13th Nov, 2019

Saltmen almost at peak level ahead of new season, says Droitwich assistant Crowther

Ben Tyler 25th Jul, 2019

ASSISTANT manager Andy Crowther says that Droitwich Spa can gain an idea of how far they’ve progressed in recent weeks, when taking on a Kidderminster Harriers XI on Saturday (noon).

The Saltmen beat Stourport Swifts 2-1 in their latest pre-season friendly at Walshes Meadow on Tuesday, an impressive result against a side two tiers above Spa that makes it four games without defeat for Mark Owen’s side.

Crowther believes Saturday’s game is a perfect match-up for his side, and expects an entertaining contest.

“We’re turning into a footballing side, so Saturday’s game should suit us,” he said.

“The lads are doing what we want from them, and we’re beginning to play some good stuff.”

Connor Collins was the difference maker in Tuesday’s victory, scoring twice from the penalty spot to ensure a confidence-boosting win against the Midlands Football League Premier Division side.

Droitwich created a number of chances throughout the opening period, and eventually broke the deadlock mid-way through the half.

Jack Davies strode into the area and was brought down by a Stourport defender, allowing Collins the opportunity to fire the ball into the back of the net from 12 yards.

Going into half time a goal up, the Swifts came back into the game after the interval, and equalised through Nick Macpherson – who break through and dispatched past the on-rushing Matt Oliver.

Despite falling onto the back foot, the Saltmen dug deep and resumed the lead when Ben Tilbury was felled inside the penalty area, allowing Collins to put away his second spot kick of the game.

Stourport made a late surge for an equaliser, but Spa’s defence was resolute and held on for another encouraging victory.

The Droitwich assistant believes that his side were good value for the win, and feels that the squad is fast approaching where they need to be ahead of the first game of the season.

“The lads were superb from start to finish and did everything that we asked of them,” said Crowther.

“We edged it first half, Stourport edged the start of the second half, but we got the penalty to win it late on.

“We’re virtually there, a couple more training sessions and one more friendly and we should be ready for the start of the season – although we’re still looking to arrange another friendly.”

Crowther views Spa’s pre-season campaign as a resounding success, and points to the Stourport game as the biggest indicator of their progress so far.

“The lads have gelled well, as we showed on Tuesday night,” he said.

“We like to pick tough games to test ourselves and give a measure of our progress – so it’s been very pleasing.”

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