MALVERN Town slipped to their first Hellenic League Division One West defeat of the season.

They lost 3-1 at fellow former Southern League club Shortwood United who are unbeaten in the competition.

Matt Turner's inviting cross was cleared for Malvern before Shortwood took over with keeper Haydn Whitcombe gathering Tom Black's free-kick at the second attempt.

Lee Bowles' strike was deflected off target and Whitcombe tipped over another effort from the same player after saving smartly from Joe Tryner.

But Kyonn Evans had the chance to put Malvern ahead only to place the ball wide after being played through by Turner.

Whitcombe thwarted Max Harper-Emerson while Malvern debutant Nick Hancock, signed on dual-registration terms from Evesham United, crossed for Turner to head off target.

Shortwood edged in front five minutes into the second half when Whitcombe saved only for Black to gobble up the rebound.

Evans was denied at close range but then after Black’s rasping effort was pushed away by Whitcombe the hosts won a penalty which Luke Soule stepped up to convert.

A corner just past the hour was pushed over by the home keeper and another flag-kick got scrambled clear.

But Shortwood made it 3-0 with quarter-of-an hour to go when lively substitute, Harper-Emerson lashed home.

However, Malvern kept plugging away and with 10 minutes to go Evans crossed for Harry Clark to score at the far post.

They were denied another goal as Ben Miller's strike was blocked, Ethan Moran's effort gathered by the keeper and Clark’s low drive tipped away.

Malvern: Whitcombe, Hunt, Wickett, J Sauntson, Hayes (Smith 60), Craven (Fusco 60), Hancock, Clark, Miller, Turner (Moran 55), Evans. Subs not used: A Sauntson, Weaver.

Meanwhile, Malvern Town Reserves secured their first Herefordshire FA League Premier Division win of the season with a deserved 3-1 triumph at Holme Lacy.

Despite missing a string of players, Darren Critcher headed in a corner just before the hour mark to put Town ahead.

On 67 minutes Matt Curtis slotted home and he then flicked on a long clearance from keeper Harry Leach for Morgan Skidmore to net from close range.

Holme Lacy bagged a late consolation through Louis Catley.

Malvern visit Kingstone Rovers on Saturday (2.30pm).