Malvern Town outlined their promotion credentials ahead of the new season with a 2-0 win at home to higher-level Worcestershire rivals Evesham United according to the Malvern Gazette.
The Robins play in the Pitching In Southern League Division One and Town, as they look forward to their first campaign at Step 5, were more than a match for their Worcestershire counterparts.
Goals from Joe Bates and Harry Clark after a red card to Evesham’s Ben Markell sealed another pre-season win for the Hillsiders.
Malvern are unbeaten so far this summer and have now won four of their five fixtures before the Hellenic League Premier Division kicks-off next month.
The visitors were looking sharp in attack and with 11 minutes on the clock, Keiron Blackburn did well to thwart Josh Hunt, whilst at the other end Clark fed Matt Turner who fired over from a good position.
Hunt made room for a strike that was well watched by Blackburn and a great ball from Dave Reynolds picked out Curtis Smith whose cross was headed clear under pressure.
There was a let-off on the half-hour when Blackburn was beaten and as the ball pinged around the goalmouth, it hit the base of the post and then deflected away before an Evesham toe could get there.
At the other end, a teasing ball in from Platt evaded Turner and then Reynolds when all it needed was a touch, then a sharp break ended with Joe Bates forcing a corner which ultimately came to nothing as the half-time whistle blew.
Chances were few and far between at the start of the second half. Town’s first opening came on 56 minutes when Clark threaded through Reynolds and as he tried to take it around the ‘keeper, the loose ball fell to Turner whose attempt was blocked.
A flashpoint on the hour-mark ended with the visitors reduced to ten men as Ben Markell lashed out and within a couple of minutes there was further woe for the Robins as they fell behind when Bates headed home from a Turner cross.
The hosts then doubled their advantage on 66 minutes when a sharp move ended with Clark picking his spot with aplomb.
The visitors went close twice in quick succession as they looked to hit back straight away.
Substitute Nathan Chowns Higgs went close twice after coming on, firstly the ‘keeper blocked as he went through and then another strike rattled the woodwork.
In the closing stages, an effort from distance by the visitors flashed wide but overall it was a confident display from Town and they were good value for the win.