ANDY Crowther admits he was blown away by James Lemon’s three-minute hat-trick for Droitwich Spa last weekend.
The Saltmen ran out comfortable 3-1 winners against FC Darlaston, having been a goal down at the break against the rock-bottom visitors at Walshes Meadow.
Three goals from Lemon between the 51st and 54th minutes quickly transformed the game, however, putting Spa back on top of West Midlands (Regional) League Division One.
Assistant manager Crowther felt it was only a matter of time before his side turned the scoreline around but he was delighted with Lemon’s finishing.
“To be honest, I’ve not seen anything like it since I’ve been here,” said Spa’s.
“They were three very good goals from him as well. In the first half we were completely dominant, but conceded a sloppy goal after five minutes.
“I was confident that we’d turn things around, though. The half-time team talk was straight to the point: we were controlling the play but were sloppy in our finishing.
“We always thought that once we got our first, then the rest would follow, and that showed in the three minutes at the start of the second half.”
The first opportunity created in the game found the back of the net in Saturday’s clash, much to the surprise of the hosts.
A Darlaston free-kick delivered into the Droitwich penalty area was turned in by Ryan McAllister, despite the best efforts of goalkeeper Matt Oliver and Matty Hunt on the goal-line to keep the ball out.
The early goal rocked Spa, who failed to turn their control of possession into clear-cut chances.
With the opportunities they did create, Hunt, Ben Tilbury, Cory Rudd and top-scorer Connor Collins were all unable to get the better of the Boltmakers’ Aaron Morris between the sticks.
A penalty miss provided further agony for the Saltemen. Following a foul on Jordan Cox, Collins’ well-struck shot was well kept out by Morris before half-time.
But when play got back under way, the Saltmen showed the golden touch that has put them in prime position to lift the division title.
The equaliser came when Collins’ powerful shot was tipped into the path of Lemon by Morris, the striker making no mistake with the follow-up.
And a matter of seconds later, Spa were in front when Lemon added his second with a composed finish inside the penalty area.
Soon it was 3-0, with the forward racing into the box and unleashing a strike that fizzed into the top corner.
Darlaston were understandably rocked by the quickfire trio, and were unable to issue a response as Droitwich continued to test Morris’ goal time and again, albeit without adding to their tally.
With three games in hand over second-placed Wellington Amateurs, who dropped points in a 5-3 loss at Bromyard Town, Droitwich have been urged to not let their focus drop in Saturday’s trip to eighth-placed Willenhall Town, who ground-share at Wednesfield (3pm).
“Wednesfield is always a hard place to go with the pitch there,” said Crowther. “The important thing is that the lads keep doing everything they’re doing at the moment which has put us in this position.
“It’ll be nice to get a run of games going, because after this weekend we’ve got six home games on the bounce.
“It’s just a matter of time before we start picking up consistent points.”