MARK Owen hailed top scorer Connor Collins for his two-goal contribution in Droitwich Spa’s 3-1 away win at Tipton Town.
The former Fairfield Villa striker took his tally to 11 goals for the season and helped the Saltmen move up to sixth in Division One of the West Midlands (Regional) League, adding to Matthew Hunt’s opening goal.
The Droitwich manager was delighted with the application of his much-changed side and by the response to conceding in the second half.
“Considering we had five players missing and James Deeprose making his first start from the under-21s, and Charlie [Tilley] having to go on after playing in the morning, all in all it was a very pleasing performance,” he said.
“2-0 is always a tough scoreline, when we did concede the game changed in our favour and we dominated after that, we could’ve scored four or four in the end.”
He singled out Collins’ contribution, adding: “I always knew about his goalscoring qualities, but his contributions outside of that were brilliant.
“He lead from the front for us and thoroughly deserved his two goals.”
The hosts threatened with the best chance of the opening exchanges with a header from Andrew Dicken that went narrowly off target, though Spa always remained a threat with the likes of Jordan Cox and Collins going forward.
Collins was denied by Tipton keeper Ryan Pratt from close range, before Hunt sent a bullet header into the net from a corner to finally break the deadlock.
The lead was doubled when Collins finished past Pratt in a one-on-one situation, while Ben Tilbury and Cox had chances go astray before the break.
Dan Bell’s strike just after the hour mark was the wake-up call required to get Spa up and running again after a lanquid start to the second half.
Immediately, the visitors restored their two-goal cushion when indecision in Tipton’s defence allowed Collins to score a simple goal and ultimately seal all three points.
Matt Oliver still had to remain switched on to deny Bell a second of the afternoon, assuring the hosts were given no route back into the game.
The Saltmen are back to full strength for Saturday’s (3pm) local derby at Bromyard Town, a fixture which Owen re-iterates will be treated the same as any other.
“We don’t stop, we’ve got to carry on how we have done in recent weeks,” he said.
“It’s a local derby, but we’ve got to approach the game the same and we’ll be in better shape this weekend.”