JOE Bates continued to impress in front of goal as his brace helped Malvern Town progress in the Bluefin Sports Challenge Cup on Tuesday night. 

Malvern came from 1-0 down early on against lower-league Milton United to hold a 3-1 lead at the break thanks to Harry Clark's equaliser and two from Bates to take his personal tally to 18 for the season. 

Malvern Gazette: Harry Clark equalises for Malvern Town in their 3-2 cup win over Milton United. Pic: Cliff WilliamsHarry Clark equalises for Malvern Town in their 3-2 cup win over Milton United. Pic: Cliff Williams (Image: Cliff Williams)

The Hellenic League Division One side, who are chasing promotion into the Premier Division with Malvern for next season, did pull one back with nine minutes to play through Jordan Moore.

There were some later nervous moment but the hosts held on for a 3-2 victory to secure their spot in the quarter-finals. 

"Not the prettiest but job done," said co-manager Lee Hooper after the match..

"It wasn't the greatest performance. We switched a few things around which was good, we were able to rest a few and also get some minutes into a few lads that needed it. 

"Towards the end we had some people playing out of position so it was a little disorganised but in the end we got through and that's what cup games are about."

Town have the weekend off this week as other sides catch up with fixtures.

They are back in action next week when they face Mangotsfield United in the Wiseman Lighting Fllodlit Cup semi-finals.

"We picked up a few knocks tonight (Tuesday) so it's probably good that we have the weekend off," added Hooper.

"It would have been nice to keep going in the league with the form we are in and we want to keep the pressure on Cribbs but it is what it is, that's the way the fixtures fall.

"Got to rest up and then focus on another cup game next week where we will give it our all to make sure we go through and reach the final."