MALVERN Town suffered a heavy home defeat against Darlaston in the Banks's Brewery League Premier Division at the Langland Stadium on Saturday.


However after 40 minutes Town were leading 1-0 and at that stage were unfortunate not to be further ahead.

Starting by far the more positive of the two sides, Malvern quickly took the game to the visitors and Judge and Shepherd might have given Town the lead, whilst the excellent probing runs of Wade and Thomas pegged Darlaston back in their half for long periods, indeed Town were also denied by the crossbar, when a visiting defender, under pressure from Judge, headed against the bar with the goalkeeper stranded.

A goal for Town though was inevitable and came in the 30th minute when Thomas and Ward combined to set up Judge who finshed with conviction to net his first goal of the season.

With half time approaching and Town good value for their lead, Darlaston stunned their hosts when a mishit cross wrong footed the Malvern defence and debutant goalkeeper Mark King and although King managed to tip the ball onto the crossbar, the ball fell kindly to the prolific and unmarked Simon Archer who made no mistake from close range.

The second half began a more even affair but still with little indication that the visitors would secure such an emphatic victory, Town though had now lost the influential Maidment due to a toe injury, but worse was to follow when Steve Walker played a ball infield to Bastock, but the pass wrongfooted the central defender and he lost possession to set Groves in the clear and the Daralston marksman made no mistake.

In response Town bought on Richard Congrave and sacrificed Bastock at the back, and the move almost paid dividends when he outpaced the visiting defence, but unselfishly tried to set up Judge, but misplaced his pass at the vital time.

Darlaston's response was almost immediate, when Walker was outjumped by Archer whose looping header dropped over King to clinch the game in the 80th minute.

Town now fell apart and when King's attempted 85th clearance cannoned straight into Groves, the visiting striker simply had to guide the ball into the empty net.

Town's unhappy afternoon was cruelly completed in the final minute when Archer completed his hat-trick to earn his side a deserved victory but by a flattering margin.

Town: King, Higgins, Cotterill, Bastock (Congrave), Walker, Ward (Wade), Slade, Maidment (Brooks), Judge, Shepherd, Thomas.