8th Dec, 2019

Owen feeling positive after Saltmen's pre-season opener

Ben Tyler 11th Jul, 2019 Updated: 11th Jul, 2019

DROITWICH boss Mark Owen admits he has plenty of positives to take from the Saltmen’s friendly opener against Northfield Town – despite suffering a 3-2 loss.

Spa fell to a late defeat after twice drawing level, with new signings Alex Dugmore and Connor Collins both on the scoresheet.

Owen said he was grateful to Northfield for agreeing to the friendly after original opponents Feckenham pulled out, and was pleased by how his side fared against the MFL Division One outfit.

“Feckenham pulled out after their manager wanted extra training, so Northfield stepped in – they’re further down the line in pre-season than us,” he said.

“We were their third pre-season game, so considering that we had seven or eight missing, and a number of young players in the side, it was a really pleasing performance.”

A Droitwich side mixed with new arrivals and youth were more than a match for Northfield for the majority of the game, and responded to falling behind by levelling through Dugmore – who powered a header home from a Brad Burgess corner.

Northfield resumed their lead, but were pegged back once more by a penalty smashed home by Collins just after half-time.

But a defensive mishap in the final ten minutes led to the Northfield winner, with the hosts able to make use of their higher fitness levels.

Featuring in Tuesday’s friendly were youth team players Charlie Tilley and Josh Harrison, who have recently signed terms for the under-21 side.

Tilley, 16, is a central midfielder, whilst Harrison, 17, plays at left-back, with both making an impact following their appearances from the bench in the final 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, a trialist who featured in the Northfield defeat has been successful in his bid to secure a deal with the Saltmen, with an announcement expected imminently by the club.

The Droitwich manager hailed the application of the club’s summer arrivals, and says he has been impressed by what he has seen so far.

“The lads have come in and worked hard in training, the new signings in particular have bonded really well,” said Owen.

“Alex (Dugmore) was outstanding, Connor (Collins) had a a good game and took his goal well – so overall there were plenty of positives to take from it.”

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