MALVERN Town shipped four goals in the first-half as they went down 4-2 at home to Larkhall Atheltic in their latest Southern League Division One South defeat. 

Alex Lambert struck twice in the opening ten minutes before Matthew Bowman added a third mid-way through the half. Jack Camm then rubbed further salt into the wound just before the break with a fourth to all but kill the game.

The Hillsiders did improve in the second-half but goals from Jack Watts and Joe Davies proved to be nothing but consolation goals for the home side as Larkhall took the three points back to the South-West.

The result stretches Malvern's winless run in the league to five games, in which they have picked up just one point. They sit fifth-bottom with five points from their opening seven games following their return to Step 4 after last season's promotion.

It has been a harsh lesson for Malvern in the early weeks of the 2023/24 campaign but after they ended a run of three straight league defeats with a 2-2 draw at Melksham Town in their previous outing, there was some much-needed confidence back in the squad ahead of Tuesday's game.

But the opening ten minutes ultimately cost them any hope of building on that draw as Lambert found the net twice to put Malvern on the back-foot.

A tame effort from Lambert somehow found its way into the net and within three minutes he had his second as he fired home following a neat move form the visitors.

Malvern then failed to clear their lines from a corner mid-way through the half and Bowman was on hand to fire home and make it 3-0.

It was already looking to be a challenge beyond Malvern at that point but it was to get worse before the break as Camm broke through the middle of the defence before slotting home.

The game was past Malvern but they did improve in the second-half and Watts pulled one back after good work from Tom Henson in the build-up.

Matt Turner almost had a second just 60 seconds later but he headed wide. 

Despite their best efforts, it was all too little too late for Malvern centre-half but Davies did further reduce the deficit in the closing stages when lashing home from close range.

Malvern will be looking for just a second win of the season this weekend when they host Paulton Rovers.