MALVERN Town's pre-season came to an end this week with a hard-fought win over Droitwich Spa.

It was the visitors who had the first sight of goal in the opening minute when Cox got in a strike which was easily dealt with by Kieron Blackburn.

Malvern soon got into their stride, however, when some neat link-up play between Joe Bates and Joe Billingham saw a great chance open up for Matt Turner who put it wide.

The pressure finally paid dividends on eight minutes as Turner fired home, scoring again three minutes later following another near move.

Some alert defending from Sam Hunt saw him clear an inviting ball but from the resulting corner Louis Loader handled inside the box and the visitors were able to reduce the deficit via Collins.

On the half hour, Clark played in Turner whose strike was deflected wide and Adam Sauntson was unlucky from the resulting corner.

As half time approached, a positive run from Billingham ended with him winning a free kick in a promising position which was deflected by the defensive wall from Hunt into the path of Harry Wickett, whose shot was blocked.

The sides went in at 2-1 at half time following a long range effort from Louis Loader, which flew wide of the mark.

After the restart, Spa looked the most likely to score, with Burgess being denied by a good save from Blackburn. A last-ditch tackle from George Hayes saw the visitors win a corner which resulted in Collins bringing the score back to 2-2.

Droitwich then went ahead on 67 minutes with a header from Cox before Nathan Chowns-Higgs scored just three minutes later, making it to 3-3.

A much better passing move ended with Town regaining the lead as Loader lashed home a second attempt.

The visitors continued to press as a free kick out wide from Cox caused problems.

As the clock ran down, Chowns-Higgs played in Matt Fusco who fired over and then a free kick in a promising position for Droitwich was saved by James Loader as Malvern rounded off their pre-season with a win.

Co-manager Dene Whittal-Williams said: "We always knew it was going to be tough. That’s why we wanted to play them tonight as we knew it would give us good preparation to take into the start of the new season at the weekend.

"They are a strong side with good management who have been together for a while. There were ups and downs for us over the course of the 90 minutes, but we played some fantastic stuff at times.

"We let them back into it having gone two goals up, but the good thing was that we were able to calm ourselves down, get another two goals and see the game out.

"It’s ended pre-season on a positive note, so we’re happy with that. We’ve played some strong teams who have given us good preparation for the challenges that we face."