Town hunt for upturn after loss at Smethwick

Ledbury Reporter: Town hunt for upturn after loss at Smethwick Town hunt for upturn after loss at Smethwick

AT Smethwick’s Brierley Hill base, Malvern earned a seventh-minute free-kick and Louis Loader’s cross fell to an unmarked Dave Reynolds but he headed over the bar. A Malvern corner two minutes later was played around the box and fell to Reynolds whose shot was saved at point-blank range by keeper Gurtis Bhullar.

But Smethwick took the lead in the 24th minute when Lee Barmby pushed a Smethwick player in the box and the referee awarded a penalty which David Meese converted.

The goal was completely against the run of play but Malvern still continued to press, rueing their missed chances.

On the half-hour mark, a good move between several players worked the ball upfield and into the box but no one was close enough to have a shot.

Malvern attacked again on 33 minutes when Reece King played a fine through-ball to Reynolds.

His shot was dropped by Bhullar but Lee Hooper was behind the keeper and could not reach it.

However, Malvern eventually got the goal they deserved when King produced another good ball for Reynolds who fired home.

Two minutes into the second period, the Town goalscorer found himself one-on-one with Bhullar who came out and smothered his shot.

Smethwick regained the lead on the hour mark when an unmarked Jaspal Bhandal fired past advancing keeper Charles Weaver.

Malvern came back and Loader’s free-kick went just over the attackers’ heads, missing the back post by a fraction.

Ten minutes from time, an away free-kick was tipped away by Bhullar.

But Smethwick almost added to their lead after the ball squirmed from Weaver’s grasp as he made a pointblank stop and Joe Endacott cleared off the line.

Malvern saw more chances to level go begging when Bhullar pushed away Reynolds’ shot and Barmby’s header from a Hooper corner was cleared off the line.

Several minutes later, Gurjit Singh broke free and scored Smethwick’s third goal to leave Town to again search for some joy on their travels this weekend.

Malvern host Bromsgrove Sporting in the Worcestershire FA Senior Urn last eight next Wednesday (7.45pm).

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