22 August 2020
Malvern Town 3 Stourport Swifts 4
On Friday night Malvern Town played out a hard-fought encounter with Stourport Swifts which ended in a 4-3 defeat.
The visitors took the lead within the opening two minutes when a free-kick delivered into our area wasn’t properly cleared and they were able to fire home from close range. It was a purposeful start from our opponents who went close from another sharp move soon afterwards. With ten minutes on the clock, an ambitious curling effort from distance by the visitors’ number 10 was well clawed away by Josh Rogers who then did well to save at his near post as we were unable to get into our attacking stride in the opening exchanges.
We managed to create our first chance on the quarter-hour mark when Harry Clark fed Matt Turner who poked an effort wide and then George Hayes’ low ball into the area just evaded Turner at the far post. In between, Rogers did well to thwart Danks from close range.
The visitors were able to double their advantage on 21 minutes when a free-kick was pushed out by Rogers and our opponents were alive to force the loose ball home. As we looked to get back into the game, Clark went close as he lashed an effort wide from just outside the area. Just before the half-hour mark we fell further behind when the visitors were able to cut open our back-line to break through but we were able to pull a goal back soon afterwards as a corner was forced home by Billingham.
A neat passage of play ended with Joe Billingham almost playing in Matt Fusco, before Clark saw a strike saved by the ‘keeper. At the other end, number 10 saw a low effort creep just wide of the target whilst the half ended with a couple of comfortable saves from Rogers.
The second half started with a pacy breakaway from the visitors which ended with them making it 4-1. On 51 minutes, a free-kick was pumped into the area where James Febery, one of five changes at the break, stayed strong to guide the ball home and reduce the arrears. Rogers did well to beat away a strike from the visitors’ number 11 before a sweeping move saw the visitors forced to scramble clear. A timely challenge denied Bryan Craven in front of goal and then moments later, the visitors went close at the other end.
As we looked for a way back into the game, a powerful drive from Will Saunders was saved before Harry Clark tucked home our third goal after Curtis Smith had caused problems for the visitors’ defence when he latched onto a long ball. With 82 minutes on the clock, Clark won a free-kick which he fired into the defensive wall before he saw a header at the far post well saved from a corner.
As we continued to press for a leveller, Clark curled one inches wide with both sides battling hard and working well. In the closing stages, Febery cleared off the line and then at the other end, Hayes saw a low drive saved as a hard-fought encounter ended in a 4-3 defeat.
Westfields 3 US Portsmouth 0
Westfields played their first pre-season friendly in front of spectators when the allpay.park side maintained their early season form with a resounding 3-0 home win over US Portsmouth on Saturday. This was the first game played in front of spectators who had to adhere to a strict risk assessment but Westfields turned on a good display in front of the home crowd.
In fact Joel Edwards put Westfields ahead early on with a cracking left-foot free kick which went into the bottom corner of the net to give Westfields an early lead. Westfields had further opportunities to increase their lead but Keanu Cooper shot over the bar when well placed shortly before the interval.
However, after the break Westfields increased their lead when King Baidoo put the home side ahead with a superb finish after good build-up play to put Westfields into a commanding 2-0 lead within a few minutes of the re-start.
Westfields then replaced goalkeeper Steve Sarkodie with Ian Havard and the substitute keeper was soon in early action when he raced off his line to save bravely at the feet of the Portsmouth striker who was through on goal.
Westfields were beginning to carve open the visitors’ defence and good approach work by Aidan Thomas and Matt Reeve were giving the visitors’ defence problems.
Westfields made the game safe when in the 85th minute Richard Greaves found time in the box to fire home across the visitors’ keeper to put Westfields 3-0 ahead and then right at the death Richard Greaves had an identical chance which whistled just inches wide of the far upright.
However, Westfields kept a clean sheet to give their home supporters a fine 3-0 win on returning to allpay.park.
Westfields now go to Southern League South & West side Bristol Manor Farm on Tuesday evening and on Thursday travel to their local derby with Pegasus Juniors in the Dennis Hartland Trophy.
Next Saturday Westfields entertain Sporting Khalsa, kick-off 3pm at allpay.park, before they play their Extra Preliminary Round FA Cup tie on Tuesday 1st September v Brocton, kick-off 7.45pm at allpay.park.