MALVERN Town’s five-game winning run ended as they were held to a 1-1 home draw by AFC Bridgnorth.

A Jay Sauntson goal just before the break gave Town the lead only for their visitors to grab a second-half equaliser.

On Saturday fifth-placed Malvern have a crunch clash at Wednesfield who are one position and four points behind them with two games in hand.

“We started the game with real purpose as we worked towards our game plan,” said co-manager Dene Whittal-Williams.

“We lacked that bit of quality in the final third to create anything threatening.

“As we got a foothold in the game we managed to carve out some shooting opportunities as a result of some neat play.

“We managed to get our noses in front when we were alert to seize upon a mistake from the opposition keeper to go in at the break one goal to the good.

“Both Lee (Hooper, co-manager) and I wanted more from the second half.

"We came out having changed things around slightly and it had an immediate impact as we applied plenty of pressure early on.

“Disappointingly, however, we were unable to capitalise upon the pressure as our opponents worked hard and were well organised defensively.

“We remained in control and were defending well until a corner with just over 20 minutes to go saw us fail to clear our lines and the ball found its way into the back of the net.

“It was a sloppy goal to concede and thereafter we had to work hard to keep hold of a point.

“We know that there are absolutely no easy rides in this league but at the same time we are disappointed that our winning run had to come to an end.

“We know that we will have to do much better at Wednesfield on Saturday.

"We’ll work hard in training and review the footage from the last game to prepare for what is a six-pointer.”

With the influential Phil Harris unavailable for the next two weeks and illness sidelining Ben Lane and Henry Dyde, Malvern failed to hit the target early on.

Louis Loader's attempt to chip keeper Callum Grant went too high and Harry Clark headed just wide.

But in the 42nd minute Malvern went ahead when Sauntson's shot from around 40 yards bounced in front of Grant and went through his arms into the net.

In the 61st minute Bridgnorth equalised when a corner was played to the back edge of the box and substitute Brandon Bristow fired home.

Sauntson cleared off the line to deny Bridgnorth a winner while Grant saved from Loader with his legs in injury-time at the other end.

Malvern: Weaver, J Sauntson, Griffiths, A Sauntson, Noke, Febery, Moran (Whittal-Williams 86), Loader, Turner (Price 70), Fusco (Webb 53), Clark. Subs not

used: Wickett, Hooper.