Malvern Town went second in the Hellenic League Premier Division after coming from behind to beat Longlevens 2-1 and make it five wins in a row. 

Rudi McKinnon's deflected strike in the 65th minute looked to be the winner with time reaching the final 15 minutes but Malvern had other ideas.

First Adam Sauntson headed home from a corner in the 75th minute and when Joe Talbot handled on the line to prevent Town going ahead, he was sent off and Joe Bates won it from the spot with a powerful penalty.

Having struggled to start 2022, Malvern have now won five games in a row with most of those coming against sides in and around the play-off picture and they now lead the pack behind runaway league leaders Bishops Cleeve.

It was a cagey first-half and neither side were able to get themselves ahead but Matt Turner and Harry Clark both went close for the visitors. 

A couple of efforts were cleared off the line by the hosts, who also forced Keiron Blackburn into a couple of smart blocks.

The second period started with a neat passage of play which ended with Clark’s stooping header kept out on the line.

The home side took the lead on 65 minutes in rather fortunate circumstances when a speculative strike from McKinnon took a deflection that found its way beyond Blackburn.

But Town refused to let their heads drop and levelled matters ten minutes later when a neat passage of play ended with Turner’s effort being deflected into the side-netting and from the corner that followed, Adam Sauntson headed home.

Five minutes later and a foul on Josh Beadle gave the visitors a free-kick in a promising position which Dave Reynolds delivered into the danger zone that saw the drama unfold.

Joe Bates’ effort was handled on the line by Talbot as the ball was about to cross the line, leading to big appeals from the Malvern players. 

The referee did not hesitate in sending off Talbot and pointing to the spot, where Bates stepped up and slotted into the net.

Some resolute defending frustrated Longlevens late on, whilst Turner could have extended the lead in stoppage time only for the keeper to block as he broke through.

Shortly afterwards the final whistle sounded to confirm The Hillsiders' fifth win in a row and thrust them up into second place in the table.