A FAR from polished performance from Droitwich Spa saw them pick up their first home victory in two months in Midland League Division Two as they beat struggling Leamington Hibernian 1-0.
Nick Seabourne’s third-minute strike was enough to secure the win for the Saltmen who had not won in the league at the King George Playing Fields since their 5-0 hammering of Earlswood Town on September 3.
James Lemon also missed a penalty for Spa while William Pedred saw his ‘goal’ chalked off for offside for the visitors who never really posed much of a threat all game.
Victory for Spa moves them back up to third in the table but they will feel it was a missed opportunity to boost their goal difference after racing into such an early lead.
From the get-go the hosts showed more impetus as it took just three minutes to break Hibernian’s defence down as Andrew Crowther’s long ball was left by Lemon, which allowed Seabourne to race through before cutting inside and rifling home.
Spa continued to press but poor finishing prevented Aston Gunter and Luke Molloy from doubling the lead as the pair could only direct their efforts inside the first 15 minutes straight at keeper Joe Weston.
But in the 21st minute, the Saltmen had the chance to increase their lead from the spot after Seabourne was clumsily hauled to the ground by Aaron Satchwell who was subsequently booked for the rash foul.
Lemon took up the responsibility of taking the spot-kick but his tame effort aimed at the bottom right-hand corner was easily saved by Weston.
Six minutes later Seabourne headed over the bar from Jamie Smith’s corner before Hibernian saw a ‘goal’ chalked off after Pedred was deemed to be offside from Alister Wrist’s well-delivered cross from the right.
Lemon’s afternoon went from bad to worse when he saw another glorious chance go begging one minute before the interval when he found himself through on goal from Gunter’s fantastic cross-field pass but he could only curl wide after skipping past his marker on the inside.
After the break, football seemed to take backstage as neither side could keep the ball let alone string a number of passes together before Molloy sent a volley wide from the edge of the area in the 57th minute from Smith’s corner.
Despite not having much of the chances, the visitors almost drew level five minutes later but Luke Swinnerton’s rasping drive from all of 30 yards went just over the bar.
Spa immediately hit back four minutes later and Gunter will be wondering how he did not make it 2-0 as he bore down on goal only to see his lobbed effort well saved by Weston before the Hibernian keeper collected the loose ball to keep his side in the game.
But the visitors themselves will be scratching their heads as to how they did not draw level in the 76th minute. Seabourne almost went from hero to zero as his poor back pass was collected by Jack Keeling but the striker rushed his effort and lashed harmlessly wide.
As the game began to come to close, Lemon, who will feel aggrieved to how he was not on the scoresheet, saw another huge chance slip through his fingers after 87 minutes.
The Saltmen’s leading scorer last season charged down Weston’s clearance, collected the ball and with the goal at his mercy he still failed to find the net as a last ditch tackle from Wrist ensured the game finished 1-0 on a very cold and windy afternoon at the KGPF.