STRIKER James Lemon was glad to be back among the goals as Droitwich Spa thumped Midland League Division Two basement side Continental Star 7-0.
Following a two month lay-off with a quadriceps injury, Lemon came on from the bench midway through the second half to score Spa’s final goal of the afternoon at the King George Playing Fields.
The Saltmen showed no mercy in front of a 101-strong crowd as they raced into a 4-0 half-time lead through Haydn Morris’ brace and strikes from Jamie Smith and Louis Bridges.
Bridges and Matthew Hunt added further goals in the second half before Lemon completed the scoring after 81 minutes.
“The last two months have been dreadful watching from the sideline,” said Lemon.
“It’s good to come back and get a goal but it’s about getting my fitness levels back up now and hopefully I’ll be finding the back of the net a few more times before the end of the season.
“Even though they [Continental Star] are bottom of the league, these are games you have to win if you want to get promotion.
“We have come off with a good scoreline and done really well.”
Spa settled the quicker of the two sides and after four minutes they found themselves 1-0 up when Nick Seabourne’s cross landed at the feet of Morris whose instant volley crashed off the underside of the bar and into the net.
It should have been 2-0 two minutes later as Smith played in Bridges one-on-one with Star keeper Dante Bell but the former Pershore Town striker could only hit the post from close range.
But Spa did double their lead after 13 minutes as a lovely interchange between Smith and Bridges saw the former show how it is done when clean through on goal as the left-back easily found the bottom right-hand corner.
Star had offered very little since the start of the game and by the half hour mark they found themselves 3-0 down as Bridges’ low drive crept into the far corner.
And four minutes later Belle was picking the ball out of his net again as Morris lashed home the re-bound from Jack Allerton’s fierce deflected shot which had actually forced a quality save out of the Star keeper.
Despite the scoreline, a spirited Star outfit managed to step up a notch and forced some pressure just before half-time as a last-ditch tackle from Mike Seeley prevented Daniel Holgate from finishing at the near post before Star’s number nine then drilled a tame shot at Spa keeper Matthew Oliver from inside the area.
A fabulous goal-line clearance from Ronee Hendricks then prevented Morris from getting his hat-trick on the stroke of half-time.
After the break it took all of six minutes for the Saltmen to make it 5-0 as Bridges beat the Star offside trap before applying a sublime lobbed finish to all-but secure the points for the hosts.
Bradley Burgess and Bridges had further chances to extend the lead but it fell to defender Hunt to make it six of the best as his surging run was rewarded in the 63rd minute when he found the roof of the net from Bridges’ cut-back across goal.
Lemon was then introduced from the bench after 65 minutes and he almost instantly made it 7-0 but his low shot was well saved by Belle before a rare attack from the visitors saw Devonte Sterling have a shot blocked.
Star again tried to come forward but there was little reward for their intense pressure and after 81 minutes, Lemon was celebrating his first goal since Boxing Day last year as he latched on to Macauley Finch’s throughball before arrowing a shot across goal from a tight angle to round off a comfortable afternoon for Spa.
Joshua Nelson then came within a whisker of netting a consolation for the visitors six minutes later but his curling shot from the edge of the area skimmed past the top right-hand corner of Oliver’s goal.