MALVERN Vale Firsts have an eight-point lead at the top of Cheltenham League Division Three after a 4-2 home victory over Tewkesbury Town Reserves.

Following two straight defeats Vale returned to winning ways after looking to press from the start despite missing league top scorer Matt Strangwood.

They went ahead on seven minutes when Ethan Lambert broke from the back and supplied Nick Jones who found Mig Passaro and he curled the ball into the far corner to go level with Strangwood on goals.

Four minutes later Mario Vieira's ferocious effort from just outside the area was reached by the keeper but he could not prevent the ball crossing the line.

However, Tewkesbury pulled a goal back when from a free-kick the otherwise impressive Edgar Sanha lost his man who slotted past returning keeper Marcin Celmer.

The goal sparked Vale back into life and from a 30-yard free-kick Vieira's strike completely wrong-footed the keeper to restore the cushion.

Vale rang the changes with Ash Griffiths, Alen Damadzic, Samson Arishe and Jack Burfitt all coming on and Lewis Williams back from a five-match suspension.

Williams' chip from Celmer's long clearance dropped just over before Vale scored a fourth on 70 minutes when Anthony Cakebread hit a vicious left-footed strike into the top corner.

With three minutes left another Tewkesbury set-piece was not cleared and eventually got turned into the net from close range.

Vale host Falcons Reserves on Saturday (2pm).

Fifth-placed Welland Reserves won 3-2 at Cheltenham Civil Service Thirds.

Division Four leaders Malvern Cave thrashed Charlton Rovers Thirds 8-1 with Ashley Prosser bagging a hat-trick.

Toby Boswell, David Jones, Matthew Mcintosh and Luke Roberts also netted.

Malvern Vale Reserves won 2-1 at Andoversford Thirds thanks to Kieran Kinsella and Joe Turner.