By Andy Poole

Co-manager Lee Hooper cut a disappointed figure after seeing Malvern Town’s Buildbase FA Vase run come to an end at the fourth round stage against Congleton Town.

Despite enjoying the majority of possession, his side couldn’t find a way through their North West Counties League Premier Division hosts, as they succumbed to a goal scored within the opening minute.

“It was a gutsy performance,” he said. “We put a lot of effort in but ultimately conceding the early goal killed us because it allowed them to sit in and be compact.”

“Try as we might, we just couldn’t break them down. We dominated the possession but just couldn’t create the chances we needed, which makes it even more disappointing, because this has been our strength this season.

“Fair play to our hosts, though, because they had a game plan and carried it out to frustrate us. I can’t praise the lads highly enough for the effort they put in.

“They gave everything in terms of energy but just lacked that bit of quality to make the difference. They are all gutted, but we will pick ourselves up and be ready to go again.”

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