DEFENDER Harry Wickett was the hero for 10-man Malvern Town as he saved the penalty that knocked Worcester City out of the Worcestershire FA Senior Cup.

In a crazy second-round tie that ended 5-5 Wickett dived to his right to deny striker Marco Adaggio as Town won 5-4 on penalties.

With no goalkeeper on the bench due to an injury to Haydn Whitcombe last week Malvern were left with a problem when Charlie Weaver damaged his shoulder just before half-time.

At that stage the match was level at 4-4 following a madcap opening 45 minutes.

But up stepped Wickett to take on the goalkeeping duties and joint-manager Dene Whittal-Williams said the stand-in stopper helped settle his side down.

Matt Turner scored his fourth for Town before captain Luke English headed home a late equaliser after Malvern’s Curtis Smith had been red-carded.

But after nine successful spot-kicks Wickett thwarted Adaggio to seal victory for Malvern at The Community Stadium in Pershore.

“Harry went from centre-half to saving the last penalty of the shootout – you would not have predicted that result at the beginning of the game,” Whittal-Williams said.

“Harry has probably played in every position and always give everything, so I am really chuffed for him.

“If there is one person you wanted that to happen to, it is Harry.”

On deciding on who should take the gloves, Whittal-Williams added: “Harry said I’m up for it if you want me to do it.

“He settled us down and was quite assured at the back, making a couple of decent saves. Fair play to him.”

Meanwhile it was a tough defeat for City against a lower-ranked side who played 23 minutes with a man down and had a defender in goal for the whole second period.

Neither side defended well in the first period and both teams took their chances when they came with six goals coming inside the first 20 minutes.

Wickett, who started in defence, struggled to contain Jordan Harrison who skipped past him before playing the ball across for Aaron Brett to finish.

Town’s leveller was almost a carbon copy of City’s opener as Ethan Moran beat English before finding Turner to score.

English was at fault again as he brought down winger Moran in the box and Turner converted the resulting penalty on 12 minutes.

After Gabriel Bajrami produced a good save to deny Turner, Brett levelled the scores.

The goal stemmed from Joel Caines winning the ball in midfield and finding Josh Willis who cut the ball inside for Brett to notch his second.

The goals continued to flow with an unmarked Harrison volleying home Jamie Smith’s cross before Turner completed his hat-trick with a deflected effort.

Worcester were then awarded a penalty on 34 minutes when Harrison was tripped by Wickett. Harrison then sent Weaver the wrong way to give Worcester a 4-3 advantage.

But the lead lasted just four minutes as Moran found Smith in aches of space and the right-back fired past Bajrami.

Following a lengthy stoppage due to Weaver’s injury, Wickett went in between the sticks.

Adaggio had a goal ruled out for offside just after the break before Wickett did brilliantly to save Willis’ low strike.

Turner then got his fourth on the hour mark with a superb chip over Bajrami’s head to make it 5-4.

Town suffered a blow on 67 minutes when Smith saw red for a high tackle on Willis and were then sent to a penalty shootout.

After missing the target with a header English made no mistake on 89 minutes when he nodded home Liam Lockett’s cross from close range.

In the shootout Turner, Matt Fusco, Louis Loader, Jay Sauntson and Phil Harris scored for Malvern and Lockett, Brett, English and Demetri Brown netted for City before Wickett’s heroics.

Worcester City: Bajrami 4; English 6, Smith 5, Sinclair 4, Hawkins 5 (Hall 22, 4), Mewies 4 (Lockett 64, 5), Harrison 7 (Brown 71, 5), Caines 5, Adaggio 4, Brett 6, Willis 5.

Subs not used: Okojie, Harper.

Malvern Town: Weaver 5 (Hayes 45, 6), Smith 5, Wickett 7, Harris 6, J. Sauntson 5, J. Febery 7, Fusco 6, Loader 7, TURNER 9*, Craven 7 (Saunders 71, 6), Moran 8 (B. Febery 88).

Subs not used: Emblem, Hooper.

Attendance: 169.

Referee: R Cheosiaua.