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Hitman Hooper opens his account in Town's defeat
7:20pm Monday 19th August 2013 in Sport
MALVERN Town kicked off their West Midlands League Premier DIvision season with a 3-1 defeat at Shifnal Town.
The visitors paid the price for missed chances after dominating the first 20 minutes in Shropshire.
In a magical spell, good work between Lee Hooper and summer signings James Schembri and Sean Cooke saw the ball crossed for Oliver Endacott at the back post but he headed it straight at keeper Vitor Pinheiro.
A minute later, forward Dave Reynolds rose to challenge for the ball and felt the full force of Pinheiro in the back but the referee did not think a foul took place.
Cooke then crossed the ball into the area and Schembri’s powerful header went just wide of the goal.
Soon after, Cooke was brought down in the box but again the penalty appeals fell on deaf ears.
In the 22nd minute, Shifnal made the most of Malvern’s wasted opportunities when a free-kick was given away just outside the edge of the box.
Clayton Johnson crossed into the box and Gary Meakin, lurking at the back post, fired the ball home.
It was 2-0 to the hosts 15 minutes later when Johnson fired in a 30-yard shot.
As half-time approached, Malvern stepped up their own bid to score and Schembri found Endacott whose cross to Hooper was headed into the side-netting.
Endacott’s shot was saved but in the 44th minute he put a cross over and this time Hooper tapped in from close range to make the half-time score 2-1. The chances continued in the second period and Hooper rounded his opponent before firing over on 58 minutes from Endacott’s pass.
Three minutes later, a Louis Loader free-kick for Malvern hit another player and the ball fell to Shifnal’s Steve Meakin who ran through but shot off target.
Reynolds drove wide before Shifnal crucially grabbed the next goal on 72 minutes when substitute Ricky Dumbrell, unmarked at the back post, found the net following an attack down the left.
Pinheiro ensured another chance went begging for Malvern when he saved from Reynolds after a throw-in was flicked on.
- Upton Town kicked off their first pre-season friendly by handing four players noncompetitive debuts.
Town, who have been promoted to Cheltenham Association League Division One for this season, beat a strong Bredon side 3-2 with an impressive second-half display.
Kristian Richardson was among the goals with a brace as Upton hit back from behind twice to win.
The league season begins on Saturday, August 27, at home to local rivals Hanley Swan who have also been promoted.
- Newent Town marked their return to the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League with a 3-1 Reg Davis Memorial Cup first-round home win over Ruardean Hill Rangers.
- Herefordshire Junior League side Ledbury Swifts Athletic under 10s are looking for new players.
Anyone interested can call Stuart on 07450-836200, Matt on 07786-261353 or head to training at Ledbury Rugby Club, Ross Road, on Tuesdays from 5.30pm until 6.30pm.
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