DROITWICH Spa ended 2016 in impressive style after they produced a clinical away performance to beat Earlswood Town 2-0.
A late penalty from Max Crisp followed by a well taken finish from Macualey Finch kept Spa in the top two of Midland Football League Division Two.
It was a great result for Spa who impressively follow up their huge 1-0 win over Fairfield Villa on Boxing Day with another league victory.
From the off Spa, playing in their all-blue 3rd strip, attacked with intent and kept the ball well – Nick Seabourne sent an early chance wide whilst moments later a slip from Mitchell Hodge let James Lemon in. He squared the ball to Haydn Morris but he could only fire straight at the on-rushing Thompson in the home goal.
Finch, Seabourne and Crisp all had other efforts off target and Droitwich struggled to turn their possession and chances into goals.
At the other end, Michael Seeley and Matthew Hunt, now forming a formidable partnership at the back, kept Matt Oliver’s goal from any danger.
However on 20 minutes an unusual back-pass from Jamie Smith under pressure from the lively Anton Nunes was collected by Oliver a matter of yards from his goal line. An indirect free-kick was duly awarded but the stopper made amends as he charged down and did well to parry away the powerful free-kick.
Then James Lemon was substituted after aggravating his injury sustained in the home game with Hampton. His replacement Aston Gunter wasted no time getting involved in the game – a hat-trick of chances before the break all fell to him but he failed to call Thompson into action.
The first half ended all square with Spa well on top, however Earlswood came out a lot more threatening for the second period.
Both Danny Holliday and Nicky Playdon were put through within the opening 10 minutes but some superb last ditch tackles from Hunt and Joshua Szikora denied them efforts on goal.
It was not long before Spa got back into their stride though – chances came and went for Seabourne, twice for Finch and Haydn Morris, whose header looped just the wrong side of the cross-bar.
As time ebbed away, the sizeable away contingent were wondering if they were ever going to see a goal, however on 80 minutes Macauley Finch made a burst into the box and was adjudged to have been brought down by Hodge despite little protest from the visitors.
Crisp stepped up and confidently powered the ball low in to the bottom left hand corner giving Anthony Thomson no chance.
It wasn’t long before Spa notched a second. A pin-point cross from Morris was headed back across goal by Seabourne and Finch was there to nod home his second goal in as many games to seal the points.
That said, the Earls then played some of their best football of the game – Oliver having to make a couple of saves from Holliday in the closing few minutes, but it was Droitwich who went home happy after finishing 2016 with a flourish.