CO-MANAGER Lee Hooper said Malvern Town's 3-2 defeat to 10-man Dudley Sports in the West Midlands Premier Division League Cup was "hard to take".

They exited the competition at the first hurdle on Tuesday despite visitors Dudley going down to 10 men in the 11th minute.

Malvern twice went ahead through Harry Clark and Matt Turner but relinquished their lead.

Seventh-placed Town now visit Shawbury United on Saturday in the Premier Division (3pm) before hosting Moors Academy in the Smedley Crooke Memorial Cup on Tuesday (7.45pm).

On the cup defeat, Hooper said: “It was a very disappointing result.

"This was a winnable game for us and everyone knows we should have got a positive result out of it.

“It’s hard to take. We took the lead twice but let them back in it and in the end we were punished for missing chances and sloppy defending.

“We know we are going to have to go away and work harder than ever in training to be able to turn this around.

“We’ll be doing all that we can to get it right and secure a positive result from Saturday’s game.”

Visitors Dudley had their keeper sent off on just 11 minutes for handling outside the box to deny Joshua Hunt.

Town threatened to score before breaking the deadlock on 34 minutes with Clark's low free-kick after he had been fouled.

Louis Loader rattled the bar but Sports levelled through Hamilton Chiwara's penalty just a few minutes into the second half after keeper Charlie Weaver brought down Richard Nicholson.

Malvern again went close before Turner regained the lead on 75 minutes from Clark's assist.

But it only lasted two minutes as defensive hesitation allowed Emile Beckford to level and Nicholson gave Dudley the lead for the first time with the winner on 85 minutes.

Town had lost 2-1 at home to Wolverhampton Casuals in the league on Saturday after two long-range strikes.

Malvern: Weaver, Webb (Lane 86), Griffiths, A Sauntson, J Sauntson, Wickett, Evans (Turner 63), Loader, Hunt, Fusco (Griffin 63), Clark. Subs not used: Gaffney, Dyde.

Town's under 18s slipped to a disappointing 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Stourport Swifts.

Tyler Eley returned to league action with a goal and assist.