HIGHLY-rated Malvern Town forward Joshua Hunt has turned down an approach from a higher-ranked club.

The former Wellington player started the match as Malvern beat Chelmsley Town 3-2 on penalties on Tuesday.

They secured a home tie with Moors Academy in the Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup second round after the scores were level at 1-1 on 90 minutes.

Sixth-placed Malvern resume their West Midlands League Premier Division promotion push at Bewdley Town on Saturday (3pm) before hosting Cradley Town on Tuesday (7.45pm).

Co-manager Lee Hooper said: “It’s a real boost that Josh has turned down a move into a higher level in favour of staying here and being part of our promotion push.

"He is a big part of our plans and has really brought in to what we are trying to do here.

“He is a quality player who is excited by what the future holds in store for the club and he wants to be part of that journey.”

In a goalless first half against Chelmsley, James Febery lashed wide and Matt Turner's effort was saved.

The deadlock was broken three minutes into the second period when Ben Lane did well out wide before feeding Turner who fired home.

Hunt was denied by a smart stop but Steve Webb cleared off the line from Chelmsley's Danny Cullen before the visitors levelled on 84 minutes with a sweet strike past keeper Charlie Weaver.

The tie went straight to penalties and Malvern prevailed.

Hooper added: “We started the game well and created a few decent early chances.

“The fact that we didn’t take them gave our opponents impetus as they got into the game.

“We had a lot of possession but didn’t retain the ball well enough. The main thing though is we came through it and have made progress into the next round.

“Our penalties were good in the shootout and Chas also did well in making a couple of saves.

“It’s going to be another tough game at the weekend. Even though we beat Bewdley well in the home game in August (4-0), we won’t be underestimating them because they have picked up some good results this season.

“They’ll make it difficult for us but if we can reach the levels that we did against Tividale (in Saturday's 1-1 draw) it will stand us in good stead.”