Welland 1 Droitwich Spa 2
Worcestershire Junior Cup
GOALS from Luke Molloy and Aston Gunter fired cup holders Droitwich Spa into the semi-finals of the Worcestershire FA Saturday Junior Cup.
Despite conceding a late goal, joint boss Wayne Olive and Mark Owen always felt their side had enough to overcome Cheltenham League side Welland.
Victory means the Saltmen face a repeat of last season’s final after being handed a home last-four tie with Worcester Raiders later this month.
The visitors started the game with real gusto, moving the ball at speed and good movement. Soon the chances flowed with Nick Seabourne, James Lemon, Gunter and Molloy at the heart of things while captain Andy Crowther bossed the midfield.
Good work down the right from Besar Celaj (making his first start for more than a year) and Nick Seabourne created chances for Molloy and Gunter, but they didn’t trouble the home stopper.
Lemon also came close before Molloy opened the scoring in the 11th minute.
After the ball was worked across from the left, Lemon’s direct run took him into the box and Molloy cut inside and powerfully hammered home from the edge of the area – the ball having the faintest of touches off Seabourne on its way in.
Welland then created several chances of their own – the closest they came was a shot from 12 yards out which skimmed the side netting.
Most of the first half action was in the hosts’ own half, though, and it wasn’t long before Gunter doubled the Saltmen’s lead on 23 minutes.
Lemon beat his man for pace and his low drilled cross was met by Gunter whose powerful strike gave the ‘keeper no chance.
Droitwich had several other chance to add to their lead and culd, possibly should have been out of sight by half time.
The second half started in a similar fashion, but after Seabourne, Burgess and Molloy had squandered early chances, Welland enjoyed a decent spell of possession.
Saltmen ‘keeper Matthew Oliver was rarely troubled but Welland got the goal they had been threatening on 80 minutes – a corner was met by a powerful header at the near post and the hosts were back in it.
The final 10 minutes was a lot more nervy than it should have been with Spa forced to defend but they had enough to progress.