MALVERN remain in the Worcestershire Cricket League Division Two relegation zone after a four-wicket defeat at fellow strugglers Feckenham.
The second-from-bottom visitors were asked to bat against the side just one place above them in the table after losing the toss.
Openers Anthony Arnold and Andy Cullen set about building a solid foundation and all was going well at 65-0.
However, a dubious lbw decision saw Cullen (14) removed and Steve Lake fell first ball.
Max White (19) and Arnold (45) moved Malvern on but a flurry of wickets left them floundering at 115-6.
Neil Thompson (42), on his first-team return to Malvern, started a rearguard action, helping set a winning target of 171 runs for Feckenham.
The home side's openers began cautiously with Thompson bowling tightly for 3-19 off 14 overs.
Two fine slip catches by Jeremy Lee off Thompson in the space of three balls looked like making the game interesting.
But Feckenham's Luke Jackson played a patient innings lasting 47 overs for his match-winning 77 not out.
Malvern travel to mid-table Lye on Saturday (1pm).
The seconds thrashed Himley by 137 runs in Division Three with David Sharp scoring 65 and Dan Besgrove 56, while Mike McCollum claimed 6-21.
Mike Berry's 63no helped the thirds hammer Coombs Wood by 10 wickets in Division Seven.
The annual Malvern club fun day takes place on Sunday from 1pm and all are welcome.