MALVERN Town ended a run of three defeats with a 2-1 victory full of character at Shawbury United in the West Midlands League Premier Division.

Harry Wickett, Curtis Smith, Joshua Hunt, Jamie Sauntson, Dan Noke and Ben Lane all went close for Malvern in the first period.

But then defensive hesitation allowed 14th-placed Shawbury to nip in and open the scoring on the stroke of half-time.

Hunt's header was saved as Malvern played sharp football and they finally equalised on 65 minutes.

Harry Clark broke out wide before cutting inside and firing a low strike past the keeper.

Clark was thwarted by the keeper before Town went ahead on 77 minutes when Matt Fusco fed sub Matt Turner who arrowed a shot into the far corner of the net.

Malvern's Charlie Weaver kept the lead intact by saving from a free header in front of goal before tipping a free-kick onto the bar.

Co-manager Lee Hooper said: “We knew that it was always going to be tough coming here with the run that we have been on.

"We asked the lads to dig in and work hard which they did. We showed a lot of character, particularly after conceding just before half-time.

"It was a poor goal for us to give away and during the interval we asked the lads to show us what they were made of in the second half.

“They went out there with real determination and scored two good goals. Now we’ve got back into winning ways we need to really push on from here and build upon it."

In his first league start, youngster Noke, who has impressed at centre-half and up front for the under 18s, grabbed his chance with a mature display.

He said: “It was great the gaffers put their trust in me to go out there and do a job and I felt I did well.

“I won all of my individual battles, which is crucial for a centre-back, and also I felt I communicated well with my team-mates throughout.

“We needed to get back into winning ways after recent results. Our build-up play was excellent during that second period as well as looking solid defensively.

“I am pleased with the progress I have been making in the under 18s this season.

"This youth team squad is the best I have ever been involved with in terms of footballing ability and I am taking the experience I am gaining from training with the first team into match-day scenarios for the under 18s which is serving me well and developing my ability massively.

“During pre-season my aim was to make the starting line-up for the first team.

“Now I have done that I want to get a run of games and show a good level of consistency to help the team keep as many clean sheets as possible.”

Malvern: Weaver, Smith (Webb 46), Griffiths, Noke, J Sauntson, Wickett (A Sauntson 83), Clark, Loader, Hunt, Fusco, Lane (Turner 46). Subs not used: Salacinski, Griffin.