DAVE Reynolds and Joe Bates were both on the scoresheet for Malvern Town as The Hillsiders began the new year with a 2-0 win at Roman Glass St. George.

Reynolds tucked away a free-kick with just 15 minutes on the clock before Bates fired home in the second-half as a below-par Malvern did just about enough to start 2022 with a much needed three points.

Having seen their title chances take a hit following their 3-1 home defeat to league leaders Bishops Cleeve on Boxing Day, Malvern could ill-afford another slip-up but the hard-earned victory keeps them in touch with Cleeve at the top of the table.

Malvern move up into third and within 11 points off the summit but they do still have two games in hand.

It was a slow start to the game as both sides sized each other up in the opening stages before a free-kick for handball was dispatched by Reynolds into the back of the net for the opener.

Rhys Sarson hooked one wide for the hosts and Kyonn Evans also had an effort saved as both sides began to warm-up in the contest.

Glass then went close to an equaliser as two brave blocks and then a great save from Keiron Blackburn denied Sarson in quick succession as the visitors failed to clear their lines.

Despite the hosts being on top, Evans thought he had doubled the lead after the break but for the offside flag.

The second goal did then come soon after as Evans showed good strength to set up Bates who fired home.

The home side had a couple of free-kicks that flashed across the face of goal as the clock ticked down but Malvern were able to manage the rest of the game well to start the New Year on a winning note.

(Picture credit: Cliff Williams).