FOOTBALL - Crowther admits play-off final 'unthinkable' after late Hinckley heroics - The Droitwich Standard

FOOTBALL - Crowther admits play-off final 'unthinkable' after late Hinckley heroics

Aaron Sutcliffe 4th May, 2023 Updated: 4th May, 2023   0

ANDY Crowther admits it is ‘unthinkable’ that Droitwich Spa will be playing in the play-off final in their first season as a step six club.

The Saltmen are just one win away from securing back-to-back promotions after late heroics against Hinckley AFC saw them advance to the Midland Football League Division One play-off final on penalties.

Spa face Ashby Ivanhoe in the play-off final this weekend (Saturday, May 6) and boss Crowther is confident his players will do the business and create history.

Crowther exclusively told the Standard: “It’s unbelievable, to even get into the play-offs, it became more and more realistic and achievable as the season went on.

“You wouldn’t have expected to be talking about a play-off final when you’re 3-1 down away at a team like Hinckley but we always thought we still had a chance, it was meant to be.

“It’s a massive game to get promoted but we’ve just got to approach it like a normal league game, the players have turned up for big games this season.

“I’m confident the lads can do the job, they’re more than capable of matching anyone in this league and we’ve proved that.

“Having a good management team has helped us, the whole backroom staff keep everyone level, to be one game from promotion to step five is unthinkable, I never thought it would happen.”

And Crowther was full of praise for the club’s dedicated fans and believes they have a huge part to play in the club’s fortunes this weekend.

Crowther added: “Every home game we’re averaging around 200 supporters plus and there were over 200 Droitwich fans at Hinckley, it just shows what it means to them all.

“It’s brilliant that the lads can give something back and continue the season for another week, the team spirit is second to none.

“The fans definitely give the lads a lift, it makes the players want to do better and that’s proven in the results on the pitch, it’s a 12th man wherever you go and urges you on.

“I’ve got a great group of lads that have made it easy for me as a manager, who knows what could happen.”

Against Hinckley, Alex Dugmore’s bullet header from a corner put Spa ahead on 33 minutes only for the home side to equalise four minutes later through Matthew Dawson.

And two goals either side of the break from Chandler Pegg put Hinckley in command before Connor Collins’ penalty reduced the deficit on 81 minutes to keep Spa’s promotion hopes alive.

Substitute Josh Hurdman then scored a wonderful solo goal to take the game to a penalty shootout in which Dom Rogerson made two saves and Sam Hurdman scored the winning penalty to spark wild scenes of celebration.

Droitwich travel to Ashby on Saturday, May 6 with kick-off at 3pm at the NFU Sports Ground.


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