Dene Whittal-Williams, has expressed his disappointment at Malvern Town's BluefinSport Hellenic League Challenge Cup exit at the quarter-final stage following a penalty shoot-out defeat at the hands of Bishops Cleeve.
“It was certainly a disappointing end to a turbulent season,” he said. “Hoops and I are very proud of the lads and even though we came out the wrong side of the penalty shoot-out lottery, we again proved that we can more than match opponents from the level above. All being well, the club will have the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with opponents like this on a weekly basis at Step 5 next season."
“On Saturday we took the game to our opponents and should have gone in at half-time in front. Our energy levels were again commendable and build-up play creative, but a combination of less than clinical finishing, a dubious offside shout and a great performance from their goalkeeper meant that we had to settle for 1-1 at the break, even with Cleeve going down to ten men. For the second half we were very confident that as the game progressed we would open them up more and more; they clearly tired and started to pick up injuries - one of which unfortunately needed a call for the ambulance service – and we wish him well in his recovery."
“We demonstrated superior fitness but at 2-2 when we were asking questions as the clock ticked down, we just couldn’t find the all-important winning goal. Penalties are a cruel way to go out; I admire any player who stands up to say they will take one, but I think with a traditional period of extra-time, we would have got across the line. We are gutted that we couldn’t get to the next round so that our supporters could have their fix of live football again - we have certainly missed the cheers and encouragement. We have felt the support from all those involved and who follow the club, and we have given everything. We hope to be able to celebrate soon when promotion is officially granted. The players, backroom staff, directors and supporters, in fact the whole community of Malvern, deserve it, so thank you.
“Hoops and I are very grateful for everyone’s efforts to get us into this position and we are really excited to take our next steps on the journey.”