MALVERN Town and Pershore Town could not be separated in a derby battle that saw both teams reduced to 10 men. 

Sam Hunt's added-time leveller rescued extra-time for the Hillsiders following captain Louis Loader's dismissal on the hour, leaving Pershore to ponder not adding to a 14th-minute opener provided by their skipper Shaun Griffiths.

Pershore saw another big opportunity go to waste at the end of the first half of extra-time but after Zaqib Hussain also saw red, Malvern mustered one last push to settle what had been a laboured clash. 

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After an even start Pershore grew in stature. 

Umit Eminoglu sliced high over the bar before Sam Clarke's cutback from the left was steered low across goal for Nick Seabourne whose effort skipped agonisingly past the far post by a matter of centimetres.

Pershore moved in front from Eminoglu's high, hanging corner to the far post. 

Griffiths initially fluffed his effort but Malvern stood off and left the giant defender free to have a second swing and he bundled inside Haydn Whitcombe's near post. 

Eminoglu brushed the top of the bar with a clipped free-kick, albeit well watched by Whitcombe who seemed to have it covered.

Malvern had been flat until their first opening of note arrived on 29 minutes.

Harry Clark and Ben Miller exchanged passes for the former to send a tame shot into the arms of Matt Gwynne when well placed.

It sparked something in the hosts, though, and they twice went within a whisker of a levelling late in the first half. 

Matt Turner broke into space on the right to drill in for Kyonn Evans to be thwarted on the goal line by defender Dan Noke’s sliding challenge.

Clark then teed up Turner to pull the trigger from the edge of the box but his effort bounced off the inside of the post with Gwynne beaten four minutes before half-time.

At the other end Seabourne caught Malvern dozing, chasing a lost cause and rolling back to Clarke who made a hash of his shot just before the whistle.

The second half began tamely much as the first had, albeit with more Malvern pressure.

Miller showed sublime control to hit one out of the air but it was straight at Gwynne.

Just as the tide was turning, Loader made Malvern's task all the more difficult by picking up a second booking in 11 minutes on the hour. 

Both cautions were for late challenges near the halfway line, the second on Eminoglu. 

There was little in the game with Pershore content to play on the break and they carried the greater threat.

Malvern had a glimmer of hope with 15 minutes to go when Miller’s driven ball from deep saw Turner jet away but full-back Jordan Hayward somehow recovered to help Gwynne kill the danger

Noke had a corking chance to kill the game for Pershore with eight minutes to go, planting his free header over from Baldwin’s left-wing free-kick.

Turner arced an ambitious free-kick narrowly over for Malvern seconds later but sting in the tail still arrived just past the 90. 

Hunt’s 20-yard free-kick swirled beyond the grasp of Gwynne to level matters and that prompted a Malvern renaissance.

Turner and Clark both had pot shots, the latter leading to a scramble which Matt Pinder had to slide in and sort out as the tie headed for extra-time.

Pershore substitute Jake Cavens tried to squeeze inside the near post from a good position three minutes into the additional 30 but Whitcombe was equal to his effort.

Visiting left-back Hayward tried to pep up the attack, leaving Ben Hayes and Adam Sauntson for dead only to get caught between a pass and shot in front of goal and Harry Wickett made a similar charge to the near post for Malvern but Griffiths was alert to the danger.

Pershore squandered the big chance of the first period of extra-time when Dane Aldington lifted into Pinder whose rash effort from just inside the box handsomely cleared the crossbar.

Hussain, already on a booking, levered Clark to the floor on the left corner of the box and received his second yellow with nine minutes to go.

Malvern pressed tired Pershore legs and minds but the play both ways was largely aimless during the last knockings.

Evans swirled the free-kick towards the top corner which Gwynne had to push around his near post and then nodded wide a Turner cross at the near post in the 120th minute.

Evans would have another decent sight of goal when Matt Fusco raced down the left and cut back only to find the frontman on his heels at the vital moment.

It means the rivals will do it all again on Tuesday (7.45) to decide which of them will host NKF Burbage in the next round. 


Malvern star man - Matt Turner

The driving force and primary creator as Malvern battled back with 10 men. 

Overall the Hillsiders were off colour but the flashes of inspiration came from Turner and Harry Clark with substitutes adding energy to push back tired Pershore late on.

Malvern: Whitcombe 5.5, Smith 6 (Hayes, 76, 6), Hunt 7, A Sauntson 5.5, J Sauntson 5 (Craven, 102, 6), Febery 6 (Wickett, 71, 6), Turner 7.5, Loader 3, Evans 5, Miller 6 (Fusco, unknown time, 6.5), Clark 7. Unused sub: Hooper.

Pershore star man - Jordan Hayward

Tough choice with both centre-halves performing admirably but Hayward was a bundle of energy and did well both ways in a patchy display. 

The only blot on his copybook was the hesitation that let off Malvern after he had roared into the box in extra-time.

Pershore: Gwynne 7, Webb 6.5 (Harding, 69, 6.5, Cavens, 89, 6), Hayward 7.5, Aldington 6, Griffiths 7.5, Noke 7.5, Hussain 4, Clarke 6.5, Seabourne 6, Eminoglu 7 (Allerton, h-t, e-t, 5.5), Baldwin 5 (Pinder, 86, 5) Unused sub: Wilcox (g/k).