15th Dec, 2019

Saltmen urged to be ruthless

Ben Tyler 4th Oct, 2019

MARK Owen is calling on his Droitwich Spa side to be more consistent in their finishing after the holders lost their grip on the Worcestershire FA Saturday Junior Cup following a penalty shoot-out defeat to Kidderminster Harriers under-23s.

Will Gibbons struck a 91st-minute equaliser to force penalties and cancel out Ben Tilbury’s first-half opener for Spa.

Connor Collins then missed the decisive spot-kick as the Saltmen lost out 12-11 in the shoot-out.

The Droitwich manager called it “one of the craziest penalty shootouts” that he’s seen.

“There was a great standard of penalties, one was saved by Matt [Oliver] and spun behind him, but I couldn’t knock the lads – it was one of them,” he said. “We took the lead, hit the bar and didn’t put away another solid chance, we should’ve gone in two or three up at half time.

“We missed a one-on-one in the second half, then their added fitness levels kicked in towards the end and equalise, so I think a draw was a fair result.

“It was down to us not punishing them with the chances that we had. If we get the second goal then we win the game.

“They always had hope at 1-0 and overall probably merited the equaliser.”

The Saltmen now resume matters in West Midlands (Regional) League Division One, currently sitting ninth with several games in hand on sides above them and a trip to strugglers Bustleholme on Saturday (3pm).

Owen believes the fixture can be the perfect opportunity for his side to demonstrate better composure in front of goal, with history also on their side considering the 10-0 victory Spa enjoyed in this fixture earlier in January this year.

“On any given day, you wouldn’t guess that Bustleholme is a team that could concede that many,” said the Spa boss.

“We go into it just looking to win, we need to be more ruthless. We’ve won some of our other games comfortably but we need to be scoring well on a consistent basis.”

Owen said the same squad involved against the Harriers will feature on Saturday, albeit with a few changes in the starting 11.

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