A CHANGE in tactics and a few returning faces helped Ludlow Colts bounce back to form in a thrilling 3-3 draw at title hopefuls Malvern Town Reserves in the Herefordshire League Premier Division.

Colts put recent disappointing results – a draw against bottom side Bartestree and a defeat to local rivals Shobdon – behind them with what joint boss Mark Tonkinson termed an ‘outstanding second-half display’.

Tonkinson pushed Luke Hicks up front and the tactic almost immediately paid off as he found Danny Crowther – back from injury – to slot home, only for the goal to be ruled out for offside.

From there, Malvern enjoyed a spell on top and scored twice, despite some cracking saves from Regan Tonkinson, but a goal from Crowther in between kept Ludlow well in the contest.

They levelled again after the interval as Dan Griffiths won the ball in midfield and fed Jabez Smith, who beat two defenders to cross for Crowther to score his second.

Griffiths then pounced on a misplaced backpass to put Ludlow ahead for the first time but Malvern levelled in the dying minutes.

Joint boss Tonkinson said: “Second half, we were outstanding to be honest.

“We changed formation on Saturday with Luke Hicks, who is a bit of a target man for us, up front and tried to get the ball into him as quick as we could and play off him, and it worked to be fair.”

Clee Hill United remain top of the Premier Division, despite being held to a 1-1 draw at home by Hereford Pegasus Reserves.

Josh Carpenter pounced on a Pegasus mistake to bring Clee Hill level before United were denied a winner by a controversial offside decision that boss Wayne Whitbread said was ‘at least ten yards onside’.