A CRAIG Williams hat-trick enabled Town to maintain their one point lead at the top of the Express and Star West Midlands League Premier Division and helped set up a convincing win on Saturday.


The lowly home side buoyed by an excellent win at home to fourth-placed Newport in their previous match, took the game to Malvern during the early stages and might have taken the lead on more than one occasion.

But Town made Casuals rue their wastefulness, when Williams fired home in the 16th minute after an Adam Baldwin effort was only partially cleared.

Dean Roberts then saw an effort blocked on the line, but soon got his reward when he rose majestically to head home Gary Smith's 21st minute pin-point corner.

Although Town were now firmly in the driving seat, Casuals still threatened Adam Moss's goal, and Malvern had cause to thank Moss when he superbly touched a 20 yard drive on to the post in the 26th minute.

But just five minutes later Town further increased their advantage when a superb interchange of passing involving Williams and Baldwin, set up Lee Hooper who drove the ball into the roof of the net for the best goal of the game.

The second period was a slightly more subdued affair as Town boss Neil Hunt substituted Roberts and Scott Morris, both of whom were carrying slight knocks and youngster Jay Thomas, who was making his first league start of the season.

But the scoring had not finished and when Hooper's shot rebounded back into the path of Williams, the Town skipper rifled the ball home to extend Town's lead.

At the other end Moss again produced an excellent save when he parried over a fierce drive, but had no chance when the home side were awarded a penalty in the 84th minute following a trip by Adam Chalmers.

But it was left to Williams to wrap up proceedings when he rifled the ball home with just two minutes left on the clock to secure his second hat-trick of the season and Town's fifth and final goal.

After the game Town boss Neil Hunt said: "It was a decent result in the end and helped us get the Kington defeat out of our system.

"Once we got the second goal we started to settle down and play a bit and again we showed that one of our main strengths is that we do not rely on one individual to score.

"Craig Williams who normally plays at the back has been pushed in to mid field in place of the suspended Rik Halion and responded with a hat-trick, which is exactly what he did against Cosely a few weeks ago."