TWO goals from striker Joe Bates helped Malvern Town cement this place at the top of the Hellenic League Premier Division table as their sensational season start rumbled on last weekend with a 3-0 win at second-placed Cribbs.

It was first vs second heading into the clash but The Hillsiders underlined their title credentials by cruising to victory and going two points clear at the summit.

Matt Turner was also on the scoresheet for the second game running and together with Bates' brace, they dispatched Cribbs on their own turf.

Town started brightly and opened the scoring after just 15 minutes when a neat move ended with Turner firing home with a low strike.

Returning defender Phil Harris had to clear a shot from off the line as the hosts looked to equalise before Dave Reynolds almost doubled his side's lead, heading just wide of the post.

Malvern again had to scramble a ball away, this time through Lewis Platt, before they did get the second 10 minutes before the break.

Bates scored his seventh of the season, to level with Harry Clark's season tally in the league, as he guided home to give the Hillsiders a two-goal cushion at half-time.

Chances were at a premium at either end is the opening exchanges of the second half as the game became stop-start and the wet conditions were not helping matters.

The result was put to bed on the 74th minute when Bates got his second of the day after the visitors calved their way through the home side and he was on hand to apply the finish touch.

That took his total to eight goals this season, one clear of Clark, as Malvern made it back-to-back league wins.

They go again on Tuesday night when they host Tuffley Rovers (7.45pm KO) at the HDAnywhere Community Stadium.