DAVE Reynolds' hat-trick sealed a fine comeback before Malvern Town were ultimately hit by penalty heartache.

They fought back from 4-0 down to draw 4-4 against higher-ranked visitors Tuffley Rovers in the Banbury Litho Floodlit Challenge Cup third round but bowed out 4-1 on spot-kicks.

Hellenic League Premier Division side Tuffley went ahead in the fourth minute when a free-kick was initially fired into the wall by Mark Pritchett before he planted the rebound home.

Malvern's Kyonn Evans was denied by keeper Luke Merchant before Chris Pinder saved from Jake Rhodes at the other end only for Pritchett to make it two from the resulting corner.

Despite Town getting on top Tuffley went 4-0 up by the half-hour mark as a low strike from Joe Shutt found the net and then Pritchett dispatched a penalty to seal his hat-trick.

But the HDanywhere Community Stadium hosts reduced the arrears on 36 minutes when Reynolds was played through and stayed cool to slot home.

Malvern bossed the second period with Reynolds' strike tipped over before Matt Turner finished off Louis Loader's long pass on 66 minutes.

The visitors scrambled an effort off the line and Harry Clark fired over from close range.

In the closing stages Reynolds went close before he buried the third goal on 89 minutes.

As the game entered injury-time Bryan Craven rattled the woodwork from distance before Malvern levelled with the last kick as Reynolds completed his treble.

With both teams preparing for penalties Rovers hat-trick hero Pritchett was sent off as the game ended in dramatic fashion.

But Turner was the only successful player from the spot as Tuffley dominated the penalty shootout.

Eighth-placed Malvern return to Division One West action on Saturday (3pm) at home to basement boys New College Swindon who are yet to win having conceded 92 goals from 13 games.

Town now have nine league home games in a row after starting the season on their travels due to ground redevelopment work.

Malvern: Pinder, Hayes (Smith 79), Wickett (J Febery 54), Craven, Griffiths, Loader, Fusco (Turner 46), Hunt, Reynolds, Evans, Clark. Subs not used: Skidmore, Mole.