APRIL 29 will be a date sketched into the Malvern Town history books as a 4-1 play-off win at Highworth Town secured their promotion to the Southern League for just the second time.

Matt Turner's hat-trick proved decisive as The Hillsiders, roared on by almost 300 hundred travelling supporters, came from behind to beat Highworth and book their spot in Step 4 for next season.

Malvern Gazette: Malvern Town players and supporters celebrate after their 4-1 play-off winMalvern Town players and supporters celebrate after their 4-1 play-off win (Image: Cliff Williams)

Malvern have only been promoted to the Southern League once before, back in 2006, but that was via a reprieve due to other teams failing to meet ground requirements. So Saturday's impressive victory was the first time the club has experienced a moment such as this. 

There were jubilant and emotional scenes at the full-time whistle as the supporters, staff and players drank in the special moment.

Malvern Gazette: Malvern Town supporters were out in force at HighworthMalvern Town supporters were out in force at Highworth (Image: Cliff Williams)

Malvern Gazette: There were around 300 Malvern Town supporters at Highworth on SaturdayThere were around 300 Malvern Town supporters at Highworth on Saturday (Image: Cliff Williams)

Chairman Chris Pinder epitomised those emotions in the minutes after the game.

"I just spontaneously burst into tears at the end, it's just unbelievable," he said. 

"What a lot of people won't realise is all the nonsense we have had to go through and all the hard work that's gone in over the last three or four years to get us where we are now. 

Malvern Gazette: Malvern Town chairman Chris PinderMalvern Town chairman Chris Pinder (Image: Newsquest)

"To have so much of the Malvern faithful come here and support the lads, banging the drums, singing the songs, it's all a little overwhelming."

It had been a bright start to the afternoon as Malvern piled on the pressure in the early stages and they should have taken the lead when Lewis Spurrier went one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but he could not convert.

And despite the dominance, they fell behind in the 28th minute when Ashley Edenborough bundled home a cross at the back post.

But Malvern were not behind for long as Turner tapped home after Ben Hayes had somehow been denied from close range by Highworth keeper James Walker. 

A penalty after the break for handball enabled Turner to make it 2-1 and when Spurrier made it 3-1 with a fine finish, the champagne bottles were being prepared.

Malvern Gazette: Malvern Town's Lewis Spurrier celebrates after making it 3-1Malvern Town's Lewis Spurrier celebrates after making it 3-1 (Image: Cliff Williams)

But there was time for Turner to complete his hat-trick and cap off a terrific afternoon for both himself and the team. 

Malvern Gazette: Malvern Town's Matt Turner was the hat-trick heroMalvern Town's Matt Turner was the hat-trick hero (Image: Cliff Williams)

"I am just absolutely buzzing," said Turner. "Obviously the main goal was to come here and get promoted but to score a hat-trick was obviously next level.

"We have worked so hard all season and I am just so chuffed for everyone here that we could get the job done, I am over the moon.

"We reacted really well to going behind and I think it helped us. We managed to get ourselves level and then second-half we just kicked on and created plenty of opportunities. I am just delighted."

The delight was justified for Malvern and this will be a game that will live long in the memory for all involved with the club. But soon attention will turn to next season, a return to the Southern League.