WITH the Malvern Town first team having a well-deserved break this weekend, the action centred around the Reserves who entertained Bilston Town at Langland Stadium.


On the back of last week's cup victory against local rivals Malvern Rangers, Town were buoyed for this fixture and looking to avenge the 3-1 defeat suffered at Bilston earlier this season.

Things did start well and after ten minutes goalie Jamie Lambert let a relatively simple shot slip beneath his body and allowed the visitors a 0-1 lead.

Town came under pressure seconds later and Adam Simpson blocked an effort by Levan Stewart and Mike Roberts cleared a second effort off the line. Bilston then attacked down the right wing where Simon Rutter crossed to the penalty spot and Lambert failed to hold the slippery ball. It hit the ground and Stewart struck quickly finding the back of the net for a second goal.

Town continued to play constructive football and with 17 minutes gone they won a corner which was taken by Gary Smith. The defender hit the ball hard and low right across the face of the six-yard box, past seven or eight players, who all swung at and missed the ball, and it was cleared at the far post by a defender.

Town's confidence grew when Danny Jones found Ollie Endacott in space, but the striker rushed his shot and the ball went wide of the target. Endacott was then fouled just outside the 18-yard box and Smith curled in a super cross which evaded everyone, including the goalie Tom Dimmach, and ricochetted off the stanchion and into the back of the net.

Town then put together the best move of the game which involved eight quick passes and ended when Rich Tompkins crossed for Endacott, who headed back across the path of Dimmach for Town's well-deserved equaliser.

With time running out in the first half, Lambeth made amends for his earlier mistakes when tipping a great header over the bar from Bilston's skipper Bret Hayward.

Early in the second half Ricki Dudley followed up a header and, with the goal at his mercy, chipped the ball over Lambeth and the bar when it seemed easier to score. Having wasted probably the easiest chance of the match, this just was not going to be Bilston's day and seconds later Danny James chipped Dimmach from 25 yards, having been put through by substitute Mike Oakes.

The game got a bit scrappy as the weather got worse but Town's youngsters had the legs of their counterparts and skipper Jamie Thomas played an excellent sweeping role.

Town finished the stronger when James, Tompkins, Fellows and Lyons all had chances as Town collected three points which moved them up one place in the table.

Tomorrow (Saturday) the Reserves are away to Brereton Social (2.45pm).