10th Dec, 2019

Quality in side "starting to show through" says Owen after causing FA Vase upset

Ben Tyler 19th Sep, 2019

SALTMEN manager Mark Owen believes his side could have won more comfortably in their shock 2-1 victory away at Tividale in the FA Vase.

Goals from Jack Davies and Connor Collins gave Droitwich a two-goal lead going into the break, and despite the hosts pulling one back with 15 minutes remaining after missing an earlier penalty, the Saltmen were good value in progressing to the next round of the competition.

It’s the first time that Spa have reached the first round of the Vase, an achievement that left Owen beaming with pride.

“Going into the game as underdogs, we were fantastic and the performance level was outstanding,” he said.

“It’s a big moment in the club’s history, and it was deserved – the cup’s fantastic financially for the club and confidence wise.”

He felt the margin of victory was not reflective of the dominance that his side enjoyed against the Midland Football League Premier Division outfit, and were deserving of a more comprehensive scoreline.

“We were that dominant in the first half, we would have had no complaints if we went in four or five up after the first half,” said Owen.

“You start to think it’s your day after the penalty miss, Matt [Oliver] didn’t have a save to make in the last ten minutes considering their quality and being two leagues above.

“We were fantastic for the first 70 minutes of the game, they had possession for the last 20, but we were fairly comfortable.”

Ben Tilbury was the architect for the first goal, setting Davies away down the right with an incisive ball, allowing the forward to cut inside and fire through the legs of Tividale keeper Louis Connor on 12 minutes.

The lead was finally doubled ten minutes before half time when Collins finished with aplomb, while the hosts’ had to wait until the hour mark for a clear chance at goal when being awarded a penalty.

Fortunately for the visitors, Darragh Bustin slammed his penalty against the crossbar to keep the two-goal lead intact.

While Luke Carter halved the deficit to give Tividale a glimmer of hope, it was a false dawning as Spa comfortably saw out the game, with victory handing them a home tie against another step five side in Whitchurch Alport.

Droitwich now return to West Midlands (Regional) League Division One action on Saturday (3pm) when visiting Wrens Nest, a fixture that Owen hopes can be a further example of the progression of his team.

“The league is our bread and butter, me and Andy [Crowther] knew what we had in our squad before the season started and what we were working with,” he said.

“Hopefully now that’s starting to show through.”

He confirmed that the same line-up that won in Sandwell is expected to step out at the weekend, with no injury or suspensions to report.

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