MALVERN Town co-manager Lee Hooper described his team's last-minute defeat to Evesham United on Boxing Day as a "real kick in the teeth".

The Hillsiders battled back from 2-0 down to level matters 20 minutes from time thanks to a brace from Jack Watts, but Charlie Wise got the decisive touch in stoppage time to hand Evesham all three points from a thrilling contest.

"It's a tough one to take," said Hooper. "After a poor first-half, we deserved to be 2-0 down.

"We got a foothold in the game in the final five minutes before half-time, we started playing some football and we carried that into the second-half.

"We got that early goal and the momentum changed and after we scored the equaliser from the penalty, I thought we did enough to win the game and it looked as if only one team was going to go on and win it.

"So to make the two mistakes at the end of the game and get beaten by a header in the 93rd minute, it's a big kick in the teeth and a difficult one to take."

Malvern conceded two sloppy goals in the first-half. Levi Steele beat Malvern keeper Josh Bishop in the air to nod in the opener before Carrick Hill's header back to his keeper enabled Steele to nip in and make it 2-0.

Jack Watts' flicked finish within 60 seconds of the restart halved the deficit and when Bishop saved Evesham captain Amer Awadh's penalty, the tide turned and Watts converted his spot-kick with 20 minutes remaining to draw Malvern level.

It looked destined for a draw, but substitute Charlie Wise bundled the ball over the line from a free-kick loaded into the Malvern box to make it two defeats in a row over Christmas for The Hillsiders.

"We cannot dwell on this," added Hooper. "We have to dust ourselves down and go again against Cribbs on New Year's Day.

"We have been on the right end of some of these types of games in the past but we are on the wrong end of it this time around. 

"Cribbs are flying right now but we look forward to going there and putting things right."