INJURY-HIT Malvern Town got back on track on Lye on Wednesday night and reinforced their bid for a leading Banks Brewery League place.


It was no more than Town deserved, who despite having six members of the first team squad missing, still turned in a good performance that might have rendered a more convincing scoreline.

Andy Shepherd missed a good opportunity after only ten minutes and Phil Slade, Steve Walker and Raj Sharma all had opportunities to open the scoring. Lye had their moments to and in a crazy spell mid way through the first half, the home managed to hit the crossbar twice and blaze over from close range.

However Malvern re gained their composure and should have had a penalty in the 35th minute when Martin Phillpotts was blatantly upended at least a yard inside the area, only for the referee to award a free kick right on the eighteen yard line. Sharma blazed the resultant kick over the crossbar.

Two minutes before half time, Malvern were awarded a penalty, when Sharma ghosted past the home defence, before being held back in the box. Steve Walker made no mistake from the spot.

Just as it looked as though Malvern had now got control of the game, they allowed Lye to equalise almost immediately, when Adie Everson nipped in between a static Malvern defence to chip the ball over Ross Sanders and into the net.

Malvern looked to have suffered a serious blow immediately after the break, when Sharma was subject to a bad tackle that resulted in the talented midfielder being unable to take any further part in the match. But youngster Paul Dugdale came on and made an excellent contribution as Malvern really took hold of the game.

Adam Higgins should really have put the visitors back in front in the 53rd minute, but somehow headed a Slades cross over the cross bar from virtually point blank range.

But the decisive goal eventually came in the 62nd minute, when Shepherd turned superbly in the area to convert an excellent Martin Phillpotts through ball.

After this Phillpotts, Sean Davies and Shepherd all had opportunities to put the game out of Lye's reach, but although it was not to be Malvern can still feel satisfied with their night's work.

Commenting on the game, Malvern assistant manager Richard Anson said: "We deserved the points and it was good performance, particularly coming on the back of successive defeats, so it was important we bounced back."

Malvern Town: Sanders, Higgins, Clayton, Cotterill, Damore, Sharma (Dugdale), Davies, Walker, Phillpotts, Slade (Sollis), Shepherd, Sub (not used), Jones R.