MALVERN Town celebrated their first win back at Step 4 in 14 years after they clung on to beat Yate Town 3-2 on Wednesday night.

The Hillsiders drew their Southern League Division One South opener with Bideford AFC 2-2 on Saturday, but a dominant first-half on Wednesday in Yate proved decisive.

Joe Davies opened the scoring in the fourth minute before Harry Clark made it 2-0 and Jordan Annear scored his first goal for the club on the stroke of half-time to give the visitors a three-goal cushion at the break.

The game changed with 20 minutes to play as Curtis Smith was sent off for using his hand on the line, and despite Keiron Blackburn saving the spot-kick, the hosts did pull a goal back soon after through Dylan Lewis. 

It got worse for Malvern in the 75th minute of the game as captain Lewis Platt received his second yellow card and he joined Smith in being sent off by referee Elliot Haddrell.

Now down to nine men, it was a backs-against-the-wall job for the away side as The Bluebells piled on the pressure.

Into seven minutes of stoppage time, Yate were able to reduce the deficit further as Sam Pashen fired home and all of a sudden Malvern were praying for the full-time whistle.

Yate did have a late, late opportunity to pinch a dramatic draw but Darren Mullings' header was glanced narrowly wide of Blackburn's post. 

But The Hillsiders got over the line and there was a collective sign of relief from the away team camp, who managed to pick up a first win in the Southern League since 2009.

They now have a weekend off due to not being involved in the FA Cup Preliminary round ties across the country.