Spa ease through in County Cup
By Ben Lloyd
Saltmen 4-0 Hanley Swan
The Saltmen got back to winning ways in the 1st Round of the Worcestershire Junior over Cheltenham League side Hanley Swan at KGPF.
Mark Owen and Wayne Oliver made several changes to the starting 11, and their charges were on the front foot from the start.
James Lemon squandered three excellent chances inside the opening 20 minutes from close range, as did Jack Allerton, Ollie Thompson and Dan Cottrill whilst Matty Hunt headed over when well placed.
The visiting 'keeper was being kept on his toes, and made a fine save from Lemon tipping his effort over the bar, while at the other end Hanley rarely threatened - a speculative long-range effort was the closest the visitors came in the first half an hour despite some decent build-up play.
The Saltmen eventually too the lead through James Lemon who arrowed a powerful shot into the bottom corner leaving the visiting stopper helpless.
Spa continued to threaten before the break but could not add to their lead, and Hanley thought they were on level terms moments before half time but were denied by an offside flag.
It was more of the same in the second period with more chances going begging for the home side and 'keeper Sam Hawker was never overly troubled.
James Lemon converted a penalty early on in the half after Szikora-Warmington was fouled in the area.
The front-man was denied a hat-trick as another penalty awarded to the Saltmen was saved by the 'keeper, but soon after Dan Cottrill scored Spa's 3rd with the best goal of the day; deployed on the wing in this encounter, he picked up the ball on the half-way line, danced around three opponents and fired an unstoppable 25 yard drive into the back of the net to virtually seal the victory.
Cottrill should have added to his tally with an impressive leap and powerful header which went narrowly over the bar.
Cory Rudd's free-kick was then diverted into the net courtesy of a visiting defender to add some gloss to the score-line with 10 minutes to play.