN Town tightened their grip on a top six spot in their penultimate game of the season by beating rivals Pegasus Juniors 3-0 on Saturday.
Lee Hooper, Dave Reynolds and Aaron Richards inflicted the damage and lifted Town up to fifth in the West Midlands Regional League Premier Division, stretching their unbeaten run to 11 games.
It is now just one defeat since the turn of the year for Les Jones’ men, a run which has seen them taste defeat just once in 16 outings.
The hosts started brightly and got their reward after 15 minutes when the ever-lively Reynolds crossed for Hooper to slot home.
Malvern knew they needed goals in a bid to match Shawbury United’s goal difference in the battle for fifth place and Reynolds came close to doubling the lead but his shot was smothered by Nathan Philips.
Tom Dawson was the width of a post away from levelling things up for the visitors after 22 minutes when his effort struck the post.
Sam Pearson was on hand to pick up the rebound but Chas Weaver denied him at point blank range.
The lead could have been extended before the break but Reynolds headed Sam Rathbone’s cross just wide before Philips denied Reynolds once more.
It was much the same in the second period as Dene Whittal-Williams teed up Kirk Layton to head wide after 50 minutes.
But then the much-deserved second did finally come and it was a moment of class from the hosts as a neat one-two between Reynolds and Hooper saw the former unleash a 20-yard volley into the back of the net.
Sam Rathbone scooped another effort over six minutes later but the game was put to bed with just 15 minutes remaining when Matthew Turner’s low drive was deflected home by Richards.