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29th Jan, 2022

Owen wants immediate response after opening-day defeat

Ben Tyler 15th Aug, 2019

MANAGER Mark Owen says Saturday’s (3pm) team talk away to Gornal Athletic will be straightforward, as Droitwich Spa attempt to bounce back at the first time of asking from a 2-0 loss away to Old Wulfrunians.

Saturday’s defeat in Spa’s West Midlands (Regional) League Division One opener came courtesy of Jack Hickman and Tom Ray goals in either half, despite the Saltmen dominating the share of chances.

Owen was left a frustrated man after failing to register points on the board in week one, and says plenty of words were had in the dressing room.

“There were no excuses, we were off colour but we had enough chances to win the game,” he said.

“They scored two from four efforts at goal, both coming from mistakes.

“They complimented us after the game on how we played, but they got the three points so it doesn’t mean too much.

“We had a good chat in training on Monday with the players, but I re-iterated to them that nothing is won or lost on the opening day.

“The lads were equally frustrated, so that’s good to see – that’s the reaction I want from them.”

Hosts Old Wulfrunians retained the ball for the majority of the opening stages at the Brinsford Stadium, with the Saltmen pressed into surrendering possession whenever winning the ball.

Wulfs finally amounted an effort at Connor Coombes’ goal 15 minutes in, and from it came the opener.

A partially cleared corner only fell as far as Hickman, who let fly from the edge of the box and beat the Droitwich keeper at his near post to break the deadlock.

Droitwich assumed the upper hand despite the setback, with several chances falling to Connor Collins – but none managing to find the net.

The hosts’ keeper had one first-half save to make to deny Ben Tilbury, but he was otherwise untroubled as the half came to a close.

Seven minutes after the restart, Ray’s header increased Spa’s woes, another setback that they failed to recover from to ensure Droitwich continue their run of never having won at Old Wulfrunians.

The Saltmen manager says nothing has changed as a result of the defeat, and targets a much-improved showing in Dudley.

“It’s a game where we want a response, I don’t need to say much to them,” said Owen.

“We go there with the will to win, I’ve made it clear to the players where we need to improve.”

Matt Oliver is the only player back in the side after being away for the season opener, with Droitwich at full strength for matchday two.

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