16th Jul, 2020

Relief for Saltmen after late show - Crowther

Ben Tyler 6th Feb, 2020

ASSISTANT manager Andy Crowther admitted he was not confident Droitwich Spa were going to capitalise on their considerable number of chances in Tuesday night’s last-gasp win at Bromyard Town.

An 82nd-minute equaliser from James Lemon was followed by Jack Davies clinical finish seven minutes later, booking the Saltmen’s place in the semi-finals of the West Midlands Division One League Cup.

While the title favourites created opportunities aplenty, they were unable to put their rivals to the sword.

“To be honest, we dominated the game and completely outplayed them,” said Crowther.

“We did our thing, but it got to the stage where I didn’t think we were going to get the winner.

“But fair play to them [Bromyard]. They worked hard, got themselves in front, and then worked to keep their lead until the end.”

With no game played last weekend, Spa went into Tuesday’s trip to Delahay Meadow with fresh legs and their intent to attack from the start was evident, with chances falling to Brad Burgess, Connor Collins, Lemon and Ben Tilbury, albeit to no avail.

Against the run of play, Bromyard hit the back of Matt Oliver’s net with their first opening of the game when a corner to the far post which was headed home from close range by Jason Wellings.

Collins hit the woodwork in response, while home custodian Alex Rhodes appeared unbeatable between the sticks as Bromyard remained in front at the break.

The progress of the Saltmen could have seriously been in doubt, had it not been for two saves from Oliver to keep out Jake Hollylee and Matt Middleton.

Spa continued to search for parity, going closer once more when Cory Rudd crashed a strike against the bar from long range, while substitute Jordan Cox should have done better from a promising position.

Eventually, the equaliser did arrive, and it was Lemon who provided it just in the nick of time.

Entering the closing stages of regulation time, the forward was on hand to guide the ball home from close range, before Davies went through on goal and dispatched clinically to send the visitors through.

Spa now turn their attentions back to matters in West Midlands (Regional) League, where they currently sit second in Division One on 31 points – three behind leaders Wellington Amateurs who have played three games more.

With a return to action against second-bottom FC Darlaston on Saturday at Walshes Meadow (3pm), Crowther believes the perception of his side has changed considerably this season.

“It’s been the case in the last few seasons where teams have seen us as something of a big scalp to take,” he added.

“But that’s something that is seen more so now, with how we’ve been playing in the league and after our FA Vase run earlier in the season. We’ve just got to keep doing our thing

“We played Darlaston a few weeks ago and their league position is false, it’ll be another good test. The lads know what they’re like, but we’ll treat it as just another game.”

With no injuries to report, the Saltmen will have a fully-fit squad available for selection against the Black Country visitors.

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