21 April 2021
BluefinSport Hellenic League Challenge Cup
Malvern Town 5 Wellington 1
At the HDAnywhere Stadium Malvern Town secured a 5-1 home victory over Wellington in their first Hellenic League Challenge Cup Group game.
Despite coming out of the blocks positively, we fell behind in the third minute when a free-kick was pumped into the box and James headed home powerfully. We got ourselves back on level terms five minutes later when Joe Bates carved out an opening for Harry Clark who stroked home. After Bates had done well to force a corner, which was cleared at the second attempt, we took the lead on 13 minutes when Matt Turner was played through by Matt Fusco and he stayed cool to guide the ball beyond the reach of the ‘keeper. As the visitors looked to hit back, James fired well over before Segust found some space but fired straight at Keiron Blackburn.
At the other end, a free-kick from Jordan Hayward picked out Turner who lifted the ball well over the crossbar. An intelligent ball from Phil Harris picked out Nathan Chowns Higgs who dragged his effort just wide, before Pearson cut inside at the other end but put his low strike wide.
We extended our lead just before the half-hour mark when Turner broke the offside trap before keeping his composure to slot home. A quickly-taken throw-in almost caught us out as Pearson was played through but he put his effort wide as he closed in on goal. Some neat play saw Bates do well to link up with Matt Fusco who in turn teed up Chowns Higgs for a strike that was saved. Moments later at the other end, Pearson was presented with another opening but he fired over as we went in at the break 3-1 up.
The second period started with us losing possession as Thomas got in a strike that Blackburn saved smartly then a high cross from Bates was taken off the head of Turner. A neat passage of play on the left ended with Jordan Hayward getting in an inviting cross which Smith in the visitors’ goal did well to claim. Some quick feet from Thomas saw him break into the area and as Blackburn saved his initial effort, he put the rebound wide.
We extended our lead on 64 minutes when Turner did well in the build-up and following pressure from Fusco, he was able to turn the ball into the net. A long-range drive from Joe Bullock was well saved by Smith, whilst at the other end, Williams made room for a strike that went over.
As the clock ticked down, Bullock linked up well with Chowns Higgs who was denied by the ‘keeper and then a low driven cross from Clark found Fusco who strike packed power but was blocked by the ‘keeper. On 83 minutes we added to our lead when Clark’s low strike deflected off the ‘keeper and George Hayes was alert to guide the ball home and complete a convincing victory.
MALVERN TOWN: Blackburn, Smith, Hayward, Paddock (J. Sauntson 75), Harris, Loader (Bullock 62), Bates (Hayes 74), Fusco, Turner, Chowns Higgs, Clark. Subs not used: J. Febery, Billingham, Platt, Pinder.
GOAL(S): Clark, Turner (2), Fusco, Hayes