JOINT-BOSS Wayne Oliver had no complaints as Droitwich Spa suffered their first home defeat since February at the hands of Worcester Raiders.
In a topsy-turvy encounter at Walshes Meadow, West Midlands One title hopefuls Raiders raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from former Spa man Luke Molloy and Matt Tyler.
Droitwich then began to play with greater urgency and it took them just five minutes to reduce the arrears when Ben Tilbury tapped home from close range after Jack Davies’ initial shot was palmed onto the post by Raiders keeper Lewis Pinches.
The equaliser followed soon after when a deep free-kick from Jonathan Brookes was flicked on by James Lemon into the path of Davies who finished well.
The second half proved to be a non-event and it looked as though the spoils would be shared until a controversial penalty was awarded to Raiders in the dying moments.
Anthony Smith confidently stepped up and dispatched the penalty to secure the win for the visitors.
“Overall we probably didn’t do enough to win the game regardless of who we had played,” said Oliver.
“The first half was a decent watch but the second was far from the greatest.
“We had a decent spell early doors in the second half but we did not create anything.
“Our keeper was certainly the busier of the two and I felt we lacked some man strength to deal with the intensity of the game.
“However, it’s only one point which has been dropped and there’s plenty more games to come.
“Nothing is decided at this stage of the season.”
It’s not the first time the two sides have been involved in a penalty controversy, with Spa having their own late spot-kick awarded in a dramatic 3-2 victory over Raiders to lift the Worcestershire Junior Cup in April 2016.
With a shoot-out looming with the score at 2-2 into the eighth minute of second half stoppage time, the Saltmen were given the chance to win the game after Haydn Morris was fouled in the area.
Lemon buried the penalty to send Spa into delirium.
“It was like history repeating itself but the other way around,” added Oliver.
“We have got no excuses from the defeat, it’s just frustrating we conceded a penalty so late on.”
Spa have no game now until Tuesday, November 13 when they make the trip to Bromyard Town in the League Cup.
Between now and then, Spa will be in training tomorrow (Thursday), Saturday, next Thursday and the following Saturday to prepare for their derby encounter.