The Lockmen suffered an ultimately embarrassing defeat away to title chasing Malvern despite more than matching their opponents for half of the game.
There appeared to be no sign of what would ultimately follow as the visitors made the brighter start. The first move of the match came on eight minutes when a cross in from the right saw Corey Pearce’s header glance away from goal. A minute later Curtis Ellis did well to break down the right but this time it was well cleared. Two minutes later a ball forwards picked out Chadd Birch in the box, however, he was crowded out and could only shoot wide. A minute later and the home side attacked for the first time, Dave Reynolds firing well wide. Four minutes later the same player hit a powerful drive but it flew well beyond the far post. Town then put a free-kick beyond the far post on 18 minutes before Ryan Lewis came off his line well to grab a through ball on the twenty minute mark. Skipper Bryan Craven then hit a shot from the edge of the box to Lewis on 22 minutes. Pearce was again wide of the mark on 23 minutes and Charlie Weaver was off his line smartly to grab several through balls ahead of The Lockmen strikers. Curtis Ellis was off target again on 25 minutes. Clayton Peddie did well to block an effort before Lewis Platt fired high over. Platt was closer with his next effort on 33 minutes when he hammered into the side netting. Malvern won two corners on 34 and 36 minutes before they finally found the goal they were threatening when their next flag kick on 37 minutes saw Nathan Hayward’s effort flicked on to the back post by Nathan Hughes to a waiting Bryan craven and the home skipper fired home. Four minutes later a Craven free kick to Max Kontic-Coveney whose shot across goal went just wide. A minute later and the home side doubled their lead when Craven played a clever through ball between two defenders to Hughes who trapped and fired the ball home. Two minutes later Hughes played the ball to Reynolds who volleyed the ball home and score the Town’s third.
HT MALVERN TOWN 3-0 WILLENHALL TOWN
There was a quiet opening fifteen minutes after the break when The Lockmen appeared to have reasserted their defensive shape and the only effort of note saw Platt see an effort deflect wide on the hour mark. However, after 63 minutes the home side netted a fourth when an unmarked Adam Sauntson easily headed home a Craven corner. Pearce was again denied by Weaver on 65 minutes before the home side made it five when Malvern took a short corner to Craven who crossed the ball for Reynolds to powerfully head home. Habbershaw was high over with an effort with ten minutes remaining before Malvern went into overdrive and The Lockmen defence into hiding. In the 83rd minute Reynolds intercepted a short back pass, he rounded keeper Lewis before slotting home from a tight angle. Four minutes later a Willenhall corner was cleared off the line by Sauntson. The ball was played up field to Reynolds who chipped Lewis and grabbed his fourth. The home side made it eight in the final minute when another good movement between Reynolds, Matthew Turner and Platt and the ball crossed to Craven to tap in at the far post.