MALVERN Town co-manager Lee Hooper is impressed but not prepared to get too carried away with how his side have begun their pre-season preparations.

The Hillsiders beat Redditch United 2-0 and pushed National League North outfit Gloucester City extremely close in a narrow 1-0 defeat before they beat Worcester City 2-1 on Tuesday evening. 

The Hillsiders' testing pre-season schedule still has matches against the likes of Hereford FC, Stourbridge and League One Cheltenham Town to come but Hooper is confident these tests will put his side in the best possible position come the start of the campaign.

"When you look at the (pre-season) schedule, you look at it and think it's good for the club but it's maybe a bit grueling as well with the opponents we are facing," he said.

"You sometimes wonder if our lads are going to be chasing shadows but they haven't and they've been really impressive. We were the better side against Redditch (won 2-0), have beaten City and should have taken something from Gloucester (lost 1-0)."

Having played at a high standard against both Redditch and Gloucester, Tuesday's win at City was perhaps less convincing but Hooper was content with the overall outcome.

"Winning games is good, that's what pre-season is all about, creating that winning momentum to take into the season," said Hooper.

"It's good to get some goals as well, to know we are creating chances is positive but the main objective is to get minutes into the legs of as many of the lads as possible and we are doing that.

"Defensively we look well drilled and strong (vs City). I thought the game was a bit sloppy but on the whole, we got out of the game what we needed to and to get that late winning goal was nice for us." 

Malvern had five trialists on display on Tuesday and it was again one of them who found the winner in Jedidiah Afenyo, who now has two goals in three games for Malvern during his trial.

Former Worcester and Evesham right-back Joe Hunt is another of those being given minutes by Hooper and co-manager Stephen Cleal.

The plan is to keep providing opportunities for these players to impress, especially in the absence of some of the senior players in the squad.

"We are being able to see others in action with the holiday period coming into play and people being away for whatever reason," added Hooper."

"We want to give them minutes to show us what they are about. It's great for that scenario, some of the young lads are doing well as well and it was good for Jed to get another goal and he is one of those younger guys who is doing really well."