MALVERN Town survived a late rally from Ellesmere Rangers to clinch a 4-3 victory in the West Midlands League Premier Division.
Josh Weatherby, Dave Reynolds, Bryan Craven netted to put the hosts on course for an emphatic win.
But Rangers hit back with two goals in as many minutes from Scott Ryan and Joe Parry.
Louis Loader added a fourth for Malvern before Ryan struck late to set up a tense finale.
Les Jones’ side could have been in front inside the opening five minutes as Matt Pinder went through one-on-one with goalkeeper Dameon Stevens, who blocked the shot.
Charlie Weaver also made a save at the other end before Weatherby put Malvern ahead on 24 minutes after he latched onto Lewis Platt’s through-ball.
Platt was forced off moments later through injury, with Loader coming on.
But Malvern continued to attack as Reynolds weaved his way through before firing just wide of the top corner.
In the final minute of the first period, Town made it 2-0 as Pinder crossed for Reynolds to finish.
Malvern suffered another injury blow with Dene Whittal-Williams making way for Aaron Richards but they were soon 3-0 ahead.
Paul Edwards went close and Reynolds forced a save from Stevens before Craven’s 68th-minute free-kick missed everyone and flew into the net.
But Ellesmere responded superbly as Weaver was beaten by a wonderful long-range strike from Ryan.
Parry then closed the gap further after Ellesmere got down the left and pulled the ball back for him to score, but Loader quickly restored Malvern’s two-goal cushion. In the 76th minute Ellesmere struck a free-kick low through the wall which Weaver parried before diving on the ball.
But Weaver then presented Ellesmere a third when the ball escaped his grasp after claim a cross and Ryan was on hand to score.
Malvern visit Cradley Town in the league tomorrow (3pm) and host Wellington on Wednesday (7.45pm).